The Cerebral Cortex

Thus far, we have focused on the subcortical structures, the cerebellum and the basal ganglia, and their roles in motor learning. Although it is clear that the cerebral cortex is intimately involved in many aspects of motor and nonmotor learning, there is a comparative dearth of rigorous computation models regarding the role of cortical structures in skill acquisition.

There is abundant evidence that the cortical structures play a critical role in encoding new motor behaviors. For example, imaging studies of motor learning tasks, including the SRT task, have identified many activation foci in the frontal and parietal lobes. These regions include the primary motor cortex, the premotor cortex, the supplementary motor cortex (SMA), and anterior parietal cortex, all of which possess neurons whose activity is closely related to motor activity.

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