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Bicycling and Walking are Associated with Different Cortical Oscillatory Dynamics

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      Abstract

      Although bicycling and walking involve similar complex coordinated movements, surprisingly Parkinson’s patients with freezing of gait typically remain able to bicycle despite severe difficulties in walking. This observation suggests functional differences in the motor networks subserving bicycling and walking. However, a direct comparison of brain activity related to bicycling and walking has never been performed, neither in healthy participants nor in patients. Such a comparison could potentially help elucidating the cortical involvement in motor control and the mechanisms through which bicycling ability may be preserved in patients with freezing of gait. The aim of this study was to contrast the cortical oscillatory dynamics involved in bicycling and walking in healthy participants. To this end, EEG and EMG data of 14 healthy participants were analyzed, who cycled on a stationary bicycle at a slow cadence of 40 revolutions per minute (rpm) and walked at 40 strides per minute (spm), respectively. Relative to walking, bicycling was associated with a stronger power decrease in the high beta band (23–35 Hz) during movement initiation and execution, followed by a stronger beta power increase after movement termination. Walking, on the other hand, was characterized by a stronger and persisting alpha power (8–12 Hz) decrease. Both bicycling and walking exhibited movement cycle-dependent power modulation in the 24–40 Hz range that was correlated with EMG activity. This modulation was significantly stronger in walking. The present findings reveal differential cortical oscillatory dynamics in motor control for two types of complex coordinated motor behavior, i.e., bicycling and walking. Bicycling was associated with a stronger sustained cortical activation as indicated by the stronger high beta power decrease during movement execution and less cortical motor control within the movement cycle. We speculate this to be due to the more continuous nature of bicycling demanding less phase-dependent sensory processing and motor planning, as opposed to walking.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Germany
            2Department of Medical Engineering, Ruhr-University Bochum Bochum, Germany
            3Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Konstanz Konstanz, Germany
            4Zukunftskolleg and Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz Konstanz, Germany
            Author notes

            Edited by: Klaus Gramann, Berlin Institute of Technology, Germany

            Reviewed by: Johanna Wagner, Graz University of Technology, Austria; Pedro M. R. Reis, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany; Helen Jingi Huang, University of Michigan, USA

            *Correspondence: Lena Storzer lena.storzer@ 123456hhu.de
            Contributors
            Journal
            Front Hum Neurosci
            Front Hum Neurosci
            Front. Hum. Neurosci.
            Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
            Frontiers Media S.A.
            1662-5161
            19 February 2016
            2016
            : 10
            26924977
            4759288
            10.3389/fnhum.2016.00061
            Copyright © 2016 Storzer, Butz, Hirschmann, Abbasi, Gratkowski, Saupe, Schnitzler and Dalal.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution and reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

            Counts
            Figures: 5, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 71, Pages: 12, Words: 9266
            Categories
            Neuroscience
            Original Research

            Neurosciences

            bicycling, eeg, walking, motor control, oscillations, sensorimotor cortex

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