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Sample records for motor task variation

  1. Brain oscillatory signatures of motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Murguialday, Ander; Birbaumer, Niels

    2015-06-01

    Noninvasive brain-computer-interfaces (BCI) coupled with prosthetic devices were recently introduced in the rehabilitation of chronic stroke and other disorders of the motor system. These BCI systems and motor rehabilitation in general involve several motor tasks for training. This study investigates the neurophysiological bases of an EEG-oscillation-driven BCI combined with a neuroprosthetic device to define the specific oscillatory signature of the BCI task. Controlling movements of a hand robotic orthosis with motor imagery of the same movement generates sensorimotor rhythm oscillation changes and involves three elements of tasks also used in stroke motor rehabilitation: passive and active movement, motor imagery, and motor intention. We recorded EEG while nine healthy participants performed five different motor tasks consisting of closing and opening of the hand as follows: 1) motor imagery without any external feedback and without overt hand movement, 2) motor imagery that moves the orthosis proportional to the produced brain oscillation change with online proprioceptive and visual feedback of the hand moving through a neuroprosthetic device (BCI condition), 3) passive and 4) active movement of the hand with feedback (seeing and feeling the hand moving), and 5) rest. During the BCI condition, participants received contingent online feedback of the decrease of power of the sensorimotor rhythm, which induced orthosis movement and therefore proprioceptive and visual information from the moving hand. We analyzed brain activity during the five conditions using time-frequency domain bootstrap-based statistical comparisons and Morlet transforms. Activity during rest was used as a reference. Significant contralateral and ipsilateral event-related desynchronization of sensorimotor rhythm was present during all motor tasks, largest in contralateral-postcentral, medio-central, and ipsilateral-precentral areas identifying the ipsilateral precentral cortex as an integral

  2. Aging and Concurrent Task Performance: Cognitive Demand and Motor Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albinet, Cedric; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; Beasman, Kathryn

    2006-01-01

    A motor task that requires fine control of upper limb movements and a cognitive task that requires executive processing--first performing them separately and then concurrently--was performed by 18 young and 18 older adults. The motor task required participants to tap alternatively on two targets, the sizes of which varied systematically. The…

  3. Cortical activity predicts good variation in human motor output.

    PubMed

    Babikian, Sarine; Kanso, Eva; Kutch, Jason J

    2017-02-04

    Human movement patterns have been shown to be particularly variable if many combinations of activity in different muscles all achieve the same task goal (i.e., are goal-equivalent). The nervous system appears to automatically vary its output among goal-equivalent combinations of muscle activity to minimize muscle fatigue or distribute tissue loading, but the neural mechanism of this "good" variation is unknown. Here we use a bimanual finger task, electroencephalography (EEG), and machine learning to determine if cortical signals can predict goal-equivalent variation in finger force output. 18 healthy participants applied left and right index finger forces to repeatedly perform a task that involved matching a total (sum of right and left) finger force. As in previous studies, we observed significantly more variability in goal-equivalent muscle activity across task repetitions compared to variability in muscle activity that would not achieve the goal: participants achieved the task in some repetitions with more right finger force and less left finger force (right > left) and in other repetitions with less right finger force and more left finger force (left > right). We found that EEG signals from the 500 milliseconds (ms) prior to each task repetition could make a significant prediction of which repetitions would have right > left and which would have left > right. We also found that cortical maps of sites contributing to the prediction contain both motor and pre-motor representation in the appropriate hemisphere. Thus, goal-equivalent variation in motor output may be implemented at a cortical level.

  4. Random walk of motor planning in task-irrelevant dimensions.

    PubMed

    van Beers, Robert J; Brenner, Eli; Smeets, Jeroen B J

    2013-02-01

    The movements that we make are variable. It is well established that at least a part of this variability is caused by noise in central motor planning. Here, we studied how the random effects of planning noise translate into changes in motor planning. Are the random effects independently added to a constant mean end point, or do they accumulate over movements? To distinguish between these possibilities, we examined repeated, discrete movements in various tasks in which the motor output could be decomposed into a task-relevant and a task-irrelevant component. We found in all tasks that the task-irrelevant component had a positive lag 1 autocorrelation, suggesting that the random effects of planning noise accumulate over movements. In contrast, the task-relevant component always had a lag 1 autocorrelation close to zero, which can be explained by effective trial-by-trial correction of motor planning on the basis of observed motor errors. Accumulation of the effects of planning noise is consistent with current insights into the stochastic nature of synaptic plasticity. It leads to motor exploration, which may subserve motor learning and performance optimization.

  5. Variation in motor output and motor performance in a centrally generated motor pattern.

    PubMed

    Wenning, Angela; Norris, Brian J; Doloc-Mihu, Anca; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2014-07-01

    Central pattern generators (CPGs) produce motor patterns that ultimately drive motor outputs. We studied how functional motor performance is achieved, specifically, whether the variation seen in motor patterns is reflected in motor performance and whether fictive motor patterns differ from those in vivo. We used the leech heartbeat system in which a bilaterally symmetrical CPG coordinates segmental heart motor neurons and two segmented heart tubes into two mutually exclusive coordination modes: rear-to-front peristaltic on one side and nearly synchronous on the other, with regular side-to-side switches. We assessed individual variability of the motor pattern and the beat pattern in vivo. To quantify the beat pattern we imaged intact adults. To quantify the phase relations between motor neurons and heart constrictions we recorded extracellularly from two heart motor neurons and movement from the corresponding heart segments in minimally dissected leeches. Variation in the motor pattern was reflected in motor performance only in the peristaltic mode, where larger intersegmental phase differences in the motor neurons resulted in larger phase differences between heart constrictions. Fictive motor patterns differed from those in vivo only in the synchronous mode, where intersegmental phase differences in vivo had a larger front-to-rear bias and were more constrained. Additionally, load-influenced constriction timing might explain the amplification of the phase differences between heart segments in the peristaltic mode and the higher variability in motor output due to body shape assumed in this soft-bodied animal. The motor pattern determines the beat pattern, peristaltic or synchronous, but heart mechanics influence the phase relations achieved.

  6. Motor hysteresis in a sequential grasping and pointing task is absent in task-critical joints.

    PubMed

    Schütz, Christoph; Weigelt, Matthias; Schack, Thomas

    2017-03-01

    In a prior study (Schütz et al. in Exp Brain Res 2016. doi: 10.1007/s00221-016-4608-6 ), we demonstrated that the cognitive cost of motor planning did not differ in a vertical pointing and grasping task. It was unclear whether the similar cost implied that both tasks required the same number of independent degrees of freedom (IDOFs) or that the number of IDOFs did not affect motor planning. To differentiate between both cases, a reanalysis of the prior data was conducted. The number of IDOFs in the pointing and grasping tasks was computed by factor analysis. In both tasks, two IDOFs were used, which was the minimum number required for position control. This indicates that hand alignment in the grasping task did not require an additional IDOF. No conclusions regarding the link between the cognitive cost of motor planning and the number of IDOFs could be drawn. A subset of task-critical joint angles was not affected by motor hysteresis. This indicates that a joint's susceptibility to motor hysteresis depends on its relevance to the task goal. In task-critical joints, planning cost minimization by motor plan reuse is suppressed in favor of the task goal.

  7. Motor Cortex Inhibition is Increased During a Secondary Cognitive Task.

    PubMed

    Holste, Katherine G; Yasen, Alia L; Hill, Matthew J; Christie, Anita D

    2016-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of a cognitive task on motor cortex excitability and inhibition. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex was performed on 20 healthy individuals (18-24 years; 9 females) to measure motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and cortical silent periods at baseline, during, and following a secondary cognitive task. The MEP amplitude increased from 0.50 ± 0.09-0.87 ± 0.50 mV during a secondary cognitive task (p = .04), and returned to baseline (0.48 ± 0.31 mV; p = .90) posttask. The CSP duration also increased from 93.48 ± 28.76-113.6 ± 33.68 ms (p = .001) during the cognitive task, and returned to baseline posttask (89.0 ± 6.9 ms; p = .88). In the presence of a cognitive task, motor cortex excitability and inhibition were both increased relative to baseline. The increase in inhibition may help to explain the motor deficits experienced while performing a secondary cognitive task.

  8. Task-Irrelevant Auditory Feedback Facilitates Motor Performance in Musicians

    PubMed Central

    Conde, Virginia; Altenmüller, Eckart; Villringer, Arno; Ragert, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    An efficient and fast auditory–motor network is a basic resource for trained musicians due to the importance of motor anticipation of sound production in musical performance. When playing an instrument, motor performance always goes along with the production of sounds and the integration between both modalities plays an essential role in the course of musical training. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of task-irrelevant auditory feedback during motor performance in musicians using a serial reaction time task (SRTT). Our hypothesis was that musicians, due to their extensive auditory–motor practice routine during musical training, have superior performance and learning capabilities when receiving auditory feedback during SRTT relative to musicians performing the SRTT without any auditory feedback. Behaviorally, we found that auditory feedback reinforced SRTT performance of the right hand (referring to absolute response speed) while learning capabilities remained unchanged. This finding highlights a potential important role for task-irrelevant auditory feedback in motor performance in musicians, a finding that might provide further insight into auditory–motor integration independent of the trained musical context. PMID:22623920

  9. Individual differences in the exploration of a redundant space-time motor task.

    PubMed

    King, Adam C; Ranganathan, Rajiv; Newell, Karl M

    2012-11-07

    Individual differences in learning a motor task are rarely assessed even though they can potentially contribute to our understanding of the problem of motor redundancy-i.e., how individuals can exploit multiple different strategies to realize the task goal. This study examined individual variations in the preferred movement strategy of a redundant motor task. Thirty-two participants performed a star tracing task on a digitizing tablet with the goal of minimizing a performance score that was given as feedback. The performance score was a weighted combination of spatial error and movement time, meaning that multiple strategies could yield the same score. A cluster analysis revealed three distinct groups of individuals based on their initial movement strategy preferences. These groups were not only different on their initial performance, but also exhibited differences in both local (trial-to-trial change) and global (average change) search strategies that were reflected through differential modification of spatial and temporal components. Overall, the results in this space-time task reveal that the intrinsic dynamics of the individual channel the initial exploratory solutions to learning a redundant motor task.

  10. Task-Specific Motor Rehabilitation Therapy After Stroke Improves Performance in a Different Motor Task: Translational Evidence.

    PubMed

    El Amki, M; Baumgartner, P; Bracko, O; Luft, A R; Wegener, S

    2017-01-14

    While the stroke survivor with a motor deficit strives for recovery of all aspects of daily life movements, neurorehabilitation training is often task specific and does not generalize to movements other than the ones trained. In rodent models of post-stroke recovery, this problem is poorly investigated as the training task is often the same as the one that measures motor function. The present study investigated whether motor training by pellet reaching translates into enhancement of different motor functions in rats after stroke. Adult rats were subjected to 60-min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Five days after stroke, animals received either training consisting of 7 days of pellet reaching with the affected forelimb (n = 18) or no training (n = 18). Sensorimotor deficits were assessed using the sticky tape test and a composite neuroscore. Infarct volumes were measured by T2-weighted MRI on day 28. Both groups of rats showed similar lesion volume and forelimb impairment after stroke. Trained animals improved in the sticky tape test after day 7 post-stroke reaching peak performance on day 14. More reaching attempts during rehabilitation were associated with a better performance in the sticky tape removal time. Task-oriented motor training generalizes to other motor functions after experimental stroke. Training intensity correlates with recovery.

  11. Effects of Concurrent Motor, Linguistic, or Cognitive Tasks on Speech Motor Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dromey, Christopher; Benson, April

    2003-01-01

    This study examined the influence of 3 different types of concurrent tasks on speech motor performance. The goal was to uncover potential differences in speech movements relating to the nature of the secondary task. Twenty young adults repeated sentences either with or without simultaneous distractor activities. These distractions included a motor…

  12. Toy Story: Illustrating Gender Differences in a Motor Skills Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knight, Jennifer L.; Hebl, Michelle R.; Mendoza, Miriam

    2004-01-01

    To challenge students' stereotypes about gendered performance on motor skills tasks, we developed a classroom active learning demonstration. Four 3-person, same-gender teams received either a Barbie(r) doll or a Transformer(r), and team members dressed the Barbie or manipulated the Transformer from a tank to a robot as quickly as possible, with…

  13. Electromyographic Study of Motor Learning for a Voice Production Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yiu, Edwin M.-L.; Verdolini, Katherine; Chow, Linda P. Y.

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: This study's broad objective was to examine the effectiveness of surface electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback for motor learning in the voice production domain. The specific objective was to examine whether concurrent or terminal biofeedback would facilitate learning for a relaxed laryngeal musculature task during spoken reading. Method:…

  14. Motor planning flexibly optimizes performance under uncertainty about task goals

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Aaron L.; Haith, Adrian M.

    2017-01-01

    In an environment full of potential goals, how does the brain determine which movement to execute? Existing theories posit that the motor system prepares for all potential goals by generating several motor plans in parallel. One major line of evidence for such theories is that presenting two competing goals often results in a movement intermediate between them. These intermediate movements are thought to reflect an unintentional averaging of the competing plans. However, normative theories suggest instead that intermediate movements might actually be deliberate, generated because they improve task performance over a random guessing strategy. To test this hypothesis, we vary the benefit of making an intermediate movement by changing movement speed. We find that participants generate intermediate movements only at (slower) speeds where they measurably improve performance. Our findings support the normative view that the motor system selects only a single, flexible motor plan, optimized for uncertain goals. PMID:28256513

  15. Visual Motor and Perceptual Task Performance in Astigmatic Students.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Erin M; Twelker, J Daniel; Miller, Joseph M; Leonard-Green, Tina K; Mohan, Kathleen M; Davis, Amy L; Campus, Irene

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. To determine if spectacle corrected and uncorrected astigmats show reduced performance on visual motor and perceptual tasks. Methods. Third through 8th grade students were assigned to the low refractive error control group (astigmatism < 1.00 D, myopia < 0.75 D, hyperopia < 2.50 D, and anisometropia < 1.50 D) or bilateral astigmatism group (right and left eye ≥ 1.00 D) based on cycloplegic refraction. Students completed the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) and Visual Perception (VMIp). Astigmats were randomly assigned to testing with/without correction and control group was tested uncorrected. Analyses compared VMI and VMIp scores for corrected and uncorrected astigmats to the control group. Results. The sample included 333 students (control group 170, astigmats tested with correction 75, and astigmats tested uncorrected 88). Mean VMI score in corrected astigmats did not differ from the control group (p = 0.829). Uncorrected astigmats had lower VMI scores than the control group (p = 0.038) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.007). Mean VMIp scores for uncorrected (p = 0.209) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.124) did not differ from the control group. Uncorrected astigmats had lower mean scores than the corrected astigmats (p = 0.003). Conclusions. Uncorrected astigmatism influences visual motor and perceptual task performance. Previously spectacle treated astigmats do not show developmental deficits on visual motor or perceptual tasks when tested with correction.

  16. Visual Motor and Perceptual Task Performance in Astigmatic Students

    PubMed Central

    Twelker, J. Daniel; Miller, Joseph M.; Mohan, Kathleen M.; Campus, Irene

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. To determine if spectacle corrected and uncorrected astigmats show reduced performance on visual motor and perceptual tasks. Methods. Third through 8th grade students were assigned to the low refractive error control group (astigmatism < 1.00 D, myopia < 0.75 D, hyperopia < 2.50 D, and anisometropia < 1.50 D) or bilateral astigmatism group (right and left eye ≥ 1.00 D) based on cycloplegic refraction. Students completed the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) and Visual Perception (VMIp). Astigmats were randomly assigned to testing with/without correction and control group was tested uncorrected. Analyses compared VMI and VMIp scores for corrected and uncorrected astigmats to the control group. Results. The sample included 333 students (control group 170, astigmats tested with correction 75, and astigmats tested uncorrected 88). Mean VMI score in corrected astigmats did not differ from the control group (p = 0.829). Uncorrected astigmats had lower VMI scores than the control group (p = 0.038) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.007). Mean VMIp scores for uncorrected (p = 0.209) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.124) did not differ from the control group. Uncorrected astigmats had lower mean scores than the corrected astigmats (p = 0.003). Conclusions. Uncorrected astigmatism influences visual motor and perceptual task performance. Previously spectacle treated astigmats do not show developmental deficits on visual motor or perceptual tasks when tested with correction. PMID:28293434

  17. Forced Aerobic Exercise Preceding Task Practice Improves Motor Recovery Poststroke

    PubMed Central

    Rosenfeldt, Anson B.; Dey, Tanujit; Alberts, Jay L.

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. To understand how two types of aerobic exercise affect upper-extremity motor recovery post-stroke. Our aims were to (1) evaluate the feasibility of having people who had a stroke complete an aerobic exercise intervention and (2) determine whether forced or voluntary exercise differentially facilitates upper-extremity recovery when paired with task practice. METHOD. Seventeen participants with chronic stroke completed twenty-four 90-min sessions over 8 wk. Aerobic exercise was immediately followed by task practice. Participants were randomized to forced or voluntary aerobic exercise groups or to task practice only. RESULTS. Improvement on the Fugl-Meyer Assessment exceeded the minimal clinically important difference: 12.3, 4.8, and 4.4 for the forced exercise, voluntary exercise, and repetitive task practice–only groups, respectively. Only the forced exercise group exhibited a statistically significant improvement. CONCLUSION. People with chronic stroke can safely complete intensive aerobic exercise. Forced aerobic exercise may be optimal in facilitating motor recovery associated with task practice. PMID:28218596

  18. Task-dependent signal variations in EEG error-related potentials for brain-computer interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iturrate, I.; Montesano, L.; Minguez, J.

    2013-04-01

    Objective. A major difficulty of brain-computer interface (BCI) technology is dealing with the noise of EEG and its signal variations. Previous works studied time-dependent non-stationarities for BCIs in which the user’s mental task was independent of the device operation (e.g., the mental task was motor imagery and the operational task was a speller). However, there are some BCIs, such as those based on error-related potentials, where the mental and operational tasks are dependent (e.g., the mental task is to assess the device action and the operational task is the device action itself). The dependence between the mental task and the device operation could introduce a new source of signal variations when the operational task changes, which has not been studied yet. The aim of this study is to analyse task-dependent signal variations and their effect on EEG error-related potentials.Approach. The work analyses the EEG variations on the three design steps of BCIs: an electrophysiology study to characterize the existence of these variations, a feature distribution analysis and a single-trial classification analysis to measure the impact on the final BCI performance.Results and significance. The results demonstrate that a change in the operational task produces variations in the potentials, even when EEG activity exclusively originated in brain areas related to error processing is considered. Consequently, the extracted features from the signals vary, and a classifier trained with one operational task presents a significant loss of performance for other tasks, requiring calibration or adaptation for each new task. In addition, a new calibration for each of the studied tasks rapidly outperforms adaptive techniques designed in the literature to mitigate the EEG time-dependent non-stationarities.

  19. Age-Related Differences in Corticospinal Excitability during Observation and Motor Imagery of Balance Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Mouthon, Audrey A.; Ruffieux, Jan; Keller, Martin; Taube, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Postural control declines across adult lifespan. Non-physical balance training has been suggested as an alternative to improve postural control in frail/immobilized elderly people. Previous studies showed that this kind of training can improve balance control in young and older adults. However, it is unclear whether the brain of young and older adults is activated differently during mental simulations of balance tasks. For this purpose, soleus (SOL) and tibialis motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and SOL H-reflexes were elicited while 15 elderly (mean ± SD = 71 ± 4.6 years) and 15 young participants (mean ± SD = 27 ± 4.6 years) mentally simulated static and dynamic balance tasks using motor imagery (MI), action observation (AO) or the combination of AO and MI (AO + MI). Young subjects displayed significant modulations of MEPs that depended on the kind of mental simulation and the postural task. Elderly adults also revealed differences between tasks, but not between mental simulation conditions. Furthermore, the elderly displayed larger MEP facilitation during mental simulation (AGE-GROUP; F(1,28) = 5.9; p = 0.02) in the SOL muscle compared to the young and a task-dependent modulation of the tibialis background electromyography (bEMG) activity. H-reflex amplitudes and bEMG in the SOL showed neither task- nor age-dependent modulation. As neither mental simulation nor balance tasks modulated H-reflexes and bEMG in the SOL muscle, despite large variations in the MEP-amplitudes, there seems to be an age-related change in the internal cortical representation of balance tasks. Moreover, the modulation of the tibialis bEMG in the elderly suggests that aging partially affects the ability to inhibit motor output. PMID:28066238

  20. Learning redundant motor tasks with and without overlapping dimensions: facilitation and interference effects.

    PubMed

    Ranganathan, Rajiv; Wieser, Jon; Mosier, Kristine M; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando A; Scheidt, Robert A

    2014-06-11

    Prior learning of a motor skill creates motor memories that can facilitate or interfere with learning of new, but related, motor skills. One hypothesis of motor learning posits that for a sensorimotor task with redundant degrees of freedom, the nervous system learns the geometric structure of the task and improves performance by selectively operating within that task space. We tested this hypothesis by examining if transfer of learning between two tasks depends on shared dimensionality between their respective task spaces. Human participants wore a data glove and learned to manipulate a computer cursor by moving their fingers. Separate groups of participants learned two tasks: a prior task that was unique to each group and a criterion task that was common to all groups. We manipulated the mapping between finger motions and cursor positions in the prior task to define task spaces that either shared or did not share the task space dimensions (x-y axes) of the criterion task. We found that if the prior task shared task dimensions with the criterion task, there was an initial facilitation in criterion task performance. However, if the prior task did not share task dimensions with the criterion task, there was prolonged interference in learning the criterion task due to participants finding inefficient task solutions. These results show that the nervous system learns the task space through practice, and that the degree of shared task space dimensionality influences the extent to which prior experience transfers to subsequent learning of related motor skills.

  1. Variations in Articulatory Movement with Changes in Speech Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tasko, Stephen M.; McClean, Michael D.

    2004-01-01

    Studies of normal and disordered articulatory movement often rely on the use of short, simple speech tasks. However, the severity of speech disorders can be observed to vary markedly with task. Understanding task-related variations in articulatory kinematic behavior may allow for an improved understanding of normal and disordered speech motor…

  2. EFFECT OF ENERGY DRINKS ON SELECTED FINE MOTOR TASKS.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, B H; Hughes, P P; Conchola, E C; Hester, G M; Woolsey, C L

    2015-08-01

    This study assessed the effect of energy shots on selected fine motor tasks. The participants were college-age male (n=19; M age=20.5 yr., SD=0.7) and female (n=21; M age=21.1 yr., SD=0.7) volunteers who were assessed on hand steadiness, choice reaction time, rotary pursuit, and simple reaction time. The energy shots group scored significantly poorer on the hand steadiness tests and significantly better on choice reaction time and simple reaction time tests. The enhanced reaction time and disruption in hand steadiness afforded by energy shots would not be apparent in many gross motor activities, but it is possible that reaction time improvement could be beneficial in sports that require quick, reflexive movements. However, the potential adverse psychological and physiological effects warrant discretionary use of such products.

  3. Motor abundance contributes to resolving multiple kinematic task constraints

    PubMed Central

    G, Gera; SMSF, Freitas; ML, Latash; K, Monahan; G, Schöner; JP, Scholz

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the use of motor abundance during the transport and placing of objects that required either precise or minimal orientation to the target. Analyses across repetitions of the structure of joint configuration variance relative to the position and orientation constraints were performed using the Uncontrolled Manifold (UCM) approach. Results indicated that the orientation constraint did not affect stability of the hand's spatial trajectory. Orientation was weakly stabilized during the late transport phase independent of the orientation constraint, indicating no default synergy stabilizing orientation. Stabilization of orientation for conditions most requiring it for successful insertion of the object was present primarily during the adjustment phase. The results support the hypothesis that a major advantage of a control scheme that utilizes motor abundance is the ability to resolve multiple task constraints simultaneously without undue interference among them. PMID:20237405

  4. Adaptation to visual feedback delay in a redundant motor task.

    PubMed

    Farshchiansadegh, Ali; Ranganathan, Rajiv; Casadio, Maura; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando A

    2015-01-15

    The goal of this study was to examine the reorganization of hand movements during adaptation to delayed visual feedback in a novel and redundant environment. In most natural behaviors, the brain must learn to invert a many-to-one map from high-dimensional joint movements and muscle forces to a low-dimensional goal. This spatial "inverse map" is learned by associating motor commands to their low-dimensional consequences. How is this map affected by the presence of temporal delays? A delay presents the brain with a new set of kinematic data, and, because of redundancy, the brain may use these data to form a new inverse map. We consider two possible responses to a novel visuomotor delay. In one case, the brain updates the previously learned spatial map, building a new association between motor commands and visual feedback of their effects. In the alternative case, the brain preserves the original map and learns to compensate the delay by a temporal shift of the motor commands. To test these alternative possibilities, we developed a virtual reality game in which subjects controlled the two-dimensional coordinates of a cursor by continuous hand gestures. Two groups of subjects tracked a target along predictable paths by wearing an instrumented data glove that recorded finger motions. The 19-dimensional glove signals controlled a cursor on a 2-dimensional computer display. The experiment was performed on 2 consecutive days. On the 1st day, subjects practiced tracking movements without delay. On the 2nd day, the test group performed the same task with a delay of 300 ms between the glove signals and the cursor display, whereas the control group continued practicing the nondelayed trials. We found evidence that to compensate for the delay, the test group relied on the coordination patterns established during the baseline, e.g., their hand-to-cursor inverse map was robust to the delay perturbation, which was counteracted by an anticipation of the motor command.

  5. Individual Differences in Learning a Novel Discrete Motor Task

    PubMed Central

    Golenia, Laura; Schoemaker, Marina M.; Mouton, Leonora J.; Bongers, Raoul M.

    2014-01-01

    Many motor learning studies focus on average performance while it is known from everyday life experience that humans differ in their way of learning new motor tasks. This study emphasises the importance of recognizing individual differences in motor learning. We studied individual tool grasping profiles of individuals who learned to pick up objects with a novel tool, a pair of pliers. The pair of pliers was attached to the thumb and the index finger so that the tip of the thumb and the tip of the index finger were displaced to the beaks of the pair of pliers. The grasp component was manipulated by varying the location of the hinge of the pair of pliers, which resulted in different relations between beak opening and closing and finger opening and closing. The Wider Beak group had the hinge at 7 cm, the Same Beak group had the hinge at 10 cm (i.e., in the middle), and the Smaller Beak group had the hinge at 13 cm from the digits. Each group consisted of ten right-handed participants who picked up an object with one of the pairs of pliers 200 times on two subsequent days. Hand opening, plateau phase, hand closing, grasping time and maximum aperture were analyzed. To characterize individual changes over practice time, a log function was fitted on these dependent variables and the ratio of improvement was determined. Results showed that at the beginning stage of tool use learning the characteristic grasping profile consisted of three phases; hand opening, plateau phase and hand closing. Over practicing individual participants differed in the number of phases that changed, the amount of change in a phase and/or the direction of change. Moreover, with different pliers different learning paths were found. The importance of recognizing individual differences in motor learning is discussed. PMID:25386708

  6. Comparison of Motor Inhibition in Variants of the Instructed-Delay Choice Reaction Time Task

    PubMed Central

    Quoilin, Caroline; Lambert, Julien; Jacob, Benvenuto; Klein, Pierre-Alexandre; Duque, Julie

    2016-01-01

    Using instructed-delay choice reaction time (RT) paradigms, many previous studies have shown that the motor system is transiently inhibited during response preparation: motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the primary motor cortex are typically suppressed during the delay period. This effect has been observed in both selected and non-selected effectors, although MEP changes in selected effectors have been more inconsistent across task versions. Here, we compared changes in MEP amplitudes in three different variants of an instructed-delay choice RT task. All variants required participants to choose between left and right index finger movements but the responses were either provided “in the air” (Variant 1), on a regular keyboard (Variant 2), or on a response device designed to control from premature responses (Variant 3). The task variants also differed according to the visual layout (more concrete in Variant 3) and depending on whether participants received a feedback of their performance (absent in Variant 1). Behavior was globally comparable between the three variants of the task although the propensity to respond prematurely was highest in Variant 2 and lowest in Variant 3. MEPs elicited in a non-selected hand were similarly suppressed in the three variants of the task. However, significant differences emerged when considering MEPs elicited in the selected hand: these MEPs were suppressed in Variants 1 and 3 whereas they were often facilitated in Variant 2, especially in the right dominant hand. In conclusion, MEPs elicited in selected muscles seem to be more sensitive to small variations to the task design than those recorded in non-selected effectors, probably because they reflect a complex combination of inhibitory and facilitatory influences on the motor output system. Finally, the use of a standard keyboard seems to be particularly inappropriate because it encourages participants to respond promptly

  7. Effects of cognitive and motor tasks on the walking speed of individuals with chronic stroke

    PubMed Central

    Goh, Lee-Yin.; Tan, Isaac O.; Yang, Li C.; Ng, Shamay S.M.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Walking speed is a measure of gait performance after a stroke and a predictor of community ambulatory competence. Although gait decrements during a cognitive or motor task after stroke are well-documented, the differential effects of motor and cognitive tasks on the comfortable and maximum walking speeds of individuals with chronic stroke have not been investigated. This study aimed to compare the effects of cognitive and motor tasks on the comfortable and maximum walking speeds of individuals with chronic stroke. This is a cross-sectional study. Thirty community-dwelling chronic stroke individuals were included. Time taken to complete the 10-meter Walk Test under various conditions, including walking alone, walking while completing a cognitive task, and walking while completing a motor task, was recorded, with each condition performed at comfortable as well as maximum walking speeds. Accuracy in performing the cognitive tasks was also assessed. The cognitive and motor tasks caused decrements in both comfortable and maximum walking speeds (P ≤ 0.001). The cognitive task had a greater influence than the motor task on maximum walking speed (P < 0.01). Individuals with chronic stroke tend to prioritize task accuracy and completion over maintaining walking speed. This phenomenon was more evident during the cognitive task than the motor task and was especially evident at maximum walking speed. PMID:28248885

  8. Action observation versus motor imagery in learning a complex motor task: a short review of literature and a kinematics study.

    PubMed

    Gatti, R; Tettamanti, A; Gough, P M; Riboldi, E; Marinoni, L; Buccino, G

    2013-04-12

    Both motor imagery and action observation have been shown to play a role in learning or re-learning complex motor tasks. According to a well accepted view they share a common neurophysiological basis in the mirror neuron system. Neurons within this system discharge when individuals perform a specific action and when they look at another individual performing the same or a motorically related action. In the present paper, after a short review of literature on the role of action observation and motor imagery in motor learning, we report the results of a kinematics study where we directly compared motor imagery and action observation in learning a novel complex motor task. This involved movement of the right hand and foot in the same angular direction (in-phase movement), while at the same time moving the left hand and foot in an opposite angular direction (anti-phase movement), all at a frequency of 1Hz. Motor learning was assessed through kinematics recording of wrists and ankles. The results showed that action observation is better than motor imagery as a strategy for learning a novel complex motor task, at least in the fast early phase of motor learning. We forward that these results may have important implications in educational activities, sport training and neurorehabilitation.

  9. Vestibular benefits to task savings in motor adaptation.

    PubMed

    Sarwary, A M E; Selen, L P J; Medendorp, W P

    2013-09-01

    In everyday life, we seamlessly adapt our movements and consolidate them to multiple behavioral contexts. This natural flexibility seems to be contingent on the presence of movement-related sensorimotor cues and cannot be reproduced when static visual or haptic cues are given to signify different behavioral contexts. So far, only sensorimotor cues that dissociate the sensorimotor plans prior to force field exposure have been successful in learning two opposing perturbations. Here we show that vestibular cues, which are only available during the perturbation, improve the formation and recall of multiple control strategies. We exposed subjects to inertial forces by accelerating them laterally on a vestibular platform. The coupling between reaching movement (forward-backward) and acceleration direction (leftward-rightward) switched every 160 trials, resulting in two opposite force environments. When exposed for a second time to the same environment, with the opposite environment in between, subjects showed retention resulting in an ∼3 times faster adaptation rate compared with the first exposure. Our results suggest that vestibular cues provide contextual information throughout the reach, which is used to facilitate independent learning and recall of multiple motor memories. Vestibular cues provide feedback about the underlying cause of reach errors, thereby disambiguating the various task environments and reducing interference of motor memories.

  10. Dissociation of Motor Task-Induced Cortical Excitability and Pain Perception Changes in Healthy Volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Volz, Magdalena S.; Mendonca, Mariana; Pinheiro, Fernando S.; Cui, Huashun; Santana, Marcus; Fregni, Felipe

    2012-01-01

    Background There is evidence that interventions aiming at modulation of the motor cortex activity lead to pain reduction. In order to understand further the role of the motor cortex on pain modulation, we aimed to compare the behavioral (pressure pain threshold) and neurophysiological effects (transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) induced cortical excitability) across three different motor tasks. Methodology/Principal Findings Fifteen healthy male subjects were enrolled in this randomized, controlled, blinded, cross-over designed study. Three different tasks were tested including motor learning with and without visual feedback, and simple hand movements. Cortical excitability was assessed using single and paired-pulse TMS measures such as resting motor threshold (RMT), motor-evoked potential (MEP), intracortical facilitation (ICF), short intracortical inhibition (SICI), and cortical silent period (CSP). All tasks showed significant reduction in pain perception represented by an increase in pressure pain threshold compared to the control condition (untrained hand). ANOVA indicated a difference among the three tasks regarding motor cortex excitability change. There was a significant increase in motor cortex excitability (as indexed by MEP increase and CSP shortening) for the simple hand movements. Conclusions/Significance Although different motor tasks involving motor learning with and without visual feedback and simple hand movements appear to change pain perception similarly, it is likely that the neural mechanisms might not be the same as evidenced by differential effects in motor cortex excitability induced by these tasks. In addition, TMS-indexed motor excitability measures are not likely good markers to index the effects of motor-based tasks on pain perception in healthy subjects as other neural networks besides primary motor cortex might be involved with pain modulation during motor training. PMID:22470548

  11. Pupillary transient responses to within-task cognitive load variation.

    PubMed

    Wong, Hoe Kin; Epps, Julien

    2016-12-01

    Changes in physiological signals due to task evoked cognitive load have been reported extensively. However, pupil size based approaches for estimating cognitive load on a moment-to-moment basis are not as well understood as estimating cognitive load on a task-to-task basis, despite the appeal these approaches have for continuous load estimation. In particular, the pupillary transient response to instantaneous changes in induced load has not been experimentally quantified, and the within-task changes in pupil dilation have not been investigated in a manner that allows their consistency to be quantified with a view to biomedical system design. In this paper, a variation of the digit span task is developed which reliably induces rapid changes of cognitive load to generate task-evoked pupillary responses (TEPRs) associated with large, within-task load changes. Linear modelling and one-way ANOVA reveals that increasing the rate of cognitive loading, while keeping task demands constant, results in a steeper pupillary response. Instantaneous drops in cognitive load are shown to produce statistically significantly different transient pupillary responses relative to sustained load, and when characterised using an exponential decay response, the task-evoked pupillary response time constant is in the order of 1-5 s. Within-task test-retest analysis confirms the reliability of the moment-to-moment measurements. Based on these results, estimates of pupil diameter can be employed with considerably more confidence in moment-to-moment cognitive load estimation systems.

  12. Self-Control of Task Difficulty during Training Enhances Motor Learning of a Complex Coincidence-Anticipation Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Danna, Jeremy; Thon, Bernard

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the present work was to analyze the influence of self-controlled task difficulty on motor learning. Participants had to intercept three targets falling at different velocities by displacing a stylus above a digitizer. Task difficulty corresponded to racquet width. Half the participants (self-control condition) could choose the racquet…

  13. Effect of evaluative others upon learning and performance of a complex motor task.

    PubMed

    Haas, J; Roberts, G C

    1975-06-01

    Two experiments were conducted to assess the effect of evaluation potential upon learning and performing a complex motor task. In Experiment 1, 45 subjects learned the motor task (mirror tracing) to criterion and were then introduced to one of three treatments. Subjects performed the task either (a) alone, (b) in the presence of a blindfolded audience, or (c) in the presence of an evaluative audience. In Experiment 2, 45 subjects were introduced to the same three treatments but the subjects did not learn the task beforehand. The subjects learning the motor task were significantly inhibited by the evaluative audience, while the subjects who had already learned the task were significantly facilitated in their motor responses. The blindfolded audience also had an effect upon learning and performance. The results of both experiments were discussed in relation to their support of Cottrell's evaluation potential hypothesis.

  14. Task-dependent modulation of excitatory and inhibitory functions within the human primary motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Tinazzi, Michele; Farina, Simona; Tamburin, Stefano; Facchini, Stefano; Fiaschi, Antonio; Restivo, Domenico; Berardelli, Alfredo

    2003-05-01

    We evaluated motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and duration of the cortical silent period (CSP) from the right first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the left motor cortex in ten healthy subjects performing different manual tasks. They abducted the index finger alone, pressed a strain gauge with the thumb and index finger in a pincer grip, and squeezed a 4-cm brass cylinder with all digits in a power grip. The level of FDI EMG activity across tasks was kept constant by providing subjects with acoustic-visual feedback of their muscle activity. The TMS elicited larger amplitude FDI MEPs during pincer and power grip than during the index finger abduction task, and larger amplitude MEPs during pincer gripping than during power gripping. The CSP was shorter during pincer and power grip than during the index finger abduction task and shorter during power gripping than during pincer gripping. These results suggest excitatory and inhibitory task-dependent changes in the motor cortex. Complex manual tasks (pincer and power gripping) elicit greater motor cortical excitation than a simple task (index finger abduction) presumably because they activate multiple synergistic muscles thus facilitating corticomotoneurons. The finger abduction task probably yielded greater motor cortical inhibition than the pincer and power tasks because muscles uninvolved in the task activated the cortical inhibitory circuit. Increased cortical excitatory and inhibitory functions during precision tasks (pincer gripping) probably explain why MEPs have larger amplitudes and CSPs have longer durations during pincer gripping than during power gripping.

  15. Neural Correlates of Task Cost for Stance Control with an Additional Motor Task: Phase-Locked Electroencephalogram Responses

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Ing-Shiou; Huang, Cheng-Ya

    2016-01-01

    With appropriate reallocation of central resources, the ability to maintain an erect posture is not necessarily degraded by a concurrent motor task. This study investigated the neural control of a particular postural-suprapostural procedure involving brain mechanisms to solve crosstalk between posture and motor subtasks. Participants completed a single posture task and a dual-task while concurrently conducting force-matching and maintaining a tilted stabilometer stance at a target angle. Stabilometer movements and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. The added force-matching task increased the irregularity of postural response rather than the size of postural response prior to force-matching. In addition, the added force-matching task during stabilometer stance led to marked topographic ERP modulation, with greater P2 positivity in the frontal and sensorimotor-parietal areas of the N1-P2 transitional phase and in the sensorimotor-parietal area of the late P2 phase. The time-frequency distribution of the ERP primary principal component revealed that the dual-task condition manifested more pronounced delta (1–4 Hz) and beta (13–35 Hz) synchronizations but suppressed theta activity (4–8 Hz) before force-matching. The dual-task condition also manifested coherent fronto-parietal delta activity in the P2 period. In addition to a decrease in postural regularity, this study reveals spatio-temporal and temporal-spectral reorganizations of ERPs in the fronto-sensorimotor-parietal network due to the added suprapostural motor task. For a particular set of postural-suprapostural task, the behavior and neural data suggest a facilitatory role of autonomous postural response and central resource expansion with increasing interregional interactions for task-shift and planning the motor-suprapostural task. PMID:27010634

  16. Response inhibition in motor and oculomotor conflict tasks: different mechanisms, different dynamics?

    PubMed

    Wijnen, Jasper G; Ridderinkhof, K Richard

    2007-04-01

    Previous research has shown that the appearance of task-irrelevant abrupt onsets influences saccadic eye movements during visual search and may slow down manual reactions to target stimuli. Analysis of reaction time distributions in the present study offers evidence suggesting that top-down inhibition processes actively suppress oculomotor or motor responses elicited by a salient distractor, in order to resolve the conflict that arises when reflex-like and deliberate responses are in opposition. Twenty-six participants carried out a variation of the oculomotor capture task. They were instructed to respond with either a saccade toward or with a button press at the side of the hemifield in which a target color singleton appeared. A distractor stimulus could appear either in the same or in the opposite hemifield. Delta plots revealed competition between reflex-like and deliberate response activation, and highlighted selective inhibition of automatic responses: While participants generally responded more slowly in incongruent compared to congruent situations, this effect diminished and even reversed in the slowest speed quantiles. These effects were present in both the oculomotor and motor response-mode conditions.

  17. The Effects of Divided Attention on Speech Motor, Verbal Fluency, and Manual Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dromey, Christopher; Shim, Erin

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The goal of this study was to evaluate aspects of the "functional distance hypothesis," which predicts that tasks regulated by brain networks in closer anatomic proximity will interfere more with each other than tasks controlled by spatially distant regions. Speech, verbal fluency, and manual motor tasks were examined to ascertain whether…

  18. Cerebral-cortical networking and activation increase as a function of cognitive-motor task difficulty.

    PubMed

    Rietschel, Jeremy C; Miller, Matthew W; Gentili, Rodolphe J; Goodman, Ronald N; McDonald, Craig G; Hatfield, Bradley D

    2012-05-01

    Excessive increases in task difficulty typically result in marked attenuation of cognitive-motor performance. The psychomotor efficiency hypothesis suggests that poor performance is mediated by non-essential neural activity and cerebral cortical networking (inefficient cortical dynamics). This phenomenon may underlie the inverse relationship between excessive task difficulty and performance. However, investigation of the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis as it relates to task difficulty has not been conducted. The present study used electroencephalography (EEG) to examine cerebral cortical dynamics while participants were challenged with both Easy and Hard conditions during a cognitive-motor task (Tetris(®)). In accord with the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis, it was predicted that with increases in task difficulty, participants would demonstrate greater 'neural effort,' as indexed by EEG spectral power and cortical networking (i.e., EEG coherence) between the premotor (motor planning) region and sensory, executive, and motor regions. Increases in neural activation and cortical networking were observed during the Hard condition relative to the Easy condition, thus supporting the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis. To further determine the unique contributions of cognitive versus sensory-motor demands, a control experiment was conducted in which cognitive demand was increased while sensory-motor demand was held constant. This experiment revealed that regionally specific neural activation was influenced by changes in cognitive demand, whereas cortical networking to the motor planning region was sensitive only to changes in sensory-motor demand. Crucially, the present study is the first, to our knowledge, to characterize the separate impact of cognitive versus sensory-motor demands on cerebral cortical dynamics. The findings further inform the dynamics of the cortical processes that underlie the quality of cognitive-motor performance particularly with regard to task

  19. Bilateral tDCS on Primary Motor Cortex: Effects on Fast Arm Reaching Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Arias, Pablo; Corral-Bergantiños, Yoanna; Robles-García, Verónica; Madrid, Antonio; Oliviero, Antonio; Cudeiro, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Background The effects produced by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied to the motor system have been widely studied in the past, chiefly focused on primary motor cortex (M1) excitability. However, the effects on functional tasks are less well documented. Objective This study aims to evaluate the effect of tDCS-M1 on goal-oriented actions (i.e., arm-reaching movements; ARM), in a reaction-time protocol. Methods 13 healthy subjects executed dominant ARM as fast as possible to one of two targets in front of them while surface EMG was recorded. Participants performed three different sessions. In each session they first executed ARM (Pre), then received tDCS, and finally executed Post, similar to Pre. Subjects received three different types of tDCS, one per session: In one session the anode was on right-M1 (AR), and the cathode on the left-M1 (CL), thus termed AR-CL; AL-CR reversed the montage; and Sham session was applied likewise. Real stimulation was 1mA-10min while subjects at rest. Three different variables and their coefficients of variation (CV) were analyzed: Premotor times (PMT), reaction-times (RT) and movement-times (MT). Results triceps-PMT were significantly increased at Post-Sham, suggesting fatigue. Results obtained with real tDCS were not different depending on the montage used, in both cases PMT were significantly reduced in all recorded muscles. RT and MT did not change for real or sham stimulation. RT-CV and PMT-CV were reduced after all stimulation protocols. Conclusion tDCS reduces premotor time and fatigability during the execution of fast motor tasks. Possible underlying mechanisms are discussed. PMID:27490752

  20. Aging affects motor skill learning when the task requires inhibitory control.

    PubMed

    Brosseau, Julie; Potvin, Marie-Julie; Rouleau, Isabelle

    2007-01-01

    Few studies have examined the influence of aging on motor skill learning (MSL) tasks involving different skills and conditions. Two tasks, each including two different conditions (repeated and nonrepeated), were used: (a) the Mirror Tracing task, requiring the inhibition of an overlearned response and the learning of a new visuomotor association, and (b) the Pursuit Tracking task, mainly requiring the processing of visuospatial stimuli. We hypothesized that older participants would benefit as much as younger participants from the stimuli repetition and that they would exhibit a slower learning rate exclusively on the Mirror Tracing task. As expected, older and younger participants' MSL were not differentially affected by task conditions. They also showed a similar learning rate on the Pursuit Tracking task and a subgroup of older participants exhibited MSL difficulties on the Mirror Tracing task. Problems in the inhibitory control of competing motor memories could explain these age-related MSL difficulties.

  1. Sleep-dependent motor memory consolidation in older adults depends on task demands.

    PubMed

    Gudberg, Christel; Wulff, Katharina; Johansen-Berg, Heidi

    2015-03-01

    It is often suggested that sleep-dependent consolidation of motor learning is impaired in older adults. The current study challenges this view and suggests that the degree of motor consolidation seen with sleep in older age groups depends on the kinematic demands of the task. We show that, when tested with a classic sequence learning task, requiring individuated finger movements, older adults did not show sleep-dependent consolidation. By contrast, when tested with an adapted sequence learning task, in which movements were performed with the whole hand, sleep-dependent motor improvement was observed in older adults. We suggest that age-related decline in fine motor dexterity may in part be responsible for the previously described deficit in sleep-dependent motor consolidation with aging.

  2. Sleep-dependent motor memory consolidation in older adults depends on task demands

    PubMed Central

    Gudberg, Christel; Wulff, Katharina; Johansen-Berg, Heidi

    2015-01-01

    It is often suggested that sleep-dependent consolidation of motor learning is impaired in older adults. The current study challenges this view and suggests that the degree of motor consolidation seen with sleep in older age groups depends on the kinematic demands of the task. We show that, when tested with a classic sequence learning task, requiring individuated finger movements, older adults did not show sleep-dependent consolidation. By contrast, when tested with an adapted sequence learning task, in which movements were performed with the whole hand, sleep-dependent motor improvement was observed in older adults. We suggest that age-related decline in fine motor dexterity may in part be responsible for the previously described deficit in sleep-dependent motor consolidation with aging. PMID:25618616

  3. The Source of Execution-Related Dual-Task Interference: Motor Bottleneck or Response Monitoring?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bratzke, Daniel; Rolke, Bettina; Ulrich, Rolf

    2009-01-01

    The present study assessed the underlying mechanism of execution-related dual-task interference in the psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm. The motor bottleneck hypothesis attributes this interference to a processing limitation at the motor level. By contrast, the response monitoring hypothesis attributes it to a bottleneck process that…

  4. Effects of Dispositional Mindfulness on the Self-Controlled Learning of a Novel Motor Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kee, Ying Hwa; Liu, Yeou-Teh

    2011-01-01

    Current literature suggests that mindful learning is beneficial to learning but its links with motor learning is seldom examined. In the present study, we examine the effects of learners' mindfulness disposition on the self-controlled learning of a novel motor task. Thirty-two participants undertook five practice sessions, in addition to a pre-,…

  5. Not all choices are created equal: Task-relevant choices enhance motor learning compared to task-irrelevant choices.

    PubMed

    Carter, Michael J; Ste-Marie, Diane M

    2017-02-21

    Lewthwaite et al. (2015) reported that the learning benefits of exercising choice (i.e., their self-controlled condition) are not restricted to task-relevant features (e.g., feedback). They found that choosing one's golf ball color (Exp. 1) or choosing which of two tasks to perform at a later time plus which of two artworks to hang (Exp. 2) resulted in better retention than did being denied these same choices (i.e., yoked condition). The researchers concluded that the learning benefits derived from choice, whether irrelevant or relevant to the to-be-learned task, are predominantly motivational because choice is intrinsically rewarding and satisfies basic psychological needs. However, the absence of a group that made task-relevant choices and the lack of psychological measures significantly weakened their conclusions. Here, we investigated how task-relevant and task-irrelevant choices affect motor-skill learning. Participants practiced a spatiotemporal motor task in either a task-relevant group (choice over feedback schedule), a task-irrelevant group (choice over the color of an arm-wrap plus game selection), or a no-choice group. The results showed significantly greater learning in the task-relevant group than in both the task-irrelevant and no-choice groups, who did not differ significantly. Critically, these learning differences were not attributed to differences in perceptions of competence or autonomy, but instead to superior error-estimation abilities. These results challenge the perspective that motivational influences are the root cause of self-controlled learning advantages. Instead, the findings add to the growing evidence highlighting that the informational value gained from task-relevant choices makes a greater relative contribution to these advantages than motivational influences do.

  6. Mitochondrial DNA variations in Madras motor neuron disease

    PubMed Central

    Govindaraj, Periyasamy; Nalini, Atchayaram; Krishna, Nithin; Sharath, Anugula; Khan, Nahid Akhtar; Tamang, Rakesh; Devi, M. Gourie; Brown, Robert H.; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy

    2013-01-01

    Although the Madras Motor Neuron Disease (MMND) was found three decades ago, its genetic basis has not been elucidated, so far. The symptom at onset was impaired hearing, upper limb weakness and atrophy. Since some clinical features of MMND overlap with mitochondrial disorders, we analyzed the complete mitochondrial genome of 45 MMND patients and found 396 variations, including 13 disease-associated, 2 mt-tRNA and 33 non-synonymous (16 MT-ND, 10 MT-CO, 3 MT-CYB and 4 MT-ATPase). A rare variant (m.8302A>G) in mt-tRNALeu was found in three patients. We predict that these variation(s) may influence the disease pathogenesis along with some unknown factor(s). PMID:23419391

  7. Task-dependent engagements of the primary visual cortex during kinesthetic and visual motor imagery.

    PubMed

    Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Nakamura, Maiko; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2017-01-01

    Motor imagery can be divided into kinesthetic and visual aspects. In the present study, we investigated excitability in the corticospinal tract and primary visual cortex (V1) during kinesthetic and visual motor imagery. To accomplish this, we measured motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and probability of phosphene occurrence during the two types of motor imageries of finger tapping. The MEPs and phosphenes were induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation to the primary motor cortex and V1, respectively. The amplitudes of MEPs and probability of phosphene occurrence during motor imagery were normalized based on the values obtained at rest. Corticospinal excitability increased during both kinesthetic and visual motor imagery, while excitability in V1 was increased only during visual motor imagery. These results imply that modulation of cortical excitability during kinesthetic and visual motor imagery is task dependent. The present finding aids in the understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying motor imagery and provides useful information for the use of motor imagery in rehabilitation or motor imagery training.

  8. Facilitation effect of observed motor deviants in a cooperative motor task: Evidence for direct perception of social intention in action.

    PubMed

    Quesque, François; Delevoye-Turrell, Yvonne; Coello, Yann

    2016-01-01

    Spatiotemporal parameters of voluntary motor action may help optimize human social interactions. Yet it is unknown whether individuals performing a cooperative task spontaneously perceive subtly informative social cues emerging through voluntary actions. In the present study, an auditory cue was provided through headphones to an actor and a partner who faced each other. Depending on the pitch of the auditory cue, either the actor or the partner were required to grasp and move a wooden dowel under time constraints from a central to a lateral position. Before this main action, the actor performed a preparatory action under no time constraint, consisting in placing the wooden dowel on the central location when receiving either a neutral ("prêt"-ready) or an informative auditory cue relative to who will be asked to perform the main action (the actor: "moi"-me, or the partner: "lui"-him). Although the task focused on the main action, analysis of motor performances revealed that actors performed the preparatory action with longer reaction times and higher trajectories when informed that the partner would be performing the main action. In this same condition, partners executed the main actions with shorter reaction times and lower velocities, despite having received no previous informative cues. These results demonstrate that the mere observation of socially driven motor actions spontaneously influences the low-level kinematics of voluntary motor actions performed by the observer during a cooperative motor task. These findings indicate that social intention can be anticipated from the mere observation of action patterns.

  9. Neural Correlates of Dual-Task Walking: Effects of Cognitive versus Motor Interference in Young Adults.

    PubMed

    Beurskens, Rainer; Steinberg, Fabian; Antoniewicz, Franziska; Wolff, Wanja; Granacher, Urs

    2016-01-01

    Walking while concurrently performing cognitive and/or motor interference tasks is the norm rather than the exception during everyday life and there is evidence from behavioral studies that it negatively affects human locomotion. However, there is hardly any information available regarding the underlying neural correlates of single- and dual-task walking. We had 12 young adults (23.8 ± 2.8 years) walk while concurrently performing a cognitive interference (CI) or a motor interference (MI) task. Simultaneously, neural activation in frontal, central, and parietal brain areas was registered using a mobile EEG system. Results showed that the MI task but not the CI task affected walking performance in terms of significantly decreased gait velocity and stride length and significantly increased stride time and tempo-spatial variability. Average activity in alpha and beta frequencies was significantly modulated during both CI and MI walking conditions in frontal and central brain regions, indicating an increased cognitive load during dual-task walking. Our results suggest that impaired motor performance during dual-task walking is mirrored in neural activation patterns of the brain. This finding is in line with established cognitive theories arguing that dual-task situations overstrain cognitive capabilities resulting in motor performance decrements.

  10. Effects of Peer Mediated Instruction with Task Cards on Motor Skill Acquisition in Tennis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iserbyt, Peter; Madou, Bob; Vergauwen, Lieven; Behets, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    This study compared the motor skill effects of a peer teaching format by means of task cards with a teacher-centered format. Tennis performance of eighth grade students (n = 55) was measured before and after a four week intervention period in a regular physical education program. Results show that peer mediated learning with task cards…

  11. Perceived Difficulty of a Motor-Skill Task as a Function of Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bratfisch, Oswald; And Others

    A simple device called a "wire labyrinth" was used in an experiment involving learning of a two-hand motor task. The Ss were asked, after completing each of 7 successive trails, to give their estimates of perceived (subjective) difficulty of the task. For this purpose, the psychophysical method of magnitude estimation was used. Time was…

  12. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the supplementary motor area (SMA) influences performance on motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Hupfeld, K E; Ketcham, C J; Schneider, H D

    2017-03-01

    The supplementary motor area (SMA) is believed to be highly involved in the planning and execution of both simple and complex motor tasks. This study aimed to examine the role of the SMA in planning the movements required to complete reaction time, balance, and pegboard tasks using anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which passes a weak electrical current between two electrodes, in order to modulate neuronal activity. Twenty healthy adults were counterbalanced to receive either tDCS (experimental condition) or no tDCS (control condition) for 3 days. During administration of tDCS, participants performed a balance task significantly faster than controls. After tDCS, subjects significantly improved their simple and choice reaction time. These results demonstrate that the SMA is highly involved in planning and executing fine and gross motor skill tasks and that tDCS is an effective modality for increasing SMA-related performance on these tasks. The findings may be generalizable and therefore indicate implications for future interventions using tDCS as a therapeutic tool.

  13. Facilitation of learning induced by both random and gradual visuomotor task variation.

    PubMed

    Turnham, Edward J A; Braun, Daniel A; Wolpert, Daniel M

    2012-02-01

    Motor task variation has been shown to be a key ingredient in skill transfer, retention, and structural learning. However, many studies only compare training of randomly varying tasks to either blocked or null training, and it is not clear how experiencing different nonrandom temporal orderings of tasks might affect the learning process. Here we study learning in human subjects who experience the same set of visuomotor rotations, evenly spaced between -60° and +60°, either in a random order or in an order in which the rotation angle changed gradually. We compared subsequent learning of three test blocks of +30°→-30°→+30° rotations. The groups that underwent either random or gradual training showed significant (P < 0.01) facilitation of learning in the test blocks compared with a control group who had not experienced any visuomotor rotations before. We also found that movement initiation times in the random group during the test blocks were significantly (P < 0.05) lower than for the gradual or the control group. When we fit a state-space model with fast and slow learning processes to our data, we found that the differences in performance in the test block were consistent with the gradual or random task variation changing the learning and retention rates of only the fast learning process. Such adaptation of learning rates may be a key feature of ongoing meta-learning processes. Our results therefore suggest that both gradual and random task variation can induce meta-learning and that random learning has an advantage in terms of shorter initiation times, suggesting less reliance on cognitive processes.

  14. Task Related Modulation of the Motor System during Language Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sato, Marc; Mengarelli, Marisa; Riggio, Lucia; Gallese, Vittorio; Buccino, Giovanni

    2008-01-01

    Recent neurophysiological and brain imaging studies have shown that the motor system is involved in language processing. However, it is an open question whether this involvement is a necessary requisite to understand language or rather a side effect of distinct cognitive processes underlying it. In order to clarify this issue we carried out three…

  15. Human Footprint Variation while Performing Load Bearing Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Wall-Scheffler, Cara M.; Wagnild, Janelle; Wagler, Emily

    2015-01-01

    Human footprint fossils have provided essential evidence about the evolution of human bipedalism as well as the social dynamics of the footprint makers, including estimates of speed, sex and group composition. Generally such estimates are made by comparing footprint evidence with modern controls; however, previous studies have not accounted for the variation in footprint dimensions coming from load bearing activities. It is likely that a portion of the hominins who created these fossil footprints were carrying a significant load, such as offspring or foraging loads, which caused variation in the footprint which could extend to variation in any estimations concerning the footprint’s maker. To identify significant variation in footprints due to load-bearing tasks, we had participants (N = 30, 15 males and 15 females) walk at a series of speeds carrying a 20kg pack on their back, side and front. Paint was applied to the bare feet of each participant to create footprints that were compared in terms of foot length, foot width and foot area. Female foot length and width increased during multiple loaded conditions. An appreciation of footprint variability associated with carrying loads adds an additional layer to our understanding of the behavior and morphology of extinct hominin populations. PMID:25738496

  16. Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy of the Sensory and Motor Brain Regions with Simultaneous Kinematic and EMG Monitoring During Motor Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Sukal-Moulton, Theresa; de Campos, Ana Carolina; Stanley, Christopher J.; Damiano, Diane L.

    2014-01-01

    There are several advantages that functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) presents in the study of the neural control of human movement. It is relatively flexible with respect to participant positioning and allows for some head movements during tasks. Additionally, it is inexpensive, light weight, and portable, with very few contraindications to its use. This presents a unique opportunity to study functional brain activity during motor tasks in individuals who are typically developing, as well as those with movement disorders, such as cerebral palsy. An additional consideration when studying movement disorders, however, is the quality of actual movements performed and the potential for additional, unintended movements. Therefore, concurrent monitoring of both blood flow changes in the brain and actual movements of the body during testing is required for appropriate interpretation of fNIRS results. Here, we show a protocol for the combination of fNIRS with muscle and kinematic monitoring during motor tasks. We explore gait, a unilateral multi-joint movement (cycling), and two unilateral single-joint movements (isolated ankle dorsiflexion, and isolated hand squeezing). The techniques presented can be useful in studying both typical and atypical motor control, and can be modified to investigate a broad range of tasks and scientific questions. PMID:25548919

  17. Temporary Nerve Block at Selected Digits Revealed Hand Motor Deficits in Grasping Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Carteron, Aude; McPartlan, Kerry; Gioeli, Christina; Reid, Emily; Turturro, Matt; Hahn, Barry; Benson, Cynthia; Zhang, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Peripheral sensory feedback plays a crucial role in ensuring correct motor execution throughout hand grasp control. Previous studies utilized local anesthesia to deprive somatosensory feedback in the digits or hand, observations included sensorimotor deficits at both corticospinal and peripheral levels. However, the questions of how the disturbed and intact sensory input integrate and interact with each other to assist the motor program execution, and whether the motor coordination based on motor output variability between affected and non-affected elements (e.g., digits) becomes interfered by the local sensory deficiency, have not been answered. The current study aims to investigate the effect of peripheral deafferentation through digital nerve blocks at selective digits on motor performance and motor coordination in grasp control. Our results suggested that the absence of somatosensory information induced motor deficits in hand grasp control, as evidenced by reduced maximal force production ability in both local and non-local digits, impairment of force and moment control during object lift and hold, and attenuated motor synergies in stabilizing task performance variables, namely the tangential force and moment of force. These findings implied that individual sensory input is shared across all the digits and the disturbed signal from local sensory channel(s) has a more comprehensive impact on the process of the motor output execution in the sensorimotor integration process. Additionally, a feedback control mechanism with a sensation-based component resides in the formation process for the motor covariation structure. PMID:27932964

  18. Time to task failure and motor cortical activity depend on the type of feedback in visuomotor tasks.

    PubMed

    Lauber, Benedikt; Leukel, Christian; Gollhofer, Albert; Taube, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    The present study aimed to elucidate whether the type of feedback influences the performance and the motor cortical activity when executing identical visuomotor tasks. For this purpose, time to task failure was measured during position- and force-controlled muscular contractions. Subjects received either visual feedback about the force produced by pressing a force transducer or about the actual position between thumb and index finger. Participants were instructed to either match the force level of 30% MVC or the finger position corresponding to the thumb and index finger angle at this contraction intensity. Subjects demonstrated a shorter time to task failure when they were provided with feedback about their joint position (11.5 ± 6.2 min) instead of force feedback (19.2 ± 12.8 min; P = 0.01). To test differences in motor cortical activity between position- and force-controlled contractions, subthreshold transcranial magnetic stimulation (subTMS) was applied while executing submaximal (20% MVC) contractions. SubTMS resulted in a suppression of the first dorsal interosseus muscle (FDI) EMG in both tasks. However, the mean suppression for the position-controlled task was significantly greater (18.6 ± 9.4% vs. 13.3 ± 7.5%; P = 0.025) and lasted longer (13.9 ± 7.5 ms vs. 9.3 ± 4.3 ms; P = 0.024) compared to the force-controlled task. The FDI background EMG obtained without stimulation was comparable in all conditions. The present results demonstrate that the presentation of different feedback modalities influences the time to task failure as well as the cortical activity. As only the feedback was altered but not the mechanics of the task, the present results add to the body of evidence that suggests that the central nervous system processes force and position information in different ways.

  19. Effects of Variations in Task Design on Mathematics Teachers' Learning Experiences: A Case of a Sorting Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koichu, Boris; Zaslavsky, Orit; Dolev, Lea

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the study presented in this article was to examine how variations in task design may affect mathematics teachers' learning experiences. The study focuses on sorting tasks, i.e., learning tasks that require grouping a given set of mathematical items, in as many ways as possible, according to different criteria suggested by the learners.…

  20. Self-control of task difficulty during training enhances motor learning of a complex coincidence-anticipation task.

    PubMed

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Danna, Jérémy; Thon, Bernard

    2012-03-01

    The aim of the present work was to analyze the influence of self-controlled task difficulty on motor learning. Participants had to intercept three targets falling at different velocities by displacing a stylus above a digitizer Task difficulty corresponded to racquet width. Half the participants (self-control condition) could choose the racquet width at the beginning of each trial. Each was paired with a participant from the yoked group. The self-control condition resulted in better performances and accuracy during immediate and delayed retention tests. These results confirm the advantage of a self-control condition on motor learning. They are discussed with reference to the challenge point hypothesis (Guadagnoli & Lee, 2004).

  1. Solid-propellant rocket motor ballistic performance variation analyses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sforzini, R. H.; Foster, W. A., Jr.

    1975-01-01

    Results are presented of research aimed at improving the assessment of off-nominal internal ballistic performance including tailoff and thrust imbalance of two large solid-rocket motors (SRMs) firing in parallel. Previous analyses using the Monte Carlo technique were refined to permit evaluation of the effects of radial and circumferential propellant temperature gradients. Sample evaluations of the effect of the temperature gradients are presented. A separate theoretical investigation of the effect of strain rate on the burning rate of propellant indicates that the thermoelastic coupling may cause substantial variations in burning rate during highly transient operating conditions. The Monte Carlo approach was also modified to permit the effects on performance of variation in the characteristics between lots of propellants and other materials to be evaluated. This permits the variabilities for the total SRM population to be determined. A sample case shows, however, that the effect of these between-lot variations on thrust imbalances within pairs of SRMs is minor in compariosn to the effect of the within-lot variations. The revised Monte Carlo and design analysis computer programs along with instructions including format requirements for preparation of input data and illustrative examples are presented.

  2. Effects of cognitive task on gait initiation in Parkinson disease: evidence of motor prioritization?

    PubMed

    Nocera, Joe R; Roemmich, Ryan; Elrod, Jonathan; Altmann, Lori J P; Hass, Chris J

    2013-01-01

    While much is known about the effects of dual tasking on cyclical and continuous motor performance (e.g., locomotion), there is a paucity of information on the effect of dual tasking on the initiation of movement. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a concurrent cognitive task on gait initiation in three groups: patients with Parkinson disease, healthy older adults, and healthy young adults. We examined the anticipatory postural adjustment displacements and velocities during single-task gait initiation as well as two dual-task conditions: (1) 0-back + gait initiation and (2) 2-back + gait initiation. The Parkinson disease group exhibited less anticipatory postural adjustment displacement and velocity than their aged-matched healthy peers and young adults during the single- and dual-task gait initiation settings (p < 0.05). Of interest was the finding of no additional effect on anticipatory postural adjustment displacement or velocity of gait initiation during the dual-task conditions in any group, including the Parkinson disease group. More traditionally studied gait/balance dual-task paradigms have demonstrated both motor and cognitive decline. Therefore, our results may suggest a prioritization of more "intentional" movement task (e.g., gait initiation) while dual tasking in Parkinson disease.

