Propagating waves mediate information transfer in the motor cortex

Nat Neurosci. 2006 Dec;9(12):1549-57. doi: 10.1038/nn1802. Epub 2006 Nov 19.


High-frequency oscillations in the beta range (10-45 Hz) are most active in motor cortex during motor preparation and are postulated to reflect the steady postural state or global attentive state of the animal. By simultaneously recording multiple local field potential signals across the primary motor and dorsal premotor cortices of monkeys (Macaca mulatta) trained to perform an instructed-delay reaching task, we found that these oscillations propagated as waves across the surface of the motor cortex along dominant spatial axes characteristic of the local circuitry of the motor cortex. Moreover, we found that information about the visual target to be reached was encoded in terms of both latency and amplitude of evoked waves at a time when the field phase-locked with respect to the target onset. These findings suggest that high-frequency oscillations may subserve intra- and inter-cortical information transfer during movement preparation and execution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Cues
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Time Perception / physiology