Interhemispheric symmetry of µ-rhythm phase-dependency of corticospinal excitability

Maria Ioanna Stefanou, Dragana Galevska, Christoph Zrenner, Ulf Ziemann, Jaakko O. Nieminen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Oscillatory activity in the µ-frequency band (8-13 Hz) determines excitability in sensorimotor cortex. In humans, the primary motor cortex (M1) in the two hemispheres shows significant anatomical, connectional, and electrophysiological differences associated with motor dominance. It is currently unclear whether the µ-oscillation phase effects on corticospinal excitability demonstrated previously for the motor-dominant M1 are also different between motor-dominant and motor-non-dominant M1 or, alternatively, are similar to reflect a ubiquitous physiological trait of the motor system at rest. Here, we applied single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to the hand representations of the motor-dominant and the motor-non-dominant M1 of 51 healthy right-handed volunteers when electroencephalography indicated a certain µ-oscillation phase (positive peak, negative peak, or random). We determined resting motor threshold (RMT) as a marker of corticospinal excitability in the three µ-phase conditions. RMT differed significantly depending on the pre-stimulus phase of the µ-oscillation in both M1, with highest RMT in the positive-peak condition, and lowest RMT in the negative-peak condition. µ-phase-dependency of RMT correlated directly between the two M1, and interhemispheric differences in µ-phase-dependency were absent. In conclusion, µ-phase-dependency of corticospinal excitability appears to be a ubiquitous physiological trait of the motor system at rest, without hemispheric dominance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7853
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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