Data_Sheet_2_Brain Activity During Unilateral Physical and Imagined Isometric Contractions.PDF
By convention, it is believed that the ipsilateral side of the body is controlled by the contralateral side of the brain. Past studies measuring brain activity primarily recorded changes before and after an intervention is performed on one side of the body within one hemisphere (usually the contralateral) of the brain. The purpose of this investigation was to observe the brain activity within the left and right hemispheres of the prefrontal and sensorimotor cortices during physical and imagined, dominant and non-dominant unilateral isometric elbow flexion. Fifteen right hand dominant individuals (six males and nine females) between the ages of 18 and 21 performed four different isometric contractions of their biceps brachii at a preacher curl bench: dominant physical contraction (DomCon), non-dominant physical contraction (NonCon), dominant imagined contraction (DomImagine), and non-dominant imagined contraction (NonImagine). Each contraction was sustained for 5 s followed by 30 s of rest. Motor activity-related cortical potential (MRCP) and event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) within the right and left hemispheres of the sensorimotor and prefrontal cortices were determined for each condition at 500–1,000 ms and 2,000–2,500 ms after initiation of contraction. MRCP and ERSP were both changed at the 500–1,000 ms time window for all conditions. Changes in the 2,000–2,500 ms window were most consistently observed during physical contractions. While the changes during DomCon occurred in the left (contralateral) side of the brain, the greatest changes observed in MRCP and ERSP occurred in both sides of the brain during the NonCon condition. Further understanding of bilateral changes in brain activity during unilateral tasks is valuable for improving rehabilitation practices through mental and physical exercise.