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No hemispheric asymmetries in long-acting cortical inhibition in young adults using

Blakeway, Ruby (2018) No hemispheric asymmetries in long-acting cortical inhibition in young adults using. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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It is well established that fine motor control is asymmetrical: this is known as handedness. Handedness is controlled by cortical motor processes, including long-acting inhibition. Long-acting cortical inhibition is asymmetric between the left and right hemispheres. Therefore, asymmetries of handedness may be attributable to asymmetries in long-acting inhibition. Asymmetries of long-acting inhibition have previously been tested using a measure of corticospinal excitability, but have not been previously investigated using combined transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (TMS-EEG), a measure of cortical inhibition not influenced by spinal excitability. This study aimed to determine if long-acting cortical inhibition is asymmetrical using TMS-EEG and to investigate any associations of asymmetrical inhibition with fine motor control. In young adults (n = 14) fine motor control was measured using the Purdue Pegboard task. EEG was used to record the cortical responses to paired-pulse, single-pulse and sham TMS. Results showed no asymmetry in fine motor control using the Purdue Pegboard task and no asymmetries of long-acting inhibition between the left and right hemispheres using TMS-EEG. There was no significant difference between the response to sham and single-pulse stimulation, suggesting that the cortical response to TMS was influenced by auditory or physiological artefacts. There were no associations between TEPs of long-acting inhibition and fine motor control. Overall, there were no conclusive results whether asymmetries of long-acting inhibition are replicable using TMS-EEG. Further investigation of the importance of LICI as a neural underpinning of handedness is important to better understanding the workings of handedness and fine motor control.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Supervisor(s): Vallence, Anne-Marie and Fujiyama, Hakuei
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