Basal ganglia mechanisms underlying precision grip force control

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Abstract

The classic grasping network has been well studied but thus far the focus has been on cortical regions in the control of grasping. Sub-cortically, specific nuclei of the basal ganglia have been shown to be important in different aspects of precision grip force control but these findings have not been well integrated. In this review, we outline the evidence to support the hypothesis that key basal ganglia nuclei are involved in parameterizing specific properties of precision grip force. We review literature from different areas of human and animal work that converges to build a case for basal ganglia involvement in the control of precision gripping. Following on from literature showing anatomical connectivity between the basal ganglia nuclei and key nodes in the cortical grasping network, we suggest a conceptual framework for how the basal ganglia could function within the grasping network, particularly as it relates to the control of precision grip force.

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