Sensorimotor cortex activation during mirror therapy in healthy right-handed subjects: A study with near-infrared spectroscopy

Itsuki Imai, Kotaro Takeda, Taizo Shiomi, Takamichi Taniguchi, Hiroyuki Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Clinical studies have shown that functional motor recovery after stroke may be facilitated by mirror therapy (MT). However, its underlying mechanism is uncertain. In this study, we examined brain activation during unilateral hand movement in 5 right-handed healthy subjects (1 male and 4 females) with or without viewing a mirror reflection of the moving hand (MT). We measure d the changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin in the primary sensorimotor cortex (SMC) using near-infrared spectroscopy. We calculated the laterality index (LI) using the extent of activation in the right and left SMCs. The LIs (± standard error of mean) during right hand grasping without and with MT were 0.17± 0. 11 (left SMC predominance) and -0.42 ± 0.24 (right SMC predominance), respectively (p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in LIs during left hand grasping without and with MT (0.02 ± 0.05 and 0.08 ± 0.05, respectively). The findings suggest that MT is more effective when it is used for dominant right hand movement, and this phenomenon may be the related to the different manipulability between the dominant and non-dominant hands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Therapy Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13-08-2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this