Speaker information

Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Core Staff, Regional Primate Research Center; Adjunct, Department of Bioengineering

We are investigating the neural mechanisms involved in programming and executing hand movements by recording neural activity in monkeys trained to manually track visual targets. We are particularly interested in studying ''premotoneuronal'' cells in motor cortex and spinal cord that produce postspike effects on forelimb muscle activity. By knowing both the response patterns of these cells during movements and their output connections to target muscles we can make important causal inferences about their contribution to movements. The first recordings of spinal interneurons in behaving monkeys have revealed that spinal neurons share many properties of cortical neurons, including preparation for instructed movements.