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Publication Detail
Motor cortex stimulation in intact man. 1. General characteristics of EMG responses in different muscles.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Rothwell JC, Thompson PD, Day BL, Dick JP, Kachi T, Cowan JM, Marsden CD
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    1173, 1190
  • Journal:
  • Volume:
    110 ( Pt 5)
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Adult, Electric Stimulation, Electrodes, Electromyography, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motor Cortex, Motor Neurons, Muscle Contraction, Muscle Relaxation, Muscles, Neural Conduction
This paper is the first of two papers describing our five-year experience with the technique of electrical stimulation of the human motor cortex. In this first paper we illustrate the basic distribution and behaviour of electromyographic responses in limb muscles to anodal stimulation of the motor cortex in intact, awake human subjects. These responses may be recorded at short latency, with estimates of conduction velocities from the brain to the spinal cord suggesting transmission in rapidly conducting pathways, such as the corticomotoneuronal component of the corticospinal tract. The site at which the stimulus activates these motor pathways to produce responses at such short latency is likely to be at, or adjacent to the origin of these major descending motor pathways in the cerebral cortex. The best stimulating sites for activation of arm or leg muscles corresponds to the known somatotopic arrangement of the cerebral cortex. The electromyographic response characteristics are different in the contracting, as compared with the relaxed muscle; the EMG response latency shortens, its size becomes larger and its threshold is lowered when the muscle is voluntarily made to contract. The mechanisms that are responsible for these characteristics are examined in the following paper.
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