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J Neurosci. 2014 Jan 29;34(5):1647-56. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3643-13.2014.

EMG activation patterns associated with high frequency, long-duration intracortical microstimulation of primary motor cortex.

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Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66160.


The delivery of high-frequency, long-duration intracortical microstimulation (HFLD-ICMS) to primary motor cortex (M1) in primates produces hand movements to a common final end-point regardless of the starting hand position (Graziano et al., 2002). We have confirmed this general conclusion. We further investigated the extent to which the (1) temporal pattern, (2) magnitude, and (3) latency of electromyographic (EMG) activation associated with HFLD-ICMS-evoked movements are dependent on task conditions, including limb posture. HFLD-ICMS was applied to layer V sites in M1 cortex. EMG activation with HFLD-ICMS was evaluated while two male rhesus macaques performed a number of tasks in which the starting position of the hand could be varied throughout the workspace. HFLD-ICMS-evoked EMG activity was largely stable across all parameters tested independent of starting hand position. The most common temporal pattern of HFLD-ICMS-evoked EMG activity (58% of responses) was a sharp rise to a plateau. The plateau level was maintained essentially constant for the entire duration of the stimulus train. The plateau pattern is qualitatively different from the largely bell-shaped patterns typical of EMG activity associated with natural goal directed movements (Brown and Cooke, 1990; Hoffman and Strick, 1999). HFLD-ICMS produces relatively fixed parameters of muscle activation independent of limb position. We conclude that joint movement associated with HFLD-ICMS occurs as a function of the length-tension properties of stimulus-activated muscles until an equilibrium between agonist and antagonist muscle force is achieved.


ICMS; corticospinal; electromyography; intracortical microstimulation; motor cortex; motor mapping

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