Three-dimensional locations and boundaries of motor and premotor cortices as defined by functional brain imaging: a meta-analysis

Neuroimage. 2006 Jul 15;31(4):1453-74. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.02.004. Epub 2006 Mar 29.


The mesial premotor cortex (pre-supplementary motor area and supplementary motor area proper), lateral premotor cortex (dorsal premotor cortex and ventral premotor cortex), and primary sensorimotor cortex (primary motor cortex and primary somatosensory cortex) have been identified as key cortical areas for sensorimotor function. However, the three-dimensional (3-D) anatomic boundaries between these regions remain unclear. In order to clarify the locations and boundaries for these six sensorimotor regions, we surveyed 126 articles describing pre-supplementary motor area, supplementary motor area proper, dorsal premotor cortex, ventral premotor cortex, primary motor cortex, and primary somatosensory cortex. Using strict inclusion criteria, we recorded the reported normalized stereotaxic coordinates (Talairach and Tournoux or MNI) from each experiment. We then computed the probability distributions describing the likelihood of activation, and characterized the shape, extent, and area of each sensorimotor region in 3-D. Additionally, we evaluated the nature of the overlap between the six sensorimotor regions. Using the findings from this meta-analysis, along with suggestions and guidelines of previous researchers, we developed the Human Motor Area Template (HMAT) that can be used for ROI analysis. HMAT is available through e-mail from the corresponding author.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Brain Mapping
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Somatosensory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology