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Mobile neuroimaging: What we have learned about the neural control of human walking, with an emphasis on EEG-based research.

Our understanding of the neural control of human walking has changed significantly over the last twenty years and mobile brain imaging methods have contributed substantially to current knowledge. High-density electroencephalography (EEG) has the advantages of being lightweight and mobile while providing temporal resolution of brain changes within a gait cycle. Advances in EEG hardware and processing methods have led to a proliferation of research on the neural control of locomotion in neurologically intact adults. We provide a narrative review of the advantages and disadvantages of different mobile brain imaging methods, then summarize findings from mobile EEG studies quantifying electrocortical activity during human walking. Contrary to historical views on the neural control of locomotion, recent studies highlight the widespread involvement of many areas, such as the anterior cingulate, posterior parietal, prefrontal, premotor, sensorimotor, supplementary motor, and occipital cortices, that show active fluctuations in electrical power during walking. The electrocortical activity changes with speed, stability, perturbations, and gait adaptation. We end with a discussion on the next steps in mobile EEG research.

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