Recruitment of ipsilateral and contralateral upper limb muscles following stimulation of the cortical motor areas in the monkey

Lynnette R. Montgomery, Wendy J. Herbert, John A. Buford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


It is well established that cortical motor stimulation results in contralateral upper limb (UL) activity. Motor responses are also elicited in the ipsilateral UL, though controversy surrounds the significance of these effects. Evidence suggests that ipsilateral muscle activity is more common following the stimulation of the supplementary motor area (SMA) and dorsal premotor area (PMd), compared to the primary motor cortex (M1), but none of these studies compared effects from all three areas in the same subjects. This has limited our understanding of how these three cortical motor areas influence ipsilateral UL muscle activity. The purpose of this study was to determine the contribution of each of three cortical areas to the production of ipsilateral and contralateral UL. To maximize sensitivity and allow comparison of the effects across cortical areas, we applied the same stimulation parameters (36 pulse stimulus train at 330 Hz) to M1, SMA, and PMd in three adult M. fascicularis and recorded electromyographic (EMG) activity from muscles in the trunk and both ULs. Of all muscle responses identified, 24 % were ipsilateral to the stimulation, mostly in proximal muscles. The highest percentage of ipsilateral responses occurred following SMA stimulation. We also observed that PMd stimulation elicited more suppression responses compared with stimulation of M1 and SMA. The results indicate that ipsilateral motor areas provide a significant contribution to cortical activation of the trunk and proximal UL muscles. These understudied pathways may represent a functional substrate for future strategies to shape UL recovery following injury or stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-164
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Corticospinal
  • Motor control
  • Reaching
  • Stimulus trains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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