Development of a trunk motor paradigm for use in neuroimaging

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2020 Elizabeth Saunders et al., published by De Gruyter 2020. The purpose of this study was to quantify head motion between isometric erector spinae (ES) contraction strategies, paradigms, and intensities in the development of a neuroimaging protocol for the study of neural activity associated with trunk motor control in individuals with low back pain. Ten healthy participants completed two contraction strategies; (1) a supine upper spine (US) press and (2) a supine lower extremity (LE) press. Each contraction strategy was performed at electromyographic (EMG) contraction intensities of 30, 40, 50, and 60% of an individually determined maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) (±10% range for each respective intensity) with real-time, EMG biofeedback. A cyclic contraction paradigm was performed at 30% of MVC with US and LE contraction strategies. Inertial measurement units (IMUs) quantified head motion to determine the viability of each paradigm for neuroimaging. US vs LE hold contractions induced no differences in head motion. Hold contractions elicited significantly less head motion relative to cyclic contractions. Contraction intensity increased head motion in a linear fashion with 30% MVC having the least head motion and 60% the highest. The LE hold contraction strategy, below 50% MVC, was found to be the most viable trunk motor control neuroimaging paradigm.