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From vision to hand action

Göttingen neuroscientists decipher how our brain controls grasping movements (August 2016)

Our hands are highly developed grasping organs that are in continuous use. Long before we stir our first cup of coffee in the morning, our hands have executed a multitude of grasps. Directing a pen between our thumb and index finger over a piece of paper with absolute precision appears as easy as catching a ball or operating a doorknob. The neuroscientists Stefan Schaffelhofer and Hansjörg Scherberger of the German Primate Center (DPZ) and the Bernstein Center Göttingen have studied how the brain controls the different grasping movements. In their research with rhesus macaques, it was found that the three brain areas AIP, F5 and M1 that are responsible for planning and executing hand movements, perform different tasks within their neural network. The AIP area is mainly responsible for processing visual features of objects, such as their size and shape. This optical information is translated into motor commands in the F5 area. The M1 area is ultimately responsible for turning this motor commands into actions. The results of the study contribute to the development of neuroprosthetics that should help paralyzed patients to regain their hand functions. The study has been published in the journal eLife.

Please read more in the complete press release by the German Primate Center.

Vom Sehen zum Greifen_image_01-08-16

Hand movements in the primate brain are controlled by the brain areas AIP, F5 and M1.
Copyright: Stefan Shaffelhofer

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