Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

The somatosensory cortex receives information about motor output

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Science Advances  10 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaaw5388
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw5388


During voluntary movement, the somatosensory system not only passively receives signals from the external world but also actively processes them via interactions with the motor system. However, it is still unclear how and what information the somatosensory system receives during movement. Using simultaneous recordings of activities of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), the motor cortex (MCx), and an ensemble of afferent neurons in behaving monkeys combined with a decoding algorithm, we reveal the temporal profiles of signal integration in S1. While S1 activity before movement initiation is accounted for by MCx activity alone, activity during movement is accounted for by both MCx and afferent activities. Furthermore, premovement S1 activity encodes information about imminent activity of forelimb muscles slightly after MCx does. Thus, S1 receives information about motor output before the arrival of sensory feedback signals, suggesting that S1 executes online processing of somatosensory signals via interactions with the anticipatory information.

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