Spatially dynamic recurrent information flow across long-range dorsal motor network encodes selective motor goals

Peter E. Yoo, Maureen A. Hagan, Sam E. John, Nicholas L. Opie, Roger J. Ordidge, Terence J. O'Brien, Thomas J. Oxley, Bradford A. Moffat, Yan T. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Performing voluntary movements involves many regions of the brain, but it is unknown how they work together to plan and execute specific movements. We recorded high-resolution ultra-high-field blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal during a cued ankle-dorsiflexion task. The spatiotemporal dynamics and the patterns of task-relevant information flow across the dorsal motor network were investigated. We show that task-relevant information appears and decays earlier in the higher order areas of the dorsal motor network then in the primary motor cortex. Furthermore, the results show that task-relevant information is encoded in general initially, and then selective goals are subsequently encoded in specifics subregions across the network. Importantly, the patterns of recurrent information flow across the network vary across different subregions depending on the goal. Recurrent information flow was observed across all higher order areas of the dorsal motor network in the subregions encoding for the current goal. In contrast, only the top-down information flow from the supplementary motor cortex to the frontoparietal regions, with weakened recurrent information flow between the frontoparietal regions and bottom-up information flow from the frontoparietal regions to the supplementary cortex were observed in the subregions encoding for the opposing goal. We conclude that selective motor goal encoding and execution rely on goal-dependent differences in subregional recurrent information flow patterns across the long-range dorsal motor network areas that exhibit graded functional specialization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2635-2650
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • 7 T
  • Classification
  • Decoding
  • FMRI
  • Goal encoding
  • Information flow
  • Lower limb
  • Motor network
  • Motor planning

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