The diversity of functions involving BA6, probably the largest Brodmann’s area, is not surprising. However, its basic function seems to be clear enough: motor sequencing and planning movements. Damage in the lateral premotor area results in kinetic apraxia (loss of the kinetic components of engrams resulting in coarse or unrefined movements with movements that no longer have the appearance of being practiced over time). The SMA portion is related with movement initiation. The left SMA also participates in language initiation and maintenance of voluntary speech production; but, interestingly, it also activates with imagined movements. Linguistic functions of left BA6 are diverse, but a major function evidently is speech motor programming; Broca’s area indeed corresponds to a subdivision of the premotor cortex, and some of the linguistic functions of the lateral premotor area are probable the result of an extended activation of the frontal languages areas. By the same token, participation of BA6 in memory, attention, and executive functions may be due to the activation of an extended brain network, that sometimes involves BA6. The existence of mirrors neurons that activate when observing (and imagining) actions plays an important role in understanding thinking and planning.
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