Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurophysiol. 2013 Jun;109(12):2982-98. doi: 10.1152/jn.01080.2012. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Responses of single corticospinal neurons to intracortical stimulation of primary motor and premotor cortex in the anesthetized macaque monkey.

Author information

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR 8194, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France.


The responses of individual primate corticospinal neurons to localized electrical stimulation of primary motor (M1) and of ventral premotor cortex (area F5) are poorly documented. To rectify this and to study interactions between responses from these areas, we recorded corticospinal axons, identified by pyramidal tract stimulation, in the cervical spinal cord of three chloralose-anesthetized macaque monkeys. Single stimuli (≤400 μA) were delivered to the hand area of M1 or F5 through intracortical microwire arrays. Only 14/112 (13%) axons showed responses to M1 stimuli that indicated direct intracortical activation of corticospinal neurons (D-responses); no D-responses were seen from F5. In contrast, 62 axons (55%) exhibited consistent later responses to M1 stimulation, corresponding to indirect activation (I-responses), showing that single-pulse intracortical stimulation of motor areas can result in trans-synaptic activation of a high proportion of the corticospinal output. A combined latency histogram of all axon responses was nonperiodic, clearly different from the periodic surface-recorded corticospinal volleys. This was readily explained by correcting for conduction velocities of individual axons. D-responding axons, taken as originating in neurons close to the M1 stimulating electrodes, showed more I-responses from M1 than those without a D-response, and 8/10 of these axons also responded to F5 stimulation. Altogether, 33% of tested axons responded to F5 stimulation, most of which also showed I-responses from M1. These excitatory effects are in keeping with facilitation of hand muscles evoked from F5 being relayed via M1. This was further demonstrated by facilitation of test responses from M1 by conditioning F5 stimuli.


axon; corticospinal; monkey; motor cortex

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center