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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. Brain oscillatory signatures of motor tasks

    PubMed Central

    Birbaumer, Niels

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. 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…

  4. Task Specificity in Early Oral Motor Development

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Erin M.; Green, Jordan R.; Yunusova, Yana Y.; Moore, Christopher A.

    2009-01-01

    This article addresses a long-standing clinical and theoretical debate regarding the potential relationship between speech and nonspeech behaviors in the developing system. The review is motivated by the high popularity of nonspeech oral motor exercises (NSOMEs), including alimentary behaviors such as chewing, in the treatment of speech disorders in young children. The similarities and differences in the behavioral characteristics, sensory requirements, and task goals for speech and nonspeech oromotor behaviors are compared. Integrated theoretical paradigms and empirical data on the development of early oromotor behaviors are discussed. Although the efficacy of NSOMEs remains empirically untested at this time, studies of typical developmental speech physiology fail to support a theoretical framework promoting the use of NSOMEs. Well-designed empirical studies are necessary, however, to establish the efficacy of NSOMEs for specific clinical population and treatment targets. PMID:19058112

  5. Gait characteristics in patients with major depression performing cognitive and motor tasks while walking.

    PubMed

    Radovanović, Saša; Jovičić, Milica; Marić, Nadja P; Kostić, Vladimir

    2014-06-30

    Depressed patients demonstrate alterations in motor and cognitive functioning that can affect their adjustments to the variations in everyday life environment. The objective was to explore gait parameters and variability of patients with major depressive disorder in dual task walking situations. Eight patients and 20 healthy controls performed motor, mental and combined motor+mental tasks while walking. Calculated parameters were cycle time, stride length, swing time, double support time and their coefficients of variation (CV). Patients demonstrated greater gait variability (swing time CV) than controls during baseline walk (t(26)=2.64, p<0.05) and motor dual task (t(26)=3.68, p<0.05). Moreover, the transition from mental to combined task decreased stride length (M=126.48±15.35 and M=121.19±13.55, p<0.001) and increased double support time (M=0.266±0.072 and M=0.287±0.076, p<0.01) only in controls. Also, gait variability increased in controls during the combined task, while remaining the same or decreasing in patients. Tasks that required greater cognitive involvement affected gait variability in patients more than controls, but only up to a certain level, after which patients׳ stability appeared unaffected by the increase of cognitive demand. This could be explained by a tendency of patients to neglect complex cognitive tasks while walking in order to preserve stability and prevent possible falls.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    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. PMID:22914583

  7. Task variation versus task repetition for people with profound developmental disabilities: an assessment of preferences.

    PubMed

    Lancioni, G E; O'Reilly, M F; Campodonico, F; Mantini, M

    1998-01-01

    An assessment of preferences between task variation and task repetition with four adults with profound developmental disabilities was implemented. After participants were exposed to both task variation and task repetition conditions, they were allowed to choose between them. Results showed that all participants had strong preferences; three preferred task variation and one task repetition. Aspects of the assessment and use of assessment data for planning daily work conditions were discussed.

  8. 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:…

  9. 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…

  10. Time of day does not modulate improvements in motor performance following a repetitive ballistic motor training task.

    PubMed

    Sale, Martin V; Ridding, Michael C; Nordstrom, Michael A

    2013-01-01

    Repetitive performance of a task can result in learning. The neural mechanisms underpinning such use-dependent plasticity are influenced by several neuromodulators. Variations in neuromodulator levels may contribute to the variability in performance outcomes following training. Circulating levels of the neuromodulator cortisol change throughout the day. High cortisol levels inhibit neuroplasticity induced with a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) paradigm that has similarities to use-dependent plasticity. The present study investigated whether performance changes following a motor training task are modulated by time of day and/or changes in endogenous cortisol levels. Motor training involving 30 minutes of repeated maximum left thumb abduction was undertaken by twenty-two participants twice, once in the morning (8 AM) and once in the evening (8 PM) on separate occasions. Saliva was assayed for cortisol concentration. Motor performance, quantified by measuring maximum left thumb abduction acceleration, significantly increased by 28% following training. Neuroplastic changes in corticomotor excitability of abductor pollicis brevis, quantified with TMS, increased significantly by 23% following training. Training-related motor performance improvements and neuroplasticity were unaffected by time of day and salivary cortisol concentration. Although similar neural elements and processes contribute to motor learning, training-induced neuroplasticity, and TMS-induced neuroplasticity, our findings suggest that the influence of time of day and cortisol differs for these three interventions.

  11. Task-specific stability of abundant systems: Structure of variance and motor equivalence.

    PubMed

    Mattos, D; Schöner, G; Zatsiorsky, V M; Latash, M L

    2015-12-01

    Our main goal was to test a hypothesis that transient changes in performance of a steady-state task would result in motor equivalence. We also estimated effects of visual feedback on the amount of reorganization of motor elements. Healthy subjects performed two variations of a four-finger pressing task requiring accurate production of total pressing force (F TOT) and total moment of force (M TOT). In the Jumping-Target task, a sequence of target jumps required transient changes in either F TOT or M TOT. In the Step-Perturbation task, the index finger was lifted by 1cm for 0.5s leading to a change in both F TOT and M TOT. Visual feedback could have been frozen for one of these two variables in both tasks. Deviations in the space of finger modes (hypothetical commands to individual fingers) were quantified in directions of unchanged F TOT and M TOT (motor equivalent - ME) and in directions that changed F TOT and M TOT (non-motor equivalence - nME). Both the ME and nME components increased when the performance changed. After transient target jumps leading to the same combination of F TOT and M TOT, the changes in finger modes had a large residual ME component with only a very small nME component. Without visual feedback, an increase in the nME component was observed without consistent changes in the ME component. Results from the Step-Perturbation task were qualitatively similar. These findings suggest that both external perturbations and purposeful changes in performance trigger a reorganization of elements of an abundant system, leading to large ME change. These results are consistent with the principle of motor abundance corroborating the idea that a family of solutions is facilitated to stabilize values of important performance variables. PMID:26434623

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

    PubMed

    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 with no

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Task dependency of motor adaptations to an acute noxious stimulation.

    PubMed

    Hug, François; Hodges, Paul W; Tucker, Kylie

    2014-06-01

    This study explored motor adaptations in response to an acute noxious stimulation during three tasks that differed in the number of available degrees of freedom. Fifteen participants performed three isometric force-matched tasks (single leg knee extension, single leg squat, and bilateral leg squat) in three conditions (Control, Pain, and Washout). Pain was induced by injection of hypertonic saline into the vastus medialis muscle (VM; left leg). Supersonic shear imaging was used to measure muscle shear elastic modulus as this is considered to be an index of muscle stress. Surface electromyography (EMG) was recorded bilaterally from six muscles to assess changes in neural strategies. During tasks with fewer degrees of freedom (knee extension and single leg squat task), there was no change in VM EMG amplitude or VM shear elastic modulus. In contrast, during the bilateral leg squat, VM (-32.9 ± 15.8%; P < 0.001) and vastus lateralis (-28.7 ± 14.8%; P < 0.001) EMG amplitude decreased during Pain. This decrease in activation was associated with reduced VM shear elastic modulus (-17.6 ± 23.3%; P = 0.029) and reduced force produced by the painful leg (-10.0 ± 10.2%; P = 0.046). This work provides evidence that when an obvious solution is available to decrease stress on painful tissue, this option is selected. It confirms the fundamental assumption that motor adaptations to pain aim to alter load on painful tissue to protect for further pain and/or injury. The lack of adaptation observed during force-matched tasks with fewer degrees of freedom might be explained by the limited potential to redistribute stress or a high cost induced by such a compensation.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26302190

  18. Force-stabilizing synergies in motor tasks involving two actors

    PubMed Central

    Solnik, Stanislaw; Reschechtko, Sasha; Wu, Yen-Hsun; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M.; Latash, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the ability of two persons to produce force-stabilizing synergies in accurate multi-finger force production tasks under visual feedback on the total force only. The subjects produced a time profile of total force (the sum of two hand forces in one-person tasks and the sum of two subject forces in two-person tasks) consisting of a ramp-up, steady-state, and ramp-down segments; the steady-state segment was interrupted in the middle by a quick force pulse. Analyses of the structure of inter-trial finger force variance, motor equivalence, anticipatory synergy adjustments (ASAs), and the unintentional drift of the sharing pattern were performed. The two-person performance was characterized by a dramatically higher amount of inter-trial variance that did not affect total force, higher finger force deviations that did not affect total force (motor equivalent deviations), shorter ASAs, and larger drift of the sharing pattern. The rate of sharing pattern drift correlated with the initial disparity between the forces produced by the two persons (or two hands). The drift accelerated following the quick force pulse. Our observations show that sensory information on the task-specific performance variable is sufficient for the organization of performance-stabilizing synergies. They suggest, however, that two actors are less likely to follow a single optimization criterion as compared to a single performer. The presence of ASAs in the two-person condition might reflect fidgeting by one or both of the subjects. We discuss the characteristics of the drift in the sharing pattern as reflections of different characteristic times of motion within the sub-spaces that affect and do not affect salient performance variables. PMID:26105756

  19. Force-stabilizing synergies in motor tasks involving two actors.

    PubMed

    Solnik, Stanislaw; Reschechtko, Sasha; Wu, Yen-Hsun; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2015-10-01

    We investigated the ability of two persons to produce force-stabilizing synergies in accurate multi-finger force production tasks under visual feedback on the total force only. The subjects produced a time profile of total force (the sum of two hand forces in one-person tasks and the sum of two subject forces in two-person tasks) consisting of a ramp-up, steady-state, and ramp-down segments; the steady-state segment was interrupted in the middle by a quick force pulse. Analyses of the structure of inter-trial finger force variance, motor equivalence, anticipatory synergy adjustments (ASAs), and the unintentional drift of the sharing pattern were performed. The two-person performance was characterized by a dramatically higher amount of inter-trial variance that did not affect total force, higher finger force deviations that did not affect total force (motor equivalent deviations), shorter ASAs, and larger drift of the sharing pattern. The rate of sharing pattern drift correlated with the initial disparity between the forces produced by the two persons (or two hands). The drift accelerated following the quick force pulse. Our observations show that sensory information on the task-specific performance variable is sufficient for the organization of performance-stabilizing synergies. They suggest, however, that two actors are less likely to follow a single optimization criterion as compared to a single performer. The presence of ASAs in the two-person condition might reflect fidgeting by one or both of the subjects. We discuss the characteristics of the drift in the sharing pattern as reflections of different characteristic times of motion within the subspaces that affect and do not affect salient performance variables. PMID:26105756

  20. Evaluation of meditation and relaxation on physiological response during the performance of fine motor and gross motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Wood, C J

    1986-02-01

    This study investigated the effects of meditation/relaxation on physiological responses during the performance of a fine motor and a gross motor task. A pretest-posttest control group, randomized-blocks design was used to study a group of 16 meditators and a group of 16 nonmeditators, subgroups of each who relaxed prior to performing on a pursuit-rotor tracking device as a fine motor task and to performing the Luft cycle ergometer protocol to a heart rate of 70% of age-adjusted maximum heart rate as a gross motor task. During each of these tasks heart rate, systolic blood pressure, rate-pressure-product, and EMG activity of the frontalis muscle were monitored. No significant difference in the performance of either the fine motor or the gross motor task was noted for persons practicing meditation and persons who were nonmeditators but were given the opportunity to relax prior to a motor task. Likewise, no significant difference was noted in the pattern of response to the imposed fine motor or gross motor task by meditators or relaxed nonmeditators.

  1. Mental Motor Imagery Indexes Pain: The Hand Laterality Task

    PubMed Central

    Coslett, H. Branch; Medina, Jared; Kliot, Dasha; Burkey, Adam R.

