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Exp Brain Res. 2000 Nov;135(1):66-72.

Cerebral activation during bicycle movements in man.

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Department of Medical Physiology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


The cerebral activation during bicycle movements was investigated by oxygen-15-labelled H2O positron emission tomography (PET) in seven healthy human subjects. Compared to rest active bicycling significantly activated sites bilaterally in the primary sensory cortex, primary motor cortex (M1) and supplementary motor cortex (SMA) as well as the anterior part of cerebellum. Comparing passive bicycling movements with rest, an almost equal activation was observed. Subtracting passive from active bicycle movements, significant activation was only observed in the leg area of the primary motor cortex and the precuneus, but not in the primary sensory cortex (S1). The M1 activation was positively correlated (alpha=0.75-0.85, t=6.4, P<10(-5)) with the rate of the active bicycle movements. Imagination of bicycle movements compared to rest activated bilaterally sites in the SMA. It is suggested that the higher motor centres, including the primary and supplementary motor cortices as well as the cerebellum, take an active part in the generation and control of rhythmic motor tasks such as bicycling.

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