Here, we compared motor evoked potentials (MEP) in response to transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex and the H-reflex during voluntary and vibration-induced air-stepping movements in humans. Both the MEPs (in mm biceps femoris, rectus femoris and tibialis anterior) and H-reflex (in m soleus) were significantly smaller during vibration-induced cyclic leg movements at matched amplitudes of angular motion and muscle activity. These findings highlight differences between voluntary and non-voluntary activation of the spinal pattern generator circuitry in humans, presumably due to an extra facilitatory effect of voluntary control/triggering of stepping on spinal motoneurons and interneurons. The results support the idea of active engagement of supraspinal motor areas in developing central pattern generator-modulating therapies.
- Central pattern generator
- Motor cortex
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas