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EEG correlates of sensorimotor processing: independent components involved in sensory and motor processing

EEG correlates of sensorimotor processing: independent components involved in sensory and motor processing

Authors: 
Andrew Melnik, W. David Hairston, Daniel P. Ferris & Peter König
Year: 
2017
Journal: 
Scientific Reports
Abstract: 

Sensorimotor processing is a critical function of the human brain with multiple cortical areas specialised for sensory recognition or motor execution. Although there has been considerable research into sensorimotor control in humans, the steps between sensory recognition and motor execution are not fully understood. To provide insight into brain areas responsible for sensorimotor computation, we used complex categorization-response tasks (variations of a Stroop task requiring recognition, decision-making, and motor responses) to test the hypothesis that some functional modules are participating in both sensory as well as motor processing. We operationalize functional modules as independent components (ICs) yielded by an independent component analysis (ICA) of EEG data and measured event-related responses by means of inter-trial coherence (ITC). Our results consistently found ICs with event-related ITC responses related to both sensory stimulation and motor response onsets (on average 5.8 ICs per session). These findings reveal EEG correlates of tightly coupled sensorimotor processing in the human brain, and support frameworks like embodied cognition, common coding, and sensorimotor contingency that do not sequentially separate sensory and motor brain processes.

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