Faculté des sciences

Representation of motor habit in a sequence of repetitive reach and grasp movements performed by macaque monkeys: Evidence for a contribution of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

Kaeser, Mélanie ; Wannier, Thierry ; Brunet, Jean-François ; Wyss, Alexander F. ; Bloch, Jocelyne ; Rouiller, Eric M.

In: Cortex, 2012, p. -

In the context of an autologous cell transplantation study, a unilateral biopsy of cortical tissue was surgically performed from the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in two intact adult macaque monkeys (dlPFC lesioned group), together with the implantation of a chronic chamber providing access to the left motor cortex. Three other monkeys were subjected to the same chronic chamber... Plus

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    Summary
    In the context of an autologous cell transplantation study, a unilateral biopsy of cortical tissue was surgically performed from the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in two intact adult macaque monkeys (dlPFC lesioned group), together with the implantation of a chronic chamber providing access to the left motor cortex. Three other monkeys were subjected to the same chronic chamber implantation, but without dlPFC biopsy (control group). All monkeys were initially trained to perform sequential manual dexterity tasks, requiring precision grip. The motor performance and the prehension's sequence (temporal order to grasp pellets from different spatial locations) were analysed for each hand. Following the surgery, transient and moderate deficits of manual dexterity per se occurred in both groups, indicating that they were not due to the dlPFC lesion (most likely related to the recording chamber implantation and/or general anaesthesia/medication). In contrast, changes of motor habit were observed for the sequential order of grasping in the two monkeys with dlPFC lesion only. The changes were more prominent in the monkey subjected to the largest lesion, supporting the notion of a specific effect of the dlPFC lesion on the motor habit of the monkeys. These observations are reminiscent of previous studies using conditional tasks with delay that have proposed a specialization of the dlPFC for visuo-spatial working memory, except that this is in a different context of “free-will”, non-conditional manual dexterity task, without a component of working memory.