[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This commentary builds on a companion article in which Kim et al compare brain activation in elite, expert, and novice archers during a simulated target aiming task (Kim et al. 2014. Cogn Behav Neurol. 27:173-182). With the archery study as our starting point, we address 4 neural processes that may be responsible in general for elite athletes' superior performance over experts and novices: neural efficiency, cortical expansion, specialized processes, and internal models. In Kim et al's study, the elite archers' brains showed more activity in the supplementary motor area and the cerebellum than those of the novices and experts, and showed minimal widespread activity, especially in frontal areas involved with executive control. Kim et al's results are consistent with the idea of specialized neural processes that help coordinate motor planning and control. As athletes become more skilled, these processes may mediate the reduction in widespread activity in regions mapping executive control, and may produce a shift toward more automated processing. Kim et al's finding that activity in the cerebellum rose with increasing skill is consistent both with expansion of the finger representational area in the cerebellum and with internal models that simulate how archers manipulate the bow and arrow when aiming. Kim et al prepare the way for testing of neuromodulation techniques to improve athletic performance, refine highly technical job skills, and rehabilitate patients.
Cognitive and behavioral neurology: official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology 12/2014; 27(4):183-8. DOI:10.1097/WNN.0000000000000043 · 1.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) decoding techniques allow us to predict the contents of sensory and motor events or participants' mental states from multi-voxel patterns of fMRI signals. Sparse logistic regression (SLR) is a useful pattern classification algorithm that has the advantage of being able to automatically select voxels to avoid over-fitting. However, SLR suffers from over-pruning, in which many voxels that are potentially useful for prediction are discarded. New method: We propose an ensemble solution for over-pruning, called "Iterative Recycling" (iRec), in which sparse classifiers are trained iteratively by recycling over-pruned voxels. Results: Our simulation demonstrates that iRec can effectively rectify over-pruning in SLR and improve its classification accuracy. We also conduct an fMRI experiment in which eight healthy volunteers perform a finger-tapping task with their index or middle fingers. The results indicate that SLR with iRec (iSLR) can predict the finger used more accurately than SLR. Further, iSLR is able to identify a voxel cluster representing the finger movements in the biologically plausible contralateral primary sensory-motor cortices in each participant. We also successfully dissociated the regularly arranged representation for each finger in the cluster. Conclusion and comparison with other methods: To the best of our knowledge, ours is the first study to propose a solution for over-pruning with ensemble-learning that is applicable to any sparse algorithm. In addition, from the viewpoint of machine learning, we provide the novel idea of using the sparse classification algorithm to generate accurate divergent base classifiers. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Internal (neuronal) representations in the brain are modified by our experiences, and this phenomenon is not unique to sensory and motor systems. Here, we show that different impressions obtained through social interaction with a variety of agents uniquely modulate activity of dorsal and ventral pathways of the brain network that mediates human social behavior.
We scanned brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 16 healthy volunteers when they performed a simple matching-pennies game with a human, human-like android, mechanical robot, interactive robot, and a computer. Before playing this game in the scanner, participants experienced social interactions with each opponent separately and scored their initial impressions using two questionnaires.
We found that the participants perceived opponents in two mental dimensions: one represented “mind-holderness” in which participants attributed anthropomorphic impressions to some of the opponents that had mental functions, while the other dimension represented “mind-readerness” in which participants characterized opponents as intelligent. Interestingly, this “mind-readerness” dimension correlated to participants frequently changing their game tactic to prevent opponents from envisioning their strategy, and this was corroborated by increased entropy during the game. We also found that the two factors separately modulated activity in distinct social brain regions. Specifically, mind-holderness modulated activity in the dorsal aspect of the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and medial prefrontal and posterior paracingulate cortices, while mind-readerness modulated activity in the ventral aspect of TPJ and the temporal pole.
