To answer the question of whether the same brain circuit(s) facilitates motor imagery (MI), motor execution (ME), and movement observation (MO), we conducted electroencephalography (EEG) experiment combining the three motor conditions in the same experimental runs. The EEG data were analyzed using two different independent component analysis (ICA) decomposition approaches: a single ICA decomposition on all EEG data combined and separate ICA decomposition on the EEG data obtained from the separate conditions. The results indicated that the separate ICA approach may provide a better fit to the EEG data obtained from the separate conditions to deliver specific independent right mu components with distinct topographies for each of the motor conditions. The topography of the MI condition covered the brain regions posterior to the central sulcus (P4 EEG channel); the ME condition covered the brain regions anterior to the central sulcus (C4 EEG channel), and the MO condition had broader coverage with the main activation in the premotor region (CP4 EEG channel). The source localization results also exhibited significant differences among the motor conditions. In addition, the result of single ICA decomposition resembled the result of separate ICA decomposition on the EEG data of ME with similar topographies and closely located EEG sources. This finding may further indicate that the result of single ICA decomposition may be dominated by the ME motor condition because it manifests higher data variance than the other two motor conditions.
- Independent component analysis
- Motor imagery
- Source localization