An fNIRS exploratory investigation of the cortical activity during gait in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy

Max J Kurz, Tony W Wilson, David J. Arpin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Objective: The primary aim of this exploratory investigation was to determine if there are differences in cortical activation of children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (CP) and typically developing children during gait. Methods: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin that was present in the supplementary motor area, pre-central gyrus, post-central gyrus and superior parietal lobule as the children walked on a treadmill. A sagittal plane video was concurrently collected and later digitized to quantify the temporal gait variations. Results: (1) The children with CP had an increased amount of activation in the sensorimotor cortices and superior parietal lobule during gait, (2) the children with CP had a greater amount of variability or error in their stride time intervals, and (3) an increased amount of error in the temporal gait kinematics was associated with an increased amount of activity across the cortical network. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the perinatal damage and subsequent neural reorganization that occurs with spastic diplegic CP may impact the functional cortical activity for controlling gait. Furthermore, our results imply the increased cortical activity of the somatosensory cortices and superior parietal cortices may underlie the greater amount of error in the temporal gait kinematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)870-877
Number of pages8
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014



  • Mobile brain imaging
  • Motor control
  • Variability
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this