Reward prospect weighs on motor decision processes, enhancing the selection of appropriate actions and the inhibition of others. While many studies have investigated the neuronal basis of reward representations and of cortical control of actions, the neuronal correlates of the influences of reward prospect on motor decisions are less clear. We recorded from the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) of 2 male macaque monkeys performing a modified version of the Stop-signal (countermanding) task. This task challenges motor decisions by requiring responding to a frequent Go stimulus, but to suppress this response when a rare Stop signal is presented during the reaction time. We unbalanced the motivation to respond or to suppress the response by presenting a cue informing on three different rewards schedules: In one case, Go trials were rewarded more than Stop trials; in another case, Stop trials were rewarded more than Go trials; in the last case, both types of trials were rewarded equally. Monkeys adopted different strategies according to reward information provided by the cue: The higher the reward for Stop trials, the higher their ability to suppress the response and the slower their response to Go stimuli. PMd neuronal activity evolved in time and correlated with the behavior: PMd signaled first the cue salience, representing the chance to earn the highest reward at stake, then reflected the shaping of the motor choice by the motivation to move or to stop. These findings represent a neuronal correlate of the influence of reward information on motor decision.
Neuronal activity in the premotor cortex of monkeys reflects both cue salience and motivation for action generation and inhibition / Giamundo, M.; Giarrocco, F.; Brunamonti, E.; Fabbrini, F.; Pani, P.; Ferraina, S.. - In: THE JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 0270-6474. - 41:36(2021), pp. 7591-7606. [10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0641-20.2021]