Tag Archives: Brain Support For Functions

It seems that the human motor cortex not only contains a map of motions but a map of basic behaviors (compositions of motions)

Michael S.A. Graziano, Ethological Action Maps: A Paradigm Shift for the Motor Cortex, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 20, Issue 2, February 2016, Pages 121-132, ISSN 1364-6613, DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2015.10.008.

The map of the body in the motor cortex is one of the most iconic images in neuroscience. The map, however, is not perfect. It contains overlaps, reversals, and fractures. The complex pattern suggests that a body plan is not the only organizing principle. Recently a second organizing principle was discovered: an action map. The motor cortex appears to contain functional zones, each of which emphasizes an ethologically relevant category of behavior. Some of these complex actions can be evoked by cortical stimulation. Although the findings were initially controversial, interest in the ethological action map has grown. Experiments on primates, mice, and rats have now confirmed and extended the earlier findings with a range of new methods.