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Visual feedback-related changes in ipsilateral cortical excitability during unimanual movement: Implications for mirror therapy


Reissig, P and Garry, MI and Summers, JJ and Hinder, MR, Visual feedback-related changes in ipsilateral cortical excitability during unimanual movement: Implications for mirror therapy, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 24, (6) pp. 936-957. ISSN 1464-0694 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/09602011.2014.922889


Provision of a mirror image of a hand undertaking a motor task (i.e., mirror therapy) elicits behavioural improvements in the inactive hand. A greater understanding of the neural mechanisms underpinning this phenomenon is required to maximise its potential for rehabilitation across the lifespan, e.g., following hemiparesis or unilateral weakness. Young and older participants performed unilateral finger abductions with no visual feedback, with feedback of the active or passive hands, or with a mirror image of the active hand. Transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to assess feedback-related changes in two neurophysiological measures thought to be involved in inter-manual transfer of skill, namely corticospinal excitability (CSE) and intracortical inhibition (SICI) in the passive hemisphere. Task performance led to CSE increases, accompanied by decreases of SICI, in all visual feedback conditions relative to rest. However, the changes due to mirror feedback were not significantly different to those observed in the other (more standard) visual conditions. Accordingly, the unimanual motor action itself, rather than modifications in visual feedback, appears more instrumental in driving changes in CSE and SICI. Therefore, changes in CSE and SICI are unlikely to underpin the behavioural benefits of mirror therapy. We discuss implications for rehabilitation and directions of future research.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:use of mirror feedback in clinical rehabiliation
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Motor control
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Reissig, P (Ms Paola Reissig)
UTAS Author:Garry, MI (Dr Michael Garry)
UTAS Author:Summers, JJ (Professor Jeffery Summers)
UTAS Author:Hinder, MR (Associate Professor Mark Hinder)
ID Code:92201
Year Published:2014
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE120100729)
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2014-06-10
Last Modified:2017-11-05

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