KITAZAWA Shigeru ≪Brain Physiology≫ “How the brain improves motor control”
Reaching movements are subject to adaptation in response to errors induced by prisms or external perturbations. Motor cortical circuits have been hypothesized to provide execution errors that drive adaptation, but human imaging studies to date have reported that execution errors are encoded in parietal association areas. Thus, little evidence has been uncovered that supports the motor hypothesis. Here, we show that both primary motor and premotor cortices encode information on end-point errors in reaching. We further show that post-movement microstimulation to these regions caused trial-by-trial increases in errors, which subsided exponentially when the stimulation was terminated. The results indicate for the first time that motor cortical circuits provide error signals that drive trial-by-trial adaptation in reaching movements.