Magnetic stimulation study during observation of motor tasks

Filippo Brighina, Avincenzo La Bua, Massimiliano Oliveri, Aurelio Piazza, Brigida Fierro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to assess if the observation of single or more complex muscle movements activates the premotor cortex in man. We stimulated by transcranial magnetic stimulation the right and left motor cortex recording from the abductor pollicis brevis of eight normal subjects, during observation of different movements performed by the examiner: (1) single movements: thumb abduction, arm elevation; (2) motor sequences: finger opposing movements performed in an ordinate sequence: 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 1- 2..., and in a non-consecutive non-repetitive order: 1-3, 1-5, 1-4, 1-2, 1-5, 1-2... We found an increased excitability of the right cortex during observation of isolated muscle movement regardless of which muscle is moved. At the stimulation of the left cortex, MEPs were significantly increased during observation of complex muscular synergies. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2000


  • MEP facilitation
  • Motor task observation
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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