Cortical Activity During Motor Execution
Imagery of motor movement plays an important role in learning complex motor skills. In the February 2010 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, members of the Neural Systems Laboratory measured electrocorticographic cortical surface potentials in eight human subjects during overt action and kinesthetic imagery of the same movement. They established that the spatial distribution of local neuronal population activity during motor imagery mimics the spatial distribution of activity during actual motor movement. By comparing responses to electrocortical stimulation with imagery-induced cortical surface activity, they demonstrated the role of primary motor areas in movement imagery.