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The action repertoire of an animal is highly dimensional, whereas the cortical sheet is two-dimensional. Rendering the action space onto the cortex therefore results in a complex pattern, explaining the otherwise inexplicable details of the motor cortex organization.

Motors and Motion Transmission Assembly

This clearly written book book includes a complete history of motor cortex research from its discovery to the present, a discussion of the major issues in motor cortex research, and an account of recent experiments that led to Graziano's "action map" view. Though focused on the motor cortex, the book includes a range of topics from an explanation of how primates put food in their mouths, to the origins of social beahvior such as smiling and laughing, to the mysterious link between movement disorders and autism.

This book is written for a general audience, and should be of interest to experts, students, and the scientific lay. Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches.

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Rethinking Consciousness: A Q&A with Michael Graziano

Order by , and we can deliver your NextDay items by. In your cart, save the other item s for later in order to get NextDay delivery. We moved your item s to Saved for Later. There was a problem with saving your item s for later. You can go to cart and save for later there. The modern concept of systematic body maps in the brain is most directly attributable to the ideas of British physician John Hughlings Jackson, who in published the observation that epileptic seizures progress across the body in somatotopic sequence, i.

Constructivist Foundations

Based on these observations, Hughlings Jackson inferred the presence of orderly representations of the body in the brain, and particularly in the cortical hemispheres see York and Steinberg, , for a recent review. In German medical professors Gustav Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig published a seminal study showing that twitches of specific muscles could be caused by electrical stimulation of specific sites in the frontal cortex of dogs see Taylor and Gross, In physician David Ferrier published The Functions of the Brain, a book dedicated to his mentor John Hughlings Jackson, detailing numerous lesion and electrical stimulation experiments on the cortices of birds, cats, guinea-pigs, rabbits, rodents, dogs, jackals, and monkeys.

Ferrier used long trains of electrical stimulation, which often yielded more complex and coordinated movements of muscle groups than the local twitches of individual muscles elicited by the shorter electrical pulses delivered by Fritsch and Hitzig see Graziano, , for a review. This book introduced some of the first illustrations of the localization and systematic mapping of motor function to specific cortical sites, as drawn by the brother-in-law of Ferrier, painter Ernest Waterlow Sandrone and Zanin, I am inclined to think that the experimental evidence is against any absolute differentiation of centers of tactile sensation for special regions [.

This association would form the basis of a musculo-sensory localisation. Some of the earliest images of high-resolution motor maps in primates originate in Leyton and Sherrington see Lemon, for a historical perspective.

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The first evidence for localization of cortical responses to somatosensory stimuli rather than motor responses came from two case studies on epileptic human patients a 15 year old boy and a 44 year old man reported by Cushing These observations paved the way for the discovery and investigation of SI somatosensory maps in the decades to follow. The somatosensory homunculus is now synonymous with cartoon drawings of the little man commissioned by Penfield to artist Mrs H. The accuracy and usefulness of Cantlie's homunculus cartoons, which were further developed in the book of Penfield and Rasmussen , have been questioned by many, notably by Schott who highlights the mismatch between the sharp topological borders suggested by the clean lines of the drawings, and a considerable overlap of projections from the body surface as depicted in format iv by Penfield and Boldrey Nonetheless, these images have been highly influential in suggesting two features of the human SI map organization: First, an exaggerated cortical territory dedicated to the somatosensory and motor representation of the hands and face; and, second, somatotopic discontinuities at the junction between the hands and face representations and at the junction between the feet and genital representations.

At a finer-scale resolution, Kaas et al. Woolsey and Kaas et al.


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  • SI somatotopic maps thus appear to be a highly conserved organizational principle across the mammalian lineages see Krubitzer, , For example, Ramachandran has speculated that invasion of the genital region of the cortex by adjacent territory otherwise dedicated to representing the feet may explain the mis-localisation of sexual pleasure to the feet reported by some lower limb amputees e.

    A number of more recent fMRI imaging studies have restored the tactile representation of the genitals to their somatotopically consistent position in the map adjacent to the trunk, e.

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    The coincident activation arising from their spatial proximity was predicted to drive Hebbian plasticity, and therefore adjacency within the map. Computer models later showed how such mapping could emerge, reproducing continuous somatotopic maps in self-organizing neural networks, with selective discontinuities between co-stimulated areas of the simulated body surface Stafford and Wilson, This model also demonstrated that Hebbian learning mechanisms alone cannot account for the consistent medial-lateral ordering of somatotopic body maps.

    Models of this nature have been criticized for failing to incorporate subcortical contributions to the discontinuities that may originate from divergent afferent projections at the spinal cord Parpia, Studying images of the somatosensory homunculi can give the impression that SI somatotopic maps remain fixed, but there is strong evidence that maps are highly plastic in the proportion and ordering of representations on a variety of timescales, ranging from the trajectory of development and maturation of cortical circuitry to the rapid allocation of attention.

    Florence et al. Braun et al.