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Modulating Observation-Execution-Related Motor Cortex Activity by Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

1
Department of Movement Science, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rostock, 18057 Rostock, Germany
2
Department of Psychology and Neurosciences, Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, 44139 Dortmund, Germany
3
Department of Sport Training, Sport Coaching College, Beijing Sport University, Beijing 100084, China
4
Department of Neurology, University Medical Hospital Bergmannsheil, 44789 Bochum, Germany
5
Faculty of Medicine, University of Rostock, 18055 Rostock, Germany
6
Department Ageing of Individuals and Society, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Research, University of Rostock, 18051 Rostock, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(5), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9050121
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 18 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 26 May 2019
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Abstract

The aim of this randomized sham-controlled study was to examine the impact of cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) during movement observation on subsequent execution-related motor cortex activity. Thirty healthy participants received sham or real ctDCS (1 mA) over the left M1 for 10 minutes, respectively. The participants observed a video showing repeated button pressing tasks of the right hand during the sham or real ctDCS, followed by performance of these tasks by the right hand. Motor-evoked potentials (MEP) were recorded from the resting right first dorsal interosseous muscle before movement observation during the sham or real ctDCS, immediately after observation of actions, and after subsequent movement execution. The results of the ANOVA showed a significant main effect on the group (F1,28 = 4.60, p = 0.041) and a significant interaction between time and the group (F2,56 = 5.34, p = 0.008). As revealed by respective post hoc tests, ctDCS induced a significant reduction of MEP amplitudes in connection with movement observation (p = 0.026, Cohen’s d = 0.861) and after subsequent movement execution (p = 0.018, Cohen’s d = 0.914) in comparison with the sham stimulation. It is concluded that ctDCS during movement observation was effective in terms of modulating motor cortex excitability. Moreover, it subsequently influenced execution-related motor cortex activity. This indicates a possible application for rehabilitative treatment in syndromes with pathologically enhanced cortical activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: movement observation; movement execution; transcranial direct current stimulation; motor cortex activity movement observation; movement execution; transcranial direct current stimulation; motor cortex activity
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Qi, F.; Nitsche, M.A.; Zschorlich, V.R. Modulating Observation-Execution-Related Motor Cortex Activity by Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 121.

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