An intracortical microstimulation study of output organization in precentral cortex of awake primates

J Physiol (Paris). 1978;74(3):231-3.


We investigated the output organization of the forelimb control area in primate precentral cortex by using low-current (less than 30 microamperemeter) intracortical microstimulation (ICMS). Movement about a joint was selected as the index of response. Penetrations perpendicular to the cortical surface and deep into the rostral bank of the central sulcus were made in two awake unanesthetized monkeys (Macaca arctoides). Cortical areas were designated by the joint about which movements occurred. 1. ICMS loci which produced movements about finger joints were found to tightly cluster in a central zone, and were surrounded by loci controlling movement about the wrist. This wrist zone was in turn approximately encircled by an elbow zone, which itself was enclosed by a shoulder zone. 2. Appreciable overlap between these zones controlling movements about contiguous joints was observed. 3. The observations indicate a nested-ring organization of the forelimb output zones of precentral cortex, such that a cortical zone controlling movement of a more distal joint is partly encircled by the zone controlling a more proximal joint.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arm / innervation
  • Arm / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Haplorhini
  • Motor Cortex / cytology
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement*
  • Wakefulness