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Integration of target and hand position signals in the posterior parietal cortex: effects of workspace and hand vision

Buneo, Christopher A. and Andersen, Richard A. (2012) Integration of target and hand position signals in the posterior parietal cortex: effects of workspace and hand vision. Journal of Neurophysiology, 108 (1). pp. 187-199. ISSN 0022-3077. PMCID PMC3434607. doi:10.1152/jn.00137.2011.

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Previous findings suggest the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) contributes to arm movement planning by transforming target and limb position signals into a desired reach vector. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this transformation remain unclear. In the present study we examined the responses of 109 PPC neurons as movements were planned and executed to visual targets presented over a large portion of the reaching workspace. In contrast to previous studies, movements were made without concurrent visual and somatic cues about the starting position of the hand. For comparison, a subset of neurons was also examined with concurrent visual and somatic hand position cues. We found that single cells integrated target and limb position information in a very consistent manner across the reaching workspace. Approximately two-thirds of the neurons with significantly tuned activity (42/61 and 30/46 for left and right workspaces, respectively) coded targets and initial hand positions separably, indicating no hand-centered encoding, whereas the remaining one-third coded targets and hand positions inseparably, in a manner more consistent with the influence of hand-centered coordinates. The responses of both types of neurons were largely invariant with respect to the presence or absence of visual hand position cues, suggesting their corresponding coordinate frames and gain effects were unaffected by cue integration. The results suggest that the PPC uses a consistent scheme for computing reach vectors in different parts of the workspace that is robust to changes in the availability of somatic and visual cues about hand position.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Andersen, Richard A.0000-0002-7947-0472
Additional Information:© 2012 American Physiological Society. Submitted 16 February 2011; Accepted 26 March 2012. We thank Kelsie Pejsa, Nicole Sammons, and Viktor Shcherbatyuk for technical assistance, Janet Baer and Janna Wynne for veterinary care, Tessa Yao for administrative assistance, and Bijan Pesaran and Lindsay Bremner for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the J. G. Boswell Foundation, the Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology, National Eye Institute Grant R01 EY005522, and NIH T32 NS007251-15. Author contributions: C.A.B. and R.A.A. conception and design of research; C.A.B. performed experiments; C.A.B. analyzed data; C.A.B. and R.A.A. interpreted results of experiments; C.A.B. prepared figures; C.A.B. and R.A.A. drafted manuscript; C.A.B. and R.A.A. edited and revised manuscript; C.A.B. and R.A.A. approved final version of manuscript. No conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, are declared by the authors.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
J.G. Boswell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical NeurobiologyUNSPECIFIED
National Eye Institute (NEI)R01 EY005522
NIHT32 NS007251-15
Subject Keywords:arm; eye; coordinates; reference frames; transformations
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC3434607
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120803-154249536
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Official Citation:Christopher A. Buneo and Richard A. Andersen Integration of target and hand position signals in the posterior parietal cortex: effects of workspace and hand vision J Neurophysiol July 1, 2012 108:(1) 187-199; published ahead of print March 28, 2012, doi:10.1152/jn.00137.2011
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:32926
Deposited On:07 Aug 2012 16:38
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 21:31

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