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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2015 Apr;25(2):316-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2014.11.007. Epub 2014 Dec 11.

Immediate increases in quadriceps corticomotor excitability during an electromyography biofeedback intervention.

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Department of Exercise and Sports Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Health and Human Performance, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, United States.
Department of Athletics, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, United States.
College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, United States.
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, United States.


The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of EMG-BF on vastus lateralis corticomotor excitability, measured via motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes elicited using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) during a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). We also determined the effect of EMG-BF on isometric knee extensor strength. Fifteen healthy participants volunteered for this crossover study with two sessions held one-week apart. Participants were randomly assigned to condition order, during which five intervention MVICs were performed with or without EMG-BF. MEP amplitudes were collected with TMS during five knee extension contractions (5% of MVIC) at baseline and again during intervention MVICs within each session. During the control condition, participants were instructed to perform the same number of MVICs without any EMG-BF. Percent change scores were used to calculate the change in peak-to-peak MEP amplitudes that occurred during EMG-BF and Control MVICs compared to the baseline MEPs. Peak knee extension torque was recorded during MVICs prior to TMS for each condition. EMG-BF produced significantly increased MEP change scores and significantly greater torque than the control condition. The results of the current study suggest that EMG-BF may be a viable clinical method for targeting corticomotor excitability.


Arthrogenic muscle inhibition; Knee; Rehabilitation

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