The Way We Do the Things We Do: How Cognitive Contexts Shape the Neural Dynamics of Motor Areas in Humans


  • Vidal Franck
  • Burle Boris
  • Hasbroucq Thierry


  • Primary motor areas
  • Supplementary motor areas
  • CNV
  • Preparation
  • Reaction time RT

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In spontaneously triggered movements the nature of the executed response has a prominent effect on the intensity and the dynamics of motor areas recruitment. Under time pressure, the time course of motor areas recruitment is necessarily shorter than that of spontaneously triggered movements because RTs may be extremely short. Moreover, different classes of RT tasks allow examining the nature and the dynamics of motor areas activation in different cognitive contexts. In the present article, we review experimental results obtained from high temporal resolution methods (mainly, but not exclusively EEG ones), during voluntary movements; these results indicate that the activity of motor areas not only depends on the nature of the executed movement but also on the cognitive context in which these movements have to be executed.

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