Layer-specific dynamics of parieto-motor networks during visually-guided arm reaching behaviour

Host Location(s): CNRS & Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France. 

Supervisors: Dr BE Kilavik, Dr D Battaglia

We have very sparse knowledge about the functional properties of neurons in different parietal and motor cortical layers in the NHP. Furthermore, the laminar-specific bottom-up and top-down connectivity including motor cortical areas is less well understood compared to sensory areas in the NHP. Whether general coding principles and a canonical cortical microcircuit extend from sensory to motor areas is therefore still debated. 

This project will mainly rely on the established macaque model, engaged in visuomotor reaching behavior. In collaboration with ESR1/3 we will also investigate laminar-specific parieto-motor dynamics in the lissencephalic marmoset monkeys that enables access to areas that are buried in sulci in the macaque. 

We will use data analysis approaches, including information theory and decoding to systematically compare the amount of information present in neuronal spiking activity and the LFP related to task rules, visual inputs and muscle activations at different laminar depths of PMd and M1. This will be linked to large-scale network-level processing involving parietal areas 7a (visual processing, ore-dominantly connected with PMd) and 5d (somatosensory processing, pre-dominantly connected with M1). This large-scale communication and information routing will be quantified via information theory approaches and Granger causality measures. We will study networks for sensorimotor processing using these approaches:

Behavioural paradigm: pre-cued visual target selection task requiring arm reaching movements.

Recording and stimulation techniques: multi-shank linear (laminar) array recordings of spikes and LFPs, recordings of eye movements and electromyograms (EMGs), and intra-cortical micro-stimulation.

Planned secondments:

  • University of Bremen
  • Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg

Contacts: email Dr. BE Kilavik

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