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The Intelligent Movement MachineAn Ethological Perspective on the Primate Motor System$
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Michael Graziano

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326703.001.0001

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Neuronal Control of Movement

Neuronal Control of Movement

(p.71) Chapter 5 Neuronal Control of Movement
The Intelligent Movement Machine

Michael S. A. Graziano

Oxford University Press

Two main types of experiment have addressed the question of how neurons in motor cortex control movement. One type focuses on the descending pathways that map specific points in motor cortex to specific muscles. A second type of experiment focuses on the activity of single neurons in motor cortex while the animal, usually a monkey, performs a complex task. These two approaches have resulted in contrasting descriptions of motor cortex. This chapter reviews these two major approaches to motor cortex. The first part summarizes experiments on the direct pathways from motor cortex, through the spinal cord, to the muscles, and how those pathways might control movement. The second part summarizes experiments on correlations between the activity of neurons in motor cortex and a variety of control variables related to the arm.

Keywords:   neurons, motor cortex control, direct pathways, arm, spinal cord, muscles

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