Motor Commands as Spatial Oscillation Patterns

Beta-band (15-30 Hz) neural oscillations are routinely observed in the human motor system but their purpose is unknown. We conjectured that the spatial arrangement of beta oscillations in cortex could serves as the neural substrate for encoding motor commands. We present a model of the descending motor system which shows how oscillatory patterns in cortex can be translated into specific muscle movements. The model demonstrates a functional role for beta oscillations that also replicates the known physiological changes of beta-band cortico-muscular coherence during movement.


 

Heitmann S, Boonstra T, Gong P, Breakspear M, Ermentrout GB (2015) The rhythms of steady posture: Motor commands as spatially organized oscillation patterns. Neurocomputing. Special Issue on Advances on Biological Rhythmic Pattern Generation 170.

Heitmann S, Boonstra T, Breakspear M (2013) A dendritic mechanism for decoding traveling waves: Principles and applications to motor cortex. PLOS Computational Biology.

Heitmann S, Gong P, Breakspear M (2012) A computational role for bistability and traveling waves in motor cortex. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 6:67.