Dynamic involvement of premotor and supplementary motor areas in bimanual pinch force control

Anke Ninija Karabanov, Gaetana Chillemi, Kristoffer Hougaard Madsen, Hartwig Roman Siebner


Many activities of daily living require quick shifts between symmetric and asymmetric bimanual actions. Bimanual motor control has been mostly studied during continuous repetitive tasks, while little research has been carried out in experimental settings requiring dynamic changes in motor output generated by both hands. Here, we performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while healthy volunteers performed a visually guided, bimanual pinch force task. This enabled us to map functional activity and connectivity of premotor and motor areas during bimanual pinch force control in different task contexts, requiring mirror-symmetric or inverse-asymmetric changes in discrete pinch force exerted with the right and left hand. The bilateral dorsal premotor cortex showed increased activity and effective coupling to the ipsilateral supplementary motor area (SMA) in the inverse-asymmetric context compared to the mirror-symmetric context of bimanual pinch force control while the SMA showed increased negative coupling to visual areas. Task-related activity of a cluster in the left caudal SMA also scaled positively with the degree of synchronous initiation of bilateral pinch force adjustments, irrespectively of the task context. The results suggest that the dorsal premotor cortex mediates increasing complexity of bimanual coordination by increasing coupling to the SMA while SMA provides feedback about motor actions to the sensory system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120203
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


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