Research Project C01

C01-1 Neurorehabilitation based upon brain plasticity on body representations

Research Outline

The number of those who have disorder in brain function, motor and sensory functions after stroke, has been rising because the number of stroke survivors is increased owing to the advance of clinical medicine. This situation creates a great need for effective rehabilitation for motor impairment and many types of rehabilitative approaches have been produced. Although some techniques improve temporally motor impairment immediately after intervention, the patients with hemiparesis tend not to use a paretic limb gradually in everyday life, because they cannot control their paretic limb as they intend. This is because the current rehabilitation approaches are not enough for a paretic limb to be a functional limb, which is a limb the patients want to use for some purpose in daily living. To make a paretic limb functional one is not only that the paretic limb is improved in function but also that brain can recognize a paretic limb as an own body part and send an appropriate motor command to the paretic limb. For this purpose, we hypothesized that there would be the cognitive mapper of body, which is a neural mechanism for estimating the body state and the environment neighboring to body utilizing the information from sensory and motor information. The states in body parts including paretic limb of the patients with hemiparesis would be coded in this mapper in the brain and this mapper could bring the body consciousness, such as body ownership and self-agency, to us when we move a body part. According to previous studies, because this mapper seems to be very flexible to the change in the body and environments, the body consciousness generated by the mapper also change when this mapper change. Thus, although it is natural that we could access the cognitive mapper of body in the brain through the body consciousness, we have no way to know and measure the change of the mapper by an intervention to body consciousness. Firstly, in our group we focus on the two unique phenomena; the abnormality in perception of gravity in body after brain damage and abnormal sensation of amputated limb. For a new approach in neurorehabilitation, we try to measure and visualize this mapper in the patients with abnormal body representation by psychophysical method and to correct the mapper.



Shin-ichi IZUMI

Principal Investigator Shin-ichi Izumi (Professor, Tohoku University)
Co-Investigator* Tetsunari Inamura (Associate Professor, National Institute of Informatics)
Co-Investigator Naofumi Tanaka (Professor,Teikyo University)
Co-Investigator Yutaka Oouchida (Associate Professor, Osaka Kyoiku University)
Co-Investigator Kazumichi Matsumiya (Professor, Tohoku University)
Co-Investigator Hiroaki Abe (Lecturer, Kohnan Hospital)
Co-Investigator Yusuke Sekiguchi (Lecturer, Tohoku University)
Co-Investigator Masahiko Ayaki (Associate Professor, Keio University)
Co-Investigator Mitsuhiro Hayashibe (Professor, Tohoku University)

* funded co-investigator