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Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Sep 17;7:575. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00575. eCollection 2013.

MEG studies of motor cortex gamma oscillations: evidence for a gamma "fingerprint" in the brain?

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1
Program in Neurosciences and Mental Health, Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

The human motor cortex exhibits transient bursts of high frequency gamma oscillations in the 60-90 Hz range during movement. It has been proposed that gamma oscillations generally reflect local intracortical activity. However, movement-evoked gamma is observed simultaneously in both cortical and subcortical (basal ganglia) structures and thus appears to reflect long-range cortical-subcortical interactions. Recent evidence suggests that gamma oscillations do not simply reflect sensory reafference, but have a facilitative role in movement initiation. Here we summarize contributions of MEG to our understanding of movement-evoked gamma oscillations, including evidence that transient gamma bursts during the performance of specific movements constitutes a stereotyped spectral and temporal pattern within individuals-a gamma "fingerprint"-that is highly stable over time. Although their functional significance remains to be fully understood, movement-evoked gamma oscillations may represent frequency specific tuning within cortical-subcortical networks that can be monitored non-invasively using MEG during a variety of motor tasks, and may provide important information regarding cortical dynamics of ongoing motor control.

KEYWORDS:

MEG; basal ganglia; frequency tuning; gamma oscillations; motor cortex

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