The sensorimotor cortex plays an important role in motor control and its study has brought important insights on how posture and movement are influenced by brain mechanisms. Studies based on the corticomuscular coherence (CMC) measured between electroencephalographic and electromyographic signals have been made in recent decades and have helped in understand some of the influences of cortical oscillatory activities on muscle control. The focus of most studies with CMC is towards upper limbs, but CMC for lower limbs is still little known. Given the importance of motor control of the lower limbs to posture and gait, it is important to understand the influence of cortical activity for these control functions. Thus, the aim of this study is to analyze the CMC for two different motor tasks at ankle joint, one being performed with torque against a rigid obstacle (task force, TF) and the other being performed with torque against a free weight (position task, TP). Specifically, we will study the factors that may influence the synergism between cortical and muscular oscillatory activities during TF and TP, including: 1) the type of force applied (static and dynamic), 2) the muscle contraction magnitude, and 3) the frequency of dynamic contraction. The results of this study may provide a better understanding of the specific neurophysiological mechanisms linking the cortex to the motor unit pool of the lower limbs. This knowledge may result in the development of intervention strategies for rehabilitation and may also assist in the monitoring of neural plasticity resulting from therapeutic interventions.
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