High gamma frequency oscillatory activity dissociates attention from intention in the human premotor cortex

Neuroimage. 2005 Oct 15;28(1):154-64. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.05.045. Epub 2005 Jul 14.


The premotor cortex is well known for its role in motor planning. In addition, recent studies have shown that it is also involved in nonmotor functions such as attention and memory, a notion derived from both animal neurophysiology and human functional imaging. The present study is an attempt to bridge the gap between these experimental techniques in the human brain, using a task initially designed to dissociate attention from intention in the monkey, and recently adapted for a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study [Simon, S.R., Meunier, M., Piettre, L., Berardi, A.M., Segebarth, C.M., Boussaoud, D. (2002). Spatial attention and memory versus motor preparation: premotor cortex involvement as revealed by fMRI. J. Neurophysiol., 88, 2047-57]. Intracranial EEG was recorded from the cortical regions preferentially active in the spatial attention and/or working memory task and those involved in motor intention. The results show that, among the different intracranial EEG responses, only the high gamma frequency (60-200 Hz) oscillatory activity both dissociates attention/memory from motor intention and spatially colocalizes with the fMRI-identified premotor substrates of these two functions. This finding provides electrophysiological confirmation that the human premotor cortex is involved in spatial attention and/or working memory. Additionally, it provides timely support to the idea that high gamma frequency oscillations are involved in the cascade of neural processes underlying the hemodynamic responses measured with fMRI [Logothetis, N.K., Pauls, J., Augath, M., Trinath, T. and Oeltermann, A. (2001). Neurophysiological investigation of the basis of the fMRI signal. Nature, 412, 150-7], and suggests a functional selectivity of the gamma oscillations that could be critical for future EEG investigations, whether experimental or clinical.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Beta Rhythm
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Cues
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Motor Cortex / blood supply
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology