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A review of combined functional neuroimaging and motion capture for motor rehabilitation.

BACKGROUND: Technological advancements in functional neuroimaging and motion capture have led to the development of novel methods that facilitate the diagnosis and rehabilitation of motor deficits. These advancements allow for the synchronous acquisition and analysis of complex signal streams of neurophysiological data (e.g., EEG, fNIRS) and behavioral data (e.g., motion capture). The fusion of those data streams has the potential to provide new insights into cortical mechanisms during movement, guide the development of rehabilitation practices, and become a tool for assessment and therapy in neurorehabilitation.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to review the existing literature on the combined use of motion capture and functional neuroimaging in motor rehabilitation. The objective is to understand the diversity and maturity of technological solutions employed and explore the clinical advantages of this multimodal approach.

METHODS: This paper reviews literature related to the combined use of functional neuroimaging and motion capture for motor rehabilitation following the PRISMA guidelines. Besides study and participant characteristics, technological aspects of the used systems, signal processing methods, and the nature of multimodal feature synchronization and fusion were extracted.

RESULTS: Out of 908 publications, 19 were included in the final review. Basic or translation studies were mainly represented and based predominantly on healthy participants or stroke patients. EEG and mechanical motion capture technologies were most used for biomechanical data acquisition, and their subsequent processing is based mainly on traditional methods. The system synchronization techniques at large were underreported. The fusion of multimodal features mainly supported the identification of movement-related cortical activity, and statistical methods were occasionally employed to examine cortico-kinematic relationships.

CONCLUSION: The fusion of motion capture and functional neuroimaging might offer advantages for motor rehabilitation in the future. Besides facilitating the assessment of cognitive processes in real-world settings, it could also improve rehabilitative devices' usability in clinical environments. Further, by better understanding cortico-peripheral coupling, new neuro-rehabilitation methods can be developed, such as personalized proprioceptive training. However, further research is needed to advance our knowledge of cortical-peripheral coupling, evaluate the validity and reliability of multimodal parameters, and enhance user-friendly technologies for clinical adaptation.

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