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Laser-Evoked Vertex Potentials Predict Defensive Motor Actions

Moayedi, M; Liang, M; Sim, AL; Hu, L; Haggard, P; Iannetti, GD; (2015) Laser-Evoked Vertex Potentials Predict Defensive Motor Actions. Cerebral Cortex 10.1093/cercor/bhv149. Green open access

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Abstract

The vertex potential is the largest response that can be recorded in the electroencephalogram of an awake, healthy human. It is elicited by sudden and intense stimuli, and is composed by a negative-positive deflection. The stimulus properties that determine the vertex potential amplitude have been well characterized. Nonetheless, its functional significance remains elusive. The dominant interpretation is that it reflects neural activities related to the detection of salient stimuli. However, given that threatening stimuli elicit both vertex potentials and defensive movements, we hypothesized that the vertex potential is related to the execution of defensive actions. Here, we directly compared the salience and motoric interpretations by investigating the relationship between the amplitude of laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) and the response time of movements with different defensive values. First, we show that a larger LEP negative wave (N2 wave) predicts faster motor response times. Second, this prediction is significantly stronger when the motor response is defensive in nature. Third, the relation between the N2 wave and motor response time depends not only on the kinematic form of the movement, but also on whether that kinematic form serves as a functional defense of the body. Therefore, the N2 wave of the LEP encodes key defensive reactions to threats.

Type: Article
Title: Laser-Evoked Vertex Potentials Predict Defensive Motor Actions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhv149
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhv149
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: agency, defense, event-related potentials, saliency, sensorimotor integration, threat detection
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470399
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