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Dyer J.-O.,Institute Of Readaptation Gingras Lindsay Of Montreal | Dyer J.-O.,University of Montreal | Maupas E.,University Champollion | De Andrade Melo S.,Institute Of Readaptation Gingras Lindsay Of Montreal | And 7 more authors.
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Year: 2014

Background: Extensor synergy is often observed in the paretic leg of stroke patients. Extensor synergy consists of an abnormal stereotyped co-activation of the leg extensors as patients attempt to move. As a component of this synergy, the simultaneous activation of knee and ankle extensors in the paretic leg during stance often affects gait pattern after stroke. The mechanisms involved in extensor synergy are still unclear. The first objective of this study is to compare the co-activation of knee and ankle extensors during the stance phase of gait between stroke and healthy individuals. The second objective is to explore whether this co-activation is related to changes in heteronymous spinal modulations between quadriceps and soleus muscles on the paretic side in post-stroke individuals. Methods: Thirteen stroke patients and ten healthy individuals participated in gait and heteronymous spinal modulation evaluations. Co-activation was measured using peak EMG activation intervals (PAI) and co-activation amplitude indexes (CAI) between knee and ankle extensors during the stance phase of gait in both groups. The evaluation of heteronymous spinal modulations was performed on the paretic leg in stroke participants and on one leg in healthy participants. This evaluation involved assessing the early facilitation and later inhibition of soleus voluntary EMG induced by femoral nerve stimulation. Results: All PAI were lower and most CAI were higher on the paretic side of stroke participants compared with the co-activation indexes among control participants. CAI and PAI were moderately correlated with increased heteronymous facilitation of soleus on the paretic side in stroke individuals. Conclusions: Increased co-activation of knee and ankle extensors during gait is related to changes in intersegmental facilitative pathways linking quadriceps to soleus on the paretic side in stroke individuals. Malfunction of intersegmental pathways could contribute to abnormal timing of leg extensors during the stance phase of gait in hemiparetic individuals. © 2014 Dyer et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Faure V.,University Champollion | Lobjois R.,French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport | Benguigui N.,Center dEtudes Sport et Actions Motrices
Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour | Year: 2016

The goal of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of eye blink behavior in measuring drivers' mental workload. Previous research has shown that when mental workload increases with the primary task difficulty, blink frequency drops. On the opposite, the number of blinks increases when a cognitive secondary task has to be performed concurrently. However, the combined effects of the primary task difficulty and dual-tasking on blink rate have not been investigated. The present study was thus designed to vary systematically both the primary driving task and the cognitive secondary task demand to examine their combined effects on blink rate. The driving task was manipulated by varying the complexity of a simulated driving environment. The cognitive load was manipulated using a concurrent simple reaction time task or a complex calculation task. The results confirmed that eye blink frequency was a sensitive measure to elicit increased mental workload level coming from the driving environment. They also confirmed that blink rate increased with the introduction of a cognitive secondary task while blink duration was not affected. However, eye blink behavior did not provide a clear mental workload signature when driving task demands and dual-task conditions were varied simultaneously. The overall picture goes against the suitability of eye blink behavior to monitor drivers' states at least when external and internal demands interact. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Hamaoui A.,University Champollion | Hamaoui A.,University Paul Sabatier | Le Bozec S.,University Paris - Sud
Gait and Posture | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to determine whether increased muscular tension disturbs postural equilibrium more when it is asymmetrical. Ten healthy male subjects underwent a posturographic examination associated with an original uni and bilateral compressive load paradigm designed to set the active muscular tension at different controlled levels along each side of the torso. Respiratory kinematics were recorded by means of two sensing belts. Two electromyographic pre-tests were used to map out the main motor muscles of the task and to quantify the level of asymmetry induced by unilateral loads. The posturographic examination revealed that the mean deviation of the CP along the medial-lateral axis was significantly greater in unilateral than in bilateral compressive loads. It was suggested that increased muscular tension along the torso induces a more disturbing effect on posture when it is asymmetrical. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source


Hamaoui A.,University Champollion | Hudson A.L.,Paris-Sorbonne University | Hudson A.L.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Hudson A.L.,Neuroscience Research AustraliA&M of New South Wales | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Applied Physiology | Year: 2014

Thoracoabdominal breathing movements are a complex source of postural disturbance, but there are contradictory reports in the literature with inspiration described as having either a backward or a forward disturbing effect. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, the present study studied the postural disturbance caused by isolated contractions of the diaphragm. Eight male and four female healthy subjects followed an original paradigm of phrenic nerve stimulation (bilateral and unilateral) and "diaphragmatic" voluntary sniff maneuvers in the seated and standing postures. Center of gravity (CG) acceleration was calculated from force plate recordings, and respiratory kinematics were assessed with thoracic and abdominal sensor belts. CG and respiratory signals revealed that, while seated, bilateral phrenic stimulation and sniff maneuvers consistently produced expansion of the abdomen associated with a forward peak of CG acceleration. In the standing posture, the direction of the CG peak was reversed and always directed backward. Unilateral phrenic stimulation induced an additional medial-lateral acceleration of the CG, directed toward the nonactive side while seated, but in the opposite direction while standing. These results suggest that isolated diaphragmatic contractions produce a constant disturbing pattern for a given posture, but with opposite effects between standing and seated postures. This could be related to the different biomechanical configuration of the body in each posture, corresponding to distinct kinematic patterns of the osteoarticular chain. In addition, the lateral component of the CG acceleration induced by unilateral diaphragm contractions could be clinically relevant in patients with hemidiaphragm paralysis. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society. Source


Hamaoui A.,University Champollion | Hamaoui A.,University Paul Sabatier | Friant Y.,University Champollion | Friant Y.,University Paris - Sud | Le Bozec S.,University Paris - Sud
Gait and Posture | Year: 2011

This paper focused on the relationship between active muscular tension along the torso and postural equilibrium while standing. Eleven healthy male subjects underwent a posturographic examination associated with a bimanual compression of a dynamometric bar, which was used to set the torso muscular activity at three different levels (0MVC, 20MVC, 40MVC). Electromyographic pre-tests identified the main superficial muscles of the compressive load as: pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, thoracic and lumbar erector spinae. Kinematics of the chest wall was recorded by means of two sensing belts, in order to assess the respiratory component of the center of pressure (CP) signal. The analysis of time-domain stabilometric parameters showed that CP displacements were larger and faster in 40MVC that in 20MVC, with no variation between 0MVC and 20MVC. The respiratory component of the CP signal was not sensitive to the compressive load. It was concluded that increased muscular tension along the torso is likely to disturb postural equilibrium, but only when it exceeds a given level. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

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