Rostral premotor cortex as a gateway between motor and cognitive networks

Neurosci Res. 2011 Jun;70(2):144-54. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2011.02.010. Epub 2011 Mar 4.


This article presents a hypothesis that the rostral premotor-subcortical networks may serve as a gateway between the cognitive and motor networks. Accumulating evidence has propelled an idea that motor and cognitive behaviors considerably share neural substrates and probably computational principles regardless of the species. Here I conducted a meta-analysis of previous neuroimaging studies on motor planning and different cognitive tasks (mental calculation, visuospatial processing and cognitive control), which showed overlap of all activations in the rostral premotor cortex, with a possible rostro-caudal functional gradient. It was also suggested that the rostral premotor areas might form circuits with specific portions of the cerebellum and the basal ganglia. The rostral premotor areas may provide context-dependent connectivity and mediate information flow between the cognitive and motor networks, thereby making the two networks operating interactively or independently.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuroimaging / methods
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology