440.600 Core Course
Overview: This course
introduces the human central nervous system to first year medical students at
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
The lectures that are linked here introduce the motor system and focus on
the spinal structures, the posterior parietal structures, and the motor
structures of the frontal lobe.
Lectures on the Motor System
- The spinal motor system
This lecture introduces
the segmental structures of the spinal cord; paralysis due to spinal injury;
recovery of function via prosthetics; muscles and muscle fibers; change to
muscles due to plasticity and exercise; polio; afferent system of the
muscles; short-latency and long-latency reflexes; time delays in the
reflexes and their voluntary control; effect of brain lesions on voluntary
control of reflexes; and sensory neuropathy.
Lecture notes, slides.
- The descending tracts of the motor
This lecture introduces the
corticospinal, rubrospinal, pontine and medullary reticulospinal,
and vestibulospinal tracts. We will also
review motor control of split-brain patients; concept of alien hand;
narcolepsy; and effects of lesions at various levels of the descending
- The visuomotor
system of the posterior parietal cortex
lecture and the next focus on control of reaching movements. In the
posterior parietal cortex (PPC), position of our hand and objects that we
are attending are represented in retinocentric coordinates. This
information is updated when the eyes move. The lecture introduces
neural coding of object and hand position; gain fields; movement planning
during a delay period; memory of movement plans; insensitivity to movement
forces; computing of a hand displacement vector; alignment of
proprioception with vision; PPC lesions and spatial neglect including new
methods of rehabilitation of neglect, apraxia, the mirror neuron system
and understanding action of others.
Lecture notes, slides.
- The motor system of
the frontal lobe
lecture introduces motor system of the frontal lobe by focusing on control
of reaching movements. We introduce the premotor cortex and neural
coding of movements with respect to the hand; the motor cortex and
sensitivity to movement forces; stimulation and motor maps; reorganization
of the motor maps due to peripheral nerve damage; mechanisms of neural
reorganization; phantom limb pain; effect of stroke on the motor maps;
effect of rehabilitation; motor learning and its effect on the cortical
maps; function of the premotor and supplementary motor areas.
Lecture notes, slides Updated