Altered Corticomuscular Coherence (CMCoh) Pattern in the Upper Limb During Finger Movements After Stroke

Ziqi Guo, Qiuyang Qian, Kiu Fung Wong, Hanlin Zhu, Yanhuan Huang, Xiaoling Hu, Yongping Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Proximal compensation to the distal movements is commonly observed in the affected upper extremity (UE) of patients with chronic stroke. However, the cortical origin of this compensation has not been well-understood. In this study, corticomuscular coherence (CMCoh) and electromyography (EMG) analysis were adopted to investigate the corticomuscular coordinating pattern of proximal UE compensatory activities when conducting distal UE movements in chronic stroke. Method: Fourteen chronic stroke subjects and 10 age-matched unimpaired controls conducted isometric finger extensions and flexions at 20 and 40% of maximal voluntary contractions. Electroencephalogram (EEG) data were recorded from the sensorimotor area and EMG signals were captured from extensor digitorum (ED), flexor digitorum (FD), triceps brachii (TRI), and biceps brachii (BIC) to investigate the CMCoh peak values in the Beta band. EMG parameters, i.e., the EMG activation level and co-contraction index (CI), were analyzed to evaluate the compensatory muscular patterns in the upper limb. Result: The peak CMCoh with statistical significance (P < 0.05) was found shifted from the ipsilesional side to the contralesional side in the proximal UE muscles, while to the central regions in the distal UE muscle in chronic strokes. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were observed in both peak ED and FD CMCohs during finger extensions between the two groups. The unimpaired controls exhibited significant intragroup differences between 20 and 40% levels in extensions for peak ED and FD CMCohs (P < 0.05). The stroke subjects showed significant differences in peak TRI and BIC CMCohs (P < 0.01). No significant inter- or intra-group difference was observed in peak CMCoh during finger flexions. EMG parameters showed higher EMG activation levels in TRI and BIC muscles (P < 0.05), and higher CI values in the muscle pairs involving TRI and BIC during all the extension and flexion tasks in the stroke group than those in the control group (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The post-stroke proximal muscular compensations from the elbow to the finger movements were cortically originated, with the center mainly located in the contralesional hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number410
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2020


  • compensatory contraction
  • corticomuscular coherence (CMCoh)
  • finger motion
  • stroke
  • upper limb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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