The Cortical Motor System

Neuron. 2001 Sep 27;31(6):889-901. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(01)00423-8.

Abstract

The cortical motor system of primates is formed by a mosaic of anatomically and functionally distinct areas. These areas are not only involved in motor functions, but also play a role in functions formerly attributed to higher order associative cortical areas. In the present review, we discuss three types of higher functions carried out by the motor cortical areas: sensory-motor transformations, action understanding, and decision processing regarding action execution. We submit that generating internal representations of actions is central to cortical motor function. External contingencies and motivational factors determine then whether these action representations are transformed into actual actions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Concept Formation / physiology
  • Decision Making / physiology
  • GABA Agonists / pharmacology
  • Hand / physiology
  • Hand Strength
  • Haplorhini / anatomy & histology
  • Haplorhini / physiology
  • Higher Nervous Activity / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Muscimol / pharmacology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Observation
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Sensation / physiology

Substances

  • GABA Agonists
  • Muscimol