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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2007 Dec;17(6):649-55. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2008.01.007. Epub 2008 Mar 12.

Oscillatory interactions between sensorimotor cortex and the periphery.

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  • 1Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Henry Wellcome Building, Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK.


Field potential recordings from motor cortex show oscillations in the beta-band (approximately 20 Hz), which are coherent with similar oscillations in the activity of contralateral contracting muscles. Recent findings have revised concepts of how this activity might be generated in the cortex, suggesting it could achieve useful computation. Other evidence shows that these oscillations engage not just motor structures, but also return from muscle to the central nervous system via feedback afferent pathways. Somatosensory cortex has strong beta-band oscillations, which are synchronised with those in motor cortex, allowing oscillatory sensory reafference to be interpreted in the context of the oscillatory motor command which produced it.

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