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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Different Representations of Potential and Selected Motor

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Different Representations of Potential and Selected Motor
Plans by Distinct Parietal Areas
He Cui ( )1,2,3 and Richard A. Andersen1
1Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, and 2Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute, 3Department of
Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, Georgia 30912
Traditional theories have considered decision making as a separate neural process occurring before action planning. However, recent
neurophysiological studies of spatial target selection have suggested that decision making and motor planning may be performed in an
integrated manner. It was proposed that multiple potential plans are concurrently formed and the ultimately selected action simultane-
parietal reach region (PRR) and dorsal area 5 (area 5d) in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) while monkeys performed a nonspatial
effector (saccade vs reach) choice task. The results show that PRR encodes potential and selected reach plans whereas area 5d encodes
only selected reach plans, suggesting a serial visuomotor cortical circuitry for nonspatial effector decisions. Thus, there appears to be a
different flow of processing for decisions and planning for spatial target selection, which is more integrated, and nonspatial effector
decisions between eye and limb movements, which are more serial.
To produce appropriate actions in response to complex and dy-
namic environments, the brain must rapidly generate potential
action plans based on perceptual representations of the external
world, choose among them, and then translate the selected plan


Source: Andersen, Richard - Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology


Collections: Biology and Medicine