  3. Chaos and Fractal Analysis of Electroencephalogram Signals during Different Imaginary Motor Movement Tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soe, Ni Ni; Nakagawa, Masahiro

    2008-04-01

    This paper presents the novel approach to evaluate the effects of different motor activation tasks of the human electroencephalogram (EEG). The applications of chaos and fractal properties that are the most important tools in nonlinear analysis are been presented for four tasks of EEG during the real and imaginary motor movement. Three subjects, aged 23-30 years, participated in the experiment. Correlation dimension (D2), Lyapunov spectrum (λi), and Lyapunov dimension (DL) are been estimated to characterize the movement related EEG signals. Experimental results show that these nonlinear measures are good discriminators of EEG signals. There are significant differences in all conditions of subjective task. The fractal dimension appeared to be higher in movement conditions compared to the baseline condition. It is concluded that chaos and fractal analysis could be powerful methods in investigating brain activities during motor movements.

  4. Perceptual-Motor and Cognitive Performance Task-Battery for Pilot Selection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-01-01

    computerized testing station. The current effort was intended to update previously developed batteries which concentrated primarily upon motor skill ...importance of the perceptual-motor skills to pilot performance has long been considered crucial, as is evident both in the extent to which pilot training...control ability." While the authors suggest that the task parameters vary too widely for the correlations to emerge, nonetheless no evidence for a qeneral

  5. Inferior frontal gyrus links visual and motor cortices during a visuomotor precision grip force task.

    PubMed

    Papadelis, Christos; Arfeller, Carola; Erla, Silvia; Nollo, Giandomenico; Cattaneo, Luigi; Braun, Christoph

    2016-11-01

    Coordination between vision and action relies on a fronto-parietal network that receives visual and proprioceptive sensory input in order to compute motor control signals. Here, we investigated with magnetoencephalography (MEG) which cortical areas are functionally coupled on the basis of synchronization during visuomotor integration. MEG signals were recorded from twelve healthy adults while performing a unimanual visuomotor (VM) task and control conditions. The VM task required the integration of pinch motor commands with visual sensory feedback. By using a beamformer, we localized the neural activity in the frequency range of 1-30Hz during the VM compared to rest. Virtual sensors were estimated at the active locations. A multivariate autoregressive model was used to estimate the power and coherence of estimated activity at the virtual sensors. Event-related desynchronisation (ERD) during VM was observed in early visual areas, the rostral part of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the right IFG, the superior parietal lobules, and the left hand motor cortex (M1). Functional coupling in the alpha frequency band bridged the regional activities observed in motor and visual cortices (the start and the end points in the visuomotor loop) through the left or right IFG. Coherence between the left IFG and left M1 correlated inversely with the task performance. Our results indicate that an occipital-prefrontal-motor functional network facilitates the modulation of instructed motor responses to visual cues. This network may supplement the mechanism for guiding actions that is fully incorporated into the dorsal visual stream.

  6. Evoked Potentials in Motor Cortical Local Field Potentials Reflect Task Timing and Behavioral Performance

    PubMed Central

    Confais, Joachim; Ponce-Alvarez, Adrián; Diesmann, Markus; Riehle, Alexa

    2010-01-01

    Evoked potentials (EPs) are observed in motor cortical local field potentials (LFPs) during movement execution (movement-related potentials [MRPs]) and in response to relevant visual cues (visual evoked potentials [VEPs]). Motor cortical EPs may be directionally selective, but little is known concerning their relation to other aspects of motor behavior, such as task timing and performance. We recorded LFPs in motor cortex of two monkeys during performance of a precued arm-reaching task. A time cue at the start of each trial signaled delay duration and thereby the pace of the task and the available time for movement preparation. VEPs and MRPs were strongly modulated by the delay duration, VEPs being systematically larger in short-delay trials and MRPs larger in long-delay trials. Despite these systematic modulations related to the task timing, directional selectivity was similar in short and long trials. The behavioral reaction time was positively correlated with MRP size and negatively correlated with VEP size, within sessions. In addition, the behavioral performance improved across sessions, in parallel with a slow decrease in the size of VEPs and MRPs. Our results clearly show the strong influence of the behavioral context and performance on motor cortical population activity during movement preparation and execution. PMID:20884766

  7. Neuromuscular adaptations during the acquisition of muscle strength, power and motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Moritani, T

    1993-01-01

    Neuromuscular performance is determined not only by the size of the involved muscles, but also by the ability of the nervous system to appropriately activate the muscles. Adaptive changes in the nervous system in response to training are referred to as neural adaptation. This article briefly reviews current evidence regarding the neural adaptations during the acquisition of muscle strength power and motor tasks and will be organized under four main topics, namely: (i) muscle strength gain: neural factors versus hypertrophy, (ii) neural adaptations during power training, (iii) neuromuscular adaptations during the acquisition of a motor task, and (iv) neuromuscular adaptations during a ballistic movement.

  8. Neural model for learning-to-learn of novel task sets in the motor domain.

    PubMed

    Pitti, Alexandre; Braud, Raphaël; Mahé, Sylvain; Quoy, Mathias; Gaussier, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    During development, infants learn to differentiate their motor behaviors relative to various contexts by exploring and identifying the correct structures of causes and effects that they can perform; these structures of actions are called task sets or internal models. The ability to detect the structure of new actions, to learn them and to select on the fly the proper one given the current task set is one great leap in infants cognition. This behavior is an important component of the child's ability of learning-to-learn, a mechanism akin to the one of intrinsic motivation that is argued to drive cognitive development. Accordingly, we propose to model a dual system based on (1) the learning of new task sets and on (2) their evaluation relative to their uncertainty and prediction error. The architecture is designed as a two-level-based neural system for context-dependent behavior (the first system) and task exploration and exploitation (the second system). In our model, the task sets are learned separately by reinforcement learning in the first network after their evaluation and selection in the second one. We perform two different experimental setups to show the sensorimotor mapping and switching between tasks, a first one in a neural simulation for modeling cognitive tasks and a second one with an arm-robot for motor task learning and switching. We show that the interplay of several intrinsic mechanisms drive the rapid formation of the neural populations with respect to novel task sets.

  9. Disrupting the ipsilateral motor cortex interferes with training of a complex motor task in older adults.

    PubMed

    Zimerman, Máximo; Heise, Kirstin-F; Gerloff, Christian; Cohen, Leonardo G; Hummel, Friedhelm C

    2014-04-01

    Performance of unimanual movements is associated with bihemispheric activity in the motor cortex in old adults. However, the causal functional role of the ipsilateral MC (iMC) for motor control is still not completely known. Here, the behavioral consequences of interference of the iMC during training of a complex motor skill were tested. Healthy old (58-85 years) and young volunteers (22-35 years) were tested in a double-blind, cross-over, sham-controlled design. Participants attended 2 different study arms with either cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) or sham concurrent with training. Motor performance was evaluated before, during, 90 min, and 24 h after training. During training, a reduced slope of performance with ctDCS relative to sham was observed in old compared with young (F = 5.8, P = 0.02), with a decrease of correctly rehearsed sequences, an effect that was evident even after 2 consecutive retraining periods without intervention. Furthermore, the older the subject, the more prominent was the disruptive effect of ctDCS (R(2) = 0.50, P = 0.01). These data provide direct evidence for a causal functional link between the iMC and motor skill acquisition in old subjects pointing toward the concept that the recruitment of iMC in old is an adaptive process in response to age-related declines in motor functions.

  10. Patterned-string tasks: relation between fine motor skills and visual-spatial abilities in parrots.

    PubMed

    Krasheninnikova, Anastasia

    2013-01-01

    String-pulling and patterned-string tasks are often used to analyse perceptual and cognitive abilities in animals. In addition, the paradigm can be used to test the interrelation between visual-spatial and motor performance. Two Australian parrot species, the galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), forage on the ground, but only the galah uses its feet to manipulate food. I used a set of string pulling and patterned-string tasks to test whether usage of the feet during foraging is a prerequisite for solving the vertical string pulling problem. Indeed, the two species used techniques that clearly differed in the extent of beak-foot coordination but did not differ in terms of their success in solving the string pulling task. However, when the visual-spatial skills of the subjects were tested, the galahs outperformed the cockatiels. This supports the hypothesis that the fine motor skills needed for advanced beak-foot coordination may be interrelated with certain visual-spatial abilities needed for solving patterned-string tasks. This pattern was also found within each of the two species on the individual level: higher motor abilities positively correlated with performance in patterned-string tasks. This is the first evidence of an interrelation between visual-spatial and motor abilities in non-mammalian animals.

  11. Patterned-String Tasks: Relation between Fine Motor Skills and Visual-Spatial Abilities in Parrots

    PubMed Central

    Krasheninnikova, Anastasia

    2013-01-01

    String-pulling and patterned-string tasks are often used to analyse perceptual and cognitive abilities in animals. In addition, the paradigm can be used to test the interrelation between visual-spatial and motor performance. Two Australian parrot species, the galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), forage on the ground, but only the galah uses its feet to manipulate food. I used a set of string pulling and patterned-string tasks to test whether usage of the feet during foraging is a prerequisite for solving the vertical string pulling problem. Indeed, the two species used techniques that clearly differed in the extent of beak-foot coordination but did not differ in terms of their success in solving the string pulling task. However, when the visual-spatial skills of the subjects were tested, the galahs outperformed the cockatiels. This supports the hypothesis that the fine motor skills needed for advanced beak-foot coordination may be interrelated with certain visual-spatial abilities needed for solving patterned-string tasks. This pattern was also found within each of the two species on the individual level: higher motor abilities positively correlated with performance in patterned-string tasks. This is the first evidence of an interrelation between visual-spatial and motor abilities in non-mammalian animals. PMID:24376885

  12. Knowledge discovery in databases of biomechanical variables: application to the sit to stand motor task

    PubMed Central

    Vannozzi, Giuseppe; Della Croce, Ugo; Starita, Antonina; Benvenuti, Francesco; Cappozzo, Aurelio

    2004-01-01

    Background The interpretation of data obtained in a movement analysis laboratory is a crucial issue in clinical contexts. Collection of such data in large databases might encourage the use of modern techniques of data mining to discover additional knowledge with automated methods. In order to maximise the size of the database, simple and low-cost experimental set-ups are preferable. The aim of this study was to extract knowledge inherent in the sit-to-stand task as performed by healthy adults, by searching relationships among measured and estimated biomechanical quantities. An automated method was applied to a large amount of data stored in a database. The sit-to-stand motor task was already shown to be adequate for determining the level of individual motor ability. Methods The technique of search for association rules was chosen to discover patterns as part of a Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) process applied to a sit-to-stand motor task observed with a simple experimental set-up and analysed by means of a minimum measured input model. Selected parameters and variables of a database containing data from 110 healthy adults, of both genders and of a large range of age, performing the task were considered in the analysis. Results A set of rules and definitions were found characterising the patterns shared by the investigated subjects. Time events of the task turned out to be highly interdependent at least in their average values, showing a high level of repeatability of the timing of the performance of the task. Conclusions The distinctive patterns of the sit-to-stand task found in this study, associated to those that could be found in similar studies focusing on subjects with pathologies, could be used as a reference for the functional evaluation of specific subjects performing the sit-to-stand motor task. PMID:15679936

  13. Acquisition of internal models of motor tasks in children with autism.

    PubMed

    Gidley Larson, Jennifer C; Bastian, Amy J; Donchin, Opher; Shadmehr, Reza; Mostofsky, Stewart H

    2008-11-01

    Children with autism exhibit a host of motor disorders including poor coordination, poor tool use and delayed learning of complex motor skills like riding a tricycle. Theory suggests that one of the crucial steps in motor learning is the ability to form internal models: to predict the sensory consequences of motor commands and learn from errors to improve performance on the next attempt. The cerebellum appears to be an important site for acquisition of internal models, and indeed the development of the cerebellum is abnormal in autism. Here, we examined autistic children on a range of tasks that required a change in the motor output in response to a change in the environment. We first considered a prism adaptation task in which the visual map of the environment was shifted. The children were asked to throw balls to visual targets with and without the prism goggles. We next considered a reaching task that required moving the handle of a novel tool (a robotic arm). The tool either imposed forces on the hand or displaced the cursor associated with the handle position. In all tasks, the children with autism adapted their motor output by forming a predictive internal model, as exhibited through after-effects. Surprisingly, the rates of acquisition and washout were indistinguishable from normally developing children. Therefore, the mechanisms of acquisition and adaptation of internal models in self-generated movements appeared normal in autism. Sparing of adaptation suggests that alternative mechanisms contribute to impaired motor skill development in autism. Furthermore, the findings may have therapeutic implications, highlighting a reliable mechanism by which children with autism can most effectively alter their behaviour.

  14. Pre-Trial EEG-Based Single-Trial Motor Performance Prediction to Enhance Neuroergonomics for a Hand Force Task

    PubMed Central

    Meinel, Andreas; Castaño-Candamil, Sebastián; Reis, Janine; Tangermann, Michael

    2016-01-01

    We propose a framework for building electrophysiological predictors of single-trial motor performance variations, exemplified for SVIPT, a sequential isometric force control task suitable for hand motor rehabilitation after stroke. Electroencephalogram (EEG) data of 20 subjects with mean age of 53 years was recorded prior to and during 400 trials of SVIPT. They were executed within a single session with the non-dominant left hand, while receiving continuous visual feedback of the produced force trajectories. The behavioral data showed strong trial-by-trial performance variations for five clinically relevant metrics, which accounted for reaction time as well as for the smoothness and precision of the produced force trajectory. 18 out of 20 tested subjects remained after preprocessing and entered offline analysis. Source Power Comodulation (SPoC) was applied on EEG data of a short time interval prior to the start of each SVIPT trial. For 11 subjects, SPoC revealed robust oscillatory EEG subspace components, whose bandpower activity are predictive for the performance of the upcoming trial. Since SPoC may overfit to non-informative subspaces, we propose to apply three selection criteria accounting for the meaningfulness of the features. Across all subjects, the obtained components were spread along the frequency spectrum and showed a variety of spatial activity patterns. Those containing the highest level of predictive information resided in and close to the alpha band. Their spatial patterns resemble topologies reported for visual attention processes as well as those of imagined or executed hand motor tasks. In summary, we identified subject-specific single predictors that explain up to 36% of the performance fluctuations and may serve for enhancing neuroergonomics of motor rehabilitation scenarios. PMID:27199701

  15. Pre-Trial EEG-Based Single-Trial Motor Performance Prediction to Enhance Neuroergonomics for a Hand Force Task.

    PubMed

    Meinel, Andreas; Castaño-Candamil, Sebastián; Reis, Janine; Tangermann, Michael

    2016-01-01

    We propose a framework for building electrophysiological predictors of single-trial motor performance variations, exemplified for SVIPT, a sequential isometric force control task suitable for hand motor rehabilitation after stroke. Electroencephalogram (EEG) data of 20 subjects with mean age of 53 years was recorded prior to and during 400 trials of SVIPT. They were executed within a single session with the non-dominant left hand, while receiving continuous visual feedback of the produced force trajectories. The behavioral data showed strong trial-by-trial performance variations for five clinically relevant metrics, which accounted for reaction time as well as for the smoothness and precision of the produced force trajectory. 18 out of 20 tested subjects remained after preprocessing and entered offline analysis. Source Power Comodulation (SPoC) was applied on EEG data of a short time interval prior to the start of each SVIPT trial. For 11 subjects, SPoC revealed robust oscillatory EEG subspace components, whose bandpower activity are predictive for the performance of the upcoming trial. Since SPoC may overfit to non-informative subspaces, we propose to apply three selection criteria accounting for the meaningfulness of the features. Across all subjects, the obtained components were spread along the frequency spectrum and showed a variety of spatial activity patterns. Those containing the highest level of predictive information resided in and close to the alpha band. Their spatial patterns resemble topologies reported for visual attention processes as well as those of imagined or executed hand motor tasks. In summary, we identified subject-specific single predictors that explain up to 36% of the performance fluctuations and may serve for enhancing neuroergonomics of motor rehabilitation scenarios.

  16. Sensorimotor Adaptability Training Improves Motor and Dual-Task Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J.J.; Peters, B.T.; Mulavara, A.P.; Brady, R.; Batson, C.; Cohen, H.S.

    2009-01-01

    The overall objective of our project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program designed to facilitate recovery of functional capabilities when astronauts transition to different gravitational environments. The goal of our current study was to determine if SA training using variation in visual flow and support surface motion produces improved performance in a novel sensory environment and demonstrate the retention characteristics of SA training.

  17. Gradual training reduces practice difficulty while preserving motor learning of a novel locomotor task.

    PubMed

    Sawers, Andrew; Hahn, Michael E

    2013-08-01

    Motor learning strategies that increase practice difficulty and the size of movement errors are thought to facilitate motor learning. In contrast to this, gradual training minimizes movement errors and reduces practice difficulty by incrementally introducing task requirements, yet remains as effective as sudden training and its large movement errors for learning novel reaching tasks. While attractive as a locomotor rehabilitation strategy, it remains unknown whether the efficacy of gradual training extends to learning locomotor tasks and their unique requirements. The influence of gradual vs. sudden training on learning a locomotor task, asymmetric split belt treadmill walking, was examined by assessing whole body sagittal plane kinematics during 24 hour retention and transfer performance following either gradual or sudden training. Despite less difficult and less specific practice for the gradual cohort on day 1, gradual training resulted in equivalent motor learning of the novel locomotor task as sudden training when assessed by retention and transfer a day later. This suggests that large movement errors and increased practice difficulty may not be necessary for learning novel locomotor tasks. Further, gradual training may present a viable locomotor rehabilitation strategy avoiding large movement errors that could limit or impair improvements in locomotor performance.

  18. Dynamic Monitoring Reveals Motor Task Characteristics in Prehistoric Technical Gestures

    PubMed Central

    Pfleging, Johannes; Stücheli, Marius; Iovita, Radu; Buchli, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    Reconstructing ancient technical gestures associated with simple tool actions is crucial for understanding the co-evolution of the human forelimb and its associated control-related cognitive functions on the one hand, and of the human technological arsenal on the other hand. Although the topic of gesture is an old one in Paleolithic archaeology and in anthropology in general, very few studies have taken advantage of the new technologies from the science of kinematics in order to improve replicative experimental protocols. Recent work in paleoanthropology has shown the potential of monitored replicative experiments to reconstruct tool-use-related motions through the study of fossil bones, but so far comparatively little has been done to examine the dynamics of the tool itself. In this paper, we demonstrate that we can statistically differentiate gestures used in a simple scraping task through dynamic monitoring. Dynamics combines kinematics (position, orientation, and speed) with contact mechanical parameters (force and torque). Taken together, these parameters are important because they play a role in the formation of a visible archaeological signature, use-wear. We present our new affordable, yet precise methodology for measuring the dynamics of a simple hide-scraping task, carried out using a pull-to (PT) and a push-away (PA) gesture. A strain gage force sensor combined with a visual tag tracking system records force, torque, as well as position and orientation of hafted flint stone tools. The set-up allows switching between two tool configurations, one with distal and the other one with perpendicular hafting of the scrapers, to allow for ethnographically plausible reconstructions. The data show statistically significant differences between the two gestures: scraping away from the body (PA) generates higher shearing forces, but requires greater hand torque. Moreover, most benchmarks associated with the PA gesture are more highly variable than in the PT gesture

  19. Dynamics of Sensorimotor Oscillations in a Motor Task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfurtscheller, Gert; Neuper, Christa

    Many BCI systems rely on imagined movement. The brain activity associated with real or imagined movement produces reliable changes in the EEG. Therefore, many people can use BCI systems by imagining movements to convey information. The EEG has many regular rhythms. The most famous are the occipital alpha rhythm and the central mu and beta rhythms. People can desynchronize the alpha rhythm (that is, produce weaker alpha activity) by being alert, and can increase alpha activity by closing their eyes and relaxing. Sensory processing or motor behavior leads to EEG desynchronization or blocking of central beta and mu rhythms, as originally reported by Berger [1], Jasper and Andrew [2] and Jasper and Penfield [3]. This desynchronization reflects a decrease of oscillatory activity related to an internally or externally-paced event and is known as Event-Related Desynchronization (ERD, [4]). The opposite, namely the increase of rhythmic activity, was termed Event-Related Synchronization (ERS, [5]). ERD and ERS are characterized by fairly localized topography and frequency specificity [6]. Both phenomena can be studied through topographiuthc maps, time courses, and time-frequency representations (ERD maps, [7]).

  20. Task Dependent Motor Strategy of Human Triceps Surae Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Onishi, Hideaki; Ihashi, Kouji; Ichie, Masayoshi; Handa, Yasunobu

    2004-01-01

    Even though many investigators have analyzed the functional difference of the three heads of triceps surae in human, none of them succeeded to clarify the distinctive functional difference of those three muscles. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the integrated EMGs (IEMGs) of the triceps surae muscle, gastrocnemius and soleus, were task dependent. IEMGs of the medial head of the gastrocnemius (GM), lateral head of the gastrocnemius (GL), and soleus (SO) were investigated at three different knee joint angles, at four different duration of ramp contraction, with the generation of a single ongoing force, from 0 to the maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). Three-way ANOVAs for repeated measures were used to estimate differences in IEMG values in each of the GM, GL, and SO, taken at four different durations of ramp contraction (5, 10, 15 and 20 s), at three different knee joint angles (0 deg, 30 deg and 90 deg), across ankle plantar flexion levels of force (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70% MVC). According to three-way ANOVAs for repeated measures, IEMG of the GM muscle showed a first-order interaction between force and knee joint angle. In addition, IEMG of the GL muscle showed first-order interactions between the level of force and knee joint angle, and between the level of force and duration of ramp contraction. Furthermore, IEMG of the SO showed a main effect only on level of force. These results suggest that the each head of the triceps surae may work task dependently. PMID:25792933

  1. Cognitive and motor aspects of a coincidence-timing task in Cerebral Palsy children.

    PubMed

    Olivier, I; Baker, C; Cordier, J; Thomann, G; Nougier, V

    2015-08-18

    Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a clinical syndrome involving postural and motor deficits. CP children are less accurate than healthy ones when trying to reach a target. Thus, it is difficult for CP children to perform anticipation-coincidence tasks requiring temporal and/or spatial accuracy to reach the target at the good place in the right time. The purpose of the present experiment was to further investigate CP children's ability to perform anticipation-coincidence tasks, by dissociating the cognitive from the motor aspects of the task. 11 CP children aged 6-14 years, 51 healthy children aged 6-13 years, and 13 healthy adults performed, as accurately as possible, a coincidence-timing in response to a specific sound of a musical sequence. Two experimental conditions were manipulated: In the verbal condition, temporal estimation occurred through a simple verbal response whereas in the motor condition, temporal estimation was performed by reaching a target at a self-paced velocity. In the verbal condition, CP children made similar temporal errors than their healthy counterpart. However, even though all participants underestimated stimulus occurrence, CP children also exhibited greater and more variable temporal errors when they provided a motor response for estimating stimulus occurrence. These data suggested that CP children were able to anticipate stimulus occurrence and to partially take into account their sensory-motor deficits to reach the target at this time occurrence.

  2. Objective assessment of mandibular motor control using a 'reach-and-hold' task.

    PubMed

    Roatta, Silvestro; Rolando, M; Notaro, V; Testa, M; Bassi, F; Passatore, M

    2011-10-01

    Mandibular motor function is well known to be impaired in the presence of temporomandibular disorders. However, while a vast literature is available concerning accuracy of motor control in limbs, quantitative and objective assessment of mandibular motor control has been seldom performed, also because of the lack of adequate investigative tools. Aim of this work is to present a technique for reliable evaluation of the motor performance of the mandible based on a kinesiography-monitored reach-and-hold task. Nineteen healthy subjects were engaged in a task in which they had to drive a cursor on a screen by corresponding movements of the mandible in the frontal plane and reach 30 random targets sequentially displayed on the screen. The whole task was repeated three times per session in two different days. The individual performance was assessed by different indices evaluating precision and steadiness of target matching. The performance progressively improved in the three trials of the first session, further improved and stabilised in the second session, with an average positioning error of 0·59 ± 038 mm and was slightly correlated with the horizontal dimension of the mandible border movement (r = 0·55). Intraclass correlation coefficient ranged between 0·76 and 0·94 for the different indices indicating good repeatability. The kinesiographic technique allowed for objective and reliable assessment of the voluntary control of the mandible position. Its potential applications include support to the characterisation of temporomandibular disorders and to motor training and progress monitoring in rehabilitation treatments.

  3. Is There an Interaction between Task Complexity and Practice Variability in Speech-Motor learning?

    PubMed Central

    Kaipa, Ramesh

    2016-01-01

    Background Prior studies have investigated the influence of principles of motor learning (PMLs) on speech-motor learning. However, the interactive effect of different PMLs on speech-motor learning remains unknown. Purpose This study is aimed at investigating the interaction of 2 PMLs, that is, practice variability and task complexity and their influence on speech-motor learning. Method Forty healthy individuals (aged 18-30 years) were randomly and equally allocated to 2 groups where they had to either practice a simple (simple group) or a complex phrase (complex group). Two levels of practice variability (constant and variable) were considered in training participants in simple and complex groups. Participants practiced 50 practice trials of either complex or simple phrase during the first 2 days. At the end of training on each day, participants produced 10 trials of the phrase they practiced without feedback. On the third day, participants returned for a delayed retention test. The participant utterances on all the 3 days were recorded for later analysis. Results Data analysis revealed that there was no major effect of practice condition, and there was no interaction of task complexity and practice condition. However, there was an interaction between data collection points and complexity. Conclusion The findings suggest that irrespective of the complexity of the to-be-learned speech task, there is no preponderance of variable over constant practice, which contradicts the findings of the non-speech-motor learning literature. PMID:27721581

  4. Studying Mathematics Teacher Education: Analysing the Process of Task Variation on Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bragg, Leicha A.

    2015-01-01

    Self-study of variations to task design offers a way of analysing how learning takes place. Over several years, variations were made to improve an assessment task completed by final-year teacher candidates in a primary mathematics teacher education subject. This article describes how alterations to a task informed on-going developments in…

  5. Using the Hand Laterality Judgement Task to Assess Motor Imagery: A Study of Practice Effects in Repeated Measurements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boonstra, Anne M.; de Vries, Sjoerd J.; Veenstra, Evelien; Tepper, Marga; Feenstra, Wya; Otten, Egbert

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a practice effect on the Hand Laterality Judgement Task (HLJT). The HLJT task is a mental rotation task that can be used to assess motor imagery ability in stroke patients. Thirty-three healthy individuals performed the HLJT and two control tasks twice at a 3-week interval. Differences in the…

  6. Hemodynamic changes in cortical sensorimotor systems following hand and orofacial motor tasks and pulsed pneumotactile stimulation.

    PubMed

    Rosner, Austin O; Barlow, Steven M

    We performed a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study of the evoked hemodynamic responses seen in hand and face sensorimotor cortical representations during (1) active motor tasks and (2) pulsed pneumotactile stimulation. Contralateral fNIRS measurements were performed on 22 healthy adult participants using a block paradigm that consisted of repetitive right hand and right oral angle somatosensory stimulation using a pulsed pneumotactile array stimulator, and repetitive right-hand grip compression and bilabial compressions on strain gages. Results revealed significant oxyhemoglobin (HbO) modulation across stimulus conditions in corresponding somatotopic cortical regions. Of the 22 participants, 86% exhibited a decreased HbO response during at least one of the stimulus conditions, which may be indicative of cortical steal, or hypo-oxygenation occurring in channels adjacent to the primary areas of activation. Across all conditions, 56% of participants' HbO responses were positive and 44% were negative. Hemodynamic responses most likely differed across hand and face motor and somatosensory cortical regions due to differences in regional arterial/venous anatomy, cortical vascular beds, extent and orientation of somatotopy, task dynamics, and mechanoreceptor typing in hand and face. The combination of optical imaging and task conditions allowed for non-invasive examination of hemodynamic changes in somatosensory and motor cortices using natural, pneumatic stimulation of glabrous hand and hairy skin of the lower face and functionally relevant and measurable motor tasks involving the same structures.

  7. Responding to a Challenging Perceptual-Motor Task as a Function of Level of Experiential Avoidance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zettle, Robert D.; Petersen, Connie L.; Hocker, Tanya R.; Provines, Jessica L.

    2007-01-01

    Participants displaying high versus low levels of experiential avoidance as assessed by the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (Hayes, Strosahl, et al., 2004) were compared in their reactions to and performance on a challenging perceptual-motor task. Participants were offered incentives for sorting colored straws into different colored containers…

  8. Short Term Auditory Pacing Changes Dual Motor Task Coordination in Children with and without Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getchell, Nancy; Mackenzie, Samuel J.; Marmon, Adam R.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the effect of short-term auditory pacing practice on dual motor task performance in children with and without dyslexia. Groups included dyslexic with Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) scores greater than 15th percentile (D_HIGH, n = 18; mean age 9.89 [plus or minus] 2.0 years), dyslexic with MABC [less than or…

  9. Search for Autonomy in Motor Task Learning in Physical Education University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreno Murcia, Juan Antonio; Lacarcel, Jose Antonio Vera; Del Villar Alvarez, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    The study focused on discovering the influence that an autonomous motor task learning programme had on the improvement of perceived competence, intrinsic regulation, incremental belief and motivational orientations. The study was performed with two groups of participants (n = 22 and n = 20) aged between 19 and 35 years. The instruments used were…

  10. Motor Learning of a Bimanual Task in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ya-Ching; Gordon, Andrew M.

    2013-01-01

    Children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) have been shown to improve their motor performance with sufficient practice. However, little is known about how they learn goal-oriented tasks. In the current study, 21 children with unilateral CP (age 4-10 years old) and 21 age-matched typically developed children (TDC) practiced a simple bimanual…

  11. Selective Influence of Circadian Modulation and Task Characteristics on Motor Imagery Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Debarnot, Ursula; Sahraoui, Djafar; Champely, Stephane; Collet, Christian; Guillot, Aymeric

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we examined the effect of circadian modulation on motor imagery (MI) time while also considering the effects of task complexity and duration. The ability to imagine in real time was influenced by circadian modulation in a simple walking condition, with longer MI times in the morning and evening sessions. By contrast, there was no…

  12. Impaired Inhibition of Prepotent Motor Tendencies in Friedreich Ataxia Demonstrated by the Simon Interference Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corben, L. A.; Akhlaghi, H.; Georgiou-Karistianis, N.; Bradshaw, J. L.; Egan, G. F.; Storey, E.; Churchyard, A. J.; Delatycki, M. B.

    2011-01-01

    Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is the most common of the genetically inherited ataxias. We recently demonstrated that people with FRDA have impairment in motor planning--most likely because of pathology affecting the cerebral cortex and/or cerebello-cortical projections. We used the Simon interference task to examine how effective 13 individuals with…

  13. Effects of Success/Failure and Extrinsic Rewards on Intrinsic Motivation Using a Competitive Motor Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCaughan, Lindsay R.; McKinlay, Sue

    1981-01-01

    Female high school students participated in a motor task to assess the effects of success/failure feedback and extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. It was found that a significant change in intrinsic motivation was due to the effects of success/failure feedback, but not to the effect of a tangible reward. (Authors/FG)

  14. Dramatic Effects of Speech Task on Motor and Linguistic Planning in Severely Dysfluent Parkinsonian Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana; Cameron, Krista; Sidtis, John J.

    2012-01-01

    In motor speech disorders, dysarthric features impacting intelligibility, articulation, fluency and voice emerge more saliently in conversation than in repetition, reading or singing. A role of the basal ganglia in these task discrepancies has been identified. Further, more recent studies of naturalistic speech in basal ganglia dysfunction have…

  15. Selective influence of circadian modulation and task characteristics on motor imagery time.

    PubMed

    Debarnot, Ursula; Sahraoui, Djafar; Champely, Stéphane; Collet, Christian; Guillot, Aymeric

    2012-09-01

    In this study, we examined the effect of circadian modulation on motor imagery (MI) time while also considering the effects of task complexity and duration. The ability to imagine in real time was influenced by circadian modulation in a simple walking condition, with longer MI times in the morning and evening sessions. By contrast, there was no effect of circadian rhythm in the complex, short or long walking conditions. We concluded that motor imagery time is modulated during the course of the day, but the effect of task difficulty is stronger than circadian modulation in altering the temporal congruence between physical practice and MI performance. Practical applications in motor learning and rehabilitation are discussed.

  16. Automatic motor task selection via a bandit algorithm for a brain-controlled button

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruitet, Joan; Carpentier, Alexandra; Munos, Rémi; Clerc, Maureen

    2013-02-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) based on sensorimotor rhythms use a variety of motor tasks, such as imagining moving the right or left hand, the feet or the tongue. Finding the tasks that yield best performance, specifically to each user, is a time-consuming preliminary phase to a BCI experiment. This study presents a new adaptive procedure to automatically select (online) the most promising motor task for an asynchronous brain-controlled button. Approach. We develop for this purpose an adaptive algorithm UCB-classif based on the stochastic bandit theory and design an EEG experiment to test our method. We compare (offline) the adaptive algorithm to a naïve selection strategy which uses uniformly distributed samples from each task. We also run the adaptive algorithm online to fully validate the approach. Main results. By not wasting time on inefficient tasks, and focusing on the most promising ones, this algorithm results in a faster task selection and a more efficient use of the BCI training session. More precisely, the offline analysis reveals that the use of this algorithm can reduce the time needed to select the most appropriate task by almost half without loss in precision, or alternatively, allow us to investigate twice the number of tasks within a similar time span. Online tests confirm that the method leads to an optimal task selection. Significance. This study is the first one to optimize the task selection phase by an adaptive procedure. By increasing the number of tasks that can be tested in a given time span, the proposed method could contribute to reducing ‘BCI illiteracy’.

  17. Task-specific impairment of motor cortical excitation and inhibition in patients with writer's cramp.

    PubMed

    Tinazzi, Michele; Farina, Simona; Edwards, Mark; Moretto, Giuseppe; Restivo, Domenico; Fiaschi, Antonio; Berardelli, Alfredo

    2005-04-11

    Abnormalities in motor cortical excitation and inhibition have been reported in patients with writer's cramp, at rest and during muscle activation. We were interested in whether such abnormalities might be task-specific and depended on the type of movement task used to activate the dystonic hand. We therefore assessed motor-evoked potentials (facilitation/rest MEP amplitude ratio) and duration of the cortical silent period (CSP) from the right first dorsal interosseus (FDI) muscle to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in 10 patients with writer's cramp and in 10 healthy volunteers performing pincer and power gripping tasks. The mean facilitation/rest MEP amplitude ratio measured during the pincer grip task was significantly larger in dystonic subjects than in controls, but in the power grip condition was similar in the two groups. The CSP measured in the power grip condition was of similar length in normal controls and dystonic subjects, but in the pincer grip condition was significantly shorter in patients than in controls. These results indicate a task-specific impairment of motor cortical excitation and inhibition in writer's cramp.

  18. The ecological approach to cognitive–motor dual-tasking: findings on the effects of expertise and age

    PubMed Central

    Schaefer, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    The underlying assumption of studies on cognitive–motor dual-tasking is that resources are limited, and when they have to be shared between a cognitive and a motor task, performances will suffer. Resource competition should therefore be particularly pronounced in children, older adults, or people who are just acquiring a new motor skill. The current review summarizes expertise and age comparative studies that have combined a cognitive and a motor task. Expertise studies have often assessed sports performances (e.g., golf putting, soccer dribbling, rugby drills) and have shown that experts are more successful than novices to keep up their performances in dual-task situations. The review also presents age-comparative studies that have used walking (on narrow tracks or on a treadmill) as the motor task. Older adults often show higher costs than young adults, and they tend to prioritize the motor domain. These findings are discussed in relation to the ecological approach to dual-task research originally introduced by Li et al. (2005). The approach proposes to study ecologically valid dual-task situations, and always to investigate dual-task costs for both domains (cognitive and motor performance) in order to assess potential tradeoffs. In addition, task difficulties should be individually adjusted, and differential-emphasis instructions should be included in the study design. PMID:25352820

  19. Differences in Visuo-Motor Control in Skilled vs. Novice Martial Arts Athletes during Sustained and Transient Attention Tasks: A Motor-Related Cortical Potential Study

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Fernandez, Thalia; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Martinez Mesa, Juan A.; Di Russo, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive and motor processes are essential for optimal athletic performance. Individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive abilities and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and expertise. Most studies have investigated differences in motor-related cortical potential (MRCP) during self-paced tasks in athletes but not in stimulus-related tasks. The aim of the present study was to identify the differences in performance and MRCP between skilled and novice martial arts athletes during two different types of tasks: a sustained attention task and a transient attention task. Behavioral and electrophysiological data from twenty-two martial arts athletes were obtained while they performed a continuous performance task (CPT) to measure sustained attention and a cued continuous performance task (c-CPT) to measure transient attention. MRCP components were analyzed and compared between groups. Electrophysiological data in the CPT task indicated larger prefrontal positive activity and greater posterior negativity distribution prior to a motor response in the skilled athletes, while novices showed a significantly larger response-related P3 after a motor response in centro-parietal areas. A different effect occurred in the c-CPT task in which the novice athletes showed strong prefrontal positive activity before a motor response and a large response-related P3, while in skilled athletes, the prefrontal activity was absent. We propose that during the CPT, skilled athletes were able to allocate two different but related processes simultaneously according to CPT demand, which requires controlled attention and controlled motor responses. On the other hand, in the c-CPT, skilled athletes showed better cue facilitation, which permitted a major economy of resources and “automatic” or less controlled responses to relevant stimuli. In conclusion, the present data suggest that motor expertise

  20. Differences in visuo-motor control in skilled vs. novice martial arts athletes during sustained and transient attention tasks: a motor-related cortical potential study.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Fernandez, Thalia; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Martinez Mesa, Juan A; Di Russo, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive and motor processes are essential for optimal athletic performance. Individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive abilities and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and expertise. Most studies have investigated differences in motor-related cortical potential (MRCP) during self-paced tasks in athletes but not in stimulus-related tasks. The aim of the present study was to identify the differences in performance and MRCP between skilled and novice martial arts athletes during two different types of tasks: a sustained attention task and a transient attention task. Behavioral and electrophysiological data from twenty-two martial arts athletes were obtained while they performed a continuous performance task (CPT) to measure sustained attention and a cued continuous performance task (c-CPT) to measure transient attention. MRCP components were analyzed and compared between groups. Electrophysiological data in the CPT task indicated larger prefrontal positive activity and greater posterior negativity distribution prior to a motor response in the skilled athletes, while novices showed a significantly larger response-related P3 after a motor response in centro-parietal areas. A different effect occurred in the c-CPT task in which the novice athletes showed strong prefrontal positive activity before a motor response and a large response-related P3, while in skilled athletes, the prefrontal activity was absent. We propose that during the CPT, skilled athletes were able to allocate two different but related processes simultaneously according to CPT demand, which requires controlled attention and controlled motor responses. On the other hand, in the c-CPT, skilled athletes showed better cue facilitation, which permitted a major economy of resources and "automatic" or less controlled responses to relevant stimuli. In conclusion, the present data suggest that motor expertise

  1. Parkinson's Disease and Cognitive-Motor Dual-Task: Is Motor Prioritization Possible in the Early Stages of the Disease?

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Ângela; Sousa, Andreia S P; Rocha, Nuno; Tavares, João Manuel R S

    2016-01-01

    The authors aimed to compare the postural phase of gait initiation under single-task (gait initiation) and dual-task (gait initiation plus Stroop test) conditions in healthy subjects and in subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) in the early stages (Hoehn and Yahr scale < 3). The postural phase of gait initiation was assessed through the centre of pressure in single and dual task in 10 healthy subjects and 9 with PD. The analysis indicated that in the early stages of PD, an additional cognitive task did not affect the displacement of the gait initiation. No significant effects occurred between the groups and within-subjects (p > .05). Also, no interaction was found between the groups and the conditions (single- and dual-task). Differences were found in the duration of the mediolateral postural phase (p = .003), which was higher in PD subjects than in healthy subjects. The findings suggest that subjects in the early stages of PD prioritize gait initiation, as their motor performance was similar to that of healthy subjects.

  2. Adaptation paths to novel motor tasks are shaped by prior structure learning.

    PubMed

    Kobak, Dmitry; Mehring, Carsten

    2012-07-18

    After extensive practice with motor tasks sharing structural similarities (e.g., different dancing movements, or different sword techniques), new tasks of the same type can be learned faster. According to the recent "structure learning" hypothesis (Braun et al., 2009a), such rapid generalization of related motor skills relies on learning the dynamic and kinematic relationships shared by this set of skills. As a consequence, motor adaptation becomes constrained, effectively leading to a dimensionality reduction of the learning problem; at the same time, adaptation to tasks lying outside the structure becomes biased toward the structure. We tested these predictions by investigating how previously learned structures influence subsequent motor adaptation. Human subjects were making reaching movements in 3D virtual reality, experiencing perturbations either in the vertical or in the horizontal plane. Perturbations were either visuomotor rotations of varying angle or velocity-dependent forces of varying strength. We found that, after extensive training with both kinematic or dynamic perturbations, adaptation to unpracticed, diagonal, perturbations happened along the previously learned structure (vertical or horizontal), and resulting adaptation trajectories were curved. This effect is robust, can be observed on the single-subject level, and occurs during adaptation both within and across trials. Additionally, we demonstrate that structure learning changes involuntary visuomotor reflexes and therefore is not exclusively a high-level cognitive phenomenon.

  3. How people with multiple sclerosis cope with a sustained finger motor task: A behavioural and fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Bonzano, Laura; Pardini, Matteo; Roccatagliata, Luca; Mancardi, Giovanni L; Bove, Marco

    2017-05-15

    Motor and non-motor basal ganglia (BG) circuits can help healthy subjects cope with task-induced central fatigue and re-establish motor performance after deterioration. This work aimed to assess whether patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) were able to recover motor performance after deterioration due to a demanding task and whether BG activity played a role in performance recovery in this population. Fourteen patients with MS performed a finger-tapping sequence with their right hand during three fMRI sessions: at baseline, after a demanding finger motor task (5-min sequence repetition) and after a short rest period. We observed deterioration of spatial and temporal accuracy with task repetition, as expected; after rest, temporal but not spatial accuracy recovered. Further, higher subjective fatigue was associated with increased motor performance deterioration and reduced temporal accuracy recovery. The amplitude of the BOLD signal change in the left caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, thalamus and amygdala was high at baseline and significantly reduced after the demanding task. Following rest, activity achieved values similar to the baseline in all these regions except for the amygdala. These findings suggest that patients were in a fatigue-like state since task beginning, as they showed enhanced BOLD signal change in the subcortical structures known to be recruited in healthy subjects only when coping with fatigue to recover motor performance. Abnormalities in motor and non-motor BG functions can contribute to fatigue in MS.

  4. Measuring the cost of cognitive-motor dual tasking during walking in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Leone, Carmela; Patti, Francesco; Feys, Peter

    2015-02-01

    Purposeful, safe locomotion requires higher-level cortical processes, to meet the real-life demands of walking while performing concurrent cognitive tasks (e.g. recalling a shopping list or attending to a conversation). The assessment of walking and a secondary cognitive task under these 'dual tasking' conditions may represent a more valid outcome measure in multiple sclerosis (MS), by examining the occurrence and magnitude of the cognitive-motor interference of walking. This topical review provides a state-of-the-art overview of research into dual-tasking during walking in persons with MS, based on 14 recent papers. Studies consistently demonstrate a slowing of ambulation under dual tasking, regardless of the cognitive task demand, the stage of the disease and the disability level. The reciprocal effect of walking on the cognitive tasks was rarely assessed. We present our main findings, highlight the different factors contributing to dual-task deficits, identify methodological shortcomings and offer recommendations for constructing dual-tasking paradigms useful in clinical practice and research.

  5. COMMUNICATION: On variability and use of rat primary motor cortex responses in behavioral task discrimination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, Winnie; Rousche, Patrick J.

    2006-03-01

    The success of a cortical motor neuroprosthetic system will rely on the system's ability to effectively execute complex motor tasks in a changing environment. Invasive, intra-cortical electrodes have been successfully used to predict joint movement and grip force of a robotic arm/hand with a non-human primate (Chapin J K, Moxon K A, Markowitz R S and Nicolelis M A L 1999 Real-time control of a robotic arm using simultaneously recorded neurons in the motor cortex Nat. Neurosci. 2 664-70). It is well known that cortical encoding occurs with a high degree of cortical plasticity and depends on both the functional and behavioral context. Questions on the expected robustness of future motor prosthesis systems therefore still remain. The objective of the present work was to study the effect of minor changes in functional movement strategies on the M1 encoding. We compared the M1 encoding in freely moving, non-constrained animals that performed two similar behavioral tasks with the same end-goal, and investigated if these behavioral tasks could be discriminated based on the M1 recordings. The rats depressed a response paddle either with a set of restrictive bars ('WB') or without the bars ('WOB') placed in front of the paddle. The WB task required changes in the motor strategy to complete the paddle press and resulted in highly stereotyped movements, whereas in the WOB task the movement strategy was not restricted. Neural population activity was recorded from 16-channel micro-wire arrays and data up to 200 ms before a paddle hit were analyzed off-line. The analysis showed a significant neural firing difference between the two similar WB and WOB tasks, and using principal component analysis it was possible to distinguish between the two tasks with a best classification at 76.6%. While the results are dependent upon a small, randomly sampled neural population, they indicate that information about similar behavioral tasks may be extracted from M1 based on relatively few

  6. Motor-Cognitive Dual-Task Training in Neurologic Disorders: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Fritz, NE; Cheek, FM; Nichols-Larsen, DS

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Deficits in motor-cognitive dual-tasks (e.g., walking while talking) are common in individuals with neurological conditions. This review was conducted to determine the effectiveness of motor-cognitive dual-task training (DTT) compared to usual care on mobility and cognition in individuals with neurologic disorders. Methods Databases searched were Biosis, CINAHL, ERIC, PsychInfo, EBSCO Psychological & Behavioral, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge. Eligibility criteria were studies of adults with neurologic disorders that included DTT and outcomes of gait or balance were included. Fourteen studies met inclusion criteria. Participants were individuals with brain injury, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Intervention protocols included cued walking, cognitive tasks paired with gait, balance, and strength training and virtual reality or gaming. Quality of the included trials was evaluated with a standardized rating scale of clinical relevance. Results Results show that DTT improves single-task gait velocity and stride length in PD and AD, dual-task gait velocity and stride length in PD, AD and brain injury, and may improve balance and cognition in PD and AD. The inclusion criteria limited the diagnostic groups included. Discussion and Conclusions The range of training protocols and outcome assessments in available studies limited comparison of the results across studies. Improvement of dual-task ability in individuals with neurologic disorders holds potential for improving gait, balance and cognition. Motor-cognitive dual-task deficits in individuals with neurologic disorders may be amenable to training. Video Abstract available for additional insights from the authors (See Supplemental Digital Content). PMID:26079569

  7. A latent discriminative model-based approach for classification of imaginary motor tasks from EEG data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado Saa, Jaime F.; Çetin, Müjdat

    2012-04-01

    We consider the problem of classification of imaginary motor tasks from electroencephalography (EEG) data for brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and propose a new approach based on hidden conditional random fields (HCRFs). HCRFs are discriminative graphical models that are attractive for this problem because they (1) exploit the temporal structure of EEG; (2) include latent variables that can be used to model different brain states in the signal; and (3) involve learned statistical models matched to the classification task, avoiding some of the limitations of generative models. Our approach involves spatial filtering of the EEG signals and estimation of power spectra based on autoregressive modeling of temporal segments of the EEG signals. Given this time-frequency representation, we select certain frequency bands that are known to be associated with execution of motor tasks. These selected features constitute the data that are fed to the HCRF, parameters of which are learned from training data. Inference algorithms on the HCRFs are used for the classification of motor tasks. We experimentally compare this approach to the best performing methods in BCI competition IV as well as a number of more recent methods and observe that our proposed method yields better classification accuracy.

  8. Abnormal motor cortex excitability during linguistic tasks in adductor-type spasmodic dysphonia.

    PubMed

    Suppa, A; Marsili, L; Giovannelli, F; Di Stasio, F; Rocchi, L; Upadhyay, N; Ruoppolo, G; Cincotta, M; Berardelli, A

    2015-08-01

    In healthy subjects (HS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied during 'linguistic' tasks discloses excitability changes in the dominant hemisphere primary motor cortex (M1). We investigated 'linguistic' task-related cortical excitability modulation in patients with adductor-type spasmodic dysphonia (ASD), a speech-related focal dystonia. We studied 10 ASD patients and 10 HS. Speech examination included voice cepstral analysis. We investigated the dominant/non-dominant M1 excitability at baseline, during 'linguistic' (reading aloud/silent reading/producing simple phonation) and 'non-linguistic' tasks (looking at non-letter strings/producing oral movements). Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from the contralateral hand muscles. We measured the cortical silent period (CSP) length and tested MEPs in HS and patients performing the 'linguistic' tasks with different voice intensities. We also examined MEPs in HS and ASD during hand-related 'action-verb' observation. Patients were studied under and not-under botulinum neurotoxin-type A (BoNT-A). In HS, TMS over the dominant M1 elicited larger MEPs during 'reading aloud' than during the other 'linguistic'/'non-linguistic' tasks. Conversely, in ASD, TMS over the dominant M1 elicited increased-amplitude MEPs during 'reading aloud' and 'syllabic phonation' tasks. CSP length was shorter in ASD than in HS and remained unchanged in both groups performing 'linguistic'/'non-linguistic' tasks. In HS and ASD, 'linguistic' task-related excitability changes were present regardless of the different voice intensities. During hand-related 'action-verb' observation, MEPs decreased in HS, whereas in ASD they increased. In ASD, BoNT-A improved speech, as demonstrated by cepstral analysis and restored the TMS abnormalities. ASD reflects dominant hemisphere excitability changes related to 'linguistic' tasks; BoNT-A returns these excitability changes to normal.

  9. Preschoolers' motor and verbal self-control strategies during a resistance-to-temptation task.

    PubMed

    Manfra, Louis; Davis, Kelly D; Ducenne, Lesley; Winsler, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Although prior research has shown that young children exhibit enhanced self-control when they use verbal strategies provided through adult instructions, little work has examined the role of children's spontaneous verbalizations or motor behavior as strategies for enhancing self-control. The present study examined the usefulness of spontaneous verbal and motor strategies for 39 3- and 4-year-old children's ability to exercise self-control during a resistance-to-temptation task. After a 2-min play period, participants were asked by an experimenter not to touch an attractive train set while he was out of the room. Children were videotaped during the 3-min waiting period and videos were coded for frequency and duration of touches, motor movements, and verbalizations. Results indicated that self-control was improved by using both motor and verbal strategies. Children who were unable to resist touching the forbidden toy used limited motor or verbal strategies. These findings add to the growing literature demonstrating the positive role of verbalizations on cognitive control and draw attention to motor behaviors as additional strategies used by young children to exercise self-control.

  10. Motor Imagery Cognitive Network after Left Ischemic Stroke: Study of the Patients during Mental Rotation Task

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Jing; Sun, Junfeng; Guo, Xiaoli; Jin, Zheng; Li, Yao; Li, Zhijun; Tong, Shanbao

    2013-01-01

    Although motor imagery could improve motor rehabilitation, the detailed neural mechanisms of motor imagery cognitive process of stroke patients, particularly from functional network perspective, remain unclear. This study investigated functional brain network properties in each cognitive sub-stage of motor imagery of stroke patients with ischemic lesion in left hemisphere to reveal the impact of stroke on the cognition of motor imagery. Both stroke patients and control subjects participated in mental rotation task, which includes three cognitive sub-stages: visual stimulus perception, mental rotation and response cognitive process. Event-related electroencephalograph was recorded and interdependence between two different cortical areas was assessed by phase synchronization. Both global and nodal properties of functional networks in three sub-stages were statistically analyzed. Phase synchronization of stroke patients significantly reduced in mental rotation sub-stage. Longer characteristic path length and smaller global clustering coefficient of functional network were observed in patients in mental rotation sub-stage which implied the impaired segregation and integration. Larger nodal clustering coefficient and betweenness in contralesional occipitoparietal and frontal area respectively were observed in patients in all sub-stages. In addition, patients also showed smaller betweenness in ipsilesional central-parietal area in response sub-stage. The compensatory effects on local connectedness and centrality indicated the neuroplasticity in contralesional hemisphere. The functional brain networks of stroke patients demonstrated significant alterations and compensatory effects during motor imagery. PMID:24167569

  11. Self-Control of Task Difficulty During Early Practice Promotes Motor Skill Learning.

    PubMed

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Boutin, Arnaud; Thon, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to determine whether the effect of self-control of task difficulty on motor learning is a function of the period of self-control administration. In a complex anticipation-coincidence task that required participants to intercept 3 targets with a virtual racquet, the task difficulty was either self-controlled or imposed to the participants in the two phases of the acquisition session. First, the results confirmed the beneficial effects of self-control over fully prescribed conditions. Second, the authors also demonstrated that a partial self-control of task difficulty better promotes learning than does a complete self-controlled procedure. Overall, the results revealed that these benefits are increased when this choice is allowed during early practice. The findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and applied perspectives.

  12. Discriminating hand gesture motor imagery tasks using cortical current density estimation.

    PubMed

    Edelman, Bradley; Baxter, Bryan; He, Bin

    2014-01-01

    Current EEG based brain computer interface (BCI) systems have achieved successful control in up to 3 dimensions; however the current paradigm may be unnatural for many rehabilitative and recreational applications. Therefore there is a great need to find motor imagination (MI) tasks that are realistic for output device control. In this paper we present our results on classifying hand gesture MI tasks, including right hand flexion, extension, supination and pronation using a novel EEG inverse imaging approach. By using both temporal and spatial specificity in the source domain we were able to separate MI tasks with up to 95% accuracy for binary classification of any two tasks compared to a maximum of only 79% in the sensor domain.

  13. Hand preference consistency and eye-hand coordination in young children during a motor task.

    PubMed

    Mori, Shiro; Iteya, Misaki; Gabbard, Carl

    2006-02-01

    Indications of earlier research are that individuals exhibiting a consistent hand preference are better coordinated on selected motor tasks than peers with inconsistent hand preference. The present study examined eye-hand coordination via inter- and intramodal matching behavior by handedness groups for 55 5- and 6-yr.-olds using the Pinboard Test. Analysis indicated the Consistent group scored better, leading to the speculation that children with consistent laterality may possess an advantage in interhemispheric communication, especially when the task requires coordination of both limbs.

  14. Measurement of functional task difficulty during motor learning: What level of difficulty corresponds to the optimal challenge point?

    PubMed

    Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari

    2015-10-01

    The relationship between task difficulty and learning benefit was examined, as was the measurability of task difficulty. Participants were required to learn a postural control task on an unstable surface at one of four different task difficulty levels. Results from the retention test showed an inverted-U relationship between task difficulty during acquisition and motor learning. The second-highest level of task difficulty was the most effective for motor learning, while learning was delayed at the most and least difficult levels. Additionally, the results indicate that salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) are useful indices of task difficulty. Our findings suggested that instructors may be able to adjust task difficulty based on salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the NASA-TLX to enhance learning.

  15. Reading Rate, Readability, and Variations in Task-Induced Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coke, Esther U.

    1976-01-01

    This study explored the hypothesis that task variables account for previous findings that reading rate is unaffected by readability. The findings suggest that when appropriate reading tasks are chosen, reading rate can be used to infer underlying processes in reading. (Author/DEP)

  16. Motor units are recruited in a task-dependent fashion during locomotion.

    PubMed

    Wakeling, James M

    2004-10-01

    Muscle fibres have a range of contractile properties from fast to slow. Traditional understanding of muscle fibre recruitment suggests that the slower fibres within a mixed muscle are used for all contractions including those at rapid speeds. However, mechanical arguments predict that some locomotor tasks are best performed by solely the faster fibres. Motor recruitment patterns can be indicated by the spectral properties of the myoelectric signals. High- and low-frequency myoelectric spectra that have similar spectral power indicate the activity of faster and slower motor units, respectively. In this study, the myoelectric signals in humans were measured from nine muscles of the leg during walking and running at 1.5, 3 and 4.5 m s(-1). The myoelectric spectra for 20 points in each stride were calculated using wavelet techniques, and the spectral properties quantified using principal component analysis. Bursts of muscle activity were characterized by hysteresis in the myoelectric frequencies, with different frequencies occurring at different times, indicating time-varying shifts in the motor recruitment patterns. This hysteresis occurred at all locomotor speeds tested. It is likely that the different types of motor unit are recruited in a task-dependent fashion during locomotion.

  17. How do children complete a seated combined cognitive and motor multi-tasking paradigm?

    PubMed

    Hinton, Dorelle C; Vallis, Lori Ann

    2015-06-01

    Healthy children (n=12, age 7years) and young adults (n=11, age 21years) were asked to perform a bimanual balance and reaching protocol in a seated posture. Subjects balanced a ball on a Frisbee on the non-dominant palm of the hand while reaching with the dominant hand to pick up a toy off the ground. During half of the trials, an auditory Stroop task was administered simultaneous to onset of the participants' reach. All children (CH) and adults (AD) successfully completed both motor and cognitive tasks when combined: the ball and Frisbee were not dropped and cognitive accuracy rate for both groups was 77%. Angular range of motion (ROM) measures indicated that the trunk, upper arm (UA) and forearm (FA) segments were moving as articulated individual segments in both adults and children (ROM for trunk≠UA≠FA; p<.001). However, differences between CH and AD upper body segmental control were evident: greater variability existed between trials and between subjects for segmental ROM in CH compared to AD (p<.001), suggesting that adult-like control is still developing in this age group. Results indicate children aged 7years can successfully perform a simultaneous upper body motor and cognitive task in a seated posture, however motor performance control is not yet at the same level as adults.

  18. Scale-Dependent Signal Identification in Low-Dimensional Subspace: Motor Imagery Task Classification

    PubMed Central

    Gan, Haitao; Potter, Tom

    2016-01-01

    Motor imagery electroencephalography (EEG) has been successfully used in locomotor rehabilitation programs. While the noise-assisted multivariate empirical mode decomposition (NA-MEMD) algorithm has been utilized to extract task-specific frequency bands from all channels in the same scale as the intrinsic mode functions (IMFs), identifying and extracting the specific IMFs that contain significant information remain difficult. In this paper, a novel method has been developed to identify the information-bearing components in a low-dimensional subspace without prior knowledge. Our method trains a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) of the composite data, which is comprised of the IMFs from both the original signal and noise, by employing kernel spectral regression to reduce the dimension of the composite data. The informative IMFs are then discriminated using a GMM clustering algorithm, the common spatial pattern (CSP) approach is exploited to extract the task-related features from the reconstructed signals, and a support vector machine (SVM) is applied to the extracted features to recognize the classes of EEG signals during different motor imagery tasks. The effectiveness of the proposed method has been verified by both computer simulations and motor imagery EEG datasets. PMID:27891256

  19. Relationship between reaction time, fine motor control, and visual-spatial perception on vigilance and visual-motor tasks in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Howley, Sarah A; Prasad, Sarah E; Pender, Niall P; Murphy, Kieran C

    2012-01-01

    22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS) is a common microdeletion disorder associated with mild to moderate intellectual disability and specific neurocognitive deficits, particularly in visual-motor and attentional abilities. Currently there is evidence that the visual-motor profile of 22q11DS is not entirely mediated by intellectual disability and that these individuals have specific deficits in visual-motor integration. However, the extent to which attentional deficits, such as vigilance, influence impairments on visual motor tasks in 22q11DS is unclear. This study examines visual-motor abilities and reaction time using a range of standardised tests in 35 children with 22q11DS, 26 age-matched typically developing (TD) sibling controls and 17 low-IQ community controls. Statistically significant deficits were observed in the 22q11DS group compared to both low-IQ and TD control groups on a timed fine motor control and accuracy task. The 22q11DS group performed significantly better than the low-IQ control group on an untimed drawing task and were equivalent to the TD control group on point accuracy and simple reaction time tests. Results suggest that visual motor deficits in 22q11DS are primarily attributable to deficits in psychomotor speed which becomes apparent when tasks are timed versus untimed. Moreover, the integration of visual and motor information may be intact and, indeed, represent a relative strength in 22q11DS when there are no time constraints imposed. While this may have significant implications for cognitive remediation strategies for children with 22q11DS, the relationship between reaction time, visual reasoning, cognitive complexity, fine motor speed and accuracy, and graphomotor ability on visual-motor tasks is still unclear.

  20. Processing of visual information compromises the ability of older adults to control novel fine motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Baweja, Harsimran S; Kwon, MinHyuk; Onushko, Tanya; Wright, David L; Corcos, Daniel M; Christou, Evangelos A

    2015-12-01

    We performed two experiments to determine whether amplified motor output variability and compromised processing of visual information in older adults impair short-term adaptations when learning novel fine motor tasks. In Experiment 1, 12 young and 12 older adults underwent training to learn how to accurately trace a sinusoidal position target with abduction-adduction of their index finger. They performed 48 trials, which included 8 blocks of 6 trials (the last trial of each block was performed without visual feedback). Afterward, subjects received an interference task (watched a movie) for 60 min. We tested retention by asking subjects to perform the sinusoidal task (5 trials) with and without visual feedback. In Experiment 2, 12 young and 10 older adults traced the same sinusoidal position target with their index finger and ankle at three distinct visual angles (0.25°, 1° and 5.4°). In Experiment 1, the movement error and variability were greater for older adults during the visual feedback trials when compared with young adults. In contrast, during the no-vision trials, age-associated differences in movement error and variability were ameliorated. Short-term adaptations in learning the sinusoidal task were similar for young and older adults. In Experiment 2, lower amount of visual feedback minimized the age-associated differences in movement variability for both the index finger and ankle movements. We demonstrate that although short-term adaptations are similar for young and older adults, older adults do not process visual information as well as young adults and that compromises their ability to control novel fine motor tasks during acquisition, which could influence long-term retention and transfer.

  1. Task-Dependent Intermuscular Motor Unit Synchronization between Medial and Lateral Vastii Muscles during Dynamic and Isometric Squats

    PubMed Central

    Mohr, Maurice; Nann, Marius; von Tscharner, Vinzenz; Eskofier, Bjoern; Nigg, Benno Maurus

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Motor unit activity is coordinated between many synergistic muscle pairs but the functional role of this coordination for the motor output is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term modality of coordinated motor unit activity–the synchronized discharge of individual motor units across muscles within time intervals of 5ms–for the Vastus Medialis (VM) and Lateralis (VL). Furthermore, we studied the task-dependency of intermuscular motor unit synchronization between VM and VL during static and dynamic squatting tasks to provide insight into its functional role. Methods Sixteen healthy male and female participants completed four tasks: Bipedal squats, single-leg squats, an isometric squat, and single-leg balance. Monopolar surface electromyography (EMG) was used to record motor unit activity of VM and VL. For each task, intermuscular motor unit synchronization was determined using a coherence analysis between the raw EMG signals of VM and VL and compared to a reference coherence calculated from two desynchronized EMG signals. The time shift between VM and VL EMG signals was estimated according to the slope of the coherence phase angle spectrum. Results For all tasks, except for singe-leg balance, coherence between 15–80Hz significantly exceeded the reference. The corresponding time shift between VM and VL was estimated as 4ms. Coherence between 30–60Hz was highest for the bipedal squat, followed by the single-leg squat and the isometric squat. Conclusion There is substantial short-term motor unit synchronization between VM and VL. Intermuscular motor unit synchronization is enhanced for contractions during dynamic activities, possibly to facilitate a more accurate control of the joint torque, and reduced during single-leg tasks that require balance control and thus, a more independent muscle function. It is proposed that the central nervous system scales the degree of intermuscular motor unit synchronization according to the

  2. Motor Imagery in Asperger Syndrome: Testing Action Simulation by the Hand Laterality Task

    PubMed Central

    Conson, Massimiliano; Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Frolli, Alessandro; Esposito, Dalila; Marino, Nicoletta; Trojano, Luigi; Massagli, Angelo; Gison, Giovanna; Aprea, Nellantonio; Grossi, Dario

    2013-01-01

    Asperger syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental condition within the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) characterized by specific difficulties in social interaction, communication and behavioural control. In recent years, it has been suggested that ASD is related to a dysfunction of action simulation processes, but studies employing imitation or action observation tasks provided mixed results. Here, we addressed action simulation processes in adolescents with AS by means of a motor imagery task, the classical hand laterality task (to decide whether a rotated hand image is left or right); mental rotation of letters was also evaluated. As a specific marker of action simulation in hand rotation, we assessed the so-called biomechanical effect, that is the advantage for judging hand pictures showing physically comfortable versus physically awkward positions. We found the biomechanical effect in typically-developing participants but not in participants with AS. Overall performance on both hand laterality and letter rotation tasks, instead, did not differ in the two groups. These findings demonstrated a specific alteration of motor imagery skills in AS. We suggest that impaired mental simulation and imitation of goal-less movements in ASD could be related to shared cognitive mechanisms. PMID:23894683

  3. Sleep-Related Offline Improvements in Gross Motor Task Performance Occur Under Free Recall Requirements

    PubMed Central

    Malangré, Andreas; Blischke, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Nocturnal sleep effects on memory consolidation following gross motor sequence learning were examined using a complex arm movement task. This task required participants to produce non-regular spatial patterns in the horizontal plane by successively fitting a small peg into different target-holes on an electronic pegboard. The respective reaching movements typically differed in amplitude and direction. Targets were visualized prior to each transport movement on a computer screen. With this task we tested 18 subjects (22.6 ± 1.9 years; 8 female) using a between-subjects design. Participants initially learned a 10-element arm movement sequence either in the morning or in the evening. Performance was retested under free recall requirements 15 min post training, as well as 12 and 24 h later. Thus, each group was provided with one sleep-filled and one wake retention interval. Dependent variables were error rate (number of Erroneous Sequences, ES) and average sequence execution time (correct sequences only). Performance improved during acquisition. Error rate remained stable across retention. Sequence execution time (inverse to execution speed) significantly decreased again during the sleep-filled retention intervals, but remained stable during the respective wake intervals. These results corroborate recent findings on sleep-related enhancement consolidation in ecological valid, complex gross motor tasks. At the same time, they suggest this effect to be truly memory-based and independent from repeated access to extrinsic sequence information during retests. PMID:27065834

  4. Short-term adaptation to a simple motor task: a physiological process preserved in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Mancini, L; Ciccarelli, O; Manfredonia, F; Thornton, J S; Agosta, F; Barkhof, F; Beckmann, C; De Stefano, N; Enzinger, C; Fazekas, F; Filippi, M; Gass, A; Hirsch, J G; Johansen-Berg, H; Kappos, L; Korteweg, T; Manson, S C; Marino, S; Matthews, P M; Montalban, X; Palace, J; Polman, C; Rocca, M; Ropele, S; Rovira, A; Wegner, C; Friston, K; Thompson, A; Yousry, T

    2009-04-01

    Short-term adaptation indicates the attenuation of the functional MRI (fMRI) response during repeated task execution. It is considered to be a physiological process, but it is unknown whether short-term adaptation changes significantly in patients with brain disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). In order to investigate short-term adaptation during a repeated right-hand tapping task in both controls and in patients with MS, we analyzed the fMRI data collected in a large cohort of controls and MS patients who were recruited into a multi-centre European fMRI study. Four fMRI runs were acquired for each of the 55 controls and 56 MS patients at baseline and 33 controls and 26 MS patients at 1-year follow-up. The externally cued (1 Hz) right hand tapping movement was limited to 3 cm amplitude by using at all sites (7 at baseline and 6 at follow-up) identically manufactured wooden frames. No significant differences in cerebral activation were found between sites. Furthermore, our results showed linear response adaptation (i.e. reduced activation) from run 1 to run 4 (over a 25 minute period) in the primary motor area (contralateral more than ipsilateral), in the supplementary motor area and in the primary sensory cortex, sensory-motor cortex and cerebellum, bilaterally. This linear activation decay was the same in both control and patient groups, did not change between baseline and 1-year follow-up and was not influenced by the modest disease progression observed over 1 year. These findings confirm that the short-term adaptation to a simple motor task is a physiological process which is preserved in MS.

