Temporally stable beta sensorimotor oscillations and corticomuscular coupling underlie force steadiness

Scott J. Mongold*, Harri Piitulainen, Thomas Legrand, Marc Vander Ghinst, Gilles Naeije, Veikko Jousmäki, Mathieu Bourguignon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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As humans, we seamlessly hold objects in our hands, and may even lose consciousness of these objects. This phenomenon raises the unsettled question of the involvement of the cerebral cortex, the core area for voluntary motor control, in dynamically maintaining steady muscle force. To address this issue, we measured magnetoencephalographic brain activity from healthy adults who maintained a steady pinch grip. Using a novel analysis approach, we uncovered fine-grained temporal modulations in the beta sensorimotor brain rhythm and its coupling with muscle activity, with respect to several aspects of muscle force (rate of increase/decrease or plateauing high/low). These modulations preceded changes in force features by ∼40 ms and possessed behavioral relevance, as less salient or absent modulation predicted a more stable force output. These findings have consequences for the existing theories regarding the functional role of cortico-muscular coupling, and suggest that steady muscle contractions are characterized by a stable rather than fluttering involvement of the sensorimotor cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119491
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Beta sensorimotor oscillations
  • Corticomuscular coherence
  • Isometric contraction
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Motor controling
  • Mu rhythm
  • Muscle electromechanical coupling
  • Primary sensorimotor cortex


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