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Science 308 (5718): 111-113

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Neuronal Coherence as a Mechanism of Effective Corticospinal Interaction

Jan-Mathijs Schoffelen,1,2* Robert Oostenveld,1,3 Pascal Fries1,2

Abstract: 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.

1 F. C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6525 EK Nijmegen, Netherlands.
2 Department of Biophysics, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6525 EZ Nijmegen, Netherlands.
3 Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction (SMI), Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7 D-3, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jan.schoffelen{at}

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