Preparation to Respond as Manifested by Movement-Related Brain Potentials

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brain potentials, readiness potentials, preparation to respond

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Ten subjects were instructed to squeeze a dynamometer in a prescribed manner in order to assess the effects of motor preparation on event-preceding brain potentials. Right and left hand responses were required in 5 different experimental conditions allowing different degrees of advance preparation. Six channels of EEG (F3, F4, C3′, C4′, P3, P4) and two channels of EMG were digitized over a 3000 msec epoch, and response-locked averages were computed. Event-preceding negative potentials were evident well in advance of movement if the subject was informed of the timing of the response. These premovement potentials were asymmetrical on the scalp (contralaterally dominant at the central sites) if the subject knew which hand would be required to respond. Thus, we conclude that the appearance and asymmetry of these potentials reflect preparation to execute specific motor acts.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Brain Research, v. 202, issue 1, p. 95-115