An extended motor network generates beta and gamma oscillatory perturbations during development

Tony W. Wilson, Erin Slason, Ryan Asherin, Eugene Kronberg, Martin L. Reite, Peter D. Teale, Donald C. Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


This study examines the time course and neural generators of oscillatory beta and gamma motor responses in typically-developing children. Participants completed a unilateral flexion-extension task using each index finger as whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) data were acquired. These MEG data were imaged in the frequency-domain using spatial filtering and the resulting event-related synchronizations and desynchronizations (ERS/ERD) were subjected to voxel-wise statistical analyses to illuminate time-frequency specific activation patterns. Consistent with adult data, these children exhibited a pre-movement ERD that was strongest over the contralateral post-central gyrus, and a post-movement ERS response with the most prominent peak being in the contralateral precentral gyrus near premotor cortices. We also observed a high-frequency (∼80. Hz) ERS response that coincided with movement onset and was centered on the contralateral precentral gyrus, slightly superior and posterior to the beta ERS. In addition to pre- and post-central gyri activations, these children exhibited beta and gamma activity in supplementary motor areas (SMA) before and during movement, and beta activation in cerebellar cortices before and after movement. We believe the gamma synchronization may be an excellent candidate signal of basic cortical motor control, as the spatiotemporal dynamics indicate the primary motor cortex generates this response (and not the beta oscillations) which is closely yoked to the initial muscle activation. Lastly, these data suggest several additional neural regions including the SMA and cerebellum are involved in basic movements during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Cerebellum
  • Child
  • Cortex
  • ERD
  • ERS
  • MEG
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Mu
  • Precentral
  • Somatosensory
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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