Area-specific thalamocortical synchronization underlies the transition from motor planning to execution

Abdulraheem Nashef, Rea Mitelman, Ran Harel, Mati Joshua, Yifat Prut*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We studied correlated firing between motor thalamic and cortical cells in monkeys performing a delayed-response reaching task. Simultaneous recording of thalamocortical activity revealed that around movement onset, thalamic cells were positively correlated with cell activity in the primary motor cortex but negatively correlated with the activity of the premotor cortex. The differences in the correlation contrasted with the average neural responses, which were similar in all three areas. Neuronal correlations reveal functional cooperation and opposition between the motor thalamus and distinct motor cortical areas with specific roles in planning vs. performing movements. Thus, by enhancing and suppressing motor and premotor firing, the motor thalamus can facilitate the transition from a motor plan to execution.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2012658118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 9 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Cerebellum
  • Motor cortex
  • Motor thalamus
  • Movement initiation
  • Nonhuman primates


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