Functional somatotopy in sensorimotor cortex

Martha Flanders

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In an effort to understand the highly distributed somatotopy of primary motor cortex, this review draws on principles derived from studies of auditory, visual and somatosensory cortical areas. In each case, a behaviorally important feature or function is overlaid in multiple locations on an underlying topographic map of the peripheral sensory surface. Recent studies of hand muscle synergies suggest the types of two-dimensional functional axes that might reasonably be mapped to the two-dimensional surface of the primary motor cortex. However, other research emphasizes that even a functional somatotopy must be extremely flexible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-316
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2005


  • Hand representation
  • Homunculus
  • Motor cortex
  • Muscle synergy


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