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Author: Kathy Ruddy (10)


Dec
2017

Moment-to-moment reaction time variability on tasks of attention, often quantified by intra-individual response variability (IRV), provides a good indication of the degree to which an individual is vulnerable to lapses in sustained attention. Increased IRV is a hallmark of several disorders of attention, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Here, task-based fMRI was used to provide the first examination of how average brain activation and functional connectivity patterns in adolescents are related to individual differences in sustained attention as measured by IRV.

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May
2017

Therapy that combines repetitive training with non-invasive brain stimulation is a potential avenue to enhance upper limb recovery after stroke. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of transcranial Random Noise Stimulation (tRNS), timed to coincide with the generation of voluntary motor commands, during reaching training.
A triple-blind pilot RCT was completed.

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May
2017

It is hypothesized that deep sleep is essential for restoring the brain's capacity to learn efficiently, especially in regions heavily activated during the day. However, causal evidence in humans has been lacking due to the inability to sleep deprive one target area while keeping the natural sleep pattern intact. Here we introduce a novel approach to focally perturb deep sleep in motor cortex, and investigate the consequences on behavioural and neurophysiological markers of neuroplasticity arising from dedicated motor practice.

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Mar
2017

Cross-education (CE) is the process whereby training with one limb leads to subsequent improvement in performance by the opposite untrained limb. We used multimodal neuroimaging in humans to investigate the mediating neural mechanisms by relating quantitative estimates of functional and structural cortical connectivity to individual levels of interlimb transfer. Resting-state (rs)-fMRI and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) scans were undertaken before unilateral ballistic wrist flexion training.

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Dec
1969

Thirty years ago, the first magnetic device capable of stimulating the human brain without discomfort through the intact skull was unveiled in Sheffield, England (Barker et al. in Lancet 1:1106-1107, 1985). Since that time, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has become the tool of choice for many scientists investigating human motor control and learning.

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Dec
1969

The organisational and architectural configuration of white matter pathways connecting brain regions has ramifications for all facets of the human condition, including manifestations of incipient neurodegeneration. Although diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been used extensively to visualise white matter connectivity, due to the widespread presence of crossing fibres, the lateral projections of the corpus callosum are not normally detected using this methodology. Detailed knowledge of the transcallosal connectivity of the human cortical motor network has, therefore, remained elusive.

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Oct
2016

Somatosensory information from the limbs reaches the contralateral Primary Sensory Cortex (S1) with a delay of 23ms for finger, and 40ms for leg (somatosensory N20/N40). Upon arrival of this input in the cortex, motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) are momentarily inhibited. This phenomenon is called 'short latency afferent inhibition (SAI)' and can be used as a tool for investigating sensorimotor interactions in the brain.

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Dec
1969

Cross education is the process whereby training of one limb gives rise to increases in the subsequent performance of its opposite counterpart. The execution of many unilateral tasks is associated with increased excitability of corticospinal projections from primary motor cortex (M1) to the opposite limb. It has been proposed that these effects are causally related.

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Dec
1969

Cross education is the process whereby training of one limb gives rise to enhancements in the performance of the opposite, untrained limb. Despite interest in this phenomenon having been sustained for more than a century, a comprehensive explanation of the mediating neural mechanisms remains elusive. With new evidence emerging that cross education may have therapeutic utility, the need to provide a principled evidential basis upon which to design interventions becomes ever more pressing.

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Jan
2012

The effect of vision on the excitability of corticospinal projections to the flexor carpi radialis (FCR) and extensor carpi radialis (ECR) muscles of right human forearm was investigated before and during discrete movement of the opposite limb. An external force opposed the initial phase of the movement (wrist flexion) and assisted the reverse phase, so that recruitment of the wrist extensors was minimized. Three conditions were used as follows: viewing the inactive right limb (Vision), viewing the mirror image of the moving left limb (Mirror), and with vision of the right limb occluded (No Vision).

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