Muscle and timing-specific functional connectivity between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the primary motor cortex

Alkomiet Hasan, Joseph M Galea, Elias P Casula, Peter Falkai, Sven Bestmann, John C Rothwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
392 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The pFC has a crucial role in cognitive control, executive function, and sensory processing. Functional imaging, neurophysiological, and animal studies provide evidence for a functional connectivity between the dorsolateral pFC (DLPFC) and the primary motor cortex (M1) during free choice but not instructed choice selection tasks. In this study, twin coil, neuronavigated TMS was used to examine the precise timing of the functional interaction between human left DLPFC and ipsilateral M1 during the execution of a free/specified choice selection task involving the digits of the right hand. In a thumb muscle that was not involved in the task, a conditioning pulse to the left DLPFC enhanced the excitability of the ipsilateral M1 during free selection more than specified selection 100 msec after presentation of the cue; the opposite effect was seen at 75 msec. However, the difference between free and externally specified conditions disappeared when a task-specific muscle was investigated. In this case, the influence from DLPFC was dominated by task involvement rather than mode of selection, suggesting that other processes related to movement execution were also operating. Finally, we show that the effects were spatially specific because they were absent when an adjacent area of DLPFC was stimulated. These results reveal temporally and spatially selective interactions between BA 46 and M1 that are both task and muscle specific.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-70
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

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