Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

2013 Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Mu Rhythm

  • Beau Reilly
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_740



Mu (μ) rhythm is a type of emitted brain wave that can be measured via electroencephalography (EEG). The mu rhythm frequency band is defined by activity falling between 8 and 13 Hz and recorded by scalp electrodes over the sensorimotor cortex during waking neural activity. The mu rhythm band is posited to reflect the conductance of synchronized activity in large groupings of pyramidal neurons in the brain’s motor cortex (Pfurtscheller, Neuper, Andrew, & Edlinger, 1997) but has also been proposed to reflect activity of the mirror neuron system (Pineda, 2005). The gradual loss of intensity and desynchronicity of neural activity, referred to as attenuation, is suggestive of an increased load on those specific cells and indicative of significant activation (Pfurtscheller et al., 1997). Attenuation of the mu rhythm has been noted during both the execution and observation of actions falling within one’s behavioral repertoire. Physical...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Bernier, R., Dawson, G., Webb, S., & Murias, M. (2007). EEG mu rhythm and imitation impairments in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Brain and Cognition, 64(3), 228–237.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gastaut, H. J., & Bert, J. (1954). EEG changes during cinematographic presentation. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 6, 433–444.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Oberman, L. M., Hubbard, E. M., McCleery, J. P., Altschuler, E. L., Ramachandran, V. S., & Pineda, J. E. (2005). EEG evidence for mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders. Cognitive Brain Research, 24(2), 190–198.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Pfurtscheller, G., Neuper, C., Andrew, C., & Edlinger, A. (1997). Foot and hand area mu rhythms. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 26, 121–135.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Pineda, J. E. (2005). The functional significant of mu rythms: Translating “seeing” and “hearing” into “doing.” Brain Research Reviews, 50, 57–68.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA