Activation of the Parieto-Premotor Network Is Associated with Vivid Motor Imagery—A Parametric fMRI Study

Institute for Sports Science, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 05/2011; 6(5):e20368. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020368
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present study examined the neural basis of vivid motor imagery with parametrical functional magnetic resonance imaging. 22 participants performed motor imagery (MI) of six different right-hand movements that differed in terms of pointing accuracy needs and object involvement, i.e., either none, two big or two small squares had to be pointed at in alternation either with or without an object grasped with the fingers. After each imagery trial, they rated the perceived vividness of motor imagery on a 7-point scale. Results showed that increased perceived imagery vividness was parametrically associated with increasing neural activation within the left putamen, the left premotor cortex (PMC), the posterior parietal cortex of the left hemisphere, the left primary motor cortex, the left somatosensory cortex, and the left cerebellum. Within the right hemisphere, activation was found within the right cerebellum, the right putamen, and the right PMC. It is concluded that the perceived vividness of MI is parametrically associated with neural activity within sensorimotor areas. The results corroborate the hypothesis that MI is an outcome of neural computations based on movement representations located within motor areas.

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Available from: Sebastian Pilgramm, Aug 14, 2015
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    • "Such a similar relationship has been demonstrated for fMRI data. (Lorey and colleagues, 2011) showed that the perceived vividness of motor imagery is parametrically associated with neural activity within motor and sensorimotor areas. Despite this relationship, it is difficult to assume a causal link between neural activation and the subjective measurements. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research on motor imagery and action observation has become increasingly important in recent years particularly because of its potential benefits for movement rehabilitation and the optimization of athletic performance (Munzert et al., 2009). Motor execution, motor imagery, and action observation have been shown to rely largely on a similar neural network in motor and motor-related cortical areas (Jeannerod, 2001). Given that motor imagery is a covert stage of an action and its characteristics, it has been assumed that modifying the motor task in terms of, for example, effort will impact neural activity. With this background, the present study examined how different force requirements influence corticospinal excitability and intracortical facilitation during motor imagery and action observation of a repetitive movement (dynamic force production). Participants were instructed to kinesthetically imagine or observe an abduction/adduction movement of the right index finger that differed in terms of force requirements. Trials were carried out with single- or paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. Surface electromyography was recorded from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and the abductor digiti minimi (ADM). As expected, results showed a significant main effect on mean peak-to-peak motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes in FDI but no differences in MEP amplitudes in ADM muscle. Participants’ mean peak-to-peak MEPs increased when the force requirements (movement effort) of the imagined or observed action were increased. This reveals an impact of the imagined and observed force requirements of repetitive movements on corticospinal excitability. It is concluded that this effect might be due to stronger motor neuron recruitment for motor imagery and action observation with an additional load. That would imply that the modification of motor parameters in movements such as force requirements modulates corticospinal excitability.
    Neuroscience 01/2015; 76. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.01.050 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    • "Pellecchia (2003) reported that postural sway variability could be expected to be affected to a greater extent during kinesthetic imagery than during visual imagery (Gir, McIsaac, & Nilsen, 2012; Grangeon et al., 2011; Stinear, Byblow, Steyvers, Levin, & Swinnen, 2006), and balance control in dancers has been also differentially modulated according to a kinesthetic or visual/kinesthetic imagery preference (Golomer, Gravenhorst, & Toussaint, 2009). The greater efficacy of the kinesthetic modality (Aon, McIsaac, & Nilsen, 2012; Gir et al., 2012; Guillot et al., 2009; Stinear et al., 2006) may be interpreted as a consequence of the recruitment of distinct neural networks by the visual and somesthetic imagery modality and of the association of the latter with activation of circuits involved in motor preparation/execution (Guillot et al., 2009; Lorey et al., 2011; Ruby & Decety, 2001; Sirigu & Duhamel, 2001; Solodkin, Hlustik, Chen, & Small, 2004; Stinear et al., 2006). Postural control is modulated by the susceptibility to hypnosis (Santarcangelo, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract In the general population, suppression of vision modulates body sway by increasing the center of pressure (CoP) velocity, while a light fingertip touch reduces the area of the CoP displacement in blindfolded subjects. This study assessed whether imagined fixation and fingertip touch differentially stabilize posture in subjects with high (highs) and low (lows) hypnotizability. Visual and tactile imageries were ineffective in lows. In highs, the effects of visual imagery could not be evaluated because the real information was ineffective; real tactile stimulation was effective only on velocity, but the imagery effects could not be definitely assessed owing to low effect size. The highs' larger variability could account for this and represents the most important finding.
    International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 05/2014; 62(3):292-309. DOI:10.1080/00207144.2014.901080 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    • "The validity of imagery questionnaires for assessing MI ability has been questioned because of the subjective nature of self-reported ratings (Lotze and Halsband, 2006; Sharma et al., 2006). However, over the last few years, studies examining brain activation patterns (fMRI and EEG) and corticospinal excitability (TMS) have found significant correlations between imagery scores and brain activity (Lorey et al., 2011; Williams et al., 2012; Vuckovic and Osuagwu, 2013). Note also that similar positive correlations have been described in persons with "
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    ABSTRACT: Many clinical studies have investigated the use of mental practice (MP) through motor imagery (MI) to enhance functional recovery of patients with diverse physical disabilities. Although beneficial effects have been generally reported for training motor functions in persons with chronic stroke (e.g., reaching, writing, walking), attempts to integrate MP within rehabilitation programs have been met with mitigated results. These findings have stirred further questioning about the value of MP in neurological rehabilitation. In fact, despite abundant systematic reviews, which customarily focused on the methodological merits of selected studies, several questions about factors underlying observed effects remain to be addressed. This review discusses these issues in an attempt to identify factors likely to hamper the integration of MP within rehabilitation programs. First, the rationale underlying the use of MP for training motor function is briefly reviewed. Second, three modes of MI delivery are proposed based on the analysis of the research protocols from 27 studies in persons with stroke and Parkinson's disease. Third, for each mode of MI delivery, a general description of MI training is provided. Fourth, the review discusses factors influencing MI training outcomes such as: the adherence to MI training, the amount of training and the interaction between physical and mental rehearsal; the use of relaxation, the selection of reliable, valid and sensitive outcome measures, the heterogeneity of the patient groups, the selection of patients and the mental rehearsal procedures. To conclude, the review proposes a framework for integrating MP in rehabilitation programs and suggests research targets for steering the implementation of MP in the early stages of the rehabilitation process. The challenge has now shifted towards the demonstration that MI training can enhance the effects of regular therapy in persons with subacute stroke during the period of spontaneous recovery.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 09/2013; 7:576. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00576 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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