Effects of motor training on the recovery of manual dexterity after primary motor cortex lesion in macaque monkeys

J Neurophysiol. 2008 Feb;99(2):773-86. doi: 10.1152/jn.01001.2007. Epub 2007 Dec 19.


To investigate the effects of postlesion training on motor recovery, we compared the motor recovery of macaque monkeys that had received intensive motor training with those that received no training after a lesion of the primary motor cortex (M1). An ibotenic acid lesion in the M1 digit area resulted in impairment of hand function, with complete loss of digit movement. In the monkeys that had undergone intensive daily training (1 h/day, 5 days/wk) after the lesion, behavioral indexes used to evaluate manual dexterity recovered to the same level as in the prelesion period after 1 or 2 mo of postlesion training period. Relatively independent digit movements, including precision grip (prehension of a small object with finger-to-thumb opposition), were restored in the trained monkeys. Although the behavioral indexes of manual dexterity recovered to some extent in the monkeys without the postlesion training, they remained lower than those in the prelesion period until several months after M1 lesion. The untrained monkeys frequently used alternate grip strategies to grasp a small object with the affected hand, holding food pellets between the tip of the index finger and the dorsum of the thumb. These results suggest that the recovery after M1 lesion includes both use-dependent and use-independent processes and that the recovery of precision grip can be promoted by intensive use of the affected hand in postlesion training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries / chemically induced
  • Brain Injuries / pathology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Fingers / innervation
  • Fingers / physiopathology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Ibotenic Acid
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Motor Cortex / injuries
  • Motor Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / methods*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors


  • Ibotenic Acid