Learning-related fMRI activation associated with a rotational visuo-motor transformation

Laboratory for Functional MR Research, Robarts Research Institute, Canada.
Cognitive Brain Research (Impact Factor: 3.77). 04/2005; 22(3):373-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2004.09.007
Source: PubMed


The unique ability to learn transformed or altered visuo-motor relationships during motor learning (visuo-motor transformation learning) has engaged researchers for over a century. Compared to other forms of motor learning (e.g., sequence learning), little is known about plasticity in the cortical and/or subcortical systems involved. We used fMRI to isolate region-specific activation changes during the learning of a visuo-motor (joystick) task under a simple transformation (90 degree rotation of visual feedback). Distributed brain systems were engaged in the learning process. In particular, we found evidence of a learning-dependent transition from early activation of the posterior parietal cortex to later distributed cortico-subcortical-cerebellar responses (in the temporal and occipital cortices, basal ganglia, cerebellum and thalamus). The role of the posterior parietal cortex may relate specifically to the acquisition of the transformation, while that of the fusiform and superior temporal gyri may reflect higher level visual and visuo-spatial processing underlying consolidation. Learning-related increases in cerebellar responses are consistent with its proposed role in the acquisition of internal models of the motor apparatus. These learning-related changes suggest a role for interacting neural systems involving the co-operation of cortico-cortico, cortico-cerebellar and cortico-basal ganglia loops during visuo-motor transformation learning.

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    • "Implicit sequence learning L ND Table 2 Graydon et al., 2005 Joy stick reaches with a visuo-motor rotation. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we explore how the time scale of practice affects patterns of brain activity associated with motor skill acquisition. Fifty-eight studies that involved skill learning with healthy participants (117 contrasts) met inclusion criteria. Two meta-contrasts were coded: decreases: peak coordinates that showed decreases in brain activity over time; increases: peak coordinates that showed increases in activity over time. Studies were grouped by practice time scale: short (≤1 hrs; 25 studies), medium (>1 and ≤24 hrs; 18 studies), and long (>24 hrs to 5 weeks; 17 studies). Coordinates were analyzed using Activation Likelihood Estimation to show brain areas that were consistently activated for each contrast. Across time scales, consistent decreases in activity were shown in prefrontal and premotor cortex, the inferior parietal lobules, and the cerebellar cortex. Across the short and medium time scales there were consistent increases in supplementary and primary motor cortex and dentate nucleus. At the long time scale, increases were seen in posterior cingulate gyrus, primary motor cortex, putamen, and globus pallidus. Comparisons between time scales showed that increased activity in M1 at medium time scales was more spatially consistent across studies than increased activity in M1 at long time scales. Further, activity in the striatum (viz. putamen and globus pallidus) was consistently more rostral in the medium time scale and consistently more caudal in the long time scale. These data support neurophysiological models that posit that both a cortico-cerebellar system and a cortico-striatal system are active, but at different time points, during motor learning, and suggest there are associative/premotor and sensorimotor networks active within each system.
    Neuropsychologia 05/2014; 59:130-141. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.05.001 · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    • "Importantly, by employing an alternative neuroimaging methodology, the present findings confirm and extend those from previous EEG and fMRI studies that revealed an increased role of frontal and prefrontal (dorsolateral, ventral) regions during early compared to late visuomotor adaptation and particularly underscore the role of the frontal executive (inhibitory, updating functions) when a new visuomotor transformation is being encoded (e.g., Shadmehr and Holcomb, 1997, 1999; Ghilardi et al., 2000; Graydon et al., 2005; Lacourse et al., 2005; Anguera et al., 2007; Gentili et al., 2010a, 2011). In a previous study, Gentili et al. (2011) analyzed EEG and kinematics using exactly the same visuomotor task including a learning group where participants had to adapt to a new visuomotor transformation and a control group who performed the same visuomotor task without any perturbation. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated changes in brain hemodynamics, as measured by functional near infrared spectroscopy, during performance of a cognitive-motor adaptation task. The adaptation task involved the learning of a novel visuomotor transformation (a 60° counterclockwise screen-cursor rotation), which required inhibition of a prepotent visuomotor response. A control group experienced a familiar transformation and thus, did not face any executive challenge. Analysis of the experimental group hemodynamic responses revealed that the performance enhancement was associated with a monotonic reduction in the oxygenation level in the prefrontal cortex. This finding confirms and extends functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography studies of visuomotor adaptation and learning. The changes in prefrontal brain activation suggest an initial recruitment of frontal executive functioning to inhibit prepotent visuomotor mappings followed by a progressive de-recruitment of the same prefrontal regions. The prefrontal hemodynamic changes observed in the experimental group translated into enhanced motor performance revealed by a reduction in movement time, movement extent, root mean square error and the directional error. These kinematic adaptations are consistent with the acquisition of an internal model of the novel visuomotor transformation. No comparable change was observed in the control group for either the hemodynamics or for the kinematics. This study (1) extends our understanding of the frontal executive processes from the cognitive to the cognitive-motor domain and (2) suggests that optical brain imaging can be employed to provide hemodynamic based-biomarkers to assess and monitor the level of adaptive cognitive-motor performance.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 07/2013; 7:277. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00277 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    • "These tasks activate bilateral occipital (lingual gyrus, precuneus, superior occipital gyrus), parietal (angular gyrus, postcentral gyrus, superior parietal lobule, left supramarginal gyrus), frontal (frontal pole, inferior and medial frontal gyri), and left temporal (inferior and middle temporal gyrus) regions. Vingerhoets et al. (2002), Zacks et al. (2002), Graydon et al. (2005), Lee et al. (2005), Terhune et al. (2005) Spatial/navigation The subject navigates through a known vs. unknown space/place. Activation patterns highlight left premotor area, as well as the angular gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus and retrosplenial region, cuneus/precuneus, occipital regions, medial frontal gyrus, and inferior parietal lobule. "
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    ABSTRACT: Functional imaging studies in healthy subjects report cerebellar activation during a wide range of tasks, from motor execution (finger tapping, motor learning, smooth pursuit eye movements) to higher-level cognitive tasks (Tower of London, working memory paradigms, verbal fluency) in which motor responses are eliminated or controlled for. The anatomical connections between the cerebellum, spinal cord, and sensorimotor and association areas of the cerebral cortex suggest a functional topography exists within the human cerebellum, such that different cerebellar regions are part of distributed spinocerebellar and cerebro-cerebellar circuits. This concept is supported by data from functional imaging studies, in which regional activation patterns differ for sensorimotor vs. cognitive and affective task paradigms. Here these neuroimaging data are reviewed and both cross-task comparisons and within-task topography are considered. The evidence indicates that cerebellar activation patterns are related to the specific demands of a given task, and the localization of the activation patterns reflects the engagement of different cerebro-cerebellar circuits. Establishing cerebellar functional topography in humans has important implications for the interpretation of functional imaging data, the understanding of clinical outcomes in cerebellar damage or disease, and the broader understanding of the role of the cerebellum in motor and cognitive function.
    Handbook of the Cerebellum and Cerebellar Disorders, 01/2013: pages 735-764; , ISBN: 978-94-007-1332-1
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