Complex organization of human primary motor cortex: A high-resolution fMRI study

Jeffrey D. Meier, Tyson N. Aflalo, Sabine Kastner, Michael S.A. Graziano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

158 Scopus citations

Abstract

A traditional view of the human motor cortex is that it contains an overlapping sequence of body part representations from the tongue in a ventral location to the foot in a dorsal location. In this study, high-resolution functional MRI (1.5 x 1.5 x 2 mm) was used to examine the somatotopic map in the lateral motor cortex of humans, to determine whether it followed the traditional somatotopic order or whether it contained any violations of that somatotopic order. The arm and hand representation had a complex organization in which the arm was relatively emphasized in two areas: one dorsal and the other ventral to a region that emphasized the fingers. This violation of a traditional somatotopic order suggests that the motor cortex is not merely a map of the body but is topographically shaped by other influences, perhaps including correlations in the use of body parts in the motor repertoire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1800-1812
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Volume100
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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