Mar 18, 2009

Mapping of direction and muscle representation in the human primary motor cortex controlling thumb movements

The Journal of Physiology
Werner J Z'GraggenAlain Kaelin-Lang


Larger body parts are somatotopically represented in the primary motor cortex (M1), while smaller body parts, such as the fingers, have partially overlapping representations. The principles that govern the overlapping organization of M1 remain unclear. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to examine the cortical encoding of thumb movements in M1 of healthy humans. We performed M1 mapping of the probability of inducing a thumb movement in a particular direction and used low intensity TMS to disturb a voluntary thumb movement in the same direction during a reaction time task. With both techniques we found spatially segregated representations of the direction of TMS-induced thumb movements, thumb flexion and extension being best separated. Furthermore, the cortical regions corresponding to activation of a thumb muscle differ, depending on whether the muscle functions as agonist or as antagonist for flexion or extension. In addition, we found in the reaction time experiment that the direction of a movement is processed in M1 before the muscles participating in it are activated. It thus appears that one of the organizing principles for the human corticospinal motor system is based on a spatially segregated representation ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Body Part
Muscle Structure of Hand
Antagonist Muscle Action
Soleus Muscle Structure
Structure of Cortex of Kidney
Potentials, Event-Related
Cerebral Cortex
Motor Cortex
Flexion, Function

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

LRRK2 & Immunity During Infection

Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a risk-factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. However, LRRK2 has been shown to function as a central regulator of vesicular trafficking, infection, immunity, and inflammation. Here is the latest research on the role of this kinase on immunity during infection.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS or APLS), is an autoimmune, hypercoagulable state caused by the presence of antibodies directed against phospholipids.

Meningococcal Myelitis

Meningococcal myelitis is characterized by inflammation and myelin damage to the meninges and spinal cord. Discover the latest research on meningococcal myelitis here.

Alzheimer's Disease: MS4A

Variants within membrane-spanning 4-domains subfamily A (MS4A) gene cluster have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease by recent genome-wide association studies. Here is the latest research.

© 2020 Meta ULC. All rights reserved