Plasticity of motor behavior in monkeys with crossed forelimb nerves

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Science  22 Apr 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4595, pp. 438-440
DOI: 10.1126/science.6836289


Monkeys in which nerves innervating the flexor muscles of the forearm and hand (the ulnar or the median nerve) had been surgically cross-united with the nerve innervating the extensor muscles (the radial nerve), and vice versa, showed excellent (ulnar-radial crosses) to moderate (median-radial crosses) control of movement performance after regeneration. Antagonistic movement responses were seen occasionally, but these were corrected almost immediately. Stimulation of the crossed nerves showed that they had innervated the antagonistic muscle groups. The results reveal the capacity of the primate central nervous system to adapt to gross disturbances imposed on the execution of movements by changes in peripheral innervation.