Movement induced modulation of the beta rhythm is one of the most robust neural oscillatory phenomena in the brain. In the preparation and execution phases of movement, a loss in beta amplitude is observed [movement related beta decrease (MRBD)]. This is followed by a rebound above baseline on movement cessation [post movement beta rebound (PMBR)]. These effects have been measured widely, and recent work suggests that they may have significant importance. Specifically, they have potential to form the basis of biomarkers for disease, and have been used in neuroscience applications ranging from brain computer interfaces to markers of neural plasticity. However, despite the robust nature of both MRBD and PMBR, the phenomena themselves are poorly understood. In this study, we characterise MRBD and PMBR during a carefully controlled isometric wrist flexion paradigm, isolating two fundamental movement parameters; force output, and the rate of force development (RFD). Our results show that neither altered force output nor RFD has a significant effect on MRBD. In contrast, PMBR was altered by both parameters. Higher force output results in greater PMBR amplitude, and greater RFD results in a PMBR which is higher in amplitude and shorter in duration. These findings demonstrate that careful control of movement parameters can systematically change PMBR. Further, for temporally protracted movements, the PMBR can be over 7 s in duration. This means accurate control of movement and judicious selection of paradigm parameters are critical in future clinical and basic neuroscientific studies of sensorimotor beta oscillations. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2493–2511, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- neural oscillations
- event-related synchronization
- sensorimotor cortex
- event-related desynchronization
- movement-related beta decrease