Partial tuning of motor cortex neurons to final posture in a free-moving paradigm
Motor cortex neurons in the monkey brain were tested with a diverse and naturalistic arm movement set. Over this global set of movements, the neurons showed a limited but significant degree of tuning to the multijoint posture attained by the arm at the end of each movement. Further supporting the hypothesis that the neurons are partially tuned to end posture, the postures preferred by the neurons significantly matched the postures evoked by electrical stimulation of the same cortical sites. However, much of the variance in neuronal activity remained unexplained even by the end-posture model, and thus other variables must have contributed to the response profile of the neurons. One possibility is that motor cortex neurons become tuned to the wide variety of movement parameters that are relevant to the animal's normal behavioral repertoire, and, therefore, any one parameter accounts for only a limited amount of neuronal variance.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U. S. A.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.