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The Brain as a ToolA Neuroscientist's Account$
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Ray Guillery

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198806738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198806738.001.0001

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The pathways for action

The pathways for action

Chapter:
(p.43) Chapter 3 The pathways for action
Source:
The Brain as a Tool
Author(s):

Ray Guillery

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198806738.003.0003

Early nineteenth-century studies demonstrated, on the basis of clinical, experimental, and anatomical evidence, that a motor pathway, the corticospinal or pyramidal tract, passes from a specific area of the cortex, the precentral motor cortex, to the brainstem and spinal cord. The motor cortex can be seen as a topographic map of the movable body parts, and damage to the cortex or pathways produces correspondingly localized paralysis. However, there are a great many other pathways that link other areas of the cortex to parts of the brain active in the control of movements. These still play a puzzling role in the standard model where the control of movements focuses on cortical contributions to voluntary movements by the corticospinal pathways.

Keywords:   corticospinal tract, pyramidal tract, topographic maps, motor cortex, epilepsy, cortical stimulation

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