Association between activity in the ventral premotor cortex and spinal cord activation during force generation—A combined cortico-spinal fMRI study


Force generation is a crucial element of dexterity and a highly relevant skill of the human motor system. How cerebral and spinal components interact and how spinal activation is associated with the activity in the cerebral primary motor and premotor areas is poorly understood. Here, we conducted combined cortico-spinal functional magnetic resonance imaging during a simple visually guided isometric force generation task in 20 healthy young subjects. Activation was localized in the right cervical spinal cord and left primary motor and premotor areas. The main finding is that spinal activation was negatively correlated with ventral premotor cortex activation. Spinal activation was furthermore significantly correlated with primary motor cortex activation, while increasing target forces led to an increase in the amount of activation. These data indicate that human premotor areas such as the ventral premotor cortex might be functionally connected to the lower cervical spinal cord contributing to distal upper limb functions, a finding that extends our understanding of human motor function beyond the animal literature.

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StatusVeröffentlicht - 15.12.2023