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1: J Physiol Paris. 2000 Sep-Dec;94(5-6):569-82. Related Articles, Links

Erratum in:
  • J Physiol Paris 2001 Jan-Dec;95(1-6):499.
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Dynamical changes and temporal precision of synchronized spiking activity in monkey motor cortex during movement preparation.

Riehle A, Grammont F, Diesmann M, Grun S.

Center for Research in Cognitive Neuroscience, CRNC-CNRS, Marseille, France.

Movement preparation is considered to be based on central processes which are responsible for improving motor performance. For instance, it has been shown that motor cortical neurones change their activity selectively in relation to prior information about movement parameters. However, it is not clear how groups of neurones dynamically organize their activity to cope with computational demands. The aim of the study was to compare the firing rate of multiple simultaneously recorded neurones with the interaction between them by describing not only the frequency of occurrence of epochs of significant synchronization, but also its modulation in time and its changes in temporal precision during an instructed delay. Multiple single-neurone activity was thus recorded in monkey motor cortex during the performance of two different delayed multi-directional pointing tasks. In order to detect conspicuous spike coincidences in simultaneously recorded spike trains by tolerating temporal jitter ranging from 0 to 20 ms and to calculate their statistical significance, a modified method of the 'Unitary Events' analysis was used. Two main results were obtained. First, simultaneously recorded neurones synchronize their spiking activity in a highly dynamic way. Synchronization becomes significant only during short periods (about 100 to 200 ms). Several such periods occurred during a behavioural trial more or less regularly. Second, in many pairs of neurones, the temporal precision of synchronous activity was highest at the end of the preparatory period. As a matter of fact, at the beginning of this period, after the presentation of the preparatory signal, neurones significantly synchronize their spiking activity, but with low temporal precision. As time advances, significant synchronization becomes more precise. Data indicate that not only the discharge rate is involved in preparatory processes, but also temporal aspects of neuronal activity as expressed in the precise synchronization of individual action potentials.

PMID: 11165921 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]