Proprioceptive response strength in the primary sensorimotor cortex is invariant to the range of finger movement

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Proprioception is the sense of body position and movement that relies on afference from the proprioceptors in muscles and joints. Proprioceptive responses in the primary sensorimotor (SM1) cortex can be elicited by stimulating the proprioceptors using evoked (passive) limb movements. In magnetoencephalography (MEG), proprioceptive processing can be quantified by recording the movement evoked fields (MEFs) and movement-induced beta power modulations or by computing corticokinematic coherence (CKC) between the limb kinematics and cortical activity. We examined whether cortical proprioceptive processing quantified with MEF peak strength, relative beta suppression and rebound power and CKC strength is affected by the movement range of the finger.

MEG activity was measured from 16 right-handed healthy volunteers while movements were applied to their right-index finger metacarpophalangeal joint with an actuator. Movements were either intermittent, every 3000 ± 250 ms, to estimate MEF or continuous, at 3 Hz, to estimate CKC. In both cases, 4 different ranges of motion of the stimuli were investigated: 15, 18, 22 and 26 mm for MEF and 6, 7, 9 and 13 mm for CKC. MEF amplitude, relative beta suppression and rebound as well as peak CKC strength at the movement frequency were compared between the movement ranges in the source space. Inter-individual variation was also compared between the MEF and CKC strengths.

As expected, MEF and CKC responses peaked at the contralateral SM1 cortex. MEF peak, beta suppression and rebound and CKC strengths were similar across all movement ranges. Furthermore, CKC strength showed a lower degree of inter-individual variation compared with MEF strength.

Our result of absent modulation by movement range in cortical responses to passive movements of the finger indicates that variability in movement range should not hinder comparability between different studies or participants. Furthermore, our data indicates that CKC is less prone to inter-individual variability than MEFs, and thus more advantageous in what pertains to statistical power.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119937
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Proprioception
  • Somatosensory
  • Magnetoencelphalography
  • Passive movement
  • movement range
  • Kinesthesia
  • Range of motion
  • Sensorimotor cortex
  • Beta modulation
  • Cortico-kinematic coherence
  • Movement evoked field
  • muscle spindle


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