Wed, Oct 26
Speaker: Sagi Perel
Title: Dynamic Functional Connectivity from Cortex to Muscles
Abstract: The motor cortex is recognized as the origin of the major direct path from cortex to muscles. We use functional connectivity, defined as the probability of observing changes in a muscle’s EMG following spikes from a trigger neuron, as a tool to explore motor cortical tuning. Recent evidence has shown that functional connectivity from cortex to muscles can change between single-digit movements and a task requiring the subject to artificially increase the EMG activation level of a muscle. This work explores dynamic aspects of functional connectivity between cortex and muscles during a more natural task. We use a paradigm in which monkeys are trained to reach and grasp objects of different shapes presented at various orientations and locations in space. Single unit activity from motor cortical areas, EMG activity from selected muscles (in the arm, wrist and hand) and high-resolution kinematic data are simultaneously recorded. We compare how short-term functional connectivity, on the order of milliseconds; and long-term functional connectivity, on the order of hundreds of milliseconds, change throughout the task. We relate these changes to kinematic variables, and describe the resulting tuning properties.
Host: Dr. Miller