Navigation Links
Himalayan forests disappearing

Studies in which monkeys were asked to manipulate computer cursors for fruit juice rewards have revealed that the brain's "executive" center plans behaviors not by specifying movements required for given actions, but rather the events that will result from those actions.

The distinction is significant, said the researchers, because it yields new basic insight into a central function of behavioral planning in this higher brain region, called the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC).

The researchers, led by Hajime Mushiake of Tohoku University School of Medicine, reported their findings in the May 18, 2006, issue of Neuron. They concentrated on a brain region called the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), which many studies have shown to be involved in such higher brain functions as planning. However, noted the researchers, few studies have analyzed the specific nature of the behaviors that are planned.

"To achieve a behavioral goal in daily life, we often need to plan multiple steps of motor behavior that involve selection of a series of actions," wrote the researchers. "The question arises: how are individual neurons within the PFC involved in the planning of multistep behaviors? More specifically, does the activity of PFC neurons during the process of planning reflect the multiple movements required during future actions or the individual future events that occur as a result of the actions?"

To study the detailed activity of neurons in the lateral PFC during planning, the researchers fitted monkeys with recording electrodes that could measure activity in the region's neurons.

They then taught the monkeys to perform a complex task in which the animals were required to manipulate joysticks to move a cursor on a computer screen from a starting point to a goal. Importantly, the researchers required the monkeys to maneuver the cursor within a maze to reach the goal and to perform those maneuvers in a discrete stepwise fashion with pauses in between. This stepwise approach enabled the researchers to distinguish whether the lateral PFC neurons were active during planning the movements or planning the events that would result from those movements.

"We found that neurons in the lateral PFC exhibited substantial changes in activity during a preparatory period in which monkeys were required to plan multiple steps of motor behavior," concluded the researchers. "Neuronal activity during the preparatory period predominantly reflected intended (future) movements of a cursor along a particular path within a maze to reach an intended goal. All cursor movements that had to be prepared . . . to reach the goal were reflected by the activity of the PFC neurons. In contrast, very few PFC neurons (9%) reflected the intended arm movements during the preparatory period," they concluded.

"When we plan multiple steps of actions in daily life, we usually do so by consciously arranging future events that we expect to occur as the consequence of actions in a particular temporal order; we rarely consider the temporal sequence of motor actions themselves," wrote Mushiake and colleagues. "The properties of PFC neurons that we observed in the present study are compatible with behavioral planning based on future events.

"If we assume that planning for multiple movements in monkeys is analogous to that in humans, it follows that PFC neurons in the monkey brain process information for future events in a prospective manner to generate action plans based on a series of events during the course of reaching a behavioral goal," they wrote.


'"/>

Source:New Scientist


Related biology news :

1. Team of international scientists departs today to discover the unknown in Chinas Himalayan region
2. Live fast, die young true for forests too
3. U.N. mulls the protection of Earths forests
4. Expanding forests darken the outlook for butterflies, study shows
5. Emerald Spectre haunts Ontarios ash forests
6. Tropical dry forests receive international recognition
7. Scientists must offer solutions for conserving tropical forests in a rapidly changing world
8. New book on rain forests, slash-and-burn agriculture
9. Diverse tropical forests defy metabolic ecology models
10. Report highlights change in Canadas forests
11. Soil nutrition affects carbon sequestration in forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/23/2016)... WAKEFIELD, Massachusetts , March 23, 2016 ... kombiniert im Interesse erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und ... Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESG ... heute bekannt, dass das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro ... insbesondere aus der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, ... Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume ... testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical ... today announced the launch of a project to establish ... testing panel. NSO has been contracted ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... , March 18, 2016 ... Suppliers of Biometrics, ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure ... & security companies in the border security market and the ... and Europe has led visiongain ... companies improved success. --> defence & security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Lady had been battling arthritis since the age of two and at ... owner Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff Christiansen of Superior Veterinary Surgical ... and help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. Dr Christiansen suggested that in conjunction ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Last week, Callan Capital, an ... and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego Life Science event at the Estancia ... science community attended the event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, former CEO of Aragon ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), a global ... Directors has approved the payment of a quarterly cash dividend ... The cash dividend of $0.24 per share will be ... record as of the close of business on June 24, ... the Board of Directors and may be adjusted as business ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. ... given in two categories, one for experiment and the other for theory in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: