Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/62658
Title: How does load on working memory modulate kinaesthetic motor imagery? Implications to rehabilitation of patients with neurological deficits
Authors: Sung, CYY
Chan, CCH 
Huang, Y-X
Ting, KH
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Foundation for Rehabilitation Information
Source: Journal of rehabilitation medicine, 2008, v. Suppl. 46, p. 40 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of rehabilitation medicine 
Abstract: Objective: Mental imagery involves “seeing with mind’s eye” which is commonly used as a treatment modality in rehabilitation programs. This study aimed to use event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the modulating effect of loading on working memory (sensorimotor buffer) during kinaesthetic motor imagery. The complexity (simple versus complex) and length (short versus long) of the tapping sequence was manipulated. It was hypothesized that imagining more complex and longer tapping sequences would modulate the imagery processes within the sensorimotor buffer.
Methods: 27 right-handed healthy undergraduates performed a finger tapping task of different sequential movements, during which ERPs were captured using 128-channel EEG machine. The Order x Length parameters were: a) 3 sequence orders (single-digit repetition, ordered taps, and random taps), and b) 2 sequence lengths (4 taps and 8 taps). The subjects tapped at 1 Hz according to the designated sequence during execution condition and imagined the kinaesthetic feeling as if they had physically tapped during imagery condition.
Results: Significant differences in amplitudes of N250 and N400 at right parietal and occipito-parietal were revealed between long and short random sequences (p=0.005–0.022), suggesting longer sequence increases the load on the sensorimotor buffer during image manipulation and maintenance processes. Whilst, significant differences in amplitude of N250 at right centro-parietal (p=0.029) was also shown, indicating longer sequences increases the demand in generating periodic sensorimotor images as well as action planning.
Conclusion: The results suggest that the sensorimotor buffer played significant roles in motor imagery. Nevertheless, the sensorimotor buffer was more sensitive to capacity than complexity of the information held. This study further shed light on the basis for developing clinical protocols using imagery of movements with different demand on memory load to promote regain among patients with motor deficits.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/62658
ISSN: 1650-1977 (print)
1651-2081 (online)
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0197
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