Mirror-symmetrical bimanual movement is more stable than parallel bimanual movement. This is well established at the kinematic level. We used functional MRI (fMRI) to evaluate the neural substrates of the stability of mirror-symmetrical bimanual movement. Right-handed participants (n = 17) rotated disks with their index fingers bimanually, both in mirror-symmetrical and asymmetrical parallel modes. We applied the Akaike causality model to both kinematic and fMRI time-series data. We hypothesized that kinematic stability is represented by the extent of neural "cross-talk": as the fraction of signals that are common to controlling both hands increases, the stability also increases. The standard deviation of the phase difference for the mirror mode was significantly smaller than that for the parallel mode, confirming that the former was more stable. We used the noise-contribution ratio (NCR), which was computed using a multivariate autoregressive model with latent variables, as a direct measure of the cross-talk between both the two hands and the bilateral primary motor cortices (M1s). The mode-by-direction interaction of the NCR was significant in both the kinematic and fMRI data. Furthermore, in both sets of data, the NCR from the right hand (left M1) to the left (right M1) was more prominent than vice versa during the mirror-symmetrical mode, whereas no difference was observed during parallel movement or rest. The asymmetric interhemispheric interaction from the left M1 to the right M1 during symmetric bimanual movement might represent cortical-level cross-talk, which contributes to the stability of symmetric bimanual movements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience