Distributed motor commands in the limb premotor network

James C. Houk*, Joyce Keifer, Andrew G. Barto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Neuroanatomical studies have demonstrated extensive interconnections between the motor cortex, red nucleus and cerebellum, forming a premotor network for controlling limb movement. Single-unit studies indicate that command signals for limb movements are distributed broadly throughout this network. Cellular studies have demonstrated multiple recurrent loops in this network, and the presence of excitatory and inhibitory amino acid neurotransmitters. A recent model suggests that movement commands are initiated by sensory inputs to these loops, and that positive feedback, regulated by inhibition from cerebellar Purkinje cells, distributes commands throughout the limb premotor network. This model offers a new framework for exploring relationships between basic neural mechanisms and concepts of motor performance that derive from experimental psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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