Corticospinal excitability modulation during mental simulation of wrist movements in human subjects

Simone Rossi, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Franca Tecchio, Flavia Pauri, Paolo M. Rossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) to magnetic transcranial stimulation (TCS) were simultaneously and bilaterally recorded from flexor carpi radialis (FCR) and extensor communis digitorum (ECD) muscles in seven healthy and trained subjects. Latencies and amplitudes characteristics of MEPs were investigated under the following randomised conditions: muscular and mental relaxation; mental simulation, during absolute muscular relaxation, selective flexion or extension of the right or left wrist muscles; arithmetical calculation with muscular relaxation. Unspecific, diffuse facilitatory effects on MEPs amplitude were induced by mental non motor activity (arithmetical calculation). A further specific and lateralised amplitude potentiation on the agonist muscle acting as 'prime mover' for the mentally simulated movement was consistently found in all the subjects, without significant latency changes. Inhibitory effects on antagonists were evident only in two subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-151
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 1998


  • Cortical excitability
  • Mental imagery
  • Motor evoked potentials
  • Movements
  • Transcranial stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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