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Exp Brain Res. 2012 Nov;223(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s00221-012-3226-1. Epub 2012 Sep 22.

Electrocorticographic (ECoG) correlates of human arm movements.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cortech Solutions and Washington University in Saint Louis, 1409 Audubon Blvd, Wilmington, NC 28403, USA.


Invasive and non-invasive brain-computer interface (BCI) studies have long focused on the motor cortex for kinematic control of artificial devices. Most of these studies have used single-neuron recordings or electroencephalography (EEG). Electrocorticography (ECoG) is a relatively new recording modality in BCI research that has primarily been built on successes in EEG recordings. We built on prior experiments related to single-neuron recording and quantitatively compare the extent to which different brain regions reflect kinematic tuning parameters of hand speed, direction, and velocity in both a reaching and tracing task in humans. Hand and arm movement experiments using ECoG have shown positive results before, but the tasks were not designed to tease out which kinematics are encoded. In non-human primates, the relationships among these kinematics have been more carefully documented, and we sought to begin elucidating that relationship in humans using ECoG. The largest modulation in ECoG activity for direction, speed, and velocity representation was found in the primary motor cortex. We also found consistent cosine tuning across both tasks, to hand direction and velocity in the high gamma band (70-160 Hz). Thus, the results of this study clarify the neural substrates involved in encoding aspects of motor preparation and execution and confirm the important role of the motor cortex in BCI applications.

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