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Front Syst Neurosci. 2014 Sep 25;8:181. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2014.00181. eCollection 2014.

A little elastic for a better performance: kinesiotaping of the motor effector modulates neural mechanisms for rhythmic movements.

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Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence Florence, Italy.
Department of Statistics, Informatics, Applications, University of Florence Florence, Italy.


A rhythmic motor performance is brought about by an integration of timing information with movements. Investigations on the millisecond time scale distinguish two forms of time control, event-based timing and emergent timing. While event-based timing asserts the existence of a central internal timekeeper for the control of repetitive movements, the emergent timing perspective claims that timing emerges from dynamic control of nontemporal movements parameters. We have recently demonstrated that the precision of an isochronous performance, defined as performance of repeated movements having a uniform duration, was insensible to auditory stimuli of various characteristics (Bravi et al., 2014). Such finding has led us to investigate whether the application of an elastic therapeutic tape (Kinesio® Tex taping; KTT) used for treating athletic injuries and a variety of physical disorders, is able to reduce the timing variability of repetitive rhythmic movement. Young healthy subjects, tested with and without KTT, have participated in sessions in which sets of repeated isochronous wrist's flexion-extensions (IWFEs) were performed under various auditory conditions and during their recall. Kinematics was recorded and temporal parameters were extracted and analyzed. Our results show that the application of KTT decreases the variability of rhythmic movements by a 2-fold effect: on the one hand KTT provides extra proprioceptive information activating cutaneous mechanoreceptors, on the other KTT biases toward the emergent timing thus modulating the processes for rhythmic movements. Therefore, KTT appears able to render movements less audio dependent by relieving, at least partially, the central structures from time control and making available more resources for an augmented performance.


auditory imagery; isochronous movements; music; sensory-motor integration; timing

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