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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Apr;86(4):304-9.

High-resolution magnetoencephalographic functional mapping of the cortical network mediating intentional movement.

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  • 1Brain Research and Treatment Center, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Scripps Clinic, CA 92037, USA.


Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a sensitive technique that can detect and map cortical electrophysiologic activations with high spatial (mm) and temporal (msecs) resolutions. We used 148-channel whole-head MEG to record the activation sequence for the somatosensory and motor cortical network during cued hand movements in a healthy 39-yr-old subject. The complex sequence and topography of cortical activations were superimposed onto the subject's brain magnetic resonance images. Frontal premotor and supplementary motor and cingulate areas activated well before the primary motor area and again repetitively from 200 msecs onward with activations alternating repeatedly between frontal and parietal areas. The network's very close functional integration of supplementary motor areas suggests how brain injury that is localized to these regions, but not to the primary motor area itself, can disrupt integrity of movement, and why preservation of functional integrity of some areas traditionally viewed as extramotor may be necessary for recovery from neurologic disability.

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