Movement is the essential function of the nervous system, it is critical for all aspects of survival. The versatility and complexity of dexterous movements put these behaviors at a pinnacle of motor control. The Hantman lab is attempting to understand how activity patterns over the nervous system underlie dexterous motor control.
Dexterous movements serve the major functions of the brain, perception and manipulation of the world. Considering the range of possible actions and the complexity of musculoskeletal arrangements, control of the hand is an amazing achievement of the nervous system. Dexterous behavior involves understanding objects in the world, developing appropriate plans, converting those plans into appropriate motor commands, and adaptively reacting to feedback. The myriad of these underlying operations is likely performed by a diverse set of neural circuits. By combining anatomy, physiology, and specific (genetic and temporal) manipulations, my lab hopes to identify and understand the neural elements responsible for dexterous motor control. Currently, we focus on the role of the cortico-cerebellar loop in a skilled reach-grab-eat task in the rodent.