Corticomotor excitability during precision motor tasks

Pearce, Alan J (2009) Corticomotor excitability during precision motor tasks. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 12 (2). pp. 280-283. ISSN 1440-2440


The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate motor cortex (cortical) excitability between a similar fine visuomotor task of varying difficulty. Ten healthy adults (three female, seven male; 20—45 years of age) participated in the study. Participants were instructed to perform a fine visuomotor task by statically abducting their first index finger against a force transducer which displayed the level of force (represented as a marker) on a computer monitor. This marker was to be maintained between two stationary bars, also displayed on the computer monitor. The level of difficulty was increased by amplifying the position of the marker, making the task more difficult to control. Cortical measures of motor evoked potential (MEP) and silent period (SP) duration in first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle were obtained using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) while the participant maintained the ‘‘easy’’ or ‘‘difficult’’ static task. An 11.8% increase in MEP amplitude was observed when subjects undertook the ‘‘difficult’’ task, but no differences in MEP latency or SP duration. The results from this preliminary study suggest that cortical excitability increases reflect the demand required to perform tasks requiring greater precision with suggestions for further research discussed.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2007.12.005
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Keywords transcranial magnetic, stimulation, motor evoked potentials, motor skills, motor cortex
Citations in Scopus 41 - View on Scopus
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