The effects of motor imagery on spinal reflexes such as the H-reflex are unclear. One reason for this is that the muscles that can be used to record spinal reflexes are limited to traditional evoking methods Recently, transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation has been used for inducing spinal reflexes from multiple muscles and we aimed to examine the effect of motor imagery on spinal reflexes from multiple muscles. Spinal reflexes evoked by transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation were recorded from six muscles from lower limbs during motor imagery of right wrist extension and ankle plantarflexion with maximum isometric contraction. During both imaginary tasks, facilitation of spinal reflexes was detected in the ankle ipsilateral plantarflexor and dorsiflexor muscles, but not in thigh, toe or contralateral lower limb muscles. These results suggest that motor imagery of isometric contraction facilitates spinal reflex excitability in muscles of the ipsilateral lower leg and the facilitation does not correspond to the imaginary involved muscles.
- Motor imagery
- Spinal reflex
- Transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation
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