Corticomuscular and bilateral EMG coherence reflect distinct aspects of neural synchronization

TW Boonstra, BCM van Wijk, Peter Praamstra, A Daffertshofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


Using electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG), corticomuscular and bilateral motor unit synchronization have been found in different frequency bands and under different task conditions. These different types of long-range synchrony are hypothesized to originate from distinct mechanisms. We tested this by comparing time-resolved EEG-EMG and EMG-EMG coherence in a bilateral precision-grip task. Bilateral EMG activity was synchronized between 7 and 13 Hz for about 1 s when force output from both hands changed from an increasing to a stable force production. In contrast, EEG-EMG coherence was statistically significant between 15 and 30 Hz during stable force production. The disparities in their time-frequency profiles accord with the existence of distinct underlying processes for corticomuscular and bilateral motor unit synchronization. In addition, the absence of synchronization between cortical activity and common spinal input at 10 Hz renders a cortical source unlikely. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009


  • Time-frequency analysis
  • EEG
  • Common drive
  • Motor control
  • Functional connectivity


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