Investigation of the normal proximal somatomotor system using magnetoencephalography.
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The role of the ipsilateral cortex in proximal muscle control in normal human subjects is still under debate. One clinical finding, rapid recovery of proximal muscle relative to distal muscle use following stroke, has led to the suggestion that the ipsilateral as well as the contralateral motor cortex may be involved in normal proximal muscle control. The primary goal of this project was to identify contralateral and ipsilateral motor cortex activation associated with proximal muscle movement in normal subjects using magnetoencephalography (MEG).We developed protocols for a self-paced bicep motor task and a deltoid, electrical-stimulation somatosensory task. The MEG data were analyzed using automated multi-dipole spatiotemporal modeling techniques to localize the sources and characterize the associated timing of these sources.Reliable contralateral primary motor and somatosensory sources localized to areas consistent with the homunculus. Ipsilateral M1 activation was only found in 2/12 hemispheres.Robust contralateral motor cortex activation and sparse ipsilateral motor cortex activation suggest that the ipsilateral motor cortex is not involved in normal proximal muscle control.The results suggest that proximal and distal muscle control is similar in normal subjects in the sense that proximal muscle control is primarily governed by the contralateral motor cortex.