Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Cortical Motor Pathways

  • Christina R. MarmarouEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_309


Corticospinal tract; Pyramidal tract; Voluntary motor tract


The cortical motor pathway consists of four regions of the cerebral cortex (primary motor cortex, posterior parietal cortex, premotor cortex, and supplementary motor cortex) whose neuronal cell bodies are located in layer V (five) and whose projections are involved with the execution of muscle contraction largely on the contralateral side of the body.

Current Knowledge

The cortical motor pathway describes a trajectory of fibers whose cells of origin are located in layer V of the cerebral motor cortex. The cerebral motor cortex is a term that describes the four main areas of the cerebral cortex that contribute to the planning, control, and execution of voluntary motor fibers: the primary motor cortex (M1), secondary motor cortices, premotor cortex, and the supplementary motor area (SMA).

Cortical Location and Overall Function

The primary motor cortex (M1) is located in the frontal lobe of the brain and the...

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References and Readings

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  4. Haines, D. E. (2004). Neuroanatomy: An atlas of structures, sections, and systems. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkens.Google Scholar
  5. Kandel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H., & Jessel, T. M. (1991). Principles of neuroscience. Norwalk: Appleton and Lange.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NeurosurgeryVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA