Indexed on: 13 Mar '14Published on: 13 Mar '14Published in: Brain connectivity
Functional imaging studies have indicated hemispheric asymmetry of activation in bilateral supplementary motor area (SMA) during unimanual motor tasks. However, the hemispherically special roles of bilateral SMAs on primary motor cortex (M1) in the effective connectivity networks (ECN) during lateralized tasks remain unclear. Aiming to study the differential contribution of bilateral SMAs during the motor execution and motor imagery tasks, and the hemispherically asymmetric patterns of ECN among regions involved, the present study used dynamic causal modeling to analyze the functional magnetic resonance imaging data of the unimanual motor execution/imagery tasks in 12 right-handed subjects. Our results demonstrated that distributions of network parameters underlying motor execution and motor imagery were significantly different. The variation was mainly induced by task condition modulations of intrinsic coupling. Particularly, regardless of the performing hand, the task input modulations of intrinsic coupling from the contralateral SMA to contralateral M1 were positive during motor execution, while varied to be negative during motor imagery. The results suggested that the inhibitive modulation suppressed the overt movement during motor imagery. In addition, the left SMA also helped accomplishing left hand tasks through task input modulation of left SMA→right SMA connection, implying that hemispheric recruitment occurred when performing nondominant hand tasks. The results specified differential and altered contributions of bilateral SMAs to the ECN during unimanual motor execution and motor imagery, and highlighted the contributions induced by the task input of motor execution/imagery.