The evolution of cortical fields associated with movements of the body
Primates have several unique behaviors among extant mammals. An example includes bringing food to the mouth with hands or tools versus bringing the mouth to food. With these changes in motor behaviors are associated changes in the brain. Cortical motor fields have become more complex and additional specialized cortical areas have emerged, each of which contribute to how primates plan, generate, and monitor body movements. However, based on comparative studies, it is thought that the cortical motor network of early mammals consisted of an “amalgam” where the motor field overlapped with somatosensory cortex. This talk will address how new cortical motor fields may have emerged in primates, and will readdress the concept of the “amalgam” found in early mammals.