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Frequency-Dependent Changes Of Regional Cerebral Blood Flow During Finger Movements

Norihiro Sadato, Vicente Ibañez, Marie-Pierre Deiber, Gregory Campbell, Marc Leonardo, Mark Hallett

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To study the effect of the repetition rate of a simple movement on the distribution and magnitude of neuronal recruitment, we measured regional CBF (rCBF) in eight normal volunteers, using positron emission tomography and 15O-labeled water. An auditory-cued, repetitive flexion movement of the right index finger against the thumb was performed at very slow (0.25 and 0.5 Hz), slow (0.75 and 1 Hz), fast (2 and 2.5 Hz), and very fast (3 and 4 Hz) rates. The increase of rCBF during movement relative to the resting condition was calculated for each pair of movement conditions. Left primary sensorimotor cortex showed no significant activation at the very slow rates. There was a rapid rise of rCBF between the slow and the fast rates, but no further increase at the very fast rates. The right cerebellum showed similar changes. Changes in the left primary sensorimotor cortex and the cerebellum likely reflect the effect of the movement rate. The posterior supplementary motor area (SMA) showed its highest activation at the very slow rates but no significant activation at the very fast rates. Changes correlating with those in the SMA were found in the anterior cingulate gyrus, right prefrontal area, and right thalamus. The decreases in CBF may reflect a progressive change in performance from reactive to predictive.