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Published August 2, 2017 | Supplemental Material + Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Partially Mixed Selectivity in Human Posterior Parietal Association Cortex


To clarify the organization of motor representations in posterior parietal cortex, we test how three motor variables (body side, body part, cognitive strategy) are coded in the human anterior intraparietal cortex. All tested movements were encoded, arguing against strict anatomical segregation of effectors. Single units coded for diverse conjunctions of variables, with different dimensions anatomically overlapping. Consistent with recent studies, neurons encoding body parts exhibited mixed selectivity. This mixed selectivity resulted in largely orthogonal coding of body parts, which "functionally segregate" the effector responses despite the high degree of anatomical overlap. Body side and strategy were not coded in a mixed manner as effector determined their organization. Mixed coding of some variables over others, what we term "partially mixed coding," argues that the type of functional encoding depends on the compared dimensions. This structure is advantageous for neuroprosthetics, allowing a single array to decode movements of a large extent of the body.

Additional Information

© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Received 16 February 2017, Revised 5 June 2017, Accepted 24 June 2017, Available online 20 July 2017. Published: July 20, 2017. This work was supported by the National Institute of Health (R01EY015545), the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Brain-machine Interface Center at Caltech, the Della Martin Foundation, the Conte Center for Social Decision Making at Caltech (P50MH094258), and the Boswell Foundation. The authors would also like to thank subject N.S. for participating in the studies and Kelsie Pejsa, Tessa Yao, and Viktor Scherbatyuk for technical and administrative assistance. Author Contributions: C.Y.Z., T.A., and R.A.A. designed the study. C.Y.Z. and T.A developed the experimental tasks, collected data, and analyzed the results. C.Y.Z., T.A., and R.A.A. interpreted results and wrote the paper. B.R. provided technical support. E.R.R. provided experimental facilities and administrative assistance and coordination with Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare. D.O. provided onsite assistance during experimental sessions. N.P. performed the surgery implanting the recording arrays in N.S.

Attached Files

Accepted Version - nihms889205.pdf

Supplemental Material - mmc1.pdf

Supplemental Material - mmc2.pdf


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