Different representations of potential and selected motor plans by distinct parietal areas

He Cui, Richard A. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Traditional theories have considered decision making as a separate neural process occurring before action planning. However, recent neurophysiological studies of spatial target selection have suggested that decision making and motor planning may be performed in an integrated manner. It was proposed that multiple potential plans are concurrently formed and the ultimately selected action simultaneously emerges within the same circuits (Shadlen and Newsome, 2001; Cisek and Kalaska, 2010). In the present study, we recorded from the parietal reach region (PRR) and dorsal area 5 (area 5d) in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) while monkeys performed a nonspatial effectors (saccade vs reach) choice task. The results show that PRR encodes potential and selected reach plans whereas area 5d encodes only selected reach plans, suggesting a serial visuomotor cortical circuitry for nonspatial effectors decisions. Thus, there appears to be a different flow of processing for decisions and planning for spatial target selection, which is more integrated, and nonspatial effectors decisions between eye and limb movements, which are more serial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18130-18136
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 7 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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