  5. Individual variation in sleep and motor activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiangdong; Yang, Linghui; Sanford, Larry D

    2007-06-04

    We examined individual differences in sleep and motor activity across 2 consecutive days in rats. EEG and motor activity were recorded via telemetry in Wistar rats (n=29) for 48h under well-habituated conditions. Rats were grouped based on sleep amounts and stability across days (short [SS, n=7], intermediate [IS, n=15] and long [LS, n=7] sleep) and comparisons were conducted to determine group differences for measures of sleep and motor activity. We found that correlations across recording days were significant for all selected sleep measures and motor activity counts. Rankings for 24h total sleep time and non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) were SSmotor activity counts (per waking min) were greater (32-38%) in SS compared to LS rats on both recording days. The results indicate that individual differences in sleep and motor activity in Wistar rats are stable across days. Differences between SS and LS rats have parallels to those reported for short and long sleep humans.

  6. Putamen neurons process both sensory and motor information during a complex task.

    PubMed

    Vicente, Ana F; Bermudez, Maria A; Romero, Maria Del Carmen; Perez, Rogelio; Gonzalez, Francisco

    2012-07-23

    The putamen has classically been considered to be primarily a motor structure. It is involved in a broad range of roles and its neurons have been postulated to function as pattern classifiers of behaviourally significant events. However, its specific role in motor and sensory processing is still unclear. For the purpose of better categorizing putamen neurons, we trained two rhesus monkeys to perform multisensory operant tasks by using complex stimuli such as short videoclips. Trials involved image or soundtrack or both. Some stimuli required a motor response associated to reward, whereas others did not require response and produced no reward. We found that neurons in the putamen showed pure visual responses, action-related activity, and reward responses. Insofar as action-related activity, preparation of movement, movement execution, and withholding of movement involved three different putamen neuron populations. Moreover, our data suggest an involvement of putamen neurons in processing primary rewards and visual events in a complex task, which may contribute to reinforcement learning through stimulus-reward association.

  7. EEG Source Imaging Enhances the Decoding of Complex Right Hand Motor Imagery Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Edelman, Bradley J.; Baxter, Bryan

    2015-01-01

    Goal Sensorimotor-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have achieved successful control of real and virtual devices in up to three dimensions; however, the traditional sensor-based paradigm limits the intuitive use of these systems. Many control signals for state-of-the-art BCIs involve imagining the movement of body parts that have little to do with the output command, revealing a cognitive disconnection between the user’s intent and the action of the end effector. Therefore, there is a need to develop techniques which can identify with high spatial resolution the self-modulated neural activity reflective of the actions of a helpful output device. Methods We extend previous EEG source imaging (ESI) work to decoding natural hand/wrist manipulations by applying a novel technique to classifying four complex motor imaginations of the right hand: flexion, extension, supination and pronation. Results We report an increase of up to 18.6% for individual task classification and 12.7% for overall classification using the proposed ESI approach over the traditional sensor-based method. Conclusion ESI is able to enhance BCI performance of decoding complex right hand motor imagery tasks. Significance The present work may lead to the development of BCI systems with naturalistic and intuitive motor imaginations, thus facilitating broad use of non-invasive BCIs. PMID:26276986

  8. Peripheral neuropathy reduces asymmetries in inter-limb transfer in a visuo-motor task.

    PubMed

    Pan, Zhujun; Van Gemmert, Arend W A

    2016-01-01

    Asymmetry of inter-limb transfer has been associated with the specialization of the dominant and non-dominant motor system. Reductions of asymmetry have been interpreted as behavioural evidence showing a decline of hemispheric lateralization. A previous study showed that ageing did not qualitatively change the inter-limb transfer asymmetry of a visuo-motor task. The current study elaborates on these findings; it examines whether diminished somatosensory information as a result of peripheral neuropathy (PN) adversely affects inter-limb transfer asymmetry. Twenty individuals affected by PN and 20 older controls were recruited and divided equally across two groups. One group trained a visuo-motor task with the right hand while the other group trained it with the left hand. Performance (initial direction error) of the untrained hand before and after training was collected to determine learning effects from inter-limb transfer. Similar to previous studies, the current study showed asymmetric inter-limb transfer in older controls. In contrast, PN showed inter-limb transfer in both directions indicating that PN reduces inter-limb transfer asymmetry. Increased bilateral hemispheric recruitment is suggested to be responsible for this reduced asymmetry which may compensate for deteriorated tactile and/or proprioceptive inputs in PN. Two possible hypotheses are discussed explaining the relationship between declined somatosensory information and increases in bilateral hemispheric recruitment.

  9. Inhibitory motor control in apneic and insomniac patients: a stop task study.

    PubMed

    Sagaspe, Patricia; Philip, Pierre; Schwartz, Sophie

    2007-12-01

    The aim of this study was to assess with a stop task the inhibitory motor control efficiency--a major component of executive control functions--in patients suffering from sleep disorders. Twenty-two patients with untreated obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) (mean age 46 +/- 9 years; mean apnea-hypopnea index, AHI = 30 +/- 20) and 13 patients with psychophysiological insomnia (mean age 47 +/- 12 years) were compared with individually matched healthy controls. Sleep disturbances in the patient populations were clinically and polysomnographically diagnosed. The stop task has a frequent visual 'Go' stimulus to set up a response tendency and a less frequent auditory 'Stop' signal to withhold the planned or prepotent response. The stop signal reaction time (SSRT) reflects the time to internally suppress the ongoing response. SSRT was slower for the apneic patients than for their respective controls (248 +/- 107 versus 171 +/- 115 ms, anova, P < 0.05) but not for the insomniac patients compared with their controls (235 +/- 112 versus 194 +/- 109 ms, NS). Moreover, in apneic patients, slower SSRT was associated with lower nocturnal oxygen saturation (r = -0.477, P < 0.05). By contrast, neither apneics nor insomniacs differed from their matched controls for reaction times on Go trials. To conclude, unlike insomniacs, OSAS patients present an impaired inhibitory motor control, an executive function which is required in many common everyday life situations. Inhibitory motor control relies on the integrity of the inferior prefrontal cortex, which could be affected by nocturnal oxyhemoglobin desaturation in apneic patients.

  10. Changes in the theta band coherence during motor task after hand immobilization.

    PubMed

    Brauns, Igor; Teixeira, Silmar; Velasques, Bruna; Bittencourt, Juliana; Machado, Sergio; Cagy, Mauricio; Gongora, Mariana; Bastos, Victor Hugo; Machado, Dionis; Sandoval-Carrillo, Ada; Salas-Pacheco, Jose; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro; Arias-Carrión, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    Many different factors can temporarily or permanently impair movement and impairs cortical organization, e.g. hand immobilization. Such changes have been widely studied using electroencephalography. Within this context, we have investigated the immobilization effects through the theta band coherence analysis, in order to find out whether the immobilization period causes any changes in the inter and intra-hemispheric coherence within the cerebral cortex, as well as to observe whether the theta band provides any information about the neural mechanisms involved during the motor act. We analyzed the cortical changes that occurred after 48 hours of hand immobilization. The theta band coherence was study through electroencephalography in 30 healthy subjects, divided into two groups (control and experimental). Within both groups, the subjects executed a task involving flexion and extension of the index finger, before and after 48 hours. The experimental group, however, was actually submitted to hand immobilization. We were able to observe an increase in the coupling within the experimental group in the frontal, parietal and temporal regions, and a decrease in the motor area. In order to execute manual tasks after some time of movement restriction, greater coherence is present in areas related to attention, movement preparation and sensorimotor integration processes. These results may contribute to a detailed assessment of involved neurophysiological mechanism in motor act execution.

  11. Decreased Modulation of EEG Oscillations in High-Functioning Autism during a Motor Control Task

    PubMed Central

    Ewen, Joshua B.; Lakshmanan, Balaji M.; Pillai, Ajay S.; McAuliffe, Danielle; Nettles, Carrie; Hallett, Mark; Crone, Nathan E.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are thought to result in part from altered cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance; this pathophysiology may impact the generation of oscillations on electroencephalogram (EEG). We investigated premotor-parietal cortical physiology associated with praxis, which has strong theoretical and empirical associations with ASD symptomatology. Twenty five children with high-functioning ASD (HFA) and 33 controls performed a praxis task involving the pantomiming of tool use, while EEG was recorded. We assessed task-related modulation of signal power in alpha and beta frequency bands. Compared with controls, subjects with HFA showed 27% less left central (motor/premotor) beta (18–22 Hz) event-related desynchronization (ERD; p = 0.030), as well as 24% less left parietal alpha (7–13 Hz) ERD (p = 0.046). Within the HFA group, blunting of central ERD attenuation was associated with impairments in clinical measures of praxis imitation (r = −0.4; p = 0.04) and increased autism severity (r = 0.48; p = 0.016). The modulation of central beta activity is associated, among other things, with motor imagery, which may be necessary for imitation. Impaired imitation has been associated with core features of ASD. Altered modulation of oscillatory activity may be mechanistically involved in those aspects of motor network function that relate to the core symptoms of ASD. PMID:27199719

  12. Transfer of Short-Term Motor Learning across the Lower Limbs as a Function of Task Conception and Practice Order

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stockel, Tino; Wang, Jinsung

    2011-01-01

    Interlimb transfer of motor learning, indicating an improvement in performance with one limb following training with the other, often occurs asymmetrically (i.e., from non-dominant to dominant limb or vice versa, but not both). In the present study, we examined whether interlimb transfer of the same motor task could occur asymmetrically and in…

  13. Reading Rate, Readability and Variations in Task-Induced Processing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coke, Esther U.

    This study examined the adaptability of reading rate to passage difficulty under different conditions of task-induced processing. Sixteen experimental passages varying in subject matter and ranging from 85 to 171 words were selected from a set of 32 texts rated for comprehensibility. The eight easiest and eight hardest texts were selected. Another…

  14. Differences in motor variability among individuals performing a standardized short-cycle manual task.

    PubMed

    Sandlund, Jonas; Srinivasan, Divya; Heiden, Marina; Mathiassen, Svend Erik

    2017-01-01

    Motor variability (MV) has been suggested to be a determinant of the risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders in repetitive work. In this study we examined whether individuals consistently differed in the extent of motor variability when performing a standardized short-cycle manual task. On three separate days, arm kinematics was recorded in 14 healthy subjects performing a pipetting task, transferring liquid from a pick-up tube to eight target tubes with a cycle time of 2.8s. Cycle-to-cycle standard deviations (SD) of a large selection of shoulder and elbow kinematic variables, were processed using principal component analysis (PCA). Thereafter, between-subjects and between-days (within-subject) variance components were calculated using a random effects model for each of four extracted principal components. The results showed that MV differed consistently between subjects (95% confidence intervals of the between-subjects variances did not include zero) and that subjects differed consistently in MV between days. Thus, our results support the notion that MV may be a consistent personal trait, even though further research is needed to verify whether individuals rank consistently in MV even across tasks. If so, MV may be a candidate determinant of the risk of developing fatigue and musculoskeletal disorders in repetitive occupational work.

  15. Coherent oscillations in monkey motor cortex and hand muscle EMG show task-dependent modulation.

    PubMed Central

    Baker, S N; Olivier, E; Lemon, R N

    1997-01-01

    1. Recordings were made of local field potential (slow waves) and pyramidal tract neurone (PTN) discharge from pairs of sites separated by a horizontal distance of up to 1.5 mm in the primary motor cortex of two conscious macaque monkeys performing a precision grip task. 2. In both monkeys, the slow wave recordings showed bursts of oscillations in the 20-30 Hz range. Spectral analysis revealed that the oscillations were coherent between the two simultaneously recorded cortical sites. In the monkey from which most data were recorded, the mean frequency of peak coherence was 23.4 Hz. 3. Coherence in this frequency range was also seen between cortical slow wave recordings and rectified EMG of hand and forearm muscles active during the task, and between pairs of rectified EMGs. 4. The dynamics of the coherence were investigated by analysing short, quasi-stationary data segments aligned relative to task performance. This revealed that the 20-30 Hz coherent oscillations were present mainly during the hold phase of the precision grip task. 5. The spikes of identified PTNs were used to compile spike-triggered averages of the slow wave recordings. Oscillations were seen in 11/17 averages of the slow wave recorded on the same electrode as the triggering spike, and 11/17 averages of the slow wave recorded on the distant electrode. The mean period of these oscillations was 45.8 ms. 6. It is concluded that oscillations in the range 20-30 Hz are present in monkey motor cortex, are coherent between spatially separated cortical sites, and encompass the pyramidal tract output neurones. They are discernable in the EMG of active muscles, and show a consistent task-dependent modulation. Images Figure 3 Figure 6 Figure 7 PMID:9175005

  16. Adaptation of task difficulty in rehabilitation exercises based on the user's motor performance and physiological responses.

    PubMed

    Shirzad, Navid; Van der Loos, H F Machiel

    2013-06-01

    Although robot-assisted rehabilitation regimens are as effective, functionally, as conventional therapies, they still lack features to increase patients' engagement in the regimen. Providing rehabilitation tasks at a "desirable difficulty" is one of the ways to address this issue and increase the motivation of a patient to continue with the therapy program. Then the problem is to design a system that is capable of estimating the user's desirable difficulty, and ultimately, modifying the task based on this prediction. In this paper we compared the performance of three machine learning algorithms in predicting a user's desirable difficulty during a typical reaching motion rehabilitation task. Different levels of error amplification were used as different levels of task difficulty. We explored the usefulness of using participants' motor performance and physiological signals during the reaching task in prediction of their desirable difficulties. Results showed that a Neural Network approach gives higher prediction accuracy in comparison with models based on k-Nearest Neighbor and Discriminant Analysis methods.

  17. Effect of a Task-Oriented Rehabilitation Program on Upper Extremity Recovery Following Motor Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Winstein, Carolee J.; Wolf, Steven L.; Dromerick, Alexander W.; Lane, Christianne J.; Nelsen, Monica A.; Lewthwaite, Rebecca; Cen, Steven Yong; Azen, Stanley P.

    2016-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Clinical trials suggest that higher doses of task-oriented training are superior to current clinical practice for patients with stroke with upper extremity motor deficits. OBJECTIVE To compare the efficacy of a structured, task-oriented motor training program vs usual and customary occupational therapy (UCC) during stroke rehabilitation. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Phase 3, pragmatic, single-blind randomized trial among 361 participants with moderate motor impairment recruited from 7 US hospitals over 44 months, treated in the outpatient setting from June 2009 to March 2014. INTERVENTIONS Structured, task-oriented upper extremity training (Accelerated Skill Acquisition Program[ASAP]; n = 119); dose-equivalent occupational therapy (DEUCC; n = 120); or monitoring-only occupational therapy (UCC; n = 122). The DEUCC group was prescribed 30 one-hour sessions over 10 weeks; the UCC group was only monitored, without specification of dose. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was 12-month change in log-transformed Wolf Motor Function Test time score (WMFT, consisting of a mean of 15 timed arm movements and hand dexterity tasks). Secondary outcomes were change in WMFT time score (minimal clinically important difference [MCID] = 19 seconds) and proportion of patients improving ≥25 points on the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS) hand function score (MCID = 17.8 points). RESULTS Among the 361 randomized patients (mean age, 60.7 years; 56% men; 42% African American; mean time since stroke onset, 46 days), 304 (84%) completed the 12-month primary outcome assessment; in intention-to-treat analysis, mean group change scores (log WMFT, baseline to 12 months) were, for the ASAP group, 2.2 to 1.4 (difference, 0.82); DEUCC group, 2.0 to 1.2 (difference, 0.84); and UCC group, 2.1 to 1.4 (difference, 0.75), with no significant between-group differences (ASAP vs DEUCC:0.14; 95% CI, −0.05 to 0.33; P = .16; ASAP vs UCC: −0.01; 95% CI, −0.22 to 0.21; P = .94; and

  18. Task-specific contribution of the human striatum to perceptual-motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Cavaco, Sara; Anderson, Steven W; Correia, Manuel; Magalhaes, Marina; Pereira, Claudia; Tuna, Assuncao; Taipa, Ricardo; Pinto, Pedro; Pinto, Claudia; Cruz, Romeu; Lima, Antonio Bastos; Castro-Caldas, Alexandre; da Silva, Antonio Martins; Damasio, Hanna

    2011-01-01

    Acquisition of new perceptual-motor skills depends on multiple brain areas, including the striatum. However, the specific contribution of each structure to this type of learning is still poorly understood. Focusing on the striatum, we proposed (a) to replicate the finding of impaired rotary pursuit (RP) and preserved mirror tracing (MT) in Huntington's disease (HD); and (b) to further explore this putative learning dissociation with other human models of striatal dysfunction (i.e., Parkinson's disease and focal vascular damage) and two new paradigms (i.e., Geometric Figures, GF, and Control Stick, CS) of skill learning. Regardless of the etiology, participants with damage to the striatum showed impaired learning of visuomotor tracking skills (i.e., RP and GF), whereas the ability to learn skills that require motor adaptation (i.e., MT and CS) was not affected. These results suggest a task-specific involvement of the striatum in the early stages of skill learning.

  19. Task-specificity of unilateral anodal and dual-M1 tDCS effects on motor learning.

    PubMed

    Karok, Sophia; Fletcher, David; Witney, Alice G

    2017-01-08

    Task-specific effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on motor learning were investigated in 30 healthy participants. In a sham-controlled, mixed design, participants trained on 3 different motor tasks (Purdue Pegboard Test, Visuomotor Grip Force Tracking Task and Visuomotor Wrist Rotation Speed Control Task) over 3 consecutive days while receiving either unilateral anodal over the right primary motor cortex (M1), dual-M1 or sham stimulation. Retention sessions were administered 7 and 28 days after the end of training. In the Purdue Pegboard Test, both anodal and dual-M1 stimulation reduced average completion time approximately equally, an improvement driven by online learning effects and maintained for about 1 week. The Visuomotor Grip Force Tracking Task and the Visuomotor Wrist Rotation Speed Control Task were associated with an advantage of dual-M1 tDCS in consolidation processes both between training sessions and when testing at long-term retention; both were maintained for at least 1 month. This study demonstrates that M1-tDCS enhances and sustains motor learning with different electrode montages. Stimulation-induced effects emerged at different learning phases across the tasks, which strongly suggests that the influence of tDCS on motor learning is dynamic with respect to the functional recruitment of the distributed motor system at the time of stimulation. Divergent findings regarding M1-tDCS effects on motor learning may partially be ascribed to task-specific consequences and the effects of offline consolidation.

  20. The effect of dual-task difficulty on the inhibition of the motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Corp, Daniel T; Rogers, Mark A; Youssef, George J; Pearce, Alan J

    2016-02-01

    Dual-tasking is intrinsic to many daily activities, including walking and driving. However, the activity of the primary motor cortex (M1) in response to dual-tasks (DT) is still not well characterised. A recent meta-analysis (Corp in Neurosci Biobehav Rev 43:74-87, 2014) demonstrated a reduction in M1 inhibition during dual-tasking, yet responses were not consistent between studies. It was suggested that DT difficulty might account for some of this between-study variability. The aim of this study was to investigate whether corticospinal excitability and M1 inhibition differed between an easier and more difficult dual-task. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied to participants' abductor pollicis brevis muscle representation during a concurrent pincer grip task and stationary bike-riding. The margin of error in which to maintain pincer grip force was reduced to increase task difficulty. Compared to ST conditions, significantly increased M1 inhibition was demonstrated for the easier, but not more difficult, DT. However, there was no significant difference in M1 inhibition between easy and difficult DTs. The difference in difficulty between the two tasks may not have been wide enough to result in significant differences in M1 inhibition. Increased M1 inhibition for the easy DT condition was in opposition to the reduction in M1 inhibition found in our meta-analysis (Corp in Neurosci Biobehav Rev 43:74-87, 2014). We propose that this may be partially explained by differences in the timing of the TMS pulse between DT studies.

  1. Temporal Accumulation and Decision Processes in the Duration Bisection Task Revealed by Contingent Negative Variation

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Kwun Kei; Tobin, Simon; Penney, Trevor B.

    2011-01-01

    The duration bisection paradigm is a classic task used to examine how humans and other animals perceive time. Typically, participants first learn short and long anchor durations and are subsequently asked to classify probe durations as closer to the short or long anchor duration. However, the specific representations of time and the decision rules applied in this task remain the subject of debate. For example, researchers have questioned whether participants actually use representations of the short and long anchor durations in the decision process rather than merely a response threshold that is derived from those anchor durations. Electroencephalographic (EEG) measures, like the contingent negative variation (CNV), can provide information about the perceptual and cognitive processes that occur between the onset of the timing stimulus and the motor response. The CNV has been implicated as an electrophysiological marker of interval timing processes such as temporal accumulation, representation of the target duration, and the decision that the target duration has been attained. We used the CNV to investigate which durations are involved in the bisection categorization decision. The CNV increased in amplitude up to the value of the short anchor, remained at a constant level until about the geometric mean (GM) of the short and long anchors, and then began to resolve. These results suggest that the short anchor and the GM of the short and long anchors are critical target durations used in the bisection categorization decision process. In addition, larger mean N1P2 amplitude differences were associated with larger amplitude CNVs, which may reflect the participant’s precision in initiating timing on each trial across a test session. Overall, the results demonstrate the value of using scalp-recorded EEG to address basic questions about interval timing. PMID:22144952

  2. Development of Vestibular Stochastic Resonance as a Sensorimotor Countermeasure: Improving Otolith Ocular and Motor Task Responses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Fiedler, Matthew; DeDios,Yiri E.; Galvan, Raquel; Bloomberg, Jacob; Wood, Scott

    2011-01-01

    Astronauts experience disturbances in sensorimotor function after spaceflight during the initial introduction to a gravitational environment, especially after long-duration missions. Stochastic resonance (SR) is a mechanism by which noise can assist and enhance the response of neural systems to relevant, imperceptible sensory signals. We have previously shown that imperceptible electrical stimulation of the vestibular system enhances balance performance while standing on an unstable surface. The goal of our present study is to develop a countermeasure based on vestibular SR that could improve central interpretation of vestibular input and improve motor task responses to mitigate associated risks.

  3. Subcortical neuronal ensembles: an analysis of motor task association, tremor, oscillations, and synchrony in human patients.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Timothy L; Fuller, Andrew M; Lebedev, Mikhail A; Turner, Dennis A; Nicolelis, Miguel A L

    2012-06-20

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has expanded as an effective treatment for motor disorders, providing a valuable opportunity for intraoperative recording of the spiking activity of subcortical neurons. The properties of these neurons and their potential utility in neuroprosthetic applications are not completely understood. During DBS surgeries in 25 human patients with either essential tremor or Parkinson's disease, we acutely recorded the single-unit activity of 274 ventral intermediate/ventral oralis posterior motor thalamus (Vim/Vop) neurons and 123 subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons. These subcortical neuronal ensembles (up to 23 neurons sampled simultaneously) were recorded while the patients performed a target-tracking motor task using a cursor controlled by a haptic glove. We observed that modulations in firing rate of a substantial number of neurons in both Vim/Vop and STN represented target onset, movement onset/direction, and hand tremor. Neurons in both areas exhibited rhythmic oscillations and pairwise synchrony. Notably, all tremor-associated neurons exhibited synchrony within the ensemble. The data further indicate that oscillatory (likely pathological) neurons and behaviorally tuned neurons are not distinct but rather form overlapping sets. Whereas previous studies have reported a linear relationship between power spectra of neuronal oscillations and hand tremor, we report a nonlinear relationship suggestive of complex encoding schemes. Even in the presence of this pathological activity, linear models were able to extract motor parameters from ensemble discharges. Based on these findings, we propose that chronic multielectrode recordings from Vim/Vop and STN could prove useful for further studying, monitoring, and even treating motor disorders.

  4. Dramatic effects of speech task on motor and linguistic planning in severely dysfluent parkinsonian speech

    PubMed Central

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana; Cameron, Krista; Sidtis, John J.

    2015-01-01

    In motor speech disorders, dysarthric features impacting intelligibility, articulation, fluency, and voice emerge more saliently in conversation than in repetition, reading, or singing. A role of the basal ganglia in these task discrepancies has been identified. Further, more recent studies of naturalistic speech in basal ganglia dysfunction have revealed that formulaic language is more impaired than novel language. This descriptive study extends these observations to a case of severely dysfluent dysarthria due to a parkinsonian syndrome. Dysfluencies were quantified and compared for conversation, two forms of repetition, reading, recited speech, and singing. Other measures examined phonetic inventories, word forms, and formulaic language. Phonetic, syllabic, and lexical dysfluencies were more abundant in conversation than in other task conditions. Formulaic expressions in conversation were reduced compared to normal speakers. A proposed explanation supports the notion that the basal ganglia contribute to formulation of internal models for execution of speech. PMID:22774929

  5. The Effects of Material and Task Variations on a Brief Cognitive Learning Strategies Training Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinstein, Claire E.; And Others

    Two studies were performed to investigate the effects of material and task variations in the acquisition of cognitive learning strategies. Groups of undergraduate students were taught to use mental imagery, meaningful elaboration, and grouping. The type of training task or the order of training and test materials differed for each of the…

  6. Hysteresis effects in a motor task with cotton-top tamarins (Sanguinus oedipus).

    PubMed

    Weiss, Daniel J; Wark, Jason

    2009-07-01

    The way human adults grasp an object is influenced by their recent history of motor actions. Previously executed grasps are often more likely to reoccur on subsequent grasps. This type of hysteresis effect has been incorporated into cognitive models of motor planning, suggesting that when planning movements, individuals tend to reuse recently used plans rather than generating new plans from scratch. To the best of our knowledge, the phylogenetic roots of this phenomenon have not been investigated. Here, the authors asked whether 6 cotton-top tamarin monkeys (Saguinus oedipus) would demonstrate a hysteresis effect on a reaching task. The authors tested the monkeys by placing marshmallow pieces within grasping distance of a hole through which the monkeys could reach. On subsequent trials, the marshmallow position changed such that it progressed in an arc in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. The authors asked whether the transition point in right- versus left-handed reaches would differ depending on the direction of the progression. The data supported this hysteresis prediction. The outcome provides additional support for the notion that human motor planning strategies may have a lengthy evolutionary history.

  7. Multisensory Integration in Non-Human Primates during a Sensory-Motor Task.

    PubMed

    Lanz, Florian; Moret, Véronique; Rouiller, Eric Michel; Loquet, Gérard

    2013-01-01

    Daily our central nervous system receives inputs via several sensory modalities, processes them and integrates information in order to produce a suitable behavior. The amazing part is that such a multisensory integration brings all information into a unified percept. An approach to start investigating this property is to show that perception is better and faster when multimodal stimuli are used as compared to unimodal stimuli. This forms the first part of the present study conducted in a non-human primate's model (n = 2) engaged in a detection sensory-motor task where visual and auditory stimuli were displayed individually or simultaneously. The measured parameters were the reaction time (RT) between stimulus and onset of arm movement, successes and errors percentages, as well as the evolution as a function of time of these parameters with training. As expected, RTs were shorter when the subjects were exposed to combined stimuli. The gains for both subjects were around 20 and 40 ms, as compared with the auditory and visual stimulus alone, respectively. Moreover the number of correct responses increased in response to bimodal stimuli. We interpreted such multisensory advantage through redundant signal effect which decreases perceptual ambiguity, increases speed of stimulus detection, and improves performance accuracy. The second part of the study presents single-unit recordings derived from the premotor cortex (PM) of the same subjects during the sensory-motor task. Response patterns to sensory/multisensory stimulation are documented and specific type proportions are reported. Characterization of bimodal neurons indicates a mechanism of audio-visual integration possibly through a decrease of inhibition. Nevertheless the neural processing leading to faster motor response from PM as a polysensory association cortical area remains still unclear.

  8. Action dynamics in multitasking: the impact of additional task factors on the execution of the prioritized motor movement

    PubMed Central

    Scherbaum, Stefan; Gottschalk, Caroline; Dshemuchadse, Maja; Fischer, Rico

    2015-01-01

    In multitasking, the execution of a prioritized task is in danger of crosstalk by the secondary task. Task shielding allows minimizing this crosstalk. However, the locus and temporal dynamics of crosstalk effects and further sources of influence on the execution of the prioritized task are to-date only vaguely understood. Here we combined a dual-task paradigm with an action dynamics approach and studied how and according to which temporal characteristics crosstalk, previously experienced interference and previously executed responses influenced participants' mouse movements in the prioritized task's execution. Investigating continuous mouse movements of the prioritized task, our results indicate a continuous crosstalk from secondary task processing until the endpoint of the movement was reached, although the secondary task could only be executed after finishing execution of the prioritized task. The motor movement in the prioritized task was further modulated by previously experienced interference between the prioritized and the secondary task. Furthermore, response biases from previous responses of the prioritized and the secondary task in movements indicate different sources of such biases. The bias by previous responses to the prioritized task follows a sustained temporal pattern typical for a contextual reactivation, while the bias by previous responses to the secondary task follows a decaying temporal pattern indicating residual activation of previously activated spatial codes. PMID:26217267

  9. Hemodynamic Response of the Supplementary Motor Area during Locomotor Tasks with Upright versus Horizontal Postures in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Obayashi, Shigeru; Nakajima, Katsumi; Hara, Yukihiro

    2016-01-01

    To understand cortical mechanisms related to truncal posture control during human locomotion, we investigated hemodynamic responses in the supplementary motor area (SMA) with quadrupedal and bipedal gaits using functional near-infrared spectroscopy in 10 healthy adults. The subjects performed three locomotor tasks where the degree of postural instability varied biomechanically, namely, hand-knee quadrupedal crawling (HKQuad task), upright quadrupedalism using bilateral Lofstrand crutches (UpQuad task), and typical upright bipedalism (UpBi task), on a treadmill. We measured the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) during the tasks. The oxy-Hb significantly decreased in the SMA during the HKQuad task, whereas it increased during the UpQuad task. No significant responses were observed during the UpBi task. Based on the degree of oxy-Hb responses, we ranked these locomotor tasks as UpQuad > UpBi > HKQuad. The order of the different tasks did not correspond with postural instability of the tasks. However, qualitative inspection of oxy-Hb time courses showed that oxy-Hb waveform patterns differed between upright posture tasks (peak-plateau-trough pattern for the UpQuad and UpBi tasks) and horizontal posture task (downhill pattern for the HKQuad task). Thus, the SMA may contribute to the control of truncal posture accompanying locomotor movements in humans. PMID:27413555

  10. No Effect of Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over the Motor Cortex on Response-Related ERPs during a Conflict Task

    PubMed Central

    Conley, Alexander C.; Fulham, W. R.; Marquez, Jodie L.; Parsons, Mark W.; Karayanidis, Frini

    2016-01-01

    Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the motor cortex is considered a potential treatment for motor rehabilitation following stroke and other neurological pathologies. However, both the context under which this stimulation is effective and the underlying mechanisms remain to be determined. In this study, we examined the mechanisms by which anodal tDCS may affect motor performance by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) during a cued go/nogo task after anodal tDCS over dominant primary motor cortex (M1) in young adults (Experiment 1) and both dominant and non-dominant M1 in older adults (Experiment 2). In both experiments, anodal tDCS had no effect on either response time (RT) or response-related ERPs, including the cue-locked contingent negative variation (CNV) and both target-locked and response-locked lateralized readiness potentials (LRP). Bayesian model selection analyses showed that, for all measures, the null effects model was stronger than a model including anodal tDCS vs. sham. We conclude that anodal tDCS has no effect on RT or response-related ERPs during a cued go/nogo task in either young or older adults. PMID:27547180

  11. The effect of exercise on motor performance tasks used in the neurological assessment of sports-related concussion.

    PubMed

    Schneiders, A G; Sullivan, S J; McCrory, P R; Gray, A; Maruthayanar, S; Singh, P; Ranhotigammage, P; Van der Salm, R

    2008-12-01

    Sports-related concussion is assessed using both cognitive and motor performance tasks. There is limited understanding of how exercise affects these measures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of moderate-intensity exercise on three selected measures of motor performance. A repeated measures design was used to compare baseline motor performance scores with post-exercise scores with an exercise intervention modelled on the physiological demands of a team sport. 30 physically active subjects performed timed motor performance tasks: Finger-to-Nose (FTN), Tandem Gait (TG) and Single Leg Stance (SLS). The tasks were administered twice pre-exercise and twice post-exercise. FTN, TG and SLS demonstrated high test-retest reliability (ICC values >0.8). 15 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise caused a significant improvement in FTN (T2 = 2.66 (SD 0.38), T3 = 2.49 (0.32); p<0.001) and TG (T2 = 13.08 (2.84), T3 = 12.23 (2.22); p = 0.001), but not in SLS (T2 = 5.94 (4.99), T3 = 5.91 (5.54); p = 0.507). Improvement in the performance of motor tasks after exercise has implications for the immediate assessment of sports-related concussion, given that measures of motor performance are utilised in concussion assessment instruments.

  12. Stability of age-related deficits in the mnemonic similarity task across task variations.

    PubMed

    Stark, Shauna M; Stevenson, Rebecca; Wu, Claudia; Rutledge, Samantha; Stark, Craig E L

    2015-06-01

    Several studies in our lab and others have demonstrated age-related declines in mnemonic discrimination during a recognition memory paradigm using repeated items, similar lures, and novel foils. In particular, older adults exhibit a shift in lure discriminability, identifying similar lures as old items at a greater rate than young adults. This shift likely reflects deficits in pattern separation processing as a result of underlying changes in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Here, we explored whether alterations in the task design could rescue the age-related impairment or whether it was ubiquitous as one might expect if the neurobiological mechanisms were truly disturbed by typical aging. Despite overt instructions to study item details during encoding, we replicated the age-related deficit in mnemonic discrimination. We established reliable effects with short lists of stimuli and with repeated testing. Altering the task design from a study/test to a continuous recognition paradigm replicated the age-related shift in lure discrimination as well. Modifying the task to an old/new response (rather than old/similar/new) showed the same effect and a d' analysis showed that lure items were more akin to target items in older adults. Finally, we varied the test instructions in order to promote gist or veridical responses in the old/new task. Even these overt veridical test instructions did not ameliorate older adults' lure discrimination problems. Together, these findings demonstrate the robust nature of this age-related deficit and support the hypothesis that typical aging results in neurobiological changes that underlie this impairment.

  13. The influence of catch trials on the consolidation of motor memory in force field adaptation tasks.

    PubMed

    Focke, Anne; Stockinger, Christian; Diepold, Christina; Taubert, Marco; Stein, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    In computational neuroscience it is generally accepted that human motor memory contains neural representations of the physics of the musculoskeletal system and the objects in the environment. These representations are called "internal models". Force field studies, in which subjects have to adapt to dynamic perturbations induced by a robotic manipulandum, are an established tool to analyze the characteristics of such internal models. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether catch trials during force field learning could influence the consolidation of motor memory in more complex tasks. Thereby, the force field was more than double the force field of previous studies (35 N·s/m). Moreover, the arm of the subjects was not supported. A total of 46 subjects participated in this study and performed center-out movements at a robotic manipulandum in two different force fields. Two control groups learned force field A on day 1 and were retested in the same force field on day 3 (AA). Two test groups additionally learned an interfering force field B (= -A) on day 2 (ABA). The difference between the two test and control groups, respectively, was the absence (0%) or presence (19%) of catch trials, in which the force field was turned-off suddenly. The results showed consolidation of force field A on day 3 for both control groups. Test groups showed no consolidation of force field A (19% catch trials) and even poorer performance on day 3 (0% catch trials). In conclusion, it can be stated that catch trials seem to have a positive effect on the performance on day 3 but do not trigger a consolidation process as shown in previous studies that used a lower force field viscosity with supported arm. These findings indicate that the results of previous studies in which less complex tasks were analyzed, cannot be fully transferred to more complex tasks. Moreover, the effects of catch trials in these situations are insufficiently understood and further research is needed.

  14. Geographic variations in mortality from motor vehicle crashes.

    PubMed

    Baker, S P; Whitfield, R A; O'Neill, B

    1987-05-28

    Using a new technique to study the mortality associated with motor vehicle crashes, we calculated population-based death rates of occupants of motor vehicles during the period 1979 through 1981 and mapped them according to county for the 48 contiguous states of the United States. Mortality was highest in counties of low population density (r = 0.57; P less than 0.0001) and was also inversely correlated with per capita income (r = 0.23; P less than 0.0001). Death rates varied more than 100-fold; for example, Esmeralda County, Nevada, with 0.2 residents per square mile (2.6 km2), had a death rate of 558 per 100,000 population, as compared with Manhattan, New York, with 64,000 residents per square mile and a death rate of 2.5 per 100,000. Differences in road characteristics, travel speeds, seat-belt use, types of vehicles, and availability of emergency care may have been major contributors to these relations.

  15. Oscillations in the power spectra of motor unit signals caused by refractoriness variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, X. L.; Tong, K. Y.; Hung, L. K.

    2004-09-01

    The refractory period of a motor unit is an important mechanism that regulates the motor unit firing, and its variation has been found in many physiological cases. In this study, a new observation that an increase in the motor unit refractoriness results in an enhancement of oscillations, or ripple effects, in the motor unit output power density spectra (PDS) has been identified and studied. The effects of the refractoriness variation on the PDS of motor unit firing were investigated on three levels: theoretical modeling, simulation and electromyographic (EMG) experimentation on human subjects. Both theoretical modeling and simulation showed the enhanced oscillations, ripple effects, in MUAPT PDS, given the increase in the refractoriness. It was also found that the extent of the increment in output PDS oscillation could be related to the motor unit size and the mean firing rate of the stimulation. A needle EMG experiment on biceps brachii muscles of five healthy human subjects was carried out during isometric contraction at 20% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) for 20 s with a fatigue effort proceeded by MVC. The increased oscillations in the PDS of the real MUAPTs were observed with the rising of the motor unit refractoriness due to fatigue. The study gives new information for EMG spectra interpretation, and also provides a potential method for accessing neuromuscular transmission failure (NTF) due to fatigue during voluntary contraction.

  16. Signal, Noise, and Variation in Neural and Sensory-Motor Latency.

    PubMed

    Lee, Joonyeol; Joshua, Mati; Medina, Javier F; Lisberger, Stephen G

    2016-04-06

    Analysis of the neural code for sensory-motor latency in smooth pursuit eye movements reveals general principles of neural variation and the specific origin of motor latency. The trial-by-trial variation in neural latency in MT comprises a shared component expressed as neuron-neuron latency correlations and an independent component that is local to each neuron. The independent component arises heavily from fluctuations in the underlying probability of spiking, with an unexpectedly small contribution from the stochastic nature of spiking itself. The shared component causes the latency of single-neuron responses in MT to be weakly predictive of the behavioral latency of pursuit. Neural latency deeper in the motor system is more strongly predictive of behavioral latency. A model reproduces both the variance of behavioral latency and the neuron-behavior latency correlations in MT if it includes realistic neural latency variation, neuron-neuron latency correlations in MT, and noisy gain control downstream of MT.

  17. Improving posture-motor dual-task with a supraposture-focus strategy in young and elderly adults.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shu-Han; Huang, Cheng-Ya

    2017-01-01

    In a postural-suprapostural task, appropriate prioritization is necessary to achieve task goals and maintain postural stability. A "posture-first" principle is typically favored by elderly people in order to secure stance stability, but this comes at the cost of reduced suprapostural performance. Using a postural-suprapostural task with a motor suprapostural goal, this study investigated differences between young and older adults in dual-task cost across varying task prioritization paradigms. Eighteen healthy young (mean age: 24.8 ± 5.2 years) and 18 older (mean age: 68.8 ± 3.7 years) adults executed a designated force-matching task from a stabilometer board using either a stabilometer stance (posture-focus strategy) or force-matching (supraposture-focus strategy) as the primary task. The dual-task effect (DTE: % change in dual-task condition; positive value: dual-task benefit, negative value: dual-task cost) of force-matching error and reaction time (RT), posture error, and approximate entropy (ApEn) of stabilometer movement were measured. When using the supraposture-focus strategy, young adults exhibited larger DTE values in each behavioral parameter than when using the posture-focus strategy. The older adults using the supraposture-focus strategy also attained larger DTE values for posture error, stabilometer movement ApEn, and force-matching error than when using the posture-focus strategy. These results suggest that the supraposture-focus strategy exerted an increased dual-task benefit for posture-motor dual-tasking in both healthy young and elderly adults. The present findings imply that the older adults should make use of the supraposture-focus strategy for fall prevention during dual-task execution.

  18. Improving posture-motor dual-task with a supraposture-focus strategy in young and elderly adults

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Shu-Han

    2017-01-01

    In a postural-suprapostural task, appropriate prioritization is necessary to achieve task goals and maintain postural stability. A “posture-first” principle is typically favored by elderly people in order to secure stance stability, but this comes at the cost of reduced suprapostural performance. Using a postural-suprapostural task with a motor suprapostural goal, this study investigated differences between young and older adults in dual-task cost across varying task prioritization paradigms. Eighteen healthy young (mean age: 24.8 ± 5.2 years) and 18 older (mean age: 68.8 ± 3.7 years) adults executed a designated force-matching task from a stabilometer board using either a stabilometer stance (posture-focus strategy) or force-matching (supraposture-focus strategy) as the primary task. The dual-task effect (DTE: % change in dual-task condition; positive value: dual-task benefit, negative value: dual-task cost) of force-matching error and reaction time (RT), posture error, and approximate entropy (ApEn) of stabilometer movement were measured. When using the supraposture-focus strategy, young adults exhibited larger DTE values in each behavioral parameter than when using the posture-focus strategy. The older adults using the supraposture-focus strategy also attained larger DTE values for posture error, stabilometer movement ApEn, and force-matching error than when using the posture-focus strategy. These results suggest that the supraposture-focus strategy exerted an increased dual-task benefit for posture-motor dual-tasking in both healthy young and elderly adults. The present findings imply that the older adults should make use of the supraposture-focus strategy for fall prevention during dual-task execution. PMID:28151943

  19. Keeping an eye on the violinist: motor experts show superior timing consistency in a visual perception task

    PubMed Central

    Cañal-Bruland, Rouwen

    2010-01-01

    Common coding theory states that perception and action may reciprocally induce each other. Consequently, motor expertise should map onto perceptual consistency in specific tasks such as predicting the exact timing of a musical entry. To test this hypothesis, ten string musicians (motor experts), ten non-string musicians (visual experts), and ten non-musicians were asked to watch progressively occluded video recordings of a first violinist indicating entries to fellow members of a string quartet. Participants synchronised with the perceived timing of the musical entries. Results revealed significant effects of motor expertise on perception. Compared to visual experts and non-musicians, string players not only responded more accurately, but also with less timing variability. These findings provide evidence that motor experts’ consistency in movement execution—a key characteristic of expert motor performance—is mirrored in lower variability in perceptual judgements, indicating close links between action competence and perception. PMID:20300943

  20. Keeping an eye on the violinist: motor experts show superior timing consistency in a visual perception task.

    PubMed

    Wöllner, Clemens; Cañal-Bruland, Rouwen

    2010-11-01

    Common coding theory states that perception and action may reciprocally induce each other. Consequently, motor expertise should map onto perceptual consistency in specific tasks such as predicting the exact timing of a musical entry. To test this hypothesis, ten string musicians (motor experts), ten non-string musicians (visual experts), and ten non-musicians were asked to watch progressively occluded video recordings of a first violinist indicating entries to fellow members of a string quartet. Participants synchronised with the perceived timing of the musical entries. Results revealed significant effects of motor expertise on perception. Compared to visual experts and non-musicians, string players not only responded more accurately, but also with less timing variability. These findings provide evidence that motor experts' consistency in movement execution-a key characteristic of expert motor performance-is mirrored in lower variability in perceptual judgements, indicating close links between action competence and perception.

  1. Re-examining sleep׳s effect on motor skills: How to access performance on the finger tapping task?

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro Pereira, Sofia Isabel; Beijamini, Felipe; Vincenzi, Roberta Almeida; Louzada, Fernando Mazzilli

    2015-01-01

    Here our goal was to determine the magnitude of sleep-related motor skill enhancement. Performance on the finger tapping task (FTT) was evaluated after a 90 min daytime nap (n=15) or after quiet wakefulness (n=15). By introducing a slight modification in the formula used to calculate the offline gains we were able to refine the estimated magnitude of sleep׳s effect on motor skills. The raw value of improvement after a nap decreased after this correction (from ~15% to ~5%), but remained significantly higher than the control. These results suggest that sleep does indeed play a role in motor skill consolidation. PMID:26483936

  2. Explicit knowledge enhances motor vigor and performance: motivation versus practice in sequence tasks

    PubMed Central

    Lindquist, Martin A.; Haith, Adrian M.; Krakauer, John W.

    2015-01-01

    Motor skill learning involves a practice-induced improvement in the speed and/or accuracy of a discrete movement. It is often thought that paradigms involving repetitive practice of discrete movements performed in a fixed sequence result in a further enhancement of skill beyond practice of the individual movements in a random order. Sequence-specific performance improvements could, however, arise without practice as a result of knowledge of the sequence order; knowledge could operate by either enabling advanced motor planning of the known sequence elements or by increasing overall motivation. Here, we examined how knowledge and practice contribute to performance of a sequence of movements. We found that explicit knowledge provided through instruction produced practice-independent improvements in reaction time and execution quality. These performance improvements occurred even for random elements within a partially known sequence, indicative of a general motivational effect rather than a sequence-specific effect of advanced planning. This motivational effect suggests that knowledge influences performance in a manner analogous to reward. Additionally, practice led to similar improvements in execution quality for both known and random sequences. The lack of interaction between knowledge and practice suggests that any skill acquisition occurring during discrete sequence tasks arises solely from practice of the individual movement elements, independent of their order. We conclude that performance improvements in discrete sequence tasks arise from the combination of knowledge-based motivation and sequence-independent practice; investigating this interplay between cognition and movement may facilitate a greater understanding of the acquisition of skilled behavior. PMID:25904709

  3. Proactive and retroactive transfer of middle age adults in a sequential motor learning task.

    PubMed

    Verneau, Marion; van der Kamp, John; Savelsbergh, Geert J P; de Looze, Michiel P

    2015-03-01

    We assessed the effects of aging in the transfer of motor learning in a sequential manual assembly task that is representative for real working conditions. On two different days, young (18-30 years) and middle-aged adults (50-65 years) practiced to build two products that consisted of the same six components but which had to be assembled in a partly different order. Assembly accuracy and movement time during tests, which were performed before and after the practice sessions, were compared to determine proactive and retroactive transfer. The results showed proactive facilitation (i.e., benefits from having learned the first product on learning the second one) in terms of an overall shortening of movement time in both age-groups. In addition, only the middle-aged adults were found to show sequence-specific proactive facilitation, in which the shortening of movement time was limited to components that had the same the order in the two products. Most likely, however, the sequence-specific transfer was an epiphenomenon of the comparatively low rate of learning among the middle-aged adults. The results, however, did reveal genuine differences between the groups for retroactive transfer (i.e., effects from learning the second product on performance of the first). Middle-aged adults tended to show more pronounced retroactive interference in terms of a general decrease in accuracy, while younger adults showed sequence-specific retroactive facilitation (i.e., shortening of movement times for components that had the same order in the two products), but only when they were fully accurate. Together this suggests that in the learning of sequential motor tasks the effects of age are more marked for retroactive transfer than for proactive transfer.

  4. Motor adaptations to unilateral quadriceps fatigue during a bilateral pedaling task.

    PubMed

    Brøchner Nielsen, N-P; Hug, F; Guével, A; Fohanno, V; Lardy, J; Dorel, S

    2016-12-20

    This study was designed to investigate how motor coordination adapts to unilateral fatigue of the quadriceps during a constant-load bilateral pedaling task. We first hypothesized that this local fatigue would not be compensated within the fatigued muscles leading to a decreased knee extension power. Then, we aimed to determine whether this decrease would be compensated by between-joints compensations within the ipsilateral leg and/or an increased contribution of the contralateral leg. Fifteen healthy volunteers were tested during pedaling at 350 W before and after a fatigue protocol consisting of 15 minutes of electromyostimulation on the quadriceps muscle. Motor coordination was assessed from myoelectrical activity (22 muscles) and joint powers calculated through inverse dynamics. Maximal knee extension torque decreased by 28.3%±6.8% (P<.0005) immediately after electromyostimulation. A decreased knee extension power produced by the ipsilateral leg was observed during pedaling (-22.8±12.3 W, -17.0%±9.4%; P<.0005). To maintain the task goal, participants primarily increased the power produced by the non-fatigued contralateral leg during the flexion phase. This was achieved by an increase in hip flexion power confirmed by a higher activation of the tensor fascia latae. These results suggest no adjustment of neural drive to the fatigued muscles and demonstrate no concurrent ipsilateral compensation by the non-fatigued muscles involved in the extension pedaling phase. Although interindividual variability was observed, findings provide evidence that participants predominantly adapted by compensating with the contralateral leg during its flexion phase. Both neural (between legs) and mechanical (between pedals) couplings and the minimization of cost functions might explain these results.

  5. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Motor Cortex Biases Action Choice in a Perceptual Decision Task.

    PubMed

    Javadi, Amir-Homayoun; Beyko, Angeliki; Walsh, Vincent; Kanai, Ryota

    2015-11-01

    One of the multiple interacting systems involved in the selection and execution of voluntary actions is the primary motor cortex (PMC). We aimed to investigate whether the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of this area can modulate hand choice. A perceptual decision-making task was administered. Participants were asked to classify rectangles with different height-to-width ratios into horizontal and vertical rectangles using their right and left index fingers while their PMC was stimulated either bilaterally or unilaterally. Two experiments were conducted with different stimulation conditions: the first experiment (n = 12) had only one stimulation condition (bilateral stimulation), and the second experiment (n = 45) had three stimulation conditions (bilateral, anodal unilateral, and cathodal unilateral stimulations). The second experiment was designed to confirm the results of the first experiment and to further investigate the effects of anodal and cathodal stimulations alone in the observed effects. Each participant took part in two sessions. The laterality of stimulation was reversed over the two sessions. Our results showed that anodal stimulation of the PMC biases participants' responses toward using the contralateral hand whereas cathodal stimulation biases responses toward the ipsilateral hand. Brain stimulation also modulated the RT of the left hand in all stimulation conditions: Responses were faster when the response bias was in favor of the left hand and slower when the response bias was against it. We propose two possible explanations for these findings: the perceptual bias account (bottom-up effects of stimulation on perception) and the motor-choice bias account (top-down modulation of the decision-making system by facilitation of response in one hand over the other). We conclude that motor responses and the choice of hand can be modulated using tDCS.

  6. Functional somatotopy revealed across multiple cortical regions using a model of complex motor task

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, David A.; Machado, Andre; Yue, Guang H.; Carey, Jim R.; Plow, Ela B.

    2014-01-01

    The primary motor cortex (M1) possesses a functional somatotopic structure -representations of adjacent within-limb joints overlap to facilitate coordination while maintaining discrete centers for individuated movement. We examined whether similar organization exists across other sensorimotor cortices. Twenty-four right-handed healthy subjects underwent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) while tracking complex targets with flexion/extension at right finger, elbow and ankle separately. Activation related to each joint at false discovery rate of .005 served as its representation across multiple regions. Within each region, we identified the Center of Mass (COM) for each representation, and overlap between representations of within-limb (finger and elbow) and between-limb joints (finger and ankle). Somatosensory (S1) and premotor cortices (PMC) demonstrated greater distinction of COM and minimal overlap for within- and between-limb representations. Contrarily, M1 and supplementary motor area (SMA) showed more integrative somatotopy with higher sharing for within-limb representations. Superior and inferior parietal lobule (SPL and IPL) possessed both types of structure. Some clusters exhibited extensive overlap of within- and between-limb representations, while others showed discrete COMs for within-limb representations. Our results help infer hierarchy in motor control. Areas as S1 may be associated with individuated movements, while M1 may be more integrative for coordinated motion; parietal associative regions may allow switch between both modes of control. Such hierarchy creates redundant opportunities to exploit in stroke rehabilitation. Use of complex rather than traditionally used simple movements was integral to illustrating comprehensive somatotopic structure; complex tasks can potentially help understand cortical representation of skill and learning-related plasticity. PMID:23920009

  7. Application of ensemble classifier in EEG-based motor imagery tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Bianhong; Hao, Hongwei

    2007-12-01

    Electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded during motor imagery tasks can be used to move a cursor to a target on a computer screen. Such an EEG-based brain-computer interface (BCI) can provide a new communication channel for the subjects with neuromuscular disorders. To achieve higher speed and more accuracy to enhance the practical applications of BCI in computer aid medical systems, the ensemble classifier is used for the single classification. The ERDs at the electrodes C3 and C4 are calculated and then stacked together into the feature vector for the ensemble classifier. The ensemble classifier is based on Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) and Nearest Neighbor (NN). Furthermore, it considers the feedback. This method is successfully used in the 2003 international data analysis competition on BCI-tasks (data set III). The results show that the ensemble classifier succeed with a recognition as 90%, on average, which is 5% and 3% higher than that of using the LDA and NN separately. Moreover, the ensemble classifier outperforms LDA and NN in the whole time course. With adequate recognition, ease of use and clearly understood, the ensemble classifier can meet the need of time-requires for single classification.

  8. Balancing cognitive control: how observed movements influence motor performance in a task with balance constraints.

    PubMed

    Verrel, Julius; Lisofsky, Nina; Kühn, Simone

    2014-07-01

    We investigated the influence of observed movements on executed movements in a task requiring lifting one foot from the floor while maintaining whole-body balance. Sixteen young participants (20-30 years) performed foot lift movements, which were either cued symbolically by a letter (L/R, indicating to lift the left/right foot) or by a short movie showing a foot lift movement. In the symbol cue condition, stimuli from the movie cue condition were used as distractors, and vice versa. Anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) and actual foot lifts were recorded using force plates and optical motion capture. Foot lift responses were generally faster in response to the movie compared to the symbol cue condition. Moreover, incongruent movement distractors interfered with performance in the symbol cue condition, as shown by longer response times and increased number of APAs. Latencies of the first (potentially wrong) APA in a trial were shorter for movie compared to symbol cues but were not affected by cue-distractor congruency. Amplitude of the first APA was smaller when it was followed by additional APAs compared to trials with a single APA. Our results show that automatic imitation tendencies are integrated with postural control in a task with balance constraints. Analysis of the number, timing and amplitude of APAs indicates that conflicts between intended and observed movements are not resolved at a purely cognitive level but directly influence overt motor performance, emphasizing the intimate link between perception, cognition and action.

  9. Effect of a repeated tongue-lift motor task for tongue function.

    PubMed

    Honki, Hisae; Iida, Takashi; Komiyama, Osamu; Masuda, Manabu; Svensson, Peter; Kawara, Misao

    2016-12-01

    This study investigated the effect of repeated tongue motor tasks on suprahyoid muscle activity and tongue pressure. Fourteen participants performed three series of a standardized tongue-lift training (TLT) task on each of five consecutive days. Electromyographic (EMG) activity from suprahyoid muscles and tongue pressure were recorded. In the first and third TLT series, participants were instructed only to target different force levels. During the second TLT series, visual feedback of the force level was given. One series consisted of three measurements [at 10%, 20%, and 40% of maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), respectively]. The coefficient of determination of the target force level-EMG curve and the target force level-tongue pressure curve was calculated from all series. There were no statistically significant day-to-day differences in EMG-root mean square (RMS) values and tongue pressure during MVC. The coefficients of determination of tongue pressure in the first series on day 1 were statistically significantly lower than the coefficients of determination in the first series on day 5. These findings suggest that the control of tongue pressure improved, while the maximum force remained constant. These results could have implications for treatment paradigms related to learning for patients with compromised tongue function, such as swallowing disorders or dysphagia.

  10. Activation of the arousal response can impair performance on a simple motor task.

    PubMed

    Noteboom, J T; Fleshner, M; Enoka, R M

    2001-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of arousal in men and women on the moment-to-moment performance of a simple motor task. We examined the control of a precision task in the presence and absence of imposed stressors. Twenty-nine subjects (14 men, 15 women; 18--44 yr) were randomly assigned to either a control group or one of two stressor groups, Mental Math or Electric Shock. Subjects presented with Math and Shock stressors, which lasted 10 min, experienced significant increases in cognitive and physiological arousal compared with baseline and control subjects. Heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and electrodermal activity were elevated 5--80% with presentation of the stressors, whereas diastolic blood pressure and salivary cortisol were unchanged. The greater levels of cognitive and physiological arousal were associated with reductions in steadiness of a pinch grip for the Shock subjects (approximately 130% reduction from baseline) but not for the subjects in the Math group, who experienced heightened arousal but no change in steadiness (10% reduction from baseline). Although women exhibited more of a reduction in steadiness than men, the effect was largely unrelated to the magnitude of the change in arousal.

  11. The influence of catch trials on the consolidation of motor memory in force field adaptation tasks

    PubMed Central

    Focke, Anne; Stockinger, Christian; Diepold, Christina; Taubert, Marco; Stein, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    In computational neuroscience it is generally accepted that human motor memory contains neural representations of the physics of the musculoskeletal system and the objects in the environment. These representations are called “internal models”. Force field studies, in which subjects have to adapt to dynamic perturbations induced by a robotic manipulandum, are an established tool to analyze the characteristics of such internal models. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether catch trials during force field learning could influence the consolidation of motor memory in more complex tasks. Thereby, the force field was more than double the force field of previous studies (35 N·s/m). Moreover, the arm of the subjects was not supported. A total of 46 subjects participated in this study and performed center-out movements at a robotic manipulandum in two different force fields. Two control groups learned force field A on day 1 and were retested in the same force field on day 3 (AA). Two test groups additionally learned an interfering force field B (= −A) on day 2 (ABA). The difference between the two test and control groups, respectively, was the absence (0%) or presence (19%) of catch trials, in which the force field was turned-off suddenly. The results showed consolidation of force field A on day 3 for both control groups. Test groups showed no consolidation of force field A (19% catch trials) and even poorer performance on day 3 (0% catch trials). In conclusion, it can be stated that catch trials seem to have a positive effect on the performance on day 3 but do not trigger a consolidation process as shown in previous studies that used a lower force field viscosity with supported arm. These findings indicate that the results of previous studies in which less complex tasks were analyzed, cannot be fully transferred to more complex tasks. Moreover, the effects of catch trials in these situations are insufficiently understood and further research is

  12. Task-dependent modification of leg motor neuron synaptic input underlying changes in walking direction and walking speed.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Philipp; Schmitz, Josef; Schmidt, Joachim; Büschges, Ansgar

    2015-08-01

    Animals modify their behavior constantly to perform adequately in their environment. In terrestrial locomotion many forms of adaptation exist. Two tasks are changes of walking direction and walking speed. We investigated these two changes in motor output in the stick insect Cuniculina impigra to see how they are brought about at the level of leg motor neurons. We used a semi-intact preparation in which we can record intracellularly from leg motor neurons during walking. In this single-leg preparation the middle leg of the animal steps in a vertical plane on a treadwheel. Stimulation of either abdomen or head reliably elicits fictive forward or backward motor activity, respectively, in the fixed and otherwise deafferented thorax-coxa joint. With a change of walking direction only thorax-coxa-joint motor neurons protractor and retractor changed their activity. The protractor switched from swing activity during forward to stance activity during backward walking, and the retractor from stance to swing. This phase switch was due to corresponding change of phasic synaptic inputs from inhibitory to excitatory and vice versa at specific phases of the step cycle. In addition to phasic synaptic input a tonic depolarization of the motor neurons was present. Analysis of changes in stepping velocity during stance showed only a significant correlation to flexor motor neuron activity, but not to that of retractor and depressor motor neurons during forward walking. These results show that different tasks in the stick insect walking system are generated by altering synaptic inputs to specific leg joint motor neurons only.

  13. Behavioral, Cognitive, and Motor Preparation Deficits in a Visual Cued Spatial Attention Task in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Sokhadze, Estate M.; Tasman, Allan; Sokhadze, Guela E.; El-Baz, Ayman S.; Casanova, Manuel F.

    2015-01-01

    Abnormalities in motor skills have been regarded as part of the symptomatology characterizing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It has been estimated that 80% of subjects with autism display “motor dyspraxia” or clumsiness that are not readily identified in a routine neurological examination. In this study we used behavioral measures, event-related potentials (ERP), and lateralized readiness potential (LRP) to study cognitive and motor preparation deficits contributing to the dyspraxia of autism. A modified Posner cueing task was used to analyze motor preparation abnormalities in children with autism and in typically developing children (N=30/per group). In this task, subjects engage in preparing motor response based on a visual cue, and then execute a motor movement based on the subsequent imperative stimulus. The experimental conditions, such as the validity of the cue and the spatial location of the target stimuli were manipulated to influence motor response selection, preparation, and execution. Reaction time and accuracy benefited from validly cued targets in both groups, while main effects of target spatial position were more obvious in the autism group. The main ERP findings were prolonged and more negative early frontal potentials in the ASD in incongruent trials in both types of spatial location. The LRP amplitude was larger in incongruent trials and had stronger effect in the children with ASD. These effects were better expressed at the earlier stages of LRP, specifically those related to response selection, and showed difficulties at the cognitive phase of stimulus processing rather that at the motor execution stage. The LRP measures at different stages reflect the chronology of cognitive aspects of movement preparation and are sensitive to manipulations of cue correctness, thus representing very useful biomarker in autism dyspraxia research. Future studies may use more advance and diverse manipulations of movement preparation demands in testing more

  14. Behavioral, Cognitive, and Motor Preparation Deficits in a Visual Cued Spatial Attention Task in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Sokhadze, Estate M; Tasman, Allan; Sokhadze, Guela E; El-Baz, Ayman S; Casanova, Manuel F

    2016-03-01

    Abnormalities in motor skills have been regarded as part of the symptomatology characterizing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It has been estimated that 80 % of subjects with autism display "motor dyspraxia" or clumsiness that are not readily identified in a routine neurological examination. In this study we used behavioral measures, event-related potentials (ERP), and lateralized readiness potential (LRP) to study cognitive and motor preparation deficits contributing to the dyspraxia of autism. A modified Posner cueing task was used to analyze motor preparation abnormalities in children with autism and in typically developing children (N = 30/per group). In this task, subjects engage in preparing motor response based on a visual cue, and then execute a motor movement based on the subsequent imperative stimulus. The experimental conditions, such as the validity of the cue and the spatial location of the target stimuli were manipulated to influence motor response selection, preparation, and execution. Reaction time and accuracy benefited from validly cued targets in both groups, while main effects of target spatial position were more obvious in the autism group. The main ERP findings were prolonged and more negative early frontal potentials in the ASD in incongruent trials in both types of spatial location. The LRP amplitude was larger in incongruent trials and had stronger effect in the children with ASD. These effects were better expressed at the earlier stages of LRP, specifically those related to response selection, and showed difficulties at the cognitive phase of stimulus processing rather that at the motor execution stage. The LRP measures at different stages reflect the chronology of cognitive aspects of movement preparation and are sensitive to manipulations of cue correctness, thus representing very useful biomarker in autism dyspraxia research. Future studies may use more advance and diverse manipulations of movement preparation demands in testing more

  15. Task-dependent modification of leg motor neuron synaptic input underlying changes in walking direction and walking speed

    PubMed Central

    Rosenbaum, Philipp; Schmitz, Josef; Schmidt, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Animals modify their behavior constantly to perform adequately in their environment. In terrestrial locomotion many forms of adaptation exist. Two tasks are changes of walking direction and walking speed. We investigated these two changes in motor output in the stick insect Cuniculina impigra to see how they are brought about at the level of leg motor neurons. We used a semi-intact preparation in which we can record intracellularly from leg motor neurons during walking. In this single-leg preparation the middle leg of the animal steps in a vertical plane on a treadwheel. Stimulation of either abdomen or head reliably elicits fictive forward or backward motor activity, respectively, in the fixed and otherwise deafferented thorax-coxa joint. With a change of walking direction only thorax-coxa-joint motor neurons protractor and retractor changed their activity. The protractor switched from swing activity during forward to stance activity during backward walking, and the retractor from stance to swing. This phase switch was due to corresponding change of phasic synaptic inputs from inhibitory to excitatory and vice versa at specific phases of the step cycle. In addition to phasic synaptic input a tonic depolarization of the motor neurons was present. Analysis of changes in stepping velocity during stance showed only a significant correlation to flexor motor neuron activity, but not to that of retractor and depressor motor neurons during forward walking. These results show that different tasks in the stick insect walking system are generated by altering synaptic inputs to specific leg joint motor neurons only. PMID:26063769

  16. Learning better by repetition or variation? Is transfer at odds with task specific training?

    PubMed Central

    Bonney, Emmanuel; Ferguson, Gillian D.; Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien C. M.

