The cognitive side of M1

1University of Udine, Italy 2IRCCS E.Medea, Italy The primary motor cortex (M1) is traditionally implicated in voluntary movement control. In order to test the hypothesis that there is a functional topography of M1 activation in studies where it has been implicated in higher cognitive tasks we performed activation-likelihood-estimation (ALE) meta-analyses of functional neuroimaging experiments reporting M1 activation in relation to six cognitive functional categories for which there was a sufficient number of studies to include, namely motor imagery, working memory, mental rotation, social/emotion/empathy, language and auditory processing. The six categories activated different sub-sectors of M1, either bilaterally or lateralized to one hemisphere. Notably, the activations found in the M1 of the left or right hemisphere detected in our study were unlikely due to button presses. In fact, all contrasts were…

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