A challenge for neuroscience is to understand the conscious and unconscious processes underlying construction of willed actions. We investigated the neural substrate of human motor awareness during awake brain surgery. In a first experiment, awake patients performed a voluntary hand motor task and verbally monitored their real-time performance, while different brain areas were transiently impaired by direct electrical stimulation (DES). In a second experiment, awake patients retrospectively reported their motor performance after DES. Based on anatomo-clinical evidence from motor awareness disorders following brain damage, the premotor cortex (PMC) was selected as a target area and the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) as a control area. In both experiments, DES on both PMC and S1 interrupted movement execution, but only DES on PMC dramatically altered the patients’ motor awareness, making them unconscious of the motor arrest. These findings endorse PMC as a crucial hub in the anatomo-functional network of human motor awareness.

Direct electrical stimulation of the premotor cortex shuts down awareness of voluntary actions / L. Fornia, G. Puglisi, A. Leonetti, L. Bello, A. Berti, G. Cerri, F. Garbarini. - In: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. - ISSN 2041-1723. - 11:1(2020 Dec 01). [10.1038/s41467-020-14517-4]

Direct electrical stimulation of the premotor cortex shuts down awareness of voluntary actions

L. Fornia
Primo
;
G. Puglisi
Secondo
;
A. Leonetti;L. Bello;G. Cerri
Penultimo
;
2020

Abstract

A challenge for neuroscience is to understand the conscious and unconscious processes underlying construction of willed actions. We investigated the neural substrate of human motor awareness during awake brain surgery. In a first experiment, awake patients performed a voluntary hand motor task and verbally monitored their real-time performance, while different brain areas were transiently impaired by direct electrical stimulation (DES). In a second experiment, awake patients retrospectively reported their motor performance after DES. Based on anatomo-clinical evidence from motor awareness disorders following brain damage, the premotor cortex (PMC) was selected as a target area and the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) as a control area. In both experiments, DES on both PMC and S1 interrupted movement execution, but only DES on PMC dramatically altered the patients’ motor awareness, making them unconscious of the motor arrest. These findings endorse PMC as a crucial hub in the anatomo-functional network of human motor awareness.
Adult; Awareness; Brain Mapping; Electric Stimulation; Female; Hand; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Motor Activity; Motor Cortex; Retrospective Studies; Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation; Verbal Behavior
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/823310
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