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Title: Surround inhibition in the human motor system
Author: Kassavetis, P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 3695
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Human dexterity is unique within the animal kingdom. The human hand, the final product of long evolutionary process is the most fascinating and refined motor systems in nature. This thesis approaches the neural control of finger movements through the scope of surround inhibition, a neural process well described in the sensory system and recently associated with the motor system. Individuation of finger movements was explored by means of electromyography (EMG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) during a brief flexion of the index finger. A thorough description of the motor evoked potentials and EMG activity in three intrinsic hand muscles is provided initially (Chapter 4). The role of cerebellum as a modulator of moto-cortical output was explored during the same movement and was found to modulate the motor output in a non- muscle specific manner (Chapter 5). In Chapter 6, brain plasticity, a fundamental neural process was probed by means of peripheral nerve stimulation with electrical and mechanical tools in a successful attempt to modulate the strength of surround inhibition in the motor cortex. Finally, data from patients suffering from dystonia is presented and compared with previously published literature (Chapter 7). Lack of significant differences between the dystonia and healthy groups raised questions about the credibility of the proposal that dystonia is disease model for loss of inhibition in the motor system. The thesis calls for a reappraisal of our approach to the role of SI in the motor system and in particular in the pathophysiology of movement disorders such as dystonia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available