1. A gamma aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor agonist, muscimol (Sigma, 5 micrograms/microliters solution), and a GABAB receptor agonist and antagonist, baclofen and phaclofen, respectively, were injected (1.0 microliter) into the dorsal and ventral aspects of the premotor cortex (PM) of two Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata), while they were performing a motor task that required wrist flexion or extension to a target. The correct movement was instructed by either 1) a conditional color cue [green or red light emitting diodes (LED)] equidistant from the targets or 2) a directional cue toward extension or flexion (right or left LED). When the green or right LED was illuminated, extension was to be performed. When the red or left LED was illuminated, flexion was required. The movement was triggered by a visual stimulus either simultaneously with the instruction stimulus or after a variable delay. 2. Before drug injection, single-unit recordings were made to select injection sites 1) in the dorsal aspect of the PM (PMd) around the superior precentral sulcus where typical set-related activity was frequently recorded and 2) in the ventral aspect of the PM (PMv) immediately caudal to the genu of the arcuate sulcus where movement-related neurons were densely located. 3. Behavioral deficits were observed primarily at the time muscimol, but not baclofen or phaclofen, was injected. Furthermore, muscimol effects were short-lasting: deficits were most frequently observed during the 10-min injection period but seldom after completion of injection. 4. When muscimol was injected into the PMd, there was an increase in the number of direction errors primarily when the conditional cues were presented. The initiated movements were similar in amplitude and velocity to the preinjection behavior. In contrast, when muscimol was injected into the PMv, many of the initiated movements showed smaller amplitudes and slower velocities, but few direction errors were made. 5. These results suggest that the PMd and PMv play differential roles in motor control: the PMd is more important than PMv in conditional motor behavior and plays a role in the preparation for forthcoming movements. In contrast, the PMv is more specialized for a role in the execution of visually guided movements.
- Copyright © 1994 the American Physiological Society