    2010-01-01

    Mental motor imagery is subserved by the same cognitive systems that underlie action. In turn, action is informed by the anticipated sensory consequences of movement, including pain. In light of these considerations, one would predict that motor imagery would provide a useful measure pain-related functional interference. We report a study in which 19 patients with chronic musculoskeletal or radiculopathic arm or shoulder pain, 24 subjects with chronic pain not involving the arm/shoulder and 41 normal controls were asked to indicate if a line drawing was a right or left hand. Previous work demonstrated that this task is performed by mental rotation of the subject’s hand to match the stimulus. Relative to normal and pain control subjects, arm/shoulder pain subjects were significantly slower for stimuli that required greater amplitude rotations. For the arm/shoulder pain subjects only there was a correlation between degree of slowing and the rating of severity of pain with movement but not the non-specific pain rating. The hand laterality task may supplement the assessment of subjects with chronic arm/shoulder pain. PMID:20638306

  2. Individual differences in learning a novel discrete motor task.

    PubMed

    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

  3. When does imagery practice enhance performance on a motor task?

    PubMed

    Bohan, M; Pharmer, J A; Stokes, A F

    1999-04-01

    Imagery practice of motor tasks has been recommended for a wide range of activities as from flight training to basketball. A key question, both from a practical and a theoretical standpoint, is when during the learning process does imagery practice confer the most benefit? However, the literature does not provide clear guidance, in part because of methodological limitations. A 3 x 2 (physical practice x pretest-posttest) split-plot design was employed to investigate the effects of imagery practice on the acquisition of a discrete target at three different stages of learning. Analysis indicated that imagery practice was most beneficial in the early stages of learning and showed an inverse relationship between experience and efficacy of imagery practice. Results are discussed in terms of current theories of imagery practice and suggestions are made regarding when such practice might be best applied during skill development.

  4. 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

  5. Concurrent cognitive task may improve motor work performance and reduce muscle fatigue.

    PubMed

    Evstigneeva, Maria; Aleksandrov, Aleksandr; Mathiassen, Svend Erik; Lyskov, Eugene

    2012-01-01

    Performance of certain cognitive tasks either during physical load or in rest pauses between boosts might lead to slowing of muscle fatigue and fatigue related decline in performance. Seventeen right-handed healthy volunteers (age 24 ± 1.4, 8 males) participated in this study, aiming to investigate the effect of the level of the cognitive information processing - 1) passive perception of audio stimuli, 2) active stimuli discrimination, 3) active stimuli discrimination following motor response - on motor task performance (handgrip test 30% and 7% of MVC) and muscle fatigue development. Cognitive tasks show the following effects on motor work: i) Perceived fatigue during 30 % MVC (fatiguing) condition developed slower if participant pressed button in response to deviant acoustic stimuli, as compared to passive listening. Counting task, an active task without motor component, took the intermediate position and did not differ significantly from two other cognitive tasks. ii) MVC after 30% MVC (fatiguing) condition tended to decrease stronger when accompanied with passive listening in comparison with both active tasks. iii) Motor task performance during 30% MVC (fatiguing) condition was better for active cognitive task with motor component than for passive task. Active task without motor component took the intermediate position and did not differ significantly from both the other cognitive tasks. PMID:22317158

  6. 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…

  7. Upper alpha neurofeedback training over the motor cortex increases SMR desynchronization in motor tasks.

    PubMed

    López-Larraz, Eduardo; Escolano, Carlos; Minguez, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Desynchronization of sensorimotor rhythms (SMR) is a distinctive feature that provides a discriminative pattern for BCI operation. However, individuals such as BCI illiterates can not produce these discriminable patterns with sufficient reliability. Additionally, SMR desynchronization can become deteriorated or extinct in patients with spinal cord injury or a cerebrovascular accident. In all these situations BCI usage is compromised. This paper proposes an intervention based on neurofeedback training of the upper alpha band to improve SMR desynchronization. The feasibility of this intervention is demonstrated in a preliminary study in which five healthy subjects were trained to increase their upper alpha band power. Such increases produced higher SMR desynchronization and better discrimination between rest and execution states of a motor task.

  8. 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

  9. Fine and gross motor skills: The effects on skill-focused dual-tasks.

    PubMed

    Raisbeck, Louisa D; Diekfuss, Jed A

    2015-10-01

    Dual-task methodology often directs participants' attention towards a gross motor skill involved in the execution of a skill, but researchers have not investigated the comparative effects of attention on fine motor skill tasks. Furthermore, there is limited information about participants' subjective perception of workload with respect to task performance. To examine this, the current study administered the NASA-Task Load Index following a simulated shooting dual-task. The task required participants to stand 15 feet from a projector screen which depicted virtual targets and fire a modified Glock 17 handgun equipped with an infrared laser. Participants performed the primary shooting task alone (control), or were also instructed to focus their attention on a gross motor skill relevant to task execution (gross skill-focused) and a fine motor skill relevant to task execution (fine skill-focused). Results revealed that workload was significantly greater during the fine skill-focused task for both skill levels, but performance was only affected for the lesser-skilled participants. Shooting performance for the lesser-skilled participants was greater during the gross skill-focused condition compared to the fine skill-focused condition. Correlational analyses also demonstrated a significant negative relationship between shooting performance and workload during the gross skill-focused task for the higher-skilled participants. A discussion of the relationship between skill type, workload, skill level, and performance in dual-task paradigms is presented.

