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Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive Movement Intention Is Better Predicted than Attention in

Summary: Behavioral/Systems/Cognitive
Movement Intention Is Better Predicted than Attention in
the Posterior Parietal Cortex
Rodrigo Quian Quiroga,1 Lawrence H. Snyder,2 Aaron P. Batista,3 He Cui,1 and Richard A. Andersen1
1Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, 2Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University,
St. Louis, Missouri 63130, and 3Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305
We decoded on a trial-by-trial basis the location of visual targets, as a marker of the locus of attention, and intentions to reach and to
were significantly worse than predictions of movement plans for the same target locations. Moreover, neural signals in the parietal reach
region (PRR) gave better predictions of reaches than saccades, whereas signals in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) gave better predic-
tions of saccades than reaches. Taking together the activity of both areas, the prediction of either movement in all directions became
nearly perfect. These results cannot be explained in terms of an attention effect and support the idea of two segregated populations in the
posterior parietal cortex, PRR and LIP, that are involved in different movement plans.
Key words: attention; motor intention; single-trial analysis; population coding; vision; parietal
Reaching to an object or shifting gaze to a certain location in-
volves sensorimotor transformations from visual inputs to motor
planning and execution. Converging evidence has shown that the
posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is a key node in this process, being
involved in different types of movement intentions (Andersen


Source: Andersen, Richard - Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology
Quiroga, Rodrigo Quian - Department of Engineering, University of Leicester
Snyder, Larry - Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University in St. Louis


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Engineering