Motor cortex is the part of the neocortex of mammals that is

devoted to evoking and controlling movements rather than receiving sensations and creating ideas or perceptions. Motor cortex is located in the posterior part of the frontal lobe or frontal cortex, just anterior to somatosensory cortex. Motor cortex includes a primary area, M1, where electrical stimulation of neurons evokes muscle contractions at low levels of current. M1 is characterized by large pyramidal or Betz cells and the lack of an obvious layer 4 of granular cells. Thus, Ml is referred to as agranular cortex and as area 4 of Brodmann's classical terminology. The pyramidal cells in M1 project via the pyramidal tract to motor neuron pools in the contralateral brain stem and spinal cord. A number of premotor areas are also involved in motor control. Muscle contractions can be evoked by electrically stimulating these premotor areas. Many of these areas connect to M1 and project to the spinal cord, thus directly influencing motor control.

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