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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Apr 18;114(16):4255-4260. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1608132114. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

Posterior parietal cortex contains a command apparatus for hand movements.

Rathelot JA1,2,3,4, Dum RP1,2,3,4, Strick PL5,2,3,4.

Author information

1
University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
2
Systems Neuroscience Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
3
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
4
Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
5
University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261; strickp@pitt.edu.

Abstract

Mountcastle and colleagues proposed that the posterior parietal cortex contains a "command apparatus" for the operation of the hand in immediate extrapersonal space [Mountcastle et al. (1975) J Neurophysiol 38(4):871-908]. Here we provide three lines of converging evidence that a lateral region within area 5 has corticospinal neurons that are directly linked to the control of hand movements. First, electrical stimulation in a lateral region of area 5 evokes finger and wrist movements. Second, corticospinal neurons in the same region of area 5 terminate at spinal locations that contain last-order interneurons that innervate hand motoneurons. Third, this lateral region of area 5 contains many neurons that make disynaptic connections with hand motoneurons. The disynaptic input to motoneurons from this portion of area 5 is as direct and prominent as that from any of the premotor areas in the frontal lobe. Thus, our results establish that a region within area 5 contains a motor area with corticospinal neurons that could function as a command apparatus for operation of the hand.

KEYWORDS:

cerebral cortex; motor control; motor systems; movement control

PMID:
28373554
PMCID:
PMC5402465
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1608132114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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