Mirrored feedback in chronic stroke: Recruitment and effective connectivity of ipsilesional sensorimotor networks

Soha Saleh, Sergei V. Adamovich, Eugene Tunik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background. Mirrored feedback has potential as a therapeutic intervention to restore hand function after stroke. However, the functional (effective) connectivity of neural networks involved in processing mirrored feedback after stroke is not known. Objective. To determine if regions recruited by mirrored feedback topographically overlap with those involved in control of the paretic hand and to identify the effective connectivity of activated nodes within the mirrored feedback network. Methods. Fifteen patients with chronic stroke performed a finger flexion task with their unaffected hand during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Real-time hand kinematics was recorded during fMRI and used to actuate hand models presented in virtual reality (VR). Visual feedback of the unaffected hand motion was manipulated pseudorandomly by either actuating the VR hand corresponding to the moving unaffected side (veridical feedback) or the affected side (mirrored feedback). In 2 control conditions, the VR hands were replaced with moving nonanthropomorphic shapes. Results. Mirrored feedback was associated with significant activation of regions within and outside the ipsilesional sensorimotor cortex, overlapping with areas engaged when patients performed the task with their affected hand. Effective connectivity analysis showed a significantly interconnected ipsilesional somatosensory and motor cortex in the mirrored feedback condition. Conclusions. Mirrored feedback recruits ipsilesional brain areas relevant for control of the affected hand. These data provide a neurophysiological basis by which mirrored feedback may be beneficial as a therapy for restoring function after stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-354
Number of pages11
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


  • fMRI
  • mirrored feedback
  • motor control
  • virtual reality
  • visuomotor integration


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