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Motor Control by Sensory Cortex

Science  26 Nov 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6008, pp. 1240-1243
DOI: 10.1126/science.1195797

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Abstract

Classical studies of mammalian movement control define a prominent role for the primary motor cortex. Investigating the mouse whisker system, we found an additional and equally direct pathway for cortical motor control driven by the primary somatosensory cortex. Whereas activity in primary motor cortex directly evokes exploratory whisker protraction, primary somatosensory cortex directly drives whisker retraction, providing a rapid negative feedback signal for sensorimotor integration. Motor control by sensory cortex suggests the need to reevaluate the functional organization of cortical maps.

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