Local field potentials allow accurate decoding of muscle activity

J Neurophysiol. 2012 Jul;108(1):18-24. doi: 10.1152/jn.00832.2011. Epub 2012 Apr 11.


Local field potentials (LFPs) in primary motor cortex include significant information about reach target location and upper limb movement kinematics. Some evidence suggests that they may be a more robust, longer-lasting signal than action potentials (spikes). Here we assess whether LFPs can also be used to decode upper limb muscle activity, a complex movement-related signal. We record electromyograms from both proximal and distal upper limb muscles from monkeys performing a variety of reach-to-grasp and isometric wrist force tasks. We show that LFPs can be used to decode activity from both proximal and distal muscles with performance rivaling that of spikes. Thus, motor cortical LFPs include information about more aspects of movement than has been previously demonstrated. This provides further evidence suggesting that LFPs could provide a highly informative, long-lasting signal source for neural prostheses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Extremities / innervation
  • Extremities / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Wrist / innervation