Abstract

The medial motor areas play crucial but flexible roles in the temporal organizations of multiple movements. The beta oscillation of local field potentials is the predominant oscillatory activity in the motor areas, but the manner in which increases and decreases in beta power contribute to updating of multiple action plans is not yet fully understood. In the present study, beta and high-gamma activities in the supplementary motor area (SMA) and pre-SMA of monkeys were analyzed during performance of a bimanual motor sequence task that required updating and maintenance of the memory of action sequences. Beta power was attenuated during early delay periods of updating trials but was increased during maintenance trials, while there was a reciprocal increase in high-gamma power during updating trials. Moreover, transient attenuation of beta power during maintenance trials resulted in the erroneous selection of an action sequence. Therefore, it was concluded that the suppression of beta power during the early delay period reflects volatility of neural representation of the action sequence. This neural representation would be properly updated to the appropriate instructed action sequence via increases in high-gamma power in updating trials whereas it would be erroneously updated without the appropriate updating signal in maintenance trials.

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