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Publication Detail
Premovement Suppression of Corticospinal Excitability may be a Necessary Part of Movement Preparation
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Ibáñez J, Hannah R, Rocchi L, Rothwell JC
  • Publisher:
    Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • Publication date:
    01/05/2020
  • Journal:
    Cerebral Cortex
  • Status:
    Published
  • Country:
    United States
  • Print ISSN:
    1047-3211
  • PII:
    5669902
  • Language:
    eng
  • Keywords:
    corticospinal excitability, self-paced movements, transcranial magnetic stimulation, voluntary movements
Abstract
In reaction time (RT) tasks corticospinal excitability (CSE) rises just prior to movement. This is preceded by a paradoxical reduction in CSE, when the time of the imperative ("GO") stimulus is relatively predictable. Because RT tasks emphasise speed of response, it is impossible to distinguish whether reduced CSE reflects a mechanism for withholding prepared actions, or whether it is an inherent part of movement preparation. To address this question, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to estimate CSE changes preceding 1) RT movements; 2) movements synchronized with a predictable signal (predictive timing or PT movements); and 3) self-paced movements. Results show that CSE decreases with a similar temporal profile in all three cases, suggesting that it reflects a previously unrecognised state in the transition between rest and movement. Although TMS revealed reduced CSE in all movements, the TMS pulse itself had different effects on movement times. TMS given ~200 ms before the times to move speeded the onset of RT and self-paced movements, suggesting that their initiation depends on a form of trigger that can be conditioned by external events. On the contrary, PT movements did not show this effect, suggesting the use of a different triggering strategy prioritizing internal events.
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