There is a growing interest in how the brain transforms body part positioning in the extrinsic environment into an intrinsic coordinate frame during motor control. To explore the human brain areas representing intrinsic and extrinsic coordinate frames, this fMRI study examined neural representation of motor cortices while human participants performed isometric wrist flexions and extensions in different forearm postures, thereby applying the same wrist actions (representing the intrinsic coordinate frame) to different movement directions (representing the extrinsic coordinate frame). Using sparse logistic regression, critical voxels involving pattern information that specifically discriminates wrist action (flexion vs. extension) and movement direction (upward vs. downward) were identified within the primary motor and premotor cortices. Analyses of classifier weights further identified contributions of the primary motor cortex to the intrinsic coordinate frame and the ventral and dorsal premotor cortex and supplementary motor area proper to the extrinsic coordinate frame. These results are consistent with existing findings using non-human primates and demonstrate the distributed representations of independent coordinate frames in the human brain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience