Gearing up for action: attentive tracking dynamically tunes sensory and motor oscillations in the alpha and beta band

Tan, H.-R. M. , Leuthold, H. and Gross, J. (2013) Gearing up for action: attentive tracking dynamically tunes sensory and motor oscillations in the alpha and beta band. NeuroImage, 82, pp. 634-644. (doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.04.120) (PMID:23672768) (PMCID:PMC3778976)

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Allocation of attention during goal-directed behavior entails simultaneous processing of relevant and attenuation of irrelevant information. How the brain delegates such processes when confronted with dynamic (biological motion) stimuli and harnesses relevant sensory information for sculpting prospective responses remains unclear. We analyzed neuromagnetic signals that were recorded while participants attentively tracked an actor’s pointing movement that ended at the location where subsequently the response-cue indicated the required response. We found the observers’ spatial allocation of attention to be dynamically reflected in lateralized parieto-occipital alpha (8-12Hz) activity and to have a lasting influence on motor preparation. Specifically, beta (16-25Hz) power modulation reflected observers’ tendency to selectively prepare for a spatially compatible response even before knowing the required one. We discuss the observed frequency-specific and temporally evolving neural activity within a framework of integrated visuomotor processing and point towards possible implications about the mechanisms involved in action observation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Leuthold, Prof Hartmut and Tan, Dr Heng-Ru May and Gross, Professor Joachim
Authors: Tan, H.-R. M., Leuthold, H., and Gross, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:NeuroImage
ISSN (Online):1095-9572
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in NeuroImage 82:634-644
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
536511Neural mechanisms of sensory awarenessJoachim GrossWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)091928/Z/10/ZRI NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY
597051Natural and modulated neural communication: State-dependent decoding and driving of human Brain Oscillations.Joachim GrossWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)098433/Z/12/ZINP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING