Publicaties 2010

Neural evidence for compromised motor imagery in right hemiparetic cerebral palsy


In the present event-related potential (ERP) study we investigated the neural and temporal dynamics of motor imagery in participants with right-sided hemiparetic cerebral palsy (HCP; n = 10) and in left-handed control participants (n = 10). A mental rotation task was used in which participants were required to judge the laterality of hand pictures. At a behavioral level participants with HCP were slower in making hand laterality judgments compared to control subjects, especially when presented with pictures representing the affected hand. At a neural level, individuals with HCP were characterized by a reduced rotation-related negativity (RRN) over parietal areas, that was delayed in onset with respect to control participants. Interestingly, participants that were relatively mildly impaired showed a stronger RRN for the rotation of right-hand stimuli than participants that were more strongly impaired in their motor function, suggesting a direct relation between the motor imagery process and the biomechanical constraints of the participant. Together, the results provide new insights in the relation between motor imagery and motor capabilities and indicate that participants with HCP may be characterized by a compromised ability to use motor imagery.