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Somatotopic Mapping Of The Primary Motor Cortex In Humans: Activation Studies With Cerebral Blood Flow And Positron Emission Tomography

S. T. Grafton, R. P. Woods, J. C. Mazziotta, M. E. Phelps

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1. The somatotopic representation of the human primary motor cortex was examined noninvasively with estimates of cerebral blood flow (CBF) obtained with positron emission tomography. Twelve normal subjects performed a motor tracking task with the arm, first finger, tongue, and great toe commensurate with the bolus injection of radioactive H215O. Images of the relative percent increase of blood flow, compared with control studies, demonstrated reproducible foci of CBF increases in the motor cortex in every subject. Each motor task could be localized to a predictable site on a coronal section containing the precentral gyrus. 2. In reproducibility experiments of repeated measures, it was determined that two foci of activation in the primary motor cortex could be discriminated with a 95% confidence if they were separated by 5.4 mm. 3. In five subjects with matched magnetic resonance imaging studies, the sites of activation were variable with respect to surface anatomy and could be found at the depth of sulci or the surface of gyri. The findings were similar to previously reported electrophysiological studies using direct cortical stimulation. 4. The method may be applied to the in vivo functional mapping of the primary motor cortex in patients with cerebral disorders.