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Publication Detail
The effect of salient stimuli on neural oscillations, isometric force, and their coupling.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Novembre G, Pawar VM, Kilintari M, Bufacchi RJ, Guo Y, Rothwell JC, Iannetti GD
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
  • Status:
    Published online
  • Country:
    United States
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Auditory, Beta oscillations, Cortico-muscular resonance (CMR), EEG, Force, Somatosensory
Survival in a suddenly-changing environment requires animals not only to detect salient stimuli, but also to promptly respond to them by initiating or revising ongoing motor processes. We recently discovered that the large vertex brain potentials elicited by sudden supramodal stimuli are strongly coupled with a multiphasic modulation of isometric force, a phenomenon that we named cortico-muscular resonance (CMR). Here, we extend our investigation of the CMR to the time-frequency domain. We show that (i) both somatosensory and auditory stimuli evoke a number of phase-locked and non-phase-locked modulations of EEG spectral power. Remarkably, (ii) some of these phase-locked and non-phase-locked modulations are also present in the Force spectral power. Finally, (iii) EEG and Force time-frequency responses are correlated in two distinct regions of the power spectrum. An early, low-frequency (∼4 Hz) region reflects the previously-described coupling between the phase-locked EEG vertex potential and force modulations. A late, higher-frequency (beta-band, ∼20 Hz) region reflects a second coupling between the non-phase-locked increase of power observed in both EEG and Force. In both time-frequency regions, coupling was maximal over the sensorimotor cortex contralateral to the hand exerting the force, suggesting an effect of the stimuli on the tonic corticospinal drive. Thus, stimulus-induced CMR occurs across at least two different types of cortical activities, whose functional significance in relation to the motor system should be investigated further. We propose that these different types of corticomuscular coupling are important to alter motor behavior in response to salient environmental events.
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