Resting State Functional Connectivity Is Associated With Motor Pathway Integrity and Upper-Limb Behavior in Chronic Stroke

Brenton Hordacre, Mitchell R. Goldsworthy, Ellana Welsby, Lynton Graetz, Sophie Ballinger, Susan Hillier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) is a developmental priority for stroke recovery. Objective. To determine whether (1) RSFC differs between stroke survivors based on integrity of descending motor pathways; (2) RSFC is associated with upper-limb behavior in chronic stroke; and (3) the relationship between interhemispheric RSFC and upper-limb behavior differs based on descending motor pathway integrity. Methods. A total of 36 people with stroke (aged 64.4 ± 11.1 years, time since stroke 4.0 ± 2.8 years) and 25 healthy adults (aged 67.3 ± 6.7 years) participated in this study. RSFC was estimated from electroencephalography (EEG) recordings. Integrity of descending motor pathways was ascertained using transcranial magnetic stimulation to determine motor-evoked potential (MEP) status and magnetic resonance imaging to determine lesion overlap and fractional anisotropy of the corticospinal tract (CST). For stroke participants, upper-limb motor behavior was assessed using the Fugl-Meyer test, Action Research Arm Test and grip strength. Results. β-Frequency interhemispheric sensorimotor RSFC was greater for MEP+ stroke participants compared with MEP− (P =.020). There was a significant positive correlation between β RSFC and upper-limb behavior (P =.004) that appeared to be primarily driven by the MEP+ group. A hierarchical regression identified that the addition of β RSFC to measures of CST integrity explained greater variance in upper-limb behavior (R2 change = 0.13; P =.01). Conclusions. This study provides insight to understand the role of EEG-based measures of interhemispheric network activity in chronic stroke. Resting state interhemispheric connectivity was positively associated with upper-limb behavior for stroke survivors where residual integrity of descending motor pathways was maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-557
Number of pages11
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • electroencephalography
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • motor cortex
  • resting state functional connectivity
  • stroke


Dive into the research topics of 'Resting State Functional Connectivity Is Associated With Motor Pathway Integrity and Upper-Limb Behavior in Chronic Stroke'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this