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Neural correlates of coordinated motor patterns at the shoulder and elbow in primary motor cortex during planar reaching movements

, : Neural correlates of coordinated motor patterns at the shoulder and elbow in primary motor cortex during planar reaching movements. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 27(1): 761

The purpose of the present study was to examine how the peripheral motor system generates coordinated movements to spatial targets and to examine whether neural activity in primary motor cortex covaried with these features of movement. The activity of individual neurons were recorded in primary motor cortex along with the activity of shoulder and elbow muscles while the monkey made planar reaching movements from a central start position to spatial targets located on the circumference of a circle. Link-segment models and inverse dynamics were used to estimate the mechanics of limb motion. Limb mechanics, as defined by joint velocity, torque and power varied strongly with movement direction. Not surprisingly, variations in limb mechanics covaried with the activity of proximal-limb muscles where maximal activities were associated with movements away and to the left and with movements towards and to the right of the monkey. Correspondingly, the preferred directions of most neurons in MI were also oriented in these two quadrants. Neurons were divided into those principally responsive to passive motion of the shoulder or elbow. Cells related to each joint tended to correlate with motor patterns of muscles at each respective joint. The present results illustrate how MI activity covaries with coordinated motor patterns at the shoulder and elbow during multi-joint movements.


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