Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 60–68

Compensatory motor function of the somatosensory cortex for the motor cortex temporarily impaired by cooling in the monkey

  • K. Sasaki
  • H. Gemba

DOI: 10.1007/BF00240498

Cite this article as:
Sasaki, K. & Gemba, H. Exp Brain Res (1984) 55: 60. doi:10.1007/BF00240498


The motor cortex was temporarily impaired by local cooling during repeated execution of visually initiated hand movements in monkeys. The effects of cooling were examined by recording premovement cortical field potentials in the forelimb motor and somatosensory cortices and by measuring reaction time and force exerted by the movement. The cortex was cooled by perfusing cold water (about 1° C) through a metal chamber placed on the cortical epidural surface. Cooling of the forelimb motor area lowered temperature of the cortex under the chamber to 20–29° C within 4–5 min. Recording electrodes for cortical field potentials were implanted chronically on the surface and at 2.5–3.0 mm depth of various cortical areas including that being cooled. Spread of cooling to surrounding cortical areas was prevented by placing chambers perfused with warm water (38–39° C) on the areas.

Cooling of the forelimb motor area greatly reduced its premovement cortical field potentials, followed by prolonged reaction times of weakened contralateral wrist muscles. Simultaneous recording from the primary somatosensory cortex revealed an enhancement of its premovement field potentials. All changes were completely reversible by rewarming of the motor cortex. Concomitant cooling of the motor and somatosensory cortices entirely paralysed the contralateral wrist muscles. These results suggest that the motor function of the somatosensory cortex becomes predominant and compensates for dysfunction of the motor cortex when it is temporarily impaired.

Key words

Compensatory motor function Somatosensory cortex Motor cortex cooling Monkey 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Sasaki
    • 1
  • H. Gemba
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyInstitute for Brain Research, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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