Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Res. 1985 Sep;357(1):1-26.

The corticomotoneuronal component of the pyramidal tract: corticomotoneuronal connections and functions in primates.


Corticomotoneuronal fibers make up a functional component of the pyramidal tract-corticospinal system which is characteristic of primates. The corticomotoneuronal fibers include large, rapidly conducting axons. They arise from somatotopically arranged areas of precentral cortex and the largest concentration of pyramidal cells of origin in the deep part of lamina V is in area 4. Their influence is exerted contralaterally on the spinal cord, where monosynaptic excitation of spinal motoneurons occurs. Motoneurons innervating distally acting muscles are preferentially excited and marked convergence of corticomotoneuronal influences occurs on these. The excitatory post-synaptic potentials in these motoneurons are characterized by the property of temporal facilitation. Intraspinal divergence of the terminal arborizations of individual corticomotoneuronal fibers could permit the engagement of large populations of motoneurons and also the activation of excitatory and inhibitory interneurons and propriospinal neurons for that region of the spinal cord. Corticomotoneuronal synapses may be located more distally on the dendrites of motoneurons than are the monosynaptic connections from group Ia afferents. The corticomotoneuronal excitation has been demonstrated to be effective in natural functional states when the conscious animal is performing learned movement tasks. Abolition of corticomotoneuronal influences causes a permanent deficit in the fractionation of use of distal muscles and an inability to carry out independent movements of the fingers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center