Immediate increases in quadriceps corticomotor excitability during an electromyography biofeedback intervention

Brian Pietrosimone, Michelle M. McLeod, David Florea, Phillip A. Gribble, Michael A. Tevald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-322
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Arthrogenic muscle inhibition
  • Knee
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


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