Preparatory band specific premotor cortical activity differentiates upper and lower extremity movement

Lewis A. Wheaton, Mackenzie Carpenter, J. C. Mizelle, Larry Forrester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Event related desynchronization (ERD) allows evaluation of brain signals in multiple frequency dimensions. The purpose of this study was to determine left hemispheric non-primary motor cortex differences at varying frequencies of premovement ERD for similar movements by end-effectors of the upper and lower extremities. We recorded 32-channel electroencephalography (EEG) while subjects performed self-paced right ankle dorsiflexion and wrist extension. Electromyography (EMG) was recorded over the tibialis anterior and extensor carpi ulnaris. EEG was analyzed for premovement ERD within the alpha (8-12 Hz), low beta (13-18 Hz) and high beta (18-22 Hz) frequencies over the premotor, motor, and sensory areas of the left and mesial cortex from -1.5 to 0 s before movement. Within the alpha and high beta bands, wrist movements showed limited topography, but greater ERD over posterior premotor cortex areas. Alpha ERD was also significantly greater over the lateral motor cortex for wrist movements. In the low beta band, wrist movements provided extensive ERD differences to include the left motor and mesial/lateral premotor areas, whereas ankle movements showed only limited ERD activity. Overall, alpha and high beta activity demonstrated distinctions that are consistent with mapping of wrist and ankle representations over the sensorimotor strip, whereas the low beta representation demonstrated the clearest distinctions between the limbs over widespread brain areas, particularly the lateral premotor cortex. This suggests limited leg premovement activity at the dorsolateral premotor cortex. Low beta ERD may be reflect joint or limb specific preparatory activity in the premotor area. Further work is required to better evaluate the extent of this low beta activity for multiple comparative joints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • EEG
  • Event related desynchronization
  • Lower extremity
  • Premotor cortex
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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