Neural oscillations in the motor system
The importance of the influence of neural oscillations in human behavior is still a matter of debate. The aim of this project is to investigate the relationship between neural oscillations of different frequency bands and their impact on the motor system. We are doing this firstly by correlating neural oscillations measured with EEG during various motor tasks with behavioural performance, and secondly by influencing those neural oscillations with transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial electrical stimulation. With this combination of approaches we are trying to establish a causal link between neural oscillations and function.
Various brain stimulation methods have been developed to improve motor learning and recovery in the healthy population and neurological patients. At first glance, one would assume that in order to influence motor performance, the motor cortex would need to be stimulated. However, this assumption neglects the importance of somatosensory processing in motor control. The role of intact sensory functioning has been demonstrated in several studies, which report that interruption to somatosensory information affects corrective movements or the learning of novel tasks. In our lab we try to enhance sensory perception with different brain stimulation methods. We focus on the tactile, central visual and peripheral nervous systems.