Coordinate transformation is first completed downstream of primary motor cortex

Yuval Yanai, Nofya Adamit, Zvi Israel, Ran Harel, Yifat Prut*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


It was suggested previously that the transformation of action to muscle-based coding is completed in the primary motor cortex (M1). This is consistent with a predominant direct pathway leading from M1 to motoneurons. Accordingly, spinal segmental interneurons that are located downstream to M1 are expected to show muscle-like coding properties. We addressed this hypothesis using simultaneous recording of cortical and spinal activity in primates performing an isometric wrist task with multiple targets and two hand postures. Here we show that while the motor cortex follows an intermediate coordinate frame, spinal interneurons already follow a muscle-like coordinate frame. We thus suggest that the final steps in coordinate transformation of motor commands take place downstream of M1 via corticospinal interactions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1728-1732
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2008


  • Coordinate frames
  • Directional tuning
  • EMG
  • Motor control
  • Motor cortex
  • Spinal cord


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