Electronic versions

  • Katja Kornysheva
    University College London
  • Ricarda I Schubotz

Integrating auditory and motor information often requires precise timing as in speech and music. In humans, the position of the ventral premotor cortex (PMv) in the dorsal auditory stream renders this area a node for auditory-motor integration. Yet, it remains unknown whether the PMv is critical for auditory-motor timing and which activity increases help to preserve task performance following its disruption. 16 healthy volunteers participated in two sessions with fMRI measured at baseline and following rTMS (rTMS) of either the left PMv or a control region. Subjects synchronized left or right finger tapping to sub-second beat rates of auditory rhythms in the experimental task, and produced self-paced tapping during spectrally matched auditory stimuli in the control task. Left PMv rTMS impaired auditory-motor synchronization accuracy in the first sub-block following stimulation (p<0.01, Bonferroni corrected), but spared motor timing and attention to task. Task-related activity increased in the homologue right PMv, but did not predict the behavioral effect of rTMS. In contrast, anterior midline cerebellum revealed most pronounced activity increase in less impaired subjects. The present findings suggest a critical role of the left PMv in feed-forward computations enabling accurate auditory-motor timing, which can be compensated by activity modulations in the cerebellum, but not in the homologue region contralateral to stimulation.


  • Acoustic Stimulation, Adult, Evoked Potentials, Motor, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Motor Cortex, Perception, Young Adult, Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e21421
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes
View graph of relations