Author(s): Hashimoto R, Rothwell JC
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Abstract We investigated temporal changes in the amplitudes of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation over the left motor cortex during motor imagery. Nine subjects were instructed to imagine repetitive wrist flexion and extension movements at 1 Hz, in which the flexion timing was cued by a tone signal. Electromyographs (EMGs) were recorded from the first dorsal interosseous, flexor carpi radialis and extensor carpi radialis muscles of the right hand, and magnetic stimulation was delivered at 0, 250, 500 and 750 ms after the auditory cue. On average, the evoked EMG responses were larger in the flexor muscle during the phase of imagined flexion than during extension, whilst the opposite was true for the extensor muscle. There were no consistent changes in the amplitudes of MEPs in the intrinsic hand muscle (first dorsal interosseous). The EMG remained relaxed in all muscles and did not show any significant temporal changes during the test. The H-reflex in the flexor muscle was obtained in four subjects. There was no change in its amplitude during motor imagery. These observations lead us to suggest that motor imagery can have dynamic effects on the excitability of motor cortex similar to those seen during actual motor performance.
This article was published in Exp Brain Res
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation