Shared neural resources between left and right interlimb coordination skills: the neural substrate of abstract motor representations

Stephan P Swinnen, Sophie Vangheluwe, Johan P Wagemans, James Peter Coxon, Daniel J Goble, Annouchka Van Impe, Stefan Sunaert, Ronald R Peeters, Nicole Wenderoth

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to reveal the shared neural resources between movements performed with effectors of the left versus right body side. Prior to scanning, subjects extensively practiced a complex coordination pattern involving cyclical motions of the ipsilateral hand and foot according to a 90? out-of-phase coordination mode. Brain activity associated with this (nonpreferred) coordination pattern was contrasted with pre-existing isodirectional (preferred) coordination to extract the learning-related brain networks. To identify the principal candidates for effector-independent movement encoding, the conjunction of training-related activity for left and right limb coordination was determined. A dominantly left-lateralized parietal-to-(pre)motor activation network was identified, with activation in inferior and superior parietal cortex extending into intraparietal sulcus and activation in the premotor areas, including inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis). Similar areas were previously identified during observation of complex coordination skills by expert performers. These parietal-premotor areas are principal candidates for abstract (effector-independent) movement encoding, promoting motor equivalence, and they form the highest level in the action representation hierarchy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2570 - 2580
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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