Scientific publications

Imitating versus non-imitating movements: differences in frontal electroencephalographic oscillatory activity

May 1, 2006 | Magazine: Neuroscience Letters

Alegre M., Lázaro D., Valencia M., Iriarte J., Artieda J.
Neurophysiology Section, Department of Neurology, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, Pío XII 36, 31008 Pamplona, Spain

Non phase-locked oscillatory changes were studied in seven healthy volunteers during two different reaction time movement paradigms, in which the stimulus was a wrist movement (either extension or flexion) performed by another person seated in front of the subject (examiner).

In the first paradigm (imitation), the subject was instructed to perform the same movement observed. In the second paradigm (non-imitation), the subject was instructed to perform the opposite movement (flexion when an extension was observed, and vice-versa).

Changes in the 7-37 Hz range band were determined by means of Gabor transforms. A frontal energy increase (event-related synchronization, ERS) around 15 Hz could be observed in the frontal region after the examiner's movement; this frontal ERS was significantly larger in the non-imitation paradigm. A typical alpha and beta movement-related event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) pattern was also observed in both paradigms in the central region. The beta-ERD was significantly larger in the imitation paradigm.

Our results show that the motor preparation mechanisms involved in an imitated and a non-imitated movement are different.

CITATION Neurosci Lett. 2006 May 8;398(3):201-5