When a monkey selects a piece of food lying on the ground from among other viable objects in the near vicinity, only the desired item governs the particular pattern and direction of the animal's reaching action. It would seem then that selection is an important component controlling the animal's action. But, we may ask, is the selection process in such cases impervious to the presence of other objects that could constitute potential obstacles to or constraints on movement execution? And if it is, in fact, pervious to other objects, do they have a direct influence on the organization of the response? The kinematics of macaques' reaching movements were examined by the current study that analysed some exemplars as they selectively reached to grasp a food item in the absence as well as in the presence of potential obstacles (i.e., stones) that could affect the arm trajectory. Changes in movement parameterization were noted in temporal measures, such as movement time, as well as in spatial ones, such as paths of trajectory. Generally speaking, the presence of stones in the vicinity of the acting hand stalled the reaching movement and affected the arm trajectory as the hand veered away from the stone even when it was not a physical obstacle. We concluded that nearby objects evoke a motor response in macaques, and the attentional mechanisms that allow for a successful action selection are revealed in the reaching path. The data outlined here concur with human studies indicating that potential obstacles are internally represented, a finding implying basic cognitive operations allowing for action selection in macaques.

Selective reaching in macaques: evidence for action-centered attention

BULGHERONI, MARIA;CAMPERIO CIANI, ANDREA-SIGFRIDO;STRAULINO, ELISA;SARTORI, LUISA;CASTIELLO, UMBERTO
2017

Abstract

When a monkey selects a piece of food lying on the ground from among other viable objects in the near vicinity, only the desired item governs the particular pattern and direction of the animal's reaching action. It would seem then that selection is an important component controlling the animal's action. But, we may ask, is the selection process in such cases impervious to the presence of other objects that could constitute potential obstacles to or constraints on movement execution? And if it is, in fact, pervious to other objects, do they have a direct influence on the organization of the response? The kinematics of macaques' reaching movements were examined by the current study that analysed some exemplars as they selectively reached to grasp a food item in the absence as well as in the presence of potential obstacles (i.e., stones) that could affect the arm trajectory. Changes in movement parameterization were noted in temporal measures, such as movement time, as well as in spatial ones, such as paths of trajectory. Generally speaking, the presence of stones in the vicinity of the acting hand stalled the reaching movement and affected the arm trajectory as the hand veered away from the stone even when it was not a physical obstacle. We concluded that nearby objects evoke a motor response in macaques, and the attentional mechanisms that allow for a successful action selection are revealed in the reaching path. The data outlined here concur with human studies indicating that potential obstacles are internally represented, a finding implying basic cognitive operations allowing for action selection in macaques.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3216300
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