Low-beta cortico-pallidal coherence decreases during movement and correlates with overall reaction time

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Beta band oscillations (13–30 Hz) are a hallmark of cortical and subcortical structures that are part of the motor system. In addition to local population activity, oscillations also provide a means for synchronization of activity between regions. Here we examined the role of beta band coherence between the internal globus pallidus (GPi) and (motor) cortex during a simple reaction time task performed by nine patients with idiopathic dystonia. We recorded local field potentials from deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes implanted in bilateral GPi in combination with simultaneous whole-head magneto-encephalography (MEG). Patients responded to visually presented go or stop-signal cues by pressing a button with left or right hand. Although coherence between signals from DBS electrodes and MEG sensors was observed throughout the entire beta band, a significant movement-related decrease prevailed in lower beta frequencies (˜13–21 Hz). In addition, patients’ absolute coherence values in this frequency range significantly correlated with their median reaction time during the task (r = 0.89, p = 0.003). These findings corroborate the recent idea of two functionally distinct frequency ranges within the beta band, as well as the anti-kinetic character of beta oscillations.HighlightsSimultaneous internal pallidum LFP and MEG recordings in dystonia patients.Cortico-pallidal coherence was found throughout the beta frequency range.Predominantly low-beta coherence (13–21 Hz) decreased with movement.Overall level of coherence was indicative of subject's median reaction time.No correlations were found between beta coherence measures and clinical scores.

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