Children with Cerebral Palsy Have Altered Occipital Cortical Oscillations during a Visuospatial Attention Task

Jacy R. Vermaas, Brandon J. Lew, Michael P. Trevarrow, Tony W. Wilson, Max J. Kurz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Dynamically allocating neural resources to salient features or objects within our visual space is fundamental to making rapid and accurate decisions. Impairments in such visuospatial abilities have been consistently documented in the clinical literature on individuals with cerebral palsy (CP), although the underlying neural mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) and oscillatory analysis methods to examine visuospatial processing in children with CP and demographically matched typically developing (TD) children. Our results indicated robust oscillations in the theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (8-14 Hz), and gamma (64-80 Hz) frequency bands in the occipital cortex of both groups during visuospatial processing. Importantly, the group with CP exhibited weaker cortical oscillations in the theta and gamma frequency bands, as well as slower response times and worse accuracy during task performance compared to the TD children. Furthermore, we found that weaker theta and gamma oscillations were related to greater visuospatial performance deficits across both groups. We propose that the weaker occipital oscillations seen in children with CP may reflect poor bottom-up processing of incoming visual information, which subsequently affects the higher-order visual computations essential for accurate visual perception and integration for decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3353-3362
Number of pages10
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • MEG
  • brain imaging
  • magnetoencephalography
  • vision
  • visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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