    2017-01-01

    Objective Transfer of motor skills is the ultimate goal of motor training in rehabilitation practice. In children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), very little is known about how skills are transferred from training situations to real life contexts. In this study we examined the influence of two types of practice on transfer of motor skills acquired in a virtual reality (VR) environment. Method One hundred and eleven children with DCD and their typically developing (TD) peers, aged 6–10 years (M = 8.0 SD = 1.0) were randomly assigned to either variable (n = 56) or repetitive practice (n = 55). Participants in the repetitive practice played the same exergame (ski slalom) twice weekly for 20 minutes, over a period of 5 weeks, while those in the variable group played 10 different games. Motor skills such as balance tasks (hopping), running and agility tasks, ball skills and functional activities were evaluated before and after 5 weeks of training. Results ANOVA repeated measures indicated that both DCD and TD children demonstrated transfer effects to real life skills with identical and non-identical elements at exactly the same rate, irrespective of the type of practice they were assigned to. Conclusion Based on these findings, we conclude that motor skills acquired in the VR environment, transfers to real world contexts in similar proportions for both TD and DCD children. The type of practice adopted does not seem to influence children’s ability to transfer skills acquired in an exergame to life situations but the number of identical elements does. PMID:28333997

  17. Perceptual, premotor and motor factors in the performance of a delayed-reaching task by subjects with unilateral spatial neglect.

    PubMed

    Shimodozono, M; Matsumoto, S; Miyata, R; Etoh, S; Tsujio, S; Kawahira, K

    2006-01-01

    We used a computerized delayed-reaching task with a simple reaction time (RT) to investigate the visuo-motor and spatio-temporal performance of right brain-damaged (RBD) patients with unilateral spatial neglect (USN). Fifty-three RBD patients (22 with and 31 without USN) and 25 controls performed the tasks. We recorded the following data: the first RT (RT-1), which is thought to reflect the detection of the target position (the perceptual factor); the second RT (RT-2), which represents the initiation of reaching (the motor initiation aspect of premotor factors); the movement time (MT), which is hypothesized to reflect the "pure" motor component of the task. RBD patients with both USN and hemianopia demonstrated significantly longer RTs towards the left than towards the right for both the RT-1 and the RT-2. Among the RBD patients without hemianopia, the laterality index (left side/right side) of the RT-1 in those with USN was significantly greater than in those without USN or the controls. Among the three groups, there were no significant differences between the laterality indices of either the RT-2s or the MTs. These results suggest that the impairment of leftward movement in RBD patients with USN might be caused primarily by a perceptual impairment rather than an impairment in motor initiation, and is certainly not a "pure" motor impairment.

  18. The Effect of Motor Difficulty on the Acquisition of a Computer Task: A Comparison between Young and Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fezzani, K.; Albinet, C.; Thon, B.; Marquie, J. -C.

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated the extent to which the impact of motor difficulty on the acquisition of a computer task varies as a function of age. Fourteen young and 14 older participants performed 352 sequences of 10 serial pointing movements with a wireless pen on a digitiser tablet. A conditional probabilistic structure governed the…

  19. The effects of bromazepam over the central and frontal areas during a motor task: an EEG study.

    PubMed

    Fortunato, Suzete; Tanaka, Guaraci Ken; Araújo, Fernanda; Bittencourt, Juliana; Aprigio, Danielle; Gongora, Mariana; Teixeira, Silmar; Pompeu, Fernando Augusto Monteiro Saboia; Cagy, Mauricio; Basile, Luis F; Ribeiro, Pedro; Velasques, Bruna

    2015-04-01

    The present study investigates the influence of bromazepam while executing a motor task. Specifically, we intend to analyze the changes in alpha absolute power under two experimental conditions, bromazepam and placebo. We also included analyses of theta and beta frequencies. We collected electroencephalographic data before, during, and after motor task execution. We used a Two Way ANOVA to investigate the condition (PL × Br6 mg) and moment (pre and post) variables for the following electrodes: Fp1, Fp2, F7, F3, Fz, F4, F8, C3, CZ and C4. We found a main effect for condition on the electrodes FP1, F7, F3, Fz, F4, C3 and CZ, for alpha and beta bands. For beta band we also found a main effect for condition on the electrodes Fp2, F8 and C4; for theta band we identified a main effect for condition on C3, Cz and C4 electrodes. This finding suggests that the motor task did not have any influence on the electrocortical activity in alpha, and that the existing modifications were a consequence due merely to the drug use. Despite its anxiolytic and sedative action, bromazepam did not show any significant changes when the individuals executed a finger extension motor task.

  20. The Influence of Parkinson's Disease Motor Symptom Asymmetry on Hand Performance: An Examination of the Grooved Pegboard Task.

    PubMed

    Scharoun, Sara M; Bryden, Pamela J; Sage, Michael D; Almeida, Quincy J; Roy, Eric A

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the influence of motor symptom asymmetry in Parkinson's disease (PD) on Grooved Pegboard (GP) performance in right-handed participants. The Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale was used to assess motor symptoms and separate participants with PD into two groups (right-arm affected, left-arm affected) for comparison with a group of healthy older adults. Participants completed the place and replace GP tasks two times with both hands. Laterality quotients were computed to quantify performance differences between the two hands. Comparisons among the three groups indicated that when the nonpreferred hand is affected by PD motor symptoms, superior preferred hand performance (as seen in healthy older adults) is further exaggerated in tasks that require precision (i.e., place task). Regardless of the task, when the preferred hand is affected, there is an evident shift to superior left-hand performance, which may inevitably manifest as a switch in hand preference. Results add to the discussion of the relationship between handedness and motor symptom asymmetry in PD.

  1. Within-session and one-week practice effects on a motor task in amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Sydney Y; Duff, Kevin

    2016-10-03

    Practice effects on neuropsychological tests, which are improvements in test scores due to repeated exposure to testing materials, are robust in healthy elders, but muted in older adults with cognitive disorders. Conversely, few studies have investigated practice effects on motor tasks involving procedural memory, particularly across test-retest periods exceeding 24 hours. The current study examined one-week practice effects on a novel upper extremity motor task in 54 older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Results indicate that these individuals with primary memory deficits did improve on this motor task within a brief training session as well as across one week. These practice effects were unrelated to demographic characteristics or global cognition. One-week practice effects were, however, negatively related to delayed memory function, with larger practice effects being associated with poorer delayed memory and potentially better visuospatial ability. The presence of longer term practice effects on a procedural motor task not only has implications for how longitudinal assessments with similar measures involving implicit memory might be interpreted, but may also inform future rehabilitative strategies for patients with more severe declarative memory deficits.

  2. Relationships between Task-Oriented Postural Control and Motor Ability in Children and Adolescents with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Hui-Yi; Long, I-Man; Liu, Mei-Fang

    2012-01-01

    Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have been characterized by greater postural sway in quiet stance and insufficient motor ability. However, there is a lack of studies to explore the properties of dynamic postural sway, especially under conditions of task-oriented movement. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between…

  3. Distribution of Practice and Metacognition in Learning and Long-Term Retention of a Discrete Motor Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dail, Teresa K.; Christina, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    This study examined judgments of learning and the long-term retention of a discrete motor task (golf putting) as a function of practice distribution. The results indicated that participants in the distributed practice group performed more proficiently than those in the massed practice group during both acquisition and retention phases. No…

  4. Acquisition of Internal Models of Motor Tasks in Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gidley Larson, Jennifer C.; Bastian, Amy J.; Donchin, Opher; Shadmehr, Reza; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2008-01-01

    Children with autism exhibit a host of motor disorders including poor coordination, poor tool use and delayed learning of complex motor skills like riding a tricycle. Theory suggests that one of the crucial steps in motor learning is the ability to form internal models: to predict the sensory consequences of motor commands and learn from errors to…

  5. Motor intensive anti-gravity training improves performance in dynamic balance related tasks in persons with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Malling, Anne Sofie B; Jensen, Bente R

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that the effect of training on motor performance in persons with Parkinson's disease (PDP) is dependent on motor intensity. However, training of high motor intensity can be hard to apply in PDP due to e.g. bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor and postural instability. Therefore, the aim was to study the effect of motor intensive training performed in a safe anti-gravity environment using lower-body positive pressure (LBPP) technology on performance during dynamic balance related tasks. Thirteen male PDP went through an 8-week control period followed by 8 weeks of motor intensive antigravity training. Seventeen healthy males constituted a control group (CON). Performance during a five repetition sit-to-stand test (STS; sagittal plane) and a dynamic postural balance test (DPB; transversal plane) was evaluated. Effect measures were completion time, functional rates of force development, directional changes and force variance. STS completion time improved by 24% to the level of CON which was explained by shorter sitting-time and standing-time and larger numeric rate of force change during lowering to the chair, indicating faster vertical directional change and improved relaxation. DPB completion time tended to improve and was accompanied by improvements of functional medial and lateral rates of force development and higher vertical force variance during DPB. Our results suggest that the performance improvements may relate to improved inter-limb coordination. It is concluded that 8 weeks of motor intensive training in a safe LBPP environment improved performance during dynamic balance related tasks in PDP.

  6. Can stereotype threat affect motor performance in the absence of explicit monitoring processes? Evidence using a strength task.

    PubMed

    Chalabaev, Aïna; Brisswalter, Jeanick; Radel, Rémi; Coombes, Stephen A; Easthope, Christopher; Clément-Guillotin, Corentin

    2013-04-01

    Previous evidence shows that stereotype threat impairs complex motor skills through increased conscious monitoring of task performance. Given that one-step motor skills may not be susceptible to these processes, we examined whether performance on a simple strength task may be reduced under stereotype threat. Forty females and males performed maximum voluntary contractions under stereotypical or nullified-stereotype conditions. Results showed that the velocity of force production within the first milliseconds of the contraction decreased in females when the negative stereotype was induced, whereas maximal force did not change. In males, the stereotype induction only increased maximal force. These findings suggest that stereotype threat may impair motor skills in the absence of explicit monitoring processes, by influencing the planning stage of force production.

  7. An analysis of physiological signals as a measure of task engagement in a multi-limb-coordination motor-learning task.

    PubMed

    Murray, Spencer A; Goldfarb, Michael

    2015-01-01

    There is widespread agreement in the physical rehabilitation community that task engagement is essential to effective neuromuscular recovery. Despite this, there are no clear measures of such task engagement. This paper assesses the extent to which certain physiological measurements might provide a measure of task engagement. In previous studies, correlations between mental focus and certain physiological measurements have been observed in subjects performing tasks requiring mental effort. In this study, the authors analyzed whether these signals showed similar correlation when subjects performed a multi-limb-coordination motor-learning task. Subjects played a video game which required the use of both arms and one leg to play a simplified electronic drum set with varying difficulty. Heart rate (HR), skin conductance level (SCL), and facial electromyogram (EMG) were recorded while the subjects played. Analysis of the recordings showed statistically significant correlations relating task difficulty to SCL, HR and EMG amplitude in corrugator supercilii. No statistically significant correlation was observed between task difficulty and EMG in frontalis.

  8. Motor adaptations to local muscle pain during a bilateral cyclic task.

    PubMed

    Brøchner Nielsen, Niels-Peter; Tucker, Kylie; Dorel, Sylvain; Guével, Arnaud; Hug, François

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this study was to determine how unilateral pain, induced in two knee extensor muscles, affects muscle coordination during a bilateral pedaling task. Fifteen participants performed a 4-min pedaling task at 130 W in two conditions (Baseline and Pain). Pain was induced by injection of hypertonic saline into the vastus medialis (VM) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles of one leg. Force applied throughout the pedaling cycle was measured using an instrumented pedal and used to calculate pedal power. Surface electromyography (EMG) was recorded bilaterally from eight muscles to assess changes in muscle activation strategies. Compared to Baseline, during the Pain condition, EMG amplitude of muscles of the painful leg (VL and VM-the painful muscles, and RF-another quadriceps muscle with no pain) was lower during the extension phase [(mean ± SD): VL: -22.5 ± 18.9%; P < 0.001; VM: -28.8 ± 19.9%; P < 0.001, RF: -20.2 ± 13.9%; P < 0.001]. Consistent with this, pedal power applied by the painful leg was also lower during the extension phase (-16.8 ± 14.2 W, P = 0.001) during Pain compared to Baseline. This decrease was compensated for by an 11.3 ± 8.1 W increase in pedal power applied by the non-painful leg during its extension phase (P = 0.04). These results support pain adaptation theories, which suggest that when there is a clear opportunity to compensate, motor adaptations to pain occur to decrease load within the painful tissue. Although the pedaling task offered numerous possibilities for compensation, only between-leg compensations were systematically observed. This finding is discussed in relation to the mechanical and neural constraints of the pedaling task.

  9. Modulation of manual preference induced by lateralized practice diffuses over distinct motor tasks: age-related effects

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Rosana M.; Coelho, Daniel B.; Teixeira, Luis A.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we investigated the effect of use of the non-preferred left hand to practice different motor tasks on manual preference in children and adults. Manual preference was evaluated before, immediately after and 20 days following practice. Evaluation was made with tasks of distinct levels of complexity requiring reaching and manipulation of cards at different eccentricities in the workspace. Results showed that left hand use in adults induced increased preference of that hand at the central position when performing the simple task, while left hand use by the children induced increased preference of the left hand at the rightmost positions in the performance of the complex task. These effects were retained over the rest period following practice. Kinematic analysis showed that left hand use during practice did not lead to modification of intermanual performance asymmetry. These results indicate that modulation of manual preference was a consequence of higher frequency of use of the left hand during practice rather than of change in motor performance. Findings presented here support the conceptualization that confidence on successful performance when using a particular limb generates a bias in hand selection, which diffuses over distinct motor tasks. PMID:25538656

  10. Interrelationships among Age, Sex, and Depth of Sport Experience on a Complex Motor Task by 4- to 9-Year Old Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuhlman, Jolynn S.; Beitel, Patricia A.

    Age, gender, and/or previous experience seem to be related to the performance/learning of new perceptual motor tasks. This study sought to determine the relative interrelationships of age, gender, and the depth of sport experience on initial practice of a complex perceptual motor soccer task for 46 children 4- to 9-years-old who were enrolled in a…

  11. Variation among Developmental Dyslexics: Evidence from a Printed-Word-Learning Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Caroline E.; Manis, Franklin R.; Pedersen, William C.; Seidenberg, Mark S.

    2004-01-01

    A word-learning task was used to investigate variation among developmental dyslexics classified as phonological and surface dyslexics. Dyslexic children and chronological age (CA)- and reading level (RL)-matched normal readers were taught to pronounce novel nonsense words such as "veep." Words were assigned either a regular (e.g., ''veep'') or an…

  12. Primary Motor Cortex Activation during Action Observation of Tasks at Different Video Speeds Is Dependent on Movement Task and Muscle Properties

    PubMed Central

    Moriuchi, Takefumi; Matsuda, Daiki; Nakamura, Jirou; Matsuo, Takashi; Nakashima, Akira; Nishi, Keita; Fujiwara, Kengo; Iso, Naoki; Nakane, Hideyuki; Higashi, Toshio

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate how the video speed of observed action affects the excitability of the primary motor cortex (M1), as assessed by the size of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Twelve healthy subjects observed a video clip of a person catching a ball (Experiment 1: rapid movement) and another 12 healthy subjects observed a video clip of a person reaching to lift a ball (Experiment 2: slow movement task). We played each video at three different speeds (slow, normal and fast). The stimulus was given at two points of timing in each experiment. These stimulus points were locked to specific frames of the video rather than occurring at specific absolute times, for ease of comparison across different speeds. We recorded MEPs from the first dorsal interosseous muscle (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi muscle (ADM) of the right hand. MEPs were significantly different for different video speeds only in the rapid movement task. MEPs for the rapid movement task were higher when subjects observed an action played at slow speed than normal or fast speed condition. There was no significant change for the slow movement task. Video speed was effective only in the ADM. Moreover, MEPs in the ADM were significantly higher than in the FDI in a rapid movement task under the slow speed condition. Our findings suggest that the M1 becomes more excitable when subjects observe the video clip at the slow speed in a rapid movement, because they could recognize the elements of movement in others. Our results suggest the effects of manipulating the speed of the viewed task on the excitability of the M1 during passive observation differ depending on the type of movement task observed. It is likely that rehabilitation in the clinical setting will be more efficient if the video speed is changed to match the task’s characteristics. PMID:28163678

  13. When Affordances Climb into Your Mind: Advantages of Motor Simulation in a Memory Task Performed by Novice and Expert Rock Climbers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pezzulo, Giovanni; Barca, Laura; Bocconi, Alessandro Lamberti; Borghi, Anna M.

    2010-01-01

    Does the sight of multiple climbing holds laid along a path activate a motor simulation of climbing that path? One way of testing whether multiple affordances and their displacement influence the formation of a motor simulation is to study acquired motor skills. We used a behavioral task in which expert and novice rock climbers were shown three…

  14. Effects of aripiprazole and haloperidol on neural activation during a simple motor task in healthy individuals: A functional MRI study.

    PubMed

    Goozee, Rhianna; O'Daly, Owen; Handley, Rowena; Reis Marques, Tiago; Taylor, Heather; McQueen, Grant; Hubbard, Kathryn; Pariante, Carmine; Mondelli, Valeria; Reinders, Antje A T S; Dazzan, Paola

    2017-04-01

    The dopaminergic system plays a key role in motor function and motor abnormalities have been shown to be a specific feature of psychosis. Due to their dopaminergic action, antipsychotic drugs may be expected to modulate motor function, but the precise effects of these drugs on motor function remain unclear. We carried out a within-subject, double-blind, randomized study of the effects of aripiprazole, haloperidol and placebo on motor function in 20 healthy men. For each condition, motor performance on an auditory-paced task was investigated. We entered maps of neural activation into a random effects general linear regression model to investigate motor function main effects. Whole-brain imaging revealed a significant treatment effect in a distributed network encompassing posterior orbitofrontal/anterior insula cortices, and the inferior temporal and postcentral gyri. Post-hoc comparison of treatments showed neural activation after aripiprazole did not differ significantly from placebo in either voxel-wise or region of interest analyses, with the results above driven primarily by haloperidol. We also observed a simple main effect of haloperidol compared with placebo, with increased task-related recruitment of posterior cingulate and precentral gyri. Furthermore, region of interest analyses revealed greater activation following haloperidol compared with placebo in the precentral and post-central gyri, and the putamen. These diverse modifications in cortical motor activation may relate to the different pharmacological profiles of haloperidol and aripiprazole, although the specific mechanisms underlying these differences remain unclear. Evaluating healthy individuals can allow investigation of the effects of different antipsychotics on cortical activation, independently of either disease-related pathology or previous treatment. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1833-1845, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Characterization of cognitive and motor performance during dual-tasking in healthy older adults and patients with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Wild, Lucia Bartmann; de Lima, Daiane Borba; Balardin, Joana Bisol; Rizzi, Luana; Giacobbo, Bruno Lima; Oliveira, Henrique Bianchi; de Lima Argimon, Irani Iracema; Peyré-Tartaruga, Leonardo Alexandre; Rieder, Carlos R M; Bromberg, Elke

    2013-02-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of dual-tasking on cognitive performance and gait parameters in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) without dementia. The impact of cognitive task complexity on cognition and walking was also examined. Eighteen patients with PD (ages 53-88, 10 women; Hoehn and Yahr stage I-II) and 18 older adults (ages 61-84; 10 women) completed two neuropsychological measures of executive function/attention (the Stroop Test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test). Cognitive performance and gait parameters related to functional mobility of stride were measured under single (cognitive task only) and dual-task (cognitive task during walking) conditions with different levels of difficulty and different types of stimuli. In addition, dual-task cognitive costs were calculated. Although cognitive performance showed no significant difference between controls and PD patients during single or dual-tasking conditions, only the patients had a decrease in cognitive performance during walking. Gait parameters of patients differed significantly from controls at single and dual-task conditions, indicating that patients gave priority to gait while cognitive performance suffered. Dual-task cognitive costs of patients increased with task complexity, reaching significantly higher values then controls in the arithmetic task, which was correlated with scores on executive function/attention (Stroop Color-Word Page). Baseline motor functioning and task executive/attentional load affect the performance of cognitive tasks of PD patients while walking. These findings provide insight into the functional strategies used by PD patients in the initial phases of the disease to manage dual-task interference.

  16. The influence of stress and energy level on learning muscle relaxation during gross-motor task performance using electromyographic feedback.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, H; Voerman, G E; Hermens, H J

    2006-09-01

    The aim was to investigate the influence of mood on learning muscle relaxation. Self-reported mood (assessed by the Stress-Energy Checklist) at baseline was related to learning muscle relaxation induced by electromyographic feedback training during performance of a gross-motor task. Feedback training was provided either intermittently (Intermittent Feedback Task, IF, n=12) or continuously (Continuous Feedback Task, CF, n=9). Results reveal a negative correlation between the learning effect at short-term and energy dimension for the IF Task. It can be concluded that mood experienced prior to a learning task is relevant for the learning effect and this effect may be dependent on the schedule of feedback used.

  17. Gaze motor asymmetries in the perception of faces during a memory task.

    PubMed

    Mertens, I; Siegmund, H; Grüsser, O J

    1993-09-01

    In 33 male and female adult volunteers, eye position recordings were performed by means of an infrared reflection technique. Slides of randomly shuffled black-and-white photographs (7.5 x 10 degrees) of faces and vases were projected for 6 or 20 sec respectively in a visual memory task. In each series, 10 slides of art nouveau vases and of the "inner part" of masked Caucasian faces were used. During recording the head was fixed by a bite-board. (a) For faces the preferred targets of the centre of gaze were the eyes, the mouth and nose region, for vases the contours and some prominent ornaments. (b) Left-right asymmetries in the gaze-movement sampling strategy appeared with faces, but not with vases. In faces, the overall time that the centre of gaze remained in the left half of the field of gaze was significantly longer than in the right half. (c) When, however, the amplitude of the gaze excursions into the left and right halves of the inspected items was taken as a measure and normalized, a preference for the right gaze field was observed. (d) The relative left-right bias during face inspection was stronger with the 6 sec than with the 20 sec inspection period and significantly stronger in female than in male subjects for the 6 sec tasks. (e) Left/right inversion of the face stimuli did not abolish the side bias. Thus the asymmetric sampling strategy when faces were inspected as compared to vases was due to "internal" factors on the part of the subjects. It is hypothesized that a left-right asymmetry in hemispheric visual data processing for face stimuli was the cause of a left-right asymmetry in gaze motor strategies when faces were inspected.

  18. Hybrid EEG-fNIRS Asynchronous Brain-Computer Interface for Multiple Motor Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Buccino, Alessio Paolo; Keles, Hasan Onur; Omurtag, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    Non-invasive Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) have demonstrated great promise for neuroprosthetics and assistive devices. Here we aim to investigate methods to combine Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) in an asynchronous Sensory Motor rhythm (SMR)-based BCI. We attempted to classify 4 different executed movements, namely, Right-Arm—Left-Arm—Right-Hand—Left-Hand tasks. Previous studies demonstrated the benefit of EEG-fNIRS combination. However, since normally fNIRS hemodynamic response shows a long delay, we investigated new features, involving slope indicators, in order to immediately detect changes in the signals. Moreover, Common Spatial Patterns (CSPs) have been applied to both EEG and fNIRS signals. 15 healthy subjects took part in the experiments and since 25 trials per class were available, CSPs have been regularized with information from the entire population of participants and optimized using genetic algorithms. The different features have been compared in terms of performance and the dynamic accuracy over trials shows that the introduced methods diminish the fNIRS delay in the detection of changes. PMID:26730580

  19. Hippocampal negative event-related potential recorded in humans during a simple sensorimotor task occurs independently of motor execution.

    PubMed

    Roman, Robert; Brázdil, Milan; Chládek, Jan; Rektor, Ivan; Jurák, Pavel; Světlák, Miroslav; Damborská, Alena; Shaw, Daniel J; Kukleta, Miloslav

    2013-12-01

    A hippocampal-prominent event-related potential (ERP) with a peak latency at around 450 ms is consistently observed as a correlate of hippocampal activity during various cognitive tasks. Some intracranial EEG studies demonstrated that the amplitude of this hippocampal potential was greater in response to stimuli requiring an overt motor response, in comparison with stimuli for which no motor response is required. These findings could indicate that hippocampal-evoked activity is related to movement execution as well as stimulus evaluation and associated memory processes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the temporal relationship between the hippocampal negative potential latency and motor responses. We analyzed ERPs recorded with 22 depth electrodes implanted into the hippocampi of 11 epileptic patients. Subjects were instructed to press a button after the presentation of a tone. All investigated hippocampi generated a prominent negative ERP peaking at ~420 ms. In 16 from 22 cases, we found that the ERP latency did not correlate with the reaction time; in different subjects, this potential could either precede or follow the motor response. Our results indicate that the hippocampal negative ERP occurs independently of motor execution. We suggest that hippocampal-evoked activity, recorded in a simple sensorimotor task, is related to the evaluation of stimulus meaning within the context of situation.

  20. The anaesthetic combination of ketamine/midazolam does not alter the acquisition of spatial and motor tasks in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Valentim, A M; Olsson, I A S; Antunes, L M

    2013-01-01

    The ketamine/midazolam association of a dissociative with a sedative agent is used for the induction and maintenance of anaesthesia in laboratory animals. Anaesthesia may interfere with research results through side-effects on the nervous system, such as memory impairment. It is known that ketamine and midazolam affect cognition; however, their effects have not been clarified when used in a context of balanced anaesthesia. Thus, this study evaluated the effects of ketamine/midazolam on the acquisition of motor and of a spatial memory task in adult mice. Twenty-eight C57BL/6 adult male mice were divided into three groups: untreated control, treated with ketamine/midazolam (75 mg/kg / 10 mg/kg) and treated with midazolam (10 mg/kg) groups. Respiratory rate, heart rate and systolic pressure were measured every 5 min in the animals treated with ketamine/midazolam, as this was the only group that exhibited loss of the righting reflex. One day after treatment, animals were tested in the open field, rotarod and radial arm maze. There were no differences between treatments regarding open-field activity, rotarod performance or number of working and reference memory errors in the radial arm maze task. In conclusion, the learning process of spatial and motor tasks was not disrupted by the anaesthetic combination of ketamine/midazolam. These results suggest its safe use in adult mice in projects where acquisition of a spatial and motor task is necessary.

  1. The Effect of a Six-Month Dancing Program on Motor-Cognitive Dual-Task Performance in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Hamacher, Dennis; Hamacher, Daniel; Rehfeld, Kathrin; Hökelmann, Anita; Schega, Lutz

    2015-10-01

    Dancing is a complex sensorimotor activity involving physical and mental elements which have positive effects on cognitive functions and motor control. The present randomized controlled trial aims to analyze the effects of a dancing program on the performance on a motor-cognitive dual task. Data of 35 older adults, who were assigned to a dancing group or a health-related exercise group, are presented in the study. In pretest and posttest, we assessed cognitive performance and variability of minimum foot clearance, stride time, and stride length while walking. Regarding the cognitive performance and the stride-to-stride variability of minimum foot clearance, interaction effects have been found, indicating that dancing lowers gait variability to a higher extent than conventional health-related exercise. The data show that dancing improves minimum foot clearance variability and cognitive performance in a dual-task situation. Multi-task exercises (like dancing) might be a powerful tool to improve motor-cognitive dual-task performance.

  2. Strategic Variations in Fitts’ Task: Comparison of Healthy Older Adults and Cognitively Impaired Patients

    PubMed Central

    Poletti, Céline; Sleimen-Malkoun, Rita; Decker, Leslie Marion; Retornaz, Frédérique; Lemaire, Patrick; Temprado, Jean-Jacques

    2017-01-01

    The present study aimed at investigating how healthy older adults (HOA) and cognitively impaired patients (CIP) differ in a discrete Fitts’ aiming task. Four levels of task difficulty were used, resulting from the simultaneous manipulation of the size of the target and its distance from home position. We found that movement times (MTs) followed Fitts’ law in both HOA and CIP, with the latter being significantly slower and more affected by increased task difficulty. Moreover, correlation analyses suggest that lower information processing speed (IPS) and deficits in executive functions (EFs) are associated with decline of sensorimotor performance in Fitts’ task. Analyses of strategic variations showed that HOA and CIP differed in strategy repertoire (which strategies they used), strategy distribution (i.e., how often they used each available strategy), and strategy execution (i.e., how quick they were with each available strategy). These findings further our understanding of how strategic variations used in a sensorimotor task are affected by cognitive impairment in older adults. PMID:28163682

  3. Why Do Fine Motor Skills Predict Mathematics? Construct Validity of the Design Copying Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murrah, William M.; Chen, Wei-Bing; Cameron, Claire E.

    2013-01-01

    Recent educational studies have found evidence that measures of fine motor skills are predictive of educational outcomes. However, the precise nature of fine motor skills has received little attention in these studies. With evidence mounting that fine motor skills are an important indicator of school readiness, investigating the nature of this…

  4. Decreased Connectivity and Cerebellar Activity in Autism during Motor Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Powell, Stephanie K.; Simmonds, Daniel J.; Goldberg, Melissa C.; Caffo, Brian; Pekar, James J.

    2009-01-01

    Although motor deficits are common in autism, the neural correlates underlying the disruption of even basic motor execution are unknown. Motor deficits may be some of the earliest identifiable signs of abnormal development and increased understanding of their neural underpinnings may provide insight into autism-associated differences in parallel…

  5. Resting state connectivity immediately following learning correlates with subsequent sleep-dependent enhancement of motor task performance.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Michael D; Agam, Yigal; Selvadurai, Chindhuri; Nagy, Amanda; Vangel, Mark; Tucker, Matthew; Robertson, Edwin M; Stickgold, Robert; Manoach, Dara S

    2014-11-15

    There is ongoing debate concerning the functions of resting-state brain activity. Prior work demonstrates that memory encoding enhances subsequent resting-state functional connectivity within task-relevant networks and that these changes predict better recognition. Here, we used functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) to examine whether task-induced changes in resting-state connectivity correlate with performance improvement after sleep. In two separate sessions, resting-state scans were acquired before and after participants performed a motor task. In one session participants trained on the motor sequence task (MST), a well-established probe of sleep-dependent memory consolidation, and were tested the next day, after a night of sleep. In the other session they performed a motor control task (MCT) that minimized learning. In an accompanying behavioral control study, participants trained on the MST and were tested after either a night of sleep or an equivalent interval of daytime wake. Both the fcMRI and the sleep control groups showed significant improvement of MST performance, while the wake control group did not. In the fcMRI group, increased connectivity in bilateral motor cortex following MST training correlated with this next-day improvement. This increased connectivity did not appear to reflect initial learning since it did not correlate with learning during training and was not greater after MST training than MCT performance. Instead, we hypothesize that this increased connectivity processed the new memories for sleep-dependent consolidation. Our findings demonstrate that physiological processes immediately after learning correlate with sleep-dependent performance improvement and suggest that the wakeful resting brain prepares memories of recent experiences for later consolidation during sleep.

  6. Transfer of short-term motor learning across the lower limbs as a function of task conception and practice order.

    PubMed

    Stöckel, Tino; Wang, Jinsung

    2011-11-01

    Interlimb transfer of motor learning, indicating an improvement in performance with one limb following training with the other, often occurs asymmetrically (i.e., from non-dominant to dominant limb or vice versa, but not both). In the present study, we examined whether interlimb transfer of the same motor task could occur asymmetrically and in opposite directions (i.e., from right to left leg vs. left to right leg) depending on individuals' conception of the task. Two experimental conditions were tested: In a dynamic control condition, the process of learning was facilitated by providing the subjects with a type of information that forced them to focus on dynamic features of a given task (force impulse); and in a spatial control condition, it was done with another type of information that forced them to focus on visuomotor features of the same task (distance). Both conditions employed the same leg extension task. In addition, a fully-crossed transfer paradigm was used in which one group of subjects initially practiced with the right leg and were tested with the left leg for a transfer test, while the other group used the two legs in the opposite order. The results showed that the direction of interlimb transfer varied depending on the condition, such that the right and the left leg benefited from initial training with the opposite leg only in the spatial and the dynamic condition, respectively. Our finding suggests that manipulating the conception of a leg extension task has a substantial influence on the pattern of interlimb transfer in such a way that the direction of transfer can even be opposite depending on whether the task is conceived as a dynamic or spatial control task.

  7. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy-based correlates of prefrontal cortical dynamics during a cognitive-motor executive adaptation task

    PubMed Central

    Gentili, Rodolphe J.; Shewokis, Patricia A.; Ayaz, Hasan; Contreras-Vidal, José L.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23847489

  8. Dual-Task Interference during Initial Learning of a New Motor Task Results from Competition for the Same Brain Areas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Remy, Florence; Wenderoth, Nicole; Lipkens, Karen; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2010-01-01

    Cerebral patterns of activity elicited by dual-task performance throughout the learning of a complex bimanual coordination pattern were addressed. Subjects (N = 12) were trained on the coordination pattern and scanned using fMRI at early (PRE) and late (POST) learning stages. During scanning, the coordination pattern was performed either as a…

  9. Age-related changes of the functional architecture of the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry during motor task execution.

    PubMed

    Marchand, William R; Lee, James N; Suchy, Yana; Garn, Cheryl; Johnson, Susanna; Wood, Nicole; Chelune, Gordon

    2011-03-01

    Normal human aging is associated with declining motor control and function. It is thought that dysfunction of the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry may contribute to age-related sensorimotor impairment, however the underlying mechanisms are poorly characterized. The aim of this study was to enhance our understanding of age-related changes in the functional architecture of these circuits. Fifty-nine subjects, consisting of a young, middle and old group, were studied using functional MRI and a motor activation paradigm. Functional connectivity analyses and examination of correlations of connectivity strength with performance on the activation task as well as neurocognitive tasks completed outside of magnet were conducted. Results indicated that increasing age is associated with changes in the functional architecture of the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry. Connectivity strength increased between subcortical nuclei and cortical motor and sensory regions but no changes were found between subcortical components of the circuitry. Further, increased connectivity was correlated with poorer performance on a neurocognitive task independently of age. This result suggests that increased connectivity reflects a decline in brain function rather than a compensatory process. These findings advance our understanding of the normal aging process. Further, the methods employed will likely be useful for future studies aimed at disambiguating age-related versus illness progression changes associated with neuropsychiatric disorders that involve the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry.

  10. Intra-Auditory Integration Improves Motor Performance and Synergy in an Accurate Multi-Finger Pressing Task

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Kyung; Kwon, Hyun Joon; Park, Yang Sun; Kiemel, Tim; Miller, Ross H.; Kim, Yoon Hyuk; Shin, Joon-Ho; Shim, Jae Kun

    2016-01-01

    Humans detect changes in the air pressure and understand the surroundings through the auditory system. The sound humans perceive is composed of two distinct physical properties, frequency and intensity. However, our knowledge is limited how the brain perceives and combines these two properties simultaneously (i.e., intra-auditory integration), especially in relation to motor behaviors. Here, we investigated the effect of intra-auditory integration between the frequency and intensity components of auditory feedback on motor outputs in a constant finger-force production task. The hierarchical variability decomposition model previously developed was used to decompose motor performance into mathematically independent components each of which quantifies a distinct motor behavior such as consistency, repeatability, systematic error, within-trial synergy, or between-trial synergy. We hypothesized that feedback on two components of sound as a function of motor performance (frequency and intensity) would improve motor performance and multi-finger synergy compared to feedback on just one component (frequency or intensity). Subjects were instructed to match the reference force of 18 N with the sum of all finger forces (virtual finger or VF force) while listening to auditory feedback of their accuracy. Three experimental conditions were used: (i) condition F, where frequency changed; (ii) condition I, where intensity changed; (iii) condition FI, where both frequency and intensity changed. Motor performance was enhanced for the FI conditions as compared to either the F or I condition alone. The enhancement of motor performance was achieved mainly by the improved consistency and repeatability. However, the systematic error remained unchanged across conditions. Within- and between-trial synergies were also improved for the FI condition as compared to either the F or I condition alone. However, variability of individual finger forces for the FI condition was not significantly

  11. Fine motor skills in adult Tourette patients are task-dependent

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics. Deficient motor inhibition underlying tics is one of the main hypotheses in its pathophysiology. Therefore the question arises whether this supposed deficient motor inhibition affects also voluntary movements. Despite severe motor tics, different personalities who suffer from Tourette perform successfully as neurosurgeon, pilot or professional basketball player. Methods For the investigation of fine motor skills we conducted a motor performance test battery in an adult Tourette sample and an age matched group of healthy controls. Results The Tourette patients showed a significant lower performance in the categories steadiness of both hands and aiming of the right hand in comparison to the healthy controls. A comparison of patients’ subgroup without comorbidities or medication and healthy controls revealed a significant difference in the category steadiness of the right hand. Conclusions Our results show that steadiness and visuomotor integration of fine motor skills are altered in our adult sample but not precision and speed of movements. This alteration pattern might be the clinical vignette of complex adaptations in the excitability of the motor system on the basis of altered cortical and subcortical components. The structurally and functionally altered neuronal components could encompass orbitofrontal, ventrolateral prefrontal and parietal cortices, the anterior cingulate, amygdala, primary motor and sensorimotor areas including altered corticospinal projections, the corpus callosum and the basal ganglia. PMID:23057645

  12. Task-dependent changes of motor cortical network excitability during precision grip compared to isolated finger contraction.

    PubMed

    Kouchtir-Devanne, Nezha; Capaday, Charles; Cassim, François; Derambure, Philippe; Devanne, Hervé

    2012-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether task-dependent differences in corticospinal pathway excitability occur in going from isolated contractions of the index finger to its coordinated activity with the thumb. Focal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to measure input-output (I/O) curves--a measure of corticospinal pathway excitability--of the contralateral first dorsal interosseus (FDI) muscle in 21 healthy subjects performing two isometric motor tasks: index abduction and precision grip. The level of FDI electromyographic (EMG) activity was kept constant across tasks. The amplitude of the FDI motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and the duration of FDI silent period (SP) were plotted against TMS stimulus intensity and fitted, respectively, to a Boltzmann sigmoidal function. The plateau level of the FDI MEP amplitude I/O curve increased by an average of 40% during the precision grip compared with index abduction. Likewise, the steepness of the curve, as measured by the value of the maximum slope, increased by nearly 70%. By contrast, all I/O curve parameters [plateau, stimulus intensity required to obtain 50% of maximum response (S(50)), and slope] of SP duration were similar between the two tasks. Short- and long-latency intracortical inhibitions (SICI and LICI, respectively) were also measured in each task. Both measures of inhibition decreased during precision grip compared with the isolated contraction. The results demonstrate that the motor cortical circuits controlling index and thumb muscles become functionally coupled when the muscles are used synergistically and this may be due, at least in part, to a decrease of intracortical inhibition and an increase of recurrent excitation.

  13. Walking in School-Aged Children in a Dual-Task Paradigm Is Related to Age But Not to Cognition, Motor Behavior, Injuries, or Psychosocial Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Hagmann-von Arx, Priska; Manicolo, Olivia; Lemola, Sakari; Grob, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Age-dependent gait characteristics and associations with cognition, motor behavior, injuries, and psychosocial functioning were investigated in 138 typically developing children aged 6.7–13.2 years (M = 10.0 years). Gait velocity, normalized velocity, and variability were measured using the walkway system GAITRite without an additional task (single task) and while performing a motor or cognitive task (dual task). Assessment of children’s cognition included tests for intelligence and executive functions; parents reported on their child’s motor behavior, injuries, and psychosocial functioning. Gait variability (an index of gait regularity) decreased with increasing age in both single- and dual-task walking. Dual-task gait decrements were stronger when children walked in the motor compared to the cognitive dual-task condition and decreased with increasing age in both dual-task conditions. Gait alterations from single- to dual-task conditions were not related to children’s cognition, motor behavior, injuries, or psychosocial functioning. PMID:27014158

  14. Attention during functional tasks is associated with motor performance in children with developmental coordination disorder: A cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Fong, Shirley S M; Chung, Joanne W Y; Cheng, Yoyo T Y; Yam, Timothy T T; Chiu, Hsiu-Ching; Fong, Daniel Y T; Cheung, C Y; Yuen, Lily; Yu, Esther Y T; Hung, Yeung Sam; Macfarlane, Duncan J; Ng, Shamay S M

    2016-09-01

    This cross-sectional and exploratory study aimed to compare motor performance and electroencephalographic (EEG) attention levels in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and those with typical development, and determine the relationship between motor performance and the real-time EEG attention level in children with DCD.Eighty-six children with DCD [DCD: n = 57; DCD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): n = 29] and 99 children with typical development were recruited. Their motor performance was assessed with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) and attention during the tasks of the MABC was evaluated by EEG.All children with DCD had higher MABC impairment scores and lower EEG attention scores than their peers (P < 0.05). After accounting for age, sex, body mass index, and physical activity level, the attention index remained significantly associated with the MABC total impairment score and explained 14.1% of the variance in children who had DCD but not ADHD (P = 0.009) and 17.5% of the variance in children with both DCD and ADHD (P = 0.007). Children with DCD had poorer motor performance and were less attentive to movements than their peers. Their poor motor performance may be explained by inattention.

  15. Dynamic analysis of a BLDC motor with mechanical and electromagnetic interaction due to air gap variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Im, Hyungbin; Yoo, Hong Hee; Chung, Jintai

    2011-04-01

    In this study, the dynamic behaviors of a BLDC motor are analyzed, when the motor undergoes mechanical and electromagnetic interaction due to an air gap variation between the stator and rotor. When considering the air gap variation caused by the translational motion of the rotor relative to the stator, the kinetic and potential energies, Rayleigh dissipation function, and the magnetic coenergy are expressed in terms of the rotor displacements and stator currents. With these energies and function, new equations of motion are derived using Lagrange's equation. The equations for the proposed model are nonlinear equations in which the displacements and currents are coupled. The time responses for the displacements and currents are computed for the proposed and previous models. Furthermore, the effects of rotor eccentricity are also investigated. It is found that, when the air gap varies with time, the time responses for the proposed and previous models have small differences in the stator currents, electromagnetic torques, and rotating speeds. However, the time responses have large differences in the rotor displacements. Therefore, this paper claims that the proposed model describes the dynamic behaviors of the motor more accurately than the previous model. It is also shown that rotor eccentricity increases the stator current period and the electromagnetic torque, while it decreases the rotating speed of the rotor.

  16. EEG μ rhythm in virtual reality reveals that motor coding of visual objects in peripersonal space is task dependent.

    PubMed

    Wamain, Yannick; Gabrielli, François; Coello, Yann

    2016-01-01

    Previous fMRI studies have shown that the visual perception of manipulable objects spontaneously involves the sensorimotor system, especially when the objects are located in peripersonal space. However, it has also been suggested that the motor coding of manipulable objects perceived in peripersonal space depends on an anticipation to interact with them. The present study aims at clarifying this issue by analyzing healthy adults' EEG activity on the centro-parietal region while perceptually judging intrinsic (prototypical or distorted shape) or extrinsic (reachable or not reachable location) properties of visual objects. In both the object identification and reachability judgment tasks, time-frequency decomposition of EEG signals was performed across the first 1000 ms following object presentation for trials on which no post-stimulus response was required (90% of the trials). Event-Related-(De)Synchronization (ERD/S) of μ rhythm was computed using the 150 ms pre-stimulus period as baseline. In the reachability judgment task, EEG analysis showed a desynchronization of μ rhythm starting 300 ms after object presentation, but only when the objects were presented with a prototypical shape in peripersonal space. For those objects, desynchronization of μ rhythm diminished progressively from peripersonal to extrapersonal space. By contrast, no such gradient was observed in the object identification task. On the whole, these data indicate that motor coding of visual objects expressed in the μ rhythm depends on an object's shape and location in space, but also on the goal of the perceptual task.

  17. Differences in Motor Imagery Time when Predicting Task Duration in Alpine Skiers and Equestrian Riders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Louis, Magali; Collet, Christian; Champely, Stephane; Guillot, Aymeric

    2012-01-01

    Athletes' ability to use motor imagery (MI) to predict the speed at which they could perform a motor sequence has received little attention. In this study, 21 alpine skiers and 16 equestrian riders performed MI based on a prediction of actual performance time (a) after the course inspection, (b) before the start, and (c) after the actual…

  18. Single-trial classification of motor imagery differing in task complexity: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background For brain computer interfaces (BCIs), which may be valuable in neurorehabilitation, brain signals derived from mental activation can be monitored by non-invasive methods, such as functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Single-trial classification is important for this purpose and this was the aim of the presented study. In particular, we aimed to investigate a combined approach: 1) offline single-trial classification of brain signals derived from a novel wireless fNIRS instrument; 2) to use motor imagery (MI) as mental task thereby discriminating between MI signals in response to different tasks complexities, i.e. simple and complex MI tasks. Methods 12 subjects were asked to imagine either a simple finger-tapping task using their right thumb or a complex sequential finger-tapping task using all fingers of their right hand. fNIRS was recorded over secondary motor areas of the contralateral hemisphere. Using Fisher's linear discriminant analysis (FLDA) and cross validation, we selected for each subject a best-performing feature combination consisting of 1) one out of three channel, 2) an analysis time interval ranging from 5-15 s after stimulation onset and 3) up to four Δ[O2Hb] signal features (Δ[O2Hb] mean signal amplitudes, variance, skewness and kurtosis). Results The results of our single-trial classification showed that using the simple combination set of channels, time intervals and up to four Δ[O2Hb] signal features comprising Δ[O2Hb] mean signal amplitudes, variance, skewness and kurtosis, it was possible to discriminate single-trials of MI tasks differing in complexity, i.e. simple versus complex tasks (inter-task paired t-test p ≤ 0.001), over secondary motor areas with an average classification accuracy of 81%. Conclusions Although the classification accuracies look promising they are nevertheless subject of considerable subject-to-subject variability. In the discussion we address each of these aspects, their limitations for

  19. Non-physical practice improves task performance in an unstable, perturbed environment: motor imagery and observational balance training

    PubMed Central

    Taube, Wolfgang; Lorch, Michael; Zeiter, Sibylle; Keller, Martin

    2014-01-01

    For consciously performed motor tasks executed in a defined and constant way, both motor imagery (MI) and action observation (AO) have been shown to promote motor learning. It is not known whether these forms of non-physical training also improve motor actions when these actions have to be variably applied in an unstable and unpredictable environment. The present study therefore investigated the influence of MI balance training (MI_BT) and a balance training combining AO and MI (AO+MI_BT) on postural control of undisturbed and disturbed upright stance on unstable ground. As spinal reflex excitability after classical (i.e., physical) balance training (BT) is generally decreased, we tested whether non-physical BT also has an impact on spinal reflex circuits. Thirty-six participants were randomly allocated into an MI_BT group, in which participants imagined postural exercises, an AO+MI_BT group, in which participants observed videos of other people performing balance exercises and imagined being the person in the video, and a non-active control group (CON). Before and after 4 weeks of non-physical training, balance performance was assessed on a free-moving platform during stance without perturbation and during perturbed stance. Soleus H-reflexes were recorded during stable and unstable stance. The post-measurement revealed significantly decreased postural sway during undisturbed and disturbed stance after both MI_BT and AO+MI_BT. Spinal reflex excitability remained unchanged. This is the first study showing that non-physical training (MI_BT and AO+MI_BT) not only promotes motor learning of “rigid” postural tasks but also improves performance of highly variable and unpredictable balance actions. These findings may be relevant to improve postural control and thus reduce the risk of falls in temporarily immobilized patients. PMID:25538598

  20. The primary motor cortex is associated with learning the absolute, but not relative, timing dimension of a task: A tDCS study.

    PubMed

    Apolinário-Souza, Tércio; Romano-Silva, Marco Aurélio; de Miranda, Débora Marques; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro Fernandes; Benda, Rodolfo Novellino; Ugrinowitsch, Herbert; Lage, Guilherme Menezes

    2016-06-01

    The functional role of the primary motor cortex (M1) in the production of movement parameters, such as length, direction and force, is well known; however, whether M1 is associated with the parametric adjustments in the absolute timing dimension of the task remains unknown. Previous studies have not applied tasks and analyses that could separate the absolute (variant) and relative (invariant) dimensions. We applied transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to M1 before motor practice to facilitate motor learning. A sequential key-pressing task was practiced with two goals: learning the relative timing dimension and learning the absolute timing dimension. All effects of the stimulation of M1 were observed only in the absolute dimension of the task. Mainly, the stimulation was associated with better performance in the transfer test in the absolute dimension. Taken together, our results indicate that M1 is an important area for learning the absolute timing dimension of a motor sequence.

  1. Multiple Language Use Influences Oculomotor Task Performance: Neurophysiological Evidence of a Shared Substrate between Language and Motor Control

    PubMed Central

    Heidlmayr, Karin; Doré-Mazars, Karine; Aparicio, Xavier; Isel, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    In the present electroencephalographical study, we asked to which extent executive control processes are shared by both the language and motor domain. The rationale was to examine whether executive control processes whose efficiency is reinforced by the frequent use of a second language can lead to a benefit in the control of eye movements, i.e. a non-linguistic activity. For this purpose, we administrated to 19 highly proficient late French-German bilingual participants and to a control group of 20 French monolingual participants an antisaccade task, i.e. a specific motor task involving control. In this task, an automatic saccade has to be suppressed while a voluntary eye movement in the opposite direction has to be carried out. Here, our main hypothesis is that an advantage in the antisaccade task should be observed in the bilinguals if some properties of the control processes are shared between linguistic and motor domains. ERP data revealed clear differences between bilinguals and monolinguals. Critically, we showed an increased N2 effect size in bilinguals, thought to reflect better efficiency to monitor conflict, combined with reduced effect sizes on markers reflecting inhibitory control, i.e. cue-locked positivity, the target-locked P3 and the saccade-locked presaccadic positivity (PSP). Moreover, effective connectivity analyses (dynamic causal modelling; DCM) on the neuronal source level indicated that bilinguals rely more strongly on ACC-driven control while monolinguals rely on PFC-driven control. Taken together, our combined ERP and effective connectivity findings may reflect a dynamic interplay between strengthened conflict monitoring, associated with subsequently more efficient inhibition in bilinguals. Finally, L2 proficiency and immersion experience constitute relevant factors of the language background that predict efficiency of inhibition. To conclude, the present study provided ERP and effective connectivity evidence for domain-general executive

  2. Do pursuit movement tasks lead to differential changes in early somatosensory evoked potentials related to motor learning compared with typing tasks?

    PubMed

    Andrew, Danielle; Yielder, Paul; Murphy, Bernadette

    2015-02-15

    Central nervous system (CNS) plasticity is essential for development; however, recent research has demonstrated its role in pathology, particularly following overuse and repetition. Previous studies investigating changes in sensorimotor integration (SMI) have used relatively simple paradigms resulting in minimal changes in neural activity, as determined through the use of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). This study sought to utilize complex tasks and compare separate motor paradigms to determine which one best facilitates long-term learning. Spinal, brainstem, and cortical SEPs were recorded following median nerve stimulation at the wrist pre- and postinterventions. Eighteen participants performed the same paradigms, a control condition of 10 min of mental recitation and two interventions, one consisting of 10 min of tracing and the other 10 min of repetitive typing. Significant increases in the N13, N20, P25, and N30 SEP peaks were seen for both interventions. A significant decrease in the N24 SEP peak was observed for both interventions. Significant improvements in accuracy were seen for both interventions postacquisition but only for tracing during retention. The changes seen following motor learning were congruent with those associated with long-term learning, which was also reflected by significant increases in accuracy during retention. Tracing or the pursuit movement paradigm was shown to be a more effective learning tool. The identification of a task that is sufficiently novel and complex, leading to robust changes in SEP peaks, indicates a task that can be utilized in future work to study clinical populations and the effect of experimental interventions on SMI.

  3. Potential Predictors of Changes in Gross Motor Function during Various Tasks for Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Follow-Up Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Chia-ling; Chen, Chung-yao; Chen, Hsieh-ching; Liu, Wen-yu; Shen, I-hsuan; Lin, Keh-chung

    2013-01-01

    Very few studies have investigated predictors of change in various gross motor outcomes in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP). The aim of this study was to identify potential predictors for change in gross motor outcomes measured during various tasks in children with CP. A group of 45 children (age, 6-15 years) with CP and 7 potential…

  4. Exploration of joint redundancy but not task space variability facilitates supervised motor learning.

    PubMed

    Singh, Puneet; Jana, Sumitash; Ghosal, Ashitava; Murthy, Aditya

    2016-12-13

    The number of joints and muscles in a human arm is more than what is required for reaching to a desired point in 3D space. Although previous studies have emphasized how such redundancy and the associated flexibility may play an important role in path planning, control of noise, and optimization of motion, whether and how redundancy might promote motor learning has not been investigated. In this work, we quantify redundancy space and investigate its significance and effect on motor learning. We propose that a larger redundancy space leads to faster learning across subjects. We observed this pattern in subjects learning novel kinematics (visuomotor adaptation) and dynamics (force-field adaptation). Interestingly, we also observed differences in the redundancy space between the dominant hand and nondominant hand that explained differences in the learning of dynamics. Taken together, these results provide support for the hypothesis that redundancy aids in motor learning and that the redundant component of motor variability is not noise.

  5. Specificity of transfer in basic and applied perceptual-motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Robert W; Dunston, Phillip S; So, Joey C Y; Lopez-Santamaria, Bessy N; Yamaguchi, Motonori; Wang, Xiangyu

    2013-01-01

    We conducted research on transfer of skills using basic stimulus-response compatibility tasks and applied tasks requiring control of a hydraulic excavator simulator. The basic tasks show rapid acquisition of practiced spatial mappings, for which transfer is specific to the procedures used in training. The applied tasks show transfer across alternative control configurations that maintain practiced spatial mappings, as well as from part to whole practice. Transfer from simulated to real equipment also seems to occur; however, studies involving cooperation of academia and industry are needed to provide more definitive evidence on this question.

  6. Dynamic causal modelling of EEG and fMRI to characterize network architectures in a simple motor task.

    PubMed

    Bönstrup, Marlene; Schulz, Robert; Feldheim, Jan; Hummel, Friedhelm C; Gerloff, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) has extended the understanding of brain network dynamics in a variety of functional systems. In the motor system, DCM studies based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or on magneto-/electroencephalography (M/EEG) have demonstrated movement-related causal information flow from secondary to primary motor areas and have provided evidence for nonlinear cross-frequency interactions among motor areas. The present study sought to investigate to what extent fMRI- and EEG-based DCM might provide complementary and synergistic insights into neuronal network dynamics. Both modalities share principal similarities in the formulation of the DCM. Thus, we hypothesized that DCM based on induced EEG responses (DCM-IR) and on fMRI would reveal congruent task-dependent network dynamics. Brain electrical (63-channel surface EEG) and Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signals were recorded in separate sessions from 14 healthy participants performing simple isometric right and left hand grips. DCM-IR and DCM-fMRI were used to estimate coupling parameters modulated by right and left hand grips within a core motor network of six regions comprising bilateral primary motor cortex (M1), ventral premotor cortex (PMv) and supplementary motor area (SMA). We found that DCM-fMRI and DCM-IR similarly revealed significant grip-related increases in facilitatory coupling between SMA and M1 contralateral to the active hand. A grip-dependent interhemispheric reciprocal inhibition between M1 bilaterally was only revealed by DCM-fMRI but not by DCM-IR. Frequency-resolved coupling analysis showed that the information flow from contralateral SMA to M1 was predominantly a linear alpha-to-alpha (9-13Hz) interaction. We also detected some cross-frequency coupling from SMA to contralateral M1, i.e., between lower beta (14-21Hz) at the SMA and higher beta (22-30Hz) at M1 during right hand grip and between alpha (9-13Hz) at SMA and lower beta (14-21Hz) at M1

  7. Caspr3-Deficient Mice Exhibit Low Motor Learning during the Early Phase of the Accelerated Rotarod Task

    PubMed Central

    Hirata, Haruna; Takahashi, Aki; Shimoda, Yasushi; Koide, Tsuyoshi

    2016-01-01

    Caspr3 (Contactin-associated protein-like 3, Cntnap3) is a neural cell adhesion molecule belonging to the Caspr family. We have recently shown that Caspr3 is expressed abundantly between the first and second postnatal weeks in the mouse basal ganglia, including the striatum, external segment of the globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus, and substantia nigra. However, its physiological role remains largely unknown. In this study, we conducted a series of behavioral analyses on Capsr3-knockout (KO) mice and equivalent wild-type (WT) mice to investigate the role of Caspr3 in brain function. No significant differences were observed in most behavioral traits between Caspr3-KO and WT mice, but we found that Caspr3-KO mice performed poorly during the early phase of the accelerated rotarod task in which latency to falling off a rod rotating with increasing velocity was examined. In the late phase, the performance of the Caspr3-KO mice caught up to the level of WT mice, suggesting that the deletion of Caspr3 caused a delay in motor learning. We then examined changes in neural activity after training on the accelerated rotarod by conducting immunohistochemistry using antibody to c-Fos, an indirect marker for neuronal activity. Experience of the accelerated rotarod task caused increases in the number of c-Fos-positive cells in the dorsal striatum, cerebellum, and motor cortex in both Caspr3-KO and WT mice, but the number of c-Fos-positive cells was significantly lower in the dorsal striatum of Caspr3-KO mice than in that of WT mice. The expression of c-Fos in the ventral striatum of Caspr3-KO and WT mice was not altered by the training. Our findings suggest that reduced activation of neural cells in the dorsal striatum in Caspr3-KO mice leads to a decline in motor learning in the accelerated rotarod task. PMID:26807827

  8. Random motor generation in a finger tapping task: influence of spatial contingency and of cortical and subcortical hemispheric brain lesions

    PubMed Central

    Annoni, J.; Pegna, A.

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVE—To test the hypothesis that, during random motor generation, the spatial contingencies inherent to the task would induce additional preferences in normal subjects, shifting their performances farther from randomness. By contrast, perceptual or executive dysfunction could alter these task related biases in patients with brain damage.
METHODS—Two groups of patients, with right and left focal brain lesions, as well as 25 right handed subjects matched for age and handedness were asked to execute a random choice motor task—namely, to generate a random series of 180 button presses from a set of 10 keys placed vertically in front of them.
RESULTS—In the control group, as in the left brain lesion group, motor generation was subject to deviations from theoretical expected randomness, similar to those when numbers are generated mentally, as immediate repetitions (successive presses on the same key) are avoided. However, the distribution of button presses was also contingent on the topographic disposition of the keys: the central keys were chosen more often than those placed at extreme positions. Small distances were favoured, particularly with the left hand. These patterns were influenced by implicit strategies and task related contingencies.
 By contrast, right brain lesion patients with frontal involvement tended to show a more square distribution of key presses—that is, the number of key presses tended to be more equally distributed. The strategies were also altered by brain lesions: the number of immediate repetitions was more frequent when the lesion involved the right frontal areas yielding a random generation nearer to expected theoretical randomness. The frequency of adjacent key presses was increased by right anterior and left posterior cortical as well as by right subcortical lesions, but decreased by left subcortical lesions.
CONCLUSIONS—Depending on the side of the lesion and the degree of cortical-subcortical involvement, the

  9. Teaching a High-Avoidance Motor Task to a Retarded Child through Participant Modeling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feltz, Deborah L.

    1980-01-01

    The study investigated the effectiveness of participant modeling as a technique for teaching an educable mentally retarded 12-year-old a task that was considered high in avoidance (a modified forward dive). Participant modeling with self-directed performance at each step was successful in teaching the student a high avoidance diving task. (SBH)

  10. Fine and Gross Motor Task Performance When Using Computer-Based Video Models by Students with Autism and Moderate Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mechling, Linda C.; Swindle, Catherine O.

    2013-01-01

    This investigation examined the effects of video modeling on the fine and gross motor task performance by three students with a diagnosis of moderate intellectual disability (Group 1) and by three students with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (Group 2). Using a multiple probe design across three sets of tasks, the study examined the…

  11. Learning, Not Adaptation, Characterizes Stroke Motor Recovery: Evidence From Kinematic Changes Induced by Robot-Assisted Therapy in Trained and Untrained Task in the Same Workspace

    PubMed Central

    Dipietro, L.; Krebs, H. I.; Volpe, B. T.; Stein, J.; Bever, C.; Mernoff, S. T.; Fasoli, S. E.; Hogan, N.

    2015-01-01

    Both the American Heart Association and the VA/DoD endorse upper-extremity robot-mediated rehabilitation therapy for stroke care. However, we do not know yet how to optimize therapy for a particular patient’s needs. Here, we explore whether we must train patients for each functional task that they must perform during their activities of daily living or alternatively capacitate patients to perform a class of tasks and have therapists assist them later in translating the observed gains into activities of daily living. The former implies that motor adaptation is a better model for motor recovery. The latter implies that motor learning (which allows for generalization) is a better model for motor recovery. We quantified trained and untrained movements performed by 158 recovering stroke patients via 13 metrics, including movement smoothness and submovements. Improvements were observed both in trained and untrained movements suggesting that generalization occurred. Our findings suggest that, as motor recovery progresses, an internal representation of the task is rebuilt by the brain in a process that better resembles motor learning than motor adaptation. Our findings highlight possible improvements for therapeutic algorithms design, suggesting sparse-activity-set training should suffice over exhaustive sets of task specific training. PMID:22186963

  12. Motor Cortical Correlates of Arm Resting in the Context of a Reaching Task and Implications for Prosthetic Control

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Scott D.; Schwartz, Andrew B.; Whitford, Andrew S.; Sohn, Jeong-Woo; McMorland, Angus J.C.

    2014-01-01

    Prosthetic devices are being developed to restore movement for motor-impaired individuals. A robotic arm can be controlled based on models that relate motor-cortical ensemble activity to kinematic parameters. The models are typically built and validated on data from structured trial periods during which a subject actively performs specific movements, but real-world prosthetic devices will need to operate correctly during rest periods as well. To develop a model of motor cortical modulation during rest, we trained monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to perform a reaching task with their own arm while recording motor-cortical single-unit activity. When a monkey spontaneously put its arm down to rest between trials, our traditional movement decoder produced a nonzero velocity prediction, which would cause undesired motion when applied to a prosthetic arm. During these rest periods, a marked shift was found in individual units' tuning functions. The activity pattern of the whole population during rest (Idle state) was highly distinct from that during reaching movements (Active state), allowing us to predict arm resting from instantaneous firing rates with 98% accuracy using a simple classifier. By cascading this state classifier and the movement decoder, we were able to predict zero velocity correctly, which would avoid undesired motion in a prosthetic application. Interestingly, firing rates during hold periods followed the Active pattern even though hold kinematics were similar to those during rest with near-zero velocity. These findings expand our concept of motor-cortical function by showing that population activity reflects behavioral context in addition to the direct parameters of the movement itself. PMID:24760860

  13. Effect of task-oriented training and high-variability practice on gross motor performance and activities of daily living in children with spastic diplegia

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Hae-Yeon; Ahn, So-Yoon

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] This study investigates how a task-oriented training and high-variability practice program can affect the gross motor performance and activities of daily living for children with spastic diplegia and provides an effective and reliable clinical database for future improvement of motor performances skills. [Subjects and Methods] This study randomly assigned seven children with spastic diplegia to each intervention group including that of a control group, task-oriented training group, and a high-variability practice group. The control group only received neurodevelopmental treatment for 40 minutes, while the other two intervention groups additionally implemented a task-oriented training and high-variability practice program for 8 weeks (twice a week, 60 min per session). To compare intra and inter-relationships of the three intervention groups, this study measured gross motor performance measure (GMPM) and functional independence measure for children (WeeFIM) before and after 8 weeks of training. [Results] There were statistically significant differences in the amount of change before and after the training among the three intervention groups for the gross motor performance measure and functional independence measure. [Conclusion] Applying high-variability practice in a task-oriented training course may be considered an efficient intervention method to improve motor performance skills that can tune to movement necessary for daily livelihood through motor experience and learning of new skills as well as change of tasks learned in a complex environment or similar situations to high-variability practice. PMID:27821947

  14. Performing a reaching task with one arm while adapting to a visuomotor rotation with the other can lead to complete transfer of motor learning across the arms.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinsung; Lei, Yuming; Binder, Jeffrey R

    2015-04-01

    The extent to which motor learning is generalized across the limbs is typically very limited. Here, we investigated how two motor learning hypotheses could be used to enhance the extent of interlimb transfer. According to one hypothesis, we predicted that reinforcement of successful actions by providing binary error feedback regarding task success or failure, in addition to terminal error feedback, during initial training would increase the extent of interlimb transfer following visuomotor adaptation (experiment 1). According to the other hypothesis, we predicted that performing a reaching task repeatedly with one arm without providing performance feedback (which prevented learning the task with this arm), while concurrently adapting to a visuomotor rotation with the other arm, would increase the extent of transfer (experiment 2). Results indicate that providing binary error feedback, compared with continuous visual feedback that provided movement direction and amplitude information, had no influence on the extent of transfer. In contrast, repeatedly performing (but not learning) a specific task with one arm while visuomotor adaptation occurred with the other arm led to nearly complete transfer. This suggests that the absence of motor instances associated with specific effectors and task conditions is the major reason for limited interlimb transfer and that reinforcement of successful actions during initial training is not beneficial for interlimb transfer. These findings indicate crucial contributions of effector- and task-specific motor instances, which are thought to underlie (a type of) model-free learning, to optimal motor learning and interlimb transfer.

