ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2016, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (5): 495-508.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.00495

• 论文 • 上一篇    下一篇



  1. (天津师范大学心理与行为研究院, 天津 300074)
  • 收稿日期:2015-03-27 发布日期:2016-05-25 出版日期:2016-05-25
  • 通讯作者: 白学军, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:

    天津市高等学校创新团队培养计划、国家自然科学基金项目(81471629)、天津市科技计划项目“天津市民心理健康素质监测系统开发” (12ZCZDSF07100)资助

Comparison of motor execution and motor imagery brain activation patterns: A fNIRS Study

BAI Xuejun; ZHANG Qihan; ZHANG Peng; ZHOU Song; LIU Ying; SONG Xing; PENG Guohui   

  1. (Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China)
  • Received:2015-03-27 Online:2016-05-25 Published:2016-05-25
  • Contact: BAI Xuejun, E-mail:


使用《运动想象问卷−修订版》筛选出的30名被试(男女各半), 采用功能性近红外光谱成像技术(fNIRS)监测被试在执行实际举哑铃(男生, 4磅和8磅; 女生, 2磅和4磅)任务和想象举同等重量哑铃任务时, 其大脑皮层氧合血红蛋白浓度的变化。结果发现:男女被试在运动执行与运动想象任务下都激活了主运动皮层; 且运动执行的大脑激活水平高于运动想象。在执行实际运动任务时, 运动强度显著影响大脑皮层血氧浓度的变化, 表现出左半球偏侧化优势; 在执行想象运动任务时, 运动强度没有影响大脑皮层血氧浓度的变化, 且无偏侧化现象。

关键词: 运动执行任务, 运动想象任务, 功能性近红外光谱成像技术(fNIRS), 运动皮层, 氧合血红蛋白(HbO)


It is widely believed that activity in the primary motor cortex relates only to motor execution. However, the extent to which similar activity occurs when imagining motor movements remains to be determined and, while some researchers report activity in the primary motor cortex during both motor execution and motor imagery tasks (e.g.Solodkin et al., 2004; Sharma et al., 2008), others report no effects of motor imagery (e.g., Binkofski et al., 2000; Hanakawa et al., 2003; Hétu et al., 2013). It is still unknown whether brain activation patterns of motor execution and motor imagery are similar, and whether both tasks activate the primary motor cortex. In addition, it is also unclear about the effect of imagination intensity on the primary motor cortex (this effect has been well established in motor execution tasks). Accordingly, the present research investigated the relationship between the intensity of real and imagined exercise on cortical activity using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), especially in the primary motor cortex. A preliminary assessment used 10 participants (5 male, 5 female), who did not take part in the main experiment, to establish an appropriate level of exercise intensity. For the main experiment, 30 participants (15 male, 15 female) with high imagination ability were selected using the Motor Imagery Questionnaire (Revised). These participants performed a motor execution task in which they actually lifted dumbbells under two levels of exercise intensity (males, 4 pounds and 8 pounds; females, 2 pounds and 4 pounds) and an imagery version of this task in which they imagined lifting dumbbells of these weights. The fNIRS was used to measure cortical changes in oxygen level during the performance of the two tasks. Finally, on completion of the imagery task, the “motor imagery self-assessment questionnaire” was administered to assess the quality of the participants’ imagination. All participants reported that they could imagine dumbbell movement under different levels of exercise intensity. The fNIRS showed that although both motor imagery and motor execution produced increases in cortical oxygen levels, this was greater, and lateralized to the left hemisphere, during motor execution. In addition, effects of exercise intensity were observed during motor execution but not during motor imagery, such that oxygen levels were higher with increased exercise intensity. The indication from the present findings is that both motor execution and motor imagery activate the primary motor cortex. This challenges the conventional view that activity in the primary motor cortex relates only to motor execution and shows that this activity is also connected with motor imagery, plan, and control. The present findings therefore provide an important theoretical basis for the use of motor imagery therapy in the field of neural prosthetics. However, the present findings also reveal important differences in the effects of motor execution and motor imagery, and in particular that effects of exercise intensity on cortical activation may be observed only during motor execution and not motor imagery. However, further research will be required to more fully understand the nature of these differences in cortical activation.

Key words: motor execution task, motor imagery task, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), motor cortex, oxy-hemoglobin (HbO)