The functional role of post-movement beta oscillations in motor termination

Elizabeth Heinrichs-Graham, Max J. Kurz, James E. Gehringer, Tony W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Shortly after movement termination, there is a strong increase or resynchronization of the beta rhythm (15–30 Hz) across the sensorimotor network of humans, known as the post-movement beta rebound (PMBR). This response has been associated with active inhibition of the motor network following the completion of a movement, sensory afferentation of the sensorimotor cortices, and other functions. However, studies that have directly probed the role of the PMBR in movement execution have reported mixed results, possibly due to differences in the amount of total motor output and/or movement complexity. Herein, we used magnetoencephalography during an isometric-force control task to examine whether alterations in the timing of motor termination demands modulate the PMBR, independent of differences in the motor output itself. Briefly, we manipulated the amount of time between the cue to initiate the force and the cue to terminate the force, such that participants were either forced to terminate quickly or slowly. We also performed a control experiment to test for temporal predictability effects. Our results indicated that the PMBR was stronger immediately following movement termination in the prefrontal cortices, supplementary motor area, left postcentral gyrus, paracentral lobule, and parietal cortex when participants were forced to terminate more quickly. These results were not attributable to the temporal predictability of each condition. These findings support the notion that the PMBR response at least partially serves motor inhibition, independent of the parameters within the motor output itself, and that particular nodes of the motor network may be differentially modulated by motor termination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3075-3086
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Cortex
  • MEG
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Movement
  • PMBR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • General Neuroscience
  • Histology


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