Movement gating of beta/gamma oscillations involved in the N30 somatosensory evoked potential


Evoked potential modulation allows the study of dynamic brain processing. The mechanism of movement gating of the frontal N30 component of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) produced by the stimulation of the median nerve at wrist remains to be elucidated. At rest, a power enhancement and a significant phase-locking of the electroencephalographic (EEG) oscillation in the beta/gamma range (25-35 Hz) are related to the emergence of the N30. The latter was also perfectly identified in presence of pure phase-locking situation. Here, we investigated the contribution of these rhythmic activities to the specific gating of the N30 component during movement. We demonstrated that concomitant execution of finger movement of the stimulated hand impinges such temporal concentration of the ongoing beta/gamma EEG oscillations and abolishes the N30 component throughout their large topographical extent on the scalp. This also proves that the phase-locking phenomenon is one of the main actors for the N30 generation. These findings could be explained by the involvement of neuronal populations of the sensorimotor cortex and other related areas, which are unable to respond to the phasic sensory activation and to phase-lock their firing discharges to the external sensory input during the movement. This new insight into the contribution of phase-locked oscillation in the emergence of the N30 and in its gating behavior calls for a reappraisal of fundamental and clinical interpretation of the frontal N30 component.

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