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Modulations of EEG Beta Power during Planning and Execution of Grasping Movements

Modulations of EEG Beta Power during Planning and Execution of Grasping Movements

Authors: 
Zaepffel M., Trachel R., Kilavik BE. & Brochier T.
Year: 
2013
Journal: 
PLOS ONE
Abstract: 

Although beta oscillations (≈ 13–35 Hz) are often considered as a sensorimotor rhythm, their functional role remains debated. In particular, the modulations of beta power during preparation and execution of complex movements in different contexts were barely investigated. Here, we analysed the beta oscillations recorded with electroencephalography (EEG) in a precued grasping task in which we manipulated two critical parameters: the grip type (precision vs. side grip) and the force (high vs. low force) required to pull an object along a horizontal axis. A cue was presented 3 s before a GO signal and provided full, partial or no information about the two movement parameters. We measured beta power over the centro-parietal areas during movement preparation and execution as well as during object hold. We explored the modulations of power in relation to the amount and type of prior information provided by the cue. We also investigated how beta power was affected by the grip and force parameters.

We observed an increase in beta power around the cue onset followed by a decrease during movement preparation and execution. These modulations were followed by a transient power increase during object hold. This pattern of modulations did not differ between the 4 movement types (2 grips ×2 forces). However, the amount and type of prior information provided by the cue had a significant effect on the beta power during the preparatory delay. We discuss how these results fit with current hypotheses on the functional role of beta oscillations.

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