Neuronal correlates of kinematics-to-dynamics transformation in the supplementary motor area

Neuron. 2002 Nov 14;36(4):751-65. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(02)01028-0.


It is widely acknowledged that movements are planned at the level of the kinematics. However, the central nervous system must ultimately transform kinematic plans into dynamics-related commands. How, when, and where the kinematics-to-dynamics (KD) transformation is processed represent fundamental and unanswered questions. We recorded from the supplementary motor area (SMA) of two monkeys as they executed visually instructed reaching movements. We specifically analyzed a delay period following the instruction but prior to the go signal (motor planning). During the delay, a group of neurons in the SMA progressively came to reflect the dynamics rather than the desired kinematics of the upcoming movement. This finding suggests that some neurons in the SMA participate in the KD transformation.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cues
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*