Parietal Activation Associated With Target-Directed Right Hand Movement Is Lateralized by Mirror Feedback to the Ipsilateral Hemisphere

Thushini Manuweera, Mathew Yarossi, Sergei Adamovich, Eugene Tunik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Current research shows promise in restoring impaired hand function after stroke with the help of Mirror Visual Feedback (MVF), putatively by facilitating activation of sensorimotor areas of the brain ipsilateral to the moving limb. However, the MVF related clinical effects show variability across studies. MVF tasks that have been used place varying amounts of visuomotor demand on one’s ability to complete the task. Therefore, we ask here whether varying visuomotor demand during MVF may translate to differences in brain activation patterns. If so, we argue that this may provide a mechanistic explanation for variable clinical effects. To address this, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the interaction of target directed movement and MVF on the activation of, and functional connectivity between, regions within the visuomotor network. In an event-related fMRI design, twenty healthy subjects performed finger flexion movements using their dominant right hand, with feedback presented in a virtual reality (VR) environment. Visual feedback was presented in real time VR as either veridical feedback with and without a target (VT+ and VT-, respectively), or MVF with and without a target (MT+ and MT-, respectively). fMRI contrasts revealed predominantly activation in the ipsilateral intraparietal sulcus for the main effect of MVF and bilateral superior parietal activation for the main effect of target. Importantly, we noted significant and robust activation lateralized to the ipsilateral parietal cortex alone in the MT+ contrast with respect to the other conditions. This suggests that combining MVF with targeted movements performed using the right hand may redirect enhanced bilateral parietal activation due to target presentation to the ipsilateral cortex. Moreover, functional connectivity analysis revealed that the interaction between the ipsilateral parietal lobe and the motor cortex was significantly greater during target-directed movements with mirror feedback compared to veridical feedback. These findings provide a normative basis to investigate the integrity of these networks in patient populations. Identification of the brain regions involved in target directed movement with MVF in stroke may have important implications for optimal delivery of MVF based therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number531
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jan 9 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • fMRI
  • mirror feedback
  • motor control
  • target
  • virtual reality
  • visuomotor integration


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