Synchronous correlation brain and muscle oscillations during motor task execution is termed as functional coupling. Functional coupling between two signals appears with a delay time which can be used to infer the directionality of information flow. Functional coupling of brain and muscle depends on the type of muscle contraction and motor task performance. Although there have been many studies of functional coupling with types of muscle contraction and force level, there has been a lack of investigation with various motor task performances. Motor task types play an essential role that can reflect the amount of functional interaction. Thus, we examined functional coupling under four different motor tasks: real movement, intention, motor imagery and movement observation tasks. We explored interaction of two signals with linear and nonlinear information flow. The aim of this study is to investigate the synchronization between brain and muscle signals in terms of functional coupling and delay time. The results proved that brain–muscle functional coupling and delay time change according to motor tasks. Quick synchronization of localized cortical activity and motor unit firing causes good functional coupling and this can lead to short delay time to oscillate between signals. Signals can flow with bidirectionality between efferent and afferent pathways.
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