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Exp Brain Res. 2006 Apr;170(4):513-21. Epub 2005 Nov 23.

Dipole analysis of magnetoencephalographic data during continuous shape copying.

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  • 1Brain Sciences Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA. frederick.langheim@gmail.com


High density, whole head magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to study ten healthy human subjects (five females and five males) participating in a continuous shape-copying task. The task was performed with eyes open and fixated. The three-part task began with 45 s of fixation on a blue dot, after which the dot turned red, and a pentagon was presented around it. Subjects continued to fixate on the red dot for 45 s, after which it turned green. The green dot instructed subjects to begin copying the shape continuously for 45 s, without visual feedback, using a joystick mounted at arm's length. Data were collected at 1,017.25 Hz with a 248 sensor axial-gradiometer system. After cardiac artifact subtraction (Leuthold 2003), each corner was identified, and 1 s epochs (centered on each corner) were averaged and filtered from 1 to 44 Hz. Grand average flux maps demonstrated dipolar distributions identifying the most relevant sensors. With these sensors, which were located over flux extrema (Valaki et al. 2004), dipole models were used for source localization within subjects. Consistent dipole locations included the left motor cortex, bilateral parietal, frontal and temporal regions, and the occipital cortex. These results indicate that MEG source-localization may be derived from a limited number of trials of continuous data, and that visual cortex activity may be consistently present during continuous motor activity despite the absence of novel visual stimulation and eye-movements.

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