Children with cerebral palsy display altered neural oscillations within the visual MT/V5 cortices

Jacy R. VerMaas, James E. Gehringer, Tony W. Wilson, Max J. Kurz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Cortical visual processing in visual MT/V5 is necessary for tracking movement and performing reliable visuomotor transformations. Although the role of this cortical area is well recognized, the activity of the visual MT/V5 cortical area in children with cerebral palsy (CP) has not been examined nor has its potential role in the atypical motor actions of these children been considered. This study used magnetoencephalography to image the neural activity in the motion-sensitive MT/V5 cortices of typically developing (TD) children (n = 21; mean age 14 yrs. ± 2, 12 males) and children with CP (n = 21; mean age 16 yrs. ± 4, 13 males) as they viewed a horizontally moving stimulus. Behavioral measures of visual perception were additionally assessed by having the participants press a button when the visual stimulus changed to moving in vertical direction. Our results showed that the horizontal movement of the visual stimulus evoked changes in the strength of the theta-alpha (5–10 Hz) and alpha-beta (8–20 Hz) oscillations in the visual MT/V5 area of all participants. Compared with the TD children, the children with CP had weaker alpha-beta oscillations in the visual MT/V5 cortices. In addition, the children with CP took longer to perceive a directional change of the visual stimulus and made more errors in detecting the change. Lastly, weaker alpha-beta oscillations were correlated with slower detection of the change in motion direction and less accuracy in identifying the change. This study shows that the uncharacteristic neural oscillations in the visual MT/V5 cortical area may partially account for the abnormal perceptions and motor decisions seen in children with CP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101876
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2019


  • Brain imaging
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Vision
  • Visual perception
  • Visuomotor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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