Smaller muscle mass is associated with increase in EMG–EMG coherence of the leg muscle during unipedal stance in elderly adults

Ippei Nojima, Yuki Suwa, Hideshi Sugiura, Taiji Noguchi, Shigeo Tanabe, Tatsuya Mima, Tatsunori Watanabe

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Age-induced decline in the ability to perform daily activities is associated with a deterioration of physical parameters. Changes occur in neuromuscular system with age; however, the relationship between these changes and physical parameters has not been fully elucidated. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to determine the relationship between neuromuscular system evaluated using a coherence analysis of the leg muscles and physical parameters in community-dwelling healthy elderly adults. The participants were required to stand still in bipedal and unipedal stances on a force plate. Then, electromyography (EMG) was recorded from the tibialis anterior (TA) and medial and lateral gastrocnemius (MG/LG) muscles, and intermuscular coherence was calculated between the following pairs: TA and MG (TA–MG), TA and LG (TA–LG), and MG and LG (MG–LG). Furthermore, gait speed, unipedal stance time, and muscle mass were measured. EMG–EMG coherence for the MG–LG pair was significantly greater in the unipedal stance task than in the bipedal one (p = .001). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the muscle mass of the leg was negatively correlated with the change in the β-band coherence for the MG–LG pair from bipedal to unipedal stance (R2 = 0.067, standard β = −0.345, p = .044). As the β-band coherence could reflect the corticospinal activity, the increased β-band coherence may be a compensation for the smaller muscle mass, or alternatively may be a sign of changes in the nervous system resulting in the loss of muscle mass.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102614
JournalHuman Movement Science
Publication statusPublished - 06-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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