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Over recent years evidence from animal studies strongly suggests that a decrease in local inhibitory signaling is necessary for synaptic plasticity to occur. However, the role of GABAergic modulation in human motor plasticity is less well understood. Here, we summarize the techniques available to quantify GABA in humans, before reviewing the existing evidence for the role of inhibitory signaling in human motor plasticity. We discuss a number of important outstanding questions that remain before the role of GABAergic modulation in long-term plasticity in humans, such as that underpinning recovery after stroke, can be established.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





93 - 104


GABA, human, motor, plasticity, stroke recovery, Brain, Humans, Learning, Motor Activity, Motor Cortex, Neural Inhibition, Neuronal Plasticity, Recovery of Function, Stroke, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid