Feature to space conversion during target selection in the dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex of monkeys

Authors


Dr A. Mikami, Department of Human Wellbeing, Chubu Gakuin University, Kirigaoka 2-1, Seki, Gifu, 501-3993, Japan.
E-mail: mikami@chubu-gu.ac.jp

Abstract

To investigate the neuronal mechanism of the process of selection of a target from an array of stimuli, we analysed neuronal activity of the lateral prefrontal cortex during the response period of a serial probe reproduction task. During the response period of this task, monkeys were trained to select a memorized target object from an array of three objects and make a saccadic eye movement toward it. Of 611 neurons, 74 neurons showed visual response and 56 neurons showed presaccadic activity during the response period. Among visual neurons, 27 showed array- and target-selectivity. All of these array- and target-selective visual responses were recorded from the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). Among 56 neurons with presaccadic activity, nine showed target-selective activity, 17 showed target- and direction-selective activity, and 23 showed direction-selective activity. The target-selective, and the target- and direction-selective activities were recorded from the VLPFC, and the direction-selective activities were recorded from VLPFC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The starting time of the activity was earlier for the target-selective, and target- and direction-selective activities in VLPFC, intermediate for the direction-selective activities in VLPFC, and later for the direction-selective activities in DLPFC. These results suggest that VLPFC plays a role in the process of selection of a target object from an array of stimuli, VLPFC and DLPFC play a role in determining the location of the target in space, and DLPFC plays a role in selecting a direction and making a decision to generate a saccadic eye movement.

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