The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Oscillatory neuronal dynamics associated with manual acupuncture: a magnetoencephalography study using beamforming analysis

Asghar, Aziz U. R., Johnson, Robyn L., Woods, William, Green, Gary G. R., Lewith, George and Macpherson, Hugh (2012) Oscillatory neuronal dynamics associated with manual acupuncture: a magnetoencephalography study using beamforming analysis Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, (303) (doi:10.3389/fnhum.2012.00303).

Record type: Article


Magnetoencephalography(MEG) enables non-invasive recording of neuronal activity, with reconstruction methods providing estimates of underlying brain source locations and oscillatory dynamics from externally recorded neuromagetic fields. The aim of our study was to use MEG to determine the effect of manual acupuncture on neuronal oscillatory dynamics. A major problem in MEG investigations of manual acupuncture is the absence of onset times for each needle manipulation. Given that beam forming (spatialfiltering) analysisis not dependent upon stimulus-driven responses being phase locked to stimulus onset, we postulated that beamforming could reveal source locations and induced changes in neuronal activity during manual acupuncture. In a beamformer analysis, a two-minute period of manual acupuncture needle manipulation delivered to the ipsilateral right LI-4(Hegu) acupoint was contrasted with a two-minute baseline period. We considered oscillatory power changes in the theta(4–8Hz), alpha(8–13Hz), beta(13–30Hz), and gamma(30–100Hz) frequency bands. We found significant decreases in beta band power in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortexand superior frontal gyrus(SFG).In the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere, we found significant power decreases in beta and gamma frequency bands in only the SFG. No significant power modulations were found in theta and alpha bands. Our results indicate that beam forming is a useful analytical tool to reconstruct underlying neuronal activity associated with manual acupuncture. Our main finding was of beta power decreases in primary somatosensory cortex and SFG, which opens up a line of future investigation regarding whether this contributes toward an underlying mechanism of acupuncture.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 16 November 2012
Keywords: acupuncture, magnetoencephalography, beamforming, oscillations, somatosensory cortex
Organisations: Primary Care & Population Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 345309
ISSN: 1662-5161
PURE UUID: 446168d2-c68f-41c9-87ea-40051e0c93f0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Nov 2012 14:44
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:11

Export record



Author: Aziz U. R. Asghar
Author: Robyn L. Johnson
Author: William Woods
Author: Gary G. R. Green
Author: George Lewith
Author: Hugh Macpherson

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.