Poster B92, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
White matter microstructure in sensorimotor cortices and tracts predicts motor imagery ability in young adults
Christian Hyde1, Ian Fuelscher1, Peter Enticott1, Jarrad Lum1, Karen Caeyenberghs2; 1Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia., 2School of Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia.
There is compelling evidence suggesting that motor imagery (MI) activates similar cortical regions to real movement. This study aimed to be the first, to our knowledge, to investigate the degree to which microstructural properties of sensory-motor cortices previously implicated in MI, and those tracts that support communication between them, predict individual differences in MI performance. 12 healthy adults (18-46 years) have performed the hand laterality task (HLT), a well-validated MI measure. Diffusion MRI metrics of white matter microstructure were generated for the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), cerebellum, primary sensory cortex, and putamen based on a recent meta-analysis of fMRI studies indicating that these regions are active in HLT performance. Sensorimotor tracts including the corticospinal tract (CST) and superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) were reconstructed for each participant using constrained spherical deconvolution tractography (CSD). Quantitative diffusion metrics were then correlated with HLT performance efficiency. We observed significant correlations between HLT efficiency and diffusion metrics in the PPC (i.e. left inferior parietal, and left and right supramarginal parietal cortices), mean fractional anisotropy of the left SLF and mean diffusivity of the right SLF and HLT efficiency. These preliminary analyses are the first to provide evidence suggesting that the white matter organization in those cortices known be active during MI, and those tracts that support communication between these cortices, may predict individual differences in MI ability. These findings compliment functional data from fMRI and provide critical insight into the neural substrate of MI and factors that contribute to individual performance differences.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Motor control