Pre-stimulus beta power modulation during motor sequence learning is reduced in 'Parkinson's disease
- Journal Article
Beta oscillations within motor-cortical areas have been linked to sensorimotor function. In line with this, pathologically altered beta activity in cortico-basal ganglia pathways has been suggested to contribute to the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disorder primarily characterized by motor impairment. Although its precise function is still discussed, beta activity might subserve an anticipatory role in preparation of future actions. By reanalyzing previously published data, we aimed at investigating the role of pre-stimulus motor-cortical beta power modulation in motor sequence learning and its alteration in PD. 20 PD patients and 20 healthy controls (HC) performed a serial reaction time task (SRTT) in which reaction time gain presumably reflects the ability to anticipate subsequent sequence items. Randomly varying patterns served as control trials. Neuromagnetic activity was recorded using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and data was reanalyzed with respect to task stimuli onset. Assuming that pre-stimulus beta power modulation is functionally related to motor sequence learning, reaction time gain due to training on the SRTT should vary depending on the amount of beta power suppression prior to stimulus onset. We hypothesized to find less pre-stimulus beta power suppression in PD patients as compared to HC associated with reduced motor sequence learning in patients. Behavioral analyses revealed that PD patients exhibited smaller reaction time gain in sequence relative to random control trials than HC indicating reduced learning in PD. This finding was indeed paralleled by reduced pre-stimulus beta power suppression in PD patients. Further strengthening its functional relevance, the amount of pre-stimulus beta power suppression during sequence training significantly predicted subsequent reaction time advantage in sequence relative to random trials in patients. In conclusion, the present data provide first evidence for the contribution of pre-stimulus motor-cortical beta power suppression to motor sequence learning and support the hypothesis that beta oscillations may subserve an anticipatory, predictive function, possibly compromised in PD. Show more
Journal / seriesNeuroImage: Clinical
Pages / Article No.
SubjectBeta oscillations; SRTT; Anticipatory motor control; Magnetoencephalography (MEG); Parkinson's disease (PD)
Organisational unit03963 - Wenderoth, Nicole / Wenderoth, Nicole
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