The cerebral cortex is the most distinctive feature of the human brain. It is composed almost entirely of neocortex, the most recent part of the cortex to develop in the evolutionary time scale. Archicortex (hippocampus) and paleocortex (olfactory cortex) form only a small fraction of cerebral cortex in man.


Cerebral Cortex Motor Cortex Pyramidal Cell Pyramidal Tract Supplementary Motor Area 
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References and Further Reading

Review Articles and Books

  1. Asanuma, H. (1981) `The Pyramidal Tract’, pp. 703–33Google Scholar
  2. Porter, R. (1981) `Internal Organisation of the Motor Cortex for Input-Output Arrangements’, pp. 1063–82Google Scholar
  3. Evarts, E.V. (1981) `Role of Motor Cortex in Voluntary Movements in Primates’, pp. 1083–120Google Scholar
  4. Wiesendanger, M. (1981) `Organisation of Secondary Motor Areas of Cerebral Cortex’, pp. 1121–47Google Scholar
  5. Denny-Brown (1966) The Cerebral Control of Movements, University Press, LiverpoolGoogle Scholar
  6. Geschwind, N. and Damasio, A.R. (1985) `Apraxia’ in J.A.M. Fredriks (ed.) Handbook of Clinical Neurology, vol. 1(45), Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 423–32Google Scholar
  7. Hyvarinen, J. (1982) `Posterior Parietal Lobe of the Primate Brain’Physiol. Rev.62 pp. 1060–129Google Scholar
  8. Phillips, C.G. and Porter,R.(1977)Corticospinal Neurones. Their Role in MovementAcademic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Rothwell, J.C., Obeso, J.A. and Marsden, C.D. (1986) `Electrophysiology of Somatosensory Reflex Myoclonus’ in S. Fahn et al. (eds.), Advances in Neurology, vol. 43, Raven Press, New York, pp. 353–66Google Scholar
  10. Wiesendanger, M. and Miles, T.S. (1982) `Ascending Pathway of Low-threshold Muscle Afferents to the Cerebral Cortex and Its Possible Role in Motor Control’, Physiol. Rev., 62, pp. 1234–70Google Scholar

