Sagi Perel , Laboratory of Andrew Schwartz, University of Pittsburgh

Room 1061, Meyer building, Electrical Engineering, Technion at 16:00

5 July, 2011

Methods for Detection of Functional Connectivity from Cortex to Muscles

The motor cortex is recognized as the origin of the major direct path from
cortex to muscles.  We use functional connectivity, defined as the
probability of observing changes in a muscle's EMG following spikes from a
trigger neuron, as a tool to explore motor-cortical tuning.  Recent evidence
has shown that functional connectivity from cortex to muscles can change
between single-digit movements and a task requiring the subject to
artificially increase the EMG activation level of a muscle.  Our work
explores dynamic aspects of functional connectivity between cortex and
muscles during a more natural task.  We use a paradigm in which monkeys are
trained to reach and grasp objects of different shapes presented at various
orientations and locations in space.  Single unit activity from motor
cortical areas, EMG activity from selected muscles (in the arm, wrist and
hand) and high-resolution kinematic data are simultaneously recorded.
We present novel methods for detecting short-term functional connectivity,
on the order of milliseconds; at an arbitrary time-lag following the
cortical spikes.  Future work will relate these changes in functional
connectivity to kinematic variables, and describe the resulting tuning
functions.

 
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