Sequential Rearrangements of the Ensemble Activity of Putamen Neurons in the Monkey Brain as a Correlate of Continuous Behavior

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Simultaneous recordings were made of the spike activity of groups of 6–7 neurons in the putamen in two monkeys (Macaca nemestrina and Macaca mulatta) during performance of alternative spatial selection. Discriminant analysis was used to evaluate the magnitude of rearrangements in spike activity in groups of neurons during transitions from each step of the behavioral program to the next, along with the degree of differences in reactivity mosaics formed at each step in different versions of task execution. Rearrangements in spike activity were noted at all steps of the program. The dynamics of rearrangements on selection of the right and left feeders were different, leading to the appearance of significant differences in the reactivity mosaics at the decision-taking and reinforcement-receiving steps. The rearrangements preceding voluntary movement of one hand were more marked in the contralateral hemisphere. During performance of movements, the volume of rearrangements could increase, though differences in rearrangements accompanying movements of the right and left hands decreased. On receipt of reinforcement, rearrangements were greater when the animals selected a specified feeder (the left feeder) independently of which hemisphere was recorded.

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