  10. 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…

  11. Genetic variation in dopamine-related gene expression influences motor skill learning in mice.

    PubMed

    Qian, Y; Chen, M; Forssberg, H; Diaz Heijtz, R

    2013-08-01

    Several neurodevelopmental disorders with a strong genetic basis, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders and developmental coordination disorder, involve deficits in fine motor skills. This phenotype may depend on heritable variation in components of the dopamine (DA) system, which is known to play a critical role in motor skill learning. In this study, we took advantage of two inbred strains of mice (BALB/c and C57BL/6) that differ markedly in the number of midbrain DA neurons in order to investigate the influence of such naturally occurring genetic variation on the acquisition and performance of fine motor skills. Gene expression analysis of midbrain, frontal cortex and striatum showed significant differences in the expression of presynaptic and postsynaptic dopaminergic (DAergic) markers (e.g. tyrosine hydroxylase, DA transporter, DA D4 receptor, DA D5 receptor and DARPP-32) between these two strains. BALB/c mice had lower learning rate and performance scores in a complex skilled reaching task when compared with C57BL/6 mice. A negative correlation was found between the motor learning rate and level of DARPP-32 mRNA expression in the frontal cortex contralateral to the trained forelimb. The rate of motor learning was also negatively correlated with the levels of DARPP-32 and DA D1 receptor mRNAs in the striatum. Our results suggest that genetically driven variation in frontostriatal DAergic neurotransmission is a major contributor to individual differences in motor skill learning. Moreover, these findings implicate the D1R/cAMP/DARPP-32 signaling pathway in those neurodevelopmental disorders that are associated with fine motor skill deficits.

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:25618616

  14. The influence of motor expertise on the brain activity of motor task performance: A meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie

    2015-06-01

    Previous research has investigated the influence of long-term motor training on the brain activity of motor processes, but the findings are inconsistent. To clarify how acquiring motor expertise induces cortical reorganization during motor task performance, the current study conducted a quantitative meta-analysis on 26 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies that investigate motor task performance in people with long-term motor training experience (e.g., athletes, musicians, and dancers) and control participants. Meta-analysis of the brain activation in motor experts and novices showed similar effects in the bilateral frontal and parietal regions. The meta-analysis on the contrast between motor experts and novices indicated that experts showed stronger effects in the left inferior parietal lobule (BA 40) than did novices in motor execution and prediction tasks. In motor observation tasks, experts showed stronger effects in the left inferior frontal gyrus (BA 9) and left precentral gyrus (BA 6) than novices. On the contrary, novices had stronger effects in the right motor areas and basal ganglia as compared with motor experts. These results indicate that motor experts have effect increases in brain areas involved in action planning and action comprehension, and suggest that intensive motor training might elaborate the motor representation related to the task performance.

  15. Dual Motor-Cognitive Virtual Reality Training Impacts Dual-Task Performance in Freezing of Gait.

    PubMed

    Killane, Isabelle; Fearon, Conor; Newman, Louise; McDonnell, Conor; Waechter, Saskia M; Sons, Kristian; Lynch, Timothy; Reilly, Richard B

    2015-11-01

    Freezing of gait (FOG), an episodic gait disturbance characterized by the inability to generate effective stepping, occurs in more than half of Parkinson's disease patients. It is associated with both executive dysfunction and attention and becomes most evident during dual tasking (performing two tasks simultaneously). This study examined the effect of dual motor-cognitive virtual reality training on dual-task performance in FOG. Twenty community dwelling participants with Parkinson's disease (13 with FOG, 7 without FOG) participated in a pre-assessment, eight 20-minute intervention sessions, and a post-assessment. The intervention consisted of a virtual reality maze (DFKI, Germany) through which participants navigated by stepping-in-place on a balance board (Nintendo, Japan) under time pressure. This was combined with a cognitive task (Stroop test), which repeatedly divided participants' attention. The primary outcome measures were pre- and post-intervention differences in motor (stepping time, symmetry, rhythmicity) and cognitive (accuracy, reaction time) performance during single- and dual-tasks. Both assessments consisted of 1) a single cognitive task 2) a single motor task, and 3) a dual motor-cognitive task. Following the intervention, there was significant improvement in dual-task cognitive and motor parameters (stepping time and rhythmicity), dual-task effect for those with FOG and a noteworthy improvement in FOG episodes. These improvements were less significant for those without FOG. This is the first study to show benefit of a dual motor-cognitive approach on dual-task performance in FOG. Advances in such virtual reality interventions for home use could substantially improve the quality of life for patients who experience FOG. PMID:26394439

  16. A Developmental Study of the Influence of Task Characteristics on Motor Overflow

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Addamo, Patricia K.; Farrow, Maree; Hoy, Kate E.; Bradshaw, John L.; Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie

    2009-01-01

    Motor overflow refers to involuntary movement or muscle activity that may coincide with voluntary movement. This study examined factors influencing motor overflow in 17 children (8-11 years), and 17 adults (18-35 years). Participants performed a finger pressing task by exerting either 33% or 66% of their maximal force output using their dominant…

  17. 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-,…

  18. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27200192

  20. 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…

  1. Cognitive costs of motor planning do not differ between pointing and grasping in a sequential task.

    PubMed

    Schütz, Christoph; Weigelt, Matthias; Schack, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    Neurophysiologic studies have shown differences in brain activation between pointing and grasping movements. We asked whether these two movement types would differ in their cognitive costs of motor planning. To this end, we designed a sequential, continuous posture selection task, suitable to investigate pointing and grasping movements to identical target locations. Participants had to open a column of drawers or point to a column of targets in ascending and descending progression. The global hand pro/supination at the moment of drawer/target contact was measured. The size of the motor hysteresis effect, i.e., the persistence to a former posture, was used as a proxy for the cognitive cost of motor planning. A larger hysteresis effect equals higher cognitive cost. Both motor tasks had similar costs of motor planning, but a larger range of motion was found for the grasping movements.

  2. 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…

  3. Importance of baseline in event-related desynchronization during a combination task of motor imagery and motor observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tangwiriyasakul, Chayanin; Verhagen, Rens; van Putten, Michel J. A. M.; Rutten, Wim L. C.

    2013-04-01

    Objective. Event-related desynchronization (ERD) or synchronization (ERS) refers to the modulation of any EEG rhythm in response to a particular event. It is typically quantified as the ratio between a baseline and a task condition (the event). Here, we focused on the sensorimotor mu-rhythm. We explored the effects of different baselines on mu-power and ERD of the mu-rhythm during a motor imagery task. Methods. Eighteen healthy subjects performed motor imagery tasks while EEGs were recorded. Five different baseline movies were shown. For the imagery task a right-hand opening/closing movie was shown. Power and ERD of the mu-rhythm recorded over C3 and C4 for the different baselines were estimated. Main Results. 50% of the subjects showed relatively high mu-power for specific baselines only, and ERDs of these subjects were strongly dependent on the baseline used. In 17% of the subjects no preference was found. Contralateral ERD of the mu-rhythm was found in about 67% of the healthy volunteers, with a significant baseline preference in about 75% of that subgroup. Significance. The sensorimotor ERD quantifies activity of the brain during motor imagery tasks. Selection of the optimal baseline increases ERD.

