Lawrence and Kuypers (1968a, b) revisited: copies of the original filmed material from their classic papers in Brain

Brain. 2012 Jul;135(Pt 7):2290-5. doi: 10.1093/brain/aws037. Epub 2012 Feb 27.


This article aims to reintroduce two classic papers on motor control published in Brain in 1968, in which Lawrence and Kuypers reported their systematic studies of the effects of lesions to the corticospinal system (Lawrence and Kuypers, 1968a), and subsequently to the descending brainstem pathways (Lawrence and Kuypers, 1968b) in the Old World macaque monkey. They showed that the capacity for independent movements of the digits was permanently lost after a complete, bilateral lesion of the corticospinal system. These studies also revealed that the brainstem pathways contribute to fundamentally different aspects of motor control, with one set of pathways (the ventromedial system) involved in the control of head, trunk and girdle movements, while the other, lateral set of fibres control movements of the extremity such as reach and grasp. There is still much to learn today from these papers. However, an important part of their scientific legacy, the films illustrating the different cases, has long been unavailable. Much of this filmed material is now made available again in video format accessible on the Brain web site, complete with supplementary notes and histological detail. This article summarizes this newly available material for these classic papers in Brain.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Internet
  • Neurophysiology / history*
  • Video Recording / supply & distribution