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Primate Neuroethology$
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Michael Platt and Asif Ghazanfar

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326598

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326598.001.0001

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Encoding and Beyond in the Motor Cortex

Encoding and Beyond in the Motor Cortex

(p.256) Chapter 14 Encoding and Beyond in the Motor Cortex
Primate Neuroethology

Nicholas G. Hatsopoulos

Maryam Saleh

Julian A. Mattiello

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes that the motor cortex does not encode movement as any one simple Newtonian parameter of motion. Rather, if motor cortical neurons actually encode anything at all, they represent movement fragments. The chapter begins by defining the meaning of “encoding” in the nervous system. It then provides evidence against the contention that motor cortical neurons encode any simple movement parameter, and argues for the hypothesis that motor cortex may form a substrate where elementary movement fragments are assembled into motor behaviors. In the last part of the chapter, it is argued that encoding is only part of a full explanation of motor cortical functioning. The motor cortex not only encodes information but also transforms information by processing its inputs to generate its output, much like any information processing system.

Keywords:   primates, motor cortex, encoding, motor cortical neurons

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