FMRI reward assessment
In a dexterity test, performed in a magnetic resonance imaging system (MRI), small amounts of money can be won depending on the performance shown. This leads to the activation of specific reward areas in the brain, which can be measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In a study with healthy test persons, we were able to show that these activations have a positive influence on the process of learning the dexterity test. These same processes could positively influence the progress of the therapy undertaken by stroke patients. However, the ability of these reward areas to be activated may be reduced in stroke patients.
In the study described here we want to therefore use this dexterity test as an assessment to identify factors (e.g. age, localisation of the stroke, degree of affected movements etc.) that could lead to reduced activations in stroke patients. Furthermore, we also want to use the assessment to clarify with healthy test persons whether the brain activation measured is age-dependent.