Electroencephalographic Recording of the Movement-Related Cortical Potential in Ecologically-Valid Movements: A Scoping Review
Olsen, S; Alder, G; Williams, M; Chambers, S; Jochumsen, M; Signal, N; Rashid, U; Niazi, I; Taylor, D
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The movement-related cortical potential (MRCP) is a brain signal that can be recorded using surface electroencephalography (EEG) and represents the cortical processes involved in movement preparation. The MRCP has been widely researched in simple, single-joint movements, however, these movements often lack ecological validity. Ecological validity refers to the generalizability of the findings to real-world situations, such as neurological rehabilitation. This scoping review aimed to synthesize the research evidence investigating the MRCP in ecologically valid movement tasks. A search of six electronic databases identified 102 studies that investigated the MRCP during multi-joint movements; 59 of these studies investigated ecologically valid movement tasks and were included in the review. The included studies investigated 15 different movement tasks that were applicable to everyday situations, but these were largely carried out in healthy populations. The synthesized findings suggest that the recording and analysis of MRCP signals is possible in ecologically valid movements, however the characteristics of the signal appear to vary across different movement tasks (i.e., those with greater complexity, increased cognitive load, or a secondary motor task) and different populations (i.e., expert performers, people with Parkinson’s Disease, and older adults). The scarcity of research in clinical populations highlights the need for further research in people with neurological and age-related conditions to progress our understanding of the MRCPs characteristics and to determine its potential as a measure of neurological recovery and intervention efficacy. MRCP-based neuromodulatory interventions applied during ecologically valid movements were only represented in one study in this review as these have been largely delivered during simple joint movements. No studies were identified that used ecologically valid movements to control BCI-driven external devices; this may reflect the technical challenges associated with accurately classifying functional movements from MRCPs. Future research investigating MRCP-based interventions should use movement tasks that are functionally relevant to everyday situations. This will facilitate the application of this knowledge into the rehabilitation setting.