Corticokinematic coherence during active and passive finger movements

Harri Piitulainen, Mathieu Bourguignon, Xavier De Tiege, Riitta Hari, Veikko Jousmäki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
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Corticokinematic coherence (CKC) refers to coupling between magnetoencephalographic (MEG) brain activity and hand kinematics. For voluntary hand movements, CKC originates mainly from the primary sensorimotor (SM1) cortex.

To learn about the relative motor and sensory contributions to CKC, we recorded CKC from 15 healthy subjects during active and passive right index-finger movements. The fingertip was either touching or not touching table, resulting in active-touch, active-no-touch, passive-touch, and passive-no-touch conditions. The kinematics of the index-finger was measured with a 3-axis accelerometer. Beamformer analysis was used to locate brain activations for the movements; somatosensory-evoked fields (SEFs) elicited by pneumatic tactile stimulation of the index finger served as a functional landmark for cutaneous input.

All active and passive movements resulted in statistically significant CKC at the movement frequency (F0) and its first harmonic (F1). The main CKC sources at F0 and F1 were in the contralateral SM1 cortex with no spatial differences between conditions, and distinct from the SEF sources. At F1, the coherence was by two thirds stronger for passive than active movements, with no difference between touch vs. no-touch conditions.

Our results suggest that the CKC occurring during repetitive finger movements is mainly driven by somatosensory, primarily proprioceptive, afferent input to the SM1 cortex, with negligible effect of cutaneous input.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-370
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • acceleration
  • human brain
  • magnetoencephalography
  • proprioception
  • sensorimotor cortex


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