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Rolandic alpha and beta EEG rhythms' strengths are inversely related to fMRI-BOLD signal in primary somatosensory and motor cortex

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Abstract

Similar to the posterior alpha rhythm, pericentral (Rolandic) EEG rhythms in the alpha and beta frequency range are referred to as “idle rhythms” indicating a “resting state” of the respective system. The precise function of these rhythms is not clear. We used simultaneous EEG-fMRI during a bimanual motor task to localize brain areas involved in Rolandic alpha and beta EEG rhythms. The identification of these rhythms in the MR environment was achieved by a blind source separation algorithm. Rhythm “strength”, i.e. spectral power determined by wavelet analysis, inversely correlated most strongly with the fMRI-BOLD signal in the postcentral cortex for the Rolandic alpha (mu) rhythm and in the precentral cortex for the Rolandic beta rhythm. FMRI correlates of Rolandic alpha and beta rhythms were distinct from those associated with the posterior “classical” alpha rhythm, which correlated inversely with the BOLD signal in the occipital cortex. An inverse correlation with the BOLD signal in the respective sensory area seems to be a general feature of “idle rhythms”. Hum Brain Mapp 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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