DOI: 10.1152/jn.00285.2023 ISSN: 0022-3077

Differential clustering of visual, choice, and saccade-related activity in macaque V3A and CIP

Zikang Zhu, Byounghoon Kim, Raymond Doudlah, Ting-Yu Chang, Ari Rosenberg
  • Physiology
  • General Neuroscience

Neurons in sensory and motor cortices tend to aggregate in clusters with similar functional properties. Within the primate dorsal ('where') pathway, an important interface between three-dimensional (3D) visual processing and motor-related functions consists of two hierarchically organized areas: V3A and the caudal intraparietal (CIP) area. In these areas, 3D visual information, choice-related activity, and saccade-related activity converge, often at the single neuron level. Characterizing the clustering of functional properties in areas with mixed selectivity, such as these, may help reveal organizational principles that support sensorimotor transformations. Here we quantified the clustering of visual feature selectivity, choice-related activity, and saccade-related activity by performing correlational and parametric comparisons of the responses of well-isolated, simultaneously recorded neurons in macaque monkeys. Each functional domain showed statistically significant clustering in both areas. However, there were also domain-specific differences in the strength of clustering across the areas. Visual feature selectivity and saccade-related activity were more strongly clustered in V3A than CIP. In contrast, choice-related activity was more strongly clustered in CIP than V3A. These differences in clustering may reflect the areas' roles in sensorimotor processing. Stronger clustering of visual and saccade-related activity in V3A may reflect a greater role in within-domain processing, as opposed to cross-domain synthesis. In contrast, stronger clustering of choice-related activity in CIP may reflect a greater role in synthesizing information across functional domains to bridge perception and action.

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