Skeletomotor Functions

Lesions in the anterior cingulate cortex can cause contralateral motor neglect. Stimulation of the CMAs evoke skeletomotor movements, although with lower probability and a higher stimulation threshold than the primary motor cortex. The evoked movements are typically fast, brief, limited to a single joint, and demonstrate a topographical organization. Complementary to these findings, single-unit recordings have shown that neuronal activity in the CMAs precedes voluntary movements. Neurons in CMAr are more activated during self-paced than stimulus-triggered movements and may precede the movement by long lead times (0.5-2 sec). In contrast, activity in the caudal CMAs shows less specificity to self-paced movements and is characterized by shorter lead times preceding the movement. Findings have linked CMA activity, particularly in CMAr neurons, to reward-based response selection tasks. Different CMA neural populations are active during the learning of new reward contingencies and during the execution of familiar, well-learned responses.

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