The role of the basal ganglia in bimanual coordination.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 07/2007; 1151:62-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.01.142
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The functional anatomical role of the basal ganglia in bimanual coordination is unknown. Utilizing functional MRI (fMRI) at 3 T, we analyzed brain activity during three different typing tasks. The first task consisted of typing with parallel finger movements (moving left to right with four fingers on both hands). The second task was mirror movements (moving little finger to index finger on both hands), and the third task compared a resting condition with right-handed unimanual typing (moving little finger to index finger). Task dependent BOLD activity in the supplementary motor area (SMA) and dorsolateral premotor areas was observed. In addition, activation patterns were present in the cerebellar vermis during bimanual coordination tasks, with greater activation in the parallel than in the mirror condition. Finally, we also identified activity in the putamen during the tasks described above. Interestingly, putaminal activity was greatest during the period of motor task initiation, and activity during this period was greatest in the parallel condition. Our results suggest a critical role of the basal ganglia in the neural control of bimanual coordination.

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