Motor Cortex

The proposed research will investigate the neural basis of coordination in reach-to-grasp and feeding/chewing systems.  Behaviorally we will study reaching and grasping for food, and-to-mouth feeding, ingestion, and mastication.  We will then investigate how single neurons and spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal activity in the orofacial area of primary motor cortex (MIof), the arm area of primary motor cortex (MIa), and ventral premotor cortex (PMv) encode these behaviors.  We propose to study both reach-grasp and feeding systems because by comparing cortical encoding of movement and muscle activity in the two systems we aim to identify common principles underlying cortical control of behavior in particular coordination within and between systems.  The feeding and reach-to-grasp systems are especially appropriate for studies of coordination because visually guided manual food acquisition (insect predation or grasping of small fruits) is an ancient adaptive complex in primates (Roos & Martin, 2006) and mechanisms of coordination between the systems are therefore likely to be well-developed.

Other Grants

Sarah C. Goetz, Ph.D., Duke University
Uncovering a Novel Role for Primary Cilia in Eph/Ephrin Signaling in Neurons
2022 Seed GrantSarah C. Goetz, Ph.D. Duke University Women’s Council Seed Grant Primary cilia are tiny projections from cells that function like an antenna- they receive and may also send…
Erin M. Gibson, Ph.D., Stanford University
Circadian Regulation of Oligodendroglial Senescence and Metabolomics in Aging
2022 Seed GrantErin M. Gibson, Ph.D.Stanford University The brain consists of two main classes of cells, neurons and glia. Glia make-up more than half of the cells in the brain…
Yvette Fisher, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Dynamic Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity During Spatial Exploration
2022 Seed GrantYvette Fisher, Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley The Virginia (Ginny) & Roger Carlson Seed Grant Cognitive flexibility is critical for appropriately adjusting thoughts and behaviors to meet changing demands…
Byoung Il Bae, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Unique Vulnerability of Developing Human Cerebral Cortex to Loss of Centrosomal Protein
2022 Seed GrantByoung Il Bae, Ph.D.University of Connecticut Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation Seed Grant The cerebral cortex is the largest and outermost part of the human brain. It is…