Regional cerebral blood flow was measured in six right-handed volunteers using positron emission tomography during tasks involving repetitive self- paced finger tapping at five different frequencies. The contralateral primary sensor/motor cortex, the pre-supplementary motor area and the cingulate motor area showed significant activation during self-paced finger tapping tasks, compared with the resting state. A positive correlation between the regional cerebral blood flow and the movement frequency was found only in the primary sensor/motor cortex. In the pre-supplementary motor area and the cingulate motor area, however, activity increased when the subject employed movement frequencies faster or slower than his own pace. The same tendency was noted with respect to the relative variability of the inter-tapping interval. The results therefore indicate that the activity of the pre-supplementary motor area and the cingulate motor area may well be related to the increased difficulty in motor control rather than to the execution of the movement itself.
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