Neurophysiology of prehension. II. Response diversity in primary somatosensory (S-I) and motor (M-I) cortices

E.P. Gardner, J.Y. Ro, S. Babu, Soumya Ghosh

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Prehension responses of 76 neurons in primary somatosensory (S-I) and motor (M-I) cortices were analyzed in three macaques during performance of a grasp and lift task. Digital video recordings of hand kinematics synchronized to neuronal spike trains were compared with responses in posterior parietal areas 5 and AIP/7b (PPC) of the same monkeys during seven task stages: 1) approach, 2) contact, 3) grasp, 4) lift, 5) hold, 6) lower, and 7) relax. S-I and M-I firing patterns signaled particular hand actions, rather than overall task goals. S-I responses were more diverse than those in PPC, occurred later in time, and focused primarily on grasping. Sixty-three percent of S-I neurons fired at peak rates during contact and/or grasping. Lift, hold, and lowering excited fewer S- I cells. Only 8% of S-I cells fired at peak rates before contact, compared with 27% in PPC. M-I responses were also diverse, forming functional groups for hand preshaping, object acquisition, and grip force application. M-I activity began
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1656-1670
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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