In order to investigate the activity of cortical regions in the control of complex movements, we studied task-related coherence (TRCoh) and task-related spectral power (TRPow) changes in 8 right-handed subjects during the execution of 4 different finger movement sequences of increasing complexity. All sequences were performed with the right hand and were paced by a metronome at 2 Hz. EEG power spectra and coherence values were computed within alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-20 Hz) frequency bands for 29 scalp EEG positions during the execution of the sequences and were compared with values obtained during a rest (control) condition. Movement sequences were associated with TRPow decreases in the alpha and beta frequency bands over bilateral sensorimotor and parietal areas, with a preponderance over the contralateral hemisphere. Increases of TRCoh occurred over bilateral frontocentral regions. TRCoh decreases were present over the temporal and occipital areas. The spatial extent and the magnitude of TRPow decreases and TRCoh increases in both frequency bands were greater for sequential movements of higher complexity than for simpler ones. These results are consistent with previous findings of bilateral activation of sensorimotor areas during sequential finger movements. Moreover, the present results indicate an active intercommunication between bilateral and mesial central and prefrontal regions which becomes more intense with more complex sequential movements.
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