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The effect of handwriting on cortical excitability : a TMS study


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Brinken, L 2015 , 'The effect of handwriting on cortical excitability : a TMS study', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The current study investigated the effect of a handwriting task on cortical excitability in the primary motor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Seventeen participants (10 female) took part in a single session during which the amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) was measured in response to single and paired pulse TMS stimulation. Measurements were taken at baseline, immediately after a handwriting task and again 15 minutes after task completion. It was hypothesised that the handwriting task would cause a change to cortical excitability in the form of an increase in facilitation and a decrease in inhibition, as demonstrated by greater mean MEP amplitude and decreased short interval cortical inhibition (SICI) ratios, respectively. This study failed to detect a significant effect of handwriting on cortical excitability. Whether this is due to the absence of an overt effect, a methodological shortcoming associated with the exploratory nature of this study or a random fluctuation is unclear. The main implication of this study is that overlearned tasks such as handwriting represent a currently under-investigated area and further research would be of benefit for the TMS field.

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Brinken, L
Keywords: handwriting, transcranial magnetic stimulation, overlearned tasks, corticospinal excitability, cortical excitability, FDI
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Copyright 2015 the author

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