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ref: Wyler-1980.05 tags: operant control motor learning interspike intervals ISI Wyler Lange Neafsey Robbins date: 01-07-2012 21:46 gmt revision:1 [0] [head]

PMID-6769536[0] Operant control of precentral neurons: Control of modal interspike intervals

  • Question: can monkeys control the ISI of operantly controlled neurons?
    • Answer: Seems they cannot. Operant and overt movement cells have about the same ISI, and this cannot be changed by conditioning.
  • Task requires a change from tonic to phasic firing, hence they call it "Differential reinforcement of Tonic Patterns".
    • That is, the monkey is trained to produce spikes within a certain ISI window.
    • PDP8 control, applesauce feedback.
    • modal ISI, in this case, means mode (vs. mean and median) of the ISI.
  • Interesting: "It was not uncommon for a neuron to display bi- or trimodal ISI distributions when the monkey was engaged in a movement unrelated to a unit's firing"
  • For 80% of the units, the more tightly a neuron's firing was related to a specific movement, the more gaussian its ISI became.
  • As the monkey gained control over reinforced units, the ISI became more gaussian.
  • Figure 2: monkey was not able to significantly change the modal ISI.
    • Monkeys instead seem to succeed at the task by decreasing the dispersion of the ISI distribution and increasing the occurrence of the modal ISI.
  • Monkeys mediate response through proprioceptive feedback:
    • Cervical spinal cord sectioning decreases the fidelity of control.
    • When contralateral C5-7 ventral roots were sectioned, PTN responsive to passive arm movements could not be statistically controlled.
    • Thus, monkeys operantly control precentral neurons through peripheral movements, perhaps even small and isometric contractions.
  • Excellent paper. Insightful conclusions.


[0] Wyler AR, Lange SC, Neafsey EJ, Robbins CA, Operant control of precentral neurons: control of modal interspike intervals.Brain Res 190:1, 29-38 (1980 May 19)