Motor imagery in REM sleep is increased by transcranial direct current stimulation of the left motor cortex (C3)

Jana Speth, Clemens Speth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
216 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study investigates if anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of areas above the motor cortex (C3) influences the quantity and quality of spontaneous motor imagery experienced in REM sleep. A randomized triple-blinded design was used, combining neurophysiological techniques with a tool of quantitative mentation report analysis developed from cognitive linguistics and generative grammar. The results indicate that more motor imagery, and more athletic motor imagery, is induced by anodal tDCS in comparison to cathodal and sham tDCS. This insight may have implications beyond basic consciousness research. Motor imagery in REM sleep has been hypothesized to serve the rehearsal of motor movements, which benefits later motor performance. Electrophysiological manipulations of motor imagery in REM sleep could in the long run be used for rehabilitative tDCS protocols benefitting temporarily immobile clinical patients, especially those who cannot perform specific motor imagery tasks - such as dementia patients, infants with developmental and motor disorders, and coma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume86
Early online date11 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Brain stimulation
  • Consciousness
  • Effects of tDCS on human consciousness
  • Mentation reports
  • Motor agency analysis
  • Motor system activation
  • Phenomenology
  • Quantitative linguistic analysis
  • tDCS

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