Background: Functional Magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures the small fluctuation of blood flow happening during task-fMRI in brain regions.
Objective: This research investigated these active, imagery and passive movements in volunteers design to permit a comparison of their capabilities in activating the brain areas.
Material and Methods: In this applied research, the activity of the motor cortex during the right-wrist movement was evaluated in 10 normal volunteers under active, passive, and imagery conditions. T2* weighted, three-dimensional functional images were acquired using a BOLD sensitive gradient-echo EPI (echo planar imaging) sequence with echo time (TE) of 30 ms and repetition time (TR) of 2000 ms. The functional data, which included 248 volumes per subject and condition, were acquired using the blocked design paradigm. The images were analyzed by the SPM12 toolbox, MATLAB software.
Results: The findings determined a significant increase in signal intensity of the motor cortex while performing the test compared to the rest time (p < 0.05). It was also observed that the active areas in hand representation of the motor cortex are different in terms of locations and the number of voxels in different wrist directions. Moreover, the findings showed that the position of active centers in the brain is different in active, passive, and imagery conditions.
Conclusion: Results confirm that primary motor cortex neurons play an essential role in the processing of complex information and are designed to control the direction of movement. It seems that the findings of this study can be applied for rehabilitation studies.