A Cortical Mechanism Linking Saliency Detection and Motor Reactivity in Rhesus Monkeys

2024-01-03 | journal article

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​Novembre, G., Lacal, I., Benusiglio, D., Quarta, E., Schito, A., Grasso, S., Caratelli, L. ... Iannetti, G. D. (2024). ​A Cortical Mechanism Linking Saliency Detection and Motor Reactivity in Rhesus Monkeys. The Journal of Neuroscience44(1), Article e0422232023​. ​doi: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0422-23.2023 

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Authors
Novembre, Giacomo; Lacal, Irene; Benusiglio, Diego; Quarta, Eros; Schito, Andrea; Grasso, Stefano; Caratelli, Ludovica; Caminiti, Roberto; Mayer, Alexandra Battaglia; Iannetti, Gian Domenico
Abstract
Sudden and surprising sensory events trigger neural processes that swiftly adjust behavior. To study the phylogenesis and the mechanism of this phenomenon, we trained two male rhesus monkeys to keep a cursor inside a visual target by exerting force on an isometric joystick. We examined the effect of surprising auditory stimuli on exerted force, scalp electroencephalographic (EEG) activity, and local field potentials (LFPs) recorded from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Auditory stimuli elicited (1) a biphasic modulation of isometric force, a transient decrease followed by a corrective tonic increase, and (2) EEG and LFP deflections dominated by two large negative-positive waves (N70 and P130). The EEG potential was symmetrical and maximal at the scalp vertex, highly reminiscent of the human "vertex potential." Electrocortical potentials and force were tightly coupled: the P130 amplitude predicted the magnitude of the corrective force increase, particularly in the LFPs recorded from deep rather than superficial cortical layers. These results disclose a phylogenetically preserved corticomotor mechanism supporting adaptive behavior in response to salient sensory events.Significance Statement Survival in the natural world depends on an animal's capacity to adapt ongoing behavior to abrupt unexpected events. To study the neural mechanisms underlying this capacity, we trained monkeys to apply constant force on a joystick while we recorded their brain activity from the scalp and the prefrontal cortex contralateral to the hand holding the joystick. Unexpected auditory stimuli elicited a biphasic force modulation: a transient reduction followed by a corrective adjustment. The same stimuli also elicited EEG and LFP responses, dominated by a biphasic wave that predicted the magnitude of the behavioral adjustment. These results disclose a phylogenetically preserved corticomotor mechanism supporting adaptive behavior in response to unexpected events.
Issue Date
3-January-2024
Journal
The Journal of Neuroscience 
Organization
Deutsches Primatenzentrum 
ISSN
0270-6474
eISSN
1529-2401
Language
English

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