Functional architecture of the motor homunculus detected by electrostimulation. Article - Août 2020

Franck-Emmanuel Roux, Mahamadou Niare, Saloua Charni, Carlo Giussani, Jean-Baptiste Durand

Franck-Emmanuel Roux, Mahamadou Niare, Saloua Charni, Carlo Giussani, Jean-Baptiste Durand, « Functional architecture of the motor homunculus detected by electrostimulation.  », The Journal of Physiology, août 2020. ISSN 0022-3751

Abstract

We performed a prospective electrostimulation study of the motor homunculus in 100 patients without motor deficit or brain lesion in the precentral gyrus in order to acquire accurate Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) coordinates of the functional areas. The analysis of 248 body coordinates in the precentral gyrus showed rare inter-individual variations in the medial-to-lateral somatotopic movement organization with quite similar intensity thresholds. Electrostimulation only induced basic and stereotyped movements. We detected a relative medial-to-lateral somatotopy of the wrist/hand/global/individual fingers, with sometimes different sites for an individual muscle or movement. We found some similarities to, but also substantial differences from, the seminal work of Penfield and colleagues. We propose an updated version of the human motor homunculus and of its correlation with the somatosensory homunculus, previously defined in MNI space with a similar brain mapping technique.

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