  4. Effect of Visuo-Motor Co-location on 3D Fitts' Task Performance in Physical and Virtual Environments

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Michael J.; Hershberger, Andrew D.; Sano, Kumiko; Çavuşoğlu, M. Cenk

    2013-01-01

    Given the ease that humans have with using a keyboard and mouse in typical, non-colocated computer interaction, many studies have investigated the value of co-locating the visual field and motor workspaces using immersive display modalities. Significant understanding has been gained by previous work comparing physical tasks against virtual tasks, visuo-motor co-location versus non-colocation, and even visuo-motor rotational misalignments in virtual environments (VEs). However, few studies have explored all of these paradigms in context with each other and it is difficult to perform inter-study comparisons because of the variation in tested motor tasks. Therefore, using a stereoscopic fish tank display setup, the goal for the current study was to characterize human performance of a 3D Fitts' point-to-point reaching task using a stylus-based haptic interface in the physical, co-located/non-colocated, and rotated VE visualization conditions.Five performance measures – throughput, initial movement error, corrective movements, and peak velocity – were measured and used to evaluate task performance. These measures were studied in 22 subjects (11 male, 11 female, ages 20–32) performing a 3D variant of Fitts' serial task under 10 task conditions: physical, co-located VE, non-colocated VE, and rotated VEs from 45–315° in 45° increments. Hypotheses All performance measures in the co-located VE were expected to reflect significantly reduced task performance over the real condition, but also reflect increased performance over the non-colocated VE condition. For rotational misalignments, all performance measures were expected to reflect highest performance at 0°, reduce to lowest performance at 90° and rise again to a local maximum at 180° (symmetric about 0°). Results All performance measures showed that the co-located VE condition resulted in significantly lower task performance than the physical condition and higher mean performance than the non-colocated VE

  5. Task-Specific Effect of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Saucedo Marquez, Cinthia Maria; Zhang, Xue; Swinnen, Stephan Patrick; Meesen, Raf; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a relatively new non-invasive brain stimulation technique that modulates neural processes. When applied to the human primary motor cortex (M1), tDCS has beneficial effects on motor skill learning and consolidation in healthy controls and in patients. However, it remains unclear whether tDCS improves motor learning in a general manner or whether these effects depend on which motor task is acquired. Here we compare whether the effect of tDCS differs when the same individual acquires (1) a Sequential Finger Tapping Task (SEQTAP) and (2) a Visual Isometric Pinch Force Task (FORCE). Both tasks have been shown to be sensitive to tDCS applied over M1, however, the underlying processes mediating learning and memory formation might benefit differently from anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (anodal-tDCS). Thirty healthy subjects were randomly assigned to an anodal-tDCS group or sham-group. Using a double-blind, sham-controlled cross-over design, tDCS was applied over M1 while subjects acquired each of the motor tasks over three consecutive days, with the order being randomized across subjects. We found that anodal-tDCS affected each task differently: the SEQTAP task benefited from anodal-tDCS during learning, whereas the FORCE task showed improvements only at retention. These findings suggest that anodal-tDCS applied over M1 appears to have a task-dependent effect on learning and memory formation. PMID:23847505

  6. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Neural Activation in Humans during a Simple Motor Task Differs between BDNF Polymorphisms

    PubMed Central

    Cárdenas-Morales, Lizbeth; Grön, Georg; Sim, Eun-Jin; Stingl, Julia C.; Kammer, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has been linked to decreased synaptic plasticity involved in motor learning tasks. We investigated whether individual differences in this polymorphism may promote differences in neural activity during a two-alternative forced-choice motor performance. In two separate sessions, the BOLD signal from 22 right-handed healthy men was measured during button presses with the left and right index finger upon visual presentation of an arrow. 11 men were Val66Val carriers (ValVal group), the other 11 men carried either the Val66Met or the Met66Met polymorphism (Non-ValVal group). Reaction times, resting and active motor thresholds did not differ between ValVal and Non-ValVal groups. Compared to the ValVal group the Non-ValVal group showed significantly higher BOLD signals in the right SMA and motor cingulate cortex during motor performance. This difference was highly consistent for both hands and across all four sessions. Our finding suggests that this BDNF polymorphism may not only influence complex performance during motor learning but is already associated with activation differences during rather simple motor tasks. The higher BOLD signal observed in Non-ValVal subjects suggests the presence of cumulative effects of the polymorphism on the motor system, and may reflect compensatory functional activation mediating equal behavioral performance between groups. PMID:24828051

  8. 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.

  9. Fatigue and Motor Redundancy: Adaptive Increase in Finger Force Variance in Multi-Finger Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Tarkeshwar; SKM, Varadhan; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M.

    2010-01-01

    We studied the effects of fatigue of the index finger on indices of force variability in discrete and rhythmic accurate force production tasks performed by the index finger and by all four fingers pressing in parallel. An increase in the variance of the force produced by the fatigued index finger was expected. We hypothesized that the other fingers would also show increased variance of their forces, which would be accompanied by co-variation among the finger forces resulting in relatively preserved accuracy of performance. The subjects performed isometric tasks including maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and accurate force production before and after a 1-min MVC fatiguing exercise by the index finger. During fatigue, there was a significant increase in the root mean square index of force variability during accurate force production by the index finger. In the four-finger tasks, the variance of the individual finger force increased for all four fingers, while the total force variance showed only a modest change. We quantified two components of variance in the space of hypothetical commands to fingers, finger modes. There was a large increase in the variance component that did not affect total force and a much smaller increase in the component that did. The results suggest an adaptive increase in force variance by nonfatigued elements as a strategy to attenuate effects of fatigue on accuracy of multi-element performance. These effects were unlikely to originate at the level of synchronization of motor units across muscle compartments but rather involved higher control levels. PMID:20357060

  10. 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.

