The effects of mirror feedback during target directed movements on ipsilateral corticospinal excitability

Mathew Yarossi, Thushini Manuweera, Sergei V. Adamovich, Eugene Tunik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mirror visual feedback (MVF) training is a promising technique to promote activation in the lesioned hemisphere following stroke, and aid recovery. However, current outcomes of MVF training are mixed, in part, due to variability in the task undertaken during MVF. The present study investigated the hypothesis that movements directed toward visual targets may enhance MVF modulation of motor cortex (M1) excitability ipsilateral to the trained hand compared to movements without visual targets. Ten healthy subjects participated in a 2 × 2 factorial design in which feedback (veridical, mirror) and presence of a visual target (target present, target absent) for a right index-finger flexion task were systematically manipulated in a virtual environment. To measure M1 excitability, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied to the hemisphere ipsilateral to the trained hand to elicit motor evoked potentials (MEPs) in the untrained first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles at rest prior to and following each of four 2-min blocks of 30 movements (B1–B4). Targeted movement kinematics without visual feedback was measured before and after training to assess learning and transfer. FDI MEPs were decreased in B1 and B2 when movements were made with veridical feedback and visual targets were absent. FDI MEPs were decreased in B2 and B3 when movements were made with mirror feedback and visual targets were absent. FDI MEPs were increased in B3 when movements were made with mirror feedback and visual targets were present. Significant MEP changes were not present for the uninvolved ADM, suggesting a task-specific effect. Analysis of kinematics revealed learning occurred in visual target-directed conditions, but transfer was not sensitive to mirror feedback. Results are discussed with respect to current theoretical mechanisms underlying MVF-induced changes in ipsilateral excitability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number242
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - May 11 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Keywords

  • Action observation
  • Mirror feedback
  • TMS
  • Target
  • Virtual reality

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