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Dynamics of Functional and Effective Connectivity Within Human Cortical Motor Control Networks

Dynamics of Functional and Effective Connectivity Within Human Cortical Motor Control Networks

Joshua B. Ewen, Balaji M. Lakshmanan, Mark Hallett, Stewart H. Mostofsky, Nathan E. Crone, Anna Korzeniewska
Clinical Neurophysiology

Praxis, the performance of complex motor gestures, is crucial to the development of motor and social/communicative capacities. Praxis relies on a network consisting of inferior parietal and premotor regions, particularly on the left, and is thought to require transformation of spatio-temporal representations (parietal) into movement sequences (premotor).

We examined praxis network dynamics by measuring EEG effective connectivity while healthy subjects performed a praxis task.

Propagation from parietal to frontal regions was not statistically greater on the left than the right. However, propagation from left parietal regions to all other regions was significantly greater during gesture preparation than execution. Moreover, during gesture preparation only, propagation from the left parietal region to bilateral frontal regions was greater than reciprocal propagations to the left parietal region. This directional specificity was not observed for the right parietal region.

These findings represent direct electrophysiological evidence for directionally predominant propagation in left frontal-parietal networks during praxis behavior, which may reflect neural mechanisms by which representations in the human brain select appropriate motor sequences for subsequent execution.

In addition to bolstering the classic view of praxis network function, these results also demonstrate the relevance of additional information provided by directed connectivity measures.

EEG, Effective connectivity, Efference copy, Praxis

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