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Beta oscillations in the monkey sensorimotor network reflect somatosensory decision making

Saskia Haegens, Verónica Nácher, Adrián Hernández, Rogelio Luna, Ole Jensen and Ranulfo Romo
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 108, No. 26 (June 28, 2011), pp. 10708-10713
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27978678
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Beta oscillations in the monkey sensorimotor network reflect somatosensory decision making
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Abstract

The neuronal correlate of perceptual decision making has been extensively studied in the monkey somatosensory system by using a vibrotactile discrimination task, showing that stimulus encoding, retention, and comparison are widely distributed across cortical areas. However, from a network perspective, it is not known what role oscillations play in this task. We recorded local field potentials (LEPs) from diverse cortical areas of the sensorimotor system while one monkey performed the vibrotactile discrimination task. Exclusively during stimulus presentation, a periodic response reflecting the stimulus frequency was observed in the somatosensory regions, suggesting that after initial processing, the frequency content of the stimulus is coded in some other way than entrainment. Interestingly, we found that oscillatory activity in the beta band reflected the dynamics of decision making in the monkey sensorimotor network. During the comparison and decision period, beta activity showed a categorical response that reflected the decision of the monkey and distinguished correct from incorrect responses. Importantly, this differential activity was absent in a control condition that involved the same stimulation and response but no decision making required, suggesting it does not merely reflect the maintenance of a motor plan. We conclude that beta band oscillations reflect the temporal and spatial dynamics of the accumulation and processing of evidence in the sensorimotor network leading to the decision outcome.

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