Layer-Specific Contributions to Imagined and Executed Hand Movements in Human Primary Motor Cortex
22 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2019 Sneak Peek Status: Review CompleteMore...
Although it is well established that imagined motor actions can affect motor performance, the neural mechanism underpinning this relationship is unknown. Using a powerful new, non-BOLD method for collecting fMRI data, called vascular space occupancy (VASO), we were able to measure layer-specific neural activations in the primary motor cortex (M1) while participants either tapped their thumb and forefinger together or simply imagined doing so. We report that, while executed movements elicited neural responses in both superficial and deep layers of M1, imagined movements elicited responses in superficial layers only. Furthermore, imagined actions produced layer-specific repetition suppression and enhancement effects on finger tapping, thus providing evidence for a mechanism whereby imagined movements can directly affect motor performance.
Keywords: fMRI, motor Imagery, Primary Motor Cortex, cortical layers, repetition suppression, priming, VASO
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