  11. The contextual interference effect for skill variations from the same and different generalized motor programs.

    PubMed

    Sekiya, H; Magill, R A; Sidaway, B; Anderson, D I

    1994-12-01

    Magill and Hall (1990) hypothesized that the contextual interference (CI) effect is found only when task variations to be learned are governed by different generalized motor programs (GMPs). The present experiments examined their hypothesis by requiring subjects to learn variations of a tapping task that had either different (Experiment 1) or the same (Experiment 2) relative timing structure. In each experiment, subjects (N = 36) performed 270 acquisition trials with knowledge of results (KR) in either a blocked or a serial order. One day later, subjects performed 30 retention trials without KR. In data analyses, errors due to parameter modifications were dissociated from errors due to GMP construction to examine which process was responsible for the CI effect. In both experiments, parameter learning created a CI effect while GMP learning failed to produce a CI effect. In the light of these findings, a modification is proposed to the Magill and Hall (1990) hypothesis that takes into account these distinct processes in motor learning. PMID:7886282

  12. 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.

  13. Human footprint variation while performing load bearing tasks.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.…

  19. 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

  20. Apparent and Actual Trajectory Control Depend on the Behavioral Context in Upper Limb Motor Tasks.

    PubMed

    Cluff, Tyler; Scott, Stephen H

    2015-09-01

    A central problem in motor neuroscience is to understand how we select, plan, and control motor actions. An influential idea is that the motor system computes and implements a desired limb trajectory, an intermediary control process between the behavioral goal (reach a spatial goal) and motor commands to move the limb. The most compelling evidence for trajectory control is that corrective responses are directed back toward the unperturbed trajectory when the limb is disturbed during movement. However, the idea of trajectory control conflicts with optimal control theories that emphasize goal-directed motor corrections. Here we show that corrective responses in human subjects can deviate back toward the unperturbed trajectory, but these reversals were only present when there were explicit limits on movement time. Our second experiment asked whether trajectory control could be generated if the trajectory was made an explicit goal of the task. Participants countered unexpected loads while reaching to a static goal, tracking a moving target, or maintaining their hand within a visually constrained path to a static goal. Corrective responses were directed back toward the constrained path or to intercept the moving target. However, corrections back to the unperturbed path disappeared when reaching to the static target. Long-latency muscle responses paralleled changes in the behavioral goal in both sets of experiments, but goal-directed responses were delayed by 15-25 ms when tracking the moving goal. Our results show the motor system can behave like a trajectory controller but only if a "desired trajectory" is the goal of the task. Significance statement: One of the most influential ideas in motor control is that the motor system computes a "desired trajectory" when reaching to a spatial goal. Here we revisit the experimental paradigm from seminal papers supporting trajectory control to illustrate that corrective responses appear to return to the original trajectory of the

  1. 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]).

  2. Motor task event detection using Subthalamic Nucleus Local Field Potentials.

    PubMed

    Niketeghad, Soroush; Hebb, Adam O; Nedrud, Joshua; Hanrahan, Sara J; Mahoor, Mohammad H

    2015-08-01

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) provides significant therapeutic benefit for movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Current DBS devices lack real-time feedback (thus are open loop) and stimulation parameters are adjusted during scheduled visits with a clinician. A closed-loop DBS system may reduce power consumption and DBS side effects. In such systems, DBS parameters are adjusted based on patient's behavior, which means that behavior detection is a major step in designing such systems. Various physiological signals can be used to recognize the behaviors. Subthalamic Nucleus (STN) Local Field Potential (LFP) is a great candidate signal for the neural feedback, because it can be recorded from the stimulation lead and does not require additional sensors. A practical behavior detection method should be able to detect behaviors asynchronously meaning that it should not use any prior knowledge of behavior onsets. In this paper, we introduce a behavior detection method that is able to asynchronously detect the finger movements of Parkinson patients. As a result of this study, we learned that there is a motor-modulated inter-hemispheric connectivity between LFP signals recorded bilaterally from STN. We used non-linear regression method to measure this connectivity and use it to detect the finger movements. Performance of this method is evaluated using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC). PMID:26737550

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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. PMID:27199701

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Neuronal Substrates Underlying Performance Variability in Well-Trained Skillful Motor Task in Humans.

    PubMed

    Mizuguchi, Nobuaki; Uehara, Shintaro; Hirose, Satoshi; Yamamoto, Shinji; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    Motor performance fluctuates trial by trial even in a well-trained motor skill. Here we show neural substrates underlying such behavioral fluctuation in humans. We first scanned brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging while healthy participants repeatedly performed a 10 s skillful sequential finger-tapping task. Before starting the experiment, the participants had completed intensive training. We evaluated task performance per trial (number of correct sequences in 10 s) and depicted brain regions where the activity changes in association with the fluctuation of the task performance across trials. We found that the activity in a broader range of frontoparietocerebellar network, including the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), anterior cingulate and anterior insular cortices, and left cerebellar hemisphere, was negatively correlated with the task performance. We further showed in another transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) experiment that task performance deteriorated, when we applied anodal tDCS to the right DLPFC. These results indicate that fluctuation of brain activity in the nonmotor frontoparietocerebellar network may underlie trial-by-trial performance variability even in a well-trained motor skill, and its neuromodulation with tDCS may affect the task performance. PMID:27516909

  10. Neuronal Substrates Underlying Performance Variability in Well-Trained Skillful Motor Task in Humans

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Motor performance fluctuates trial by trial even in a well-trained motor skill. Here we show neural substrates underlying such behavioral fluctuation in humans. We first scanned brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging while healthy participants repeatedly performed a 10 s skillful sequential finger-tapping task. Before starting the experiment, the participants had completed intensive training. We evaluated task performance per trial (number of correct sequences in 10 s) and depicted brain regions where the activity changes in association with the fluctuation of the task performance across trials. We found that the activity in a broader range of frontoparietocerebellar network, including the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), anterior cingulate and anterior insular cortices, and left cerebellar hemisphere, was negatively correlated with the task performance. We further showed in another transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) experiment that task performance deteriorated, when we applied anodal tDCS to the right DLPFC. These results indicate that fluctuation of brain activity in the nonmotor frontoparietocerebellar network may underlie trial-by-trial performance variability even in a well-trained motor skill, and its neuromodulation with tDCS may affect the task performance. PMID:27516909

