The syntactic organization of pasta-eating and the structure of reach movements in the head-fixed mouse
Whishaw, Ian Q.
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.
Sherpa Romeo green journal. Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) applies.
Motor cortex , Neural circuits , Hand movements , Pasta-eating , Skilled-movements
Whishaw, I. Q., Faraji, J., Kuntz, J. R., Agha, B. M., Metz, G. A. S., & Mohajerani, M. H. (2017). The syntactic organization of pasta-eating and the structure of reach movements in the head-fixed mouse. Scientific Reports, 7, 10987. DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-10796-y