2-Minute Neuroscience: Motor Cortex
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  • Release Date: 2024-05-11
  • brain
  • cortex
  • nerve
  • frontal lobe
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The motor cortex is a region of cortex in the frontal lobe that is involved with voluntary movement. It is located anterior to a large sulcus called the central sulcus and is often divided into two major regions: the primary motor cortex and the nonprimary motor cortex.

The primary motor cortex is found in the strip of cortex known as the precentral gyrus, which is located just anterior to the central sulcus. The primary motor cortex is arranged such that different parts of the region are associated with motor control of different parts of the body and thus is said to contain a motor map of the body.

Most of the neurons that travel from the primary motor cortex carrying signals regarding movement will enter one of two major motor pathways: the corticospinal or corticobulbar tract. The corticospinal tract carries movement-related signals to the spinal cord to cause movement of the body, while the corticobulbar tract carries signals to the brainstem to cause movement of the head, neck, and face.

The nonprimary motor cortex is often divided into two main regions: the supplementary motor cortex and the premotor cortex. Although the functions of these areas are not well understood, it is thought the supplementary motor cortex may be involved with the execution of sequences of movement, the attainment of motor skills, and the selection of movements based on incoming sensory information. The premotor cortex contributes about 30% of the neurons that enter the corticospinal tract, but seems to be more active during the planning of, rather than the execution of, movements. [1]

  1. Nolte J. The Human Brain: An Introduction to its Functional Anatomy. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA. Elsevier; 2009.
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Challenged, N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Motor Cortex. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1230 (accessed on 26 May 2024).
Challenged N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Motor Cortex. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1230. Accessed May 26, 2024.
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Motor Cortex" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1230 (accessed May 26, 2024).
Challenged, N. (2024, May 11). 2-Minute Neuroscience: Motor Cortex. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1230
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Motor Cortex." Encyclopedia. Web. 11 May, 2024.
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