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We recorded scalp electrical activity before and after full neuro-muscular paralysis in 5 volunteers and determined differences due to elimination of muscular activity on several standard applications of EEG. Due to paralysis, there were reductions in 'noisiness' of the standard scalp recordings which were maximal over the peripheral scalp, not explained by abolition of movement artefact, and best accounted for by sustained EMG activity in resting individuals. There was a corresponding reduction in spectral power in the gamma range. In central leads, the extent of gamma frequency coherence during a non-time-locked mental task (1 s epochs) was reduced by paralysis, likely due to a reduction in gamma-frequency coherence in widely arising EMG signals. In a time-locked mental task (auditory oddball), evoked responses were qualitatively unaffected by paralysis but 3 of 4 induced gamma responses were obscured by EMG.

Original publication




Journal article


Brain Topogr

Publication Date





13 - 17


Artifacts, Brain, Electroencephalography, Electromyography, Hand, Humans, Mental Processes, Motor Activity, Muscle, Skeletal, Neuropsychological Tests, Paralysis, Rest, Scalp