Behavioural Brain Research vol:190 issue:1 pages:41-49
The present experiment addressed whether increases in corticospinal excitability following sensory stimulation with muscle tendon vibration are accompanied by reorganization of the forearm musculature representation within the primary motor cortex. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation, we mapped the corticomotor projection to the dominant flexor carpi radialis (FCR) and extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECR) muscle before and after interventional sensory stimulation obtained via muscle tendon vibration (80 Hz, 60 min) to the dominant distal wrist flexor tendons. Following vibration, MEP amplitude at the optimal stimulation position, motor output area, as well as map volume, increased significantly for the ECR. None of these effects reached significance for the FCR. These results suggest that the antagonistic vibratory response (AVR), which is considered to be of cortical origin, induces a delayed facilitation of musculature that is antagonistic to the site of the directly activated la afferent pathways. This example demonstrates that peripheral sensory stimulation can induce lasting increases in corticospinal excitability in the absence of actual movements. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.