Context-dependent neuroelectric responses during motor control

Fabian Steinberg*, Tobias Vogt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Research on brain responses during motor control is usually performed under typical laboratory settings. However, everyday life and the laboratory differ in many aspects, such as purposeful and motivated behavior, and there's no awareness of "being measured" in everyday life. In the laboratory, movements are usually explicitly instructed, overtly measured and follow no intrinsic motivated purpose. Therefore, here we present a new method to measure and reliably analyze neuroelectric brain responses by EEG, as well as kinematics during the performance of grasping movements in two different behavioral contexts. One context (L) simulates a typical laboratory task and another context (E) uses selected features of everyday behavior. However, in both tasks the mechanical constraints and stimuli for the movement are exactly the same. Amplitudes of event-related N200 and P300 measured at the brain's midline were differentially affected by the two contexts. P300 was increased in L compared to E. N200 was distinct at anterior electrode sites (Fz, Cz) in context E, while it was elevated at posterior electrode sites (Pz, Oz) in context L. For the first time, kinematic and electrophysiological recordings are combined to analyze identical movements, performed in varied behavioral contexts. The results indicate that brain responses measured under typical laboratory context may not be necessarily transferred to everyday life; thus, the present approach offers a wide range of new questions to analyze context-dependent brain responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 5
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • EEG
  • Grasping
  • N200
  • P300

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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