Time–Frequency Modulation of ERD and EEG Coherence in Robot-Assisted Hand Performance

Emanuela Formaggio, Silvia Francesca Storti, Ilaria Boscolo Galazzo, Marialuisa Gandolfi, Christian Geroin, Nicola Smania, Antonio Fiaschi, Paolo Manganotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A better understanding of cortical modifications related to movement preparation and execution after robot-assisted training could aid in refining rehabilitation therapy protocols for stroke patients. Electroencephalography (EEG) modifications of cortical activity in healthy subjects were evaluated using time–frequency event-related EEG and task-related coherence (TRCoh). Twenty-one channel EEG was recorded in eight subjects during protocols of active, passive, and imagined movements. The subjects performed robot-assisted tasks using the Bi-Manu-Track robot-assisted arm trainer. We applied time–frequency event-related synchronization/desynchronization (ERS/ERD) and TRCoh approaches to investigate where movement-related decreases in power were localized and to study the functional relationships between areas. Our results showed ERD of sensorimotor (SM) area over the contralateral side before the movement and bilateral ERD during execution of the movement. ERD during passive movements was similar in topography to that observed during voluntary movements, but without pre-movement components. No significant difference in time course ERD was observed among the three types of movement over the two SM areas. The TRCoh topography was similar for active and imagined movement; before passive movement, the frontal regions were uncoupled from the SM regions and did not contribute to task performance. This study suggests new perspectives for the evaluation of brain oscillatory activity and the neurological assessment of motor performance by means of quantitative EEG to better understand the planning and execution of movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-363
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Topography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Active movement
  • Bi-Manu-Track
  • Motor imagery
  • Passive movement
  • Task-related coherence
  • Time–frequency ERD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anatomy
  • Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Medicine(all)


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