CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
This application expands the scope and the methodology of the parent grant 'Visual/Spatial Properties of Posterior Parietal Neurons' to include two additional research aims. Most of the current knowledge about neural mechanisms underlying eye-hand coordination and selection of movement plans has been derived from electrophysiological recordings in non-human primates, and more recently from fMRI experiments in humans. In order to be able to integrate those findings, it is necessary to s
tudy both species by means of the same method, especially because results from the two techniques have not always led to the same conclusions. The current grant revision aims to elucidate the discrepancy between monkey and human studies concerning the degree of overlap between hand and eye signals within the frontoparietal network. Specifically, we will investigate how spatial and effector choices are represented in the monkey brain by applying event-related fMRI while monkeys are choosing eithe
r between spatial target positions (i.e. left vs. right) or between different effectors (i.e. eye vs. hand). In addition, we will expand ongoing neurophysiological experiments by investigating how spatial choice preferences originating either from internal or external factors are represented by different areas in the brain. This revision adheres to the goals of the Recovery Act. It will entail retaining a current senior postdoc employee, hiring a new postdoc, a new technician, and a new part-tim
e RF engineer. It will invest in the new technology essential to expand the goals of the project, by acquiring advanced MR-compatible equipment from domestic companies. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The results of the proposed studies can be used to help design therapies for patients suffering from damage to frontal and parietal cortex from strokes and traumatic brain injuries. Application of functional imaging in monkeys, as routinely is done in human patients and healthy subjects, will facilitate t
he understanding of normal cortical functions and deficits that result from neurological diseases, and can guide the diagnoses and treatments for these diseases.