Motor Plasticity and Training: Cortical and Spinal Mechanisms
In man the cortico-motoneuronal system is highly developed. This may explain why humans have comparatively poor functional recovery in the case of a complete spinal cord lesion. Accordingly, in incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), a significant contribution to motor recovery may be due to supraspinal input inducing and shaping spinal plasticity.
Motor cortical control of cooperative and non-cooperative hand movements
Neurorehabilitation aims to restore every-day movements. In many cases, stroke rehabilitation interventions concentrate on the affected limb only. This is also apparent when looking at robotic devices, which largely focus exclusively on the training of the affected limb. However, many daily life activities involve bimanual movements. Furthermore, activity performed on one side of the body influences excitability of the motor cortex (M1) responsible for the other side of the body. Thus, coordinated bimanual movement training may be beneficial for stroke rehabilitation. However, nothing is known about the motor control of bimanual cooperative movements such as opening a bottle.
The role of proprioception in movement imagery, awareness and production
Sensory information from the muscles, joints, tendons and skin contribute to the sense of body position and movement, and this sense is crucial for coordinated movements.