These results clearly demonstrate that activity in social brain networks is modulated through pre-scanning experiences of social interaction with a variety of agents. Furthermore, our findings elucidated the existence of two distinct functional networks in the social human brain. Social interaction with anthropomorphic or intelligent-looking agents may distinctly shape the internal representation of our social brain, which may in turn determine how we behave for various agents that we encounter in our society.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How very long-term (over many years) motor skill training shapes internal motor representation remains poorly understood. We provide valuable evidence that the football brain of Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (the Brasilian footballer) recruits very limited neural resources in the motor-cortical foot regions during foot movements. We scanned his brain activity with a 3-tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while he rotated his right ankle at 1 Hz. We also scanned brain activity when three other age-controlled professional footballers, two top-athlete swimmers and one amateur footballer performed the identical task. A comparison was made between Neymar's brain activity with that obtained from the others. We found activations in the left medial-wall foot motor regions during the foot movements consistently across all participants. However, the size and intensity of medial-wall activity was smaller in the four professional footballers than in the three other participants, despite no difference in amount of foot movement. Surprisingly, the reduced recruitment of medial-wall foot motor regions became apparent in Neymar. His medial-wall activity was smallest among all participants with absolutely no difference in amount of foot movement. Neymar may efficiently control given foot movements probably by largely conserving motor-cortical neural resources. We discuss this possibility in terms of over-years motor skill training effect, use-dependent plasticity, and efficient motor control.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 08/2014; 8:594. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00594 · 2.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract The human brain processes every sensation evoked by altered posture and builds up a constantly changing postural model of the body. This is called a body schema, and somatic signals originating from skeletal muscles and joints, i.e. proprioceptive signals, largely contribute its formation. Recent neuroimaging techniques have revealed neuronal substrates for human body schema. A dynamic limb position model seems to be computed in the central motor network (represented by the primary motor cortex). Here, proprioceptive (kinesthetic) signals from muscle spindles are transformed into motor commands, which may underlie somatic perception of limb movement and facilitate its efficient motor control. Somatic signals originating from different body parts are integrated in the course of hierarchical somatosensory processing, and activity in higher-order somatosensory parietal cortices is capable of representing a postural model of the entire body. The left fronto-parietal network associates internal motor representation with external object representation, allowing the embodiment of external objects. In contrast, the right fronto-parietal regions connected by the most inferior branch of superior longitudinal fasciculus fibers seem to have the functions of monitoring bodily states and updating body schema. We hypothesize that activity in these right-sided fronto-parietal regions is deeply involved in corporeal self-consciousness.
Brain and nerve = Shinkei kenkyū no shinpo 04/2014; 66(4):367-80.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Representation of one's own body (body schema) is the neural basis for sensory-motor control and recognition of self and other. Matching between efference copy and sensory feedback in parieto-frontal network seems to be an essential neuronal operation underlying the corporeal and social brain functions.
ICME International Conference on Complex Medical Engineering 2012, Kobe; 07/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When confronted with complex visual scenes in daily life, how do we know which visual information represents our own hand? We investigated the cues used to assign visual information to one's own hand. Wrist tendon vibration elicits an illusory sensation of wrist movement. The intensity of this illusion attenuates when the actual motionless hand is visually presented. Testing what kind of visual stimuli attenuate this illusion will elucidate factors contributing to visual detection of one's own hand. The illusion was reduced when a stationary object was shown, but only when participants knew it was controllable with their hands. In contrast, the visual image of their own hand attenuated the illusion even when participants knew that it was not controllable. We suggest that long-term knowledge about the appearance of the body and short-term knowledge about controllability of a visual object are combined to robustly extract our own body from a visual scene.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 05/2012; 279(1742):3476-81. DOI:10.1098/rspb.2012.0750 · 5.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Humans are limited in their ability to perform multiple cognitive-motor tasks in parallel. In eight participants, we ex-amined whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to dorsal premotor cortex (PMD) could attenuate a delay of reaction time (RT) while the participants responded to two visual stimuli presented in temporally close succession. We provided anodal, cathodal, or sham tDCS while the participants performed a task requiring two choice responses or a control task requiring two fixed responses. When the interval between the two stimuli was shorter, the RTs were de-layed in both tasks, but anodal tDCS shortened them only in the former task, probably by promoting the response selec-tion function of PMD. Non-invasive neuro-modulation to the brain can boost human ability to multi-task.
Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science 01/2012; 02(03). DOI:10.4236/jbbs.2012.23042
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Considerable progress has been made in developing models of cerebellar function in sensorimotor control, as well as in identifying key problems that are the focus of current investigation. In this consensus paper, we discuss the literature on the role of the cerebellar circuitry in motor control, bringing together a range of different viewpoints. The following topics are covered: oculomotor control, classical conditioning (evidence in animals and in humans), cerebellar control of motor speech, control of grip forces, control of voluntary limb movements, timing, sensorimotor synchronization, control of corticomotor excitability, control of movement-related sensory data acquisition, cerebro-cerebellar interaction in visuokinesthetic perception of hand movement, functional neuroimaging studies, and magnetoencephalographic mapping of cortico-cerebellar dynamics. While the field has yet to reach a consensus on the precise role played by the cerebellum in movement control, the literature has witnessed the emergence of broad proposals that address cerebellar function at multiple levels of analysis. This paper highlights the diversity of current opinion, providing a framework for debate and discussion on the role of this quintessential vertebrate structure.
The Cerebellum 12/2011; 11(2):457-87. DOI:10.1007/s12311-011-0331-9 · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Procedural motor learning includes a period when no substantial gain in performance improvement is obtained even with repeated, daily practice. Prompted by the potential benefit of high-frequency transcutaneous electrical stimulation, we examined if the stimulation to the hand reduces redundant motor activity that likely exists in an acquired hand motor skill, so as to further upgrade stable motor performance. Healthy participants were trained until their motor performance of continuously rotating two balls in the palm of their right hand became stable. In the series of experiments, they repeated a trial performing this cyclic rotation as many times as possible in 15 s. In trials where we applied the stimulation to the relaxed thumb before they initiated the task, most reported that their movements became smoother and they could perform the movements at a higher cycle compared to the control trials. This was not possible when the dorsal side of the wrist was stimulated. The performance improvement was associated with reduction of amplitude of finger displacement, which was consistently observed irrespective of the task demands. Importantly, this kinematic change occurred without being noticed by the participants, and their intentional changes of motor strategies (reducing amplitude of finger displacement) never improved the performance. Moreover, the performance never spontaneously improved during one-week training without stimulation, whereas the improvement in association with stimulation was consistently observed across days during training on another week combined with the stimulation. The improved effect obtained in stimulation trials on one day partially carried over to the next day, thereby promoting daily improvement of plateaued performance, which could not be unlocked by the first-week intensive training. This study demonstrated the possibility of effectively improving a plateaued motor skill, and pre-movement somatic stimulation driving this behavioral change.
PLoS ONE 10/2011; 6(10):e25670. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0025670 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prompted by our neuroimaging findings in 60 normal people, we examined whether focal damage to the hand section of precentral motor regions impairs hand kinesthesia in a patient, and investigated brain regions related to recovery of kinesthetic function. The damage impaired contralateral kinesthesia. The peri-lesional cerebral motor region, together with the ipsilateral intermediate cerebellum, participated in the recovered kinesthetic processing. The study confirmed the importance of precentral motor regions in human kinesthesia, and indicated a contribution of the peri-lesional cerebral region in recovered kinesthesia after precentral damage, which conceptually fits with cases of recovery of motor function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our results demonstrate that neuronal activity in the human parietal cortex, which is involved in the spatial processing of self-referential physical distance, seems to be associated with the evaluation of social distance between self and others. Thus, our neuroimaging finding raises a possibility that the human parietal cortex may have social-cognitive function