Knowing when to respond and the efficiency of the cortical motor command: a Laplacian ERP study

Brain Res. 2006 Sep 13;1109(1):158-63. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2006.06.052. Epub 2006 Jul 25.


The objective was to test whether motor preparation can modulate the efficiency of the cortical motor command. The electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded from electrodes located over the primary sensorimotor cortices during the performance of a between-hand choice reaction time task in which foreperiod duration (the interval between the warning and the imperative signals, 800 vs. 2800 ms) was varied across blocks of trials. In order to increase the spatial resolution of the EEG traces, surface Laplacian was estimated. The amplitude of the negative wave developing over the hemisphere contralateral to the response was smaller for the short foreperiod associated with the best performance level. These results indicate that the activation of the primary sensorimotor cortex involved in the response is less pronounced for the short foreperiod, suggesting that temporal advance information increases the efficiency of the cortical motor command.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Efficiency
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Sensation / physiology*