This study aimed to identify the ipsilateral corticospinal responses of the contralateral limb following different types of unilateral motor-training. Three groups performing unilateral slow-paced strength training (SPST), non-paced strength training (NPST) or visuomotor skill training (VT) were compared to a control group. It was hypothesised that 4 weeks of unilateral SPST and VT, but not NPST, would increase ipsilateral corticospinal excitability (CSE) and reduce short-interval cortical inhibition (SICI), resulting in greater performance gains of the untrained limb. Tracking error of the untrained limb reduced by 29 and 41% following 2 and 4 weeks of VT. Strength of the untrained limb increased by 8 and 16% following 2 and 4 weeks of SPST and by 6 and 13% following NPST. There was no difference in cross-education of strength or tracking error. For the trained limb, SPST and NPST increased strength (28 and 26%), and VT improved by 47 and 58%. SPST and VT increased ipsilateral CSE by 89 and 71% at 2 weeks. Ipsilateral CSE increased 105 and 81% at 4 weeks following SPST and VT. The NPST group and control group showed no changes at 2 and 4 weeks. SPST and VT reduced ipsilateral SICI by 45 and 47% at 2 weeks; at 4 weeks, SPST and VT reduced SICI by 48 and 38%. The ipsilateral corticospinal responses are determined by the type of motor-training. There were no differences in motor performance between SPST, NPST and VT. The data suggests that the corticospinal responses to cross-education are different and determined by the type of motor-training.
- Cortical inhibition