Reaching and grasping in dorsal and ventral premotor cortex: distinct networks or intertwined information processing for object location and shape

Location(s): German Primate Center, Neurobiology Lab & Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Göttingen, Germany.

Supervisors: Dr H Scherberger, Dr A Gail 

Arm reaching and hand grasping are two fundamental limb manipulation actions that are essential for dexterous object manipulations. In macaque monkeys, distinct cortical areas have been identified in sensorimotor cortex for the preparation and execution of reaching (PRR parietal reach region; PMd dorsal premotor cortex) and grasping actions (AIP anterior parietal area; F5 premotor hand area). Yet, object manipulation needs coordinated reaching and grasping, which renders co-representation or co-modulation of signals in these areas likely. We will investigate, (a) how far reach related representations in PRR and PMd depend on the object to be grasped, and (b) how far grasp related representations in AIP and F5 depend on how a particular object is reached. For this, we will interleave task conditions (a & b) in the same animal and session and record populations of spiking activity simultaneous from all four parietal and premotor areas. This approach will reveal fundamental processing principles about the coordination of reaching and grasping actions both within and across relevant cortical areas. 

Behavioural paradigm: Goal-directed reaching and grasping movements to varying objects in space. 

Recording and stimulation techniques: Chronic multielectrode recordings of spiking and LFP activity.

Planned secondment(s): 

  • Aix-Marseille University 
  • ATLAS Neuro

Contact: email Dr Scherberger

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