  15. Learning of a simple grapho-motor task by young children and adults: similar acquisition but age-dependent retention

    PubMed Central

    Julius, Mona S.; Adi-Japha, Esther

    2015-01-01

    Many new skills are acquired during early childhood. Typical laboratory skill learning tasks are not applicable for developmental studies that involve children younger than 8 years of age. It is not clear whether young children and adults share a basic underlying skill learning mechanism. In the present study, the learning and retention of a simple grapho-motor pattern were studied in three age groups: 5–6, 7–8, and 19–29 years. Each block of the task consists of identical patterns arranged in a spaced writing array. Progression across the block involves on-page movements while producing the pattern, and off-page movements between patterns. The participants practiced the production of the pattern using a digitizing tablet and were tested at 24 h and 2 weeks post-practice. All age groups produced the task blocks more quickly with practice, and the learning rate was inversely related to the initial production time. All groups exhibited additional gains 24 h post-practice that were well-retained 2 weeks later. The accuracy of the participants was maintained throughout the 2-weeks period. These findings suggest that young children and young adults use a similar mechanism when learning the task. Nevertheless, the 6-years-old spent more time off-page during retention testing than when tested at 24 h post-practice, thus supporting the notion that an age advantage may exists in the long-term retention of skills due to planning-dependent aspects. PMID:25798120

  16. Speech Motor Programming in Apraxia of Speech: Evidence from a Delayed Picture-Word Interference Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mailend, Marja-Liisa; Maas, Edwin

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Apraxia of speech (AOS) is considered a speech motor programming impairment, but the specific nature of the impairment remains a matter of debate. This study investigated 2 hypotheses about the underlying impairment in AOS framed within the Directions Into Velocities of Articulators (DIVA; Guenther, Ghosh, & Tourville, 2006) model: The…

  17. The Drawing of Squares and Diamonds: A Perceptual-Motor Task Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Broderick, Pia; Laszlo, Judith I.

    1987-01-01

    Reports a study of 5- to 12-year-old children and adults regarding the role of perceptual motor factors in copying an equilateral four-sided "square" or "diamond" figure under five conditions. Developmental trends were found for copying both figures; the diamond was less well performed than the square at all ages tested.…

  18. On the interference of task-irrelevant hue variation on texture segmentation.

    PubMed

    Pearson, P M; Kingdom, F A

    2001-01-01

    Although natural images often include discordant information about object boundaries, the majority of research on texture segmentation has involved variation along a single dimension, e.g. colour, orientation, size. In this study, we examined orientation-based texture segmentation in the presence and absence of task-irrelevant colour variation. Previously, it had been shown that orientation-based texture segmentation was impaired if the elements, normally of one colour, were randomly allocated one of two colours (Morgan et al, 1992 Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 248 291-295). We found that this interference disappeared, however, when the spatial pattern of the colour variation was regular, as opposed to random, and when the elements were randomly positioned. We consider four models of how relevant and irrelevant texture information might combine to produce the interference effect, with special regard to these new findings. None of the models could account for the dependency of the interference effect on the spatial arrangement of colour and orientation in the texture. We suggest that inter-element separation and spatial-frequency selectivity are critical variables in the interference effect.

  19. Stereotype threat and lift effects in motor task performance: the mediating role of somatic and cognitive anxiety.

    PubMed

    Laurin, Raphael

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this investigation was to replicate the stereotype threat and lift effects in a motor task in a neutral sex-typed activity, using somatic and cognitive anxiety as key mediators of these phenomena. It was hypothesized that an ingroup/outgroup social categorization based on gender would have distinctive effects for female and male participants. A total of 161 French physical education students were randomly assigned to three threat conditions--no threat, female threat, and male threat--thus leading to a 3 x 2 (threat by gender) design. The analyses revealed a stereotype lift effect on the performances for both male and female participants, as well as a stereotype threat effect only for female participants. They also indicated that somatic anxiety had a mediating effect on the performance of female participants targeted by a negative stereotype, but that it had a facilitating effect on their performance. The stereotype threat and lift effects on motor tasks were replicated in a neutral sex-typed activity and somatic anxiety seems to have a facilitating mediating effect of the relationships between the gender-conditions (control or female threat) interaction and free-throw performance. The model used to distinguish somatic and cognitive anxiety appeared to be a relevant means of explaining the stereotype threat and lift mechanisms.

  20. An analysis of the processing requirements of a complex perceptual-motor task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kramer, A. F.; Wickens, C. D.; Donchin, E.

    1983-01-01

    Current concerns in the assessment of mental workload are discussed, and the event-related brain potential (ERP) is introduced as a promising mental-workload index. Subjects participated in a series of studies in which they were required to perform a target acquisition task while also covertly counting either auditory or visual probes. The effects of several task-difficulty manipulations on the P300 component of the ERP elicited by the counted stimulus probes were investigated. With sufficiently practiced subjects the amplitude of the P300 was found to decrease with increases in task difficulty. The second experiment also provided evidence that the P300 is selectively sensitive to task-relevant attributes. A third experiment demonstrated a convergence in the amplitude of the P300s elicited in the simple and difficult versions of the tracking task. The amplitude of the P300 was also found to covary with the measures of tracking performance. The results of the series of three experiments illustrate the sensitivity of the P300 to the processing requirements of a complex target acquisition task. The findings are discussed in terms of the multidimensional nature of processing resources.

  1. A novel calibration and task guidance framework for motor imagery BCI via a tendon vibration induced sensation with kinesthesia illusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Lin; Meng, Jianjun; Sheng, Xinjun; Zhang, Dingguo; Zhu, Xiangyang

    2015-02-01

    Objective. Lack of efficient calibration and task guidance in motor imagery (MI) based brain-computer interface (BCI) would result in the failure of communication or control, especially in patients, such as a stroke with motor impairment and intact sensation, locked-in state amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in which the sources of data for calibration may worsen the subsequent decoding. In addition, enhancing the proprioceptive experience in MI might improve the BCI performance. Approach. In this work, we propose a new calibrating and task guidance methodology to further improve the MI BCI, exploiting the afferent nerve system through tendon vibration stimulation to induce a sensation with kinesthesia illusion. A total of 30 subjects’ experiments were carried out, and randomly divided into a control group (control-group) and calibration and task guidance group (CTG-group). Main results. Online experiments have shown that MI could be decoded by classifier calibrated solely using sensation data, with 8 of the 15 subjects in the CTG-Group above 80%, 3 above 95% and all above 65%. Offline chronological cross-validation analysis shows that it has reached a comparable performance with the traditional calibration method (F(1,14)=0.14,P=0.7176). In addition, the discrimination accuracy of MI in the CTG-Group is significantly 12.17% higher on average than that in the control-group (unpaired-T test, P = 0.0086), and illusory sensation indicates no significant difference (unpaired-T test, p = 0.3412). The finding of the existed similarity of the discriminative brain patterns and grand averaged ERD/ERS between imagined movement (actively induced) and illusory movement (passively evoked) also validates the proposed calibration and task guidance framework. Significance. The cognitive complexity of the illusory sensation task is much lower and more objective than that of MI. In addition, subjects’ kinesthetic experience mentally simulated during the MI task might be enhanced by

  2. Kinematic and kinetic evidence for functional lateralization in a symmetrical motor task: the water polo eggbeater kick.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Nuno; Sanders, Ross H

    2015-03-01

    Bilaterality and motor lateralization have been associated with neural lateralization, suggesting that the dominant and non-dominant systems might have different specializations. The study of symmetrical motor tasks can provide evidence relating to this hypothesis. The water polo eggbeater kick is a skill comprising anti-phase and directionally opposite rotations of the right and left lower limbs to provide upward thrust to elevate the body. Effectiveness of the skill depends on moving the feet in predominantly horizontal directions with an orientation that produces lift throughout as much of the cycle as possible. The purpose of this study was to investigate the motor lateralization of the dominant (D) and non-dominant (ND) lower limbs during the execution of the water polo eggbeater kick technique. Twelve right-handed and right-footed water polo players performed eggbeater kicks in the vertical position to maintain maximum height. Three-dimensional kinematics and the pattern of vertical forces were quantified for nine cycles for each player. The pattern of vertical force produced showed asymmetries between the equivalent phases of the cycles of the dominant and non-dominant limbs (D, 222.8 N; ND, 201.0 N; p < 0.001). Based on the vertical force patterns, the non-dominant ankle had a less efficient motion during the phase of knee flexion (recovery phase). This was a consequence of larger negative pitch angles created by the non-dominant foot for the equivalent phase. Negative pitch angles counteract the lift forces responsible for the upward propulsion of the player. The effectiveness of the dominant side during the recovery phase was a consequence of bilateral differences in rotation and inversion motions by the ankle and hip. Differences in the technique of the dominant and non-dominant side, particularly during the phase of knee flexion, supported the 'dynamic dominance theory' where each hemisphere/limb might be tuned to control different parameters of task

  3. Reconciling the influence of task-set switching and motor inhibition processes on stop signal after-effects

    PubMed Central

    Anguera, Joaquin A.; Lyman, Kyle; Zanto, Theodore P.; Bollinger, Jacob; Gazzaley, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Executive response functions can be affected by preceding events, even if they are no longer associated with the current task at hand. For example, studies utilizing the stop signal task have reported slower response times to “GO” stimuli when the preceding trial involved the presentation of a “STOP” signal. However, the neural mechanisms that underlie this behavioral after-effect are unclear. To address this, behavioral and electroencephalography (EEG) measures were examined in 18 young adults (18–30 years) on “GO” trials following a previously “Successful Inhibition” trial (pSI), a previously “Failed Inhibition” trial (pFI), and a previous “GO” trial (pGO). Like previous research, slower response times were observed during both pSI and pFI trials (i.e., “GO” trials that were preceded by a successful and unsuccessful inhibition trial, respectively) compared to pGO trials (i.e., “GO” trials that were preceded by another “GO” trial). Interestingly, response time slowing was greater during pSI trials compared to pFI trials, suggesting executive control is influenced by both task set switching and persisting motor inhibition processes. Follow-up behavioral analyses indicated that these effects resulted from between-trial control adjustments rather than repetition priming effects. Analyses of inter-electrode coherence (IEC) and inter-trial coherence (ITC) indicated that both pSI and pFI trials showed greater phase synchrony during the inter-trial interval compared to pGO trials. Unlike the IEC findings, differential ITC was present within the beta and alpha frequency bands in line with the observed behavior (pSI > pFI > pGO), suggestive of more consistent phase synchrony involving motor inhibition processes during the ITI at a regional level. These findings suggest that between-trial control adjustments involved with task-set switching and motor inhibition processes influence subsequent performance, providing new insights into the

  4. Engaging Environments Enhance Motor Skill Learning in a Computer Gaming Task.

    PubMed

    Lohse, Keith R; Boyd, Lara A; Hodges, Nicola J

    2016-01-01

    Engagement during practice can motivate a learner to practice more, hence having indirect effects on learning through increased practice. However, it is not known whether engagement can also have a direct effect on learning when the amount of practice is held constant. To address this question, 40 participants played a video game that contained an embedded repeated sequence component, under either highly engaging conditions (the game group) or mechanically identical but less engaging conditions (the sterile group). The game environment facilitated retention over a 1-week interval. Specifically, the game group improved in both speed and accuracy for random and repeated trials, suggesting a general motor-related improvement, rather than a specific influence of engagement on implicit sequence learning. These data provide initial evidence that increased engagement during practice has a direct effect on generalized learning, improving retention and transfer of a complex motor skill.

  5. Age-related variability in performance of a motor action selection task is related to differences in brain function and structure among older adults.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Jill Campbell; Tran, Xuan; Cramer, Steven C

    2014-02-01

    Task performance for behaviors that engage motor cognitive processes may be particularly sensitive to age-related changes. One well-studied model of cognitive motor function involves engagement of action selection (AS) processes. In young adults, task conditions that add AS demands result in increased preparation times and greater engagement of bilateral dorsal premotor (PMd) and parietal cortices. The current study investigated the behavioral and neural response to a change in motor cognitive demands in older adults through the addition of AS to a movement task. Sixteen older adults made a joystick movement under two conditions during functional magnetic resonance imaging. In the AS condition, participants moved right or left based on an abstract rule; in the execution only (EO) condition, participants moved in the same direction on every trial. Across participants, the AS condition, as compared to the EO condition, was associated with longer reaction time and increased activation of left inferior parietal lobule. Variability in behavioral response to the AS task between participants related to differences in brain function and structure. Overall, individuals with poorer AS task performance showed greater activation in left PMd and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and decreased structural integrity of white matter tracts that connect sensorimotor, frontal, and parietal regions-key regions for AS task performance. Additionally, two distinct patterns of functional connectivity were found. Participants with a pattern of decreased primary motor-PMd connectivity in response to the AS condition, compared to those with a pattern of increased connectivity, were older and had poorer behavioral performance. These neural changes in response to increased motor cognitive demands may be a marker for age-related changes in the motor system and have an impact on the learning of novel, complex motor skills in older adults.

  6. Computing motor unit number index of the first dorsal interosseous muscle with two different contraction tasks.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ping; Li, Xiaoyan; Rymer, William Zev

    2012-10-01

    Motor unit number index (MUNIX) is a recently developed novel neurophysiological technique providing an index proportional to the number of motor units in a muscle. The MUNIX is derived from maximum M wave and voluntary surface electromyogram (EMG) recordings. The objective of this study was to address a practical question for computing MUNIX in the first dorsal interosseous (FDI), a multifunctional muscle that generates torque about the second metacarpophalangeal joint, i.e., how will different lines of muscle activation influence its MUNIX estimates? To address this question, the MUNIX technique was applied in the FDI muscle of 15 neurologically intact subjects, using surface EMG signals from index finger abduction and flexion, respectively, while the maximum M wave remained the same. Across all subjects, the average MUNIX value of the FDI muscle was 228 ± 45 for index finger abduction, slightly smaller than the MUNIX estimate of 251 ± 56 for index finger flexion. Different FDI muscle activation patterns resulted in an approximately 10% difference in MUNIX estimates. The findings from this study suggest that appropriate definition of voluntary activation of the FDI muscle should be kept to ensure consistency in measurements and avoid source of error. The current study is limited by only assessing neurologically intact muscles. It is important to perform a similar analysis for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), given that ALS is the primary intention of the MUNIX method as a potential follow-up measurement for motor unit loss.

  7. The effects of a simultaneous cognitive or motor task on the kinematics of walking in older fallers and non-fallers.

    PubMed

    Freire Júnior, Renato Campos; Porto, Jaqueline Mello; Marques, Nise Ribeiro; Magnani, Paola Errera; Abreu, Daniela Cristina Carvalho de

    2017-01-01

    Human gait has been widely investigated under dual-task conditions because it has been demonstrated to be an important way to uncover differences in gait biomechanics between older fallers and non-fallers. However, exactly how simultaneous tasks affect the kinematics of walking remains unclear. In the present study, gait kinematic properties of older fallers and non-fallers were compared under cognitive and motor dual-task conditions. The gait kinematic properties of interest were recorded under three different conditions: walking at preferred speed, walking when performing a cognitive task (naming animals), and walking when performing a motor task (transferring a coin from one pocket to the other). The following variables were analyzed: gait speed, cadence, stride time, step length, single support, stride time variability, and the dual-task cost. In addition, functional balance was evaluated by means of the Balance Evaluation - Systems Test (BESTest). Two-way repeated-measures ANOVAs revealed significant main effects of walking conditions. However, no significant main effects of group (fallers vs. non-fallers) and no significant interaction effects between group and walking condition were observed. The BESTest revealed that functional balance in fallers was worse than in non-fallers. The cognitive task leads to more significant changes in gait kinematics than does a motor task and the step length and stride time variability were variables more sensitive to that cognitive influence.

  8. Circadian variation of motor current observed in fixed rotation speed continuous-flow left ventricular assist device support.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Kenji; Nishinaka, Tomohiro; Miyamoto, Takuma; Ichihara, Yuki; Yamazaki, Kenji

    2014-06-01

    The algorithm for the physiological control provided by left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) has been controversial. In particular, little is known about the physiological control algorithm (such as for achieving physiological circadian rhythms) in continuous-flow LVADs. To investigate the existence of circadian variation, we retrospectively evaluated the LVAD flow-correlated motor current of patients supported by continuous-flow LVADs. The motor current and the pump speed were collected from the external controller every 10 min after device implantation, and the data were divided for every 30-day period, which began on midnight on the first post-operative day. The subjects were 18 patients (mean age 37.7, mean body surface area 1.71 m(2) at the time of operation) with dilated cardiomyopathy or dilated phase of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As of August 1, 2013, the patients' median support duration was 889 days. The mean calculated dominant period of motor current variation was 24.0 h and the mean amplitude was 11.7 mA for the entire duration. The amplitude of the motor current circadian variation tended to be increased until around the fifth month. The motor current had a tendency to be relatively low during the night time and high during the day time. A significant difference was found between the night-time and day-time mean motor current for the entire duration (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the circadian variation of the motor current could be observed over long term in patients with fixed rotation speed continuous-flow LVAD support.

  9. Experimental Validation of Motor Primitive-Based Control for Leg Exoskeletons during Continuous Multi-Locomotion Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz Garate, Virginia; Parri, Andrea; Yan, Tingfang; Munih, Marko; Molino Lova, Raffaele; Vitiello, Nicola; Ronsse, Renaud

    2017-01-01

    An emerging approach to design locomotion assistive devices deals with reproducing desirable biological principles of human locomotion. In this paper, we present a bio-inspired controller for locomotion assistive devices based on the concept of motor primitives. The weighted combination of artificial primitives results in a set of virtual muscle stimulations. These stimulations then activate a virtual musculoskeletal model producing reference assistive torque profiles for different locomotion tasks (i.e., walking, ascending stairs, and descending stairs). The paper reports the validation of the controller through a set of experiments conducted with healthy participants. The proposed controller was tested for the first time with a unilateral leg exoskeleton assisting hip, knee, and ankle joints by delivering a fraction of the computed reference torques. Importantly, subjects performed a track involving ground-level walking, ascending stairs, and descending stairs and several transitions between these tasks. These experiments highlighted the capability of the controller to provide relevant assistive torques and to effectively handle transitions between the tasks. Subjects displayed a natural interaction with the device. Moreover, they significantly decreased the time needed to complete the track when the assistance was provided, as compared to wearing the device with no assistance. PMID:28367121

  10. EMG activities of the quadratus lumborum and erector spinae muscles during flexion-relaxation and other motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Andersson, E A; Oddsson, L I E; Grundström, H; Nilsson, J; Thorstensson, A

    1996-10-01

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to provide new information on the myoelectrical activation of the quadratus lumborum, the deep lateral and the superficial medial lumbar erector spinae, the psoas, and the iliacus muscles in various motor tasks. DESIGN: An intramuscular electromyographic study was performed. BACKGROUND: The contribution of individual deep trunk muscles to the stability of the lumbar spine is relatively unknown in different tasks, including the flexion-relaxation phenomenon. METHODS: Seven healthy subjects participated. Fine-wire electrodes were inserted with a needle guided by ultrasound. RESULTS: The highest activity observed for quadratus lumborum and deep lateral erector spinae occurred in ipsilateral trunk flexion in a side-lying position and for superficial medial erector spinae during bilateral leg lift in a prone position. Quadratus lumborum and deep lateral erector spinae were activated when the flexion-relaxation phenomenon was present for superficial medial erector spinae, i.e. when its activity ceased in the latter part of full forward flexion of the trunk, held relaxed and kyphotic. CONCLUSIONS: In general, the activation of the investigated muscles showed a high degree of task specificity, where activation of a certain muscle was not always predictable from its anatomical arrangement and mechanical advantage.

  11. Evaluation of a modified Fitts law brain-computer interface target acquisition task in able and motor disabled individuals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felton, E. A.; Radwin, R. G.; Wilson, J. A.; Williams, J. C.

    2009-10-01

    A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a communication system that takes recorded brain signals and translates them into real-time actions, in this case movement of a cursor on a computer screen. This work applied Fitts' law to the evaluation of performance on a target acquisition task during sensorimotor rhythm-based BCI training. Fitts' law, which has been used as a predictor of movement time in studies of human movement, was used here to determine the information transfer rate, which was based on target acquisition time and target difficulty. The information transfer rate was used to make comparisons between control modalities and subject groups on the same task. Data were analyzed from eight able-bodied and five motor disabled participants who wore an electrode cap that recorded and translated their electroencephalogram (EEG) signals into computer cursor movements. Direct comparisons were made between able-bodied and disabled subjects, and between EEG and joystick cursor control in able-bodied subjects. Fitts' law aptly described the relationship between movement time and index of difficulty for each task movement direction when evaluated separately and averaged together. This study showed that Fitts' law can be successfully applied to computer cursor movement controlled by neural signals.

  12. Task difficulty and the time scales of warm-up and motor learning.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Morina E; King, Adam C; Newell, Karl M

    2013-01-01

    The authors investigated the influence of task difficulty on warm-up decrement and learning across practice sessions. Three groups of participants practiced a star-tracing task over 3 consecutive days with different levels (e.g., easy, medium, hard) of task difficulty. The performance data were modeled with a 2 time scale function that represented the transient, fast time scale process of warm-up decrement superimposed with the persistent, slow time scale process of learning. Movement time decreased as a function of practice with the most difficult condition exhibiting the greatest reduction though still the longest movement time. The 2 time scale model provided a better fit to the data than an exponential or power law function and showed that the 3 difficulty conditions exhibited similar rates of change for the respective slow (i.e., learning) and fast (i.e., warm-up decrement) time scale processes that varied by an order of magnitude. Task difficulty was inversely related to the initial level of warm-up decrement but not the rate of performance recovery early in a practice session. The findings support the postulation that there is a persistent learned component to the initial conditions in subsequent practice sessions but that there is a common time scale of accommodating the transient process of warm-up decrement.

  13. Response Inhibition in Motor and Oculomotor Conflict Tasks: Different Mechanisms, Different Dynamics?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wijnen, Jasper G.; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard

    2007-01-01

    Previous research has shown that the appearance of task-irrelevant abrupt onsets influences saccadic eye movements during visual search and may slow down manual reactions to target stimuli. Analysis of reaction time distributions in the present study offers evidence suggesting that top-down inhibition processes actively suppress oculomotor or…

  14. Optimal Weighting of Costs and Probabilities in a Risky Motor Decision-Making Task Requires Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neyedli, Heather F.; Welsh, Timothy N.

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has revealed that people choose to aim toward an "optimal" endpoint when faced with a movement task with externally imposed payoffs. This optimal endpoint is modeled based on the magnitude of the payoffs and the probability of hitting the different payoff regions (endpoint variability). Endpoint selection, however, has only been…

  15. The Effect of Somatosensory and Cognitive-motor Tasks on the Paretic Leg of Chronic Stroke Patients in the Standing Posture

    PubMed Central

    Ju, Sung-kwang; Yoo, Won-gyu

    2014-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate how different standing surfaces alter somatosensory input and how postural control is affected by these changes during the performance of a dual task with a cognitive-motor aspect. [Subjects] The subjects were 20 chronic stroke patients: 18 males, 2 females. [Methods] COP total distance, sway velocity, and the weight load on the paretic leg were measured while subjects performed the following three tasks (somatosensory task, cognitive-motor task, and dual task). [Results] Both COP total distance and sway velocity significantly decreased during the performance of all tasks. COP total distance and sway velocity significantly decreased during the somatosensory task and the dual task. The weight load significantly increased during performance of the somatosensory task and the dual task. [Conclusion] Compensatory mechanisms in the non-paretic leg were limited by placing it on an air cushion, and we observed an increase in somatosensory input from the paretic leg due to an enhanced weight load. PMID:25540484

  16. Robotic guidance induces long-lasting changes in the movement pattern of a novel sport-specific motor task.

    PubMed

    Kümmel, Jakob; Kramer, Andreas; Gruber, Markus

    2014-12-01

    Facilitating the learning or relearning of motor tasks is one of the main goals of coaches, teachers and therapists. One promising way to achieve this goal is guiding the learner through the correct movement trajectory with the help of a robotic device. The aim of this study was to investigate if haptic guidance can induce long-lasting changes in the movement pattern of a complex sport-specific motor task. For this purpose, 31 subjects were assigned to one of three groups: EA (early angle, n=10), LA (late angle, n=11) and CON (control, n=10). EA and LA successfully completed five training sessions, which consisted of 50 robot-guided golf swings and 10 free swings each, whereas CON had no training. The EA group was guided through the movement with the wrist being bent early during backswing, whereas in the LA group it was bent late. The participants of EA and LA were not told about this difference in the movement patterns. To assess if the robot-guided training was successful in shaping the movement pattern, the timing of the wrist bending during the backswing in free swings was measured before (PRE), one day after (POST), and 7 days after (FUP) the five training sessions. The ANOVA (time×group×angle) showed that during POST and FUP, the participants of the EA group bent their wrist significantly earlier during the backswing than the other groups. Post-hoc analyses revealed that this interaction effect was mainly due to the differences in the wrist angle progression during the first 5° of the backswing. The robot-guided training was successful in shaping the movement pattern, and these changes persisted even after 7 days without further practice. This might have implications for the learning of complex motor tasks in general, as haptic guidance might quickly provide the beginner with an internal model of the correct movement pattern without having to direct the learner's attention towards the key points of the correct movement pattern.

  17. Striatal lesions in the mouse disrupt acquisition and retention, but not implicit learning, in the SILT procedural motor learning task.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Simon P; Trueman, Rebecca C; Dunnett, Stephen B

    2007-12-14

    motor learning tasks, but does not play a role in the learning of implicit information.

  18. High frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus has beneficial antiparkinsonian effects on motor functions in rats, but less efficiency in a choice reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Darbaky, Yassine; Forni, Claude; Amalric, Marianne; Baunez, Christelle

    2003-08-01

    Chronic subthalamic nucleus high frequency stimulation (STN HFS) improves motor function in Parkinson's disease. However, its efficacy on cognitive function and the mechanisms involved are less known. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of STN HFS in hemiparkinsonian awake rats performing different specific motor tests and a cognitive operant task. Unilateral STN HFS applied in unilaterally DA-depleted rats decreased the apomorphine-induced circling behaviour and reduced catalepsy induced by the neuroleptic haloperidol. DA-depleted rats exhibited severe deficits in the operant task, among which the inability to perform the task was not alleviated by STN HFS. However, in a few animals showing less impairment, STN HFS significantly reduced the contralateral neglect induced by the lesion. These results are the first to demonstrate a beneficial effect of STN HFS applied in awake rats on basic motor functions. However, STN HFS appears to be less effective on impaired cognitive functions.

  19. Motor Impulsivity during Childhood and Adolescence: A Longitudinal Biometric Analysis of the Go/No-Go Task in 9- to 18-Year-Old Twins

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bezdjian, Serena; Tuvblad, Catherine; Wang, Pan; Raine, Adrian; Baker, Laura A.

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated genetic and environmental effects on motor impulsivity from childhood to late adolescence using a longitudinal sample of twins from ages 9 to 18 years. Motor impulsivity was assessed using errors of commission (no-go errors) in a visual go/no-go task at 4 time points: ages 9-10, 11-13, 14-15, and 16-18 years.…

  20. A Transform-Based Feature Extraction Approach for Motor Imagery Tasks Classification.

    PubMed

    Baali, Hamza; Khorshidtalab, Aida; Mesbah, Mostefa; Salami, Momoh J E

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we present a new motor imagery classification method in the context of electroencephalography (EEG)-based brain-computer interface (BCI). This method uses a signal-dependent orthogonal transform, referred to as linear prediction singular value decomposition (LP-SVD), for feature extraction. The transform defines the mapping as the left singular vectors of the LP coefficient filter impulse response matrix. Using a logistic tree-based model classifier; the extracted features are classified into one of four motor imagery movements. The proposed approach was first benchmarked against two related state-of-the-art feature extraction approaches, namely, discrete cosine transform (DCT) and adaptive autoregressive (AAR)-based methods. By achieving an accuracy of 67.35%, the LP-SVD approach outperformed the other approaches by large margins (25% compared with DCT and 6 % compared with AAR-based methods). To further improve the discriminatory capability of the extracted features and reduce the computational complexity, we enlarged the extracted feature subset by incorporating two extra features, namely, Q- and the Hotelling's [Formula: see text] statistics of the transformed EEG and introduced a new EEG channel selection method. The performance of the EEG classification based on the expanded feature set and channel selection method was compared with that of a number of the state-of-the-art classification methods previously reported with the BCI IIIa competition data set. Our method came second with an average accuracy of 81.38%.

  1. Exploration and Identification of Cortico-Cerebellar-Brainstem Closed Loop During a Motivational-Motor Task: an fMRI Study.

    PubMed

    Belkhiria, Chama; Driss, Tarak; Habas, Christophe; Jaafar, Hamdi; Guillevin, Remy; de Marco, Giovanni

    2017-04-01

    The cerebellum is involved not only in motor coordination, training, and memory, but also in cognition and emotion. Lobule VI in particular belongs to sensorimotor, salience, and executive cerebellar networks. This study aims to determine whether lobule VI would constitute an integrative interface between motor and cognitive/emotional circuits during a motor task with verbal encouragement, likely in conjunction with the basal ganglia (reward and motivational system). We used fMRI to identify specific recruitment of cerebellar and striatal systems during physical performance using two motor tasks with and without encouragement. We found that: (i) Force results were higher during verbal encouragement than during basal condition in all participants. (ii) The anterior part of the right lobule VI was activated by motor execution in both tasks, while its posterior part was specifically activated by verbal encouragement. (iii) The closed-connectivity loop maintained motivation induced by verbal encouragement between cerebral and cerebellar through the red nucleus and striatal network. Therefore, right lobule VI is a hub-controlling sensorimotor and motivates aspects of motor performance in relation with the red nucleus and the ventral striatum. These results could have important implications for extrapyramidal and multisystem degenerative diseases.

  2. Effects of memory load on event-related patterns of 40-Hz EEG during cognitive and motor tasks.

    PubMed

    De Pascalis, V; Ray, W J

    1998-05-01

    The present study describes a phasic event-related synchronization (ERS) in the gamma band (36-44 Hz) induced by the onset of probe visual stimuli. The experiment consisted of two experimental tasks with high and low memory-load in which a geometrical figure (S1) was held in memory for comparison with a subsequent stimulus (S2). In each task a Go-NoGo paradigm was used with a Same-Different discrimination task. The aim of the study was to examine the influence on 40-Hz ERS of stimulus type ('Same-Different') and of response (Go-NoGo) task as moderated by activation or effort level (high/low memory-load). The investigation was carried out in 27 women. The EEG was recorded from FP1, FP2, F3, F4, P3, P4, O1 and O2 scalp sites referenced to linked earlobes. As a manipulation check for activation level, we recorded heart rate (HR) during the S1-S2 period. A main peak of activity was found around 160 ms with a maximum at occipital sites. The amplitude of this peak was higher in the high memory-load as compared to the low memory-load condition. This difference was manifested mainly at F3 and O2 scalp sites. A larger 40-Hz peak at F3 was also found in the Go compared to the NoGo condition. No 40-Hz ERS differences between Same and Different trials were observed. The HR was found sensitive to the stimulus type showing a greater HR deceleration response to S2 for Same trials, as compared to Different ones. In parallel with 40-Hz ERS response, the HR deceleration was more pronounced for the high memory-load as compared to the low memory-load condition. The results indicate that the 40-Hz ERS is dependent upon both memory-load and motor responding. The influence of memory load on cognitive (Same-Different) and motor response (Go-NoGo) variables is discussed.

  3. Verbal-motor attention-focusing instructions influence kinematics and performance on a golf-putting task.

    PubMed

    Munzert, Jörn; Maurer, Heiko; Reiser, Mathias

    2014-01-01

    The authors examined how varying the content of verbal-motor instructions and requesting an internal versus external focus influenced the kinematics and outcome of a golf putting task. On Day 1, 30 novices performed 120 trials with the instruction to focus attention either on performing a pendulum-like movement (internal) or on the desired ball path (external). After 20 retention trials on Day 2, they performed 20 transfer trials with the opposite instruction. Group differences for retention and a group by block interaction showed that external instruction enhanced movement outcome. Kinematic data indicated that specific instruction content influenced outcomes by eliciting changes in movement execution. Switching from the external to the internal focus instruction resulted in a more pendulum-like movement.

  4. Large-scale cortical networks estimated from scalp EEG signals during performance of goal-directed motor tasks.

    PubMed

    De Vico Fallani, F; Astolfi, L; Cincotti, F; Mattia, D; Maglione, A G; Vecchiato, G; Toppi, J; Della Penna, F; Salinari, S; Babiloni, F; Zouridakis, G

    2010-01-01

    The evaluation of the topological properties of brain networks is an emergent research topic, since the estimated cerebral connectivity patterns often have relatively large size and complex structure. Since a graph is a mathematical representation of a network, the use of a theoretical graph approach would describe concisely the topological features of the functional brain connectivity network estimated using neuroimaging techniques. In the present study, we analyze the changes in brain synchronization networks using high-resolution EEG signals obtained during performance of a complex goal-directed visuomotor task. Our results show that the cortical network is more stable when subjects reach the goal than when they fail by hitting an obstacle. These findings suggest the presence of a possible cerebral "marker" for motor actions that result in successful reaching of a target.

  5. Real-time tracking of motor response activation and response competition in a Stroop task in young children: a lateralized readiness potential study.

    PubMed

    Szucs, Dénes; Soltész, Fruzsina; Bryce, Donna; Whitebread, David

    2009-11-01

    The ability to select an appropriate motor response by resolving competition among alternative responses plays a major role in cognitive performance. fMRI studies suggest that the development of this skill is related to the maturation of the frontal cortex that underlies the improvement of motor inhibition abilities. However, fMRI cannot characterize the temporal properties of motor response competition and motor activation in general. We studied the development of the time course of resolving motor response competition. To this end, we used the lateralized readiness potential (LRP), an ERP measure, for tracking correct and incorrect motor cortex activation in children in real time. Fourteen children and 14 adults took part in an animal-size Stroop task where they selected between two animals, presented simultaneously on the computer screen, which was larger in real life. In the incongruent condition, the LRP detected stronger and longer lasting incorrect response activation in children than in adults. LRP results could explain behavioral congruency effects, the generally longer RT in children than in adults and the larger congruency effect in children than in adults. In contrast, the peak latency of ERP waves, usually associated with stimulus processing speed, could explain neither of the above effects. We conclude that the development of resolving motor response competition, relying on motor inhibition skills, is a crucial factor in child development. Our study demonstrates that the LRP is an excellent tool for studying motor activation in children.

  6. Do non-human primates cooperate? Evidences of motor coordination during a joint action task in macaque monkeys.

    PubMed

    Visco-Comandini, Federica; Ferrari-Toniolo, Simone; Satta, Eleonora; Papazachariadis, Odysseas; Gupta, Rajnish; Nalbant, Laura Elena; Battaglia-Mayer, Alexandra

    2015-09-01

    Humans are intensively social primates, therefore many of their actions are dedicated to communication and interaction with other individuals. Despite the progress in understanding the cognitive and neural processes that allow humans to perform cooperative actions, in non-human primates only few studies have investigated the ability to interact with a partner in order to reach a common goal. These studies have shown that in naturalistic conditions animals engage in various types of social behavior that involve forms of mutual coordination and cooperation. However, little is known on the capacity of non-human primates to actively cooperate in a controlled experimental setting, which allows full characterization of the motor parameters underlying individual action and their change during motor cooperation. To this aim, we analyzed the behavior of three pairs of macaque monkeys trained to perform solo and joint-actions by exerting a force on an isometric joystick, as to move an individual or a common cursor toward visual targets on a screen. We found that during cooperation monkeys reciprocally adapt their behavior by changing the parameters that define the spatial and temporal aspects of their action, as to fine tune their joint effort, and maximize their common performance. Furthermore the results suggest that when acting together the movement parameters that specify each actor's behavior are not only modulated during execution, but also during planning. These findings provide the first quantitative description of action coordination in non-human primates during the performance of a joint action task.

  7. Neurons in Primary Motor Cortex Encode Hand Orientation in a Reach-to-Grasp Task.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chaolin; Ma, Xuan; Fan, Jing; He, Jiping

    2017-04-07

    It is disputed whether those neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1) that encode hand orientation constitute an independent channel for orientation control in reach-to-grasp behaviors. Here, we trained two monkeys to reach forward and grasp objects positioned in the frontal plane at different orientation angles, and simultaneously recorded the activity of M1 neurons. Among the 2235 neurons recorded in M1, we found that 18.7% had a high correlation exclusively with hand orientation, 15.9% with movement direction, and 29.5% with both movement direction and hand orientation. The distributions of neurons encoding hand orientation and those encoding movement direction were not uniform but coexisted in the same region. The trajectory of hand rotation was reproduced by the firing patterns of the orientation-related neurons independent of the hand reaching direction. These results suggest that hand orientation is an independent component for the control of reaching and grasping activity.

  8. A Transform-Based Feature Extraction Approach for Motor Imagery Tasks Classification

    PubMed Central

    Khorshidtalab, Aida; Mesbah, Mostefa; Salami, Momoh J. E.

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we present a new motor imagery classification method in the context of electroencephalography (EEG)-based brain–computer interface (BCI). This method uses a signal-dependent orthogonal transform, referred to as linear prediction singular value decomposition (LP-SVD), for feature extraction. The transform defines the mapping as the left singular vectors of the LP coefficient filter impulse response matrix. Using a logistic tree-based model classifier; the extracted features are classified into one of four motor imagery movements. The proposed approach was first benchmarked against two related state-of-the-art feature extraction approaches, namely, discrete cosine transform (DCT) and adaptive autoregressive (AAR)-based methods. By achieving an accuracy of 67.35%, the LP-SVD approach outperformed the other approaches by large margins (25% compared with DCT and 6 % compared with AAR-based methods). To further improve the discriminatory capability of the extracted features and reduce the computational complexity, we enlarged the extracted feature subset by incorporating two extra features, namely, Q- and the Hotelling’s \\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \\usepackage{amsmath} \\usepackage{wasysym} \\usepackage{amsfonts} \\usepackage{amssymb} \\usepackage{amsbsy} \\usepackage{upgreek} \\usepackage{mathrsfs} \\setlength{\\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \\begin{document} }{}$T^{2}$ \\end{document} statistics of the transformed EEG and introduced a new EEG channel selection method. The performance of the EEG classification based on the expanded feature set and channel selection method was compared with that of a number of the state-of-the-art classification methods previously reported with the BCI IIIa competition data set. Our method came second with an average accuracy of 81.38%. PMID:27170898

  9. Variation in dual-task performance reveals late initiation of speech planning in turn-taking.

    PubMed

    Sjerps, Matthias J; Meyer, Antje S

    2015-03-01

    The smooth transitions between turns in natural conversation suggest that speakers often begin to plan their utterances while listening to their interlocutor. The presented study investigates whether this is indeed the case and, if so, when utterance planning begins. Two hypotheses were contrasted: that speakers begin to plan their turn as soon as possible (in our experiments less than a second after the onset of the interlocutor's turn), or that they do so close to the end of the interlocutor's turn. Turn-taking was combined with a finger tapping task to measure variations in cognitive load. We assumed that the onset of speech planning in addition to listening would be accompanied by deterioration in tapping performance. Two picture description experiments were conducted. In both experiments there were three conditions: (1) Tapping and Speaking, where participants tapped a complex pattern while taking over turns from a pre-recorded speaker, (2) Tapping and Listening, where participants carried out the tapping task while overhearing two pre-recorded speakers, and (3) Speaking Only, where participants took over turns as in the Tapping and Speaking condition but without tapping. The experiments differed in the amount of tapping training the participants received at the beginning of the session. In Experiment 2, the participants' eye-movements were recorded in addition to their speech and tapping. Analyses of the participants' tapping performance and eye movements showed that they initiated the cognitively demanding aspects of speech planning only shortly before the end of the turn of the preceding speaker. We argue that this is a smart planning strategy, which may be the speakers' default in many everyday situations.

  10. Velocity Fluctuations in Kinesin-1 Gliding Motility Assays Originate in Motor Attachment Geometry Variations.

    PubMed

    Palacci, Henri; Idan, Ofer; Armstrong, Megan J; Agarwal, Ashutosh; Nitta, Takahiro; Hess, Henry

    2016-08-09

    Motor proteins such as myosin and kinesin play a major role in cellular cargo transport, muscle contraction, cell division, and engineered nanodevices. Quantifying the collective behavior of coupled motors is critical to our understanding of these systems. An excellent model system is the gliding motility assay, where hundreds of surface-adhered motors propel one cytoskeletal filament such as an actin filament or a microtubule. The filament motion can be observed using fluorescence microscopy, revealing fluctuations in gliding velocity. These velocity fluctuations have been previously quantified by a motional diffusion coefficient, which Sekimoto and Tawada explained as arising from the addition and removal of motors from the linear array of motors propelling the filament as it advances, assuming that different motors are not equally efficient in their force generation. A computational model of kinesin head diffusion and binding to the microtubule allowed us to quantify the heterogeneity of motor efficiency arising from the combination of anharmonic tail stiffness and varying attachment geometries assuming random motor locations on the surface and an absence of coordination between motors. Knowledge of the heterogeneity allows the calculation of the proportionality constant between the motional diffusion coefficient and the motor density. The calculated value (0.3) is within a standard error of our measurements of the motional diffusion coefficient on surfaces with varying motor densities calibrated by landing rate experiments. This allowed us to quantify the loss in efficiency of coupled molecular motors arising from heterogeneity in the attachment geometry.

  11. Anatomical substrates of cooperative joint-action in a continuous motor task: virtual lifting and balancing.

    PubMed

    Newman-Norlund, Roger D; Bosga, Jurjen; Meulenbroek, Ruud G J; Bekkering, Harold

    2008-05-15

    An emerging branch of social cognitive neuroscience attempts to unravel the critical cognitive mechanisms that enable humans to engage in joint action. In the current experiment, differences in brain activity in participants engaging in solitary action and joint action were identified using whole brain fMRI while participants performed a virtual bar-balancing task either alone (S), or with the help of a partner in each of two separate joint-action conditions (isomorphic [Ji] and non-isomorphic [Jn]). Compared to the performing the task alone, BOLD signal was found to be stronger in both joint-action conditions at specific sites in the human mirror system (MNS). This activation pattern may reflect the demand on participants to simulate the actions of others, integrate their own actions with those of their partners, and compute appropriate responses. Increasing inter-dependence (complementarity) of movements being generated by cooperating individuals (Jn>Ji>S) was found to correlate with BOLD signal in the right anterior node of the MNS (pars opercularis), and the area around the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ). These data are relevant to current debates concerning the role of right IFG in complementary action, as well as evolving theories of joint action.

  12. Potential predictors of changes in gross motor function during various tasks for children with cerebral palsy: a follow-up study.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chia-ling; Chen, Chung-yao; Chen, Hsieh-ching; Liu, Wen-yu; Shen, I-hsuan; Lin, Keh-chung

    2013-01-01

    Very few studies have investigated predictors of change in various gross motor outcomes in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP). The aim of this study was to identify potential predictors for change in gross motor outcomes measured during various tasks in children with CP. A group of 45 children (age, 6-15 years) with CP and 7 potential predictors were identified, including age, gender, CP subtypes, gross motor function classification system (GMFCS) levels, abdominal muscle endurance, and muscles strength of knee extensor and knee flexor measured by isokinetic dynanometer. Motor outcome was assessed by means of the gross motor composite (GMC) of Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP), including four gross motor subtests: running speed and agility (RSA), balance (BAL), bilateral coordination (BCO), and strength (STR). The outcomes were measured at baseline and 12-week later (follow-up). The regression analyses showed that knee extensor strength was a robust predictor of change in BAL, BCO, and GMC (adjusted R(2) = 0.07-0.19, P<0.05). Additionally, abdominal muscle strength was a negative predictor for the changes in the RSA (adjusted R(2) = 0.08, P<0.05). However, STR model revealed no significant predictors. These findings suggest that ambulatory children with greater knee muscle strength may benefit more from therapy than those with lower strength. The knee muscle strength can be used as a biomarker to predict the changes in the gross motor functions.

  13. Diurnal variation in temperature, mental and physical performance, and tasks specifically related to football (soccer).

    PubMed

    Reilly, Thomas; Atkinson, Greg; Edwards, Ben; Waterhouse, Jim; Farrelly, Kelly; Fairhurst, Emma

    2007-01-01

    Football (soccer) training and matches are scheduled at different times throughout the day. Association football involves a variety of fitness components as well as psychomotor and game-related cognitive skills. The purpose of the present research, consisting of two separate studies, was to determine whether game-related skills varied with time of day in phase with global markers of both performance and the body clock. In the first study, eight diurnally active male association football players (19.1+/-1.9 yrs of age; mean+/-SD) with 10.8+/-2.1 yrs playing experience participated. Measurements were made on different days at 08:00, 12:00, 16:00, and 20:00 h in a counterbalanced manner. Time-of-day changes in intra-aural temperature (used as a marker of the body clock), grip strength, reaction times, flexibility (markers of aspects of performance), juggling and dribbling tasks, and wall-volley test (football-specific skills) were compared. Significant (repeated measures analysis of variance, ANOVA) diurnal variations were found for body temperature (p<0.0005), choice reaction time (p<0.05), self-rated alertness (p<0.0005), fatigue (p<0.05), forward (sit-and-reach) flexibility (p<0.02), and right-hand grip strength (p<0.02), but not left-hand grip strength (p=0.40) nor whole-body (stand-and-reach) flexibility (p=0.07). Alertness was highest and fatigue lowest at 20:00 h. Football-specific skills of juggling performance showed significant diurnal variation (p<0.05, peak at 16:00 h), whereas performance on the wall-volley test tended to peak at 20:00 h and dribbling showed no time-of-day effect (p=0.55). In a second study, eight diurnally active subjects (23.0+/-0.7 yrs of age) completed five test sessions, at the same times as in the first study but with a second session at 08:00 h. Test-re-test comparisons at 08:00 h for all components indicated good reliability. Intra-aural temperature showed a significant time-of-day effect (p<0.001) with mean temperature at 16:00 h

  14. Field measurements on spatial variations in aeolian sediment availability at the Sand Motor mega nourishment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoonhout, Bas; de Vries, Sierd

    2017-02-01

    Spatial variations in aeolian sediment transport were measured at the Sand Motor mega nourishment in The Netherlands during a six week field campaign in the fall of 2014. A consistent significant increase in sediment transport in downwind direction (positive gradient) was measured over the intertidal beach area, indicating that the intertidal beach is a primary source of aeolian sediment, despite the high soil moisture contents. A small positive increase in transport in downwind direction was measured over the dry beach, indicating that local aeolian sediment supply was hampered. A consistent decrease in sediment transport in downwind direction (negative gradient) was measured at the transition between intertidal and dry beach, indicating local deposition of sediment. The negative gradients coincide with the berm edge and the onset of a shell pavement. Therefore deposition might be promoted by morphological feedback between a berm and the wind and the entrapment of sediment in the beach armor layer. The local sediment deposits cause the sediment supply to the dunes to be continued even during high water, resulting in a phased process. The influence of the beach armor layer reduces during storm events as the armor layer itself is being mobilized.

  15. The Use of Music to Increase Task-Oriented Behaviors in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Gross Motor Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dieringer, Shannon M.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of music and music + instruction on task-oriented behaviors in preschool children with ASD within individual gross motor movement settings. Five preschool children (four boys; one girl) diagnosed with ASD attending a Midwestern private preschool for children with ASD served as participants. The…

  16. The Effect of Picture Task Cards on Performance of the Test of Gross Motor Development by Preschool-Aged Children: A Preliminary Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breslin, Casey M.; Robinson, Leah E.; Rudisill, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    Performance on the Test of Gross Motor Development (Second Edition; TGMD-2) by children with autism spectrum disorders improves when picture task cards were implemented into the assessment protocol [Breslin, C.M., & Rudisill, M.E. (2011). "The effect of visual supports on performance of the TGMD-2 for children with autism spectrum…

  17. When affordances climb into your mind: advantages of motor simulation in a memory task performed by novice and expert rock climbers.

    PubMed

    Pezzulo, Giovanni; Barca, Laura; Bocconi, Alessandro Lamberti; Borghi, Anna M

    2010-06-01

    Does the sight of multiple climbing holds laid along a path activate a motor simulation of climbing that path? One way of testing whether multiple affordances and their displacement influence the formation of a motor simulation is to study acquired motor skills. We used a behavioral task in which expert and novice rock climbers were shown three routes: an easy route, a route impossible to climb but perceptually salient, and a difficult route. After a distraction task, they were then given a recall test in which they had to write down the sequence of holds composing each route. We found no difference between experts and novices on the easy and impossible routes, whereas on the difficult route, the performance of experts was better than that of novices. This suggests that seeing a climbing wall activates a motor, embodied simulation, which relies not on perceptual salience, but on motor competence. More importantly, our results show that the capability to form this simulation is modulated by individuals' motor repertoire and expertise, and that this strongly impacts recall.

  18. Associations among measures of sequential processing in motor and linguistics tasks in adults with and without a family history of childhood apraxia of speech: A replication study

    PubMed Central

    BUTTON, LE; PETER, BEATE; STOEL-GAMMON, CAROL; RASKIND, WENDY H.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to address the hypothesis that childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is influenced by an underlying deficit in sequential processing that is also expressed in other modalities. In a sample of 21 adults from five multigenerational families, 11 with histories of various familial speech sound disorders, 3 biologically related adults from a family with familial CAS showed motor sequencing deficits in an alternating motor speech task. Compared with the other adults, these three participants showed deficits in tasks requiring high loads of sequential processing, including nonword imitation, nonword reading and spelling. Qualitative error analyses in real word and nonword imitations revealed group differences in phoneme sequencing errors. Motor sequencing ability was correlated with phoneme sequencing errors during real word and nonword imitation, reading and spelling. Correlations were characterized by extremely high scores in one family and extremely low scores in another. Results are consistent with a central deficit in sequential processing in CAS of familial origin. PMID:23339292

  19. Associations among measures of sequential processing in motor and linguistics tasks in adults with and without a family history of childhood apraxia of speech: a replication study.

    PubMed

    Button, Le; Peter, Beate; Stoel-Gammon, Carol; Raskind, Wendy H

    2013-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to address the hypothesis that childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is influenced by an underlying deficit in sequential processing that is also expressed in other modalities. In a sample of 21 adults from five multigenerational families, 11 with histories of various familial speech sound disorders, 3 biologically related adults from a family with familial CAS showed motor sequencing deficits in an alternating motor speech task. Compared with the other adults, these three participants showed deficits in tasks requiring high loads of sequential processing, including nonword imitation, nonword reading and spelling. Qualitative error analyses in real word and nonword imitations revealed group differences in phoneme sequencing errors. Motor sequencing ability was correlated with phoneme sequencing errors during real word and nonword imitation, reading and spelling. Correlations were characterized by extremely high scores in one family and extremely low scores in another. Results are consistent with a central deficit in sequential processing in CAS of familial origin.

  20. Walking-adaptability assessments with the Interactive Walkway: Between-systems agreement and sensitivity to task and subject variations.

    PubMed

    Geerse, Daphne J; Coolen, Bert H; Roerdink, Melvyn

    2017-03-02

    The ability to adapt walking to environmental circumstances is an important aspect of walking, yet difficult to assess. The Interactive Walkway was developed to assess walking adaptability by augmenting a multi-Kinect-v2 10-m walkway with gait-dependent visual context (stepping targets, obstacles) using real-time processed markerless full-body kinematics. In this study we determined Interactive Walkway's usability for walking-adaptability assessments in terms of between-systems agreement and sensitivity to task and subject variations. Under varying task constraints, 21 healthy subjects performed obstacle-avoidance, sudden-stops-and-starts and goal-directed-stepping tasks. Various continuous walking-adaptability outcome measures were concurrently determined with the Interactive Walkway and a gold-standard motion-registration system: available response time, obstacle-avoidance and sudden-stop margins, step length, stepping accuracy and walking speed. The same holds for dichotomous classifications of success and failure for obstacle-avoidance and sudden-stops tasks and performed short-stride versus long-stride obstacle-avoidance strategies. Continuous walking-adaptability outcome measures generally agreed well between systems (high intraclass correlation coefficients for absolute agreement, low biases and narrow limits of agreement) and were highly sensitive to task and subject variations. Success and failure ratings varied with available response times and obstacle types and agreed between systems for 85-96% of the trials while obstacle-avoidance strategies were always classified correctly. We conclude that Interactive Walkway walking-adaptability outcome measures are reliable and sensitive to task and subject variations, even in high-functioning subjects. We therefore deem Interactive Walkway walking-adaptability assessments usable for obtaining an objective and more task-specific examination of one's ability to walk, which may be feasible for both high

  1. Influence of mental practice on development of voluntary control of a novel motor acquisition task.

    PubMed

    Creelman, Jim

    2003-08-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to assess whether mental practice facilitates the development of voluntary control over the recruitment of the abductor hallucis muscle to produce isolated big toe abduction. A sample of convenience of 15 women and 20 men with a mean age of 28.8 yr. (SD=5.7) and healthy feet, who were unable voluntarily to abduct the big toe, were randomly assigned to one of three groups, a mental practice group, a physical practice group, and a group who performed a control movement during practice. Each subject received neuromuscular electrical stimulation to introduce the desired movement prior to each of five practice bouts over a single session lasting 2 hr. Big toe abduction active range of motion and surface electromyographic (EMG) output of the abductor hallucis and extensor digitorum brevis muscles were measured prior to the first practice bout and following each practice bout, yielding seven acquisition trials. Acquisition is defined as an improvement in both active range of motion and in the difference between the integrated EMG of the abductor hallucis and extensor digitorum brevis muscles during successive acquisition trials. Seven members of both the mental and physical practice groups and one member of the control group met the acquisition criteria. Chi-square analysis indicated the group difference was statistically significant, suggesting mental practice was effective for this task.

  2. The influence of M. P. Bryden's work on lateralization of motor skill: Is the preferred hand selected for and better at tasks requiring a high degree of skill?

    PubMed

    Bryden, Pamela J

    2015-10-21

    One question of interest to Dr M. P. Bryden was how skilled motor behaviour, task complexity, and the degree of handedness are linked. His research suggested that there would be dissociation between hand preference and performance for skilled versus unskilled actions. The thought was that "simple" or unskilled tasks such reaching or grasping could be performed equally well by either hand, and thus either could be selected. Skilled tasks such as fine manipulation would be performed best by the preferred hand and thus it would be selected more frequently. Over the past two decades, researchers have attempted to determine whether such a definition of skilled action best encapsulates the specialization of the preferred hand. The current paper will review M. P. Bryden's research on skilled motor behaviour, as well as more recent work, and explore the question of whether the preferred hand is actually superior and preferred for actions requiring manipulation.

  3. Synchronous Spike Patterns in Macaque Motor Cortex during an Instructed-Delay Reach-to-Grasp Task

    PubMed Central

    Torre, Emiliano; Quaglio, Pietro; Denker, Michael; Brochier, Thomas; Riehle, Alexa

    2016-01-01

    neurons. We recently published a method to extend this type of investigation to larger data. Here, we apply it to simultaneous recordings of hundreds of neurons from the motor cortex of macaque monkeys performing a motor task. Our analysis reveals groups of neurons selectively synchronizing their activity in relation to behavior, which sheds new light on the role of synchrony in information processing in the cerebral cortex. PMID:27511007

  4. An electrical gearbox by means of pole variation for induction and superconducting disc motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inácio, S.; Inácio, D.; Pina, J. M.; Valtchev, S.; Neves, M. V.; Rodrigues, A. L.

    2008-02-01

    In this paper, a poly-phase disc motor innovative feeding and control strategy, based on a variable poles approach, and its application to a HTS disc motor, are presented. The stator windings may be electronically commutated to implement a 2, 4, 6 or 8 poles winding, thus changing the motor's torque/speed characteristics. The motor may be a conventional induction motor with a conductive disc rotor, or a new HTS disc motor, with conventional copper windings at its two iron semi-stators, and a HTS disc as a rotor. The conventional induction motor's operation principle is related with the induced electromotive forces in the conductive rotor. Its behaviour, characteristics (namely their torque/speed characteristics for different number of pole pairs) and modelling through Steinmetz and others theories are well known. The operation principle of the motor with HTS rotor, however, is rather different and is related with vortices' dynamics and pinning characteristics; this is a much more complex process than induction, and its modelling is quite complicated. In this paper, the operation was simulated through finite-elements commercial software, whereas superconductivity was simulated by the E-J power law. The Electromechanical performances of both motors where computed and are presented and compared. Considerations about the systems overall efficiency, including cryogenics, are also discussed.

  5. Implementation of a three degree of freedom, motor/brake hybrid force output device for virtual environment control tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russo, Massimo; Tadros, Alfred; Flowers, Woodie; Zeltzer, David

    1991-01-01

    The advent of high resolution, physical model based computer graphics has left a gap in the design of input/output technology appropriate for interacting with such complex virtual world models. Since virtual worlds consist of physical models, it is appropriate to output the inherent force information necessary for the simulation to the user. The detailed design, construction, and control of a three degree freedom force output joystick will be presented. A novel kinematic design allows all three axes to be uncoupled, so that the system inertia matrix is diagonal. The two planar axes are actuated through an offset gimbal, and the third through a sleeved cable. To compensate for friction and inertia effects, this transmission is controlled by a force feedforward and a closed force feedback proportional loop. Workspace volume is a cone of 512 cubic inches, and the device bandwidth is maximized at 60 Hz for the two planar and 30 Hz for the third axis. Each axis is controlled by a motor/proportional magnetic particle brake combination fixed to the base. The innovative use of motors and brakes allows objects with high resistive torque requirements to be simulated without the stability and related safety issues involved with high torque, energy storing motors alone. Position, velocity, and applied endpoint force are sensed directly. Different control strategies are discussed and implemented, with an emphasis on how virtual environment force information, generated by the MIT Media Lab Computer Graphics and Animation Group BOLIO system, is transmitted to the device controller. The design constraints for a kinesthetic force feedback device can be summarized as: How can the symbiosis between the sense of presence in the virtual environment be maximized without compromising the interaction task under the constraints of the mechanical device limitations? Research in this field will yield insights to the optimal human sensory feedback mix for a wide spectrum of control and

  6. Motor Impulsivity During Childhood and Adolescence: A Longitudinal Biometric Analysis of the Go/No-Go Task in 9- to 18-Year-Old Twins

    PubMed Central

    Bezdjian, Serena; Tuvblad, Catherine; Wang, Pan; Raine, Adrian; Baker, Laura A.

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated genetic and environmental effects on motor impulsivity from childhood to late adolescence using a longitudinal sample of twins from ages 9 to 18 years. Motor impulsivity was assessed using errors of commission (no-go errors) in a visual go/no-go task at 4 time points: ages 9–10, 11–13, 14–15, and 16–18 years. Significant genetic and nonshared environmental effects on motor impulsivity were found at each of the 4 waves of assessment with genetic factors explaining 22%–41% of the variance within each of the 4 waves. Phenotypically, children’s average performance improved across age (i.e., fewer no-go errors during later assessments). Multivariate biometric analyses revealed that common genetic factors influenced 12%–40% of the variance in motor impulsivity across development, whereas nonshared environmental factors common to all time points contributed to 2%–52% of the variance. Nonshared environmental influences specific to each time point also significantly influenced motor impulsivity. Overall, results demonstrated that although genetic factors were critical to motor impulsivity across development, both common and specific nonshared environmental factors played a strong role in the development of motor impulsivity across age. PMID:25347305

  7. Comparing the Predictive Value of Multiple Cognitive, Affective, and Motor Tasks after Rodent Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Loane, David J.; Murray, Michael G.; Stoica, Bogdan A.; Faden, Alan I.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) is a widely-used, clinically-relevant model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although functional outcomes have been used for years in this model, little work has been done to compare the predictive value of various cognitive and sensorimotor assessment tests, singly or in combination. Such information would be particularly useful for assessing mechanisms of injury or therapeutic interventions. Following isoflurane anesthesia, C57BL/6 mice were subjected to sham, mild (5.0 m/sec), moderate (6.0 m/sec), or severe (7.5 m/sec) CCI. A battery of behavioral tests were evaluated and compared, including the standard Morris water maze (sMWM), reversal Morris water maze (rMWM), novel object recognition (NOR), passive avoidance (PA), tail-suspension (TS), beam walk (BW), and open-field locomotor activity. The BW task, performed at post-injury days (PID) 0, 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28, showed good discrimination as a function of injury severity. The sMWM and rMWM tests (PID 14–23), as well as NOR (PID 24 and 25), effectively discriminated spatial and novel object learning and memory across injury severity levels. Notably, the rMWM showed the greatest separation between mild and moderate/severe injury. PA (PID 27 and 28) and TS (PID 24) also reflected differences across injury levels, but to a lesser degree. We also compared individual functional measures with histological outcomes such as lesion volume and neuronal cell loss across anatomical regions. In addition, we created a novel composite behavioral score index from individual complementary behavioral scores, and it provided superior discrimination across injury severities compared to individual tests. In summary, this study demonstrates the feasibility of using a larger number of complementary functional outcome behavioral tests than those traditionally employed to follow post-traumatic recovery after TBI, and suggests that the composite score may be a helpful tool for

  8. Comparing the predictive value of multiple cognitive, affective, and motor tasks after rodent traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zaorui; Loane, David J; Murray, Michael G; Stoica, Bogdan A; Faden, Alan I

    2012-10-10

    Controlled cortical impact injury (CCI) is a widely-used, clinically-relevant model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although functional outcomes have been used for years in this model, little work has been done to compare the predictive value of various cognitive and sensorimotor assessment tests, singly or in combination. Such information would be particularly useful for assessing mechanisms of injury or therapeutic interventions. Following isoflurane anesthesia, C57BL/6 mice were subjected to sham, mild (5.0 m/sec), moderate (6.0 m/sec), or severe (7.5 m/sec) CCI. A battery of behavioral tests were evaluated and compared, including the standard Morris water maze (sMWM), reversal Morris water maze (rMWM), novel object recognition (NOR), passive avoidance (PA), tail-suspension (TS), beam walk (BW), and open-field locomotor activity. The BW task, performed at post-injury days (PID) 0, 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28, showed good discrimination as a function of injury severity. The sMWM and rMWM tests (PID 14-23), as well as NOR (PID 24 and 25), effectively discriminated spatial and novel object learning and memory across injury severity levels. Notably, the rMWM showed the greatest separation between mild and moderate/severe injury. PA (PID 27 and 28) and TS (PID 24) also reflected differences across injury levels, but to a lesser degree. We also compared individual functional measures with histological outcomes such as lesion volume and neuronal cell loss across anatomical regions. In addition, we created a novel composite behavioral score index from individual complementary behavioral scores, and it provided superior discrimination across injury severities compared to individual tests. In summary, this study demonstrates the feasibility of using a larger number of complementary functional outcome behavioral tests than those traditionally employed to follow post-traumatic recovery after TBI, and suggests that the composite score may be a helpful tool for screening

  9. How do children prepare to react? Imaging maturation of motor preparation and stimulus anticipation by late contingent negative variation.

    PubMed

    Bender, Stephan; Weisbrod, Matthias; Bornfleth, Harald; Resch, Franz; Oelkers-Ax, Rieke

    2005-10-01

    Both the motor system and the frontal executive control system show a late maturation in humans which continues into school-age and even adolescence. We investigated the maturation of preparation processes towards a fast motor reaction in 74 healthy right-handed children aged 6 to 18 years and analyzed the topography of the late component of contingent negative variation (lCNV) in a 64-electrode high density sensor array. While adolescents from about 12 years on showed a bilaterally distributed centro-parietal maximum like adults do, younger children almost completely missed the negativity over the left central area contralaterally to the side of the anticipated movement. The reason, as revealed by current source density, was that only adolescents showed significant evoked activity of the left pre-/primary motor and supplementary/cingulate motor areas, while in contrast both age groups displayed significant current sinks over the right (ipsilateral) centro-temporal area and right posterior parietal cortex. Spatio-temporal source analysis confirmed that negativity over the right posterior parietal area could not be explained by a projection via volume conduction from frontal areas involved in motor preparation but represented an independent component with a different maturational course most likely related to sensory attention. Significant event-related desynchronization of alpha-power over the contralateral sensorimotor cortex was found in the younger age group, indicating that also 6- to 11-year-old children were engaged in motor preparation. Thus, the missing current sink over the contalateral sensorimotor cortex during late CNV in 6- to 11-year-old children might reflect the immaturity of a specific subcomponent of the motor preparation system which is related to evoked (late CNV) but not induced activity (alpha-ERD).

  10. Eccentric exercise and delayed onset muscle soreness of the quadriceps induce adjustments in agonist-antagonist activity, which are dependent on the motor task.

