Whishaw, Ian

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    Two types of withdraw-to-eat movement related to food size in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis): insights into the evolution of the visual control of hand shaping in anthropoid primates
    (Sciknow Publications, 2022) Hirsche, Laurie A.; Cenni, Camilla; Leca, Jean-Baptiste; Whishaw, Ian
    The details of the evolutionary steps in the transition from nonvisual guidance of hand movements for feeding, as displayed by many non-primate species, to visual guidance of hand movements in primates are sparse. Contemporary theory holds that a small-bodied stem primate evolved visual control of the reach to guide a hand to obtain small insects and fruit items from the terminal branches of trees. The subsequent evolution of the visual control of hand and finger shaping movements of the grasp of anthropoids is uncertain. The present study finds that Balinese long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), video recorded while spontaneously eating at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud in Indonesia, displayed two types of hand movements associated with two types of withdraw movements to place food items in the mouth. Small food items were brought directly to the mouth with hand supination, often with no visual monitoring after grasping. Large food items that protruded from the hand were visually monitored to orient the food item on the initial part of the withdraw but visually disengaged with a head movement and often a blink before the item was placed in the mouth. The results are discussed in relation to the idea that visual information related to orientating food items of varying sizes to an appropriate position in the mouth contributed to the evolution of the visual control of hand shaping skills in anthropoid primates.
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    The syntactic organization of pasta-eating and the structure of reach movements in the head-fixed mouse
    (Nature Research, 2017) Whishaw, Ian Q.; Faraji, Jamshid; Kuntz, Jessica R.; Agha, Behroo M.; Metz, Gerlinde A. S.; Mohajerani, Majid H.
    Mice are adept in the use of their hands for activities such as feeding, which has led to their use in investigations of the neural basis of skilled-movements. We describe the syntactic organization of pasta-eating and the structure of hand movements used for pasta manipulation by the head-fixed mouse. An ethogram of mice consuming pieces of spaghetti reveals that they eat in bite/chew bouts. A bout begins with pasta lifted to the mouth and then manipulated with hand movements into a preferred orientation for biting. Manipulation involves many hand release-reach movements, each with a similar structure. A hand is advanced from a digit closed and flexed (collect) position to a digit extended and open position (overgrasp) and then to a digit closed and flexed (grasp) position. Reach distance, hand shaping, and grasp patterns featuring precision grasps or whole hand grasps are related. To bite, mice display hand preference and asymmetric grasps; one hand (guide grasp) directs food into the mouth and the other stabilizes the pasta for biting. When chewing after biting, the hands hold the pasta in a symmetric resting position. Pasta-eating is organized and features structured hand movements and so lends itself to the neural investigation of skilled-movements.
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    Different evolutionary origins for the reach and the grasp: an explanation for dual visuomotor channels in primate parietofrontal cortex
    (Frontiers Media, 2013) Karl, Jenni M.; Whishaw, Ian Q.
    The Dual Visuomotor Channel Theory proposes that manual prehension consists of two temporally integrated movements, each subserved by distinct visuomotor pathways in occipitoparietofrontal cortex. The Reach is mediated by a dorsomedial pathway and transports the hand in relation to the target’s extrinsic properties (i.e., location and orientation). The Grasp is mediated by a dorsolateral pathway and opens, preshapes, and closes the hand in relation to the target’s intrinsic properties (i.e., size and shape). Here, neuropsychological, developmental, and comparative evidence is reviewed to show that the Reach and the Grasp have different evolutionary origins. First, the removal or degradation of vision causes prehension to decompose into its constituent Reach and Grasp components, which are then executed in sequence or isolation. Similar decomposition occurs in optic ataxic patients following cortical injury to the Reach and the Grasp pathways and after corticospinal tract lesions in non-human primates. Second, early non-visual PreReach and PreGrasp movements develop into mature Reach and Grasp movements but are only integrated under visual control after a prolonged developmental period. Third, comparative studies reveal many similarities between stepping movements and the Reach and between food handling movements and the Grasp, suggesting that the Reach and the Grasp are derived from different evolutionary antecedents. The evidence is discussed in relation to the ideas that dual visuomotor channels in primate parietofrontal cortex emerged as a result of distinct evolutionary origins for the Reach and the Grasp; that foveated vision in primates serves to integrate the Reach and the Grasp into a single prehensile act; and, that flexible recombination of discrete Reach and Grasp movements under various forms of sensory and cognitive control can produce adaptive behavior
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    A proposal for a rat model of spinal cord injury featuring the rubrospinal tract and its contributions to locomotion and skilled hand movement
    (Frontiers Media, 2016) Morris, Renee; Whishaw, Ian Q.
    Spinal cord injury and repair is a dynamic field of research. The development of reliable animal models of traumatic spinal cord injury has been invaluable in providing a wealth of information regarding the pathological consequences and recovery potential of this condition. A number of injury models have been instrumental in the elaboration and the validation of therapeutic interventions aimed at reversing this once thought permanent condition. In general, the study of spinal cord injury and repair is made difficult by both its anatomical complexity and the complexity of the behavior it mediates. In this perspective paper, we suggest a new model for spinal cord investigation that simplifies problems related to both the functional and anatomical complexity of the spinal cord. We begin by reviewing and contrasting some of the most common animal models used for investigating spinal cord dysfunction. We then consider two widely used models of spinal deficit-recovery, one involving the corticospinal tracts (CTS) and the other the rubrospinal tract (RST). We argue that the simplicity of the function of the RST makes it a useful model for studying the cord and its functional repair. We also reflecton two obstacles that have hindered progress in the pre-clinical field, delaying translation to the clinical setup. The first is recovery of function without reconnection of the transected descending fibers and the second is the use of behavioral paradigms that are not under the control of the descending fiber pathway under scrutiny.
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    Arm and hand movement: current knowledge and future perspective
    (Frontiers Media, 2015) Morris, Renee; Whishaw, Ian Q.
    [No abstract available]