Real-time fMRI (rtfMRI) is a new technology which allows human subjects to observe and control their own BOLD
signal change from one or more localized brain regions during scanning. Current rtfMRI-neurofeedback studies mainly
focused on the target region itself without considering other related regions influenced by the real-time feedback.
However, there always exits important directional influence between many of cooperative regions. On the other hand,
rtfMRI based on motor imagery mainly aimed at somatomotor cortex or primary motor area, whereas supplement motor
area (SMA) was a relatively more integrated and pivotal region. In this study, we investigated whether the activities of
SMA can be controlled utilizing different motor imagery strategies, and whether there exists any possible impact on an
unregulated but related region, primary motor cortex (M1). SMA was first localized using overt finger tapping task, the
activities of SMA were feedback to subjects visually on line during each of two subsequent imagery motor movement
sessions. All thirteen healthy participants were found to be able to successfully control their SMA activities by self-fit
imagery strategies which involved no actual motor movements. The activation of right M1 was also found to be
significantly reduced in both intensity and extent with the neurofeedback process targeted at SMA, suggestive that not
only the part of motor cortex activities were influenced under the regulation of a key region SMA, but also the increased
difference between SMA and M1 might reflect the potential learning effect.