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J Neurophysiol. 2011 Jan;105(1):18-27. doi: 10.1152/jn.00778.2010. Epub 2010 Nov 3.

Temporal evolution of oscillatory activity predicts performance in a choice-reaction time reaching task.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, City University of New York Medical School, 138th St. and Convent Ave., New York, NY 10031, USA.


In this study, we characterized the patterns and timing of cortical activation of visually guided movements in a task with critical temporal demands. In particular, we investigated the neural correlates of motor planning and on-line adjustments of reaching movements in a choice-reaction time task. High-density electroencephalography (EEG, 256 electrodes) was recorded in 13 subjects performing reaching movements. The topography of the movement-related spectral perturbation was established across five 250-ms temporal windows (from prestimulus to postmovement) and five frequency bands (from theta to beta). Nine regions of interest were then identified on the scalp, and their activity was correlated with specific behavioral outcomes reflecting motor planning and on-line adjustments. Phase coherence analysis was performed between selected sites. We found that motor planning and on-line adjustments share similar topography in a fronto-parietal network, involving mostly low frequency bands. In addition, activities in the high and low frequency ranges have differential function in the modulation of attention with the former reflecting the prestimulus, top-down processes needed to promote timely responses, and the latter the planning and control of sensory-motor processes.

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