Functional parcellation of the lateral mesencephalus. - Inria - Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies du numérique Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Neuroscience Year : 2012

Functional parcellation of the lateral mesencephalus.


The mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR), which includes the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) and the cuneiform nucleus (CN), has been recently identified as a key structure for locomotion and gait control in mammals. However, the function and the precise anatomy of the MLR remain unclear in humans. To study the lateral mesencephalus, we used fMRI in 15 right-handed healthy volunteers performing two tasks: imagine walking in a hallway and imagine an object moving along the same hallway. Both tasks were performed at two different speeds: normal and 30% faster. We identified two distinct networks of cortical activation: one involving motor/premotor cortices and the cerebellum for the walking task and the other involving posterior parietal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices for the object moving task. In the lateral mesencephalus, we found that two different but anatomically connected parts of the MLR were activated during the fast condition of each task. The CN and the dorsal part of the PPN were activated during the fast imaginary walking task, whereas the ventral part of the PPN and the ventral part of the reticular formation were activated while subjects were imagining the object moving fast. Our data suggest that the lateral mesencephalus participates in different aspects of gait in humans, with the CN and dorsal PPN controlling motor aspects of locomotion and the ventral PPN being involved in integrating sensory information.


Medical Imaging

Dates and versions

hal-00817576 , version 1 (24-04-2013)



Carine Karachi, Arthur André, Eric Bertasi, Eric Bardinet, Stéphane Lehéricy, et al.. Functional parcellation of the lateral mesencephalus.. Journal of Neuroscience, 2012, 32 (27), pp.9396-401. ⟨10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0509-12.2012⟩. ⟨hal-00817576⟩
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