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OBJECTIVE: High-amplitude beta band oscillations within the subthalamic nucleus are frequently associated with Parkinson's disease but it is unclear how they might lead to motor impairments. Here we investigate a likely pathological coupling between the phase of beta band oscillations and the amplitude of high-frequency oscillations around 300 Hz. METHODS: We analysed an extensive data set comprising resting-state recordings obtained from deep brain stimulation electrodes in 33 patients before and/or after taking dopaminergic medication. We correlated mean values of spectral power and phase-amplitude coupling with severity of hemibody bradykinesia/rigidity. In addition, we used simultaneously recorded magnetoencephalography to look at functional interactions between the subthalamic nucleus and ipsilateral motor cortex. RESULTS: Beta band power and phase-amplitude coupling within the subthalamic nucleus correlated positively with severity of motor impairment. This effect was more pronounced within the low-beta range, whilst coherence between subthalamic nucleus and motor cortex was dominant in the high-beta range. CONCLUSIONS: We speculate that the beta band might impede pro-kinetic high-frequency activity patterns when phase-amplitude coupling is prominent. Furthermore, results provide evidence for a functional subdivision of the beta band into low and high frequencies. SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings contribute to the interpretation of oscillatory activity within the cortico-basal ganglia circuit.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Neurophysiol

Publication Date





2010 - 2019


Beta oscillations, Cross-frequency coupling, Local field potentials, Motor system, Parkinson’s disease, Subthalamic nucleus, Beta Rhythm, Cohort Studies, Deep Brain Stimulation, Female, Humans, Magnetoencephalography, Male, Motor Cortex, Parkinson Disease, Subthalamic Nucleus