Analysis of Gait-Event-related Brain Potentials During Instructed And Spontaneous Treadmill Walking -- Technical Affordances and used Methods

2 Mar 2020  ·  Cornelia Herbert, Jan Nachtsheim, Michael Munz ·

To improve the understanding of human gait and to facilitate novel developments in gait rehabilitation, the neural correlates of human gait as measured by means of non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) have been investigated recently. Particularly, gait-related event-related brain potentials (gERPs) may provide information about the functional role of cortical brain regions in human gait control. The purpose of this paper is to explore possible experimental and technical solutions for time-sensitive analysis of human gait-related ERPs during spontaneous and instructed treadmill walking. A solution (HW/SW) for synchronous recording of gait- and EEG data was developed, tested and piloted. The solution consists of a custom-made USB synchronization interface, a time-synchronization module and a data merging module, allowing temporal synchronization of recording devices for time-sensitive extraction of gait markers for analysis of gait-related ERPs and for the training of artificial neural networks. In the present manuscript, the hardware and software components were tested with the following devices: A treadmill with an integrated pressure plate for gait analysis (zebris FDM-T) and an Acticap non-wireless 32-channel EEG-system (Brain Products GmbH). The usability and validity of the developed solution was tested in a pilot study (n = 3 healthy participants, n=3 females, mean age = 22.75 years). Recorded EEG data was segmented and analyzed according to the detected gait markers for the analysis of gait-related ERPs. Finally, EEG periods were used to train a deep learning artificial neural network as classifier of gait phases. The results obtained in this pilot study, although preliminary, support the feasibility of the solution for the application of gait-related EEG analysis..

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