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Independent causal contributions of alpha- and beta-band oscillations during movement selection

Brinkman, Loek, Stolk, Arjen, Marshall, Tom R., Esterer, Sophie, Sharp, Poppy, Dijkerman, H. Chris, de Lange, Floris P. and Toni, Ivan 2016. Independent causal contributions of alpha- and beta-band oscillations during movement selection. Journal of Neuroscience 36 (33) , pp. 8726-8733. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0868-16.2016

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To select a movement, specific neuronal populations controlling particular features of that movement need to be activated, whereas other populations are downregulated. The selective (dis)inhibition of cortical sensorimotor populations is governed by rhythmic neural activity in the alpha (8–12 Hz) and beta (15–25 Hz) frequency range. However, it is unclear whether and how these rhythms contribute independently to motor behavior. Building on a recent dissociation of the sensorimotor alpha- and beta-band rhythms, we test the hypothesis that the beta-band rhythm governs the disinhibition of task-relevant neuronal populations, whereas the alpha-band rhythm suppresses neurons that may interfere with task performance. Cortical alpha- and beta-band rhythms were manipulated with transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) while human participants selected how to grasp an object. Stimulation was applied at either 10 or 20 Hz and was imposed on the sensorimotor cortex contralaterally or ipsilaterally to the grasping hand. In line with task-induced changes in endogenous spectral power, the effect of the tACS intervention depended on the frequency and site of stimulation. Whereas tACS stimulation generally increased movement selection times, 10 Hz stimulation led to relatively faster selection times when applied to the hemisphere ipsilateral to the grasping hand, compared with other stimulation conditions. These effects occurred selectively when multiple movements were considered. These observations functionally differentiate the causal contribution of alpha- and beta-band oscillations to movement selection. The findings suggest that sensorimotor beta-band rhythms disinhibit task-relevant populations, whereas alpha-band rhythms inhibit neuronal populations that could interfere with movement selection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 0270-6474
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 6 July 2016
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 02:18

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