Microstructural properties of premotor pathways predict visuomotor performance in chronic stroke

Derek B. Archer, Gaurav Misra, Carolynn Patten, Stephen A. Coombes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Microstructural properties of the corticospinal tract (CST) descending from the motor cortex predict strength and motor skill in the chronic phase after stroke. Much less is known about the relation between brain microstructure and visuomotor processing after stroke. In this study, individual's poststroke and age-matched controls performed a unimanual force task separately with each hand at three levels of visual gain. We collected diffusion MRI data and used probabilistic tractography algorithms to identify the primary and premotor CSTs. Fractional anisotropy (FA) within each tract was used to predict changes in force variability across different levels of visual gain. Our observations revealed that individuals poststroke reduced force variability with an increase in visual gain, performed the force task with greater variability as compared with controls across all gain levels, and had lower FA in the primary motor and premotor CSTs. Our results also demonstrated that the CST descending from the premotor cortex, rather than the primary motor cortex, best predicted force variability. Together, these findings demonstrate that the microstructural properties of the premotor CST predict visual gain-related changes in force variability in individuals poststroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2039-2054
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic stroke
  • Corticospinal tract
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Fractional anisotropy
  • Tractography
  • Visual gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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