Human movement-related potentials vs desynchronization of EEG alpha rhythm: A high-resolution EEG study

Claudio Babiloni, Filippo Carducci, Febo Cincotti, Paolo M. Rossini, Christa Neuper, Gert Pfurtscheller, Fabio Babiloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Movement-related potentials (MRPs) and event-related desynchronization (ERD) of alpha rhythm were investigated with an advanced high-resolution electroencephalographic technology (128 channels, surface Laplacian estimate, realistic head modeling). The working hypothesis was that MRPs and alpha ERD reflect different aspects of sensorimotor cortical processes. Both MRPs and alpha ERD modeled the responses of primary sensorimotor (M1-S1), supplementary motor (SMA), and posterior parietal (PP, area 5) areas during the preparation and execution of unilateral finger movements. Maximum responses were modeled in the contralateral M1-S1 during both preparation and execution of the movement. The SMA and PP responses were modeled mainly from the MRPs and alpha ERD, respectively. The modeled ipsilateral M1-S1 responses were larger and stronger in the alpha ERD than MRPs. These results may suggest that alpha ERD reflects changes in the background oscillatory activity in wide cortical sensorimotor areas, whereas MRPs represent mainly increased, task-specific responses of SMA and contralateral M1-S1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-665
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


  • Alpha rhythm
  • Event-related desynchronization (ERD)
  • High-resolution EEG
  • Motor control
  • Movement-related potentials (MRPs)
  • Voluntary movements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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