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Coding of intention in the posterior parietal cortex

Snyder, L. H. and Batista, A. P. and Andersen, R. A. (1997) Coding of intention in the posterior parietal cortex. Nature, 386 (6621). pp. 167-170. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/386167a0.

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To look at or reach for what we see, spatial information from the visual system must be transformed into a motor plan. The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is well placed to perform this function, because it lies between visual areas, which encode spatial information, and motor cortical areas. The PPC contains several subdivisions, which are generally conceived as high-order sensory areas. Neurons in area 7a and the lateral intraparietal area fire before and during visually guided saccades. Other neurons in areas 7a and 5 are active before and during visually guided arm movements. These areas are also active during memory tasks in which the animal remembers the location of a target for hundreds of milliseconds before making an eye or arm movement. Such activity could reflect either visual attention or the intention to make movements. This question is difficult to resolve, because even if the animal maintains fixation while directing attention to a peripheral location, the observed neuronal activity could reflect movements that are planned but not executed. To address this, we recorded from the PPC while monkeys planned either reaches or saccades to a single remembered location. We now report that, for most neurons, activity before the movement depended on the type of movement being planned. We conclude that PPC contains signals related to what the animal intends to do.

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Andersen, R. A.0000-0002-7947-0472
Additional Information:© 1997 Nature Publishing Group. Received 10 December 1996; accepted 14 January 1997. We thank B. Gillikin for technical assistance and S. Gertmenian for editorial assistance. This work was supported by the National Eye Institute, Sloan Center for Theoretical Neurobiology at Caltech, Della Martin Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Eye InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Sloan Center for Theoretical NeurobiologyUNSPECIFIED
Della Martin FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval Research (ONR)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6621
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150514-100738708
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Official Citation:Snyder, L., Batista , A. & Andersen, R. Coding of intention in the posterior parietal cortex. Nature 386, 167–170 (1997).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57526
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:14 May 2015 18:23
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:51

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