Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
A long-standing issue concerning the executive function of the primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is how the activity of prefrontal neurons is linked to behavioral response selection. To establish a functional relationship between prefrontal memory fields and saccade target selection, we trained three macaque monkeys to make saccades to the remembered location of a visual cue in a delayed spatial match-to-sample saccade task. We electrically stimulated sites in the prefrontal cortex with subthreshold currents during the delay epoch while monkeys performed this task. Our results show that the artificially injected signal interacts with the neural activity responsible for target selection, biasing saccade choices either towards the receptive/movement field (RF/MF) or away from the RF/MF, depending on the stimulation site. These findings might reflect a functional link between prefrontal signals responsible for the selection bias by modulating the balance between excitation and inhibition in the competitive interactions underlying behavioral selection.