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The modulation of alpha-wave amplitude in human EEG by the intention to act with a motor response

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Kirschfeld,  K
Former Department Comparative Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Kirschfeld, K. (2009). The modulation of alpha-wave amplitude in human EEG by the intention to act with a motor response. Nature Precedings, 2009, 1-23. doi:10.1038/npre.2009.3720.1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-8E0E-B
Abstract
The most conspicuous signal in the human EEG is the so-called alpha wave, oscillations in the frequency range of 8 to 12 Hz. Visual stimulation of the retina suppresses the amplitude of alpha waves (Berger effect), and increased attention can reduce them. Here I show that one more parameter significantly affects the amplitudes of alpha waves: the intention to act by a motor response. Together with data from the literature, these results show that alpha waves are not part of the visual processing network but rather part of a long-range neuromodulatory network. The modulation modifies latencies in perception or motor response. The relevant mechanisms are located in early cortical visual areas; their activity may contribute to hemodynamic changes in these areas and thus explain dissociations between Bold signals and spike activities mentioned in the literature.