The present study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the characteristics of negative blood oxygen level-dependent (Negative BOLD) signals during motor execution. Subjects repeated extension and flexion of one of the following: the right hand, left hand, right ankle, or left ankle. Negative BOLD responses during hand movements were observed in the ipsilateral hemisphere of the hand primary sensorimotor area (SMI), medial frontal gyrus (MeFG), middle frontal gyrus (MFG), and superior frontal gyrus (SFG). Negative BOLD responses during foot movements were also noted in the bilateral hand SMI, MeFG, MFG, SFG, inferior frontal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, anterior cingulate cortex, cingulate gyrus (CG), fusiform gyrus, and precuneus. A conjunction analysis showed that portions of the MeFG and CG involving similar regions to those of the default mode network were commonly deactivated during voluntary movements of the right/left hand or foot. The present results suggest that three mechanisms are involved in the Negative BOLD responses observed during voluntary movements: (1) transcallosal inhibition from the contralateral to ipsilateral hemisphere in the SMI, (2) the deactivated neural network with several brain regions, and (3) the default mode network in the MeFG and CG.
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