Comparison of Immediate Neuromodulatory Effects between Focal Vibratory and Electrical Sensory Stimulations after Stroke

Legeng Lin, Wanyi Qing, Yanhuan Huang, Fuqiang Ye, Wei Rong, Waiming Li, Jiao Jiao, Xiaoling Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


    Focal vibratory stimulation (FVS) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) are promising technologies for sensory rehabilitation after stroke. However, the differences between these techniques in immediate neuromodulatory effects on the poststroke cortex are not yet fully understood. In this research, cortical responses in persons with chronic stroke (n = 15) and unimpaired controls (n = 15) were measured by whole-brain electroencephalography (EEG) when FVS and NMES at different intensities were applied transcutaneously to the forearm muscles. Both FVS and sensory-level NMES induced alpha and beta oscillations in the sensorimotor cortex after stroke, significantly exceeding baseline levels (p < 0.05). These oscillations exhibited bilateral sensory deficiency, early adaptation, and contralesional compensation compared to the control group. FVS resulted in a significantly faster P300 response (p < 0.05) and higher theta oscillation (p < 0.05) compared to NMES. The beta desynchronization over the contralesional frontal-parietal area remained during NMES (p > 0.05), but it was significantly weakened during FVS (p < 0.05) after stroke. The results indicated that both FVS and NMES effectively activated the sensorimotor cortex after stroke. However, FVS was particularly effective in eliciting transient involuntary attention, while NMES primarily fostered the cortical responses of the targeted muscles in the contralesional motor cortex.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number286
    Number of pages27
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Bioengineering

    User-Defined Keywords

    • cortical response
    • electroencephalography (EEG)
    • focal vibratory stimulation (FVS)
    • neuromodulation
    • neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)
    • somatosensory impairment
    • stroke


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