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Motor System

The cerebral cortex


Brain component

Major Functions Cerebral cortex


1.Sensory perception
2.Voluntary control of movement
3.Language
4.Personality traits
5.Sophisticated mental events,such as
 thinking
 memory,
 decision making,
 creativity, and
 self-consciousness
Central sulcus Figure 5.9Page 146
Frontal
lobe
Parietal
lobe

Parietooccipital
notch

Occipital
lobe
Lateral
fissure

Temporal Preoccipital
lobe notch

Brain stem Cerebellum


Front
Left Right
hemisphere hemisphere

Frontal
lobe
Primary
motor
cortex Central
sulcus

Top
view

Parietal
lobe
Somato-
sensory
cortex

Occipital lobe

Back
Central
sulcus Posterior
parietal cortex

Prefrontal
Association Wernicke’s
cortex area
Parietal-temporal-
Broca’s
occipital
area
association cortex
Primary auditory
cortex Cerebellum

Limbic association
cortex
Primary
visual cortex
Figure 5.10
Page 147
Primary motor cortex Somatosensory
Supplementary
cortex
motor area
Premotor Posterior
cortex parietal cortex

Prefrontal
Association Wernicke’s
cortex area
Parietal-temporal-
Broca’s
occipital
area
association cortex
Primary auditory
cortex

Limbic association
cortex
Primary
Brain
visual cortex
stem
The sensorimotor cortex
SMA
6 S1
Posterior
M1 3,1,2 Parietal

4 5,7

PMA
6

Signals converge
onto the primary
Brainstem &
motor cortex
Spinal cord
Sensory input

Primary sensory areas (somatosensory,


visual, auditory cortices)

Higher sensory areas

Association areas

Higher motor areas

Primary motor areas

Motor output
Supplementary motor area, Premotor Primary motor cortex (M1;area4):
cortex, Prefrontal Association Cortex voluntary movement
command the primary motor cortex
Does not itself
Supplementary motor area initiate voluntary
(secondary motor cortex (6 movement
& 8): programming of
complex movements (both
sides)
Premotor cortex (6):
coordination of complex
movements, important in
orienting the body and arms
toward a specific target

Prefrontal Association
Cortex: planning for The idea of a
voluntary activity; decision
voluntary
making; creativity and
personality traits movement
Supplementary motor area: Primary motor cortex:
stimulation complex Lesions lead to paralysis/
patterns of movements e.g., Paresis (weakness), clumsiness
hand open/ close. Lesions do and slowness of movement
not lead to paralysis but to
Motor apraxia.
Premotor cortex: works in
association with posterior
parietal cortex.
Damage  inability to
process complex sensory
information to accomplish
purposeful movement in
space.

Prefrontal Association
Cortex: deficits  changes Motor apraxia: loss of
in personality and social learned motor skills
behaviour without paralysis
Motor homunculus
Figure 5.12 (2)
Page 149

Left
hemisphere

Cross-sectional view

Temporal lobe
The upper part of the face is bilaterally represented but
the rest of the body is represented unilaterally
Sensory homunculus
Figure 5.11 (2)
Page 149

Left
hemisphere

Cross-sectional view

Temporal lobe
How M1 commands voluntary movement?
M1 is organized in terms of movements rather
than muscles
• Much of motor cortex is active for every
movement
• Activity of each cell represents a single vote for
a particular direction of movement
• Direction of movement is determined by a tally
and averaging of the votes registered by each
cell in the population
• The larger the population representing a type of
movement, the finer the possible control.
Parameters of movement controlled
by M1 (area 4)
• Direction
– neurons
• Speed:
– neurons
• Force:
– Firing rate of neurons
Angular gyrus of
Facial area of Figure 5.13
parietal-temporal-occipital
Page 152
motor cortex association cortex

Sensory
speech area

3
4 2
Broca’s
area

Wernicke’s
area

Motor
speech area
1

Bundle of
interconnecting fibers Visual cortex
Descending Tracts
Major descending spinal tracts and their points of origin

Cerebral cortex

Corticospinal
tract

Vestibular
Red Nucleus and Reticular
Rubrospinal nucleus superior colliculus nuclei
tract
Lateral pathways Medial pathways

Spinal cord
The lateral system
• Includes the lateral corticospinal tract and
part of the corticobulbar tract + rubrospinal
tracts.
• These pathways influence contra lateral
motor neurons that supply the
musculature of the limbs, especially the
digits, the muscles of the lower face, and
the tongue.
• Controls fine discrete movements
• Inhibitory to muscle tone and reflexes
The medial system (ventromedial
system)
• Includes the
– ventral corticospinal,
– lateral and medial vestibulospinal,
– pontine and medullary reticulospinal,
– tectospinal tracts.
• These pathways mainly
– affect posture, and
– provide the motor background for movements of the
limbs and digits.
– Involved in locomotion
• Modulates the skeletal muscle tone (excitatory
and inhibitory)
Pathways that originate in the
brainstem influence

• posture,
• locomotion, and
• eye movements.
Influences of the brain stem centers on
spinal reflexes
(alpha and gamma extensor and flexor motor neurons)

• Lateral vestibular nucleus extensor activity


• Pontine reticular Formation extensor activity
• Red nucleus flexor activity
• Medullary reticular Formation flexor activity
Relationship of the thalamus, basal ganglia, and cortex in
the control of movement
A high degree of
natural excitability
Basal ganglia: Cerebral cortex
Inhibit muscle
tone -
Cerebellum: Pontine RF
enhance
muscle tone -
Vestibular - +
nucleus Medullary RF

+ + +/- -
Spinal cord

Antigravity muscles
Role of cortex and other structures in the control of
movement
A high degree of
natural excitability
Cerebral cortex
Decorticate
spasticity -
Pontine RF
Decerebrate
rigidity -
Vestibular - +
nucleus Medullary RF

Flaccid
+ + +/- -
Spinal cord

Antigravity muscles