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Berdyyeva T.K.,Mellon Institute | Berdyyeva T.K.,Carnegie Mellon University | Olson C.R.,Mellon Institute | Olson C.R.,Carnegie Mellon University
Journal of Neurophysiology | Year: 2010

Neurons in several areas of monkey frontal cortex exhibit ordinal position (rank) selectivity during the performance of serial order tasks. It has been unclear whether rank selectivity or the dependence of rank selectivity on task context varies across the areas of frontal cortex. To resolve this issue, we recorded from neurons in the supplementary motor area (SMA), presupplementary motor area (pre-SMA), supplementary eye field (SEF), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) as monkeys performed two oculomotor tasks, one requiring the selection of three actions in sequence and the other requiring the selection of three objects in sequence. We found that neurons representing all ranks were present in all areas. Only to a moderate degree did the prevalence and nature of rank selectivity vary from area to area. The two most prominent inter-area differences involved a lower prevalence of rank selectivity in the dlPFC than in the other areas and a higher proportion of neurons preferring late ranks in the SMA and SEF than in the other areas. Neurons in all four areas are rank generalists in the sense of favoring the same rank in both the serial action task and the serial object task. Copyright © 2010 The American Physiological Society. Source


Berdyyeva T.K.,Mellon Institute | Berdyyeva T.K.,Carnegie Mellon University | Olson C.R.,Mellon Institute | Olson C.R.,Carnegie Mellon University
Journal of Neurophysiology | Year: 2014

Neurons in the supplementary eye field (SEF) of the macaque monkey exhibit rank selectivity, firing differentially as a function of the phase attained during the performance of a task requiring the execution of saccades to a series of objects in fixed order. The activity of these neurons is commonly thought to represent ordinal position in the service of serial-order performance. However, there is little evidence causally linking neuronal activity in the SEF to sequential behavior. To explore the role of the SEF in serial-order performance, we delivered intracortical microstimulation while monkeys performed a task requiring them to make saccades to three objects in a fixed order on each trial. Microstimulation, considered on average across all SEF sites and all phases of the trial, affected saccadic kinematics. In particular, it prolonged the reaction time, increased the peak velocity, and slightly increased the amplitude of saccades. In addition, it interfered with the monkeys' ability to select the target appropriate to a given phase of the trial. The pattern of the errors was such as would be expected if microstimulation shifted the neural representation of ordinal position toward a later phase of the trial. © 2014 the American Physiological Society. Source

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