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Functional reorganisation of the corticomotor projection to the hand in skilled racquet players

Pearce, Alan J, Thickbroom, G, Byrnes, M. L and Mastaglia, Frank L (2000) Functional reorganisation of the corticomotor projection to the hand in skilled racquet players. Experimental Brain Research, 130 (2). pp. 238-243. ISSN 0014-4819 (print), 1432-1106 (online)

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While it is known that relatively rapid changes in functional representation may occur in the human sensorimotor cortex in short-term motorlearning studies, there have been few studies of changes in organisation of the corticomotor system associated with the long-term acquisition of motor skills. In the present study, we have used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate the corticomotor projection to the hand in a group of elite racquet players, who have developed and maintained a high level of skill over a period of many years, and have compared the findings with those in a group of social players and a group of non-playing control subjects. Increased motor-evoked-potential (MEP) amplitudes and shifts in the cortical motor maps for the playing hand were found in all of the elite players and cortical motor thresholds were reduced in some players, whereas in the social players all parameters were within the normal range. The findings in the elite players are interpreted as being indications of a process of functional reorganisation with the motor cortex or corticomotor pathway that are associated with the acquisition and retention of complex motor skills.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: magnetic stimulation, mapping, reorganisation, motor skill
Subjects: Historical > RFCD Classification > 380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Current > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Depositing User: Mr Angeera Sidaya
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2008
Last Modified: 09 May 2019 07:01
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Citations in Scopus: 140 - View on Scopus

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