Shall i move my right or my left hand? An EEG study in frequency and time domains

Claudio Babiloni, Fabio Babiloni, Filippo Carducci, Febo Cincotti, Claudio Del Percio, Mark Hallett, A. J Scott Kelso, Davide Vito Moretti, Joachim Liepert, Paolo Maria Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) at alpha (10 Hz), beta (20 Hz), and gamma (40 Hz) bands and movement-related potentials (MRPs) were investigated in right-handed subjects who were "free" to decide the side of unilateral finger movements ("fixed" side as a control). As a novelty, this "multi-modal" EEG analysis was combined with the evaluation of involuntary mirror movements, taken as an index of "bimanual competition." A main issue was whether the decision regarding the hand to be moved ("free" movements) could modulate ERD/ERS or MRPs overlying sensorimotor cortical areas typically involved in bimanual tasks. Compared to "fixed" movements, "free: movements induced the following effects: (1) more involuntary mirror movements discarded from EEG analysis; (2) stronger vertex MRPs (right motor acts); (3) a positive correlation between these potentials and the number of involuntary mirror movements; (4) gamma ERS over central areas; and (5) preponderance of postmovement beta ERS over left central area (dominant hemisphere). These results suggest that ERD/ERS and MRPs provide complementary information on the cortical processes belonging to a lateralized motor act. In this context, the results on vertex MRPs would indicate a key role of supplementary/cingulate motor areas not only for bimanual coordination but also for the control of "bimanual competition" and involuntary mirror movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-86
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS)
  • Human cortex
  • Mirror movements
  • Motor control
  • Movement-related potentials (MRPs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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