    PubMed

    Vila-Chã, C; Hassanlouei, H; Farina, D; Falla, D

    2012-02-01

    This study investigates the effects of eccentric exercise and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) of the quadriceps on agonist-antagonist activity during a range of motor tasks. Ten healthy volunteers (age, mean ± SD, 24.9 ± 3.2 years) performed maximum voluntary contractions (MVC) and explosive isometric contractions of the knee extensors followed by isometric contractions at 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30% MVC at baseline, immediately after and 24 h after eccentric exercise of the quadriceps. During each task, force of the knee extensors and surface EMG of the vasti and hamstrings muscles were recorded concurrently. Rate of force development (RFD) was computed from the explosive isometric contraction, and the coefficient of variation of the force (CoV) signal was estimated from the submaximal contractions. Twenty-four hours after exercise, the subjects rated their perceived pain intensity as 4.1 ± 1.2 (score out of 10). The maximum RFD and MVC of the knee extensors was reduced immediately post- and 24 h after eccentric exercise compared to baseline (average across both time points: 19.1 ± 17.1% and 11.9 ± 9.8% lower, respectively, P < 0.05). The CoV for force during the submaximal contractions was greater immediately after eccentric exercise (up to 66% higher than baseline, P < 0.001) and remained higher 24 h post-exercise during the presence of DOMS (P < 0.01). For the explosive and MVC tasks, the EMG amplitude of the vasti muscles decreased immediately after exercise and was accompanied by increased antagonist EMG for the explosive contraction only. On the contrary, reduced force steadiness was accompanied by a general increase in EMG amplitude of the vasti muscles and was accompanied by increased antagonist activity, but only at higher force levels (>15% MVC). This study shows that eccentric exercise and subsequent DOMS of the quadriceps reduce the maximal force, rate of force development and force steadiness of the knee extensors, and is

  11. Classification of Two Class Motor Imagery Tasks Using Hybrid GA-PSO Based K-Means Clustering.

    PubMed

    Suraj; Tiwari, Purnendu; Ghosh, Subhojit; Sinha, Rakesh Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Transferring the brain computer interface (BCI) from laboratory condition to meet the real world application needs BCI to be applied asynchronously without any time constraint. High level of dynamism in the electroencephalogram (EEG) signal reasons us to look toward evolutionary algorithm (EA). Motivated by these two facts, in this work a hybrid GA-PSO based K-means clustering technique has been used to distinguish two class motor imagery (MI) tasks. The proposed hybrid GA-PSO based K-means clustering is found to outperform genetic algorithm (GA) and particle swarm optimization (PSO) based K-means clustering techniques in terms of both accuracy and execution time. The lesser execution time of hybrid GA-PSO technique makes it suitable for real time BCI application. Time frequency representation (TFR) techniques have been used to extract the feature of the signal under investigation. TFRs based features are extracted and relying on the concept of event related synchronization (ERD) and desynchronization (ERD) feature vector is formed.

  12. Active versus Passive Training of a Complex Bimanual Task: Is Prescriptive Proprioceptive Information Sufficient for Inducing Motor Learning?

    PubMed Central

    Beets, Iseult A. M.; Macé, Marc; Meesen, Raf L. J.; Cuypers, Koen; Levin, Oron; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2012-01-01

    Perceptual processes play an important role in motor learning. While it is evident that visual information greatly contributes to learning new movements, much less is known about provision of prescriptive proprioceptive information. Here, we investigated whether passive (proprioceptively-based) movement training was comparable to active training for learning a new bimanual task. Three groups practiced a bimanual coordination pattern with a 1∶2 frequency ratio and a 90° phase offset between both wrists with Lissajous feedback over the course of four days: 1) passive training; 2) active training; 3) no training (control). Retention findings revealed that passive as compared to active training resulted in equally successful acquisition of the frequency ratio but active training was more effective for acquisition of the new relative phasing between the limbs in the presence of augmented visual feedback. However, when this feedback was removed, performance of the new relative phase deteriorated in both groups whereas the frequency ratio was better preserved. The superiority of active over passive training in the presence of augmented feedback is hypothesized to result from active involvement in processes of error detection/correction and planning. PMID:22666379

  13. A classification method of different motor imagery tasks based on fractal features for brain-machine interface.

    PubMed

    Phothisonothai, Montri; Nakagawa, Masahiro

    2009-03-01

    The objective of this study is to classify spontaneous electroencephalogram (EEG) signal on the basis of fractal concepts. Four motor imagery tasks (left hand movement, right hand movement, feet movement, and tongue movement) were investigated for each EEG recording session. Ten subjects volunteered to participate in this study. As we known, fractal geometry is a mathematical tool for dealing with complex systems like EEG signal. Therefore, we used the fractal dimension (FD) as feature for the application of brain-machine interface (BMI). Effective algorithm, namely, detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) has been selected to estimate embedded FD values between relaxing and imaging states of the recorded EEG signal. To show the pattern of FDs, we propose a windowing-based method or also called time-dependent fractal dimension (TDFD) and the Kullback-Leibler (K-L) divergence. The K-L divergence and different expected values are employed as the input parameters of classifier. Finally, featured data are classified by a three-layer feed-forward neural network based on a simple backpropagation algorithm. Experimental results show that the proposed method is more effective than the conventional methods.

  14. Effects of Task Index Variations On Transfer of Training Criteria. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mirabella, Angelo; Wheaton, George R.

    The concluding series of a research program designed to validate a battery of task indexes for use in forecasting the effectiveness of training devices is described. Phase I collated 17 task indexes and applied them to sonar training devices, while in Phase II the 17 index battery was validated, using skill acquisition measures as criteria.…

  15. Relationship between Reaction Time, Fine Motor Control, and Visual-Spatial Perception on Vigilance and Visual-Motor Tasks in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howley, Sarah A.; Prasad, Sarah E.; Pender, Niall P.; Murphy, Kieran C.

    2012-01-01

    22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS) is a common microdeletion disorder associated with mild to moderate intellectual disability and specific neurocognitive deficits, particularly in visual-motor and attentional abilities. Currently there is evidence that the visual-motor profile of 22q11DS is not entirely mediated by intellectual disability and…

  16. The Possible Role of TASK Channels in Rank-Ordered Recruitment of Motoneurons in the Dorsolateral Part of the Trigeminal Motor Nucleus.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Keiko; Emura, Norihito; Sato, Hajime; Fukatsu, Yuki; Saito, Mitsuru; Tanaka, Chie; Morita, Yukako; Nishimura, Kayo; Kuramoto, Eriko; Xu Yin, Dong; Furutani, Kazuharu; Okazawa, Makoto; Kurachi, Yoshihisa; Kaneko, Takeshi; Maeda, Yoshinobu; Yamashiro, Takashi; Takada, Kenji; Toyoda, Hiroki; Kang, Youngnam

    2016-01-01

    Because a rank-ordered recruitment of motor units occurs during isometric contraction of jaw-closing muscles, jaw-closing motoneurons (MNs) may be recruited in a manner dependent on their soma sizes or input resistances (IRs). In the dorsolateral part of the trigeminal motor nucleus (dl-TMN) in rats, MNs abundantly express TWIK (two-pore domain weak inwardly rectifying K channel)-related acid-sensitive-K(+) channel (TASK)-1 and TASK3 channels, which determine the IR and resting membrane potential. Here we examined how TASK channels are involved in IR-dependent activation/recruitment of MNs in the rat dl-TMN by using multiple methods. The real-time PCR study revealed that single large MNs (>35 μm) expressed TASK1 and TASK3 mRNAs more abundantly compared with single small MNs (15-20 μm). The immunohistochemistry revealed that TASK1 and TASK3 channels were complementarily distributed in somata and dendrites of MNs, respectively. The density of TASK1 channels seemed to increase with a decrease in soma diameter while there were inverse relationships between the soma size of MNs and IR, resting membrane potential, or spike threshold. Dual whole-cell recordings obtained from smaller and larger MNs revealed that the recruitment of MNs depends on their IRs in response to repetitive stimulation of the presumed Ia afferents. 8-Bromoguanosine-cGMP decreased IRs in small MNs, while it hardly changed those in large MNs, and subsequently decreased the difference in spike-onset latency between the smaller and larger MNs, causing a synchronous activation of MNs. These results suggest that TASK channels play critical roles in rank-ordered recruitment of MNs in the dl-TMN.

  17. The Possible Role of TASK Channels in Rank-Ordered Recruitment of Motoneurons in the Dorsolateral Part of the Trigeminal Motor Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Okamoto, Keiko; Emura, Norihito; Sato, Hajime; Fukatsu, Yuki; Tanaka, Chie; Morita, Yukako; Nishimura, Kayo; Kuramoto, Eriko; Xu Yin, Dong; Kurachi, Yoshihisa; Kaneko, Takeshi; Maeda, Yoshinobu; Yamashiro, Takashi

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Because a rank-ordered recruitment of motor units occurs during isometric contraction of jaw-closing muscles, jaw-closing motoneurons (MNs) may be recruited in a manner dependent on their soma sizes or input resistances (IRs). In the dorsolateral part of the trigeminal motor nucleus (dl-TMN) in rats, MNs abundantly express TWIK (two-pore domain weak inwardly rectifying K channel)-related acid-sensitive-K+ channel (TASK)-1 and TASK3 channels, which determine the IR and resting membrane potential. Here we examined how TASK channels are involved in IR-dependent activation/recruitment of MNs in the rat dl-TMN by using multiple methods. The real-time PCR study revealed that single large MNs (>35 μm) expressed TASK1 and TASK3 mRNAs more abundantly compared with single small MNs (15–20 μm). The immunohistochemistry revealed that TASK1 and TASK3 channels were complementarily distributed in somata and dendrites of MNs, respectively. The density of TASK1 channels seemed to increase with a decrease in soma diameter while there were inverse relationships between the soma size of MNs and IR, resting membrane potential, or spike threshold. Dual whole-cell recordings obtained from smaller and larger MNs revealed that the recruitment of MNs depends on their IRs in response to repetitive stimulation of the presumed Ia afferents. 8-Bromoguanosine-cGMP decreased IRs in small MNs, while it hardly changed those in large MNs, and subsequently decreased the difference in spike-onset latency between the smaller and larger MNs, causing a synchronous activation of MNs. These results suggest that TASK channels play critical roles in rank-ordered recruitment of MNs in the dl-TMN. PMID:27482536

  18. Variation in sport participation, fitness and motor coordination with socioeconomic status among Flemish children.

    PubMed

    Vandendriessche, Joric B; Vandorpe, Barbara F R; Vaeyens, Roel; Malina, Robert M; Lefevre, Johan; Lenoir, Matthieu; Philippaerts, Renaat M

    2012-02-01

    Socioeconomic status (SES) is often indicated as a factor that influences physical activity and associated health outcomes. This study examined the relationship between SES and sport participation, morphology, fitness and motor coordination in a sample of 1955 Flemish children 6-11 years of age. Gender, age and SES-specific values for morphologic dimensions, amount and type of sport participation and fitness and motor coordination tests were compared. SES was positively and significantly associated with sport participation and sports club membership in both sexes. Although differences were not consistently significant, morphologic dimensions and tests of fitness and motor coordination showed a trend in favor of children from higher SES. The results suggest that public and local authorities should consider providing equal opportunities for children in all social strata and especially those in the lower SES to experience the beneficial effects of sport participation through which they can enhance levels of physical fitness and motor coordination.

  19. Genetic Variation in the Human Brain Dopamine System Influences Motor Learning and Its Modulation by L-Dopa

    PubMed Central

    Pearson-Fuhrhop, Kristin M.; Minton, Brian; Acevedo, Daniel; Shahbaba, Babak; Cramer, Steven C.

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine is important to learning and plasticity. Dopaminergic drugs are the focus of many therapies targeting the motor system, where high inter-individual differences in response are common. The current study examined the hypothesis that genetic variation in the dopamine system is associated with significant differences in motor learning, brain plasticity, and the effects of the dopamine precursor L-Dopa. Skilled motor learning and motor cortex plasticity were assessed using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design in 50 healthy adults during two study weeks, one with placebo and one with L-Dopa. The influence of five polymorphisms with established effects on dopamine neurotransmission was summed using a gene score, with higher scores corresponding to higher dopaminergic neurotransmission. Secondary hypotheses examined each polymorphism individually. While training on placebo, higher gene scores were associated with greater motor learning (p = .03). The effect of L-Dopa on learning varied with the gene score (gene score*drug interaction, p = .008): participants with lower gene scores, and thus lower endogenous dopaminergic neurotransmission, showed the largest learning improvement with L-Dopa relative to placebo (p<.0001), while L-Dopa had a detrimental effect in participants with higher gene scores (p = .01). Motor cortex plasticity, assessed via transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), also showed a gene score*drug interaction (p = .02). Individually, DRD2/ANKK1 genotype was significantly associated with motor learning (p = .02) and its modulation by L-Dopa (p<.0001), but not with any TMS measures. However, none of the individual polymorphisms explained the full constellation of findings associated with the gene score. These results suggest that genetic variation in the dopamine system influences learning and its modulation by L-Dopa. A polygene score explains differences in L-Dopa effects on learning and plasticity

  20. The addition of functional task-oriented mental practice to conventional physical therapy improves motor skills in daily functions after stroke*

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Couto-Paz, Clarissa C.; Teixeira-Salmela, Luci F.; Tierra-Criollo, Carlos J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Mental practice (MP) is a cognitive strategy which may improve the acquisition of motor skills and functional performance of athletes and individuals with neurological injuries. Objective To determine whether an individualized, specific functional task-oriented MP, when added to conventional physical therapy (PT), promoted better learning of motor skills in daily functions in individuals with chronic stroke (13±6.5 months post-stroke). Method Nine individuals with stable mild and moderate upper limb impairments participated, by employing an A1-B-A2 single-case design. Phases A1 and A2 included one month of conventional PT, and phase B the addition of MP training to PT. The motor activity log (MAL-Brazil) was used to assess the amount of use (AOU) and quality of movement (QOM) of the paretic upper limb; the revised motor imagery questionnaire (MIQ-RS) to assess the abilities in kinesthetic and visual motor imagery; the Minnesota manual dexterity test to assess manual dexterity; and gait speed to assess mobility. Results After phase A1, no significant changes were observed for any of the outcome measures. However, after phase B, significant improvements were observed for the MAL, AOU and QOM scores (p<0.0001), and MIQ-RS kinesthetic and visual scores (p=0.003; p=0.007, respectively). The significant gains in manual dexterity (p=0.002) and gait speed (p=0.019) were maintained after phase A2. Conclusions Specific functional task-oriented MP, when added to conventional PT, led to improvements in motor imagery abilities combined with increases in the AOU and QOM in daily functions, manual dexterity, and gait speed. PMID:24271094

  1. A new approach to measure single-event related brain activity using real-time fMRI: feasibility of sensory, motor, and higher cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Posse, S; Binkofski, F; Schneider, F; Gembris, D; Frings, W; Habel, U; Salloum, J B; Mathiak, K; Wiese, S; Kiselev, V; Graf, T; Elghahwagi, B; Grosse-Ruyken, M L; Eickermann, T

    2001-01-01

    Real-time fMRI is a rapidly emerging methodology that enables monitoring changes in brain activity during an ongoing experiment. In this article we demonstrate the feasibility of performing single-event sensory, motor, and higher cognitive tasks in real-time on a clinical whole-body scanner. This approach requires sensitivity optimized fMRI methods: Using statistical parametric mapping we quantified the spatial extent of BOLD contrast signal changes as a function of voxel size and demonstrate that sacrificing spatial resolution and readout bandwidth improves the detection of signal changes in real time. Further increases in BOLD contrast sensitivity were obtained by using real-time multi-echo EPI. Real-time image analysis was performed using our previously described Functional Imaging in REal time (FIRE) software package, which features real-time motion compensation, sliding window correlation analysis, and automatic reference vector optimization. This new fMRI methodology was validated using single-block design paradigms of standard visual, motor, and auditory tasks. Further, we demonstrate the sensitivity of this method for online detection of higher cognitive functions during a language task using single-block design paradigms. Finally, we used single-event fMRI to characterize the variability of the hemodynamic impulse response in primary and supplementary motor cortex in consecutive trials using single movements. Real-time fMRI can improve reliability of clinical and research studies and offers new opportunities for studying higher cognitive functions.

  2. The effect of local vs remote experimental pain on motor learning and sensorimotor integration using a complex typing task.

    PubMed

    Dancey, Erin; Murphy, Bernadette A; Andrew, Danielle; Yielder, Paul

    2016-08-01

    Recent work demonstrated that capsaicin-induced acute pain improved motor learning performance; however, baseline accuracy was very high, making it impossible to discern the impact of acute pain on motor learning and retention. In addition, the effects of the spatial location of capsaicin application were not explored. Two experiments were conducted to determine the interactive effects of acute pain vs control (experiment 1) and local vs remote acute pain (experiment 2) on motor learning and sensorimotor processing. For both experiments, somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) amplitudes and motor learning acquisition and retention (accuracy and response time) data were collected at baseline, after application, and after motor learning. Experiment 1: N11 (P < 0.05), N13 (P < 0.05), and N30 (P < 0.05) SEP peak amplitudes increased after motor learning in both groups, whereas the N20 SEP peak increased in the control group (P < 0.05). At baseline, the intervention group outperformed the control group in accuracy (P < 0.001). Response time improved after motor learning (P < 0.001) and at retention (P < 0.001). Experiment 2: The P25 SEP peak decreased in the local group after application of capsaicin cream (P < 0.01), whereas the N30 SEP peaks increased after motor learning in both groups (P < 0.05). Accuracy improved in the local group at retention (P < 0.005), and response time improved after motor learning (P < 0.005) and at retention (P < 0.001). This study suggests that acute pain may increase focal attention to the body part used in motor learning, contributing to our understanding of how the location of pain impacts somatosensory processing and the associated motor learning.

  3. Individual Differences in Relative Metacomprehension Accuracy: Variation within and across Task Manipulations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chiang, Evelyn S.; Therriault, David J.; Franks, Bridget A.

    2010-01-01

    In recent decades, increasing numbers of studies have focused on metacomprehension accuracy, or readers' ability to distinguish between texts comprehended more vs. less well. Following early findings that suggested readers are fairly poor at doing so, a number of studies have identified specific tasks to supplement a single reading of text that…

  4. Acoustic Variations in Adductor Spasmodic Dysphonia as a Function of Speech Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sapienza, Christine M.; Walton, Suzanne; Murry, Thomas

    1999-01-01

    Acoustic phonatory events were identified in 14 women diagnosed with adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD), a focal laryngeal dystonia that disturbs phonatory function, and compared with those of 14 age-matched women with no vocal dysfunction. Findings indicated ADSD subjects produced more aberrant acoustic events than controls during tasks of…

  5. Over the Hill at 24: Persistent Age-Related Cognitive-Motor Decline in Reaction Times in an Ecologically Valid Video Game Task Begins in Early Adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Joseph J.; Blair, Mark R.; Henrey, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Typically studies of the effects of aging on cognitive-motor performance emphasize changes in elderly populations. Although some research is directly concerned with when age-related decline actually begins, studies are often based on relatively simple reaction time tasks, making it impossible to gauge the impact of experience in compensating for this decline in a real world task. The present study investigates age-related changes in cognitive motor performance through adolescence and adulthood in a complex real world task, the real-time strategy video game StarCraft 2. In this paper we analyze the influence of age on performance using a dataset of 3,305 players, aged 16-44, collected by Thompson, Blair, Chen & Henrey [1]. Using a piecewise regression analysis, we find that age-related slowing of within-game, self-initiated response times begins at 24 years of age. We find no evidence for the common belief expertise should attenuate domain-specific cognitive decline. Domain-specific response time declines appear to persist regardless of skill level. A second analysis of dual-task performance finds no evidence of a corresponding age-related decline. Finally, an exploratory analyses of other age-related differences suggests that older participants may have been compensating for a loss in response speed through the use of game mechanics that reduce cognitive load. PMID:24718593

  6. Over the hill at 24: persistent age-related cognitive-motor decline in reaction times in an ecologically valid video game task begins in early adulthood.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Joseph J; Blair, Mark R; Henrey, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Typically studies of the effects of aging on cognitive-motor performance emphasize changes in elderly populations. Although some research is directly concerned with when age-related decline actually begins, studies are often based on relatively simple reaction time tasks, making it impossible to gauge the impact of experience in compensating for this decline in a real world task. The present study investigates age-related changes in cognitive motor performance through adolescence and adulthood in a complex real world task, the real-time strategy video game StarCraft 2. In this paper we analyze the influence of age on performance using a dataset of 3,305 players, aged 16-44, collected by Thompson, Blair, Chen & Henrey [1]. Using a piecewise regression analysis, we find that age-related slowing of within-game, self-initiated response times begins at 24 years of age. We find no evidence for the common belief expertise should attenuate domain-specific cognitive decline. Domain-specific response time declines appear to persist regardless of skill level. A second analysis of dual-task performance finds no evidence of a corresponding age-related decline. Finally, an exploratory analyses of other age-related differences suggests that older participants may have been compensating for a loss in response speed through the use of game mechanics that reduce cognitive load.

  7. Developmental Sequences of Perceptual-Motor Tasks, Movement Activities for Neurologically Handicapped and Retarded Children and Youth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cratty, Bryant J.

    Intended for special education and physical education teachers, the handbook presents selected developmental sequences of activities based on the analysis of perceptual motor characteristics of groups of retarded and neurologically handicapped children. Four classifications of children and their perceptual motor characteristics are discussed: the…

  8. Selective Effects of Motor Expertise in Mental Body Rotation Tasks: Comparing Object-Based and Perspective Transformations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steggemann, Yvonne; Engbert, Kai; Weigelt, Matthias

    2011-01-01

    Brain imaging studies provide strong evidence for the involvement of the human mirror system during the observation of complex movements, depending on the individual's motor expertise. Here, we ask the question whether motor expertise not only affects perception while observing movements, but also benefits perception while solving mental rotation…

  9. Head-repositioning does not reduce the reproducibility of fMRI activation in a block-design motor task.

    PubMed

    Soltysik, David A; Thomasson, David; Rajan, Sunder; Gonzalez-Castillo, Javier; DiCamillo, Paul; Biassou, Nadia

    2011-06-01

    It is hypothesized that, based upon partial volume effects and spatial non-uniformities of the scanning environment, repositioning a subject's head inside the head coil between separate functional MRI scans will reduce the reproducibility of fMRI activation compared to a series of functional runs where the subject's head remains in the same position. Nine subjects underwent fMRI scanning where they performed a sequential, oppositional finger-tapping task. The first five runs were conducted with the subject's head remaining stable inside the head coil. Following this, four more runs were collected after the subject removed and replaced his/her head inside the head coil before each run. The coefficient of variation was calculated for four metrics: the distance from the anterior commisure to the center of mass of sensorimotor activation, maximum t-statistic, activation volume, and average percent signal change. These values were compared for five head-stabilization runs and five head-repositioning runs. Voxelwise intraclass correlation coefficients were also calculated to assess the spatial distribution of sources of variance. Interestingly, head repositioning was not seen to significantly affect the reproducibility of fMRI activation (p<0.05). In addition, the threshold level affected the reproducibility of activation volume and percent signal change.

  10. What Comes First? How Selective Attentional Processes Regulate the Activation of a Motor Routine in a Manual Search Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riviere, James; Falaise, Aurelie

    2011-01-01

    An intriguing error has been observed in toddlers presented with a 3-location search task involving invisible displacements of an object, namely, the C-not-B task. In 3 experiments, the authors investigated the dynamics of the attentional focus process that is suspected to be involved in this task. In Experiment 1, 2.5-year-old children were…

  11. Cortisol responses to a group public speaking task for adolescents: variations by age, gender, and race.

    PubMed

    Hostinar, Camelia E; McQuillan, Mollie T; Mirous, Heather J; Grant, Kathryn E; Adam, Emma K

    2014-12-01

    Laboratory social stress tests involving public speaking challenges are widely used for eliciting an acute stress response in older children, adolescents, and adults. Recently, a group protocol for a social stress test (the Trier Social Stress Test for Groups, TSST-G) was shown to be effective in adults and is dramatically less time-consuming and resource-intensive compared to the single-subject version of the task. The present study sought to test the feasibility and effectiveness of an adapted group public speaking task conducted with a racially diverse, urban sample of U.S. adolescents (N=191; 52.4% female) between the ages of 11 and 18 (M=14.4 years, SD=1.93). Analyses revealed that this Group Public Speaking Task for Adolescents (GPST-A) provoked a significant increase in cortisol production (on average, approximately 60% above baseline) and in self-reported negative affect, while at the same time avoiding excessive stress responses that would raise ethical concerns or provoke substantial participant attrition. Approximately 63.4% of participants exhibited an increase in cortisol levels in response to the task, with 59.2% of the total sample showing a 10% or greater increase from baseline. Results also suggested that groups of five adolescents might be ideal for achieving more uniform cortisol responses across various serial positions for speech delivery. Basal cortisol levels increased with age and participants belonging to U.S. national minorities tended to have either lower basal cortisol or diminished cortisol reactivity compared to non-Hispanic Whites. This protocol facilitates the recruitment of larger sample sizes compared to prior research and may show great utility in answering new questions about adolescent stress reactivity and development.

  12. Regional accent variation in the shadowing task: evidence for a loose perception-action coupling in speech.

    PubMed

    Mitterer, Holger; Müsseler, Jochen

    2013-04-01

    We investigated the relation between action and perception in speech processing, using the shadowing task, in which participants repeat words they hear. In support of a tight perception-action link, previous work has shown that phonetic details in the stimulus influence the shadowing response. On the other hand, latencies do not seem to suffer if stimulus and response differ in their articulatory properties. The present investigation tested how perception influences production when participants are confronted with regional variation. Results showed that participants often imitate a regional variation if it occurs in the stimulus set but tend to stick to their variant if the stimuli are consistent. Participants were forced or induced to correct by the experimental instructions. Articulatory stimulus-response differences do not lead to latency costs. These data indicate that speech perception does not necessarily recruit the production system.

  13. Space Shuttle Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor nozzle natural frequency variations with burn time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lui, C. Y.; Mason, D. R.

    1991-01-01

    The effects of erosion and thermal degradation on the Space Shuttle Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) nozzle's structural dynamic characteristics were analytically evaluated. Also considered was stiffening of the structure due to internal pressurization. A detailed NASTRAN finite element model of the nozzle was developed and used to evaluate the influence of these effects at several discrete times during motor burn. Methods were developed for treating erosion and thermal degradation, and a procedure was developed to account for internal pressure stiffening using differential stiffness matrix techniques. Results were verified using static firing test accelerometer data. Fast Fourier Transform and Maximum Entropy Method techniques were applied to the data to generate waterfall plots which track modal frequencies with burn time. Results indicate that the lower frequency nozzle 'vectoring' modes are only slightly affected by erosion, thermal effects and internal pressurization. The higher frequency shell modes of the nozzle are, however, significantly reduced.

  14. Variations in the motor nerve supply of the thenar and hypothenar muscles of the hand.

    PubMed Central

    Ajmani, M L

    1996-01-01

    The distribution pattern of the muscular branch of median and ulnar nerves and motor innervation of the thenar and hypothenar muscles were studied in 68 palmar regions taken from 34 adult cadavers of both sexes aged 40 to 70 y. The structure of the flexor pollicis brevis was examined in all 68 hands. In 13 of the 68 hands an anastomosis was seen between the ulnar and median nerves. Images Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8771405

  15. Solid-propellant rocket motor internal ballistic performance variation analysis, phase 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sforzini, R. H.; Foster, W. A., Jr.

    1976-01-01

    The Monte Carlo method was used to investigate thrust imbalance and its first time derivative throughtout the burning time of pairs of solid rocket motors firing in parallel. Results obtained compare favorably with Titan 3 C flight performance data. Statistical correlations of the thrust imbalance at various times with corresponding nominal trace slopes suggest several alternative methods of predicting thrust imbalance. The effect of circular-perforated grain deformation on internal ballistics is discussed, and a modified design analysis computer program which permits such an evaluation is presented. Comparisons with SRM firings indicate that grain deformation may account for a portion of the so-called scale factor on burning rate between large motors and strand burners or small ballistic test motors. Thermoelastic effects on burning rate are also investigated. Burning surface temperature is calculated by coupling the solid phase energy equation containing a strain rate term with a model of gas phase combustion zone using the Zeldovich-Novozhilov technique. Comparisons of solutions with and without the strain rate term indicate a small but possibly significant effect of the thermoelastic coupling.

  16. The Role of the Supplementary Motor Region in Overt Reading: Evidence for Differential Processing in SMA-Proper and Pre-SMA as a Function of Task Demands.

    PubMed

    Cummine, Jacqueline; Hanif, Wahab; Dymouriak-Tymashov, Inna; Anchuri, Kavya; Chiu, Stephanie; Boliek, Carol A

    2017-03-04

    A differentiation in function between the pre-SMA (i.e., cognitive load) and the SMA-proper (i.e., motor execution) has been described (Zhang et al., Cereb Cortex 22:99-111, 2012). These differential SMA functions may be influential in overt reading tasks. The present study examined the relationships between various segments of the SMA and overt reading through the modulation of task demands in an effort to explore the complexity of the print-to-speech network. Skilled reading adults (N = 15) took part in five overt reading tasks: pure regular word reading, pure exception word reading, mixed regular word and exception word reading, go/no-go reading with nonword foils and go/no-go reading with pseudohomophone foils. Five regions of interest that spanned the pre-SMA to the SMA-proper were isolated. Behaviour-function relationships were tested to examine the associations between performance (response time) and brain activity (percent signal change). Further, the coherence between feedforward (SMA) and feedback (supramarginal gyrus) regions were explored to further refine the print-to-speech network. We found that the pre-SMA was related to cognitively demanding tasks (go/no-go with pseudohomophones), whereas the SMA-proper was related to an automatized task (pure regular words). Notably, only those tasks that required information from the feedback system (i.e., mixed word lists, go/no-go tasks) showed connections between SMA regions and the supramarginal gyrus, which is in line with the role of feedback and feedforward systems in the print-to-speech network. Together, these results support the notion that the pre-SMA and SMA-proper are sensitive to reading tasks that differentially invoke higher cognitive resources (mixed word lists, go/no-go) versus automatized articulation (pure lists), respectively. We discuss our findings in the context of print-to-speech neural networks.

  17. Syntactic Complexity, Lexical Variation and Accuracy as a Function of Task Complexity and Proficiency Level in L2 Writing and Speaking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuiken, Folkert; Vedder, Ineke

    2012-01-01

    The research project reported in this chapter consists of three studies in which syntactic complexity, lexical variation and fluency appear as dependent variables. The independent variables are task complexity and proficiency level, as the three studies investigate the effect of task complexity on the written and oral performance of L2 learners of…

  18. Electrophysiological study of contextual variations in a short-term face recognition task.

    PubMed

    Guillaume, Fabrice; Tiberghien, Guy

    2005-03-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during two short-term recognition tasks using unfamiliar faces. These experiments are based on the process dissociation procedure (PDP), whereby the exclusion criterion was an intrinsic context or extrinsic context, the facial expression (Experiment 1) or background (Experiment 2), respectively. The results indicate that retrieval orientation, in addition to extensive strategic control, affects both the frontal (N250) and temporoparietal (P3b) components. Furthermore, these data indicate that an early frontal modulation interacts between processing that bears on the face (interactive intrinsic context) and processing that bears on two objects at the same time (interactive extrinsic context), in which, in the latter case, that the background change led to an early modulation at the frontal sites in the left hemisphere. These results are consistent with the idea that frontal effects reflect differences in the nature of the information during retrieval and postretrieval processes involved. Furthermore, that the left posterior repetition effect appears to be a manifestation of the retrieval of relevant contextual information that perturbs the recognition decision, whereas the right posterior repetition effect reflects to be the outcome of the retrieval of the face as a whole. Finally, results are in concordance with the hypothesis that the difference during recognition with or without source memory may be in the strength of the relationship between the target and the contextual information to be retrieved. In essence, that automatic and controlled processes in a given context depends on both task-related and target-related constraints.

  19. The optimal neural strategy for a stable motor task requires a compromise between level of muscle cocontraction and synaptic gain of afferent feedback

    PubMed Central

    Dideriksen, Jakob L.; Negro, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Increasing joint stiffness by cocontraction of antagonist muscles and compensatory reflexes are neural strategies to minimize the impact of unexpected perturbations on movement. Combining these strategies, however, may compromise steadiness, as elements of the afferent input to motor pools innervating antagonist muscles are inherently negatively correlated. Consequently, a high afferent gain and active contractions of both muscles may imply negatively correlated neural drives to the muscles and thus an unstable limb position. This hypothesis was systematically explored with a novel computational model of the peripheral nervous system and the mechanics of one limb. Two populations of motor neurons received synaptic input from descending drive, spinal interneurons, and afferent feedback. Muscle force, simulated based on motor unit activity, determined limb movement that gave rise to afferent feedback from muscle spindles and Golgi tendon organs. The results indicated that optimal steadiness was achieved with low synaptic gain of the afferent feedback. High afferent gains during cocontraction implied increased levels of common drive in the motor neuron outputs, which were negatively correlated across the two populations, constraining instability of the limb. Increasing the force acting on the joint and the afferent gain both effectively minimized the impact of an external perturbation, and suboptimal adjustment of the afferent gain could be compensated by muscle cocontraction. These observations show that selection of the strategy for a given contraction implies a compromise between steadiness and effectiveness of compensations to perturbations. This indicates that a task-dependent selection of neural strategy for steadiness is necessary when acting in different environments. PMID:26203102

  20. Modified CC-LR algorithm with three diverse feature sets for motor imagery tasks classification in EEG based brain-computer interface.

    PubMed

    Siuly; Li, Yan; Paul Wen, Peng

    2014-03-01

    Motor imagery (MI) tasks classification provides an important basis for designing brain-computer interface (BCI) systems. If the MI tasks are reliably distinguished through identifying typical patterns in electroencephalography (EEG) data, a motor disabled people could communicate with a device by composing sequences of these mental states. In our earlier study, we developed a cross-correlation based logistic regression (CC-LR) algorithm for the classification of MI tasks for BCI applications, but its performance was not satisfactory. This study develops a modified version of the CC-LR algorithm exploring a suitable feature set that can improve the performance. The modified CC-LR algorithm uses the C3 electrode channel (in the international 10-20 system) as a reference channel for the cross-correlation (CC) technique and applies three diverse feature sets separately, as the input to the logistic regression (LR) classifier. The present algorithm investigates which feature set is the best to characterize the distribution of MI tasks based EEG data. This study also provides an insight into how to select a reference channel for the CC technique with EEG signals considering the anatomical structure of the human brain. The proposed algorithm is compared with eight of the most recently reported well-known methods including the BCI III Winner algorithm. The findings of this study indicate that the modified CC-LR algorithm has potential to improve the identification performance of MI tasks in BCI systems. The results demonstrate that the proposed technique provides a classification improvement over the existing methods tested.

  1. Improving the performance of an EEG-based motor imagery brain computer interface using task evoked changes in pupil diameter.

    PubMed

    Rozado, David; Duenser, Andreas; Howell, Ben

    2015-01-01

    For individuals with high degrees of motor disability or locked-in syndrome, it is impractical or impossible to use mechanical switches to interact with electronic devices. Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) can use motor imagery to detect interaction intention from users but lack the accuracy of mechanical switches. Hence, there exists a strong need to improve the accuracy of EEG-based motor imagery BCIs attempting to implement an on/off switch. Here, we investigate how monitoring the pupil diameter of a person as a psycho-physiological parameter in addition to traditional EEG channels can improve the classification accuracy of a switch-like BCI. We have recently noticed in our lab (work not yet published) how motor imagery is associated with increases in pupil diameter when compared to a control rest condition. The pupil diameter parameter is easily accessible through video oculography since most gaze tracking systems report pupil diameter invariant to head position. We performed a user study with 30 participants using a typical EEG based motor imagery BCI. We used common spatial patterns to separate motor imagery, signaling movement intention, from a rest control condition. By monitoring the pupil diameter of the user and using this parameter as an additional feature, we show that the performance of the classifier trying to discriminate motor imagery from a control condition improves over the traditional approach using just EEG derived features. Given the limitations of EEG to construct highly robust and reliable BCIs, we postulate that multi-modal approaches, such as the one presented here that monitor several psycho-physiological parameters, can be a successful strategy in making BCIs more accurate and less vulnerable to constraints such as requirements for long training sessions or high signal to noise ratio of electrode channels.

  2. Parametric study of potential early commercial MHD power plants. Task 3: Parameter variation of plant size

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hals, F. A.

    1981-01-01

    Plants with a nominal output of 200 and 500 MWe and conforming to the same design configuration as the Task II plant were investigated. This information is intended to permit an assessment of the competitiveness of first generation MHD/steam plants with conventional steam plants over the range of 200 to 1000 MWe. The results show that net plant efficiency of the MHD plant is significantly higher than a conventional steam plant of corresponding size. The cost of electricity is also less for the MHD plant over the entire plant size range. As expected, the cost differential is higher for the larger plant and decreases with plant size. Even at the 200 MWe capacity, however, the differential in COE between the MHD plant and the conventional plant is sufficient attractive to warrant serious consideration. Escalating fuel costs will enhance the competitive position of MHD plants because they can utilize the fuel more efficiently than conventional steam plants.

  3. ACQUISITION OF A SIMPLE MOTOR SKILL: TASK-DEPENDENT ADAPTATION PLUS LONG-TERM CHANGE IN THE HUMAN SOLEUS H-REFLEX

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, A.K.; Chen, X.Y.; Wolpaw, J.R.

    2009-01-01

    Activity-dependent plasticity occurs throughout the CNS. However, investigations of skill acquisition usually focus on cortex. To expand the focus, we analyzed in humans the development of operantly conditioned H-reflex change, a simple motor skill that develops gradually and involves plasticity in both the brain and the spinal cord. Each person completed 6 baseline and 24 conditioning sessions over 10 weeks. In each conditioning session, the soleus H-reflex was measured while the subject was or was not asked to increase (HRup subjects) or decrease (HRdown subjects) it. When the subject was asked to change H-reflex size, immediate visual feedback indicated whether a size criterion had been satisfied. Over the 24 conditioning sessions, H-reflex size gradually increased in 6 of 8 HRup subjects and decreased in 8 of 9 HRdown subjects, resulting in final sizes of 140(±12)% and 69(±6)% of baseline size, respectively. The final H-reflex change was the sum of within-session (i.e., task-dependent) adaptation and across-session (i.e., long-term) change. Task-dependent adaptation appeared within 4–6 sessions and persisted thereafter, averaging +13% in HRup subjects and −15% in HRdown subjects. In contrast, long-term change began after 10 sessions and increased gradually thereafter, reaching +27% in HRup subjects and −16% in HRdown subjects. Thus, the acquisition of H-reflex conditioning consists of two phenomena – task-dependent adaptation and long-term change – that together constitute the new motor skill. In combination with previous data, this new finding further elucidates the interaction of plasticity in brain and spinal cord that underlies the acquisition and maintenance of motor skills. PMID:19420246

  4. Exploring the Fundamental Dynamics of Error-Based Motor Learning Using a Stationary Predictive-Saccade Task

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Aaron L.; Shelhamer, Mark

    2011-01-01

    The maintenance of movement accuracy uses prior performance errors to correct future motor plans; this motor-learning process ensures that movements remain quick and accurate. The control of predictive saccades, in which anticipatory movements are made to future targets before visual stimulus information becomes available, serves as an ideal paradigm to analyze how the motor system utilizes prior errors to drive movements to a desired goal. Predictive saccades constitute a stationary process (the mean and to a rough approximation the variability of the data do not vary over time, unlike a typical motor adaptation paradigm). This enables us to study inter-trial correlations, both on a trial-by-trial basis and across long blocks of trials. Saccade errors are found to be corrected on a trial-by-trial basis in a direction-specific manner (the next saccade made in the same direction will reflect a correction for errors made on the current saccade). Additionally, there is evidence for a second, modulating process that exhibits long memory. That is, performance information, as measured via inter-trial correlations, is strongly retained across a large number of saccades (about 100 trials). Together, this evidence indicates that the dynamics of motor learning exhibit complexities that must be carefully considered, as they cannot be fully described with current state-space (ARMA) modeling efforts. PMID:21966462

  5. Differential genetic regulation of motor activity and anxiety-related behaviors in mice using an automated home cage task.

    PubMed

    Kas, Martien J H; de Mooij-van Malsen, Annetrude J G; Olivier, Berend; Spruijt, Berry M; van Ree, Jan M

    2008-08-01

    Traditional behavioral tests, such as the open field test, measure an animal's responsiveness to a novel environment. However, it is generally difficult to assess whether the behavioral response obtained from these tests relates to the expression level of motor activity and/or to avoidance of anxiogenic areas. Here, an automated home cage environment for mice was designed to obtain independent measures of motor activity levels and of sheltered feeding preference during three consecutive days. Chronic treatment with the anxiolytic drug chlordiazepoxide (5 and 10 mg/kg/day) in C57BL/6J mice reduced sheltered feeding preference without altering motor activity levels. Furthermore, two distinct chromosome substitution strains, derived from C57BL/6J (host strain) and A/J (donor strain) inbred strains, expressed either increased sheltering preference in females (chromosome 15) or reduced motor activity levels in females and males (chromosome 1) when compared to C57BL/6J. Longitudinal behavioral monitoring revealed that these phenotypic differences maintained after adaptation to the home cage. Thus, by using new automated behavioral phenotyping approaches, behavior can be dissociated into distinct behavioral domains (e.g., anxiety-related and motor activity domains) with different underlying genetic origin and pharmacological responsiveness.

  6. Which Factors Affect Hand Selection in Children's Grasping in Hemispace? Combined Effects of Task Demand and Motor Dominance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leconte, Pascale; Fagard, Jacqueline

    2006-01-01

    Sixty-five right- and left-handed preschool and school children were tested on three reach-to-grasp tasks of different levels of complexity, performed in three space locations. Our goal was to evaluate how the effect of attentional information related to object location interacts with task complexity and degree of handedness on children's hand…

  7. Transfer from Audiovisual Pretraining to a Continuous Perceptual Motor Task. Final Report for Period June 1972 - August 1973.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Milton E.; Gerlach, Vernon S.

    A technique was developed for providing transfer-of-training from a form of audiovisual pretraining to an instrument flight task. The continuous flight task was broken into discrete categories of flight; each category combined an instrument configuration with a return-to-criterion aircraft control response. Three methods of sequencing categories…

  8. Task Analyses and Objectives for Trainable Mentally Retarded: Communication Skills [and] Daily Living Skills [and] Motor Skills [and] Quantitative Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minneapolis Public Schools, Minn.

    The document is comprised of objectives and information on step-by-step tasks for instruction of trainable mentally retarded students and for development of individualized education programs. Each objective includes information on materials, behavioral criteria, and a chart to assess task analyzed steps. Four main skill areas are covered (sample…

  9. Continued investigation of solid propulsion economics. Task 1B: Large solid rocket motor case fabrication methods - Supplement process complexity factor cost technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baird, J.

    1967-01-01

    This supplement to Task lB-Large Solid Rocket Motor Case Fabrication Methods supplies additional supporting cost data and discusses in detail the methodology that was applied to the task. For the case elements studied, the cost was found to be directly proportional to the Process Complexity Factor (PCF). The PCF was obtained for each element by identifying unit processes that are common to the elements and their alternative manufacturing routes, by assigning a weight to each unit process, and by summing the weighted counts. In three instances of actual manufacture, the actual cost per pound equaled the cost estimate based on PCF per pound, but this supplement, recognizes that the methodology is of limited, rather than general, application.

  10. Excitability of the Motor Cortex Ipsilateral to the Moving Body Side Depends on Spatio-Temporal Task Complexity and Hemispheric Specialization

    PubMed Central

    van den Berg, Femke E.; Swinnen, Stephan P.; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Unilateral movements are mainly controlled by the contralateral hemisphere, even though the primary motor cortex ipsilateral (M1ipsi) to the moving body side can undergo task-related changes of activity as well. Here we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate whether representations of the wrist flexor (FCR) and extensor (ECR) in M1ipsi would be modulated when unilateral rhythmical wrist movements were executed in isolation or in the context of a simple or difficult hand-foot coordination pattern, and whether this modulation would differ for the left versus right hemisphere. We found that M1ipsi facilitation of the resting ECR and FCR mirrored the activation of the moving wrist such that facilitation was higher when the homologous muscle was activated during the cyclical movement. We showed that this ipsilateral facilitation increased significantly when the wrist movements were performed in the context of demanding hand-foot coordination tasks whereas foot movements alone influenced the hand representation of M1ipsi only slightly. Our data revealed a clear hemispheric asymmetry such that MEP responses were significantly larger when elicited in the left M1ipsi than in the right. In experiment 2, we tested whether the modulations of M1ipsi facilitation, caused by performing different coordination tasks with the left versus right body sides, could be explained by changes in short intracortical inhibition (SICI). We found that SICI was increasingly reduced for a complex coordination pattern as compared to rest, but only in the right M1ipsi. We argue that our results might reflect the stronger involvement of the left versus right hemisphere in performing demanding motor tasks. PMID:21408031

  11. Sexual orientation differences in cerebral asymmetry and in the performance of sexually dimorphic cognitive and motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Sanders, G; Wright, M

    1997-10-01

    With each of the tasks in the present studies we expected to find the reported sex difference between heterosexual women and heterosexual men and we predicted a sexual orientation effect with the performance of homosexual men being similar to that of heterosexual women and different from that of heterosexual men. Study 1 aimed to replicate earlier findings by recording the performance of a group of homosexual men on a visuospatial task, the Vincent Mechanical Diagrams Test (VMDT), a dot detection divided visual field measure of functional cerebral asymmetry, and on five subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). For each task the profile of scores obtained for the homosexual men was similar to that of heterosexual women in that they scored lower than heterosexual men on the VMDT, they showed less asymmetry, and they recorded a higher Verbal than Performance IQ on the WAIS. In Study 2, a male-biased targeted throwing task favored heterosexual men while, in contrast, on the female-biased Purdue Pegboard single peg condition heterosexual men were outperformed by heterosexual women and homosexual men. On neither of these two tasks did the performances of homosexual men and heterosexual women differ. One task, manual speed, yielded neither sex nor sexual orientation differences. Another, the Purdue Pegboard assemblies condition, revealed a sex difference but no sexual orientation difference. Failure to obtain a sexual orientation difference in the presence of a sex difference suggests that the sexual orientation effect may be restricted to a subset of sexually dimorphic tasks.

  12. Copy Number Variations in the Survival Motor Neuron Genes: Implications for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Butchbach, Matthew E. R.

    2016-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death worldwide, is an early-onset, autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of spinal α-motor neurons. This loss of α-motor neurons is associated with muscle weakness and atrophy. SMA can be classified into five clinical grades based on age of onset and severity of the disease. Regardless of clinical grade, proximal SMA results from the loss or mutation of SMN1 (survival motor neuron 1) on chromosome 5q13. In humans a large tandem chromosomal duplication has lead to a second copy of the SMN gene locus known as SMN2. SMN2 is distinguishable from SMN1 by a single nucleotide difference that disrupts an exonic splice enhancer in exon 7. As a result, most of SMN2 mRNAs lack exon 7 (SMNΔ7) and produce a protein that is both unstable and less than fully functional. Although only 10–20% of the SMN2 gene product is fully functional, increased genomic copies of SMN2 inversely correlates with disease severity among individuals with SMA. Because SMN2 copy number influences disease severity in SMA, there is prognostic value in accurate measurement of SMN2 copy number from patients being evaluated for SMA. This prognostic value is especially important given that SMN2 copy number is now being used as an inclusion criterion for SMA clinical trials. In addition to SMA, copy number variations (CNVs) in the SMN genes can affect the clinical severity of other neurological disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). This review will discuss how SMN1 and SMN2 CNVs are detected and why accurate measurement of SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers is relevant for SMA and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27014701

  13. Cell categories and K-nearest neighbor algorithm based decoding of primary motor cortical activity during reach-to-grasp task.

    PubMed

    Yangyang Guo; Wei Li; Jiping He

    2014-01-01

    Neural decoding is a procedure to acquire intended movement information from neural activity and generate movement commands to control external devices such as intelligent prostheses. In this study, monkey Astra was trained to accomplish a 3-D reach-to-grasp task, and we recorded neural signals from its primary motor cortex (M1) during the task. The task-related cells were divided into four classes based on their correlation with two movement parameters: movement direction and orientation. We adopted the simple k-nearest neighbor (KNN) algorithm as the classifier, and chose cells from appropriate cell classes for movement parameter decoding. Cell classification was shown improving decoding accuracy with relatively less cells, even during movement planning stage (CRT). High decoding accuracy before movement actually performed is of great significance for intelligent prostheses control, and provides evidence that M1 is more than accepting ready-made movement commands but also participating in movement planning. We also found that population of task-related cells in M1 had a preference for specific direction and orientation, and this preference was more significant when it came to population of direction-related cells and orientation-related cells.

  14. The Influence of rTMS over Prefrontal and Motor Areas in a Morphological Task: Grammatical vs. Semantic Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LoGerfo, Emanuele; Oliveri, Massimiliano; Torriero, Sara; Salerno, Silvia; Koch, Giacomo; Caltagirone, Carlo

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the differential role of two frontal regions in the processing of grammatical and semantic knowledge. Given the documented specificity of the prefrontal cortex for the grammatical class of verbs, and of the primary motor cortex for the semantic class of action words, we sought to investigate whether the prefrontal cortex is also…

  15. Association of Genetic Variation in Cannabinoid Mechanisms and Gastric Motor Functions and Satiation in Overweight and Obesity

    PubMed Central

    Vazquez-Roque, Maria I.; Camilleri, Michael; Vella, Adrian; Carlson, Paula; Laugen, Jeanette; Zinsmeister, Alan R.

    2011-01-01

    Objective The endocannabinoid system is associated with food intake. Genes regulating cannabinoids are associated with obesity. Hypothesis Genetic variations in fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH), and cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) are associated with satiation and gastric motor function. Methods In 62 overweight or obese adults of European ancestry, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of rs806378 (nearest gene CNR1) and rs324420 (nearest gene FAAH) were genotyped and the associations with gastric emptying (GE) of solids and liquids, gastric volume (GV) and satiation (maximum tolerated volume [MTV] and symptoms after Ensure® nutrient drink test) were explored using a dominant genetic model, with gender and BMI as co-variates. Results rs806378 CC genotype was associated with reduced fasting GV (210.2±11.0 mL for CC group compared to 242.5±11.3 mL for CT/TT group, p=0.031) and a modest, non-significant association with GE of solids (p=0.17). rs324420 genotype was not associated with alterations in gastric motor functions; however there was a difference in the Ensure® MTV (1174.6±37.2 mL for CC group compared to 1395.0±123.1 mL for CA/AA group, p= 0.046) suggesting higher satiation with CC genotype. Conclusion Our data suggest that CNR1 and FAAH are associated with altered gastric functions or satiation that may predispose to obesity. PMID:21477106

  16. Speed-Accuracy Trade-Off in a Trajectory-Constrained Self-Feeding Task: A Quantitative Index of Unsuppressed Motor Noise in Children With Dystonia.

    PubMed

    Lunardini, Francesca; Bertucco, Matteo; Casellato, Claudia; Bhanpuri, Nasir; Pedrocchi, Alessandra; Sanger, Terence D

    2015-10-01

    Motor speed and accuracy are both affected in childhood dystonia. Thus, deriving a speed-accuracy function is an important metric for assessing motor impairments in dystonia. Previous work in dystonia studied the speed-accuracy trade-off during point-to-point tasks. To achieve a more relevant measurement of functional abilities in dystonia, the present study investigates upper-limb kinematics and electromyographic activity of 8 children with dystonia and 8 healthy children during a trajectory-constrained child-relevant task that emulates self-feeding with a spoon and requires continuous monitoring of accuracy. The speed-accuracy trade-off is examined by changing the spoon size to create different accuracy demands. Results demonstrate that the trajectory-constrained speed-accuracy relation is present in both groups, but it is altered in dystonia in terms of increased slope and offset toward longer movement times. Findings are consistent with the hypothesis of increased signal-dependent noise in dystonia, which may partially explain the slow and variable movements observed in dystonia.

  17. Effects of unilateral and bilateral training in a reaching task on dendritic branching of neurons in the rat motor-sensory forelimb cortex.

    PubMed

    Greenough, W T; Larson, J R; Withers, G S

    1985-09-01

    Effects of motor training on a neocortical nerve cell population involved in performance of the motor task were assessed by measuring Layer V pyramidal neuron apical dendritic branching in motor-sensory forelimb cortex of rats trained to reach into a tube for food. Rats were trained to reach with the forepaw they preferred to use (group PRAC), the nonpreferred forepaw (REV), both forepaws (ALT), or neither forepaw (CONT). Across groups, hemispheres opposite trained forepaws had larger apical dendritic fields, in terms of total dendritic length, number of oblique branches from the apical shaft, and length of terminal branches. Similar, although somewhat less consistent, effects were seen when results were analyzed for between- (CONT vs ALT) and within-subject comparisons (trained vs nontrained hemispheres of REV and PRAC). This finding is compatible with the hypothesis that altered dendritic patterns, with associated synapses, are involved in storage of information from the training experience. The within-subject effects mitigate suggestions that these differences arise from generally acting hormonal or metabolic consequences of the training experience, although the possibility that these effects result from neural activity per se and are unrelated to information storage cannot be excluded.

  18. Color, context, and cognitive style: variations in color knowledge retrieval as a function of task and subject variables.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Nina S; Kraemer, David J M; Oliver, Robyn T; Schlichting, Margaret L; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L

    2011-09-01

    Neuroimaging tests of sensorimotor theories of semantic memory hinge on the extent to which similar activation patterns are observed during perception and retrieval of objects or object properties. The present study was motivated by the hypothesis that some of the seeming discrepancies across studies reflect flexibility in the systems responsible for conceptual and perceptual processing of color. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that retrieval of color knowledge can be influenced by both context (a task variable) and individual differences in cognitive style (a subject variable). In Experiment 1, we provide fMRI evidence for differential activity during color knowledge retrieval by having subjects perform a verbal task, in which context encouraged subjects to retrieve more- or less-detailed information about the colors of named common objects in a blocked experimental design. In the left fusiform, we found more activity during retrieval of more- versus less-detailed color knowledge. We also assessed preference for verbal or visual cognitive style, finding that brain activity in the left lingual gyrus significantly correlated with preference for a visual cognitive style. We replicated many of these effects in Experiment 2, in which stimuli were presented more quickly, in a random order, and in the auditory modality. This illustration of some of the factors that can influence color knowledge retrieval leads to the conclusion that tests of conceptual and perceptual overlap must consider variation in both of these processes.

  19. A novel semi-immersive virtual reality visuo-motor task activates ventrolateral prefrontal cortex: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basso Moro, Sara; Carrieri, Marika; Avola, Danilo; Brigadoi, Sabrina; Lancia, Stefania; Petracca, Andrea; Spezialetti, Matteo; Ferrari, Marco; Placidi, Giuseppe; Quaresima, Valentina

    2016-06-01

    Objective. In the last few years, the interest in applying virtual reality systems for neurorehabilitation is increasing. Their compatibility with neuroimaging techniques, such as functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), allows for the investigation of brain reorganization with multimodal stimulation and real-time control of the changes occurring in brain activity. The present study was aimed at testing a novel semi-immersive visuo-motor task (VMT), which has the features of being adopted in the field of neurorehabilitation of the upper limb motor function. Approach. A virtual environment was simulated through a three-dimensional hand-sensing device (the LEAP Motion Controller), and the concomitant VMT-related prefrontal cortex (PFC) response was monitored non-invasively by fNIRS. Upon the VMT, performed at three different levels of difficulty, it was hypothesized that the PFC would be activated with an expected greater level of activation in the ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC), given its involvement in the motor action planning and in the allocation of the attentional resources to generate goals from current contexts. Twenty-one subjects were asked to move their right hand/forearm with the purpose of guiding a virtual sphere over a virtual path. A twenty-channel fNIRS system was employed for measuring changes in PFC oxygenated-deoxygenated hemoglobin (O2Hb/HHb, respectively). Main results. A VLPFC O2Hb increase and a concomitant HHb decrease were observed during the VMT performance, without any difference in relation to the task difficulty. Significance. The present study has revealed a particular involvement of the VLPFC in the execution of the novel proposed semi-immersive VMT adoptable in the neurorehabilitation field.

  20. The effect of a motor skills training program in the improvement of practiced and non-practiced tasks performance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD).

    PubMed

    Farhat, Faiçal; Hsairi, Ines; Baati, Hamza; Smits-Engelsman, B C M; Masmoudi, Kaouthar; Mchirgui, Radhouane; Triki, Chahnez; Moalla, Wassim

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of a group-based task oriented skills training program on motor and physical ability for children with DCD. It was also investigated if there was an effect on fine motor and handwriting tasks that were not specifically practiced during the training program. Forty-one children aged 6-10years took part in this study. Children were assigned to three groups: an experimental training group consisting of 14 children with DCD, a control non-training group consisted of 13 children with DCD and a control non-training group consisting of 14 typically developed children. The measurements included were, the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC), the Modified Agility Test (MAT), the Triple Hop Distance (THD), the 5 Jump-test (5JT) and the Handwriting Performance Test. All measures were administered pre and post an 8-week training program. The results showed that 10 children of the DCD training-group improved their performance in MABC test, attaining a score above the 15th percentile after their participation in the training program. DCD training-group showed a significant improvement on all cluster scores (manual dexterity (t (13)=5.3, p<.001), ball skills (t (13)=2.73, p<.05) and balance (t (13)=5.13, p<.001). Significant performance improvements were also found in MAT, THD, 5JT (t (13)=-4.55; p<.01), handwriting quality (t (12)=-2.73; p<.05) and speed (t (12)=-4.2; p<.01) after the training program. In conclusion, improvement in both practiced and non-practiced skills, in the training program, may reflect improvement in motor skill but also transfer to other skills.

  1. Solid propellant rocket motor internal ballistics performance variation analysis, phase 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sforzini, R. H.; Foster, W. A., Jr.; Murph, J. E.; Adams, G. W., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    Results of research aimed at improving the predictability of off nominal internal ballistics performance of solid propellant rocket motors (SRMs) including thrust imbalance between two SRMs firing in parallel are reported. The potential effects of nozzle throat erosion on internal ballistic performance were studied and a propellant burning rate low postulated. The propellant burning rate model when coupled with the grain deformation model permits an excellent match between theoretical results and test data for the Titan IIIC, TU455.02, and the first Space Shuttle SRM (DM-1). Analysis of star grain deformation using an experimental model and a finite element model shows the star grain deformation effects for the Space Shuttle to be small in comparison to those of the circular perforated grain. An alternative technique was developed for predicting thrust imbalance without recourse to the Monte Carlo computer program. A scaling relationship used to relate theoretical results to test results may be applied to the alternative technique of predicting thrust imbalance or to the Monte Carlo evaluation. Extended investigation into the effect of strain rate on propellant burning rate leads to the conclusion that the thermoelastic effect is generally negligible for both steadily increasing pressure loads and oscillatory loads.

  2. Materials Research for Advanced Inertial Instrumentation; Task 3: Rare Earth Magnetic Material Technology as Related to Gyro Torquers and Motors.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-12-01

    increase of samarium content by one weight percent, increasing the Sm CO7 second phase, raises the decay rate from -43 ppm/decade to -1070 ppm/decade...properties of 42.0% Sm deposit without magnetic alignment. ....... ................. ..... .49 vii SECTION I INTRODUCTION 1.1 Program Background Samarium ...gimbal torque motors. As an example of the former category, samarium -cobalt permanent magnets are employed in the torque generator, or angular motion

  3. Striatal-cerebellar networks mediate consolidation in a motor sequence learning task: An fMRI study using dynamic causal modelling.

    PubMed

    Tzvi, Elinor; Stoldt, Anne; Witt, Karsten; Krämer, Ulrike M

    2015-11-15

    The fast and slow learning stages of motor sequence learning are suggested to be realized through plasticity in a distributed cortico-striato-cerebellar network. To better understand the causal interactions within this network in the different phases of motor sequence learning, we investigated the effective connectivity within this network during encoding (Day 1) and after consolidation (Day 2) of a serial reaction time task. Using Dynamic Causal Modelling of fMRI data, we found general changes in network connections reflected in altered input nodes and endogenous connections when comparing the early and fast learning session to the late and slow learning session. Whereas encoding of a motor memory early on modulated several connections in a distributed network, slow learning resulted in a pruned network. More specifically, we found a negative modulation of connections from left M1 to right cerebellum, right premotor cortex to left cerebellum, as well as backward connections from putamen to cerebellum bilaterally in the encoding session. While connections during pre-sleep were significantly modulated by learning per se (i.e., specifically modulated by performance on sequence conditions), the connections observed after sleep were rather modulated by general performance (i.e., modulated by performance on both sequence and random conditions). A forward connection from left cerebellum to right putamen was found to be consistent across participants for the sequence condition only during slow learning. Together these findings suggest that whereas encoding in the fast learning phase requires plasticity in several connections implementing both motor and perceptual learning components, slow learning is mediated through connectivity from left cerebellum to right putamen.

  4. Promoting neuroplasticity for motor rehabilitation after stroke: considering the effects of aerobic exercise and genetic variation on brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

    PubMed

    Mang, Cameron S; Campbell, Kristin L; Ross, Colin J D; Boyd, Lara A

    2013-12-01

    Recovery of motor function after stroke involves relearning motor skills and is mediated by neuroplasticity. Recent research has focused on developing rehabilitation strategies that facilitate such neuroplasticity to maximize functional outcome poststroke. Although many molecular signaling pathways are involved, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has emerged as a key facilitator of neuroplasticity involved in motor learning and rehabilitation after stroke. Thus, rehabilitation strategies that optimize BDNF effects on neuroplasticity may be especially effective for improving motor function poststroke. Two potential poststroke rehabilitation strategies that consider the importance of BDNF are the use of aerobic exercise to enhance brain function and the incorporation of genetic information to individualize therapy. Converging evidence demonstrates that aerobic exercise increases BDNF production and consequently enhances learning and memory processes. Nevertheless, a common genetic variant reduces activity-dependent secretion of the BDNF protein. Thus, BDNF gene variation may affect response to motor rehabilitation training and potentially modulate the effects of aerobic exercise on neuroplasticity. This perspective article discusses evidence that aerobic exercise promotes neuroplasticity by increasing BDNF production and considers how aerobic exercise may facilitate the acquisition and retention of motor skills for poststroke rehabilitation. Next, the impact of the BDNF gene val66met polymorphism on motor learning and response to rehabilitation is explored. It is concluded that the effects of aerobic exercise on BDNF and motor learning may be better exploited if aerobic exercise is paired more closely in time with motor training. Additionally, information about BDNF genotype could provide insight into the type and magnitude of effects that aerobic exercise may have across individuals and potentially help guide an individualized prescription of aerobic exercise

  5. Promoting Neuroplasticity for Motor Rehabilitation After Stroke: Considering the Effects of Aerobic Exercise and Genetic Variation on Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor

    PubMed Central

    Mang, Cameron S.; Campbell, Kristin L.; Ross, Colin J.D.

    2013-01-01

    Recovery of motor function after stroke involves relearning motor skills and is mediated by neuroplasticity. Recent research has focused on developing rehabilitation strategies that facilitate such neuroplasticity to maximize functional outcome poststroke. Although many molecular signaling pathways are involved, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has emerged as a key facilitator of neuroplasticity involved in motor learning and rehabilitation after stroke. Thus, rehabilitation strategies that optimize BDNF effects on neuroplasticity may be especially effective for improving motor function poststroke. Two potential poststroke rehabilitation strategies that consider the importance of BDNF are the use of aerobic exercise to enhance brain function and the incorporation of genetic information to individualize therapy. Converging evidence demonstrates that aerobic exercise increases BDNF production and consequently enhances learning and memory processes. Nevertheless, a common genetic variant reduces activity-dependent secretion of the BDNF protein. Thus, BDNF gene variation may affect response to motor rehabilitation training and potentially modulate the effects of aerobic exercise on neuroplasticity. This perspective article discusses evidence that aerobic exercise promotes neuroplasticity by increasing BDNF production and considers how aerobic exercise may facilitate the acquisition and retention of motor skills for poststroke rehabilitation. Next, the impact of the BDNF gene val66met polymorphism on motor learning and response to rehabilitation is explored. It is concluded that the effects of aerobic exercise on BDNF and motor learning may be better exploited if aerobic exercise is paired more closely in time with motor training. Additionally, information about BDNF genotype could provide insight into the type and magnitude of effects that aerobic exercise may have across individuals and potentially help guide an individualized prescription of aerobic exercise

  6. Cortical Modulation of Motor Control Biofeedback among the Elderly with High Fall Risk during a Posture Perturbation Task with Augmented Reality

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chun-Ju; Yang, Tsui-Fen; Yang, Sai-Wei; Chern, Jen-Suh

    2016-01-01

    The cerebral cortex provides sensorimotor integration and coordination during motor control of daily functional activities. Power spectrum density based on electroencephalography (EEG) has been employed as an approach that allows an investigation of the spatial–temporal characteristics of neuromuscular modulation; however, the biofeedback mechanism associated with cortical activation during motor control remains unclear among elderly individuals. Thirty one community-dwelling elderly participants were divided into low fall-risk potential (LF) and high fall-risk potential (HF) groups based upon the results obtained from a receiver operating characteristic analysis of the ellipse area of the center of pressure. Electroencephalography (EEG) was performed while the participants stood on a 6-degree-of-freedom Stewart platform, which generated continuous perturbations and done either with or without the virtual reality scene. The present study showed that when there was visual stimulation and poor somatosensory coordination, a higher level of cortical response was activated in order to keep postural balance. The elderly participants in the LF group demonstrated a significant and strong correlation between postural-related cortical regions; however, the elderly individuals in the HF group did not show such a relationship. Moreover, we were able to clarify the roles of various brainwave bands functioning in motor control. Specifically, the gamma and beta bands in the parietal–occipital region facilitate the high-level cortical modulation and sensorimotor integration, whereas the theta band in the frontal–central region is responsible for mediating error detection during perceptual motor tasks. Finally, the alpha band is associated with processing visual challenges in the occipital lobe.With a variety of motor control demands, increment in brainwave band coordination is required to maintain postural stability. These investigations shed light on the cortical modulation

  7. Cortical Modulation of Motor Control Biofeedback among the Elderly with High Fall Risk during a Posture Perturbation Task with Augmented Reality.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chun-Ju; Yang, Tsui-Fen; Yang, Sai-Wei; Chern, Jen-Suh

    2016-01-01

    The cerebral cortex provides sensorimotor integration and coordination during motor control of daily functional activities. Power spectrum density based on electroencephalography (EEG) has been employed as an approach that allows an investigation of the spatial-temporal characteristics of neuromuscular modulation; however, the biofeedback mechanism associated with cortical activation during motor control remains unclear among elderly individuals. Thirty one community-dwelling elderly participants were divided into low fall-risk potential (LF) and high fall-risk potential (HF) groups based upon the results obtained from a receiver operating characteristic analysis of the ellipse area of the center of pressure. Electroencephalography (EEG) was performed while the participants stood on a 6-degree-of-freedom Stewart platform, which generated continuous perturbations and done either with or without the virtual reality scene. The present study showed that when there was visual stimulation and poor somatosensory coordination, a higher level of cortical response was activated in order to keep postural balance. The elderly participants in the LF group demonstrated a significant and strong correlation between postural-related cortical regions; however, the elderly individuals in the HF group did not show such a relationship. Moreover, we were able to clarify the roles of various brainwave bands functioning in motor control. Specifically, the gamma and beta bands in the parietal-occipital region facilitate the high-level cortical modulation and sensorimotor integration, whereas the theta band in the frontal-central region is responsible for mediating error detection during perceptual motor tasks. Finally, the alpha band is associated with processing visual challenges in the occipital lobe.With a variety of motor control demands, increment in brainwave band coordination is required to maintain postural stability. These investigations shed light on the cortical modulation of

  8. Solid-propellant rocket motor internal ballistics performance variation analysis, phase 5

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sforzini, R. H.; Murph, J. E.

