Baseline hippocampal beta band power is lower in the presence of movement uncertainty

Zachary D. Gilbert, Roberto Martin Del Campo-Vera, Austin M. Tang, Kuang Hsuan Chen, Rinu Sebastian, Arthur Shao, Emiliano Tabarsi, Ryan S. Chung, Andrea Leonor, Shivani Sundaram, Christi Heck, George Nune, Charles Y. Liu, Spencer Kellis, Brian Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. This study aimed to characterize hippocampal neural signatures of uncertainty by measuring beta band power in the period prior to movement cue. Approach. Participants with epilepsy were implanted with hippocampal depth electrodes for stereo electroencephalographic (SEEG) monitoring. Hippocampal beta (13-30 Hz) power changes have been observed during motor tasks such as the direct reach (DR) and Go/No-Go (GNG) tasks. The primary difference between the tasks is the presence of uncertainty about whether movement should be executed. Previous research on cortical responses to uncertainty has found that baseline beta power changes with uncertainty. SEEG data were sampled throughout phases of the DR and GNG tasks. Beta-band power during the fixation phase was compared between the DR and GNG task using a Wilcoxon rank sum test. This unpaired test was also used to analyze response times from cue to task completion between tasks. Main results. Eight patients who performed both reaching tasks were analyzed in this study. Movement response times in the GNG task were on average 210 milliseconds slower than in the DR task. All patients exhibited a significantly increased response latency in the GNG task compared to the DR task (Wilcoxon rank-sum p-value < 0.001). Six out of eight patients demonstrated statistically significant differences in beta power in single hippocampal contacts between the fixation phases of the GNG and DR tasks. At the group level, baseline beta power was significantly lower in the GNG task than in the DR task (Wilcoxon rank-sum p-value < 0.001). Significance. This novel study found that, in the presence of task uncertainty, baseline beta power in the hippocampus is lower than in its absence. This finding implicates movement uncertainty as an important factor in baseline hippocampal beta power during movement preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046019
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • beta
  • hippocampus
  • human
  • local field potential
  • motor uncertainty
  • proactive motor inhibition
  • stereo electroencephalography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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