Population interactions between parietal and primary motor cortices during reach

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Journal Article
Neural interactions between parietal area 2/5 and primary motor cortex (M1) were examined to determine the timing and behavioral correlates of cortico-cortical interactions. Neural activity in areas 2/5 and M1 was simultaneously recorded with 96-channel microelectrode arrays in three rhesus monkeys performing a center-out reach task. We introduce a new method to reveal parietal-motor interactions at a population level using partial spike-field coherence (PSFC) between ensembles of neurons in one area and a local field potential (LFP) in another. PSFC reflects the extent of phase locking between spike times and LFP, after removing the coherence between LFPs in the two areas. Spectral analysis of M1 LFP revealed three bands: low, medium, and high, differing in power between movement preparation and performance. We focus on PSFC in the 1–10 Hz band, in which coherence was strongest. PSFC was also present in the 10–40 Hz band during movement preparation in many channels but generally nonsignificant in the 60–200 Hz band. Ensemble PSFC revealed stronger interactions than single cell-LFP pairings. PSFC of area 2/5 ensembles with M1 LFP typically rose around movement onset and peaked ∼500 ms afterward. PSFC was typically stronger for subsets of area 2/5 neurons and M1 LFPs with similar directional bias than for those with opposite bias, indicating that area 2/5 contributes movement direction information. Together with linear prediction of M1 LFP by area 2/5 spiking, the ensemble-LFP pairing approach reveals interactions missed by single neuron-LFP pairing, demonstrating that cortico-cortical communication can be more readily observed at the ensemble level.
Journal of Neurophysiology