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Beta Band Corticomuscular Drive Reflects Muscle Coordination Strategies

Beta Band Corticomuscular Drive Reflects Muscle Coordination Strategies

Authors: 
Alexander Reyes, Christopher M. Laine, Jason J. Kutch and Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
Year: 
2017
Journal: 
Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Abstract: 

During force production, hand muscle activity is known to be coherent with activity in primary motor cortex, specifically in the beta-band (15–30 Hz) frequency range. It is not clear, however, if this coherence reflects the control strategy selected by the nervous system for a given task, or if it instead reflects an intrinsic property of cortico-spinal communication. Here, we measured corticomuscular and intermuscular coherence between muscles of index finger and thumb while a two-finger pinch grip of identical net force was applied to objects which were either stable (allowing synergistic activation of finger muscles) or unstable (requiring individuated finger control). We found that beta-band corticomuscular coherence with the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscles, as well as their beta-band coherence with each other, was significantly reduced when individuated control of the thumb and index finger was required. We interpret these findings to show that beta-band coherence is reflective of a synergistic control strategy in which the cortex binds task-related motor neurons into functional units.

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