Objective: In order to investigate electroencephalogram (EEG) instantaneous activity states related to executed and imagined movement of force of hand clenching (grip force: 4 kg, 10 kg, and 16 kg), we utilized a microstate analysis in which the spatial topographic map of EEG behaves in a certain number of discrete and stable global brain states.
Approach: Twenty subjects participated in EEG collection; the global field power of EEG and its local maximum were calculated and then clustered using cross validation and statistics; the 4 parameters of each microstate (duration, occurrence, time coverage, and amplitude) were calculated from the clustering results and statistically analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA); finally, the relationship between the microstate and frequency band was analyzed.
Main results: The experimental results showed that all microstates related to executed and imagined grip force tasks were clustered into 3 microstate classes (A, B, and C); these microstates generally transitioned from A to B and then from B to C. With the increase of the target value of executed and imagined grip force, the duration and time coverage of microstate B gradually decreased, while these parameters of microstate C gradually increased. The occurrence times of microstate B and C related to executed grip force were significantly more than those related to imagined grip force; furthermore, the amplitudes of these 3 microstates related to executed grip force were significantly greater than those related to imagined grip force. The correlation coefficients between the microstates and the frequency bands indicated that the microstates were correlated to mu rhythm and beta frequency bands, which are consistent with event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) phenomena of sensorimotor rhythm.
Significance: It is expected that this microstate analysis may be used as a new method for observing EEG instantaneous activity patterns related to variation in executed and imagined grip force and also for extracting EEG features related to these tasks. This study may lay a foundation for the application of executed and imagined grip force training for rehabilitation of hand movement disorders in patients with stroke in the future.