Influence of body segment position during in-phase and antiphase hand and foot movements: a kinematic and functional MRI study

Hum Brain Mapp. 2007 Mar;28(3):218-27. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20271.


Behavioral studies have provided important insights into the mechanisms governing interlimb coordination. In this study, we combined kinematic and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis to investigate the brain cortical and subcortical areas involved in interlimb coordination and the influence of direction of movement and of body segment position on the activity of those areas. Fifteen right-handed healthy subjects were studied while performing cyclic in-phase and antiphase hand and foot movements with the dominant, right limbs, with the upper limb positioned either prone or supine, and in front or behind with respect to the trunk. When contrasting antiphase to in-phase movements, fMRI analysis demonstrated an increased recruitment of a widespread sensorimotor network (including regions in the frontal and parietal lobes, bilaterally, the cingulated motor area, the thalami, the visual cortex, and the cerebellum) considered to function in motor, sensory, and multimodal integration processing. When contrasting the anterior to the posterior position of the upper limb with respect to the trunk, we found different recruitment patterns in the frontal and parietal regions as well as the preferential recruitment of the basal ganglia, the insula, and the cerebellum during the first condition and of regions located in the temporal lobes during the second one. Different brain areas are engaged at a different extent during interlimb coordination. In addition to the relative difficulty of the movement, the different cognitive and sensorial loads needed to control and perform the motor act might be responsible for these findings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Foot / innervation
  • Foot / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Hand / innervation
  • Hand / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Posture / physiology*