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Brain Res Brain Res Protoc. 1997 Feb;1(1):13-22.

The bereitschaftspotential paradigm in investigating voluntary movement organization in humans using magnetoencephalography (MEG).

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  • 1Neurologic University Clinic, Neurocentre, Freiburg, Germany.


In 1965, Kornhuber and Deecke first described the bereitschaftspotential (BP), a paradigm for investigating the organization of voluntary movement in humans, using electroencephalography (EEG). This paradigm has since been used in many studies for investigating motor control in healthy humans and patients. Over the last years, the advantages of magnetoencephalography (MEG) have been applied to the BP paradigm by a number of researchers. The main advantage of magnetoencephalography over electroencephalography is that MEG has a higher localization accuracy. This is due to the fact that the different structures of the head (brain, liquor cerebrospinalis, skull and scalp) influence the magnetic fields less than the volume current flow that causes the EEG. Additionally, the MEG is reference free, so that the localization of sources with a given precision is easier for MEG than it is for EEG. The present protocol shows in detail how the bereitschaftspotential paradigm can be applied using MEG. Some additional paradigms for investigating motor plasticity, somatosensory gating, Parkinson disease, and the efference copy theory are suggested as well.

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