Motor cortical plasticity to training started in childhood: The example of piano players

Raffaella Chieffo, Laura Straffi, Alberto Inuggi, Javier J. Gonzalez-Rosa, Francesca Spagnolo, Elisabetta Coppi, Arturo Nuara, Elise Houdayer, Giancarlo Comi, Letizia Leocani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Converging evidence suggest thatmotor training is associated with early and late changes of the cortical motor system. Transcranialmagnetic stimulation (TMS) offers the possibility to study plastic rearrangements of the motor system in physiological and pathological conditions. We used TMS to characterize long- Termchanges in upper limb motor cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition associated with bimanual skill training in pianists who started playing in an early age. Ipsilateral silent period (ISP) and cortical TMS mapping of handmuscles were obtained from 30 strictly right-handed subjects (16 pianists, 14 naïve controls), together with electromyographic recording of mirror movements (MMs) to voluntary hand movements. In controls,motor cortical representation of hand muscles was larger on the dominant (DH) than on the non-dominant hemisphere (NDH). On the contrary, pianists showed symmetric cortical output maps, being their DH less represented than in controls. In naïve subjects, the ISP was smaller on the right vs left abductor pollicis brevis (APB) indicating a weaker inhibition from the NDH to the DH. In pianists, interhemispheric inhibition was more symmetric as their DH was better inhibited than in controls. Electromyographic MMs were observed only in naïve subjects (7/14) and only to voluntary movement of the non-dominant hand. Subjects withMM had a lower ISP area on the right APB compared with all the others. Our findings suggest a more symmetrical motor cortex organization in pianists, both in terms of muscle cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition. Although we cannot disentangle trainingrelated frompreexisting conditions, it is possible that long- Termbimanual practicemay reshape motor cortical representation and rebalance interhemispheric interactions, which in naïve right-handed subjects would both tend to favour the dominant hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0157952
JournalPLoS One
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016

Fingerprint

childhood
Plasticity
Hand
hands
Muscles
Motor Cortex
Upper Extremity
Plastics
Muscle
Mirrors
muscles
limbs (animal)
plastics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Motor cortical plasticity to training started in childhood : The example of piano players. / Chieffo, Raffaella; Straffi, Laura; Inuggi, Alberto; Gonzalez-Rosa, Javier J.; Spagnolo, Francesca; Coppi, Elisabetta; Nuara, Arturo; Houdayer, Elise; Comi, Giancarlo; Leocani, Letizia.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 11, No. 6, e0157952, 01.06.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chieffo, R, Straffi, L, Inuggi, A, Gonzalez-Rosa, JJ, Spagnolo, F, Coppi, E, Nuara, A, Houdayer, E, Comi, G & Leocani, L 2016, 'Motor cortical plasticity to training started in childhood: The example of piano players', PLoS One, vol. 11, no. 6, e0157952. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0157952
Chieffo R, Straffi L, Inuggi A, Gonzalez-Rosa JJ, Spagnolo F, Coppi E et al. Motor cortical plasticity to training started in childhood: The example of piano players. PLoS One. 2016 Jun 1;11(6). e0157952. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0157952
Chieffo, Raffaella ; Straffi, Laura ; Inuggi, Alberto ; Gonzalez-Rosa, Javier J. ; Spagnolo, Francesca ; Coppi, Elisabetta ; Nuara, Arturo ; Houdayer, Elise ; Comi, Giancarlo ; Leocani, Letizia. / Motor cortical plasticity to training started in childhood : The example of piano players. In: PLoS One. 2016 ; Vol. 11, No. 6.
@article{3b28eb96bc1649e0a0dcf18c69fb103a,
title = "Motor cortical plasticity to training started in childhood: The example of piano players",
abstract = "Converging evidence suggest thatmotor training is associated with early and late changes of the cortical motor system. Transcranialmagnetic stimulation (TMS) offers the possibility to study plastic rearrangements of the motor system in physiological and pathological conditions. We used TMS to characterize long- Termchanges in upper limb motor cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition associated with bimanual skill training in pianists who started playing in an early age. Ipsilateral silent period (ISP) and cortical TMS mapping of handmuscles were obtained from 30 strictly right-handed subjects (16 pianists, 14 na{\"i}ve controls), together with electromyographic recording of mirror movements (MMs) to voluntary hand movements. In controls,motor cortical representation of hand muscles was larger on the dominant (DH) than on the non-dominant hemisphere (NDH). On the contrary, pianists showed symmetric cortical output maps, being their DH less represented than in controls. In na{\"i}ve subjects, the ISP was smaller on the right vs left abductor pollicis brevis (APB) indicating a weaker inhibition from the NDH to the DH. In pianists, interhemispheric inhibition was more symmetric as their DH was better inhibited than in controls. Electromyographic MMs were observed only in na{\"i}ve subjects (7/14) and only to voluntary movement of the non-dominant hand. Subjects withMM had a lower ISP area on the right APB compared with all the others. Our findings suggest a more symmetrical motor cortex organization in pianists, both in terms of muscle cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition. Although we cannot disentangle trainingrelated frompreexisting conditions, it is possible that long- Termbimanual practicemay reshape motor cortical representation and rebalance interhemispheric interactions, which in na{\"i}ve right-handed subjects would both tend to favour the dominant hemisphere.",
author = "Raffaella Chieffo and Laura Straffi and Alberto Inuggi and Gonzalez-Rosa, {Javier J.} and Francesca Spagnolo and Elisabetta Coppi and Arturo Nuara and Elise Houdayer and Giancarlo Comi and Letizia Leocani",
year = "2016",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0157952",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Motor cortical plasticity to training started in childhood

T2 - The example of piano players

AU - Chieffo, Raffaella

AU - Straffi, Laura

AU - Inuggi, Alberto

AU - Gonzalez-Rosa, Javier J.

AU - Spagnolo, Francesca

AU - Coppi, Elisabetta

AU - Nuara, Arturo

AU - Houdayer, Elise

AU - Comi, Giancarlo

AU - Leocani, Letizia

PY - 2016/6/1

Y1 - 2016/6/1

N2 - Converging evidence suggest thatmotor training is associated with early and late changes of the cortical motor system. Transcranialmagnetic stimulation (TMS) offers the possibility to study plastic rearrangements of the motor system in physiological and pathological conditions. We used TMS to characterize long- Termchanges in upper limb motor cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition associated with bimanual skill training in pianists who started playing in an early age. Ipsilateral silent period (ISP) and cortical TMS mapping of handmuscles were obtained from 30 strictly right-handed subjects (16 pianists, 14 naïve controls), together with electromyographic recording of mirror movements (MMs) to voluntary hand movements. In controls,motor cortical representation of hand muscles was larger on the dominant (DH) than on the non-dominant hemisphere (NDH). On the contrary, pianists showed symmetric cortical output maps, being their DH less represented than in controls. In naïve subjects, the ISP was smaller on the right vs left abductor pollicis brevis (APB) indicating a weaker inhibition from the NDH to the DH. In pianists, interhemispheric inhibition was more symmetric as their DH was better inhibited than in controls. Electromyographic MMs were observed only in naïve subjects (7/14) and only to voluntary movement of the non-dominant hand. Subjects withMM had a lower ISP area on the right APB compared with all the others. Our findings suggest a more symmetrical motor cortex organization in pianists, both in terms of muscle cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition. Although we cannot disentangle trainingrelated frompreexisting conditions, it is possible that long- Termbimanual practicemay reshape motor cortical representation and rebalance interhemispheric interactions, which in naïve right-handed subjects would both tend to favour the dominant hemisphere.

AB - Converging evidence suggest thatmotor training is associated with early and late changes of the cortical motor system. Transcranialmagnetic stimulation (TMS) offers the possibility to study plastic rearrangements of the motor system in physiological and pathological conditions. We used TMS to characterize long- Termchanges in upper limb motor cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition associated with bimanual skill training in pianists who started playing in an early age. Ipsilateral silent period (ISP) and cortical TMS mapping of handmuscles were obtained from 30 strictly right-handed subjects (16 pianists, 14 naïve controls), together with electromyographic recording of mirror movements (MMs) to voluntary hand movements. In controls,motor cortical representation of hand muscles was larger on the dominant (DH) than on the non-dominant hemisphere (NDH). On the contrary, pianists showed symmetric cortical output maps, being their DH less represented than in controls. In naïve subjects, the ISP was smaller on the right vs left abductor pollicis brevis (APB) indicating a weaker inhibition from the NDH to the DH. In pianists, interhemispheric inhibition was more symmetric as their DH was better inhibited than in controls. Electromyographic MMs were observed only in naïve subjects (7/14) and only to voluntary movement of the non-dominant hand. Subjects withMM had a lower ISP area on the right APB compared with all the others. Our findings suggest a more symmetrical motor cortex organization in pianists, both in terms of muscle cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition. Although we cannot disentangle trainingrelated frompreexisting conditions, it is possible that long- Termbimanual practicemay reshape motor cortical representation and rebalance interhemispheric interactions, which in naïve right-handed subjects would both tend to favour the dominant hemisphere.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84976538272&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84976538272&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0157952

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0157952

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84976538272

VL - 11

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 6

M1 - e0157952

ER -