Movement-related changes in pallidocortical synchrony differentiate action execution and observation in humans

Katy A. Cross, Mahsa Malekmohammadi, Jeong Woo Choi, Nader Pouratian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Suppression of local and network alpha and beta oscillations in the human basal ganglia-thalamocortical (BGTC) circuit is a prominent feature of movement, including suppression of local alpha/beta power, cross-region beta phase coupling, and cortical and subcortical phase-amplitude coupling (PAC). We hypothesized that network-level coupling is more directly related to movement execution than local power changes, given the role of pathological network hypersynchrony in movement disorders such as Parkinson disease (PD). Understanding the specificity of these movement-related signals is important for designing novel therapeutics. Methods: We recorded globus pallidus internus (GPi) and motor cortical local field potentials during movement execution, passive movement observation and rest in 12 patients with PD undergoing deep brain stimulator implantation. Results: Local alpha/beta power is suppressed in the globus pallidus and motor cortex during both action execution and action observation, although less so during action observation. In contrast, pallidocortical phase synchrony and GPi and motor cortical alpha/beta-gamma PAC are suppressed only during action execution. Conclusions: The functional dissociation across tasks in pallidocortical network activity suggests a particularly important role of network coupling in motor execution. Significance: Network level recordings provide important specificity in differentiating motor behavior and may provide significant value for future closed loop therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1990-2001
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Action observation
  • Beta oscillations
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Motor control
  • Parkinson disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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