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Keywords:

  • coherence;
  • development;
  • motoneurone

Abstract

Changes in coherence and cumulant calculated between electroencephalograph (EEG) recorded from the scalp over primary motor cortex and rectified surface electromyograph (EMG) recorded from the contralateral wrist extensor muscles have been studied during development in humans (48 subjects, age 0–59 years). Using the techniques of EEG–EMG coherence and cumulant analysis and pooled coherence and cumulant analysis we demonstrate that between childhood, adolescence and adulthood there are increases in the prevalence and magnitude of coherence at frequencies between 15 and 35 Hz with corresponding development of a tri-phasic feature in the EEG–EMG cumulant. The results show for the first time that changes in the cortical ∼20 Hz oscillatory drive to human motoneurone pools take place during motor development.