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The Brain as a ToolA Neuroscientist's Account$
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Ray Guillery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806738.001.0001

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The subcortical motor centres

The subcortical motor centres

Chapter:
(p.49) Chapter 4 The subcortical motor centres
Source:
The Brain as a Tool
Author(s):

Ray Guillery

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198806738.003.0004

This chapter looks more closely at some of the subcortical motor centres that play a peripheral or an auxiliary role in the standard view: primarily the basal ganglia, the cerebellum, and the superior colliculus; also several brainstem centres. These all play a significant role in motor control and between them receive inputs from the majority of cortical areas. The colliculus serves as an example of a centre that in mammals is often dominated by the cortex. The cortical action may be direct or may involve a strong inhibitory pathway through the basal ganglia. The standard view assigns even quite simple actions to the motor cortex, although comparable actions can be controlled in our vertebrate ancestors by the midbrain tectum which corresponds to the mammalian superior and inferior colliculi. The interactive view has information about movements going to most parts of the cortex, and has all cortical areas contributing to motor control through phylogenetically old centres. For most cortical areas, we must still learn how their motor outputs influence our actions.

Keywords:   brainstem, subcortical motor centres, superior colliculus, cortical control, inhibition

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