Influence of spatial information on responses of tonically active neurons in the monkey striatum.

Pierangelo Sardo, Paul Apicella, Eric Legallet, Sabrina Ravel

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Influence of spatial information on responses of tonically activeneurons in the monkey striatum. J Neurophysiol 95: 2975–2986, 2006.First published February 8, 2006; doi:10.1152/jn.01113.2005. Previousstudies have demonstrated that tonically active neurons (TANs) inthe primate striatum play an important role in the detection ofrewarding events. However, the influence of the spatial features ofstimuli or actions required to obtain reward remains unclear. Here, weexamined the activity of TANs in the striatum of monkeys trained tomake spatially directed movements elicited by visual stimuli presentedipsilaterally or contralaterally to the moving arm. Among 181neurons responding to the trigger stimulus, 127 (70%) were nonselectivefor stimulus location and 54 (30%) responded to only onelocation of the stimulus. Most of the selective responses (63%)occurred when the stimulus was presented contralaterally to themoving arm. To examine whether TAN responses are related to thelocation of the stimulus or to the direction of the movement, we testeda subset of the trigger-responsive neurons (n 44) in a condition thatelicited reaching toward or away from the stimulus. By comparingTAN activity between the two conditions, we found that half of theresponses can be interpreted as being related to the location of thestimulus, one quarter to the direction of movement, and one quarter tothe context in which stimulus–movement combination occurs. Theseresults demonstrate that TANs are not limited to motivational processing,but may play a role in the processing of spatial attributes ofstimulus and/or movement as well. These response properties suggestthat TANs are involved in the flexible shifting of motor responsesduring spatially directed behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2975-2986
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology

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