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Cervical spinal cord BOLD fMRI study: modulation of functional activation by dexterity of dominant and non-dominant hands.

Authors
  • Ng, Man-Cheuk
  • Wu, Ed X
  • Lau, Ho-Fai
  • Hu, Yong
  • Lam, Edmund Y
  • Luk, Keith D
Type
Published Article
Journal
NeuroImage
Publication Date
Jan 15, 2008
Volume
39
Issue
2
Pages
825–831
Identifiers
PMID: 17962042
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dexterity on the magnitude of signal changes in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the cervical spinal cord with unilateral finger-tapping. Right-handed healthy volunteers were investigated with blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI. Spinal cord BOLD functional MR images were acquired from 10 healthy right-handed volunteers who performed four sessions of unilateral finger-tapping tasks: left sequential (LS), right sequential (RS), left interleaved (LI), and right interleaved (RI) tasks. Our results from the difficulty measurement test showed that finger-tapping in interleaved order was more difficult than in sequential order. For the functional activation, seven out of 10 subjects had activation in all four fMRI sessions (two of the subjects who showed no detectable activation had problems in volume registration). The mean contrast value of the activation area inside the entire cervical spinal cord was significantly higher in performing LS than RS tasks. The increase in the mean contrast value was because the less skilled and competent right hemisphere required additional processing power for doing the left hand task than the left hemisphere required in doing the right hand task. The analysis of the interleaved finger-tapping tasks did not show any significant difference in the results. This was probably because the interleaved task was similarly challenging for both hands, and required high dexterity. Therefore, differences in activity between the left and right hands were less apparent. Our results showed the modulation of activation intensity in the spinal cord by the dexterity.

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