Brain Topography

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 304–314 | Cite as

Brain Network Reconfiguration During Motor Imagery Revealed by a Large-Scale Network Analysis of Scalp EEG

  • Fali Li
  • Chanlin Yi
  • Limeng Song
  • Yuanling Jiang
  • Wenjing Peng
  • Yajing Si
  • Tao Zhang
  • Rui Zhang
  • Dezhong Yao
  • Yangsong Zhang
  • Peng XuEmail author
Original Paper


Mentally imagining rather physically executing the motor behaviors is defined as motor imagery (MI). During MI, the mu rhythmical oscillation of cortical neurons is the event-related desynchronization (ERD) subserving the physiological basis of MI-based brain-computer interface. In our work, we investigated the specific brain network reconfiguration from rest idle to MI task states, and also probed the underlying relationship between the brain network reconfiguration and MI related ERD. Findings revealed that comparing to rest state, the MI showed the enhanced motor area related linkages and the deactivated activity of default mode network. In addition, the reconfigured network index was closely related to the ERDs, i.e., the higher the reconfigured network index was, the more obvious the ERDs were. These findings consistently implied that the reconfiguration from rest to task states underlaid the reallocation of related brain resources, and the efficient brain reconfiguration corresponded to a better MI performance, which provided the new insights into understanding the mechanism of MI as well as the potential biomarker to evaluate the rehabilitation quality for those patients with deficits of motor function.


Motor imagery Event-related desynchronization Reconfigured network index Network reconfiguration 



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Plan of China (#2017YFB1002501), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (#61522105, #61603344, #81401484, and #81330032), the Open Foundation of Henan Key Laboratory of Brain Science and Brain-Computer Interface Technology (No. HNBBL17001), and ChengDu’s HuiMin projects of science and technology in 2013.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of Institution Research Ethics Board of the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Clinical Hospital of Chengdu Brain Science Institute, MOE Key Lab for NeuroinformationUniversity of Electronic Science and Technology of ChinaChengduChina
  2. 2.School of Electrical EngineeringZhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  3. 3.School of Life Science and Technology, Center for Information in MedicineUniversity of Electronic Science and Technology of ChinaChengduChina
  4. 4.School of Computer Science and TechnologySouthwest University of Science and TechnologyMianyangChina

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