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Context-dependent limb movement encoding in neuronal populations of motor cortex


Omlor, Wolfgang; Wahl, Anna-Sophia; Sipilä, Pia; Lütcke, Henry; Laurenczy, Balazs; Chen, I-Wen; Sumanovski, Lazar T; van 't Hoff, Marcel; Bethge, Philipp; Voigt, Fabian F; Schwab, Martin E; Helmchen, Fritjof (2019). Context-dependent limb movement encoding in neuronal populations of motor cortex. Nature Communications, 10(1):4812.

Abstract

Neuronal networks of the mammalian motor cortex (M1) are important for dexterous control of limb joints. Yet it remains unclear how encoding of joint movement in M1 depends on varying environmental contexts. Using calcium imaging we measured neuronal activity in layer 2/3 of the M1 forelimb region while mice grasped regularly or irregularly spaced ladder rungs during locomotion. We found that population coding of forelimb joint movements is sparse and varies according to the flexibility demanded from individual joints in the regular and irregular context, even for equivalent grasping actions across conditions. This context-dependence of M1 encoding emerged during task learning, fostering higher precision of grasping actions, but broke apart upon silencing of projections from secondary motor cortex (M2). These findings suggest that M1 exploits information from M2 to adapt encoding of joint movements to the flexibility demands of distinct familiar contexts, thereby increasing the accuracy of motor output.

Abstract

Neuronal networks of the mammalian motor cortex (M1) are important for dexterous control of limb joints. Yet it remains unclear how encoding of joint movement in M1 depends on varying environmental contexts. Using calcium imaging we measured neuronal activity in layer 2/3 of the M1 forelimb region while mice grasped regularly or irregularly spaced ladder rungs during locomotion. We found that population coding of forelimb joint movements is sparse and varies according to the flexibility demanded from individual joints in the regular and irregular context, even for equivalent grasping actions across conditions. This context-dependence of M1 encoding emerged during task learning, fostering higher precision of grasping actions, but broke apart upon silencing of projections from secondary motor cortex (M2). These findings suggest that M1 exploits information from M2 to adapt encoding of joint movements to the flexibility demands of distinct familiar contexts, thereby increasing the accuracy of motor output.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Brain Research Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Chemistry
Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Physical Sciences > General Physics and Astronomy
Language:English
Date:23 October 2019
Deposited On:17 Feb 2020 16:35
Last Modified:11 May 2020 19:44
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12670-z
PubMed ID:31645554

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