Hand Function and the Neocortex.pdf

Hand Function and the Neocortex

To watch a curious young macaque explore and manipulate his immediate surroundings must surely delight and amaze us all. The monkey selects a particular objectfor scrutiny, reaches out and grasps it, handles it delicately with the fingers or more forcibly with the hand, scans the various surfaces with the fin­ ger pads, and finally identifies it. If we compare this monkeys adroitness and discriminative capacities with our own, at once we have a concise statement of important biological similarities and differences among primates. While there are species diffe­ rences in the functional anatomy of the hand, in tactile sensibi­ lity, and in the control of hand movements, these are relatively minor. The real difference in the dexterity of the two species relates to the complexity of the task that is executed: no monkey, and for that matter only one man in a century, paints a Guernica, although an astute investigator can readily teach the monkey to flourish a brush and paint a few strokes. The goal of the symposium, of which this book is a summary, was to examine current knowledge of those cortical mecha­ nisms that determine the sensorimotor functions of the hand that are common to man and the monkey - mechanisms accessible to analysis by recording the responses of single cortical neurons while the monkey explores and manipulates his surroundings.

Psychology Definition of NEOCORTEX: is part of the cerebral cortex containing six layers of cells. The neocortex includes the primary sensory, motor cortex and the association cortex.

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Hand Function and the Neocortex.pdf


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Sofia Voigt

E-mail: [email protected] Evolution of the neocortex. Jon H. Kaas. Humans ... share brain features and functions ... visually guided hand and body. Certain cortical regions have somewhat simpler functions, termed the primary cortices. These include areas directly receiving sensory input (vision, hearing, ...

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Neocortex: The newer portion of the cerebral cortex that serves as the center of higher mental functions for humans. The neocortex contains some 100 billion cells, each with 1,000 to 10,000 synapses (connections), and has roughly 100 million meters of wiring, all packed into a structure the size and thickness of a formal dinner napkin. Neocortex – Wikipedia

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