Using Corticomuscular and Intermuscular Coherence to Assess Cortical Contribution to Ankle Plantar Flexor Activity During Gait

Peter Jensen, Rasmus Frisk, Meaghan Elizabeth Spedden, Svend Sparre Geertsen, Laurent J Bouyer, David M Halliday, Jens Bo Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study used coherence and directionality analyses to explore whether the motor cortex contributes to plantar flexor muscle activity during the stance phase and push-off phase during gait. Subjects walked on a treadmill, while EEG over the leg motorcortex area and EMG from the medial gastrocnemius and soleus muscles was recorded. Corticomuscular and intermuscular coherence were calculated from pair-wise recordings. Significant EEG-EMG and EMG-EMG coherence in the beta and gamma frequency bands was found throughout the stance phase with the largest coherence towards push-off. Analysis of directionality revealed that EEG activity preceded EMG activity throughout the stance phase until the time of push-off. These findings suggest that the motor cortex contributes to ankle plantar flexor muscle activity and forward propulsion during gait.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-680
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

©Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • Coherence
  • EMG
  • cortex
  • directionality
  • gait
  • spinal motor neurons

Cite this