The amplified analog outputs from the Viking were digitized at 5 kHz using labview software (National Instruments, Austin, TX, USA), and stored on a PC for offline analysis. The task, similar to one previously published (Beck et al., 2008, 2009a,b,c; Beck & Hallett, 2010), Bafetinib manufacturer was a simple acoustic reaction time (RT) task. Subjects had to perform an index finger flexion in order to press on the force transducer in response to a tone. The acoustic signal lasted 200 ms. In this
task, FDI participated as a synergist rather than as prime mover, but it has been shown that the modulation of the cortical excitability of synergists is similar to that of prime movers (Sohn & Hallett, 2004b). In response to the tone, subjects had to press the transducer as fast as possible, using only 10% of their maximum voluntary contraction. The maximum voluntary contraction was defined as the averaged strength obtained after three trials during which subjects used their maximal strength to push on the transducer device. They were told to use only the strength of their index finger and not to contract other forearm and arm muscles. The force level was then individually adjusted to 10% of the maximum voluntary contraction and displayed
online as a target line on an oscilloscope placed on a table in front of them. The output of the force transducer was also displayed on the oscilloscope as direct online feedback. During the task, subjects had Entinostat order to maintain their contraction for approximately 1 s. Subjects practiced the task at the from beginning of the experiment to attain a consistent motor performance. Once the subjects showed consistent motor performance, four different phases of the movement preparation were assessed: rest, 100 ms before electromyography onset in FDI (T100), 50 ms before electromyography onset (T50) and time of the first peak of electromyography in FDI (Tpeak). The electromyography onset and first peak were measured individually as an average of FDI electromyography in 10 consecutive trials (Fig. 1). Magnetic stimulation was delivered using two custom-made figure-of-eight coils with an inner loop diameter of 35 mm
connected to two high-power Magstim 200 stimulators (Magstim Company Ltd, Whitland, Dyfed, UK). Stimulations were applied over the point that evoked the largest motor evoked potential (MEP) in the contralateral APB (‘motor hotspot’). MEPs were measured over the APB and FDI, but only one motor hotspot was tested (APB hotspot). MEP size was determined by averaging peak-to-peak amplitudes. The coil used to stimulate the motor hotspot was held tangentially to the scalp, at a 45° angle from the anteroposterior axis and with the handle pointing posterolaterally (Fig. 1A1). The resting motor threshold (RMT) of the APB was measured for each subject and defined as the lowest intensity that induced a 50 μV peak-to-peak amplitude MEP in at least five out of 10 trials.