Measuring the effects of manipulating stimulus presentation time on sensorimotor alpha and low beta reactivity during hand movement observation
Puzzo, I., Cooper, N. R., Cantarella, S. and Russo, R. (2011) Measuring the effects of manipulating stimulus presentation time on sensorimotor alpha and low beta reactivity during hand movement observation. NeuroImage, 57 (4). pp. 1358-1363. ISSN 1053-8119
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.05.071
The present study addresses three methodological questions that have been ignored in previous research on EEG indices of the human mirror neuron system (hMNS), particularly in regard to autistic individuals. The first question regards how to elicit the EEG indexed hMNS during movement observation: Is hMNS activation best elicited using long stimulus presentations or multiple short repetitions? The second question regards what EEG sensorimotor frequency bands reflect sensorimotor reactivity during hand movement observation? The third question regards how widespread is the EEG reactivity over the sensorimotor cortex during movement observation? The present study explored sensorimotor alpha and low beta reactivity during hand movement versus static hand or bouncing balls observation and compared two experimental protocols (long exposure vs. multiple repetitions) in the same participants. Results using the multiple repetitions protocol indicated a greater low beta desynchronisation over the sensorimotor cortex during hand movement compared to static hand and bouncing balls observation. This result was not achieved using the long exposure protocol. Therefore, the present study suggests that the multiple repetitions protocol is a more robust protocol to use when exploring the sensorimotor reactivity induced by hand action observation. In addition, sensorimotor low beta desynchronisation was differently modulated during hand movement, static hand and bouncing balls observation (non-biological motion) while it was not the case for sensorimotor alpha and that suggest that low beta may be a more sensitive index of hMNS activation during biological motion observation. In conclusion the present study indicates that sensorimotor reactivity of low beta during hand movement observation was found to be more widespread over the sensorimotor cortex than previously thought.