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). 01/2011; 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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Motor imagery (MI) is a commonly used paradigm for the study of motor learning or cognitive aspects of action control. The rationale for using MI training to promote the relearning of motor function arises from research on the functional correlates that MI shares with the execution of physical movements. While most of the previous studies investigating MI were based on simple movements in the present study a more attractive mental practice was used to investigate cortical activation during MI. We measured cerebral responses with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in twenty three healthy volunteers as they imagined playing soccer or tennis before and after a short physical sports exercise. Our results demonstrated that only 10 min of training are enough to boost MI patterns in motor related brain regions including premotor cortex and supplementary motor area (SMA) but also fronto-parietal and subcortical structures. This supports previous findings that MI has beneficial effects especially in combination with motor execution when used in motor rehabilitation or motor learning processes. We conclude that sports MI combined with an interactive game environment could be a promising additional tool in future rehabilitation programs aiming to improve upper or lower limb functions or support neuroplasticity.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:469. · 2.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: [Purpose] This study aimed to determine the differences in the excitability of spinal motor neurons during motor imagery of a muscle contraction at different contraction strengths. [Methods] We recorded the F-wave in 15 healthy subjects. First, in a trial at rest, the muscle was relaxed during F-wave recording. Next, during motor imagery, subjects were instructed to imagine maximum voluntary contractions of 10%, 30%, and 50% while holding the sensor of a pinch meter, and F-waves were recorded for each contraction. F-waves were recorded immediately and at 5, 10, and 15 min after motor imagery. [Results] Both persistence and F/M amplitude ratios during motor imagery under maximum voluntary contractions of 10%, 30%, and 50% were significantly higher than that at rest. In addition, persistence, F/M amplitude ratio, and latency were similar during motor imagery under the three muscle contraction strengths. [Conclusion] Motor imagery under maximum voluntary contractions of 10%, 30%, and 50% can increase the excitability of spinal motor neurons. The results indicated that differences in muscle contraction strengths during motor imagery are not involved in changes in the excitability of spinal motor neurons.
    Journal of Physical Therapy Science 07/2014; 26(7):1069-73. · 0.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, we utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals. This allowed us to evaluate the relationship between brain activity and imagined force level. Subjects performed motor imagery of repetitive right hand grasping with three different levels of contractile force; 10%, 30%, and 60% of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). We observed a common activation among each condition in the following brain regions; the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), supplementary motor area (SMA), premotor area (PM), insula, and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). In addition, the BOLD signal changes were significantly larger at 60% MVC than at 10% MVC in the right PM, the right IPL, and the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). These findings indicate that during motor imagery right fronto-parietal activity increases as the imagined contractile force level is intensified. The present finding that the right brain activity during motor imagery is clearly altered depending on the imagined force level suggests that it may be possible to decode intended force level during the motor imagery of patients or healthy subjects.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 10/2014; 8:810. · 2.90 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 6, 2014