Rebecca D. Ray1, Michelle Johnson2, Christopher Pawela3
1Plastic Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States; 2Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States; 3Plastic Surgery and Biophysics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States
Can specific hand movements be mapped onto unique brain regions? This study investigates the common and different representations of individual hand movements (grasp, index finger flexion and extension, finger spread and thumb raise). Participants wore MRI compatible sensor gloves to measure finger flexure and the orientation (pitch and roll) of the users hand as they controlled a small black dot. Several key regions are common to these tasks. There are also activated regions unique to each task. Understanding how motor tasks map onto specific neural regions allows investigators to study plasticity following nerve damage and other disorders of the nervous system.