Interhemispheric connectivity during bimanual isometric force generation

Jinyi Long, Toshiki Tazoe, Demetris S. Soteropoulos, Monica A Perez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Interhemispheric interactions through the corpus callosum play an important role in the control of bimanual forces. However, the extent to which physiological connections between primary motor cortices are modulated during increasing levels of bimanual force generation in intact humans remains poorly understood. Here we studied coherence between electroencephalographic (EEG) signals and the ipsilateral cortical silent period (iSP), two well-known measures of interhemispheric connectivity between motor cortices, during unilateral and bilateral 10%, 40%, and 70% of maximal isometric voluntary contraction (MVC) into index finger abduction. We found that EEG-EEG coherence in the alpha frequency band decreased while the iSP area increased during bilateral compared with unilateral 40% and 70% but not 10% of MVC. Decreases in coherence in the alpha frequency band correlated with increases in the iSP area, and subjects who showed this inverse relation were able to maintain more steady bilateral muscle contractions. To further examine the relationship between the iSP and coherence we electrically stimulated the ulnar nerve at the wrist at the alpha frequency. Electrical stimulation increased coherence in the alpha frequency band and decreased the iSP area during bilateral 70% of MVC. Altogether, our findings demonstrate an inverse relation between alpha oscillations and the iSP during strong levels of bimanual force generation. We suggest that interactions between neural pathways mediating alpha oscillatory activity and transcallosal inhibition between motor cortices might contribute to the steadiness of strong bilateral isometric muscle contractions in intact humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1196-1207
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Bilateral control
  • Bilateral force
  • Cortico-cortical coupling
  • Ipsilateral cortical silent period
  • Voluntary movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • General Neuroscience


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