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Neuronal coherence as a mechanism of effective corticospinal interaction.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

physiology, Spinal Cord, Reaction Time, Psychomotor Performance, Photic Stimulation, Motor Neurons, Motor Cortex, Male, Magnetoencephalography, Humans, Female, Electromyography, Adult, Action Potentials

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      Neuronal groups can interact with each other even if they are widely separated. One group might modulate its firing rate or its internal oscillatory synchronization to influence another group. We propose that coherence between two neuronal groups is a mechanism of efficient interaction, because it renders mutual input optimally timed and thereby maximally effective. Modulations of subjects' readiness to respond in a simple reaction-time task were closely correlated with the strength of gamma-band (40 to 70 hertz) coherence between motor cortex and spinal cord neurons. This coherence may contribute to an effective corticospinal interaction and shortened reaction times.

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