Neuronal activity in the cingulate motor areas during adaptation to a new dynamic environment

Andrew G. Richardson, Glenda Lassi-Tucci, Camillo Padoa-Schioppa, Emilio Bizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Neurons in the cingulate motor areas (CMA) have been shown to be involved in many aspects of sensorimotor behavior, although their role in motor learning has received less attention. Here, we recorded single-cell activity in the CMA of monkeys while they adapted reaching movements to different dynamic environments. Specifically, we analyzed CMA activity during normal reaching to visual targets and during reaching in the presence of an applied velocity-dependent force field. We found that the cingulate neuronal activity was modulated during each phase of the task and in response to the applied forces. The neurons' involvement in the visuomotor transformation was influenced by their rostrocaudal location in the cingulate sulcus. Rostral CMA (CMAr) neurons were modulated by the visual instruction to a greater extent than caudal CMA (CMAc) neurons. In contrast, CMAc neurons had a greater amount of phasic and directionally tuned activity during movement than CMAr cells. Furthermore, compared with CMAr cells, the movement-related activity of CMAc cells was more frequently modulated by the applied force fields. The magnitude of the force-field-related neuronal response scaled with the amount of perturbation in each reaching direction. However, contrary to previous results from other cortical motor areas, force-field adaptation was not correlated with a shift in directional tuning of the CMA population. Based on these results, we suggest that although the CMA is clearly sensitive to applied forces, it is less involved in generating anticipatory responses to predictable forces than other cortical motor areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1266
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


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