Functional coupling between anterior prefrontal cortex (BA10) and hand muscle contraction during intentional and imitative motor acts

Claudio Babiloni, Fabrizio Vecchio, Martin Bares, Milan Brazdil, Igor Nestrasil, Fabrizio Eusebi, Paolo Maria Rossini, Ivan Rektor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present study tested the hypothesis that functional cortico-muscular coupling is a putative physiological mechanism by which Brodmann area 10 (BA10) of anterior prefrontal cortex controls subjects' behavior. Intracerebral stereo electroencephalographic (SEEG) data were recorded from BA10 of epilepsy subjects in the course of pre-surgical monitoring. During the SEEG recordings, these subjects were engaged in three conditions: the execution of intentional hand muscle contractions as triggered by auditory stimuli ("EXE"); the execution of the same muscle contractions as an imitation of a person seated in front of the subject ("IMI"); and the mere observation of the hand muscle contractions performed by that person ("OBS"). SEEG frequency bands of interest were theta (4-7 Hz), alpha (8-12 Hz), beta 1 (13-21 Hz), beta 2 (22-30 Hz), and gamma (31-45 Hz). Results showed that functional cortico-muscular coupling at gamma band was higher in amplitude during the intentional muscle contraction ("EXE") than the other conditions ("IMI" and "OBS"). Instead, cortico-muscular coupling at theta band was higher in amplitude during the imitative muscle contraction ("IMI") than the other conditions ("EXE" and "OBS"). In parallel, there was an increase of SEEG gamma band power during the intentional muscle contraction and an increase of SEEG theta band power during its imitation. The present results suggest that anterior prefrontal cortex (BA10) might control subjects' behavior by means of functional cortico-muscular coupling at selective frequency bands (theta and wide gamma rhythms).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1314-1323
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2008



  • Brain rhythms
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS)
  • Spectral coherence
  • Stereo electroencephalography (SEEG)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology

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