A cortical slow potential is larger before an isolated movement of a single finger than simultaneous movement of two fingers

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1993 Apr;86(4):252-8. doi: 10.1016/0013-4694(93)90106-6.


Movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) preceding voluntary, self-paced, simultaneous extension of the middle and index fingers (two finger movement) were compared with those preceding extension of the index or middle finger alone (single finger movement) of the right hand in 7 right-handed normal subjects. It was meant to double the number of muscles involved in the two finger movement as compared with the single finger movement and to activate only the motor cortex involving the movement of distal joints. The NS' (negative slope) amplitude with the isolated middle finger movement was significantly larger at the precentral area contralateral to the movement as compared with the two finger movement. The NS' amplitude with the index finger movement was also larger than that with the two finger movement at the contralateral precentral area, but the difference was not significant. It is postulated that greater activation of the primary hand sensorimotor area (HSMA) contralateral to the movement might be necessary for the isolated movement of a single finger than for the two finger movement, although a smaller area of HSMA is expected to be activated in the former than in the latter. The NS' may be related to central motor control processes independent of muscle mass activated. As the single finger movement is considered to be more discrete and fine as compared with the simultaneous two finger movement, it is concluded that the HSMA plays an especially important role in discrete and fine finger movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*