Cortical facilitation of cutaneous reflexes in leg muscles during human gait

M. Pijnappels, B. M H Van Wezel, Gery Colombo, V. Dietz, J. Duysens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During human gait, cortical convergence on sural nerve reflex pathways was investigated by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the cortex in five phases of the step cycle during human walking on a treadmill. Muscular responses to paired electrical and magnetic stimulation were compared with the linear summation of the individual stimuli. For both the tibialis anterior (TA) and biceps femoris (BF) muscles, the averaged data of four subjects showed a significant facilitation mainly in the swing phase of the step cycle. It is suggested that facilitation of corticospinal input onto cutaneous reflex pathways is enhanced specifically in these periods of the step cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 1998


  • Biceps femoris
  • Cortical facilitation
  • Cutaneous reflexes
  • Human gait
  • Magnetic stimulation
  • Sural nerve
  • Tibialis anterior


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