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The extent and function of synchronization of oscillatory elements in the human sensorimotor cortex during movement remains unclear. Here we determine whether synchronization is distributed in both the spatial and frequency domains and whether it changes according to task. Electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals were recorded from presumed nonpathological areas simultaneously with electromyographic (EMG) signals from upper limb muscles during isometric and phasic movement tasks in humans with subdural electrodes in situ for investigation of epilepsy. Functional mapping of the sensorimotor cortex was performed by previous electrical stimulation through the same ECoG electrodes used for recording. Significant coherence between ECoG and EMG was seen at discrete frequencies in the range of 7-100 Hz. There was no predilection for coherence within a given frequency band to be associated with cortical sites that had been functionally defined as producing contralateral arm motor responses on stimulation. However, coherence with muscle in the 7-14 and 15-30 Hz band tended to be associated with ECoG sites that lay close to or within the central sulcus as determined intraoperatively. The spatial pattern and frequency of coherence changed with different tasks, although similarities in the coherence pattern remained for tasks that shared common features. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that that synchronization at specific frequencies links cortical activities into a functional ensemble during voluntary movement.


Journal article


J Neurosci

Publication Date





2307 - 2314


Arm, Consciousness, Electroencephalography, Electromyography, Epilepsy, Humans, Motor Cortex, Movement, Muscle, Skeletal, Periodicity, Psychomotor Performance, Somatosensory Cortex