Flexible coding of object motion in multiple reference frames by parietal cortex neurons

Ryo Sasaki, Akiyuki Anzai, Dora E. Angelaki, Gregory C. DeAngelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neurons represent spatial information in diverse reference frames, but it remains unclear whether neural reference frames change with task demands and whether these changes can account for behavior. In this study, we examined how neurons represent the direction of a moving object during self-motion, while monkeys switched, from trial to trial, between reporting object direction in head- and world-centered reference frames. Self-motion information is needed to compute object motion in world coordinates but should be ignored when judging object motion in head coordinates. Neural responses in the ventral intraparietal area are modulated by the task reference frame, such that population activity represents object direction in either reference frame. In contrast, responses in the lateral portion of the medial superior temporal area primarily represent object motion in head coordinates. Our findings demonstrate a neural representation of object motion that changes with task requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1015
Number of pages12
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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