Motor system evolution and the emergence of high cognitive functions

  title={Motor system evolution and the emergence of high cognitive functions},
  author={Germ{\'a}n Mendoza and Hugo Merchant},
  journal={Progress in Neurobiology},

Multilevel atlas comparisons reveal divergent evolution of the primate brain.

A divergence in primate evolution is suggested, orienting the stereotypical mammalian cerebral proportion toward a frontal and parietal lobe expansion in catarrhini (primate parvorder comprising old world monkeys, apes, and humans).

Neural Encoding and Representation of Time for Sensorimotor Control and Learning

New evidence from behavioral, computational, and neural studies in humans and nonhuman primates is presented, suggesting a pivotal link between sensorimotor control and temporal processing, as well as describing new theoretical frameworks regarding timing in perception and action.

Finding the beat: a neural perspective across humans and non-human primates

It is suggested that a cross-species comparison of behaviours and the neural circuits supporting them sets the stage for a new generation of neurally grounded computational models for beat perception and synchronization.

Evolution of movement process as a key for human cognition

Abstract Movement, from a evolutionary perspective is a need of all species to survive, and it is defined as a complex and important event in both the evolution of species and human development,

Circuits for presaccadic visual remapping.

A review of recent progress in remapping is identified and three hypotheses that may help to guide further investigations into the structure and function of circuits for remapping are identified.

Sensorimotor neural dynamics during isochronous tapping in the medial premotor cortex of the macaque

The findings support the idea that motor cells were responsible for the rhythmic progression of taps in the task, gaining more importance as the trial advanced, while, simultaneously, the sensory‐driven cells lost their functional impact.

The timing network is engaged in the practice of internally driven tapping independently of the learning transfer from perceptual to motor timing

It is found that intense training in an interval discrimination task increased the acuity of time perception in a group of subjects that also showed learning transfer, expressed as a reduction in tapping variability during an internally-driven periodic motor task.

Hierarchical motor control in mammals and machines

The authors argue for a return to hierarchical models of motor control in neuroscience, and relate them to hierarchy in the nervous system, and highlight research themes that they anticipate will be critical in solving challenges at this disciplinary intersection.

The Computational and Neural Basis of Rhythmic Timing in Medial Premotor Cortex

The neural underpinnings of rhythmic behavior, including music and dance, have been studied using the synchronization-continuation task (SCT), where subjects initially tap in synchrony with an



Understanding the parietal lobe syndrome from a neurophysiological and evolutionary perspective

In human and nonhuman primates parietal cortex is formed by a multiplicity of areas and similarities, differences and paradoxes make the study of the evolution and function of parietal lobe a challenging case.

The organization of the cortical motor system: new concepts.

Evolution of somatosensory and motor cortex in primates.

  • J. Kaas
  • Biology, Psychology
    The anatomical record. Part A, Discoveries in molecular, cellular, and evolutionary biology
  • 2004
Early primates retained this basic organization and also had a larger posterior parietal region that mediated sensorimotor functions via connections with motor and premotor areas, and Posterior parietal cortex expanded into more areas that related to frontal cortex.

The Organization and Evolution of Dorsal Stream Multisensory Motor Pathways in Primates

It is suggested that a larger, more significant PPC emerged with the first primates as a region where several ethologically relevant behaviors could be initiated by sensory and intrinsic signals, and mediated via connections with premotor and motor cortex.

In Search of a Unifying Theory of Complex Brain Evolution

  • L. Krubitzer
  • Biology
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2009
Observations of highly conserved features of cortical organization that all mammals share, as well as the convergent evolution of similar features of organization, indicate that the constraints imposed on the neocortex are pervasive and restrict the avenues along which evolution can proceed.

Comparing the function of the corticospinal system in different species: Organizational differences for motor specialization?

Two critical functions of the corticospinal tract are discussed: first, the role of descending projections to the dorsal horn in the control of sensory afferent input, and second, the capacity of direct cortico‐motoneuronal projections to support voluntary execution of skilled hand and finger movements.

Prefrontal cortex in humans and apes: a comparative study of area 10.

The human brain is larger relative to the rest of the brain than it is in the apes, and its supragranular layers have more space available for connections with other higher-order association areas, which suggests that the neural substrates supporting cognitive functions associated with this part of the cortex enlarged and became specialized during hominid evolution.

Functional neuroanatomy of the primate isocortical motor system

An overview of the structure and function of the isocortical part of the motor cortex in the macaque and human brain is given and it is revealed that functional gradients can be discerned within the human non-primary motor cortex.

Mosaic evolution of brain structure in mammals

Comparative data is analysed to demonstrate that mosaic change has been an important factor in brain structure evolution, and shows that brain structures with major anatomical and functional links evolved together independently of evolutionary change in other structures.