Not often regarded as an intelligence, body intelligence is the ability to use the body in highly differentiated and skilled ways and the ability to use other objects skillfully.25 Examples include acting, the skilled movements of the hands and fingers of an instrumentalist, ballet, and gymnastics. Figure 2-12 shows the primary areas for motor skills and control.
The Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) predetermines the general path of a movement or series of movements. Even as simple a task as waving good-bye can become impossible to perform and impossible to learn if the SMA is damaged.26 The premotor cortex and the basal ganglia aid in the planning and implementation of the path of the movement. The posterior parietal lobe, important in spatial ability, interacts with the premotor cortex.
The process of movement actually is accomplished with two loops through the system: a complex loop and a motor loop. The complex loop begins with instructions from the frontal lobes. The instructions then are fed through the basal ganglia and caudate nucleus portions and are sent to the thalamus. Then the information is fed back through the frontal lobes and into the motor loop. The motor loop begins with M1, where fine motor control is located. Some of the neurons located in Ml have direct access to the spinal column. The cerebellum is included in the pathway, because it appears to be the site of automatic motor responses (those skills that are "second nature").
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