Increased prefrontal oxygenation prior to and at the onset of over-ground locomotion in humans

Kanji Matsukawa, Ryota Asahara, Kei Ishii, Mayo Kunishi, Yurino Yamashita, Yoshiki Hashiguchi, Nan Liang, Scott A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our laboratory has reported with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) that prefrontal oxygenated-hemoglobin concentration (Oxy-Hb), measured as index of regional cerebral blood flow, increased before and at the onset of arbitrary (i.e., noncued) ergometer exercise in a laboratory environment. In the current study, we hypothesized that naturally occurring over-ground locomotion, despite “very light” motor effort, as indicated by a Borg scale of 8.0 ± 0.3, likewise causes preexercise activation of the prefrontal cortex. Using wireless NIRS, we examined in this study how early and to what extent prefrontal activity changed before the onset of arbitrary walking in 13 subjects. Prefrontal Oxy-Hb increased 2 s before the onset of arbitrary walking, and the increased Oxy-Hb reached a peak at 5 s from walking onset. The preexercise and initial increase in prefrontal Oxy-Hb was absent when over-ground walking was forced to start by cue. The difference in the Oxy-Hb response between arbitrary and cued start, which was considered to be related to central command, became significant 2 s before walking onset, preceding the difference in the heart rate (HR) response by 8 s. This demonstrated a positive relationship with the HR difference in 69% of subjects. Imagery of arbitrary walking was, likewise, able to increase prefrontal oxygenation to the same extent as actual walking. Thus, it is likely that prefrontal oxygenation increases before the onset of naturally occurring walking in daily life, despite “very light” effort. The increased prefrontal oxygenation may contribute at least partly to cardiac adjustment, synchronized with the beginning of motor performance. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We found using wireless near-infrared spectroscopy that prefrontal oxygenation increased before the onset of arbitrary over-ground walking, whereas the preexercise increase was absent when walking was suddenly started by cue. The difference in prefrontal oxygenation between start modes (considered related to central command) preceded heart rate response variances and demonstrated a positive relationship with the difference in heart rate. The central command-related prefrontal activity may contribute to cardiac adjustment, synchronized with the beginning of overground walking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1172
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume129
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Central command
  • Mental imagery of walking
  • Over-ground walking
  • Prefrontal oxygenation
  • Wireless near-infrared spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Increased prefrontal oxygenation prior to and at the onset of over-ground locomotion in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this