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Stroke. 2008 Jun;39(6):1814-20. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.508184. Epub 2008 Apr 10.

Effects of action observation on physical training after stroke.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University, 600 N Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. pcelnik@jhmi.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

In healthy humans, observation of another individual performing a motor training task (action observation [AO]) facilitates, in the observer, the effects of physical training (PT) on motor memory formation. It is not known whether this facilitatory process, of potential value for neurorehabilitation, occurs after stroke.

METHODS:

Eight chronic stroke patients completed this crossover-randomized investigation. A transcranial magnetic stimulation protocol that tests formation of motor memories was used to determine the effects of PT alone and in combination with AO in 2 different forms: congruent (PT+AO(congruent)) and incongruent (PT+AO(incongruent)) to the practiced task.

RESULTS:

The magnitude of motor memory formation was larger with PT+AO(congruent) than with PT alone or PT+AO(incongruent). This effect was associated with a differential corticomotor excitability change in the muscles acting as agonist and antagonist of the trained/observed movements.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate that congruent AO in association with physical training can enhance the effects of motor training after stroke.

PMID:
18403746
PMCID:
PMC3638075
DOI:
10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.508184
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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