Original Papers

  1. Brinkman, C. (1981) `Lesions in Supplementary Motor Area Interfere with a Monkey’s Performance of a Bimanual Co-ordination Task’, Neurosci. Lett., 27, pp. 267–70Google Scholar
  2. Brinkman, C. (1984) `Supplementary Motor Area of the Monkey’s Cerebral Cortex: Short-and Long-term Deficits After Unilateral Ablation and the Effects of Subsequent Callosal Section’ J. Neurosci. 4 pp.918–29Google Scholar
  3. Brodai, A. (1973) `Self-observations and Neuroanatomical Considerations After a Stroke’, Brain, 96, pp. 675–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brodai, A. (1981) Neurological Anatomy in Relation to Clinical Medicine, Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Bucy, P.C., Keplinger, J.E. and Sequiera, E.B. (1964) `Destruction of the “Pyramidal Tract” in Cerebral Cortex 233 Man’, J. Neurosurg., 21, pp. 385–98Google Scholar
  6. Cheney, P.D. and Fetz, E.E., (1984) `Corticomotoneuronal Cells Contribute to Long-latency Stretch Reflexes in the Rhesus Monkey’, J. Physiol., 349, pp. 249–72Google Scholar
  7. Clough, J.E.M., Kernell, D. and Phillips, C.G. (1968) `The Distribution of Monosynaptic Excitation from the Pyramidal Tract and from Primary Spindle Afferents to Motoneurones of the Baboon’s Hand and Forearm’, J. Physiol., 198, pp. 145–66Google Scholar
  8. Evarts, E.V. (1966) `Pyramidal Tract Activity Associated With a Conditioned Hand Movement in the Monkey’, J. Neurophysiol., 29, pp. 1011–27Google Scholar
  9. Evarts, E.V. (1968) ‘Relation of Pyramidal Tract Activity to Force Exerted During Voluntary Move- ment’, J. Neurophysiol., 31, pp. 14–27Google Scholar
  10. Evarts, E.V. (1972) `Pre-and Postcentral Neuronal Discharge in Relation to Learned Movement’ in T. Frigyesi, E. Rinvik and M.D. Yahr (eds.), Corticothalamic Projections and Sensorimotor Activities, Raven Press, New York, pp. 449–58Google Scholar
  11. Evarts, E.V. (1973) ‘Motor Cortex Reflexes Associated with Learned Movement’, Science, 179, pp. 501–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Evarts, E.V. and Tanji, J. (1976) `Reflex and Intended Responses in Motor Cortex Pyramidal Tract Neurones of Monkey’, J. Neurophysiol., 37, pp. 1069–80Google Scholar
  13. Evarts, E.V. and Fromm, C. (1978) `The Pyramidal Tract Neuron as a Summating Point in a Closed-loop Control System in the Monkey’ in J.E. Desmedt (ed.), Prog. Clin. Neurophysiol., vol. 4, Karger, BaselGoogle Scholar
  14. Evarts, E.V. Fromm, C., Kroller, J., et al (1983) `Motor Cortex Control of Finely Graded Forces’, J. Neurophysiol., 49, pp. 1199–215Google Scholar
  15. Freund, H.-J. and Hummelsheim, H.J. (1984) Premotor Cortex in Man: Evidence for Innervation of Proximal Limb Muscles’, Erp. Brain, Res, 53, pp. 479–82Google Scholar
  16. Friedman, D.P. and Jones, E.G. (1981) ‘Thalamic Input to Areas 3a and 2 in Monkeys’, J. Neurophysiol., 45, pp. 59–85Google Scholar
  17. Haaxma, R. and Kuypers, H.G.J.M. (1975) ‘Intrahemispheric Cortical Connections and Visual Guidance of Hand and Finger Movements in the Rhesus Monkey, Brain, 98, pp. 239–60Google Scholar
  18. Jankowska, E., Padel, Y. and Tanaka, R. (1975) `Projection of Pyramidal Tract Cells to a- motoneurones Innervating Hindlimb Muscles in the Monkey’, J. Physiol., 249, pp. 637–67Google Scholar
  19. Kalaska, J.F., Caminiti, R. and Georgopoulos, A.P. (1983) `Cortical Mechanisms Related to the Direction of Two-dimensional Arm Movements: Relations in Parietal Area 5 and Comparison with Motor Cortex’, Exp. Brain. Res, 51, pp. 247–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Laplane, D., Talairach, J., Meininger, V., et al (1977) `Clinical Consequences of Corticectomies Involving the Supplementary Motor Area in Man’, J. Neurol. Sci., 34, pp. 301–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lawrence, D.G. and Kuypers, H.G.J.M. (1968) `The Functional Organisation of the Motor System in the Monkey, Parts I and II’, Brain, 91, pp. 1–14 and 15–36Google Scholar
  22. Lewis, R. and Brindley, G.S. (1965) `The Extrapyramidal Cortical Motor Map’, Brain, 88, pp. 397–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Libet, B., Gleason, C.A., Wright, E.W. and Pearl, D.K. (1983) `Time of Conscious Intention to Act in Relation to Onset of Cerebral Activity (Readiness Potential)’, Brain, 106, pp. 623–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Marsden, C.D., Merton, P.A. and Morton, H.B. (1983) `Direct Electrical Stimulation of Corticospinal Pathways Through the Intact Scalp in Human Subjects’, in J.E. Desmedt (ed.), Advances in Neurology, vol. 39, Raven Press. New York, pp. 387–91Google Scholar
  25. MacPherson, J., Wiesendanger, M., Marangoz, C., et al (1982) ‘Corticospinal Neurones of the Supplementary Motor Area of Monkeys. A Single Unit Study’, Erp. Brain. Res, 48, pp. 81–8 (see also 45, pp. 410–16 )Google Scholar
  26. Mountcastle, V.B., Lynch, J.C., Georgopoulos, A. et al (1975) `Posterior Parietal Association Cortex of the Monkey: Command Functions for Operations within Extrapersonal Space’, J. Neurophysiol., 38, pp. 871–908Google Scholar
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  36. Schell, G.R. and Strick, P.L. (1984) `The Origin of Thalamic Inputs to the Arcuate Premotor and Supplementary Motor Area’, J. Neurosci., 4, pp. 539–60Google Scholar
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  39. Responses in the Posterior Parietal Cortex of the Monkey’, Exp. Brain. Res, 58,pp. 144–53 Tanji, J. and Kurata, K. (1985) `Contrasting Neuronal Activity in Supplementary and PrecentralGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© John C. Rothwell 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Rothwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Institute of PsychiatryUniversity of LondonUK

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