Correlation Analysis of Reward Modulation in Motor Cortex of Nonhuman Primates



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Reward modulation is represented in the motor cortex and can be used to implement more accurate decoding models to improve brain machine interfaces. Analyzing the trial-to-trial noise correlations between units in the presence of rewarding and non-rewarding stimuli adds to our understanding of cortical network dynamics and provides a clearer picture of the neural encoding involved in reward. Using Pearson’s correlation coefficient to measure shared variability between units indicates significantly higher noise correlation in non-rewarding trials. This pattern is evident in multiple NHPs during both manual tasks and action observation. The isolation of reward discriminatory units demonstrates similar changes in correlation, further supporting the hypothesis that correlation affects encoding accuracy and can be used as a tool in interpreting modulatory neural responses.



Noise correlation, Rewards, Motor cortex, Motor functions