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Science. 2015 Nov 6;350(6261):667-70. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa8035.

Corticomotoneuronal cells are "functionally tuned".

Author information

1
University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Systems Neuroscience Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
2
University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Systems Neuroscience Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
3
University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Systems Neuroscience Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. strickp@pitt.edu.

Abstract

Corticomotoneuronal (CM) cells in the primary motor cortex (M1) have monosynaptic connections with motoneurons. They are one of the few sources of descending commands that directly influence motor output. We examined the contribution of CM cells to the generation of activity in their target muscles. The preferred direction of many CM cells differed from that of their target muscles. Some CM cells were selectively active when a muscle was used as an agonist. Others were selectively active when the same muscle was used as a synergist, fixator, or antagonist. These observations suggest that the different functional uses of a muscle are generated by separate populations of CM cells. We propose that muscle function is one of the dimensions represented in the output of M1.

PMID:
26542568
PMCID:
PMC4829105
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaa8035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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