The range of motor activation in the normal human cortex using bold FMRI

Brain Topogr. Summer 2006;18(4):273-80. doi: 10.1007/s10548-006-0005-y. Epub 2006 Jul 15.


Understanding and documenting the nature of normal human brain functional motor activation using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is necessary, if valid statements are to be made about normal and disease functional states using fMRI activation maps. The present study examines activation maps in "normal" adults. Six healthy adult volunteers performed three motor tasks isolating the tongue, non-dominant foot, and non-dominant thumb during a single magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/(fMRI) scanning session. Group maps demonstrated discrete areas of activation that were task dependent. The degree of variability between the anatomical central location of global maximum intensity for each individual may mean extra care should be applied when using the global maximum to define the area of activation. These differences may represent anatomical variability among individuals, task complexity, paradigm design, data analysis techniques or a combination thereof, which form the basis of our ongoing research endeavors. Standard notions of strongly associated functions as related to anatomic foci may need to be revised.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology
  • Female
  • Foot / innervation
  • Foot / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Thumb / innervation
  • Thumb / physiology
  • Tongue / innervation
  • Tongue / physiology