Reports

Operant Conditioning of Specific Patterns of Neural and Muscular Activity

Science  22 Oct 1971:
Vol. 174, Issue 4007, pp. 431-435
DOI: 10.1126/science.174.4007.431

Abstract

In awake monkeys we recorded activity of single "motor" cortex cells, four contralateral arm muscles, and elbow position, while operantly reinforcing several patterns of motor activity. With the monkey's arm held semiprone in a cast hinged at the elbow, we reinforced active elbow movements and tested cell responses to passive elbow movements. With the cast immobilized we reinforced isometric contraction of each of the four muscles in isolation, and bursts of cortical cell activity with and without simultaneous suppression of muscle activity. Correlations between a precentral cell and specific arm muscles consistently appeared under several behavioral conditions, but could be dissociated by reinforcing cell activity and muscle suppression.

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