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Multiple Nonprimary Motor Areas In The Human Cortex

Gereon R. Fink, Richard S. J. Frackowiak, Uwe Pietrzyk, Richard E. Passingham

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Fink, Gereon R., Richard S. J. Frackowiak, Uwe Pietrzyk, and Richard E. Passingham. Multiple nonprimary motor areas in the human cortex. J. Neurophysiol. 77: 2164–2174, 1997. We measured the distribution of regional cerebral blood flow with positron emission tomography while three subjects moved their hand, shoulder, or leg. The images were coregistered with each individual's anatomic magnetic resonance scans. The data were analyzed for each individual to avoid intersubject averaging and so to preserve individual gyral anatomy. Instead of inspecting all pixels, we prospectively restricted the data analysis to particular areas of interest. These were defined on basis of the anatomic and physiological literature on nonhuman primates. By examining only a subset of areas, we strengthened the power of the statistical analysis and thereby increased the confidence in reporting single subject data. On the lateral convexity, motor related activity was found for all three subjects in the primary motor cortex, lateral premotor cortex, and an opercular area within the premotor cortex. In addition, there was activation of somatosensory cortex (SI), the supplementary somatosensory area (SII) in the Sylvian fissure, and parietal association areas (Brodmann areas 5 and 40). There was also activation in the insula. We suggest that the activation in the dorsal premotor cortex may correspond with dorsal premotor area (PMd) as described in the macaque brain. We propose three hypotheses as to the probable location of vental premotor area (PMv) in the human brain. On the medial surface, motor-related activity was found for all three subjects in the leg areas of the primary motor cortex and somatosensory cortex and also activity for the hand, shoulder, and leg in the supplementary motor area (SMA) on the dorsal medial convexity and in three areas in the cingulate sulcus. We suggest that the three cingulate areas may correspond with rostral cingulate premotor area, dorsal cingulate motor area (CMAd), and ventral cingulate motor area (CMAv) as identified in the macaque brain. Somatotopic mapping was demonstrated in the primary motor and primary somatosensory cortex. In all three subjects, the arm region lay anterior to the leg region in parietal area 5. Also in all three subjects, the arm region lay anterior to the leg region in the supplementary motor cortex.