Send to

Choose Destination
J Physiol. 2001 Mar 15;531(Pt 3):849-59.

Interhemispheric facilitation of the hand motor area in humans.

Author information

Department of Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


1. We investigated interhemispheric interactions between the human hand motor areas using transcranial cortical magnetic and electrical stimulation. 2. A magnetic test stimulus was applied over the motor cortex contralateral to the recorded muscle (test motor cortex), and an electrical or magnetic conditioning stimulus was applied over the ipsilateral hemisphere (conditioning motor cortex). We investigated the effects of the conditioning stimulus on responses to the test stimulus. 3. Two effects were elicited at different interstimulus intervals (ISIs): early facilitation (ISI = 4-5 ms) and late inhibition (ISI > or = 11 ms). 4. The early facilitation was evoked by a magnetic or anodal electrical conditioning stimulus over the motor point in the conditioning hemisphere, which suggests that the conditioning stimulus for early facilitation directly activates corticospinal neurones. 5. The ISIs for early facilitation taken together with the time required for activation of corticospinal neurones by I3-waves in the test hemisphere are compatible with the interhemispheric conduction time through the corpus callosum. Early facilitation was observed in responses to I3-waves, but not in responses to D-waves nor to I1-waves. Based on these results, we conclude that early facilitation is mediated through the corpus callosum. 6. If the magnetic conditioning stimulus induced posteriorly directed currents, or if an anodal electrical conditioning stimulus was applied over a point 2 cm anterior to the motor point, then we observed late inhibition with no early facilitation. 7. Late inhibition was evoked in responses to both I1- and I3-waves, but was not evoked in responses to D-waves. The stronger the conditioning stimulus was, the greater was the amount of inhibition. These results are compatible with surround inhibition at the motor cortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center