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Brain Sci. 2017, 7(2), 15; doi:10.3390/brainsci7020015

Effect of Experimental Hand Pain on Training-Induced Changes in Motor Performance and Corticospinal Excitability

1
Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Québec, QC G1M 2S8, Canada
2
Department of Rehabilitation, Laval University, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
3
ImpAct Team, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, INSERM U1028, CNRS UMR5292, Bron 69500, France
4
University Claude Bernard Lyon I, Lyon F-69000, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bernadette Murphy
Received: 9 September 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Motor Control and Brain Plasticity)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1973 KB, uploaded 4 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Pain influences plasticity within the sensorimotor system and the aim of this study was to assess the effect of pain on changes in motor performance and corticospinal excitability during training for a novel motor task. A total of 30 subjects were allocated to one of two groups (Pain, NoPain) and performed ten training blocks of a visually-guided isometric pinch task. Each block consisted of 15 force sequences, and subjects modulated the force applied to a transducer in order to reach one of five target forces. Pain was induced by applying capsaicin cream to the thumb. Motor performance was assessed by a skill index that measured shifts in the speed–accuracy trade-off function. Neurophysiological measures were taken from the first dorsal interosseous using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Overall, the Pain group performed better throughout the training (p = 0.03), but both groups showed similar improvements across training blocks (p < 0.001), and there was no significant interaction. Corticospinal excitability in the NoPain group increased halfway through the training, but this was not observed in the Pain group (Time × Group interaction; p = 0.01). These results suggest that, even when pain does not negatively impact on the acquisition of a novel motor task, it can affect training-related changes in corticospinal excitability. View Full-Text
Keywords: transcranial magnetic stimulation; motor cortex; motor acquisition; motor learning; plasticity transcranial magnetic stimulation; motor cortex; motor acquisition; motor learning; plasticity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mavromatis, N.; Neige, C.; Gagné, M.; Reilly, K.T.; Mercier, C. Effect of Experimental Hand Pain on Training-Induced Changes in Motor Performance and Corticospinal Excitability. Brain Sci. 2017, 7, 15.

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