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Neuroimage. 2006 Nov 1;33(2):618-27. Epub 2006 Sep 11.

Digit displacement, not object compliance, underlies task dependent modulations in human corticomuscular coherence.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3DY, UK.


Human sensorimotor EEG shows oscillatory activity at approximately 10 and approximately 20 Hz; the latter frequency is coherent with contralateral EMG. The functional significance of this activity is obscure. A recent study found that corticomuscular coherence varied systematically with increasing lever compliance during a precision grip task. However, since subjects exerted the same force in all conditions, changes in lever compliance also produced changes in how far the digits moved. In this study, we disambiguated whether corticomuscular coherence modulates with object compliance or digit displacement. Subjects performed a precision grip task. Under computer control, the manipulandum could simulate a load of arbitrary compliance (spring constant). Subjects were required to produce a hold-ramp-hold profile of lever displacement, under visual feedback. Subjects first performed tasks with different sized lever movements, against an isotonic load (zero spring constant). Corticomuscular coherence was calculated between left sensorimotor EEG and EMG from five right hand and forearm muscles during the hold phase of the task. Coherence magnitude showed a clear dependence on the extent of digit displacement. In the next task, lever compliance instantaneously changed at the onset of the second hold phase of the task. Corticomuscular coherence modulated not with lever compliance during the analysed hold phase, but with digit displacement during the preceding ramp movement. These data suggest that human corticomuscular coherence is directly related to digit displacement during the preceding movement and not to object compliance. We speculate that corticomuscular coherence may reflect a sensorimotor recalibration, providing updated information about system state following movement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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