Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (Mar 2023)

μ-band desynchronization in the contralateral central and central-parietal areas predicts proprioceptive acuity

  • Giulia Aurora Albanese,
  • Giulia Aurora Albanese,
  • Francesca Marini,
  • Pietro Morasso,
  • Claudio Campus,
  • Jacopo Zenzeri,
  • Jacopo Zenzeri

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 17


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IntroductionPosition sense, which belongs to the sensory stream called proprioception, is pivotal for proper movement execution. Its comprehensive understanding is needed to fill existing knowledge gaps in human physiology, motor control, neurorehabilitation, and prosthetics. Although numerous studies have focused on different aspects of proprioception in humans, what has not been fully investigated so far are the neural correlates of proprioceptive acuity at the joints.MethodsHere, we implemented a robot-based position sense test to elucidate the correlation between patterns of neural activity and the degree of accuracy and precision exhibited by the subjects. Eighteen healthy participants performed the test, and their electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was analyzed in its μ band (8–12 Hz), as the frequency band related to voluntary movement and somatosensory stimulation.ResultsWe observed a significant positive correlation between the matching error, representing proprioceptive acuity, and the strength of the activation in contralateral hand motor and sensorimotor areas (left central and central-parietal areas). In absence of visual feedback, these same regions of interest (ROIs) presented a higher activation level compared to the association and visual areas. Remarkably, central and central-parietal activation was still observed when visual feedback was added, although a consistent activation in association and visual areas came up.ConclusionSumming up, this study supports the existence of a specific link between the magnitude of activation of motor and sensorimotor areas related to upper limb proprioceptive processing and the proprioceptive acuity at the joints.