Mental imagery of whole-body motion along the sagittal-anteroposterior axis

Kajal Patel, Davinia Beaver, Nadja Gruber, G Printezis, Irini Giannopulu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Whole-body motor imagery is conceptualised as a mental symbolisation directly and indirectly associated with neural oscillations similar to whole-body motor execution. Motor and somatosensory activity, including vestibular activity, is a typical corticocortical substrate of body motion. Yet, it is not clear how this neural substrate is organised when participants are instructed to imagine moving their body forward or backward along the sagittal-anteroposterior axis. It is the aim of the current study to identify the fingerprint of the neural substrate by recording the cortical activity of 39 participants via a 32 electroencephalography (EEG) device. The participants were instructed to imagine moving their body forward or backward from a first-person perspective. Principal Component Analysis (i.e. PCA) applied to the neural activity of whole-body motor imagery revealed neural interconnections mirroring between forward and backward conditions: beta pre-motor and motor oscillations in the left and right hemisphere overshadowed beta parietal oscillations in forward condition, and beta parietal oscillations in the left and right hemisphere overshadowed beta pre-motor and motor oscillations in backward condition. Although functional significance needs to be discerned, beta pre-motor, motor and somatosensory oscillations might represent specific settings within the corticocortical network and provide meaningful information regarding the neural dynamics of continuous whole-body motion. It was concluded that the evoked multimodal fronto-parietal neural activity would correspond to the neural activity that could be expected if the participants were physically enacting movement of the whole-body in sagittal-anteroposterior plane as they would in their everyday environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14345
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2022

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