Associative cortico-cortical plasticity may affect ipsilateral finger opposition movements

V. Rizzo, M. Bove, A. Naro, A. Tacchino, C. Mastroeni, L. Avanzino, D. Crupi, F. Morgante, H. R. Siebner, A. Quartarone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have recently demonstrated that cortico-cortical paired associative stimulation (cc-PAS) can modulate interhemispheric inhibition (IHI) in the human brain. Here we further explored the after effects of cc-PAS on fine hand movements. Ten healthy right-handed volunteers received 90 paired transcranial stimuli to the right and left primary motor hand area (M1HAND) at an interstimulus interval (ISI) of 8ms. We studied the after effects of cc-PAS on the performance of repetitive finger opposition movements of different complexity on both hands using a sensor-engineered glove. A quantitative evaluation of the following parameters was performed: Touch Duration (TD), Inter Tapping Interval (ITI) and Number of Errors (NE).We confirmed previous data by showing that left-to-right and right-to-left cc-PAS attenuated IHI. The new finding is that both left-to-right and right-to-left cc-PAS were able to influence the performance of a simple finger opposition movement changing the duration of TD and ITI. Interestingly the effect on the two hands was opposite in direction. These results provide further insight that cc-PAS can induce associative plasticity in connections between the targeted cortical areas influencing motor hand performances. These results may be relevant for future rehabilitative applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-439
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Associative plasticity
  • Cortico-cortical connectivity
  • Finger opposition movements
  • Interhemispheric inhibition
  • Motor cortex
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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