Article

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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    • "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.
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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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    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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