Getting ready to move: transmitted information in the corticospinal pathway during preparation for movement

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2010 Dec;20(6):696-703. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2010.09.001.


Corticospinal interactions are considered to play a key role in executing voluntary movements. Nonetheless several different studies have shown directly and indirectly that these interactions take place long before movement starts, when preparation for forthcoming movements dominates. When motor-related parameters are continuously processed in several premotor cortical sites, segmental circuitry is directly exposed to this processing via descending pathways which originate from these sites in parallel to descending fibers that derive from primary motor cortex. Recent studies have highlighted the functional role of these interactions in priming downstream elements for the ensuing motor actions. Time-resolved analysis has further emphasized the dynamic properties of pre-movement preparatory activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Pyramidal Tracts / physiology*