Content » Vol 45, Issue 4

Short communication

A comparison of neural mechanisms in mirror therapy and movement observation therapy

Jing Wang, Claire Fritzsch, Johannes Bernarding , Susanne Holtze, Karl-Heinz Mauritz, Maddalena Brunetti, Christian Dohle
Department of Neurology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1127


Objective: To compare lateralized cerebral activations elicited during self-initiated movement mirroring and observation of movements.
Subjects: A total of 15 right-handed healthy subjects, age range 22–56 years.
Methods: Functional imaging study comparing movement mirroring with movement observation, in both hands, in an otherwise identical setting. Imaging data were analysed using statistical parametric mapping software, with significance threshold set at p < 0. 01 (false discovery rate) and a minimum cluster size of 20 voxels.
Results: Movement mirroring induced additional activation in primary and higher-order visual areas strictly contralateral to the limb seen by the subject. There was no significant difference of brain activity when comparing movement observation of somebody else’s right hand with left hand.
Conclusion: Lateralized cerebral activations are elicited by inversion of visual feedback (movement mirroring), but not by movement observation.

Lay Abstract

Supplementary content


Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors. You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.