Abstract: The human body is a complex system consisting of many subsystems and regulatory pathways. The musculoskeletal system is made up of more than 200 bones and over 300 skeletal muscles and is controlled by the central nervous system through the spinal motor neurons. In this presentation Tjeerd Boonstra will discuss the use of functional connectivity and network analysis to investigate the functional organization of the distributed neuromuscular system from which motor behaviours emerge. By estimating intermuscular coherence between numerous muscle pairs, the weights of so-called muscle networks can be estimated. Network analysis has been widely used to investigate functional integration in the central nervous system and this approach can be extended to investigate the functional interactions between muscles. When combining both approaches, we can map the brain-muscle networks involved in human motor control. This combined approach fits within the broader framework of network physiology and has the potential to provide new insights in movement disorders.
Brief biography of Dr. Tjeerd Boonstra: Tjeerd Boonstra is an Assistant Professor at Maastricht University and a Senior Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia. He is interested in the large-scale organisation of complex systems such as the brain. By combining data analysis techniques such as dynamic connectivity analysis, mode decomposition and graph theory, he aims to identify principles that coordinate activity in the sensorimotor system.