Publicaties 2010

Compromised motor planning and motor imagery in right hemiparetic cerebral palsy


We investigated whether motor planning problems in people with Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy (HCP) are paralleled by impaired ability to use Motor Imagery (MI). While some studies have shown that individuals with HCP can solve a mental rotation task, it was not clear if they used MI or Visual Imagery (VI). In the present study, motor planning and MI were examined in individuals with right HCP (n = 10) and controls. Motor planning was measured using an object manipulation task, where participants had to anticipate the end of the motor action. MI was measured using a mental rotation paradigm, where participants judged laterality of hands presented from a back view and a palm view. To test if participants used MI or VI we compared reaction times of lateral versus medial rotations, under the assumption that MI is subject to biomechanical constraints of rotated hands, but VI is not. Individuals with HCP had a higher proportion of task failures due to inappropriate grip choice, exemplifying impaired planning. Second, individuals with HCP did not show a reaction time difference between lateral and medial rotations, indicating an impaired ability to use MI. These findings show that compromised motor planning in HCP is paralleled by an impairment in the ability to use MI. Training of MI may be a useful entry-point for rehabilitation of motor planning problems.