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Functional Properties Of Single Neurons In The Face Primary Motor Cortex Of The Primate. II. Relations With Trained Orofacial Motor Behavior

G. M. Murray, B. J. Sessle

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1. The previous paper has described in detail the input and output features of single neurons located at sites within primate face motor cortex from which intracortical microstimulation (ICMS, less than or equal to 20 microA) evoked tongue movements at the lowest threshold ("tongue-MI" sites); for comparative purposes, we also reported on the input and output features of a smaller number of neurons recorded at sites from which ICMS could evoke jaw movements ("jaw-MI" sites), facial movements ("face-MI" sites), or, at a few sites, tongue movements and, at the same threshold intensity, either a jaw movement or a facial movement. 2. Our findings of an extensive and diverse representation of sites within face motor cortex of monkeys for the generation of elemental components of tongue movement, and the relatively few sites from which jaw-closing movements could be evoked, were consistent with our recent observations that reversible, cooling-induced inactivation of the face motor cortex severely impaired the performance by monkeys of a tongue-protrusion task but had only relatively minor effects on the performance of a biting task. In an attempt to establish a neuronal correlate for these different behavioral relations, the present study has documented the task-related activities of those single neurons that were characterized in the previous paper in terms of afferent input and ICMS-defined output features. 3. Each task required the development and maintenance by each monkey of a fixed force level for a minimum period of time to obtain a fruit-juice reward. During one or both of these tasks, we characterized the activities of 231 single face motor cortical neurons that were located at the above-mentioned ICMS-defined sites. Neurons were said to be related to a particular task if they showed statistically significant differences in firing rates during the task in comparison with a control pretrial period (PTP). 4. In tongue-MI, there was a significantly higher proportion of neurons (63% of 156 neurons tested) that were related to the tongue-protrusion task than to the biting task (15% of 65). However, in jaw-MI the proportion of neurons that were biting task-related (63% of 19) was significantly higher than the proportion related to the tongue-protrusion task (11% of 9); the proportion of biting task-related neurons at ICMS-defined jaw-closing sites was also higher than that at jaw-opening sites.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)