    1980-01-01

    The results of research aimed at improving the predictability of internal ballistics performance of solid-propellant rocket motors (SRM's) including thrust imbalance between two SRM's firing in parallel are presented. Static test data from the first six Space Shuttle SRM's is analyzed using a computer program previously developed for this purpose. The program permits intentional minor design biases affecting the imbalance between any two SMR's to be removed. Results for the last four of the six SRM's, with only the propellant bulk temperature as a non-random variable, are generally within limits predicted by theory. Extended studies of internal ballistic performance of single SRM's are presented based on an earlier developed mathematical model which includes an assessment of grain deformation. The erosive burning rate law used in the model is upgraded and made more general. Excellent results are obtained in predictions of the performances of five different SRM's of quite different sizes and configurations. These SRM's all employ PBAN type propellants with ammonium perchlorate oxidizer and 16 to 20% aluminum except one which uses carboxyl terminated butadiene binder. The only non-calculated parameters in the burning rate equations that are changed for the different SRM's are the zero crossflow velocity burning rate coefficients and exponents. The results, in general, confirm the importance of grain deformation. The improved internal ballistic model makes practical development of an effective computer program for application of an optimization technique to SRM design which is also demonstrated. The program uses a pattern search technique to minimize the difference between a desired thrust-time trace and one calculated based on the internal ballistic model.

  9. Reflections on Speech Motor Control Based on Phonatory and DDK Tasks in Dysarthric Subjects with Lesions in Different Cerebellar Loci

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandana, V. P.

    2007-01-01

    There are very few acoustic studies reflecting on the localization of speech function within the different loci of the cerebellum. Task based performance profile of subjects with lesion in different cerebellar loci is not reported. Also, the findings on nonfocal cerebellar lesions cannot be generalized to lesions restricted to the cerebellum.…

  10. Food-cue affected motor response inhibition and self-reported dieting success: a pictorial affective shifting task.

    PubMed

    Meule, Adrian; Lutz, Annika P C; Krawietz, Vera; Stützer, Judith; Vögele, Claus; Kübler, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral inhibition is one of the basic facets of executive functioning and is closely related to self-regulation. Impulsive reactions, that is, low inhibitory control, have been associated with higher body mass index (BMI), binge eating, and other problem behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, pathological gambling, etc.). Nevertheless, studies which investigated the direct influence of food-cues on behavioral inhibition have been fairly inconsistent. In the current studies, we investigated food-cue affected behavioral inhibition in young women. For this purpose, we used a go/no-go task with pictorial food and neutral stimuli in which stimulus-response mapping is reversed after every other block (affective shifting task). In study 1, hungry participants showed faster reaction times to and omitted fewer food than neutral targets. Low dieting success and higher BMI were associated with behavioral disinhibition in food relative to neutral blocks. In study 2, both hungry and satiated individuals were investigated. Satiation did not influence overall task performance, but modulated associations of task performance with dieting success and self-reported impulsivity. When satiated, increased food craving during the task was associated with low dieting success, possibly indicating a preload-disinhibition effect following food intake. Food-cues elicited automatic action and approach tendencies regardless of dieting success, self-reported impulsivity, or current hunger levels. Yet, associations between dieting success, impulsivity, and behavioral food-cue responses were modulated by hunger and satiation. Future research investigating clinical samples and including other salient non-food stimuli as control category is warranted.

  11. Food-cue affected motor response inhibition and self-reported dieting success: a pictorial affective shifting task

    PubMed Central

    Meule, Adrian; Lutz, Annika P. C.; Krawietz, Vera; Stützer, Judith; Vögele, Claus; Kübler, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral inhibition is one of the basic facets of executive functioning and is closely related to self-regulation. Impulsive reactions, that is, low inhibitory control, have been associated with higher body mass index (BMI), binge eating, and other problem behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, pathological gambling, etc.). Nevertheless, studies which investigated the direct influence of food-cues on behavioral inhibition have been fairly inconsistent. In the current studies, we investigated food-cue affected behavioral inhibition in young women. For this purpose, we used a go/no-go task with pictorial food and neutral stimuli in which stimulus-response mapping is reversed after every other block (affective shifting task). In study 1, hungry participants showed faster reaction times to and omitted fewer food than neutral targets. Low dieting success and higher BMI were associated with behavioral disinhibition in food relative to neutral blocks. In study 2, both hungry and satiated individuals were investigated. Satiation did not influence overall task performance, but modulated associations of task performance with dieting success and self-reported impulsivity. When satiated, increased food craving during the task was associated with low dieting success, possibly indicating a preload-disinhibition effect following food intake. Food-cues elicited automatic action and approach tendencies regardless of dieting success, self-reported impulsivity, or current hunger levels. Yet, associations between dieting success, impulsivity, and behavioral food-cue responses were modulated by hunger and satiation. Future research investigating clinical samples and including other salient non-food stimuli as control category is warranted. PMID:24659978

  12. Deficits in sequential processing manifest in motor and linguistic tasks in a multigenerational family with childhood apraxia of speech

    PubMed Central

    PETER, BEATE; BUTTON, LE; STOEL-GAMMON, CAROL; CHAPMAN, KATHY; RASKIND, WENDY H.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate a global deficit in sequential processing as candidate endophenotypein a family with familial childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Of 10 adults and 13 children in a three-generational family with speech sound disorder (SSD) consistent with CAS, 3 adults and 6 children had past or present SSD diagnoses. Two preschoolers with unremediated CAS showed a high number of sequencing errors during single-word production. Performance on tasks with high sequential processing loads differentiated between the affected and unaffected family members, whereas there were no group differences in tasks with low processing loads. Adults with a history of SSD produced more sequencing errors during nonword and multisyllabic real word imitation, compared to those without such a history. Results are consistent with a global deficit in sequential processing that influences speech development as well as cognitive and linguistic processing. PMID:23339324

  13. Visual-motor response of crewmen during a simulated 90-day space mission as measured by the critical task battery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, R. W.; Jex, H. R.

    1973-01-01

    In order to test various components of a regenerative life support system and to obtain data on the physiological and psychological effects of long duration exposure to confinement in a space station atmosphere, four carefully screened young men were sealed in a space station simulator for 90 days and administered a tracking test battery. The battery included a clinical test (Critical Instability Task) designed to measure a subject's dynamic time delay, and a more conventional steady tracking task, during which dynamic response (describing functions) and performance measures were obtained. Good correlation was noted between the clinical critical instability scores and more detailed tracking parameters such as dynamic time delay and gain-crossover frequency. The levels of each parameter span the range observed with professional pilots and astronaut candidates tested previously. The chamber environment caused no significant decrement on the average crewman's dynamic response behavior, and the subjects continued to improve slightly in their tracking skills during the 90-day confinement period.

  14. Commentary Variations: Level of Verbalization, Personal Reference, and Phase Relations in Instructional Films on Perceptual-Motor Tasks. Technical Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zuckerman, John V.

    In an experiment to determine the most efficient design for the commentary of an instructional film, special consideration was given to three variables concerned with the construction of commentaries: the level of verbalization (the amount of talk), the personal reference of the narrator, and the phase relationship between the commentary and the…

  15. Offline continuous theta burst stimulation over right inferior frontal gyrus and pre-supplementary motor area impairs inhibition during a go/no-go task.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Neil M; Cressman, Erin K; Carlsen, Anthony N

    2017-04-06

    In a typical go/no-go task a single imperative stimulus is presented each trial, either a go or no-go stimulus. Participants are instructed to initiate a known response upon appearance of the go-signal and withhold the response if the no-go signal is presented. It is unclear whether the go-response is prepared in advance of the imperative stimulus in a go/no-go task. Moreover, it is unclear if inhibitory control processes suppress preparatory go-activation. The purpose of the present experiment was 1) to determine whether the go-response is prepared in advance of stimulus identification with the use of a startling acoustic stimulus (SAS), and 2) investigate the inhibitory role of the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) and pre-supplementary motor area (preSMA) during the performance of a go/no-go task with the use of continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS). The experiment consisted of three phases; a pre-cTBS phase in which participants completed a go/no-go and simple-RT task, followed by offline cTBS to temporarily deactivate either rIFG or preSMA (with a sham control), then a post-cTBS phase which was identical to the pre-cTBS phase. Results revealed that stimulation to both cortical sites impaired participants' ability to withhold movements during no-go trials. Notably, rIFG or preSMA stimulation did not affect the latency of voluntary go-responses and did not enable the SAS to involuntarily trigger responses. These findings suggest that preparation and initiation of the go-response occurs after the imperative stimulus, with the rIFG and preSMA involved in inhibiting the go-response once the stimulus is identified as a no-go signal.

  16. User Experience May be Producing Greater Heart Rate Variability than Motor Imagery Related Control Tasks during the User-System Adaptation in Brain-Computer Interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Alonso-Valerdi, Luz M.; Gutiérrez-Begovich, David A.; Argüello-García, Janet; Sepulveda, Francisco; Ramírez-Mendoza, Ricardo A.

    2016-01-01

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) is technology that is developing fast, but it remains inaccurate, unreliable and slow due to the difficulty to obtain precise information from the brain. Consequently, the involvement of other biosignals to decode the user control tasks has risen in importance. A traditional way to operate a BCI system is via motor imagery (MI) tasks. As imaginary movements activate similar cortical structures and vegetative mechanisms as a voluntary movement does, heart rate variability (HRV) has been proposed as a parameter to improve the detection of MI related control tasks. However, HR is very susceptible to body needs and environmental demands, and as BCI systems require high levels of attention, perceptual processing and mental workload, it is important to assess the practical effectiveness of HRV. The present study aimed to determine if brain and heart electrical signals (HRV) are modulated by MI activity used to control a BCI system, or if HRV is modulated by the user perceptions and responses that result from the operation of a BCI system (i.e., user experience). For this purpose, a database of 11 participants who were exposed to eight different situations was used. The sensory-cognitive load (intake and rejection tasks) was controlled in those situations. Two electrophysiological signals were utilized: electroencephalography and electrocardiography. From those biosignals, event-related (de-)synchronization maps and event-related HR changes were respectively estimated. The maps and the HR changes were cross-correlated in order to verify if both biosignals were modulated due to MI activity. The results suggest that HR varies according to the experience undergone by the user in a BCI working environment, and not because of the MI activity used to operate the system. PMID:27458384

  17. User Experience May be Producing Greater Heart Rate Variability than Motor Imagery Related Control Tasks during the User-System Adaptation in Brain-Computer Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Valerdi, Luz M; Gutiérrez-Begovich, David A; Argüello-García, Janet; Sepulveda, Francisco; Ramírez-Mendoza, Ricardo A

    2016-01-01

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) is technology that is developing fast, but it remains inaccurate, unreliable and slow due to the difficulty to obtain precise information from the brain. Consequently, the involvement of other biosignals to decode the user control tasks has risen in importance. A traditional way to operate a BCI system is via motor imagery (MI) tasks. As imaginary movements activate similar cortical structures and vegetative mechanisms as a voluntary movement does, heart rate variability (HRV) has been proposed as a parameter to improve the detection of MI related control tasks. However, HR is very susceptible to body needs and environmental demands, and as BCI systems require high levels of attention, perceptual processing and mental workload, it is important to assess the practical effectiveness of HRV. The present study aimed to determine if brain and heart electrical signals (HRV) are modulated by MI activity used to control a BCI system, or if HRV is modulated by the user perceptions and responses that result from the operation of a BCI system (i.e., user experience). For this purpose, a database of 11 participants who were exposed to eight different situations was used. The sensory-cognitive load (intake and rejection tasks) was controlled in those situations. Two electrophysiological signals were utilized: electroencephalography and electrocardiography. From those biosignals, event-related (de-)synchronization maps and event-related HR changes were respectively estimated. The maps and the HR changes were cross-correlated in order to verify if both biosignals were modulated due to MI activity. The results suggest that HR varies according to the experience undergone by the user in a BCI working environment, and not because of the MI activity used to operate the system.

  18. A cognitive-motor intervention using a dance video game to enhance foot placement accuracy and gait under dual task conditions in older adults: a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Computer-based interventions have demonstrated consistent positive effects on various physical abilities in older adults. This study aims to compare two training groups that achieve similar amounts of strength and balance exercise where one group receives an intervention that includes additional dance video gaming. The aim is to investigate the different effects of the training programs on physical and psychological parameters in older adults. Methods Thirty-one participants (mean age ± SD: 86.2 ± 4.6 years), residents of two Swiss hostels for the aged, were randomly assigned to either the dance group (n = 15) or the control group (n = 16). The dance group absolved a twelve-week cognitive-motor exercise program twice weekly that comprised progressive strength and balance training supplemented with additional dance video gaming. The control group performed only the strength and balance exercises during this period. Outcome measures were foot placement accuracy, gait performance under single and dual task conditions, and falls efficacy. Results After the intervention between-group comparison revealed significant differences for gait velocity (U = 26, P = .041, r = .45) and for single support time (U = 24, P = .029, r = .48) during the fast walking dual task condition in favor of the dance group. No significant between-group differences were observed either in the foot placement accuracy test or in falls efficacy. Conclusions There was a significant interaction in favor of the dance video game group for improvements in step time. Significant improved fast walking performance under dual task conditions (velocity, double support time, step length) was observed for the dance video game group only. These findings suggest that in older adults a cognitive-motor intervention may result in more improved gait under dual task conditions in comparison to a traditional strength and balance exercise program. Trial registration

  19. Temporal Co-Variation between Eye Lens Accommodation and Trapezius Muscle Activity during a Dynamic Near-Far Visual Task

    PubMed Central

    Zetterberg, Camilla; Richter, Hans O.; Forsman, Mikael

    2015-01-01

    Near work is associated with increased activity in the neck and shoulder muscles, but the underlying mechanism is still unknown. This study was designed to determine whether a dynamic change in focus, alternating between a nearby and a more distant visual target, produces a direct parallel change in trapezius muscle activity. Fourteen healthy controls and 12 patients with a history of visual and neck/shoulder symptoms performed a Near-Far visual task under three different viewing conditions; one neutral condition with no trial lenses, one condition with negative trial lenses to create increased accommodation, and one condition with positive trial lenses to create decreased accommodation. Eye lens accommodation and trapezius muscle activity were continuously recorded. The trapezius muscle activity was significantly higher during Near than during Far focusing periods for both groups within the neutral viewing condition, and there was a significant co-variation in time between accommodation and trapezius muscle activity within the neutral and positive viewing conditions for the control group. In conclusion, these results reveal a connection between Near focusing and increased muscle activity during dynamic changes in focus between a nearby and a far target. A direct link, from the accommodation/vergence system to the trapezius muscles cannot be ruled out, but the connection may also be explained by an increased need for eye-neck (head) stabilization when focusing on a nearby target as compared to a more distant target. PMID:25961299

  20. On the nature of extraversion: variation in conditioned contextual activation of dopamine-facilitated affective, cognitive, and motor processes

    PubMed Central

    Depue, Richard A.; Fu, Yu

    2013-01-01

    Research supports an association between extraversion and dopamine (DA) functioning. DA facilitates incentive motivation and the conditioning and incentive encoding of contexts that predict reward. Therefore, we assessed whether extraversion is related to the efficacy of acquiring conditioned contextual facilitation of three processes that are dependent on DA: motor velocity, positive affect, and visuospatial working memory. We exposed high and low extraverts to three days of association of drug reward (methylphenidate, MP) with a particular laboratory context (Paired group), a test day of conditioning, and three days of extinction in the same laboratory. A Placebo group and an Unpaired group (that had MP in a different laboratory context) served as controls. Conditioned contextual facilitation was assessed by (i) presenting video clips that varied in their pairing with drug and laboratory context and in inherent incentive value, and (ii) measuring increases from day 1 to Test day on the three processes above. Results showed acquisition of conditioned contextual facilitation across all measures to video clips that had been paired with drug and laboratory context in the Paired high extraverts, but no conditioning in the Paired low extraverts (nor in either of the control groups). Increases in the Paired high extraverts were correlated across the three measures. Also, conditioned facilitation was evident on the first day of extinction in Paired high extraverts, despite the absence of the unconditioned effects of MP. By the last day of extinction, responding returned to day 1 levels. The findings suggest that extraversion is associated with variation in the acquisition of contexts that predict reward. Over time, this variation may lead to differences in the breadth of networks of conditioned contexts. Thus, individual differences in extraversion may be maintained by activation of differentially encoded central representations of incentive contexts that predict reward

  1. Comparison of error-amplification and haptic-guidance training techniques for learning of a timing-based motor task by healthy individuals.

    PubMed

    Milot, Marie-Hélène; Marchal-Crespo, Laura; Green, Christopher S; Cramer, Steven C; Reinkensmeyer, David J

    2010-03-01

    Performance errors drive motor learning for many tasks. Some researchers have suggested that reducing performance errors with haptic guidance can benefit learning by demonstrating correct movements, while others have suggested that artificially increasing errors will force faster and more complete learning. This study compared the effect of these two techniques--haptic guidance and error amplification--as healthy subjects learned to play a computerized pinball-like game. The game required learning to press a button using wrist movement at the correct time to make a flipper hit a falling ball to a randomly positioned target. Errors were decreased or increased using a robotic device that retarded or accelerated wrist movement, based on sensed movement initiation timing errors. After training with either error amplification or haptic guidance, subjects significantly reduced their timing errors and generalized learning to untrained targets. However, for a subset of more skilled subjects, training with amplified errors produced significantly greater learning than training with the reduced errors associated with haptic guidance, while for a subset of less skilled subjects, training with haptic guidance seemed to benefit learning more. These results suggest that both techniques help enhanced performance of a timing task, but learning is optimized if training subjects with the appropriate technique based on their baseline skill level.

  2. Motor Adaptations to Pain during a Bilateral Plantarflexion Task: Does the Cost of Using the Non-Painful Limb Matter?

    PubMed Central

    Hodges, Paul W.; Carroll, Timothy J.; De Martino, Enrico; Magnard, Justine; Tucker, Kylie

    2016-01-01

    During a force-matched bilateral task, when pain is induced in one limb, a shift of load to the non-painful leg is classically observed. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that this adaptation to pain depends on the mechanical efficiency of the non-painful leg. We studied a bilateral plantarflexion task that allowed flexibility in the relative force produced with each leg, but constrained the sum of forces from both legs to match a target. We manipulated the mechanical efficiency of the non-painful leg by imposing scaling factors: 1, 0.75, or 0.25 to decrease mechanical efficiency (Decreased efficiency experiment: 18 participants); and 1, 1.33 or 4 to increase mechanical efficiency (Increased efficiency experiment: 17 participants). Participants performed multiple sets of three submaximal bilateral isometric plantarflexions with each scaling factor during two conditions (Baseline and Pain). Pain was induced by injection of hypertonic saline into the soleus. Force was equally distributed between legs during the Baseline contractions (laterality index was close to 1; Decreased efficiency experiment: 1.16±0.33; Increased efficiency experiment: 1.11±0.32), with no significant effect of Scaling factor. The laterality index was affected by Pain such that the painful leg contributed less than the non-painful leg to the total force (Decreased efficiency experiment: 0.90±0.41, P<0.001; Increased efficiency experiment: 0.75±0.32, P<0.001), regardless of the efficiency (scaling factor) of the non-painful leg. When compared to the force produced during Baseline of the corresponding scaling condition, a decrease in force produced by the painful leg was observed for all conditions, except for scaling 0.25. This decrease in force was correlated with a decrease in drive to the soleus muscle. These data highlight that regardless of the overall mechanical cost, the nervous system appears to prefer to alter force sharing between limbs such that force produced by the painful

  3. Task Integration Facilitates Multitasking

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira, Rita F.; Raab, Markus; Hegele, Mathias; Schorer, Jörg

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate multi-task integration in a continuous tracking task. We were particularly interested in how manipulating task structure in a dual-task situation affects learning of a constant segment embedded in a pursuit-tracking task. Importantly, we examined if dual-task effects could be attributed to task integration by varying the structural similarity and difficulty of the primary and secondary tasks. In Experiment 1 participants performed a pursuit tracking task while counting high-pitched tones and ignoring low-pitched tones. The tones were either presented randomly or structurally 250 ms before each tracking turn. Experiment 2 increased the motor load of the secondary tasks by asking participants to tap their feet to the tones. Experiment 3 further increased motor load of the primary task by increasing its speed and having participants tracking with their non-dominant hand. The results show that dual-task interference can be moderated by secondary task conditions that match the structure of the primary task. Therefore our results support proposals of task integration in continuous tracking paradigms. We conclude that multi-tasking is not always detrimental for motor learning but can be facilitated through task-integration. PMID:28360878

  4. Task Integration Facilitates Multitasking.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Rita F; Raab, Markus; Hegele, Mathias; Schorer, Jörg

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate multi-task integration in a continuous tracking task. We were particularly interested in how manipulating task structure in a dual-task situation affects learning of a constant segment embedded in a pursuit-tracking task. Importantly, we examined if dual-task effects could be attributed to task integration by varying the structural similarity and difficulty of the primary and secondary tasks. In Experiment 1 participants performed a pursuit tracking task while counting high-pitched tones and ignoring low-pitched tones. The tones were either presented randomly or structurally 250 ms before each tracking turn. Experiment 2 increased the motor load of the secondary tasks by asking participants to tap their feet to the tones. Experiment 3 further increased motor load of the primary task by increasing its speed and having participants tracking with their non-dominant hand. The results show that dual-task interference can be moderated by secondary task conditions that match the structure of the primary task. Therefore our results support proposals of task integration in continuous tracking paradigms. We conclude that multi-tasking is not always detrimental for motor learning but can be facilitated through task-integration.

  5. Optimization and variability of motor behavior in multi-finger tasks: What variables does the brain use?

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Joel R.; Terekhov, Alexander V.; Latash, Mark L.; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M.

    2014-01-01

    The neural control of movement has been described using different sets of elemental variables. Two possible sets of elemental variables have been suggested for finger pressing tasks: the forces of individual fingers and the finger commands (also called “finger modes” or “central commands”). In this study we analyze which of the two sets of the elemental variables is more likely used in the optimization of the finger force sharing and which set is used for the stabilization of performance. We used two recently developed techniques – the analytical inverse optimization (ANIO) and the uncontrolled manifold (UCM) analysis – to evaluate each set of elemental variables with respect to both aspects of performance. The results of the UCM analysis favored the finger commands as the elemental variables used for performance stabilization, while ANIO worked equally well on both sets of elemental variables. A simple scheme is suggested as to how the CNS could optimize a cost function dependent on the finger forces, but for the sake of facilitation of the feed-forward control it substitutes the original cost function by a cost function, which is convenient to optimize in the space of finger commands. PMID:23742067

  6. Anger fosters action. Fast responses in a motor task involving approach movements toward angry faces and bodies

    PubMed Central

    de Valk, Josje M.; Wijnen, Jasper G.; Kret, Mariska E.

    2015-01-01

    Efficiently responding to others’ emotions, especially threatening expressions such as anger and fear, can have great survival value. Previous research has shown that humans have a bias toward threatening stimuli. Most of these studies focused on facial expressions, yet emotions are expressed by the whole body, and not just by the face. Body language contains a direct action component, and activates action preparation areas in the brain more than facial expressions. Hence, biases toward threat may be larger following threatening bodily expressions as compared to facial expressions. The current study investigated reaction times of movements directed toward emotional bodies and faces. For this purpose, a new task was developed where participants were standing in front of a computer screen on which angry, fearful, and neutral faces and bodies were presented which they had to touch as quickly as possible. Results show that participants responded faster to angry than to neutral stimuli, regardless of the source (face or body). No significant difference was observed between fearful and neutral stimuli, demonstrating that the threat bias was not related to the negativity of the stimulus, but likely to the directness of the threat in relation to the observer. Whereas fearful stimuli might signal an environmental threat that requires further exploration before action, angry expressions signal a direct threat to the observer, asking for immediate action. This study provides a novel and implicit method to directly test the speed of actions toward emotions from the whole body. PMID:26388793

  7. Effects of mirror therapy combined with motor tasks on upper extremity function and activities daily living of stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyunghoon; Lee, Sukmin; Kim, Donghoon; Lee, Kyoungbo; Kim, Youlim

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of mirror therapy combined with exercise tasks on the function of the upper limbs and activities of daily living. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-five stroke patients who were receiving physical therapy at K Hospital in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, were classified into a mirror therapy group (n=12) and a conventional therapy group (n=13). The therapies were applied for 30 minutes per day, five times per week, for a total of four weeks. Upper limb function was measured with the Action Research Arm test, the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, and the Box and Block test, and activities of daily living were measured with the Functional Independence Measure. A paired test was performed to compare the intragroup differences between before training and after four weeks of therapy, and an independent t-test was performed to compare the differences between the two groups before and after four weeks of therapy. [Results] In the intragroup comparison, both groups showed significant differences between measurements taken before and after four weeks of therapy. In the intergroup comparison, the mirror therapy group showed significant improvements compared with the conventional therapy group, both in upper limb function and activities of daily living. [Conclusion] The findings of this study demonstrated that mirror therapy is more effective than conventional therapy for the training of stroke patients to improve their upper limb function and activities of daily living. PMID:27065534

  8. Variation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamilton City Board of Education (Ontario).

    Suggestions for studying the topic of variation of individuals and objects (balls) to help develop elementary school students' measurement, comparison, classification, evaluation, and data collection and recording skills are made. General suggestions of variables that can be investigated are made for the study of human variation. Twelve specific…

  9. Regional Homogeneity of Resting-state fMRI Contributes to Both Neurovascular and Task Activation Variations

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Rui; Di, Xin; Kim, Eun H.; Barik, Sabrina; Rypma, Bart; Biswal, Bharat B.

    2013-01-01

    The task induced blood oxygenation level dependent signal changes observed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is critically dependent on the relationship between neuronal activity and hemodynamic response. Therefore, understanding the nature of neurovascular coupling is important when interpreting fMRI signal changes evoked via task. In this study, we used regional homogeneity (ReHo), a measure of local synchronization of the BOLD time series, to investigate whether the similarities of one voxel with the surrounding voxels is a property of neurovascular coupling. FMRI scans were obtained from fourteen subjects during bilateral finger tapping (FTAP), digit-symbol substitution (DSST) and periodic breath holding (BH) paradigm. A resting-state scan was also obtained for each of the subjects for 4 minutes using identical imaging parameters. Inter-voxel correlation analyses were conducted between the resting-state ReHo, resting-state amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF), breath hold (BH) responses and task activations within the masks related to task activations. There was a reliable mean voxel-wise spatial correlation between ReHo and other neurovascular variables (BH responses and ALFF). We observed a moderate correlation between ReHo and task activations (FTAP: r = 0.32; DSST: r = 0.22) within the task positive network and a small yet reliable correlation within the default mode network (DSST: r = −0.08). Subsequently, a linear regression was used to estimate the contribution of ReHo, ALFF and BH responses to the task activated voxels. The unique contribution of ReHo was minimal. The results suggest that regional synchrony of the BOLD activity is a property that can explain the variance of neurovascular coupling and task activations; but its contribution to task activations can be accounted for by other neurovascular factors such as the ALFF. PMID:23969197

  10. Negative covariation between task-related responses in alpha/beta-band activity and BOLD in human sensorimotor cortex: an EEG and fMRI study of motor imagery and movements.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Han; Liu, Tao; Szarkowski, Rebecca; Rios, Cristina; Ashe, James; He, Bin

    2010-02-01

    Similar to the occipital alpha rhythm, electroencephalographic (EEG) signals in the alpha- and beta-frequency bands can be suppressed by movement or motor imagery and have thus been thought to represent the "idling state" of the sensorimotor cortex. A negative correlation between spontaneous alpha EEG and blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signals has been reported in combined EEG and fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) experiments when subjects stayed at the resting state or alternated between the resting state and a task. However, the precise nature of the task-induced alpha modulation remains elusive. It was not clear whether alpha/beta rhythm suppressions may co-vary with BOLD when conducting tasks involving varying activations of the cortex. Here, we quantified the task-evoked responses of BOLD and alpha/beta-band power of EEG directly in the cortical source domain, by using source imaging technology, and examined their covariation across task conditions in a mixed block and event-related design. In this study, 13 subjects performed tasks of right-hand, right-foot or left-hand movement and motor imagery when EEG and fMRI data were separately collected. Task-induced increase of BOLD signal and decrease of EEG amplitudes in alpha and beta bands were shown to be co-localized at the somatotopic sensorimotor cortex. At the corresponding regions, the reciprocal changes of the two signals co-varied in the magnitudes across imagination and movement conditions. The spatial correspondence and negative covariation between the two measurements were further shown to exist at somatotopic brain regions associated with different body parts. These results suggest an inverse functional coupling relationship between task-induced changes of BOLD and low-frequency EEG signals.

  11. Linear versus non-linear measures of temporal variability in finger tapping and their relation to performance on open- versus closed-loop motor tasks: comparing standard deviations to Lyapunov exponents.

    PubMed

    Christman, Stephen D; Weaver, Ryan

    2008-05-01

    The nature of temporal variability during speeded finger tapping was examined using linear (standard deviation) and non-linear (Lyapunov exponent) measures. Experiment 1 found that right hand tapping was characterised by lower amounts of both linear and non-linear measures of variability than left hand tapping, and that linear and non-linear measures of variability were often negatively correlated with one another. Experiment 2 found that increased non-linear variability was associated with relatively enhanced performance on a closed-loop motor task (mirror tracing) and relatively impaired performance on an open-loop motor task (pointing in a dark room), especially for left hand performance. The potential uses and significance of measures of non-linear variability are discussed.

  12. Systematic Variations of Instructional Variables on Learner Performance: Aircraft Instrument Comprehension Task. Final Report, June 1973-July 1974.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tenpas, Barbara G.; And Others

    Incentive, practice, instruction, and feedback were manipulated in a series of four 2 x 2 factorial studies, with Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets and graduate students in education, to determine the individual and combined effects of these variables on learner performance (both speed and accuracy) of an aircraft comprehension task.…

  13. Long-term decoding stability of local field potentials from silicon arrays in primate motor cortex during a 2D center out task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dong; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Li, Yue; Wang, Yiwen; Zhu, Junming; Zhang, Shaomin; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2014-06-01

    Objective. Many serious concerns exist in the long-term stability of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) based on spike signals (single unit activity, SUA; multi unit activity, MUA). Some studies showed local field potentials (LFPs) could offer a stable decoding performance. However, the decoding stability of LFPs was examined only when high quality spike signals were recorded. Here we aim to examine the long-term decoding stability of LFPs over a larger time scale when the quality of spike signals was from good to poor or even no spike was recorded. Approach. Neural signals were collected from motor cortex of three monkeys via silicon arrays over 230, 290 and 690 days post-implantation when they performed 2D center out task. To compare long-term stability between LFPs and spike signals, we examined them in neural signals characteristics, directional tuning properties and offline decoding performance, respectively. Main results. We observed slow decreasing trends in the number of LFP channels recorded and mean LFP power in different frequency bands when spike signals quality decayed over time. The number of significantly directional tuning LFP channels decreased more slowly than that of tuning SUA and MUA. The variable preferred directions for the same signal features across sessions indicated non-stationarity of neural activity. We also found that LFPs achieved better decoding performance than SUA and MUA in retrained decoder when the quality of spike signals seriously decayed. Especially, when no spike was recorded in one monkey after 671 days post-implantation, LFPs still provided some kinematic information. In addition, LFPs outperformed MUA in long-term decoding stability in a static decoder. Significance. Our results suggested that LFPs were more durable and could provide better decoding performance when spike signals quality seriously decayed. It might be due to their resistance to recording degradation and their high redundancy among channels.

  14. In shoe pressure measurements during different motor tasks while wearing safety shoes: The effect of custom made insoles vs. prefabricated and off-the-shelf.

    PubMed

    Caravaggi, Paolo; Giangrande, Alessia; Lullini, Giada; Padula, Giuseppe; Berti, Lisa; Leardini, Alberto

    2016-10-01

    Health and safety regulations in many countries require workers at risk to wear safety shoes in a factory environment. These shoes are often heavy, rigid, and uncomfortable. Wearing safety shoes daily leads to foot problems, discomfort and fatigue, resulting also in the loss of numerous working days. Currently, knowledge of the biomechanical effects of insoles in safety shoes, during working activities, is very limited. Seventeen workers from a metalworking factory were selected and clinically examined for any foot conditions. Workers feet were 3D scanned, with regards to their plantar view, and the images used to design 34 custom-insoles, based on foot and safety shoe models. Three insoles were blind-tested by each worker: custom (CUS); prefabricated with the safety-shoe (PSS), and off-the-shelf (OTS). Foot-to-insole pressure distribution was measured in seven motor tasks replicating typical working activities: single and double-leg standing; weight lifting; stair ascending and descending; normal and fast walking. Wearing CUS within safety shoes resulted in a greater uniform pressure distribution across plantar regions for most of the working activities. Peak pressure at the forefoot during normal walking was the lowest in the custom insole (CUS 275.9±55.3kPa; OTS 332.7±75.5kPa; PSS 304.5±54.2kPa). Normal and fast walking were found to be the most demanding activities in terms of peak pressure. Wearing safety shoes results in high pedobarographic parameters in several foot regions. The use of custom insoles designed on the foot morphology helps decrease peak pressure and pressure-time integral compared to prefabricated featureless insoles.

  15. Mean diffusivity as a potential diffusion tensor biomarker of motor rehabilitation after electrical stimulation incorporating task specific exercise in stroke: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Boespflug, Erin L; Storrs, Judd M; Allendorfer, Jane B; Lamy, Martine; Eliassen, James C; Page, Stephen

    2014-09-01

    Changes in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) values co-occur with neurological and functional changes after stroke. However, quantitative DTI metrics have not been examined in response to participation in targeted rehabilitative interventions in chronic stroke. The primary purpose of this pilot study was to examine whether changes in DTI metrics co-occur with paretic arm movement changes among chronic stroke patients participating in a regimen of electrical stimulation targeting the paretic arm. Three subjects exhibiting stable arm hemiparesis were administered 30-minute (n = 1) or 120-minute (n = 2) therapy sessions emphasizing paretic arm use during valued, functional tasks and incorporating an electrical stimulation device. These sessions occurred every weekday for 8 weeks. A fourth subject served as a treatment control, participating in a 30-minute home exercise regimen without electrical stimulation every weekday for 8 weeks. DTI and behavioral outcome measures were acquired at baseline and after intervention. DTI data were analyzed using a region of interest (ROI) approach, with ROIs chosen based on tract involvement in sensorimotor function or as control regions. Behavioral outcome measures were the Fugl-Meyer Scale (FM) and the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT). The treatment control subject exhibited gains in pinch and grasp, as shown by a 5-point increase on the ARAT. The subject who participated in 30-minute therapy sessions exhibited no behavioral gains. Subjects participating in 120-minute therapy sessions displayed consistent impairment reductions and distal movement changes. DTI changes were largest in subjects two and three, with mean diffusivity (MD) decreases in the middle cerebellar peduncle and posterior limb of the internal capsule following treatment. No changes in fractional anisotropy (FA) were observed for sensorimotor tracts. Our preliminary results suggest that active rehabilitative therapies augmented by electrical stimulation may

  16. Reduced task-induced variations in the distribution of activity across back muscle regions in individuals with low back pain.

    PubMed

    Falla, Deborah; Gizzi, Leonardo; Tschapek, Marika; Erlenwein, Joachim; Petzke, Frank

    2014-05-01

    This study investigated change in the distribution of lumbar erector spinae muscle activity and pressure pain sensitivity across the low back in individuals with low back pain (LBP) and healthy controls. Surface electromyographic (EMG) signals were recorded from multiple locations over the lumbar erector spinae muscle with a 13×5 grid of electrodes from 19 people with chronic nonspecific LBP and 17 control subjects as they performed a repetitive lifting task. The EMG root mean square (RMS) was computed for each location of the grid to form a map of the EMG amplitude distribution. Pressure pain thresholds (PPT) were recorded before and after the lifting task over a similar area of the back. For the control subjects, the EMG RMS progressively increased more in the caudal region of the lumbar erector spinae during the repetitive task, resulting in a shift in the distribution of muscle activity. In contrast, the distribution of muscle activity remained unaltered in the LBP group despite an overall increase in EMG amplitude. PPT was lower in the LBP group after completion of the repetitive task compared to baseline (average across all locations: pre: 268.0±165.9 kPa; post: 242.0±166.7 kPa), whereas no change in PPT over time was observed for the control group (320.1±162.1 kPa; post: 322.0±179.5 kPa). The results demonstrate that LBP alters the normal adaptation of lumbar erector spinae muscle activity to exercise, which occurs in the presence of exercise-induced hyperalgesia. Reduced variability of muscle activity may have important implications for the provocation and recurrence of LBP due to repetitive tasks.

  17. Variation in left posterior parietal-motor cortex interhemispheric facilitation following right parietal continuous theta-burst stimulation in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Killington, Christopher; Barr, Christopher; Loetscher, Tobias; Bradnam, Lynley V

    2016-08-25

    Spatial neglect is modeled on an imbalance of interhemispheric inhibition (IHI); however evidence is emerging that it may not explain neglect in all cases. The aim of this study was to investigate the IHI imbalance model of visual neglect in healthy adults, using paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to probe excitability of projections from posterior parietal cortex (PPC) to contralateral primary motor cortex (M1) bilaterally. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) were recorded from the first dorsal interossei and facilitation was determined as ratio of conditioned to non-conditioned MEP amplitude. A laterality index reflecting the balance of excitability between the two hemispheres was calculated. A temporal order judgment task (TOJ) assessed visual attention. Continuous theta-burst stimulation was used to transiently suppress right parietal cortex activity and the effect on laterality and judgment task measured, along with associations between baseline and post stimulation measures. Stimulation had conflicting results on laterality, with most participants demonstrating an effect in the negative direction with no decrement in the TOJ task. Correlation analysis suggests a strong association between laterality direction and degree of facilitation of left PPC-to right M1 following stimulation (r=.902), with larger MEP facilitation at baseline demonstrating greater reduction (r=-.908). Findings indicate there was relative balance between the cortices at baseline but right PPC suppression did not evoke left PPC facilitation in most participants, contrary to the IHI imbalance model. Left M1 facilitation prior to stimulation may predict an individual's response to continuous theta-burst stimulation of right PPC.

  18. Building a framework for a dual task taxonomy.

    PubMed

    McIsaac, Tara L; Lamberg, Eric M; Muratori, Lisa M

    2015-01-01

    The study of dual task interference has gained increasing attention in the literature for the past 35 years, with six MEDLINE citations in 1979 growing to 351 citations indexed in 2014 and a peak of 454 cited papers in 2013. Increasingly, researchers are examining dual task cost in individuals with pathology, including those with neurodegenerative diseases. While the influence of these papers has extended from the laboratory to the clinic, the field has evolved without clear definitions of commonly used terms and with extreme variations in experimental procedures. As a result, it is difficult to examine the interference literature as a single body of work. In this paper we present a new taxonomy for classifying cognitive-motor and motor-motor interference within the study of dual task behaviors that connects traditional concepts of learning and principles of motor control with current issues of multitasking analysis. As a first step in the process we provide an operational definition of dual task, distinguishing it from a complex single task. We present this new taxonomy, inclusive of both cognitive and motor modalities, as a working model; one that we hope will generate discussion and create a framework from which one can view previous studies and develop questions of interest.

  19. The functional alterations associated with motor imagery training: a comparison between motor execution and motor imagery of sequential finger tapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hang; Yao, Li; Long, Zhiying

    2011-03-01

    Motor imagery training, as an effective strategy, has been more and more applied to mental disorders rehabilitation and motor skill learning. Studies on the neural mechanism underlying motor imagery have suggested that such effectiveness may be related to the functional congruence between motor execution and motor imagery. However, as compared to the studies on motor imagery, the studies on motor imagery training are much fewer. The functional alterations associated with motor imagery training and the effectiveness of motor imagery training on motor performance improvement still needs further investigation. Using fMRI, we employed a sequential finger tapping paradigm to explore the functional alterations associated with motor imagery training in both motor execution and motor imagery task. We hypothesized through 14 consecutive days motor imagery training, the motor performance could be improved and the functional congruence between motor execution and motor imagery would be sustained form pre-training phase to post-training phase. Our results confirmed the effectiveness of motor imagery training in improving motor performance and demonstrated in both pre and post-training phases, motor imagery and motor execution consistently sustained the congruence in functional neuroanatomy, including SMA (supplementary motor cortex), PMA (premotor area); M1( primary motor cortex) and cerebellum. Moreover, for both execution and imagery tasks, a similar functional alteration was observed in fusiform through motor imagery training. These findings provided an insight into the effectiveness of motor imagery training and suggested its potential therapeutic value in motor rehabilitation.

  20. Real-Time Tracking of Motor Response Activation and Response Competition in a Stroop Task in Young Children: A Lateralized Readiness Potential Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szucs, Denes; Soltesz, Fruzsina; Bryce, Donna; Whitebread, David

    2009-01-01

    The ability to select an appropriate motor response by resolving competition among alternative responses plays a major role in cognitive performance. fMRI studies suggest that the development of this skill is related to the maturation of the frontal cortex that underlies the improvement of motor inhibition abilities. However, fMRI cannot…

  1. Effects of Arm Weight on C-Not-B Task Performance: Implications for the Motor Inhibitory Deficit Account of Search Failures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riviere, James; Lecuyer, Roger

    2008-01-01

    Toddlers have been found to fail on a three-location search task involving the invisible displacements of an object, namely the C-not-B task. In this task, a child is shown the experimenter's hand that contains a toy. The toy then successively disappears under the three cloths (A, B, then C). The examiner silently releases the toy under the second…

  2. Dopamine Inactivation Efficacy Related to Functional DAT1 and COMT Variants Influences Motor Response Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Bender, Stephan; Rellum, Thomas; Freitag, Christine; Resch, Franz; Rietschel, Marcella; Treutlein, Jens; Jennen-Steinmetz, Christine; Brandeis, Daniel; Banaschewski, Tobias; Laucht, Manfred

    2012-01-01

    Background Dopamine plays an important role in orienting, response anticipation and movement evaluation. Thus, we examined the influence of functional variants related to dopamine inactivation in the dopamine transporter (DAT1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase genes (COMT) on the time-course of motor processing in a contingent negative variation (CNV) task. Methods 64-channel EEG recordings were obtained from 195 healthy adolescents of a community-based sample during a continuous performance task (A-X version). Early and late CNV as well as motor postimperative negative variation were assessed. Adolescents were genotyped for the COMT Val158Met and two DAT1 polymorphisms (variable number tandem repeats in the 3′-untranslated region and in intron 8). Results The results revealed a significant interaction between COMT and DAT1, indicating that COMT exerted stronger effects on lateralized motor post-processing (centro-parietal motor postimperative negative variation) in homozygous carriers of a DAT1 haplotype increasing DAT1 expression. Source analysis showed that the time interval 500–1000 ms after the motor response was specifically affected in contrast to preceding movement anticipation and programming stages, which were not altered. Conclusions Motor slow negative waves allow the genomic imaging of dopamine inactivation effects on cortical motor post-processing during response evaluation. This is the first report to point towards epistatic effects in the motor system during response evaluation, i.e. during the post-processing of an already executed movement rather than during movement programming. PMID:22649558

  3. Subthreshold electrical stimulation reduces motor unit discharge variability and decreases the force fluctuations of plantar flexion.

    PubMed

    Kouzaki, Motoki; Kimura, Tetsuya; Yoshitake, Yasuhide; Hayashi, Tatsuya; Moritani, Toshio

    2012-04-04

    The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of subthreshold electrical stimulation on the force fluctuations and motor-unit discharge variability during low-level, steady contraction of the plantar flexor muscles. Seven subjects performed a force-matching task of isometric plantar flexion at 5% of maximal voluntary contraction with and without random electrical stimulation applied to the tibial nerve. During the task, the motor unit action potential was continuously recorded with fine-wire electrodes, and the inter-spike intervals of a single motor unit were calculated. The coefficient of variation (CV) of the force fluctuations and the inter-spike intervals of the motor unit discharge were significantly decreased by the intervention of subthreshold electrical stimulation, although there were no changes in the mean values. These results suggest that subthreshold stimulation reduced the motor-unit discharge variability, which in turn, increased the steadiness of the force.

  4. European Federation of Neurological Societies/Peripheral Nerve Society guideline on management of multifocal motor neuropathy. Report of a joint task force of the European Federation of Neurological Societies and the Peripheral Nerve Society--first revision.

    PubMed

    2010-12-01

    A European Federation of Neurological Societies/Peripheral Nerve Society consensus guideline on the definition, investigation, and treatment of multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) was published in 2006. The aim is to revise this guideline. Disease experts considered references retrieved from MEDLINE and Cochrane Systematic Reviews published between August 2004 and July 2009 and prepared statements that were agreed to in an iterative fashion. The Task Force agreed on Good Practice Points to define clinical and electrophysiological diagnostic criteria for MMN, investigations to be considered, and principal recommendations for treatment.

  5. Accuracy and Precision of a Custom Camera-Based System for 2-D and 3-D Motion Tracking during Speech and Nonspeech Motor Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feng, Yongqiang; Max, Ludo

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Studying normal or disordered motor control requires accurate motion tracking of the effectors (e.g., orofacial structures). The cost of electromagnetic, optoelectronic, and ultrasound systems is prohibitive for many laboratories and limits clinical applications. For external movements (lips, jaw), video-based systems may be a viable…

  6. Neural Control Adaptation to Motor Noise Manipulation

    PubMed Central

    Hasson, Christopher J.; Gelina, Olga; Woo, Garrett

    2016-01-01

    Antagonistic muscular co-activation can compensate for movement variability induced by motor noise at the expense of increased energetic costs. Greater antagonistic co-activation is commonly observed in older adults, which could be an adaptation to increased motor noise. The present study tested this hypothesis by manipulating motor noise in 12 young subjects while they practiced a goal-directed task using a myoelectric virtual arm, which was controlled by their biceps and triceps muscle activity. Motor noise was increased by increasing the coefficient of variation (CV) of the myoelectric signals. As hypothesized, subjects adapted by increasing antagonistic co-activation, and this was associated with reduced noise-induced performance decrements. A second hypothesis was that a virtual decrease in motor noise, achieved by smoothing the myoelectric signals, would have the opposite effect: co-activation would decrease and motor performance would improve. However, the results showed that a decrease in noise made performance worse instead of better, with no change in co-activation. Overall, these findings suggest that the nervous system adapts to virtual increases in motor noise by increasing antagonistic co-activation, and this preserves motor performance. Reducing noise may have failed to benefit performance due to characteristics of the filtering process itself, e.g., delays are introduced and muscle activity bursts are attenuated. The observed adaptations to increased noise may explain in part why older adults and many patient populations have greater antagonistic co-activation, which could represent an adaptation to increased motor noise, along with a desire for increased joint stability. PMID:26973487

  7. Quantitative comparisons on hand motor functional areas determined by resting state and task BOLD fMRI and anatomical MRI for pre-surgical planning of patients with brain tumors.

    PubMed

    Hou, Bob L; Bhatia, Sanjay; Carpenter, Jeffrey S

    2016-01-01

    For pre-surgical planning we present quantitative comparison of the location of the hand motor functional area determined by right hand finger tapping BOLD fMRI, resting state BOLD fMRI, and anatomically using high resolution T1 weighted images. Data were obtained on 10 healthy subjects and 25 patients with left sided brain tumors. Our results show that there are important differences in the locations (i.e., > 20 mm) of the determined hand motor voxels by these three MR imaging methods. This can have significant effect on the pre-surgical planning of these patients depending on the modality used. In 13 of the 25 cases (i.e., 52%) the distances between the task-determined and the rs-fMRI determined hand areas were more than 20 mm; in 13 of 25 cases (i.e., 52%) the distances between the task-determined and anatomically determined hand areas were > 20 mm; and in 16 of 25 cases (i.e., 64%) the distances between the rs-fMRI determined and anatomically determined hand areas were more than 20 mm. In just three cases, the distances determined by all three modalities were within 20 mm of each other. The differences in the location or fingerprint of the hand motor areas, as determined by these three MR methods result from the different underlying mechanisms of these three modalities and possibly the effects of tumors on these modalities.

  8. Local government guide to the emerging technologies of energy-efficient motors and heat pumps. Energy technology report of the energy task force of the urban consortium

    SciTech Connect

    1980-01-01

    Information is presented to provide a local government manager with a basic background in energy efficient motors and heat pump technologies. An overview of each technology and the issues and considerations associated with their application are presented. Discussions cover installation and maintenance requirements, equipment availability, costs and risks/benefits. Data describing demonstration sites for solar assisted heat pump systems and contacts for further information are provided.

  9. Is the cerebellum a potential target for stimulation in Parkinson's disease? Results of 1-Hz rTMS on upper limb motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Minks, Eduard; Mareček, Radek; Pavlík, Tomáš; Ovesná, Petra; Bareš, Martin

    2011-12-01

    The aim of this study was to find whether 1-Hz cerebellar repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could affect upper limb movement in early-stage Parkinson's disease (PD). Twenty patients with PD underwent one session with real and one with sham rTMS. rTMS (1 Hz, 600 pulses) was targeted at the right lateral cerebellum. Before and after rTMS, patients performed two motor tests with their fingers and hands (ball test, nine-hole peg test). The duration of these tests was measured. There were statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in the results of the tests after real stimulation and sham stimulation. We excluded the impact of learning. After real rTMS, we observed a significantly faster response in the ball test and a slower response in the nine-hole peg test, both on the right upper limb. This study indicates the influence of 1-Hz cerebellar rTMS in modifying the voluntary movements of the upper limb in PD. This influence is differentiated: the improvement of gross motor skills and the worsening of fine motor skills.

  10. Motor adaptation in complex sports - the influence of visual context information on the adaptation of the three-point shot to altered task demands in expert basketball players.

    PubMed

    Stöckel, Tino; Fries, Udo

    2013-01-01

    We examined the influence of visual context information on skilled motor behaviour and motor adaptation in basketball. The rules of basketball in Europe have recently changed, such that that the distance for three-point shots increased from 6.25 m to 6.75 m. As such, we tested the extent to which basketball experts can adapt to the longer distance when a) only the unfamiliar, new three-point line was provided as floor markings (NL group), or b) the familiar, old three-point line was provided in addition to the new floor markings (OL group). In the present study 20 expert basketball players performed 40 three-point shots from 6.25 m and 40 shots from 6.75 m. We assessed the percentage of hits and analysed the landing position of the ball. Results showed better adaptation of throwing performance to the longer distance when the old three-point line was provided as a visual landmark, compared to when only the new three-point line was provided. We hypothesise that the three-point line delivered relevant information needed to successfully adapt to the greater distance in the OL group, whereas it disturbed performance and ability to adapt in the NL group. The importance of visual landmarks on motor adaptation in basketball throwing is discussed relative to the influence of other information sources (i.e. angle of elevation relative to the basket) and sport practice.

  11. Characterization of fine motor development: dynamic analysis of children's drawing movements.

    PubMed

    Lin, Qiushi; Luo, Jianfei; Wu, Zhongcheng; Shen, Fei; Sun, Zengwu

    2015-04-01

    In this study, we investigated children's fine motor development by analyzing drawing trajectories, kinematics and kinetics. Straight lines drawing task and circles drawing task were performed by using a force sensitive tablet. Forty right-handed and Chinese mother-tongue students aged 6-12, attending classes from grade 1 to 5, were engaged in the experiment. Three spatial parameters, namely cumulative trace length, vector length of straight line and vertical diameter of circle were determined. Drawing duration, mean drawing velocity, and number of peaks in stroke velocity profile (NPV) were derived as kinematic parameters. Besides mean normal force, two kinetic indices were proposed: normalized force angle regulation (NFR) and variation of fine motor control (VFC) for circles drawing task. The maturation and automation of fine motor ability were reflected by increased drawing velocity, reduced drawing duration, NPV and NFR, with decreased VFC in circles drawing task. Grade and task main effects as well as significant correlations between age and parameters suggest that factors such as schooling, age and task should be considered in the assessment of fine motor skills. Compared with kinematic parameters, findings of NFR and VFC revealed that kinetics is another important perspective in the analysis of fine motor movement.

  12. Piezoceramic Ultrasonic Motor Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Burden, J.S.

    1999-02-24

    The objective of this project was to team Aerotech and AlliedSignal FM and T (AS) to develop a cost-efficient process for small-batch, high performance PZT motor production. Aerotech would acquire the basic process expertise in motor fabrication, assembly, and testing from AS. Together, Aerotech and AS were to identify appropriate process improvements, focusing on raw material quality, manufacturing processes, and durability assessment. Aerotech would then design and build a motor in consultation with AS. Aerotech engineering observed motor manufacturing in the AS piezo lab and worked side by side with AS personnel to build and test a prototype motor to facilitate learning the technology. Using information from AS and hands-on experience with the AS motor drive system enabled Aerotech to design and build its own laboratory drive system to operate motors. The team compiled information to establish a potential piezo motor users' list, and an intellectual property search was conducted to understand current patent and IP (intellectual property) status of motor design. Work was initiated to identify and develop an American source for piezo motor elements; however, due to manpower restraints created by the resignation of the AS Ph.D. ceramist responsible for these tasks, the project schedule slipped. The project was subsequently terminated before significant activities were accomplished. AS did, however, provide Aerotech with contacts in Japanese industry that are willing and capable of supplying them with special design motor elements.

  13. Defining Elemental Imitation Mechanisms: A Comparison of Cognitive and Motor-Spatial Imitation Learning across Object- and Computer-Based Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Subiaul, Francys; Zimmermann, Laura; Renner, Elizabeth; Schilder, Brian; Barr, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    During the first 5 years of life, the versatility, breadth, and fidelity with which children imitate change dramatically. Currently, there is no model to explain what underlies such significant changes. To that end, the present study examined whether task-independent but domain-specific--elemental--imitation mechanism explains performance across…

  14. Mentally Retarded and Normal Children's Performance on Gross Motor Reaction- and Movement-Time Tasks with Varying Degrees of Uncertainty of Movement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Distefano, Emily A.; Brunt, Denis

    1982-01-01

    The effect of uncertainty of movement increased reaction time and movement time significantly in a simple task of running for mildly retarded eight- and ten-year old children. No change in performance was noted for normal children. (Author/PN)

  15. The planning of a sequence of saccades in pro- and antisaccade tasks: influence of visual integration time and concurrent motor processing.

    PubMed

    Lavergne, Louisa; Vergilino-Perez, Dorine; Collins, Thérèse; Orriols, Eric; Doré-Mazars, Karine

    2008-12-15

    Previous studies have shown that a saccade is coded in a specific reference frame according to its goal: to aim for a new object or to explore an object which has already been fixated. In a two saccade sequence, the second saccade aiming for a new object is programmed in a retinocentric reference frame in which the spatial location of the second object is stored in spatial memory before the first saccade and updated after its execution. The second saccade exploring the same object is coded in an oculocentric reference frame in which object size is directly transformed into a fixed motor vector, encoded in motor memory before the first saccade and simply applied after its execution. The integration of parafoveal visual information appears to be crucial in the selection of the appropriate reference frame. The two experiments presented here investigate how and when the saccadic system integrates visual information to plan a sequence of saccades. In separate blocks, subjects were asked to execute a sequence of prosaccades directed toward a single object or two short objects, or to execute a sequence of antisaccades in the opposite direction of the stimuli. The latency of the initial saccade was modulated by using the Gap-200, Gap-0 and Overlap-600 ms paradigms. The results show that the time available for segmenting the visual stimulation into discrete objects and application of a specific reference frame according to this segmentation is critical for saccadic planning.

  16. Prediction of isometric motor tasks and effort levels based on high-density EMG in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordanić, Mislav; Rojas-Martínez, Mónica; Mañanas, Miguel Angel; Francesc Alonso, Joan

    2016-08-01

    Objective. The development of modern assistive and rehabilitation devices requires reliable and easy-to-use methods to extract neural information for control of devices. Group-specific pattern recognition identifiers are influenced by inter-subject variability. Based on high-density EMG (HD-EMG) maps, our research group has already shown that inter-subject muscle activation patterns exist in a population of healthy subjects. The aim of this paper is to analyze muscle activation patterns associated with four tasks (flexion/extension of the elbow, and supination/pronation of the forearm) at three different effort levels in a group of patients with incomplete Spinal Cord Injury (iSCI). Approach. Muscle activation patterns were evaluated by the automatic identification of these four isometric tasks along with the identification of levels of voluntary contractions. Two types of classifiers were considered in the identification: linear discriminant analysis and support vector machine. Main results. Results show that performance of classification increases when combining features extracted from intensity and spatial information of HD-EMG maps (accuracy = 97.5%). Moreover, when compared to a population with injuries at different levels, a lower variability between activation maps was obtained within a group of patients with similar injury suggesting stronger task-specific and effort-level-specific co-activation patterns, which enable better prediction results. Significance. Despite the challenge of identifying both the four tasks and the three effort levels in patients with iSCI, promising results were obtained which support the use of HD-EMG features for providing useful information regarding motion and force intention.

  17. [Nonlinear dynamics of involuntary shaking of the human hand under motor dysfunction].

    PubMed

    Dick, O E; Nozdrachev, A D

    2015-01-01

    Using nonlinear dynamic methods we examined wavelet and multifractal features of involuntary shaking (tremor) arising during the performance the motor task (sustaining effort of fingers under isometric conditions). The wavelet score (the maximum of the global wavelet spectrum) and multifractal parameters (the width and asymmetry of the singularity spectrum) significantly differ in tremor of healthy subjects and patients with akinetic-rigid form of Parkinson's disease. The relations between the change of the patient state connected with the drug relief of parkinsonian symptoms and the variations of the parameter values have been obtained. The suggested analytic approach for noninvasive study of integrative activity of the central nervous system, formed as the motor exit during realization of the motor task, enables not only to estimate quantitatively the degree of deviation of the motor function from the healthy one, but it can help to a clinician to choose the optimal treatment in every particular case.

  18. Thresholds of auditory-motor coupling measured with a simple task in musicians and non-musicians: was the sound simultaneous to the key press?

    PubMed

    van Vugt, Floris T; Tillmann, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    The human brain is able to predict the sensory effects of its actions. But how precise are these predictions? The present research proposes a tool to measure thresholds between a simple action (keystroke) and a resulting sound. On each trial, participants were required to press a key. Upon each keystroke, a woodblock sound was presented. In some trials, the sound came immediately with the downward keystroke; at other times, it was delayed by a varying amount of time. Participants were asked to verbally report whether the sound came immediately or was delayed. Participants' delay detection thresholds (in msec) were measured with a staircase-like procedure. We hypothesised that musicians would have a lower threshold than non-musicians. Comparing pianists and brass players, we furthermore hypothesised that, as a result of a sharper attack of the timbre of their instrument, pianists might have lower thresholds than brass players. Our results show that non-musicians exhibited higher thresholds for delay detection (180 ± 104 ms) than the two groups of musicians (102 ±65 ms), but there were no differences between pianists and brass players. The variance in delay detection thresholds could be explained by variance i n sensorimotor synchronisation capacities as well as variance in a purely auditory temporal irregularity detection measure. This suggests that the brain's capacity to generate temporal predictions of sensory consequences can be decomposed into general temporal prediction capacities together with auditory-motor coupling. These findings indicate that the brain has a relatively large window of integration within which an action and its resulting effect are judged as simultaneous. Furthermore, musical expertise may narrow this window down, potentially due to a more refined temporal prediction. This novel paradigm provides a simple test to estimate the temporal precision of auditory-motor action-effect coupling, and the paradigm can readily be incorporated in

  19. Motor unit firing behavior during prolonged 50% MVC dorsiflexion contractions in young and older adults.

    PubMed

    Christie, Anita; Kamen, Gary

    2009-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in motor unit firing behavior during prolonged contractions in young and older adults. Motor unit activity was recorded from the tibialis anterior of 16 subjects (8 young and 8 older), while they performed isometric dorsiflexion at 50% MVC until task failure. Mean motor unit firing rate, the standard deviation (SD), and coefficient of variation (CV) of the interspike intervals, and number of doublet discharges were calculated for a total of 52 motor units, tracked for an average of 92.9+/-68.6s. There was no age-related difference in the time to task failure. A modest decline in firing rate was observed in 71% of the motor units, with no significant age-related difference. The SD and CV of the interspike interval had a positive slope in 65% and 69% of the motor units, respectively, with no significant age-related differences. The number of doublet discharges remained stable throughout the contraction. Both groups exhibited motor unit dropout (discharge cessation) during the contraction. Thus, a fatiguing task producing modest changes in firing rate in young and older adults is accompanied by an appreciable increase in firing rate variability. The incidence of doublet discharges is not increased during fatiguing contractions.

  20. Gray Matter Volume and Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Motor Cortex-Cerebellum Network Reflect the Individual Variation in Masticatory Performance in Healthy Elderly People

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Chia-Shu; Wu, Shih-Yun; Wu, Ching-Yi; Ko, Hsien-Wei

    2016-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have consistently identified brain activation in the motor area and the cerebellum during chewing. In this study, we further investigated the structural and functional brain signature associated with masticatory performance, which is a widely used index for evaluating overall masticatory function in the elderly. Twenty-five healthy elderly participants underwent oral examinations, masticatory performance tests, and behavioral assessments, including the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument and the short-form Geriatric Depression Scale. Masticatory performance was assessed with the validated colorimetric method, using color-changeable chewing gum. T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting-state function MRI were performed. We analyzed alterations in gray matter volume (GMV) using voxel-based morphometry and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) between brain regions using the seed-based method. The structural and functional MRI analyses revealed the following findings: (1) the GMV change in the premotor cortex was positively correlated with masticatory performance. (2) The rsFC between the cerebellum and the premotor cortex was positively correlated with masticatory performance. (3) The GMV changes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), as well as the rsFC between the cerebellum and the DLPFC, were positively correlated with masticatory performance. The findings showed that in the premotor cortex, a reduction of GMV and rsFC would reflect declined masticatory performance. The positive correlation between DLPFC connectivity and masticatory performance implies that masticatory ability is associated with cognitive function in the elderly. Our findings highlighted the role of the central nervous system in masticatory performance and increased our understanding of the structural and functional brain signature underlying individual variations in masticatory performance in the elderly. PMID:26779015

  1. Gray Matter Volume and Resting-State Functional Connectivity of the Motor Cortex-Cerebellum Network Reflect the Individual Variation in Masticatory Performance in Healthy Elderly People.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chia-Shu; Wu, Shih-Yun; Wu, Ching-Yi; Ko, Hsien-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have consistently identified brain activation in the motor area and the cerebellum during chewing. In this study, we further investigated the structural and functional brain signature associated with masticatory performance, which is a widely used index for evaluating overall masticatory function in the elderly. Twenty-five healthy elderly participants underwent oral examinations, masticatory performance tests, and behavioral assessments, including the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument and the short-form Geriatric Depression Scale. Masticatory performance was assessed with the validated colorimetric method, using color-changeable chewing gum. T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting-state function MRI were performed. We analyzed alterations in gray matter volume (GMV) using voxel-based morphometry and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) between brain regions using the seed-based method. The structural and functional MRI analyses revealed the following findings: (1) the GMV change in the premotor cortex was positively correlated with masticatory performance. (2) The rsFC between the cerebellum and the premotor cortex was positively correlated with masticatory performance. (3) The GMV changes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), as well as the rsFC between the cerebellum and the DLPFC, were positively correlated with masticatory performance. The findings showed that in the premotor cortex, a reduction of GMV and rsFC would reflect declined masticatory performance. The positive correlation between DLPFC connectivity and masticatory performance implies that masticatory ability is associated with cognitive function in the elderly. Our findings highlighted the role of the central nervous system in masticatory performance and increased our understanding of the structural and functional brain signature underlying individual variations in masticatory performance in the elderly.

