Movement-related neuromagnetic fields in preschool age children

Douglas Cheyne*, Cecilia Jobst, Graciela Tesan, Stephen Crain, Blake Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined sensorimotor brain activity associated with voluntary movements in preschool children using a customized pediatric magnetoencephalographic system. A videogame-like task was used to generate self-initiated right or left index finger movements in 17 healthy right-handed subjects (8 females, ages 3.2-4.8 years). We successfully identified spatiotemporal patterns of movement-related brain activity in 15/17 children using beamformer source analysis and surrogate MRI spatial normalization. Readiness fields in the contralateral sensorimotor cortex began ∼0.5 s prior to movement onset (motor field, MF), followed by transient movement-evoked fields (MEFs), similar to that observed during self-paced movements in adults, but slightly delayed and with inverted source polarities. We also observed modulation of mu (8-12 Hz) and beta (15-30 Hz) oscillations in sensorimotor cortex with movement, but with different timing and a stronger frequency band coupling compared to that observed in adults. Adult-like high-frequency (70-80 Hz) gamma bursts were detected at movement onset. All children showed activation of the right superior temporal gyrus that was independent of the side of movement, a response that has not been reported in adults. These results provide new insights into the development of movement-related brain function, for an age group in which no previous data exist. The results show that children under 5 years of age have markedly different patterns of movement-related brain activity in comparison to older children and adults, and indicate that significant maturational changes occur in the sensorimotor system between the preschool years and later childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4858-4875
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Volume35
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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