Weight-specific anticipatory coding of grip force in human dorsal premotor cortex

Bart F L van Nuenen, Johann Kuhtz-Buschbeck, Christian Schulz, Bastiaan R Bloem, Hartwig R Siebner

34 Citationer (Scopus)


The dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) uses prior sensory information for motor preparation. Here, we used a conditioning-and-map approach in 11 healthy male humans (mean age 27 years) to further clarify the role of PMd in anticipatory motor control. We transiently disrupted neuronal processing in PMd, using either continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) at 80% (inhibitory cTBS) or 30% (sham cTBS) of active motor threshold. The conditioning effects of cTBS on preparatory brain activity were assessed with functional MRI, while participants lifted a light or heavy weight in response to a go-cue (S2). An additional pre-cue (S1) correctly predicted the weight in 75% of the trials. Participants were asked to use this prior information to prepare for the lift. In the sham condition, grip force showed a consistent undershoot, if the S1 incorrectly prompted the preparation of a light lift. Likewise, an S1 that falsely announced a heavy weight produced a consistent overshoot in grip force. In trials with incorrect S1, preparatory activity in left PMd during the S1-S2 delay period predicted grip force undershoot but not overshoot. Real cTBS selectively abolished this undershoot in grip force. Furthermore, preparatory S1-S2 activity in left PMd no longer predicted the individual undershoot after real cTBS. Our results provide converging evidence for a causal involvement of PMd in anticipatory downscaling but not upscaling of grip force, suggesting an inhibitory role of PMd in anticipatory grip force control during object lifting.
TidsskriftJournal of Neuroscience
Udgave nummer15
Sider (fra-til)5272-83
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 11 apr. 2012


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