  2. Variation in the electrical properties of 100 V/100 a rated mesh and stripe TDMOSFETs (Trench Double-Diffused MOSFETs) for motor drive applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Na, Kyoung-Il; Kah, Dong-Ha; Kim, Sang-Gi; Koo, Jin-Gun; Kim, Jongdae; Yang, Yil-Suk; Lee, Jin-Ho

    2012-05-01

    The vertical power metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) with deep trench structures are the most promising candidates to overcome the trade-off relationship between the ON-resistance (R ON ) and the blocking voltage (BV DS ). Especially, 100 V/100 A rated trench power MOSFETs are used in components of many power systems, such as motors and LED lighting drive ICs, DC-DC converters in electric vehicles, and so on. In this work, we studied variations of the electrical characteristics, such as threshold voltage (V TH ), BV DS , and drain current drivability, with p-well doping concentration via the SILVACO simulator. From simulation results, we found the BV DS and the drain current (I D ) as functions of the p-well doping concentration at an ion implantation energy of 80 keV. With increasing of p-well doping concentration in the guard ring region, both V TH and BV DS slowly increased, but I D decreased, because the boron lateral diffusion during the fabrication process below gate trench region affected the doping concentration of the p-body at the active region. Additionally, 100 V/100 A rated trench double-diffused MOSFETs (TDMOSFETs) with meshes and stripes were successfully developed by using a silicon deep etching process. The variations in the electrical properties, such as V TH , BV DS , and drain current drivability, of the two different kinds of fabricated devices, with cell design and density in TDMOSFETs were also studied. The BV DS and the V TH in the stripe-type TDMOSFET were 110 and 3 V, respectively. However, the V TH of mesh-type device was smaller 0.5 V than that of stripe-type because of corner effect. The BV DS improved about 20 V compared to stripe-type TDMOSFET due to edge termination, and the maximum drain current (I D.MAX ) was improved by about 10% due to an increase in the gate width at the same chip size. These effects were reflected in devices with different cell densities. When the cell density was increased, however

  3. Accuracy and precision of a custom camera-based system for 2D and 3D motion tracking during speech and nonspeech motor tasks

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yongqiang; Max, Ludo

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Studying normal or disordered motor control requires accurate motion tracking of the effectors (e.g., orofacial structures). The cost of electromagnetic, optoelectronic, and ultrasound systems is prohibitive for many laboratories, and limits clinical applications. For external movements (lips, jaw), video-based systems may be a viable alternative, provided that they offer high temporal resolution and sub-millimeter accuracy. Method We examined the accuracy and precision of 2D and 3D data recorded with a system that combines consumer-grade digital cameras capturing 60, 120, or 240 frames per second (fps), retro-reflective markers, commercially-available computer software (APAS, Ariel Dynamics), and a custom calibration device. Results Overall mean error (RMSE) across tests was 0.15 mm for static tracking and 0.26 mm for dynamic tracking, with corresponding precision (SD) values of 0.11 and 0.19 mm, respectively. The effect of frame rate varied across conditions, but, generally, accuracy was reduced at 240 fps. The effect of marker size (3 vs. 6 mm diameter) was negligible at all frame rates for both 2D and 3D data. Conclusion Motion tracking with consumer-grade digital cameras and the APAS software can achieve sub-millimeter accuracy at frame rates that are appropriate for kinematic analyses of lip/jaw movements for both research and clinical purposes. PMID:24686484

  4. Accuracy and precision of a custom camera-based system for 2-d and 3-d motion tracking during speech and nonspeech motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Feng, Yongqiang; Max, Ludo

    2014-04-01

    PURPOSE Studying normal or disordered motor control requires accurate motion tracking of the effectors (e.g., orofacial structures). The cost of electromagnetic, optoelectronic, and ultrasound systems is prohibitive for many laboratories and limits clinical applications. For external movements (lips, jaw), video-based systems may be a viable alternative, provided that they offer high temporal resolution and submillimeter accuracy. METHOD The authors examined the accuracy and precision of 2-D and 3-D data recorded with a system that combines consumer-grade digital cameras capturing 60, 120, or 240 frames per second (fps), retro-reflective markers, commercially available computer software (APAS, Ariel Dynamics), and a custom calibration device. RESULTS Overall root-mean-square error (RMSE) across tests was 0.15 mm for static tracking and 0.26 mm for dynamic tracking, with corresponding precision (SD) values of 0.11 and 0.19 mm, respectively. The effect of frame rate varied across conditions, but, generally, accuracy was reduced at 240 fps. The effect of marker size (3- vs. 6-mm diameter) was negligible at all frame rates for both 2-D and 3-D data. CONCLUSION Motion tracking with consumer-grade digital cameras and the APAS software can achieve submillimeter accuracy at frame rates that are appropriate for kinematic analyses of lip/jaw movements for both research and clinical purposes.

  5. 76 FR 32390 - Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee Public Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-06

    ... Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee Public Meeting AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of Motor Carrier Safety Advisory... MCSAC will complete action on Task 11-01, regarding Patterns of Safety Violations by Motor...

  6. Comparison of haptic guidance and error amplification robotic trainings for the learning of a timing-based motor task by healthy seniors

    PubMed Central

    Bouchard, Amy E.; Corriveau, Hélène; Milot, Marie-Hélène

    2015-01-01

    With age, a decline in the temporal aspect of movement is observed such as a longer movement execution time and a decreased timing accuracy. Robotic training can represent an interesting approach to help improve movement timing among the elderly. Two types of robotic training—haptic guidance (HG; demonstrating the correct movement for a better movement planning and improved execution of movement) and error amplification (EA; exaggerating movement errors to have a more rapid and complete learning) have been positively used in young healthy subjects to boost timing accuracy. For healthy seniors, only HG training has been used so far where significant and positive timing gains have been obtained. The goal of the study was to evaluate and compare the impact of both HG and EA robotic trainings on the improvement of seniors’ movement timing. Thirty-two healthy seniors (mean age 68 ± 4 years) learned to play a pinball-like game by triggering a one-degree-of-freedom hand robot at the proper time to make a flipper move and direct a falling ball toward a randomly positioned target. During HG and EA robotic trainings, the subjects’ timing errors were decreased and increased, respectively, based on the subjects’ timing errors in initiating a movement. Results showed that only HG training benefited learning, but the improvement did not generalize to untrained targets. Also, age had no influence on the efficacy of HG robotic training, meaning that the oldest subjects did not benefit more from HG training than the younger senior subjects. Using HG to teach the correct timing of movement seems to be a good strategy to improve motor learning for the elderly as for younger people. However, more studies are needed to assess the long-term impact of HG robotic training on improvement in movement timing. PMID:25873868

  7. Sport expert's motor imagery: functional imaging of professional motor skills and simple motor skills.

    PubMed

    Wei, Gaoxia; Luo, Jing

    2010-06-23

    Numerous studies provide evidence that motor skill acquisition is associated with dynamic changes in cortical and subcortical regions. Athletes are a professional population who are engaged in extensive motor training for long periods. However, the neural substrates of extreme level motor performance have not been clarified. We used kinesthetic imagery task to induce the mental representation of sport expert's extraordinary performance in view of the shared substrates of executing movement and motor imagery. For the first time, we compared, through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the pattern of cerebral activations in 12 professional divers and 12 normal people without extensive training, during imagery of professional skills and imagery of simple motor skills. The sport experts showed significant activation in the parahippocampus during imagery of professional skills relative to the novices, which might reflect the representation adapted to experience-related motor tasks. No significant difference was found between experts and novices when they imagined simple motor skills. These results indicated the experts might utilize their kinesthetic imagery more efficiently than novices, but only for the activity in which they had expertise. The sport experts also demonstrated more focused activation patterns in prefrontal areas in both of imagery tasks, which may be relevant to higher order of motor control during motor imagery. Moreover, this study suggested that the brains of sport experts could be regarded as the ideal subjects to explore the relationship between cerebral plasticity and learning of complex motor skills.

  8. Comparison of effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area in motor skill learning (randomized, cross over study).

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong Kyun; Shin, Sung Hun

    2014-01-01

    Motor skills require quick visuomotor reaction time, fast movement time, and accurate performance. Primary motor cortex (M1) and supplementary motor area (SMA) are closely related in learning motor skills. Also, it is well known that high frequency repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on these sites has a facilitating effect. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of high frequency rTMS activation of these two brain sites on learning of motor skills. Twenty three normal volunteers participated. Subjects were randomly stimulated on either brain area, SMA or M1. The motor task required the learning of sequential finger movements, explicitly or implicitly. It consisted of pressing the keyboard sequentially with their right hand on seeing 7 digits on the monitor explicitly, and then tapping the 7 digits by memorization, implicitly. Subjects were instructed to hit the keyboard as fast and accurately as possible. Using Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), the keyboard pressing task was measured before and after high frequency rTMS for motor performance, which was measured by response time (RT), movement time, and accuracy (AC). A week later, the same task was repeated by cross-over study design. At this time, rTMS was applied on the other brain area. Two-way ANOVA was used to assess the carry over time effect and stimulation sites (M1 and SMA), as factors. Results indicated that no carry-over effect was observed. The AC and RT were not different between the two stimulating sites (M1 and SMA). But movement time was significantly decreased after rTMS on both SMA and M1. The amount of shortened movement time after rTMS on SMA was significantly increased as compared to the movement time after rTMS on M1 (p < 0.05), especially for implicit learning of motor tasks. The coefficient of variation was lower in implicit trial than in explicit trial. In conclusion, this finding indicated an important role of SMA compared to M1, in implicit motor

  9. CEINMS: a toolbox to investigate the influence of different neural control solutions on the prediction of muscle excitation and joint moments during dynamic motor tasks

    PubMed Central

    Pizzolato, Claudio; Lloyd, David G.; Sartori, Massimo; Ceseracciu, Elena; Besier, Thor F.; Fregly, Benjamin J.; Reggiani, Monica

    2015-01-01

    Personalized neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) models can represent the neurological, physiological, and anatomical characteristics of an individual and can be used to estimate the forces generated inside the human body. Currently, publicly available software to calculate muscle forces are restricted to static and dynamic optimisation methods, or limited to isometric tasks only. We have created and made freely available for the research community the Calibrated EMG-Informed NMS Modelling Toolbox (CEINMS), an OpenSim plug-in that enables investigators to predict different neural control solutions for the same musculoskeletal geometry and measured movements. CEINMS comprises EMG-driven and EMG-informed algorithms that have been previously published and tested. It operates on dynamic skeletal models possessing any number of degrees of freedom and musculotendon units and can be calibrated to the individual to predict measured joint moments and EMG patterns. In this paper we describe the components of CEINMS and its integration with OpenSim. We then analyse how EMG-driven, EMG-assisted, and static optimisation neural control solutions affect the estimated joint moments, muscle forces, and muscle excitations, including muscle co-contraction. PMID:26522621

  10. Motor Coordination and Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michel, Eva

    2012-01-01

    Since Piaget, the view that motor and cognitive development are interrelated has gained wide acceptance. However, empirical research on this issue is still rare. Few studies show a correlation of performance in cognitive and motor tasks in typically developing children. More specifically, Diamond A. (2000) hypothesizes an involvement of executive…

  11. Individualized Motor-Perceptual Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portland Public Schools, OR.

    This guide is being used in the Individualized Motor-Perceptual Study to determine whether working directly with kindergarten children to improve performance on motor-perceptual tasks will affect reading ability at the end of grades one, two, and three. The 5-year project involves six schools. In this guide, there are tips for teaching, suggested…

  12. Concurrent word generation and motor performance: further evidence for language-motor interaction.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Amy D; McCabe, Matthew L; Nocera, Joe R; Reilly, Jamie

    2012-01-01

    Embodied/modality-specific theories of semantic memory propose that sensorimotor representations play an important role in perception and action. A large body of evidence supports the notion that concepts involving human motor action (i.e., semantic-motor representations) are processed in both language and motor regions of the brain. However, most studies have focused on perceptual tasks, leaving unanswered questions about language-motor interaction during production tasks. Thus, we investigated the effects of shared semantic-motor representations on concurrent language and motor production tasks in healthy young adults, manipulating the semantic task (motor-related vs. nonmotor-related words) and the motor task (i.e., standing still and finger-tapping). In Experiment 1 (n = 20), we demonstrated that motor-related word generation was sufficient to affect postural control. In Experiment 2 (n = 40), we demonstrated that motor-related word generation was sufficient to facilitate word generation and finger tapping. We conclude that engaging semantic-motor representations can have a reciprocal influence on motor and language production. Our study provides additional support for functional language-motor interaction, as well as embodied/modality-specific theories.

  13. Neuropsychological Investigation of Motor Impairments in Autism

    PubMed Central

    Duffield, Tyler; Trontel, Haley; Bigler, Erin D.; Froehlich, Alyson; Prigge, Molly B.; Travers, Brittany; Green, Ryan R.; Cariello, Annahir N.; Cooperrider, Jason; Nielsen, Jared; Alexander, Andrew; Anderson, Jeffrey; Fletcher, P. Thomas; Lange, Nicholas; Zielinski, Brandon; Lainhart, Janet

    2013-01-01

    It is unclear how standardized neuropsychological measures of motor function relate to brain volumes of motor regions in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). An all male sample composed of 59 ASD and 30 controls (ages 5–33 years) completed three measures of motor function: strength of grip (SOG), finger tapping test (FTT), and grooved peg-board test (GPT). Likewise, all participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging with region of interest (ROI) volumes obtained to include the following regions: motor cortex (pre-central gyrus), somatosensory cortex (post-central gyrus), thalamus, basal ganglia, cerebellum and caudal middle frontal gyrus. These traditional neuropsychological measures of motor function are assumed to differ in motor complexity with GPT requiring the most followed by FTT and SOG. Performance by ASD participants on the GPT and FTT differed significantly from controls, with the largest effect size differences observed on the more complex GPT task. Differences on the SOG task between the two groups were non-significant. Since more complex motor tasks tap more complex networks, poorer GPT performance by those with ASD may reflect less efficient motor networks. There was no gross pathology observed in classic motor areas of the brain in ASD, as region of interest (ROI) volumes did not differ, but FTT was negatively related to motor cortex volume in ASD. The results suggest a hierarchical motor disruption in ASD, with difficulties evident only in more complex tasks as well as a potential anomalous size-function relation in motor cortex in ASD. PMID:23985036

  14. Locus of the intensity effect in simple reaction time tasks.

    PubMed

    Jaśkowski, Piotr; Kurczewska, Marta; Nowik, Agnieszka; van der Lubbe, Rob H J; Verleger, Rolf

    2007-11-01

    Evidence is still inconclusive regarding the locus of the stimulus intensity effect on information processing in reaction tasks. Miller, Ulrich, and Rinkenauer (1999) addressed this question by assessing the intensity effect on stimulus- and response-locked lateralized readiness potentials (LRPs) as indices of the sensory and motor parts of reaction time (RT). In the case of visual stimuli, they observed that application of brighter stimuli resulted in a shortening of RT and stimulus-locked LRP (S-LRP), but not of response-locked LRP (R-LRP). The results for auditory stimuli, however, were unclear. In spite of a clear RT reduction due to increased loudness, neither S-LRP nor R-LRP onset was affected. A reason for this failure might have been a relatively small range of intensity variation and the type of task. To check for this possibility, we performed three experiments in which broader ranges of stimulus intensities and simple, rather than choice, response tasks were used. Although the intensity effect on the R-LRP was negligible, S-LRP followed RT changes, irrespective of stimulus modality. These findings support the conclusion that stimulus intensity exerts its effect before the start of motoric processes. Finally, S-LRP and R-LRP findings are discussed within a broader information-processing perspective to check the validity of the claim that S-LRP and R-LRP can, indeed, be considered as pure estimates of the duration of sensory and motor processes.

  15. Temporal structure of motor variability is dynamically regulated and predicts motor learning ability.

    PubMed

    Wu, Howard G; Miyamoto, Yohsuke R; Gonzalez Castro, Luis Nicolas; Ölveczky, Bence P; Smith, Maurice A

    2014-02-01

    Individual differences in motor learning ability are widely acknowledged, yet little is known about the factors that underlie them. Here we explore whether movement-to-movement variability in motor output, a ubiquitous if often unwanted characteristic of motor performance, predicts motor learning ability. Surprisingly, we found that higher levels of task-relevant motor variability predicted faster learning both across individuals and across tasks in two different paradigms, one relying on reward-based learning to shape specific arm movement trajectories and the other relying on error-based learning to adapt movements in novel physical environments. We proceeded to show that training can reshape the temporal structure of motor variability, aligning it with the trained task to improve learning. These results provide experimental support for the importance of action exploration, a key idea from reinforcement learning theory, showing that motor variability facilitates motor learning in humans and that our nervous systems actively regulate it to improve learning.

  16. Temporal structure of motor variability is dynamically regulated and predicts motor learning ability

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Howard G; Miyamoto, Yohsuke R; Castro, Luis Nicolas Gonzalez; Ölveczky, Bence P; Smith, Maurice A

    2015-01-01

    Individual differences in motor learning ability are widely acknowledged, yet little is known about the factors that underlie them. Here we explore whether movement-to-movement variability in motor output, a ubiquitous if often unwanted characteristic of motor performance, predicts motor learning ability. Surprisingly, we found that higher levels of task-relevant motor variability predicted faster learning both across individuals and across tasks in two different paradigms, one relying on reward-based learning to shape specific arm movement trajectories and the other relying on error-based learning to adapt movements in novel physical environments. We proceeded to show that training can reshape the temporal structure of motor variability, aligning it with the trained task to improve learning. These results provide experimental support for the importance of action exploration, a key idea from reinforcement learning theory, showing that motor variability facilitates motor learning in humans and that our nervous systems actively regulate it to improve learning. PMID:24413700

  17. Deficient Grip Force Control in Schizophrenia: Behavioral and Modeling Evidence for Altered Motor Inhibition and Motor Noise

    PubMed Central

    Teremetz, Maxime; Amado, Isabelle; Bendjemaa, Narjes; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Lindberg, Pavel G.; Maier, Marc A.

    2014-01-01

    Whether upper limb sensorimotor control is affected in schizophrenia and how underlying pathological mechanisms may potentially intervene in these deficits is still being debated. We tested voluntary force control in schizophrenia patients and used a computational model in order to elucidate potential cerebral mechanisms underlying sensorimotor deficits in schizophrenia. A visuomotor grip force-tracking task was performed by 17 medicated and 6 non-medicated patients with schizophrenia (DSM-IV) and by 15 healthy controls. Target forces in the ramp-hold-and-release paradigm were set to 5N and to 10% maximal voluntary grip force. Force trajectory was analyzed by performance measures and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). A computational model incorporating neural control signals was used to replicate the empirically observed motor behavior and to explore underlying neural mechanisms. Grip task performance was significantly lower in medicated and non-medicated schizophrenia patients compared to controls. Three behavioral variables were significantly higher in both patient groups: tracking error (by 50%), coefficient of variation of force (by 57%) and duration of force release (up by 37%). Behavioral performance did not differ between patient groups. Computational simulation successfully replicated these findings and predicted that decreased motor inhibition, together with an increased signal-dependent motor noise, are sufficient to explain the observed motor deficits in patients. PCA also suggested altered motor inhibition as a key factor differentiating patients from control subjects: the principal component representing inhibition correlated with clinical severity. These findings show that schizophrenia affects voluntary sensorimotor control of the hand independent of medication, and suggest that reduced motor inhibition and increased signal-dependent motor noise likely reflect key pathological mechanisms of the sensorimotor deficit. PMID:25369465

  18. Motor sequence learning and motor adaptation in primary cervical dystonia.

    PubMed

    Katschnig-Winter, Petra; Schwingenschuh, Petra; Davare, Marco; Sadnicka, Anna; Schmidt, Reinhold; Rothwell, John C; Bhatia, Kailash P; Edwards, Mark J

    2014-06-01

    Motor sequence learning and motor adaptation rely on overlapping circuits predominantly involving the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Given the importance of these brain regions to the pathophysiology of primary dystonia, and the previous finding of abnormal motor sequence learning in DYT1 gene carriers, we explored motor sequence learning and motor adaptation in patients with primary cervical dystonia. We recruited 12 patients with cervical dystonia and 11 healthy controls matched for age. Subjects used a joystick to move a cursor from a central starting point to radial targets as fast and accurately as possible. Using this device, we recorded baseline motor performance, motor sequence learning and a visuomotor adaptation task. Patients with cervical dystonia had a significantly higher peak velocity than controls. Baseline performance with random target presentation was otherwise normal. Patients and controls had similar levels of motor sequence learning and motor adaptation. Our patients had significantly higher peak velocity compared to controls, with similar movement times, implying a different performance strategy. The preservation of motor sequence learning in cervical dystonia patients contrasts with the previously observed deficit seen in patients with DYT1 gene mutations, supporting the hypothesis of differing pathophysiology in different forms of primary dystonia. Normal motor adaptation is an interesting finding. With our paradigm we did not find evidence that the previously documented cerebellar abnormalities in cervical dystonia have a behavioral correlate, and thus could be compensatory or reflect "contamination" rather than being directly pathological.

  19. Young Children's Affective Responses to Acceptance and Rejection from Peers: A Computer-Based Task Sensitive to Variation in Temperamental Shyness and Gender

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howarth, Grace Z.; Guyer, Amanda E.; Perez-Edgar, Koraly

    2013-01-01

    This study presents a novel task examining young children's affective responses to evaluative feedback--specifically, social acceptance and rejection--from peers. We aimed to determine (1) whether young children report their affective responses to hypothetical peer evaluation predictably and consistently, and (2) whether young children's responses…

  20. Retention of Motor Skills. Review

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1978-09-01

    PERIOD COVERED TENTION OF MOTOR SKILLS4 REVIEW p Literature review aAU . CONTRACT OR GRANT NUMBER( e ) J. D. Schendel, J. L. Shields,-Afi. S.)Katz S...and ( e ) initial or "natural" ability of the flearner in performance of a task without prior practice. The procedural variables that may affect the long...training; (c) transfer of skills on one task to performance on another task; (d) presence of interfering activities; ( e ) distribution of practice

  1. Robustness, flexibility, and sensitivity in a multifunctional motor control model.

    PubMed

    Lyttle, David N; Gill, Jeffrey P; Shaw, Kendrick M; Thomas, Peter J; Chiel, Hillel J

    2017-02-01

    Motor systems must adapt to perturbations and changing conditions both within and outside the body. We refer to the ability of a system to maintain performance despite perturbations as "robustness," and the ability of a system to deploy alternative strategies that improve fitness as "flexibility." Different classes of pattern-generating circuits yield dynamics with differential sensitivities to perturbations and parameter variation. Depending on the task and the type of perturbation, high sensitivity can either facilitate or hinder robustness and flexibility. Here we explore the role of multiple coexisting oscillatory modes and sensory feedback in allowing multiphasic motor pattern generation to be both robust and flexible. As a concrete example, we focus on a nominal neuromechanical model of triphasic motor patterns in the feeding apparatus of the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. We find that the model can operate within two distinct oscillatory modes and that the system exhibits bistability between the two. In the "heteroclinic mode," higher sensitivity makes the system more robust to changing mechanical loads, but less robust to internal parameter variations. In the "limit cycle mode," lower sensitivity makes the system more robust to changes in internal parameter values, but less robust to changes in mechanical load. Finally, we show that overall performance on a variable feeding task is improved when the system can flexibly transition between oscillatory modes in response to the changing demands of the task. Thus, our results suggest that the interplay of sensory feedback and multiple oscillatory modes can allow motor systems to be both robust and flexible in a variable environment.

  2. The torque ripple reduction of a concentrated winding synchronous reluctance motor according to stator and rotor structure variations using response surface methodology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Yun-Chul; Lee, Jung-Ho; Hong, Jung Pyo

    2008-04-01

    This paper deals with optimum design criteria to minimize the torque ripple of a concentrated winding synchronous reluctance motor (SynRM) using response surface methodology (RSM). The feasibility of using RSM with the finite element method in practical engineering problem is investigated with computational examples and comparison between the fitted response and the results obtained from an analytical solution according to the design variables of stator and rotor in concentrated winding SynRM (6slot).

  3. Haptic fMRI: combining functional neuroimaging with haptics for studying the brain's motor control representation.

    PubMed

    Menon, Samir; Brantner, Gerald; Aholt, Chris; Kay, Kendrick; Khatib, Oussama

    2013-01-01

    A challenging problem in motor control neuroimaging studies is the inability to perform complex human motor tasks given the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner's disruptive magnetic fields and confined workspace. In this paper, we propose a novel experimental platform that combines Functional MRI (fMRI) neuroimaging, haptic virtual simulation environments, and an fMRI-compatible haptic device for real-time haptic interaction across the scanner workspace (above torso ∼ .65×.40×.20m(3)). We implement this Haptic fMRI platform with a novel haptic device, the Haptic fMRI Interface (HFI), and demonstrate its suitability for motor neuroimaging studies. HFI has three degrees-of-freedom (DOF), uses electromagnetic motors to enable high-fidelity haptic rendering (>350Hz), integrates radio frequency (RF) shields to prevent electromagnetic interference with fMRI (temporal SNR >100), and is kinematically designed to minimize currents induced by the MRI scanner's magnetic field during motor displacement (<2cm). HFI possesses uniform inertial and force transmission properties across the workspace, and has low friction (.05-.30N). HFI's RF noise levels, in addition, are within a 3 Tesla fMRI scanner's baseline noise variation (∼.85±.1%). Finally, HFI is haptically transparent and does not interfere with human motor tasks (tested for .4m reaches). By allowing fMRI experiments involving complex three-dimensional manipulation with haptic interaction, Haptic fMRI enables-for the first time-non-invasive neuroscience experiments involving interactive motor tasks, object manipulation, tactile perception, and visuo-motor integration.

  4. Compromised Motor Planning and Motor Imagery in Right Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craje, Celine; van Elk, Michiel; Beeren, Manuela; van Schie, Hein T.; Bekkering, Harold; Steenbergen, Bert

    2010-01-01

    We investigated whether motor planning problems in people with Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy (HCP) are paralleled by impaired ability to use Motor Imagery (MI). While some studies have shown that individuals with HCP can solve a mental rotation task, it was not clear if they used MI or Visual Imagery (VI). In the present study, motor planning and MI…

  5. Dyspraxia, motor function and visual-motor integration in autism.

    PubMed

    Miller, M; Chukoskie, L; Zinni, M; Townsend, J; Trauner, D

    2014-08-01

    This project assessed dyspraxia in high-functioning school aged children with autism with a focus on Ideational Praxis. We examined the association of specific underlying motor function including eye movement with ideational dyspraxia (sequences of skilled movements) as well as the possible role of visual-motor integration in dyspraxia. We found that compared to IQ-, sex- and age-matched typically developing children, the children with autism performed significantly worse on: Ideational and Buccofacial praxis; a broad range of motor tests, including measures of simple motor skill, timing and accuracy of saccadic eye movements and motor coordination; and tests of visual-motor integration. Impairments in individual children with autism were heterogeneous in nature, although when we examined the praxis data as a function of a qualitative measure representing motor timing, we found that children with poor motor timing performed worse on all praxis categories and had slower and less accurate eye movements while those with regular timing performed as well as typical children on those same tasks. Our data provide evidence that both motor function and visual-motor integration contribute to dyspraxia. We suggest that dyspraxia in autism involves cerebellar mechanisms of movement control and the integration of these mechanisms with cortical networks implicated in praxis.

  6. Novice motor performance: better not to verbalize.

    PubMed

    Chauvel, Guillaume; Maquestiaux, François; Ruthruff, Eric; Didierjean, André; Hartley, Alan A

    2013-02-01

    Offline verbalization about a new motor experience is often assumed to positively influence subsequent performance. Here, we evaluated this presumed positive influence and whether it originates from declarative or from procedural knowledge using the explicit/implicit motor-learning paradigm. To this end, 80 nongolfers learned to perform a golf-putting task with high error rates (i.e., explicit motor learning), and thus relied on declarative knowledge, or low error rates (i.e., implicit motor learning), and thus relied on procedural knowledge. Afterward, they either put their memories of the previous motor experience into words or completed an irrelevant verbal task. Finally, they performed the putting task again. Verbalization did not improve novice motor performance: Putting was impaired, overall, and especially so for high-error learners. We conclude that declarative knowledge is altered by verbalization, whereas procedural knowledge is not.

  7. The neural correlates of learned motor acuity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Juemin; Caffo, Brian; Mazzoni, Pietro; Krakauer, John W.

    2014-01-01

    We recently defined a component of motor skill learning as “motor acuity,” quantified as a shift in the speed-accuracy trade-off function for a task. These shifts are primarily driven by reductions in movement variability. To determine the neural correlates of improvement in motor acuity, we devised a motor task compatible with magnetic resonance brain imaging that required subjects to make finely controlled wrist movements under visual guidance. Subjects were imaged on day 1 and day 5 while they performed this task and were trained outside the scanner on intervening days 2, 3, and 4. The potential confound of performance changes between days 1 and 5 was avoided by constraining movement time to a fixed duration. After training, subjects showed a marked increase in success rate and a reduction in trial-by-trial variability for the trained task but not for an untrained control task, without changes in mean trajectory. The decrease in variability for the trained task was associated with increased activation in contralateral primary motor and premotor cortical areas and in ipsilateral cerebellum. A global nonlocalizing multivariate analysis confirmed that learning was associated with increased overall brain activation. We suggest that motor acuity is acquired through increases in the number of neurons recruited in contralateral motor cortical areas and in ipsilateral cerebellum, which could reflect increased signal-to-noise ratio in motor output and improved state estimation for feedback corrections, respectively. PMID:24848466

  8. Motor network disruption in essential tremor: a functional and effective connectivity study.

    PubMed

    Buijink, Arthur W G; van der Stouwe, A M Madelein; Broersma, Marja; Sharifi, Sarvi; Groot, Paul F C; Speelman, Johannes D; Maurits, Natasha M; van Rootselaar, Anne-Fleur

    2015-10-01

    Although involvement of the cerebello-thalamo-cortical network has often been suggested in essential tremor, the source of oscillatory activity remains largely unknown. To elucidate mechanisms of tremor generation, it is of crucial importance to study the dynamics within the cerebello-thalamo-cortical network. Using a combination of electromyography and functional magnetic resonance imaging, it is possible to record the peripheral manifestation of tremor simultaneously with brain activity related to tremor generation. Our first aim was to study the intrinsic activity of regions within the cerebello-thalamo-cortical network using dynamic causal modelling to estimate effective connectivity driven by the concurrently recorded tremor signal. Our second aim was to objectify how the functional integrity of the cerebello-thalamo-cortical network is affected in essential tremor. We investigated the functional connectivity between cerebellar and cortical motor regions showing activations during a motor task. Twenty-two essential tremor patients and 22 healthy controls were analysed. For the effective connectivity analysis, a network of tremor-signal related regions was constructed, consisting of the left primary motor cortex, premotor cortex, supplementary motor area, left thalamus, and right cerebellar motor regions lobule V and lobule VIII. A measure of variation in tremor severity over time, derived from the electromyogram, was included as modulatory input on intrinsic connections and on the extrinsic cerebello-thalamic connections, giving a total of 128 models. Bayesian model selection and random effects Bayesian model averaging were used. Separate seed-based functional connectivity analyses for the left primary motor cortex, left supplementary motor area and right cerebellar lobules IV, V, VI and VIII were performed. We report two novel findings that support an important role for the cerebellar system in the pathophysiology of essential tremor. First, in the effective

  9. Multiple Sensory-Motor Pathways Lead to Coordinated Visual Attention.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B

    2017-02-01

    Joint attention has been extensively studied in the developmental literature because of overwhelming evidence that the ability to socially coordinate visual attention to an object is essential to healthy developmental outcomes, including language learning. The goal of this study was to understand the complex system of sensory-motor behaviors that may underlie the establishment of joint attention between parents and toddlers. In an experimental task, parents and toddlers played together with multiple toys. We objectively measured joint attention-and the sensory-motor behaviors that underlie it-using a dual head-mounted eye-tracking system and frame-by-frame coding of manual actions. By tracking the momentary visual fixations and hand actions of each participant, we precisely determined just how often they fixated on the same object at the same time, the visual behaviors that preceded joint attention and manual behaviors that preceded and co-occurred with joint attention. We found that multiple sequential sensory-motor patterns lead to joint attention. In addition, there are developmental changes in this multi-pathway system evidenced as variations in strength among multiple routes. We propose that coordinated visual attention between parents and toddlers is primarily a sensory-motor behavior. Skill in achieving coordinated visual attention in social settings-like skills in other sensory-motor domains-emerges from multiple pathways to the same functional end.

  10. Visual and tactile guidance of dexterous manipulation tasks: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Talati, Ardesheer; Valero-Cuevas, Francisco J; Hirsch, Joy

    2005-08-01

    Models of motor guidance that dynamically adjust to the availability and quality of sensory information are based on the observation that dexterous tasks are routinely performed using various combinations of visual and tactile inputs. However, a dynamic neural system that acquires and processes relevant visual and tactile information remains relatively uncharacterized in humans. In this study, whole-brain functional magnetic resonance images were acquired during a dexterous manipulation task, compression of the end caps of a slender spring prone to buckling, to investigate the neural systems associated with motor guidance under four visual and tactile guidance conditions: (1) eyes closed (no visual input), smooth end caps, (2) eyes dosed, rough end caps, (3) eyes open and watching hand, smooth end caps, and (4) eyes open and watching hand, rough end caps. Performance of the dexterous task remained constant in all conditions. Variations in the two levels of visual input resulted in modulation of activity in the middle and inferior occipital gyrii and inferior parietal lobule, and variation in the two levels of tactile input during the task resulted in modulation of activity in the precentral (primary motor) gyrus. Although significantly active in all conditions, cingulate gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, postcentral gyrus, and cerebellum activities were not modulated by levels of either visual or somatosensory input, and no interaction effects were observed. Together, these data indicate that a fine-tuned motor task guided by varying visual and tactile information engages a distributed and integrated neural complex consisting of control and executive functions and regions that process dynamic sensory information related to guidance functions.

  11. Young Children’s Affective Responses to Acceptance and Rejection From Peers: A Computer-based Task Sensitive to Variation in Temperamental Shyness and Gender

    PubMed Central

    Howarth, Grace Z.; Guyer, Amanda E.; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly

    2013-01-01

    This study presents a novel task examining young children’s affective responses to evaluative feedback—specifically, social acceptance and rejection—from peers. We aimed to determine (1) whether young children report their affective responses to hypothetical peer evaluation predictably and consistently, and (2) whether young children’s responses to peer evaluation vary as a function of temperamental shyness and gender. Four- to seven-year-old children (N = 48) sorted pictures of unknown, similar-aged children into those with whom they wished or did not wish to play. Computerized peer evaluation later noted whether the pictured children were interested in a future playdate with participants. Participants then rated their affective responses to each acceptance or rejection event. Children were happy when accepted by children with whom they wanted to play, and disappointed when these children rejected them. Highly shy boys showed a wider range of responses to acceptance and rejection based on initial social interest, and may be particularly sensitive to both positive and negative evaluation. Overall, the playdate task captures individual differences in affective responses to evaluative peer feedback and is potentially amenable to future applications in research with young children, including pairings with psychophysiological measures. PMID:23997429

  12. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the motor cortex in waking resting state induces motor imagery.

    PubMed

    Speth, Jana; Speth, Clemens; Harley, Trevor A

    2015-11-01

    This study investigates if anodal and cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of areas above the motor cortex (C3) influences spontaneous motor imagery experienced in the waking resting state. A randomized triple-blinded design was used, combining neurophysiological techniques with tools of quantitative mentation report analysis from cognitive linguistics. The results indicate that while spontaneous motor imagery rarely occurs under sham stimulation, general and athletic motor imagery (classified as athletic disciplines), is induced by anodal tDCS. This insight may have implications beyond basic consciousness research. Motor imagery and corresponding motor cortical activation have been shown to benefit later motor performance. Electrophysiological manipulations of motor imagery could in the long run be used for rehabilitative tDCS protocols benefitting temporarily immobile clinical patients who cannot perform specific motor imagery tasks - such as dementia patients, infants with developmental and motor disorders, and coma patients.

  13. Manipulating pre-feed, density of reinforcement, and extinction produces disruption in the Location variation of a temporal discrimination task in pigeons.

    PubMed

    McClure, Erin A; Saulsgiver, Kathryn A; Wynne, Clive D L

    2009-09-01

    When pharmacological and non-pharmacological agents are used to disrupt temporal discrimination, two major findings have emerged in the literature. One result reveals lateral shifts of the psychophysical curve for time due to disruptors, while the other is a decrease in accuracy for classifying short and long intervals and a flattening of the psychophysical curve. These results represent a discrepancy within the timing literature that requires clarification. The current study determined the effects of pre-feed, increased density of reinforcement during session, and extinction on the Location variation of a temporal discrimination procedure. The results showed that extinction and pre-feed (at higher levels), when presented in an acute fashion, led to right-ward shifts in the psychophysical curve. Our results, when compared to similar studies in the literature, suggest that lateral shifts are more likely to be found due to disruptors when the Location variation is being used and when procedures are less complicated.

  14. Theta-burst stimulation over primary motor cortex degrades early motor learning.

    PubMed

    Iezzi, Ennio; Suppa, Antonio; Conte, Antonella; Agostino, Rocco; Nardella, Andrea; Berardelli, Alfredo

    2010-02-01

    Theta-burst stimulation (TBS) is currently used for inducing long-lasting changes in primary motor cortex (M1) excitability. More information is needed on how M1 is involved in early motor learning (practice-related improvement in motor performance, motor retention and motor consolidation). We investigated whether inhibitory continuous TBS (cTBS) is an effective experimental approach for modulating early motor learning of a simple finger movement in healthy humans. In a short task, 11 subjects practised 160 movements, and in a longer task also testing motor consolidation ten subjects practised 600 movements. During both experiments subjects randomly received real or sham cTBS over the left M1. Motor evoked potentials were tested at baseline and 7 min after cTBS. In the 160-movement experiment to test motor retention, 20 movements were repeated 30 min after motor practice ended. In the 600-movement experiment motor retention was assessed 15 and 30 min after motor practice ended, motor consolidation was tested by performing 20 movements 24 h after motor practice ended. Kinematic variables - movement amplitude, peak velocity and peak acceleration - were measured. cTBS significantly reduced the practice-related improvement in motor performance of finger movements in the experiment involving 160 movements and in the first part of the experiment involving 600 movements. After cTBS, peak velocity and peak acceleration of the 20 movements testing motor retention decreased whereas those testing motor consolidation remained unchanged. cTBS over M1 degrades practice-related improvement in motor performance and motor retention, but not motor consolidation of a voluntary finger movement.

  15. The influence of motor imagery on the learning of a fine hand motor skill.

    PubMed

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaśkowski, Wojciech; Verwey, Willem B; van der Lubbe, Rob

    2017-01-01

    Motor imagery has been argued to affect the acquisition of motor skills. The present study examined the specificity of motor imagery on the learning of a fine hand motor skill by employing a modified discrete sequence production task: the Go/NoGo DSP task. After an informative cue, a response sequence had either to be executed, imagined, or withheld. To establish learning effects, the experiment was divided into a practice phase and a test phase. In the latter phase, we compared mean response times and accuracy during the execution of unfamiliar sequences, familiar imagined sequences, and familiar executed sequences. The electroencephalogram was measured in the practice phase to compare activity between motor imagery, motor execution, and a control condition in which responses should be withheld. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and event-related lateralizations (ERLs) showed strong similarities above cortical motor areas on trials requiring motor imagery and motor execution, while a major difference was found with trials on which the response sequence should be withheld. Behavioral results from the test phase showed that response times and accuracy improved after physical and mental practice relative to unfamiliar sequences (so-called sequence-specific learning effects), although the effect of motor learning by motor imagery was smaller than the effect of physical practice. These findings confirm that motor imagery also resembles motor execution in the case of a fine hand motor skill.

  16. Motor syndromes.

    PubMed

    Corea, Francesco; Micheli, Sara

    2012-01-01

    Motor disturbances alone or associated with other focal deficits are the most common symptoms suggesting a neurovascular event. An appropriate clinical assessment of these signs and symptoms may help physicians to better diagnose and to both better treat and predict outcome. In this paper the main clinical features of motor deficit are described together with other motor-related events such as ataxia and movement disturbances.

  17. Behavioural and neurophysiological disruption of corticobulbar motor systems and their effects on sequential pharyngeal swallowing.

    PubMed

    Al-Toubi, Aamir; Daniels, Stephanie K; Huckabee, Maggie-Lee; Corey, David M; Doeltgen, Sebastian H

    2016-10-15

    Primary motor networks are known to be involved in the control of voluntary oral movements as well as the modulation of pharyngeal movements during experimentally controlled single swallows performed on command. The role of these networks in the more typical task of sequential swallowing remains unexplored. This study evaluated the hypothesis that experimental disruption of motor cortical activation would reduce the rate and regularity of repeatedly performed volitional or volitionally initiated motor tasks controlled by corticospinal (finger tapping) and corticobulbar (eyebrow movement, jaw opening, volitional sequential swallowing) motor systems, but would not influence a more reflexive corticobulbar task (reflexive sequential swallowing to pharyngeal water infusion). This premise was investigated in 24 healthy participants using two techniques: a dual task paradigm and a transcranial magnetic stimulation paradigm. Disruption effects were quantified by changes in rate and regularity of performance for each tested motor task. In summary, volitional motor tasks controlled by corticospinal motor networks (finger tapping) are more susceptible to behavioural and neurophysiological disruption than tasks controlled by cortiobulbar motor networks containing a reflexive component (both volitional and experimentally initiated consecutive swallowing). Purely volitional motor tasks controlled by the corticobulbar motor system (eyebrow raising or jaw opening) were affected in similar ways as the volitional corticospinal motor tasks. In summary, tasks involving sequential pharyngeal swallowing - whether volitionally or experimentally initiated - are largely robust against disruption of primary cortical motor networks, supporting a key role of medullary CPGs in the motor control of sequential pharyngeal swallowing.

  18. Task breakdown

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pavlich, Jane

    1990-01-01

    The topics concerning the Center for Space Construction (CSC) space construction breakdown structure are presented in viewgraph form. It is concluded that four components describe a task -- effecting, information gathering, analysis, and regulation; uncertainties effect the relative amount of information gathering and analysis that occurs; and that task timing requirements drive the 'location in time' of cognition.

  19. Aberrant supplementary motor complex and limbic activity during motor preparation in motor conversion disorder.

    PubMed

    Voon, Valerie; Brezing, Christina; Gallea, Cecile; Hallett, Mark

    2011-11-01

    Conversion disorder (CD) is characterized by unexplained neurological symptoms presumed related to psychological issues. The main hypotheses to explain conversion paralysis, characterized by a lack of movement, include impairments in either motor intention or disruption of motor execution, and further, that hyperactive self-monitoring, limbic processing or top-down regulation from higher order frontal regions may interfere with motor execution. We have recently shown that CD with positive abnormal or excessive motor symptoms was associated with greater amygdala activity to arousing stimuli along with greater functional connectivity between the amygdala and supplementary motor area. Here we studied patients with such symptoms focusing on motor initiation. Subjects performed either an internally or externally generated 2-button action selection task in a functional MRI study. Eleven CD patients without major depression and 11 age- and gender-matched normal volunteers were assessed. During both internally and externally generated movement, conversion disorder patients relative to normal volunteers had lower left supplementary motor area (SMA) (implicated in motor initiation) and higher right amygdala, left anterior insula, and bilateral posterior cingulate activity (implicated in assigning emotional salience). These findings were confirmed in a subgroup analysis of patients with tremor symptoms. During internally versus externally generated action in CD patients, the left SMA had lower functional connectivity with bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. We propose a theory in which previously mapped conversion motor representations may in an arousing context hijack the voluntary action selection system, which is both hypoactive and functionally disconnected from prefrontal top-down regulation.

  20. Hemispheric asymmetry of ipsilateral motor cortex activation in motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Tomotaka; Higashi, Toshio; Takagi, Mineko; Sugawara, Kenichi

    2013-09-11

    In this study, we investigated how ipsilateral motor cortex (M1) activation during unimanual hand movements and hemispheric asymmetry changed after motor skill learning. Eleven right-handed participants preformed a two-ball-rotation motor task with the right and the left hand, separately, in all experimental sessions. Before and after exercise sessions, the degree of ipsilateral M1 activation during brief execution of the motor task was measured as changes in the size of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) of the thenar and the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the nontask hand using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Before exercise, MEPs of the nontask hand were significantly facilitated on both sides during the motor task. After exercise, facilitation of MEPs of the nontask hand during the motor task was significantly reduced for the right hand (thenar: P=0.014, first dorsal interosseous: P=0.022) but not for the left hand. We conclude that ipsilateral M1 activation, associated with a complex motor task, is first symmetrical in both hemispheres. However, on exercise, ipsilateral activation is reduced only in left M1, indicating a stronger learning-dependent modification of motor networks within the left hemisphere.

  1. Summary of electric vehicle dc motor-controller tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcbrien, E. F.; Tryon, H. B.

    1982-01-01

    The differences in the performance of dc motors are evaluated when operating with chopper type controllers, and when operating on direct current. The interactions between the motor and the controller which cause these differences are investigated. Motor-controlled tests provided some of the data the quantified motor efficiency variations for both ripple free and chopper modes of operation.

  2. Molecular motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allemand, Jean François Desbiolles, Pierre

    2015-10-01

    How do we move? More precisely, what are the molecular mechanisms that can explain that our muscles, made of very small components can move at a osopic scale? To answer these questions we must introduce molecular motors. Those motors are proteins, or small protein assemblies that, in our cells, transform chemical energy into mechanical work. Then, like we could do for a oscopic motor, used in a car or in a fan, we are going to study the basic behavior of these molecular machines, present what are their energy sources, calculate their power, their yield. If molecular motors are crucial for our oscopic movements, we are going to see that they are also essential to cellular transport and that considering the activity of some enzymes as molecular motors bring some interesting new insights on their activity.

  3. To What Extent Can Motor Imagery Replace Motor Execution While Learning a Fine Motor Skill?

    PubMed Central

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Szarkiewicz, Sylwia; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaśkowski, Wojciech; van der Lubbe, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Motor imagery is generally thought to share common mechanisms with motor execution. In the present study, we examined to what extent learning a fine motor skill by motor imagery may substitute physical practice. Learning effects were assessed by manipulating the proportion of motor execution and motor imagery trials. Additionally, learning effects were compared between participants with an explicit motor imagery instruction and a control group. A Go/NoGo discrete sequence production (DSP) task was employed, wherein a five-stimulus sequence presented on each trial indicated the required sequence of finger movements after a Go signal. In the case of a NoGo signal, participants either had to imagine carrying out the response sequence (the motor imagery group), or the response sequence had to be withheld (the control group). Two practice days were followed by a final test day on which all sequences had to be executed. Learning effects were assessed by computing response times (RTs) and the percentages of correct responses (PCs). The electroencephalogram (EEG ) was additionally measured on this test day to examine whether motor preparation and the involvement of visual short term memory (VST M) depended on the amount of physical/mental practice. Accuracy data indicated strong learning effects. However, a substantial amount of physical practice was required to reach an optimal speed. EEG results suggest the involvement of VST M for sequences that had less or no physical practice in both groups. The absence of differences between the motor imagery and the control group underlines the possibility that motor preparation may actually resemble motor imagery. PMID:28154614

  4. To What Extent Can Motor Imagery Replace Motor Execution While Learning a Fine Motor Skill?

    PubMed

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Szarkiewicz, Sylwia; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaśkowski, Wojciech; van der Lubbe, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Motor imagery is generally thought to share common mechanisms with motor execution. In the present study, we examined to what extent learning a fine motor skill by motor imagery may substitute physical practice. Learning effects were assessed by manipulating the proportion of motor execution and motor imagery trials. Additionally, learning effects were compared between participants with an explicit motor imagery instruction and a control group. A Go/NoGo discrete sequence production (DSP) task was employed, wherein a five-stimulus sequence presented on each trial indicated the required sequence of finger movements after a Go signal. In the case of a NoGo signal, participants either had to imagine carrying out the response sequence (the motor imagery group), or the response sequence had to be withheld (the control group). Two practice days were followed by a final test day on which all sequences had to be executed. Learning effects were assessed by computing response times (RTs) and the percentages of correct responses (PCs). The electroencephalogram (EEG ) was additionally measured on this test day to examine whether motor preparation and the involvement of visual short term memory (VST M) depended on the amount of physical/mental practice. Accuracy data indicated strong learning effects. However, a substantial amount of physical practice was required to reach an optimal speed. EEG results suggest the involvement of VST M for sequences that had less or no physical practice in both groups. The absence of differences between the motor imagery and the control group underlines the possibility that motor preparation may actually resemble motor imagery.

  5. Motor-sensory confluence in tactile perception.

    PubMed

    Saig, Avraham; Gordon, Goren; Assa, Eldad; Arieli, Amos; Ahissar, Ehud

    2012-10-03

    Perception involves motor control of sensory organs. However, the dynamics underlying emergence of perception from motor-sensory interactions are not yet known. Two extreme possibilities are as follows: (1) motor and sensory signals interact within an open-loop scheme in which motor signals determine sensory sampling but are not affected by sensory processing and (2) motor and sensory signals are affected by each other within a closed-loop scheme. We studied the scheme of motor-sensory interactions in humans using a novel object localization task that enabled monitoring the relevant overt motor and sensory variables. We found that motor variables were dynamically controlled within each perceptual trial, such that they gradually converged to steady values. Training on this task resulted in improvement in perceptual acuity, which was achieved solely by changes in motor variables, without any change in the acuity of sensory readout. The within-trial dynamics is captured by a hierarchical closed-loop model in which lower loops actively maintain constant sensory coding, and higher loops maintain constant sensory update flow. These findings demonstrate interchangeability of motor and sensory variables in perception, motor convergence during perception, and a consistent hierarchical closed-loop perceptual model.

  6. Forelimb training drives transient map reorganization in ipsilateral motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Pruitt, David T; Schmid, Ariel N; Danaphongse, Tanya T; Flanagan, Kate E; Morrison, Robert A; Kilgard, Michael P; Rennaker, Robert L; Hays, Seth A

    2016-10-15

    Skilled motor training results in reorganization of contralateral motor cortex movement representations. The ipsilateral motor cortex is believed to play a role in skilled motor control, but little is known about how training influences reorganization of ipsilateral motor representations of the trained limb. To determine whether training results in reorganization of ipsilateral motor cortex maps, rats were trained to perform the isometric pull task, an automated motor task that requires skilled forelimb use. After either 3 or 6 months of training, intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) mapping was performed to document motor representations of the trained forelimb in the hemisphere ipsilateral to that limb. Motor training for 3 months resulted in a robust expansion of right forelimb representation in the right motor cortex, demonstrating that skilled motor training drives map plasticity ipsilateral to the trained limb. After 6 months of training, the right forelimb representation in the right motor cortex was significantly smaller than the representation observed in rats trained for 3 months and similar to untrained controls, consistent with a normalization of motor cortex maps. Forelimb map area was not correlated with performance on the trained task, suggesting that task performance is maintained despite normalization of cortical maps. This study provides new insights into how the ipsilateral cortex changes in response to skilled learning and may inform rehabilitative strategies to enhance cortical plasticity to support recovery after brain injury.

  7. Motor imagery facilitates force field learning.

    PubMed

    Anwar, Muhammad Nabeel; Tomi, Naoki; Ito, Koji

    2011-06-13

    Humans have the ability to produce an internal reproduction of a specific motor action without any overt motor output. Recent findings show that the processes underlying motor imagery are similar to those active during motor execution and both share common neural substrates. This suggests that the imagery of motor movements might play an important role in acquiring new motor skills. In this study we used haptic robot in conjunction with motor imagery technique to improve learning in a robot-based adaptation task. Two groups of subjects performed reaching movements with or without motor imagery in a velocity-dependent and position-dependent mixed force field. The groups performed movements with motor imagery produced higher after effects and decreased muscle co-contraction with respect to no-motor imagery group. These results showed a positive influence of motor imagery on acquiring new motor skill and suggest that motor learning can be facilitated by mental practice and could be used to increase the rate of adaptation.

  8. Stepper motor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dekramer, Cornelis

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this document is to describe the more commonly used permanent magnet stepper motors for spaceflight. It will discuss the mechanical and electrical aspects of the devices, their torque behavior, those parameters which need to be controlled and measured, and test methods to be employed. It will also discuss torque margins, compare these to the existing margin requirements, and determine the applicability of these requirements. Finally it will attempt to generate a set of requirements which will be used in any stepper motor procurement and will fully characterize the stepper motor behavior in a consistent and repeatable fashion.

  9. An interacting adiabatic quantum motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viola Kusminskiy, Silvia; Bruch, Anton; von Oppen, Felix

    We consider the effect of electron-electron interactions on the performance of an adiabatic quantum motor based on a Thouless pump operating in reverse. We model such a device by electrons in a 1d wire coupled to a slowly moving periodic potential associated with the classical mechanical degree of freedom of the motor. This periodic degree of freedom is set into motion by a bias voltage applied to the 1d electron channel. We investigate the Thouless motor with interacting leads modeled as Luttinger liquids. We show that interactions enhance the energy gap opened by the periodic potential and thus the robustness of the Thouless motor against variations in the chemical potential. We show that the motor degree of freedom can be described as a mobile impurity in a Luttinger liquid obeying Langevin dynamics with renormalized coefficients due to interactions, for which we give explicit expressions.

  10. Modulation of proprioceptive integration in the motor cortex shapes human motor learning.

    PubMed

    Rosenkranz, Karin; Rothwell, John C

    2012-06-27

    Sensory and motor systems interact closely during movement performance. Furthermore, proprioceptive feedback from ongoing movements provides an important input for successful learning of a new motor skill. Here, we show in humans that attention to proprioceptive input during a purely sensory task can influence subsequent learning of a novel motor task. We applied low-amplitude vibration to the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle of eight healthy volunteers for 15 min while they discriminated either a small change in vibration frequency or the presence of a simultaneous weak cutaneous stimulus. Before and after the sensory attention tasks, we evaluated the following in separate experiments: (1) sensorimotor interaction in the motor cortex by testing the efficacy of proprioceptive input to reduce GABA(A)ergic intracortical inhibition using paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation, and (2) how well the same subjects learned a ballistic thumb abduction task using the APB muscle. Performance of the vibration discrimination task increased the interaction of proprioceptive input with motor cortex excitability in the APB muscle, whereas performance in the cutaneous discrimination task had the opposite effect. There was a significant correlation between the integration of proprioceptive input in the motor cortex and the motor learning gain: increasing the integration of proprioceptive input from the APB increased the rate of motor learning and reduced performance variability, while decreasing proprioceptive integration had opposite effects. These findings suggest that the sensory attention tasks transiently change how proprioceptive input is integrated into the motor cortex and that these sensory changes drive subsequent learning behavior in the human motor cortex.

  11. Dorsal anterior cingulate cortex modulates supplementary motor area in coordinated unimanual motor behavior

    PubMed Central

    Asemi, Avisa; Ramaseshan, Karthik; Burgess, Ashley; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A.; Bressler, Steven L.

    2015-01-01

    Motor control is integral to all types of human behavior, and the dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex (dACC) is thought to play an important role in the brain network underlying motor control. Yet the role of the dACC in motor control is under-characterized. Here we aimed to characterize the dACC’s role in adolescent brain network interactions during a simple motor control task involving visually coordinated unimanual finger movements. Network interactions were assessed using both undirected and directed functional connectivity analysis of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Blood-Oxygen-Level-Dependent (BOLD) signals, comparing the task with a rest condition. The relation between the dACC and Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) was compared to that between the dACC and Primary Motor Cortex (M1). The directed signal from dACC to SMA was significantly elevated during motor control in the task. By contrast, the directed signal from SMA to dACC, both directed signals between dACC and M1, and the undirected functional connections of dACC with SMA and M1, all did not differ between task and rest. Undirected coupling of dACC with both SMA and dACC, and only the dACC-to-SMA directed signal, were significantly greater for a proactive than a reactive task condition, suggesting that dACC plays a role in motor control by maintaining stimulus timing expectancy. Overall, these results suggest that the dACC selectively modulates the SMA during visually coordinated unimanual behavior in adolescence. The role of the dACC as an important brain area for the mediation of task-related motor control may be in place in adolescence, continuing into adulthood. The task and analytic approach described here should be extended to the study of healthy adults to examine network profiles of the dACC during basic motor behavior. PMID:26089783

  12. Motor-reduced visual perceptual abilities and visual-motor integration abilities of Chinese learning children.

    PubMed

    Lai, Mun Yee; Leung, Frederick Koon Shing

    2012-10-01

    This study investigated the relationship between motor-reduced visual perceptual abilities and visual-motor integration abilities of Chinese learning children by employing the Developmental Test of Visual Perception (Hammill, Pearson, & Voress, 1993), in which both abilities are measured in a single test. A total of 72 native Chinese learners of age 5 participated in this study. The findings indicated that the Chinese learners scored much higher in the visual-motor integration tasks than in motor-reduced visual perceptual tasks. The results support the theory of autonomous systems of motor-reduced visual perception and visual-motor integration and query current beliefs about the prior development of the former to the latter for the Chinese learners. To account for the Chinese participants' superior performance in visual-motor integration tasks over motor-reduced visual perceptual tasks, the visual-spatial properties of Chinese characters, general handwriting theories, the motor control theory and the psychogeometric theory of Chinese character-writing are referred to. The significance of the findings is then discussed.

  13. Scheduling Tasks In Parallel Processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, Camille C.; Salama, Moktar A.

    1989-01-01

    Algorithms sought to minimize time and cost of computation. Report describes research on scheduling of computations tasks in system of multiple identical data processors operating in parallel. Computational intractability requires use of suboptimal heuristic algorithms. First algorithm called "list heuristic", variation of classical list scheduling. Second algorithm called "cluster heuristic" applied to tightly coupled tasks and consists of four phases. Third algorithm called "exchange heuristic", iterative-improvement algorithm beginning with initial feasible assignment of tasks to processors and periods of time. Fourth algorithm is iterative one for optimal assignment of tasks and based on concept called "simulated annealing" because of mathematical resemblance to aspects of physical annealing processes.

  14. Brain effective connectivity during motor-imagery and execution following stroke and rehabilitation

    PubMed Central

    Bajaj, Sahil; Butler, Andrew J.; Drake, Daniel; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2015-01-01

    Brain areas within the motor system interact directly or indirectly during motor-imagery and motor-execution tasks. These interactions and their functionality can change following stroke and recovery. How brain network interactions reorganize and recover their functionality during recovery and treatment following stroke are not well understood. To contribute to answering these questions, we recorded blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals from 10 stroke survivors and evaluated dynamical causal modeling (DCM)-based effective connectivity among three motor areas: primary motor cortex (M1), pre-motor cortex (PMC) and supplementary motor area (SMA), during motor-imagery and motor-execution tasks. We compared the connectivity between affected and unaffected hemispheres before and after mental practice and combined mental practice and physical therapy as treatments. The treatment (intervention) period varied in length between 14 to 51 days but all patients received the same dose of 60 h of treatment. Using Bayesian model selection (BMS) approach in the DCM approach, we found that, after intervention, the same network dominated during motor-imagery and motor-execution tasks but modulatory parameters suggested a suppressive influence of SM A on M1 during the motor-imagery task whereas the influence of SM A on M1 was unrestricted during the motor-execution task. We found that the intervention caused a reorganization of the network during both tasks for unaffected as well as for the affected hemisphere. Using Bayesian model averaging (BMA) approach, we found that the intervention improved the regional connectivity among the motor areas during both the tasks. The connectivity between PMC and M1 was stronger in motor-imagery tasks whereas the connectivity from PMC to M1, SM A to M1 dominated in motor-execution tasks. There was significant behavioral improvement (p = 0.001) in sensation and motor movements because of the

  15. Brain effective connectivity during motor-imagery and execution following stroke and rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Bajaj, Sahil; Butler, Andrew J; Drake, Daniel; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2015-01-01

    Brain areas within the motor system interact directly or indirectly during motor-imagery and motor-execution tasks. These interactions and their functionality can change following stroke and recovery. How brain network interactions reorganize and recover their functionality during recovery and treatment following stroke are not well understood. To contribute to answering these questions, we recorded blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals from 10 stroke survivors and evaluated dynamical causal modeling (DCM)-based effective connectivity among three motor areas: primary motor cortex (M1), pre-motor cortex (PMC) and supplementary motor area (SMA), during motor-imagery and motor-execution tasks. We compared the connectivity between affected and unaffected hemispheres before and after mental practice and combined mental practice and physical therapy as treatments. The treatment (intervention) period varied in length between 14 to 51 days but all patients received the same dose of 60 h of treatment. Using Bayesian model selection (BMS) approach in the DCM approach, we found that, after intervention, the same network dominated during motor-imagery and motor-execution tasks but modulatory parameters suggested a suppressive influence of SM A on M1 during the motor-imagery task whereas the influence of SM A on M1 was unrestricted during the motor-execution task. We found that the intervention caused a reorganization of the network during both tasks for unaffected as well as for the affected hemisphere. Using Bayesian model averaging (BMA) approach, we found that the intervention improved the regional connectivity among the motor areas during both the tasks. The connectivity between PMC and M1 was stronger in motor-imagery tasks whereas the connectivity from PMC to M1, SM A to M1 dominated in motor-execution tasks. There was significant behavioral improvement (p = 0.001) in sensation and motor movements because of the

  16. Optimal Schedules in Multitask Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jeong Yoon; Oh, Youngmin; Kim, Sung Shin; Scheidt, Robert A; Schweighofer, Nicolas

    2016-04-01

    Although scheduling multiple tasks in motor learning to maximize long-term retention of performance is of great practical importance in sports training and motor rehabilitation after brain injury, it is unclear how to do so. We propose here a novel theoretical approach that uses optimal control theory and computational models of motor adaptation to determine schedules that maximize long-term retention predictively. Using Pontryagin's maximum principle, we derived a control law that determines the trial-by-trial task choice that maximizes overall delayed retention for all tasks, as predicted by the state-space model. Simulations of a single session of adaptation with two tasks show that when task interference is high, there exists a threshold in relative task difficulty below which the alternating schedule is optimal. Only for large differences in task difficulties do optimal schedules assign more trials to the harder task. However, over the parameter range tested, alternating schedules yield long-term retention performance that is only slightly inferior to performance given by the true optimal schedules. Our results thus predict that in a large number of learning situations wherein tasks interfere, intermixing tasks with an equal number of trials is an effective strategy in enhancing long-term retention.

  17. Motor Activity Improves Temporal Expectancy

    PubMed Central

    Fautrelle, Lilian; Mareschal, Denis; French, Robert; Addyman, Caspar; Thomas, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Certain brain areas involved in interval timing are also important in motor activity. This raises the possibility that motor activity might influence interval timing. To test this hypothesis, we assessed interval timing in healthy adults following different types of training. The pre- and post-training tasks consisted of a button press in response to the presentation of a rhythmic visual stimulus. Alterations in temporal expectancy were evaluated by measuring response times. Training consisted of responding to the visual presentation of regularly appearing stimuli by either: (1) pointing with a whole-body movement, (2) pointing only with the arm, (3) imagining pointing with a whole-body movement, (4) simply watching the stimulus presentation, (5) pointing with a whole-body movement in response to a target that appeared at irregular intervals (6) reading a newspaper. Participants performing a motor activity in response to the regular target showed significant improvements in judgment times compared to individuals with no associated motor activity. Individuals who only imagined pointing with a whole-body movement also showed significant improvements. No improvements were observed in the group that trained with a motor response to an irregular stimulus, hence eliminating the explanation that the improved temporal expectations of the other motor training groups was purely due to an improved motor capacity to press the response button. All groups performed a secondary task equally well, hence indicating that our results could not simply be attributed to differences in attention between the groups. Our results show that motor activity, even when it does not play a causal or corrective role, can lead to improved interval timing judgments. PMID:25806813

  18. Advanced Motors

    SciTech Connect

    Knoth, Edward A; Chelluri, Bhanumathi; Schumaker, Edward J

    2012-12-14

    vProject Summary Transportation energy usage is predicted to increase substantially by 2020. Hybrid vehicles and fuel cell powered vehicles are destined to become more prominent as fuel prices rise with the demand. Hybrid and fuel cell vehicle platforms are both dependent on high performance electric motors. Electric motors for transportation duty will require sizeable low-speed torque to accelerate the vehicle. As motor speed increases, the torque requirement decreases which results in a nearly constant power motor output. Interior permanent magnet synchronous motors (IPMSM) are well suited for this duty. , , These rotor geometries are configured in straight lines and semi circular arc shapes. These designs are of limited configurations because of the lack of availability of permanent magnets of any other shapes at present. We propose to fabricate rotors via a novel processing approach where we start with magnet powders and compact them into a net shape rotor in a single step. Using this approach, widely different rotor designs can be implemented for efficiency. The current limitation on magnet shape and thickness will be eliminated. This is accomplished by co-filling magnet and soft iron powders at specified locations in intricate shapes using specially designed dies and automatic powder filling station. The process fundamentals for accomplishing occurred under a previous Applied Technology Program titled, Motors and Generators for the 21st Century. New efficient motor designs that are not currently possible (or cost prohibitive) can be accomplished by this approach. Such an approach to motor fabrication opens up a new dimension in motor design. Feasibility Results We were able to optimize a IPMSM rotor to take advantage of the powder co-filling and DMC compaction processing methods. The minimum low speed torque requirement of 5 N-m can be met through an optimized design with magnet material having a Br capability of 0.2 T. This level of magnetic performance can

  19. Analysis of Time-Dependent Brain Network on Active and MI Tasks for Chronic Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Won Hyuk; Kim, Yun-Hee; Lee, Seong-Whan; Kwon, Gyu Hyun

    2015-01-01

    Several researchers have analyzed brain activities by investigating brain networks. However, there is a lack of the research on the temporal characteristics of the brain network during a stroke by EEG and the comparative studies between motor execution and imagery, which became known to have similar motor functions and pathways. In this study, we proposed the possibility of temporal characteristics on the brain networks of a stroke. We analyzed the temporal properties of the brain networks for nine chronic stroke patients by the active and motor imagery tasks by EEG. High beta band has a specific role in the brain network during motor tasks. In the high beta band, for the active task, there were significant characteristics of centrality and small-worldness on bilateral primary motor cortices at the initial motor execution. The degree centrality significantly increased on the contralateral primary motor cortex, and local efficiency increased on the ipsilateral primary motor cortex. The