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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Adult brains maintain the ability to reorganize throughout life. Cortical reorganization or plasticity includes modification of synaptic efficacy as well as neuronal networks that carry behavioural implications. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) allows for the study of primary motor cortex reorganization in humans. Motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes change in response to practice. This article gives information about the effect of practice on TMS measures such as motor-evoked potential amplitudes, motor maps, paired-pulse measures, and behavioural measures. These changes may be accompanied by down-regulation of activity in nearby body part representations within the same hemisphere and in homonymous regions of the opposite hemisphere, mediated by interhemispheric interactions. There is evidence pointing towards the influence of practice on a distributed network of cortical representations within regions of cerebral hemispheres. This has lead to the formulation of intervention strategies to enhance the training effects by cortical or somatosensory stimulation in health and disease.

Keywords: cortical reorganization, primary motor cortex, motor-evoked potential amplitudes, interhemispheric interactions, cortical representations, somatosensory stimulation

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