Descending control to the nonparetic limb degrades the cyclic activity of paretic leg muscles

Lynn M. Rogers, James W. Stinear, Gwyn N. Lewis, David A. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


During anti-phased locomotor tasks such as cycling or walking, hemiparetic phasing of muscle activity is characterized by inappropriate early onset of activity for some paretic muscles and prolonged activity in others. Pedaling with the paretic limb alone reduces inappropriate prolonged activity, suggesting a combined influence of contralesional voluntary commands and movement-related sensory feedback. Five different non-target leg movement state conditions were performed by 15 subjects post-stroke and 15 nonimpaired controls while they pedaled with the target leg and EMG was recorded bilaterally. Voluntary engagement of the non-lesioned motor system increased prolonged paretic vastus medialis (VM) activity and increased phase-advanced rectus femoris (RF) activity. We suggest bilateral descending commands are primarily responsible for the inappropriate activity in the paretic VM during anti-phase pedaling, and contribute to the dysfunctional motor output in the paretic RF. Findings from controls suggest that even an undamaged motor system can contribute to this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1225-1244
Number of pages20
JournalHuman Movement Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • EMG
  • Human
  • Leg
  • Pedaling
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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