In temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) seizures, tonic or clonic motor behaviors (TCB) are commonly associated with automatisms, versions, and vocalizations, and frequently occur during secondary generalization. Dystonias are a common finding and appear to be associated with automatisms and head deviation, but have never been directly linked to generalized tonic or clonic behaviors. The objective of the present study was to assess whether dystonias and TCB are coupled in the same seizure or are associated in an antagonistic and exclusive pattern. Ninety-one seizures in 55 patients with TLE due to mesial temporal sclerosis were analyzed. Only patients with postsurgical seizure outcome of Engel class I or II were included. Presence or absence of dystonia and secondary generalization was recorded. Occurrence of dystonia and occurrence of bilateral tonic or clonic behaviors were negatively correlated. Dystonia and TCB may be implicated in exclusive, non-coincidental, or even antagonistic effects or phenomena in TLE seizures. A neural network related to the expression of one behavioral response (e.g., basal ganglia activation and dystonia) might theoretically "displace" brain activation or disrupt the synchronism of another network implicated in pathological circuit reverberation and seizure expression. The involvement of basal ganglia in the blockade of convulsive seizures has long been observed in animal models. The question is: Do dystonia and underlying basal ganglia activation represent an attempt of the brain to block imminent secondary generalization?