Using neuronal latency to determine sensory-motor processing pathways in reaction time tasks

TitleUsing neuronal latency to determine sensory-motor processing pathways in reaction time tasks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsDiCarlo JJ, Maunsell JHR
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume93
Pagination2974–2986
Date Publishedmay
ISSN0022-3077
KeywordsAction Potentials, Afferent, Animal, Animals, Behavior, Macaca mulatta, Male, Models, Motor Neurons, Neural Pathways, Neurological, Neurons, Photic Stimulation, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Task Performance and Analysis, Temporal Lobe, Time Factors, Visual Fields
Abstract

We describe a new technique that uses the timing of neuronal and behavioral responses to explore the contributions of individual neurons to specific behaviors. The approach uses both the mean neuronal latency and the trial-by-trial covariance between neuronal latency and behavioral response. Reliable measurements of these values were obtained from single-unit recordings made from anterior inferotemporal {(AIT)} cortex and the frontal eye fields {(FEF)} in monkeys while they performed a choice reaction time task. These neurophysiological data show that the responses of {AIT} neurons and some {FEF} neurons have little covariance with behavioral response, consistent with a largely "sensory" response. The responses of another group of {FEF} neurons with longer mean latency covary tightly with behavioral response, consistent with a largely "motor" response. A very small fraction of {FEF} neurons had responses consistent with an intermediate position in the sensory-motor pathway. These results suggest that this technique is a valuable tool for exploring the functional organization of neuronal circuits that underlie specific behaviors.

URLhttp://dicarlolab.mit.edu/sites/dicarlolab.mit.edu/files/pubs/DiCarlo_Maunsell%202005.pdf
DOI10.1152/jn.00508.2004
Refereed DesignationRefereed

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