Spatiotemporal motor processing

Annals of the New york Academy of Sciences - 1993-06-01Ashe J, Georgopoulos AP10.1111/j.1749-6632.1993.tb22968.x
Many studies of motor function deal with essentially static aspects of motor control; for example, the representation of motor output in maps, the encoding of motor parameters in the discharge of single cells, and the effect of behavioral context on neuronal activity. These questions do not encompass time as a crucial variable. However, actual motor performance always evolves in time. Moreover, daily activities, from eat to playing, depend critically on efficient processing of sensorimotor information. The devastating effect of a general slowness of this processing can be seen in patients with Parkinson's disease, who, without medication, are quite incapacitated in practically all everyday activities. In this paper we focus on the spatiotemporal processing of sensory-motor information in the motor cortex and the basal ganglia within the context of simple motor acts, such as movements to a target, as well as in more complicated tasks, such as mental rotation. Moreover, we treat the temporal processing of movements more formally within the context of information theory.