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Effects Of Muscimol Inactivations Of Functional Domains In Motor, Premotor, And Posterior Parietal Cortex On Complex Movements Evoked By Electrical Stimulation

Iwona Stepniewska, Omar A. Gharbawie, Mark J. Burish, Jon H. Kaas

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Parietal and frontal cortex are central to controlling forelimb movements. We previously showed that movements such as reach, grasp, and defense can be evoked from primary motor (M1), premotor (PMC), and posterior parietal (PPC) cortex when 500-ms trains of electrical pulses are delivered via microelectrodes. Stimulation sites that evoked a specific movement clustered into domains, which shared a topographic pattern in New World monkeys and prosimian galagos. Matched functional domains in parietal and frontal cortex were preferentially interconnected. We reasoned that matched functional domains form parallel networks involved in specific movements. To test the roles of domains in M1, PMC, and PPC, we systematically inactivated with muscimol domains in one region and determined if functional changes occurred in matching domains in other regions. The most common changes were higher current thresholds for stimulation-evoked movements and shorter, not fully developed, trajectories of movements. Inactivations of an M1 functional domain greatly reduced or abolished movements evoked from the matching domains in PMC or PPC, whereas movements evoked from nonmatching domains remained mostly unaffected. In contrast, inactivating PMC or PPC domains did not consistently abolish the ability to evoke movements from matching M1 domains. However, inactivation of PMC domains suppressed or altered the movements evoked from PPC domains. Thus movement sequences evoked from PMC depend on M1 and movement sequences evoked from PPC depend on both M1 and PMC. Overall, the results support the conclusion that PPC, PMC, and M1 are subdivided into functional domains that are hierarchically related within parallel networks.