Local field potential (LFP) activity in motor cortical and basal ganglia regions exhibits prominent beta (15-40Hz) oscillations during reaching and grasping, muscular contraction, and attention tasks. While in vitro and computational work has revealed specific mechanisms that may give rise to the frequency and duration of this oscillation, there is still controversy about what behavioral processes ultimately drive it. Here, simultaneous behavioral and large-scale neural recording experiments from non-human primate and human subjects are reviewed in the context of specific hypotheses about how beta band activity is generated. Finally, a new experimental paradigm utilizing operant conditioning combined with motor tasks is proposed as a way to further investigate this oscillation.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.