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Type: Journal article
Title: Induction of persistent changes in the organisation of the human motor cortex
Author: McKay, D.
Ridding, M.
Thompson, P.
Miles, T.
Citation: Experimental Brain Research, 2002; 143(3):342-349
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0014-4819
Statement of
Darrin R. McKay, Michael C. Ridding, Philip D. Thompson, Timothy S. Miles
Abstract: Motor learning must involve changes in the organisation of the brain, and it seems axiomatic that afferent signals generated during repeated motor practice contribute to this. In this study, motor-point stimulation of the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle was paired with transcranial magnetic stimulation of the human motor cortex on three successive days to determine whether repeated stimulation sessions result in enduring reorganisation of the motor cortex. This repeated “dual” stimulation induced significant changes in the excitability of the motor cortex together with expansion of the area of scalp from which these responses were elicited. The expansion in muscle representation was accompanied by large movements in the centre of gravity (CoG), suggesting a true reorganisation of the underlying cortical representational zone. The changes persisted for at least 2 days following the last stimulation session. It is concluded that repeated dual stimulation is capable of inducing long-lasting reorganisation within the motor cortex. These changes may be similar in nature to those seen in the motor cortex during motor learning. Moreover, these observations suggest that it may be possible to induce the motor cortex of patients who have suffered strokes to reorganise in a way that improves the voluntary control of the weakened muscles.
Keywords: afferent stimulation; motor learning; motor maps; plasticity; human
Description: The original publication can be found at
RMID: 0020020511
DOI: 10.1007/s00221-001-0995-3
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Physiology publications
Medicine publications

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