  11. 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

  12. Cognitive processing and motor execution in the lexical decision task: a developmental study.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Sascha; Verrel, Julius

    2014-04-01

    We investigated lexical decision making in children and adults by analyzing spatiotemporal characteristics of responses involving a hand movement. Children's and adults' movement trajectories were assessed in three tasks: a lexical decision task (LDT), a pointing task that involved minimal cognitive processing, and a symbol task requiring a simple binary decision. Cognitive interference on motor performance was quantified by analyzing movement characteristics in the LDT and symbol task relative to the pointing task. Across age groups, movements in the LDT were less smooth, slower, and more strongly curved to the opposite response option, and these interference effects decreased steadily with age. Older children showed stronger interference effects than did adults, even though their reaction times were similar to adults' performance. No comparable effects were found in the symbol task, indicating that task characteristics such as response mapping and decision selection alone are not able to explain the developmental differences observed in the LDT. Our results indicate substantial overlap between cognitive processing and motor execution in the LDT in children that is not captured by computational models of visual word recognition and cognitive development.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Stability of Reflective-Impulsive Style in Coincidence-Anticipation Motor Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keller, Jean; Ripoll, Hubert

    2004-01-01

    The relationships between response latencies and accuracy on the matching familiar figures test (MFFT) and two gross motor tasks (batting or catching a ball) were studied in twenty-nine 9-year-old boys. Children were classified into four groups using a double dichotomy of response latencies and errors on the MFFT: reflective, impulsive,…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Performance of a motor task learned ON levodopa deteriorates when subsequently practiced OFF

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, E.D.; Horak, F.B.; Lasarev, M.R.; Nutt, J. G.

    2013-01-01

    Background Studies in animals and in people with Parkinson's Disease (PD) demonstrate complex effects of dopamine on learning motor tasks; its effect on retention of motor learning has received little attention. Recent animal studies demonstrate that practicing a task in the OFF state, when initially learned in the ON state, leads to progressive deterioration in performance. Methods We measured the acquisition and retention of 3 different motor tasks in the presence and absence of levodopa. Twenty individuals with Hoehn and Yahr Stage 1.5-3 PD practiced the tasks for two, 4-day weeks, half practicing ON levodopa the first week and OFF the second week. The other half practiced OFF levodopa both weeks. The tasks were: 1. alternate tapping of two keys, 2. moving the body toward two targets on a posturography device and 3. mirror drawing of a star. Results For the finger tapping and body movement tests, those who practiced ON the first week had a progressive decline in performance with practice during Week 2, while subjects OFF during Week 1 maintained or improved. In contrast, for the mirror task, subjects ON levodopa initially had much more difficulty completing the task compared to subjects who practiced OFF. Both groups improved with practice during the first week and had flat performance the second week. Conclusions These data suggest that performance of speed-accuracy tasks learned in the ON state may progressively worsen if practiced in the OFF state. In addition, performance, but not learning, of some tasks may be impeded by levodopa. PMID:24132873

  2. 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.

  3. Neural correlates of error prediction in a complex motor task

    PubMed Central

    Maurer, Lisa Katharina; Maurer, Heiko; Müller, Hermann

    2015-01-01

    The goal of the study was to quantify error prediction processes via neural correlates in the Electroencephalogram (EEG). Access to such a neural signal will allow to gain insights into functional and temporal aspects of error perception in the course of learning. We focused on the error negativity (Ne) or error-related negativity (ERN) as a candidate index for the prediction processes. We have used a virtual goal-oriented throwing task where participants used a lever to throw a virtual ball displayed on a computer monitor with the goal of hitting a virtual target as often as possible. After one day of practice with 400 trials, participants performed another 400 trials on a second day with EEG measurement. After error trials (i.e., when the ball missed the target), we found a sharp negative deflection in the EEG peaking 250 ms after ball release (mean amplitude: t = −2.5, df = 20, p = 0.02) and another broader negative deflection following the first, reaching from about 300 ms after release until unambiguous visual knowledge of results (KR; hitting or passing by the target; mean amplitude: t = −7.5, df = 20, p < 0.001). According to shape and timing of the two deflections, we assume that the first deflection represents a predictive Ne/ERN (prediction based on efferent commands and proprioceptive feedback) while the second deflection might have arisen from action monitoring. PMID:26300754

  4. 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…

  5. A functional tracking task to assess frontal plane motor control in post stroke gait.

    PubMed

    Reissman, Megan E; Dhaher, Yasin Y

    2015-07-16

    The ability to execute appropriate medio-lateral foot placements during gait is thought to require active frontal plane control and to be critical in maintaining upright posture during gait. The aggregate frontal plane metrics of step width and step width variability have been assessed for post-stroke populations, but only under normal walking conditions. However, in the case of stroke, limb specific differences in sensory-motor control are likely. Thus, an investigation of limb specific motor control characteristics under tracking task conditions is needed to appropriately characterize frontal plane sensory-motor control post-stroke. Chronic stroke subjects (n=15) and age matched control subjects (n=10) tracked static, bilateral foot placement targets at self-selected walking speeds and completed a free walking trial. Variability and error of tracking performance were analyzed for step width and foot placement. Stroke subjects demonstrated reduced ability to control step width variability and foot placement variability, compared to control subjects. Step width variability and affected limb foot placement variability were sensitive to task complexity, increasing significantly in response to a decrease in step width target size. These results show that stroke mediated changes in the sensory-motor integration processes are manifested as inter-limb differences in frontal plane motor variability during a gait tracking task, with an additional sensitivity to task complexity. Additionally, the proposed step width tracking paradigm presents a clinically reproducible motor control metric that can be used for diagnostic assessment or as a potential outcome for a gait training regimen. PMID:26037229

  6. 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’.

