Recent studies have explored functional and effective neural networks in animal models; however, the dynamics of information propagation among functional modules under cognitive control remain largely unknown. Here, we addressed the issue using Transfer Entropy and graph theory methods on mesoscopic neural activities recorded in the dorsal premotor cortex of rhesus monkeys. We focused our study on the decision time of a Stop-signal task, looking for patterns in the network configuration that could influence motor plan maturation when the Stop signal is provided. When comparing trials with successful inhibition to those with generated movement, the nodes of the network resulted organized into four clusters, hierarchically arranged, and distinctly involved in information transfer. Interestingly, the hierarchies and the strength of information transmission between clusters varied throughout the task, distinguishing between generated movements and canceled ones and corresponding to measurable levels of network complexity. Our results suggest a putative mechanism for motor inhibition in premotor cortex: a topological reshuffle of the information exchanged among ensembles of neurons.

In this study, we investigated the dynamics of information transfer among functionally identified neural modules during cognitive motor control. Our focus was on mesoscopic neural activities in the dorsal premotor cortex of rhesus monkeys engaged in a Stop-signal task. Leveraging multivariate Transfer Entropy and graph theory, we uncovered insights on how behavioral control shapes the topology of information transmission in a local brain network. Task phases modulated the strength and hierarchy of information exchange between modules, revealing the nuanced interplay between neural populations during generated and canceled movements. Notably, during successful inhibition, the network displayed a distinctive configuration, unveiling a novel mechanism for motor inhibition in the premotor cortex: a topological reshuffle of information among neuronal ensembles.

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Handling Editor: Daniele Marinazzo

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