Transient increases of synchronized neural activity during movement preparation: influence of cognitive constraints.
Serrien DJ., Fisher RJ., Brown P.
The ability to prepare movement is an essential requirement for the control of goal-directed actions. It allows us to respond in an adaptable and swift manner to environmental conditions. In the present study, we manipulate cognitive context, by means of response probability, to modify the degree of movement preparation in a delayed cueing task performed with the right hand, and evaluate the neural dynamics (EEG coherence) and behavioural output (reaction time). Task-related coherence was stronger over the contralateral hemisphere. In particular, coherence between the left sensorimotor area and frontal (C3-F3, C3-FC3) and parietal (C3-P3) regions was increased during right-hand movement preparation as compared to rest in the alpha frequency band (8-12 Hz). Reducing response probability diminished the degree of functional coupling between C3-F3 and C3-FC3, and was associated with a prolonged reaction time. These findings suggest an association between neural dynamics and behavioural performance and emphasize that response predictability biases information processing in goal-oriented behaviour.