Momentary reward induce changes in excitability of primary motor cortex

Mohamed Nasreldin Thabit, Masahiro Nakatsuka, Satoko Koganemaru, Gharib Fawi, Hidenao Fukuyama, Tatsuya Mima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


ObjectiveTo investigate the human primary motor cortex (M1) excitability changes induced by momentary reward. MethodsTo test the changes in excitatory and inhibitory functions of M1, motor-evoked potentials (MEPs), short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) were tested in the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle of non-dominant hand in 14 healthy volunteers by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) during a behavioral task in which subjects were pseudorandomly received either reward target or non-target stimuli in response to a cue. To control sensorimotor and attention effects, a sensorimotor control task was done replacing the reward target with non-reward target. ResultsThe SICI was increased, and the SAI was decreased significantly during the presentation of the reward target stimuli. Those changes were not evident during non-reward target stimuli in the sensorimotor control task, indicating that this change is specific to momentary reward. ConclusionsMomentary rewarding is associated with change in intracortical inhibitory circuits of M1. Significance: TMS may be a useful probe to study the reward system in health and in many diseases in which its dysfunction is suspected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1764-1770
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep
Externally publishedYes


  • Dopamine
  • Motor cortex excitability
  • Reward
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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