Cognitive neurophysiology of the motor cortex.

A major challenge of current neuroscience is to elucidate the brain mechanisms that underlie cognitive function. There is no doubt that cognitive processing in the brain engages large populations of cells. This article explores the logic of investigating these problems by combining psychological studies in human subjects and neurophysiological studies of neuronal populations in the motor cortex of behaving monkeys. The results obtained show that time-varying psychological processes can be visualized in the time-varying activity of neuronal populations. Moreover, the functional interactions between cells in the motor cortex are very similar to those observed in a massively interconnected artificial network performing the same computation.