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Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2001 Mar;11(1):97-112.

Functional organization of the lateral premotor cortex: fMRI reveals different regions activated by anticipation of object properties, location and speed.

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Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, P.O. Box 500 355, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.


Previous studies have provided evidence that the lateral premotor cortex (PMC) is involved in representations triggered by attended sensory events. However, while the functional specificity of subregions of this large cortical structure has been intensively investigated in the monkey, little is known about functional differences within human lateral premotor areas. In the present study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate if attending to object-specific (O), spatial (S), or temporal (T) properties of the same sensory event, i.e. moving objects, involves different premotor areas. We found a frontoparietal 'prehension network' comprising the pre-supplementary motor area (preSMA), the ventral PMC, and the left anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS) to be activated independently of the attended stimulus property, but most intensively during object-related attention. Moreover, several areas were exclusively activated according to the attended stimulus property. Particularly, different PMC regions responded to the Object (O) task (left superior ventrolateral PMC), the Spatial (S) task (dorsolateral PMC), and the Timing (T) task (frontal opercular cortex (FOP)). These results indicate that the representation of different stimulus dimensions engage distinct premotor areas and, therefore, that there is a functional specificity of lateral premotor subregions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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