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      Neuroimaging of Human Balance Control: A Systematic Review

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          This review examined 83 articles using neuroimaging modalities to investigate the neural correlates underlying static and dynamic human balance control, with aims to support future mobile neuroimaging research in the balance control domain. Furthermore, this review analyzed the mobility of the neuroimaging hardware and research paradigms as well as the analytical methodology to identify and remove movement artifact in the acquired brain signal. We found that the majority of static balance control tasks utilized mechanical perturbations to invoke feet-in-place responses (27 out of 38 studies), while cognitive dual-task conditions were commonly used to challenge balance in dynamic balance control tasks (20 out of 32 studies). While frequency analysis and event related potential characteristics supported enhanced brain activation during static balance control, that in dynamic balance control studies was supported by spatial and frequency analysis. Twenty-three of the 50 studies utilizing EEG utilized independent component analysis to remove movement artifacts from the acquired brain signals. Lastly, only eight studies used truly mobile neuroimaging hardware systems. This review provides evidence to support an increase in brain activation in balance control tasks, regardless of mechanical, cognitive, or sensory challenges. Furthermore, the current body of literature demonstrates the use of advanced signal processing methodologies to analyze brain activity during movement. However, the static nature of neuroimaging hardware and conventional balance control paradigms prevent full mobility and limit our knowledge of neural mechanisms underlying balance control.

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          Most cited references 135

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          The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration.

          Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are essential to summarize evidence relating to efficacy and safety of health care interventions accurately and reliably. The clarity and transparency of these reports, however, is not optimal. Poor reporting of systematic reviews diminishes their value to clinicians, policy makers, and other users. Since the development of the QUOROM (QUality Of Reporting Of Meta-analysis) Statement--a reporting guideline published in 1999--there have been several conceptual, methodological, and practical advances regarding the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Also, reviews of published systematic reviews have found that key information about these studies is often poorly reported. Realizing these issues, an international group that included experienced authors and methodologists developed PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) as an evolution of the original QUOROM guideline for systematic reviews and meta-analyses of evaluations of health care interventions. The PRISMA Statement consists of a 27-item checklist and a four-phase flow diagram. The checklist includes items deemed essential for transparent reporting of a systematic review. In this Explanation and Elaboration document, we explain the meaning and rationale for each checklist item. For each item, we include an example of good reporting and, where possible, references to relevant empirical studies and methodological literature. The PRISMA Statement, this document, and the associated Web site ( should be helpful resources to improve reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
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            Cortical mapping of gait in humans: a near-infrared spectroscopic topography study.

             T Yanagida,  I Sase,  H Eda (2001)
            While we have a fair understanding of how and where forelimb-hand manipulative movements are controlled by the neocortex, due to functional imaging studies, we know little about the control of bipedal movements such as walking because of technical difficulties. We succeeded in visualizing cortical activation patterns of human gait by measuring relative changes in local hemoglobin oxygenation using a recently developed near-infrared spectroscopic (NIRS) topography technique. Walking activities were bilaterally associated with increased levels of oxygenated and total hemoglobin in the medial primary sensorimotor cortices and the supplementary motor areas. Alternating foot movements activated similar but less broad regions. Gait imagery increased activities caudally located in the supplementary motor areas. These findings provide new insight into cortical control of human locomotion. NIRS topography might be also useful for evaluating cerebral activation patterns during pathological gait and rehabilitative intervention. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
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              Electrocortical activity is coupled to gait cycle phase during treadmill walking.

              Recent findings suggest that human cortex is more active during steady-speed unperturbed locomotion than previously thought. However, techniques that have been used to image the brain during locomotion lack the temporal resolution necessary to assess intra-stride cortical dynamics. Our aim was to determine if electrocortical activity is coupled to gait cycle phase during steady-speed human walking. We used electroencephalography (EEG), motion capture, and a force-measuring treadmill to record brain and body dynamics while eight healthy young adult subjects walked on a treadmill. Infomax independent component analysis (ICA) parsed EEG signals into maximally independent component (IC) processes representing electrocortical sources, muscle sources, and artifacts. We calculated a spatially fixed equivalent current dipole for each IC using an inverse modeling approach, and clustered electrocortical sources across subjects by similarities in dipole locations and power spectra. We then computed spectrograms for each electrocortical source that were time-locked to the gait cycle. Electrocortical sources in the anterior cingulate, posterior parietal, and sensorimotor cortex exhibited significant (p<0.05) intra-stride changes in spectral power. During the end of stance, as the leading foot was contacting the ground and the trailing foot was pushing off, alpha- and beta-band spectral power increased in or near the left/right sensorimotor and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Power increases in the left/right sensorimotor cortex were more pronounced for contralateral limb push-off (ipsilateral heel-strike) than for ipsilateral limb push-off (contralateral heel-strike). Intra-stride high-gamma spectral power changes were evident in anterior cingulate, posterior parietal, and sensorimotor cortex. These data confirm cortical involvement in steady-speed human locomotion. Future applications of these techniques could provide critical insight into the neural mechanisms of movement disorders and gait rehabilitation. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front. Hum. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                10 April 2017
                : 11
                1Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC, USA
                2Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University Chapel Hill, NC, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal, University of Houston, USA

                Reviewed by: Brian H. Dalton, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada; Wei Peng Teo, Deakin University, Australia

                *Correspondence: Chang S. Nam csnam@
                Copyright © 2017 Wittenberg, Thompson, Nam and Franz.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or 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.

                Figures: 1, Tables: 10, Equations: 0, References: 135, Pages: 25, Words: 19038


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