Movement-related EEG potentials are force or end-effector dependent: Evidence from a multi-finger experiment

Semyon Slobounov, J. Johnston, H. Chiang, W. Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study examined behavioral and electrocortical responses in producing 3 levels of force (25, 50 and 75% of MVC) at a constant rate of force development with each of 4 fingers both during the achievement of the desired force (ramp phase) and its maintenance (static phase). We were particularly interested in describing in more detail the interaction between nominal force and finger on various components of movement-related potential (MRP) associated with preparation and execution of isometric force production tasks. Methods: Our experimental design systematically controlled the rate of force development while nominal force level was experimentally manipulated during isometric force production tasks. We applied time-domain averaging of EEG single trials in order to extract 3 components of MRP (BP-600 to -500; MP-100 to 0; MMP) preceding and accompanying behavioral responses. Results: Overall, as in our previous research the effect of force per se was not reflected in the EEG components. However, we did find an interaction between finger and force level in both the Bereitshaftspotential (BP) and motor potential (MP) components of the movement-related potentials. While the middle, ring and little finger produced no differences in EEG components at any of the 3 force levels, the index finger did. We further correlated the force trajectory and the EEG time series with the highest correlations found in the lowest force level with the index finger. As the force level was increased, the correlation was significantly reduced. Conclusions: Overall, the whole complex of MRP components and evolution of EEG time series during multi-finger isometric force production tasks reflect a combination of factors including the primary end-effector performing the task and interaction of end-effector and the amount of nominal force.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1125-1135
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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