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Title: Observing actions after stroke : investigating the potential of the mirror neuron system as a rehabilitation tool
Author: Samson, G.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Motor impairments are a common consequence of stroke, but some patients may be too impaired to participate in physiotherapy. In primates, single cell recordings have identified neurons that are active during both performance and observation of motor tasks. A similar "mirror neuron system" (MNS) in humans could potentially be utilised to augment physiotherapy in stroke patients. This paper summarises the mechanisms underlying recovery from stroke, before reviewing evidence for the existence of a human MNS. Converging evidence demonstrates that in healthy individuals, observation of another's actions activates a distributed network of brain areas, and can facilitate motor output. Preliminary findings suggest that action observation may also improve motor performance in stroke patients. Further research is required to determine the mechanisms underlying action observation in stroke patients, in order to establish its potential as a rehabilitation technique.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available