Strengthening connectivity between premotor and motor cortex increases inter-areal communication in the human brain
The ventral premotor cortex (PMv) is an important component of cortico-cortical pathways mediating prefrontal control over primary motor cortex (M1) function. Paired associative stimulation (ccPAS) is known to change PMv influence over M1 in humans, which manifests differently depending on the behavioural context. Here we show that these changes in influence are functionally linked to PMv-M1 phase synchrony changes induced by repeated paired stimulation of the two areas. PMv-to-M1 ccPAS leads to increased phase synchrony in alpha and beta bands while reversed order M1-to-PMv ccPAS leads to decreased theta phase synchrony. These changes are visible at rest but they are predictive of changes in oscillatory power in the same frequencies during movement execution and inhibition, respectively. The results unveil a link between the physiology of the motor network and the resonant frequencies mediating its interactions, and provide a putative mechanism underpinning the relationship between synaptic efficacy and brain oscillations.