M4 | Descending control – Lateral system

Descending motor pathways consist of medial and lateral systems. This module focuses on major components of the lateral system of descending motor pathways.

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  1. Outline the functional organization of the thalamus.
  2. Describe the overall functional architecture of cerebral cortex.
  3. Discuss Brodmann areas of cerebral cortex.
  4. Follow the continuation of rubrospinal and lateral corticospinal tracts in sequential sections of the brain.
  5. Outline the role of the red nucleus in the control of reaching to grasp.
  6. Discuss the role of primary motor cortex (M1), premotor area (PM), and supplementary motor area (SMA) in control of movement.
  7. Discuss the pathophysiology of stroke in cerebral cortical motor areas.



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KINES 531: Neural Control of Movement by Peter L.E. van Kan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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