Alpha, beta and gamma electrocorticographic rhythms in somatosensory, motor, premotor and prefrontal cortical areas differ in movement execution and observation in humans

Claudio Babiloni, Claudio Del Percio, Fabrizio Vecchio, Fabio Sebastiano, Giancarlo Di Gennaro, Pier P. Quarato, Roberta Morace, Luigi Pavone, Andrea Soricelli, Giuseppe Noce, Vincenzo Esposito, Paolo Maria Rossini, Vittorio Gallese, Giovanni Mirabella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that both movement execution and observation induce parallel modulations of alpha, beta, and gamma electrocorticographic (ECoG) rhythms in primary somatosensory (Brodmann area 1-2, BA1-2), primary motor (BA4), ventral premotor (BA6), and prefrontal (BA44 and BA45, part of putative human mirror neuron system underlying the understanding of actions of other people) areas. Methods: ECoG activity was recorded in drug-resistant epileptic patients during the execution of actions to reach and grasp common objects according to their affordances, as well as during the observation of the same actions performed by an experimenter. Results: Both action execution and observation induced a desynchronization of alpha and beta rhythms in BA1-2, BA4, BA6, BA44 and BA45, which was generally higher in amplitude during the former than the latter condition. Action execution also induced a major synchronization of gamma rhythms in BA4 and BA6, again more during the execution of an action than during its observation. Conclusion: Human primary sensorimotor, premotor, and prefrontal areas do generate alpha, beta, and gamma rhythms and differently modulate them during action execution and observation. Gamma rhythms of motor areas are especially involved in action execution. Significance: Oscillatory activity of neural populations in sensorimotor, premotor and prefrontal (part of human mirror neuron system) areas represents and distinguishes own actions from those of other people. This methodological approach might be used for a neurophysiological diagnostic imaging of social cognition in epileptic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-654
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Volume127
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • Alpha rhythms
  • Beta rhythms
  • Gamma rhythms
  • Movement execution
  • Movement observation
  • Subdural electrocorticography (ECoG)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Sensory Systems
  • Medicine(all)

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