The most anterior part of area 7 of awake, behaving macaque monkeys was investigated using single cell recording technique. Eighty-five cells from three hemispheres of two monkeys were isolated and studied. These cells showed more complex functional properties than the cells in the primary and secondary cortical fields. Of the cells 61% responded to somatosensory (26%) or visual (2%) or both somatosensory and visual (33%) stimulation; 39% of the cells were active only during the monkey's own movements.
Most of the cells studied were active while the monkey was bringing an object to the mouth with its hand, when reaching for an object with lips, or while chewing. The neurons responded selectively to, e.g., palpation of the flexors of the arm, a visual stimulus approaching the face, passive movement of the monkey's hand towards the mouth, or they were active only when the monkey was reaching for an object with its lips or was mouthing it.
The cellular activity in the anterolateral part of area 7 was prominently related to the stimulation or motor activity of the face (especially the mouth). In this respect, it differed from the more posterior part of area 7 adjacent to it. The results thus indicate that there is a separate and rather extensive mouth (or face) area in the parietal association cortex of the monkey.
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Leinonen, L., Nyman, G. II. Functional properties of cells in anterolateral part of area 7 associative face area of awake monkeys. Exp Brain Res 34, 321–333 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00235676
- Parietal lobe
- Association cortex
- Microelectrode recording