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Modulation of corticomuscular coherence by peripheral stimuli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)275-292
Number of pages18
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume219
Issue number2
DOIs
PublishedJun 2012

King's Authors

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of peripheral afferent stimuli on the synchrony between brain and muscle activity as estimated by corticomuscular coherence (CMC). Electroencephalogram (EEG) from sensorimotor cortex and electromyogram (EMG) from two intrinsic hand muscles were recorded during a key grip motor task, and the modulation of CMC caused by afferent electrical and mechanical stimulation was measured. The particular stimuli used were graded single-pulse electrical stimuli, above threshold for perception and activating cutaneous afferents, applied to the dominant or non-dominant index finger, and a pulsed mechanical displacement of the gripped object causing the subject to feel as if the object may be dropped. Following electrical stimulation of the dominant index finger, the level of beta-range (14-36 Hz) CMC was reduced in a stimulus intensity-dependent fashion for up to 400 ms post-stimulus, then returned with greater magnitude before falling to baseline levels over 2.5 s, outlasting the reflex and evoked changes in EMG and EEG. Subjects showing no baseline beta-range CMC nevertheless showed post-stimulus increases in beta-range CMC with the same time course as those with baseline beta-range CMC. The mechanical stimuli produced similar modulation of beta-range CMC. Electrical stimuli to the non-dominant index finger produced no significant increase in beta-range CMC. The results suggest that both cutaneous and proprioceptive afferents have access to circuits generating CMC, but that only a functionally relevant stimulus produces significant modulation of the background beta-range CMC, providing further evidence that beta-range CMC has an important role in sensorimotor integration.

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