Role of the Monkey Substantia Nigra Pars Reticulata in Sensorimotor Control of Eye-Head-Arm Coordination

  • F. Lestienne
  • P. Cailler
  • P. Liverneaux


The role of the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNpr) has been studied in the head-free monkey during orienting behaviour in response to visual instruction signals triggering head positioning and conditioned arm movement. Electomyographic activities of neck muscles and triceps brachii, head movement, horizontal electro-oculogram and single unit activity of SNpr neurons have been recorded. Neurons located in the medial part of SNpr showed a moderate decrease in tonic firing rate during postural preparation preceding the orientation toward eccentric visual signal. This decrease, unrelated with saccadic eye movements per se, was followed by a marked pause observed when the conditioned arm movement was executed to get the reward. These data suggest that the pause in discharge of these SNpr neurons are time locked with behaviourally relevant visual stimuli and/or appropriate motor responses.


Superior Colliculus Target Spot Versus Target Forelimb Movement Active Head Movement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Lestienne
    • 1
  • P. Cailler
    • 1
  • P. Liverneaux
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie Neurosensorielle du C.N.R.S.Paris Cedex 06France

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