Comparing Sensorimotor Cortex Activation during Actual and Imaginary Movement

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Mobility and movement restoration is one of the main goals of brain computer interface (BCI) research. Motor imagery is comprehensively studied to be used as a BCI modality. Non-invasive EEG-based BCIs are most commonly applied and many EEG features (such as ERD/ERS of SMR) are used for movement classification and device control. As BCIs need to provide more real-time response and more natural, fluid controls, it is imperative to identify and study appropriate modalities. To that accord, we focused on sensorimotor cortex activation during hand (biceps) and foot (quadraceps) movement in healthy subjects, both actual and imaginary. Those movements are distinctly represented at the cortex, and the source can be identified with appropriate signal analysis methods. In this work, we present the preliminary results of our study confirming that, generally, the sensorimotor cortex is activated in motor imagery similarly to real movement, studying the changes in EEG mu-rhythm (synchronization/desynchronization).