There is an important clinical need to develop functional imaging techniques that can quantify brain processes during human locomotion and relate them to body dynamics. Mobile brain imaging could assist with the diagnosis and treatment of patients with numerous movement disorders and neurological injuries. We propose that Independent Component Analysis of high-density electroencephalography (EEG) can quantify distinct brain processes involved in the control of human gait. Furthermore, we contend that electrocortical brain processes identified using Independent Component Analysis of EEG correlate with whole body dynamics. We will study healthy young subjects performing various locomotor tasks while we record movement kinematics and 256-channel EEG using active scalp electrodes.
In Specific Aim 1, we will examine subjects walking at a range of speeds to determine if intra-stride patterns of activation and deactivation synchronized to the gait cycle are consistent across walking speeds.
In Specific Aim 2, we will examine subjects performing passive recumbent stepping and active recumbent stepping to determine the relative effects of sensory feedback vs. motor feed forward commands with sensory feedback on electrocortical brain processes. We hypothesize that passive recumbent stepping will engage fewer electrocortical sources than active recumbent stepping. We will also compare active recumbent stepping with treadmill walking to determine the similarities between recumbent stepping and walking in activating cortical brain processes.
In Specific Aim 3, we will examine subjects walking on a split-belt treadmill to quantify sensorimotor hemispheric independence using coherence.
In Specific Aim 4, we will study subjects walking on a narrow treadmill-mounted balance beam to identify the electrocortical processes involved in maintaining and monitoring balance. The results from this study will advance our understanding of electrocortical dynamics related to the control of human walking, and will lead to new studies probing mechanisms of neurological gait impairments. The findings could also facilitate new brain- machine interface technologies for controlling robotic orthoses or prostheses.

Public Health Relevance

We will use head mounted electrodes and signal processing techniques to identify brain activity related to the control of human walking. The results may lead to new imaging techniques for studying brain function during diagnosis and rehabilitation of movement disorders.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01NS073649-04
Application #
8727116
Study Section
Motor Function, Speech and Rehabilitation Study Section (MFSR)
Program Officer
Chen, Daofen
Project Start
2011-09-01
Project End
2015-07-31
Budget Start
2014-09-01
Budget End
2015-07-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$325,354
Indirect Cost
$108,792
Name
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Department
Miscellaneous
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
073133571
City
Ann Arbor
State
MI
Country
United States
Zip Code
48109
Kline, Julia E; Poggensee, Katherine; Ferris, Daniel P (2014) Your brain on speed: cognitive performance of a spatial working memory task is not affected by walking speed. Front Hum Neurosci 8:288
Gramann, Klaus; Ferris, Daniel P; Gwin, Joseph et al. (2014) Imaging natural cognition in action. Int J Psychophysiol 91:22-9
Sipp, Amy R; Gwin, Joseph T; Makeig, Scott et al. (2013) Loss of balance during balance beam walking elicits a multifocal theta band electrocortical response. J Neurophysiol 110:2050-60