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Abstract:

Motor imagery (MI), the mental simulation of a motor act without overt movement, and actual execution of movements share many properties on behavioural and neural level, which is why MI has been suggested as promising intervention to improve motor abilities in patients, athletes, musicians and other populations. MI-induced cortical activity can be modulated by several internal and external factors. In this talk I will focus on the modulatory effects of two external factors, namely EEG-based neurofeedback and tDCS of the sensorimotor cortex. Specifically, I will present experimental data demonstrating that EEG-based neurofeedback was consistently related to task-specific modulations in MI-induced brain activity in younger and older healthy adults. Under the motto “Two eyes are better than one” evidence from the neurofeedback-dependent imaging modality (EEG) is corroborated by simultaneously acquired data from a neurofeedback-independent imaging modality (fMRI and fNIRS).  Moreover, I will show that also tDCS has the potential to modulate, in a polarity-dependent manner, brain activity related to MI.