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Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Movement Biomechanics

In an open space at the Faculty of Motor Sciences, the LNMB (Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Movement Biomechanics) embraces searchers with different backgrounds encouraging interactions under common propositions:

“Movement is inescapable in understanding the human essence of sensorimotor, cognition, emotion, and social communication processes. Oscillatory brain activity is their crucial mechanism.”

Links :
Fonds Leibu


The state of sensorimotor cortical oscillations at hand

Beta sensorimotor cortical oscillations are the direct reflection of the state of human sensorimotor brain functions, making them an abundant topic of fundamental and translational research. Fundamental studies have revealed that beta sensorimotor cortical oscillations leave a detectable trace in muscle activity and in finger tremor. This project will assess the possibility of assessing modulations in beta sensorimotor cortical oscillations through inexpensive recordings of signals measurable directly from the upper limb. In a second phase, it will examine the applicability of such inexpensive means to monitor sensorimotor brain to monitor the progression of Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

Collaborations : Thomas Legrand, Scott Mongold, Gilles Naeije

Insight into the neurophysiological mechanisms of brain–peripheral couplings and relevance for motor performances

How the brain orchestrates sensorimotor control of various motor acts is still unclear. Of potential relevance to sensorimotor control are two brain–peripheral coupling phenomena: Corticokinematic coupling (CKC), the coupling between brain and repetitive movement kinematics, and corticomuscular coupling (CMC), the coupling between brain and muscle activity at 20 Hz mainly seen during steady muscle contractions. 
Both couplings can be revealed with scalp electrophysiological recordings such as EEG and MEG. 
This project draws on movement biomechanics approaches to answer 3 major neuroscience questions: Which aspects of the communication between the brain and the periphery do CKC and CMC support? 
To which extent these couplings are functionally/behaviorally relevant? And what is the role of the cerebellum in maintaining these couplings? 
The key innovative element is the focus on the low frequency oscillations, which hold the promise of being the medium of proprioceptive signaling, a central component of the most promising theory of sensorimotor control.

Collaborations : Thomas Legrand, Scott Mongold, Gilles Naeije, Xavier De Tiège

Altered and enhanced cortical proprioceptive processing in human models

Maintaining upright posture is a complex task requiring the integration of afferent information from the visual, somatosensory and
vestibular systems. Proprioception, one of the senses supported by the somatosensory system, is essential to carry out the corrective
motions needed to maintain balance. Indeed, a decrease in proprioceptive accuracy has been related to balance deficits and an
increased risk of falling. Ballet dancers have been shown to integrate proprioceptive signals more strongly and rely more on
proprioception than non-dancers, while proprioceptive acuity has been shown to be impaired in knee osteoarthritis (KOA) patients.
However, the dissimilarities arising from differences in proprioceptive acuity and integration at the level of the cerebral cortex are
unknown. Thus, this project aims to characterize objective neurophysiological markers of efficient proprioceptive integration. In the
long term, this could help implement and optimize strategies to attenuate the decline in proprioception in pathological populations.

Collaboration : Scott Mongold, Marc Vander Ghinst, Gilles Naeije