Neural pathways mediating cross education of motor function

Ruddy, Kathy L. and Carson, Richard G. (2013) Neural pathways mediating cross education of motor function. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7 JUL: 397.1-397.22. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00397

Author Ruddy, Kathy L.
Carson, Richard G.
Title Neural pathways mediating cross education of motor function
Journal name Frontiers in Human Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1662-5161
Publication date 2013-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00397
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 7
Issue JUL
Start page 397.1
End page 397.22
Total pages 22
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Language eng
Abstract 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. Generally, mechanistic accounts of cross education align with one of two explanatory frameworks. Models of the 'cross activation' variety encapsulate the observation that unilateral execution of a movement task gives rise to bilateral increases in corticospinal excitability. The related conjecture is that such distributed activity, when present during unilateral practice, leads to simultaneous adaptations in neural circuits that project to the muscles of the untrained limb, thus facilitating subsequent performance of the task. Alternatively, 'bilateral access' models entail that motor engrams formed during unilateral practise, may subsequently be utilised bilaterally - that is, by the neural circuitry that constitutes the control centres for movements of both limbs. At present there is a paucity of direct evidence that allows the corresponding neural processes to be delineated, or their relative contributions in different task contexts to be ascertained. In the current review we seek to synthesise and assimilate the fragmentary information that is available, including consideration of knowledge that has emerged as a result of technological advances in structural and functional brain imaging. An emphasis upon task dependency is maintained throughout, the conviction being that the neural mechanisms that mediate cross education may only be understood in this context.
Keyword Bilateral
Motor learning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 17 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 22 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 03 Dec 2014, 09:32:25 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences