Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Neurological and behavioral features of locomotor imagery in the blind.

Authors
  • Amemiya, Kaoru1
  • Morita, Tomoyo1, 2
  • Hirose, Satoshi1, 3
  • Ikegami, Tsuyoshi1, 3
  • Hirashima, Masaya1, 3
  • Naito, Eiichi4, 5
  • 1 Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet), National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), 1-4 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 2 Institute for Open and Transdisciplinary Research Initiatives, Osaka University, 1-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 3 Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, 1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan. , (Japan)
  • 4 Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet), National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), 1-4 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan. [email protected] , (Japan)
  • 5 Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, 1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan. [email protected] , (Japan)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Brain Imaging and Behavior
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
Volume
15
Issue
2
Pages
656–676
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11682-020-00275-w
PMID: 32240463
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

In people with normal sight, mental simulation (motor imagery) of an experienced action involves a multisensory (especially kinesthetic and visual) emulation process associated with the action. Here, we examined how long-term blindness influences sensory experience during motor imagery and its neuronal correlates by comparing data obtained from blind and sighted people. We scanned brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while 16 sighted and 14 blind male volunteers imagined either walking or jogging around a circle of 2 m radius. In the training before fMRI, they performed these actions with their eyes closed. During scanning, we explicitly instructed the blindfolded participants to generate kinesthetic motor imagery. After the experimental run, they rated the degree to which their motor imagery became kinesthetic or spatio-visual. The imagery of blind people was more kinesthetic as per instructions, while that of the sighted group became more spatio-visual. The imagery of both groups commonly activated bilateral frontoparietal cortices including supplementary motor areas (SMA). Despite the lack of group differences in degree of brain activation, we observed stronger functional connectivity between the SMA and cerebellum in the blind group compared to that in the sighted group. To conclude, long-term blindness likely changes sensory emulation during motor imagery to a more kinesthetic mode, which may be associated with stronger functional coupling in kinesthetic brain networks compared with that in sighted people. This study adds valuable knowledge on motor cognition and mental imagery processes in the blind.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times