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Abstract Submission Deadline 24 February 2023
Manuscript Submission Deadline 26 May 2023

The ability of primates to survive in a complex environment is largely due to the remarkable development of their sensorimotor system, which constantly integrates the physical properties of the surrounding world with the inner motivational states allowing adaptive behaviors. Studies from the last 30 years have shown that, contrary to what was previously thought, the sensorimotor system is not an island on its own but is closely linked to the brain regions that regulate cognitive functions and emotional behaviors.
Although 30 millions of years of independent evolution between human and non-human primates led to a significant difference in their behavioral repertoire and social architecture, comparative observations indicated that Human and its ancestor share common phylogenetically older mechanisms through which cognition and emotion continuously modulate the sensorimotor system. The presence of these building block mechanisms in humans is paralleled by a great expansion of the frontal, parietal, and temporal areas leading to a significant sophistication of the sensorimotor repertoire, which represents the substrate through which Human species experienced a rapid cultural evolutionary process.

In this regard, important examples are represented by the unique human praxis abilities through which cognition directs motor acts, and by the top-down mechanism through which the neocortex modulates basic emotions and decision-making, allowing us to create the enormous variety of motor skills and socio-emotional behaviors that characterize our species.

Although it is widely accepted that understanding the divergences and convergences of these mechanisms among primates means understanding humankind, their detailed anatomo-functional substrates are only partially understood.

This scenario still leaves space for the following question: to what extent is there a continuity between us and our ancestors?

The aim of this Research Topic is to fill this gap by purposing to describe the functional and anatomical common (shared among primates) and differential (unique in human primates) aspects through which cognition and emotion shape the sensorimotor processes in primates.

To this aim we welcome authors to address this topic with electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies in humans or/and in non-human primates whose goal is to understand the anatomo-functional gap between human and non-human primates in interfacing cognition and emotion with the neural substrates controlling the sensorimotor mechanisms.

Keywords: decision-making, sensorimotor system, emotion, cognition, motor cognition, primates


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The ability of primates to survive in a complex environment is largely due to the remarkable development of their sensorimotor system, which constantly integrates the physical properties of the surrounding world with the inner motivational states allowing adaptive behaviors. Studies from the last 30 years have shown that, contrary to what was previously thought, the sensorimotor system is not an island on its own but is closely linked to the brain regions that regulate cognitive functions and emotional behaviors.
Although 30 millions of years of independent evolution between human and non-human primates led to a significant difference in their behavioral repertoire and social architecture, comparative observations indicated that Human and its ancestor share common phylogenetically older mechanisms through which cognition and emotion continuously modulate the sensorimotor system. The presence of these building block mechanisms in humans is paralleled by a great expansion of the frontal, parietal, and temporal areas leading to a significant sophistication of the sensorimotor repertoire, which represents the substrate through which Human species experienced a rapid cultural evolutionary process.

In this regard, important examples are represented by the unique human praxis abilities through which cognition directs motor acts, and by the top-down mechanism through which the neocortex modulates basic emotions and decision-making, allowing us to create the enormous variety of motor skills and socio-emotional behaviors that characterize our species.

Although it is widely accepted that understanding the divergences and convergences of these mechanisms among primates means understanding humankind, their detailed anatomo-functional substrates are only partially understood.

This scenario still leaves space for the following question: to what extent is there a continuity between us and our ancestors?

The aim of this Research Topic is to fill this gap by purposing to describe the functional and anatomical common (shared among primates) and differential (unique in human primates) aspects through which cognition and emotion shape the sensorimotor processes in primates.

To this aim we welcome authors to address this topic with electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies in humans or/and in non-human primates whose goal is to understand the anatomo-functional gap between human and non-human primates in interfacing cognition and emotion with the neural substrates controlling the sensorimotor mechanisms.

Keywords: decision-making, sensorimotor system, emotion, cognition, motor cognition, primates


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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