Optical imaging reveals functional domains in primate sensorimotor cortex

Robert M. Friedman, Nicholas G. Chehade, Anna Wang Roe, Omar A. Gharbawie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Motor cortex (M1) and somatosensory cortex (S1) are central to arm and hand control. Efforts to understand encoding in M1 and S1 have focused on temporal relationships between neural activity and movement features. However, it remains unclear how the neural activity is spatially organized within M1 and S1. Optical imaging methods are well-suited for revealing the spatio-temporal organization of cortical activity, but their application is sparse in monkey sensorimotor cortex. Here, we investigate the effectiveness of intrinsic signal optical imaging (ISOI) for measuring cortical activity that supports arm and hand control in a macaque monkey. ISOI revealed spatial domains that were active in M1 and S1 in response to instructed reaching and grasping. The lateral M1 domains overlapped the hand representation and contained a population of neurons with peak firing during grasping. In contrast, the medial M1 domain overlapped the arm representation and a population of neurons with peak firing during reaching. The S1 domain overlapped the hand representations of areas 1 and 2 and a population of neurons with peak firing upon hand contact with the target. Our single unit recordings indicate that ISOI domains report the locations of spatial clusters of functionally related neurons. ISOI is therefore an effective tool for surveilling the neocortex for “hot zones” of activity that supports movement. Combining the strengths of ISOI with other imaging modalities (e.g., fMRI, 2-photon) and with electrophysiological methods can open new frontiers in understanding the spatio-temporal organization of cortical signals involved in movement control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117188
JournalNeuroImage
Volume221
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Keywords

  • Grasp
  • Intrinsic signal optical imaging
  • Motor cortex
  • Reach
  • Single unit recording
  • Somatosensory cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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