News of the WeekNeuroscience

Redrawing the Brain's Map of the Body

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Science  31 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5573, pp. 1587-1588
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5573.1587a

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New findings suggest that the role of the primary motor cortex might be fundamentally different than originally thought. Rather than simply controlling the movements of different parts of the body, it might direct those body parts to assume complex, but specific, postures. What's more, the map appears to be organized not just according to muscle groups but by the positions in space where an animal's movements conclude.