Proximal-to-Distal Sequencing Behavior and Motor Cortex

Nicholas G. Hatsopoulos, Leonel Olmedo and Kazutaka Takahashi

in Motor Control

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395273
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863518 | DOI:
Proximal-to-Distal Sequencing Behavior and Motor Cortex

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Proximal-to-distal sequencing of limb segments is characteristic of a number of motor behaviors, including throwing, hitting, jumping, and perhaps even reach-to-grasp. Moreover, shoulder- and elbow-related neurons in the primary motor cortex (MI) have been shown to activate earlier than wrist- and finger-related neurons in monkeys performing a button-press task. It was recently discovered that β frequency oscillations in the local field potential (LFP) spontaneously propagate as travelling waves across the surface of the motor cortex along a rostral-to-caudal axis while monkeys perform a variety of visuomotor tasks. This chapter hypothesizes that these propagating LFP waves may promote proximal-to-distal recruitment of motor cortical neurons. This is consistent with a number of intracortical microstimulation experiments in the MI demonstrating a topographic gradient, such that proximal movements of the shoulder and elbow are evoked more rostrally on the precentral gyrus, while wrist and finger movements are elicited more caudally including within the bank of the central sulcus.

Keywords: limb segments; motor behaviors; throwing; hitting; jumping; local field potential; visual-motor tasks

Chapter.  6666 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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