  7. 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. PMID:27159414

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Positron computed tomography studies of cerebral metabolic responses to complex motor tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Phelps, M.E.; Mazziotta, J.C.

    1984-01-01

    Human motor system organization was explored in 8 right-handed male subjects using /sup 18/F-fluorodeoxyglucose and positron computed tomography to measure cerebral glucose metabolism. Five subjects had triple studies (eyes closed) including: control (hold pen in right hand without moving), normal size writing (subject repeatedly writes name) and large (10-15 X normal) name writing. In these studies normal and large size writing had a similar distribution of metabolic responses when compared to control studies. Activations (percent change from control) were in the range of 12-20% and occurred in the striatum bilaterally > contralateral Rolandic cortex > contralateral thalamus. No significant activations were observed in the ipsilateral thalamus, Rolandic cortex or cerebellum (supplementary motor cortex was not examined). The magnitude of the metabolic response in the striatum was greater with the large versus normal sized writing. This differential response may be due to an increased number and topographic distribution of neurons responding with the same average activity between tasks or an increase in the functional activity of the same neuronal population between the two tasks (present spatial resolution inadequate to differentiate). When subjects (N=3) performed novel sequential finger movements, the maximal metabolic response was in the contralateral Rolandic cortex > striatum. Such studies provide a means of exploring human motor system organization, motor learning and provide a basis for examining patients with motor system disorders.

  12. Sensory-motor properties of past actions bias memory in a recognition task.

    PubMed

    Brouillet, Denis; Vagnot, Caroline; Milhau, Audrey; Brunel, Lionel; Briglia, Johan; Versace, Rémy; Rousset, Stéphane

    2015-07-01

    The aim of this study was to show that sensory-motor consequences of past actions form part of memory trace components cued by current experience. In a first task participants had to learn a list of words. Then in a guessing task they played against the computer. Finally, in a recognition task, they had to judge if the words were or were not present in the learning task. Words appeared either in the colour associated with success or failure in the guessing task, or in a non-informative colour. In the first experiment, results show that when the words to be judged were in the colour associated with success, participants answered faster and produced more "old" responses than when the words to be judged were in the colour associated with failure in the previous task. Moreover, when the words to be judged were in the colour associated with failure, participants were slower and produced less "old" responses than when the words were in a colour not informative of success or failure. The second experiment confirms that the results obtained in Experiment 1 were linked to the sensory-motor consequences of past actions associated with the colour and not to the colour itself.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. Oscillatory cortical activity during a motor task in a deafferented patient.

    PubMed

    Patino, Luis; Chakarov, Vihren; Schulte-Mönting, Jürgen; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kristeva, Rumyana

    2006-07-01

    Little is known about the influence of the afferent peripheral feedback on the sensorimotor cortex activation. To answer this open question we investigated the alpha and beta band task-related spectral power decreases (TRPow) in the deafferented patient G.L. and compared the results to those of six healthy subjects. The patient has been deafferented up to the nose for 24 years but her motor fibers are unaffected and she can perform complex motor tasks under visual control. We recorded EEG (58 scalp positions) as well as the exerted force during a visuomotor task. The subjects had to maintain in precision grip an isometric force at 15% of the maximal voluntary contraction. In the patient we found a significantly higher alpha band spectral power during rest and larger alpha TRPow decreases during the motor task when compared to the healthy subjects' data. In contrast, we did not observe any significant differences between patient and controls for the beta band TRPow. The results indicate an altered functional alpha band network state in the patient, probably due to the chronic deafferentation leading to a deep 'idling' state of the contralateral sensorimotor area.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The spinning task: a new protocol to easily assess motor coordination and resistance in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Blazina, Ana R; Vianna, Mônica R; Lara, Diogo R

    2013-12-01

    The increasing use of adult zebrafish in behavioral studies has created the need for new and improved protocols. Our investigation sought to evaluate the swimming behavior of zebrafish against a water current using the newly developed Spinning Task. Zebrafish were individually placed in a beaker containing a spinning magnetic stirrer and their latency to be swept into the whirlpool was recorded. We characterized that larger fish (>4 cm) and lower rpm decreased the swimming time in the Spinning Task. There was also a dose-related reduction in swimming after acute treatment with haloperidol, valproic acid, clonazepam, and ethanol, which alter coordination. Importantly, at doses that reduced swimming time in the Spinning Task, these drugs influenced absolute turn angle (ethanol increased and the other drugs decreased), but had no effect of distance travelled in a regular water tank. These results suggest that the Spinning Task is a useful protocol to add information to the assessment of zebrafish motor behavior. PMID:24044654

  19. A telescopic inverted-pendulum model of the musculo-skeletal system and its use for the analysis of the sit-to-stand motor task.

    PubMed

    Papa, E; Cappozzo, A

    1999-11-01

    For field applicability of biomechanical methodologies aiming at assessing motor ability in disabled, or at risk of disablement (e.g. elderly), subjects, measurements must be carried out using a least perceivable to the subject and essential experimental apparatus. Since data thus obtained do not necessarily lend themselves to straightforward interpretation, they should be fed to a model of the portion of the musculo-skeletal system involved that already embodies the invariant aspects of both the modelled system and the motor task. Through such a minimum measured-input model, richer, physiology-related, and thus easier to interpret, information may be expected. In this framework, the present study investigated the sit-to-stand motor task using information obtained only from a force plate located under seat and subject's feet, a seat uniaxial load-cell and basic anthropometric parameters. Data were collected in a sample of 12 able-bodied subjects while executing the motor task at different speeds. The musculo-skeletal system was modelled as a telescopic inverted pendulum (TIP) that could vary its length (shortening or elongation) by effect of a force actuator and its orientation in space by effect of two couple actuators that were looked upon as muscle equivalent effectors. The TIP model output consisted in the kinematics and dynamics of these actuators. It allowed the identification of four functional phases in which the seat-to-stand motor task could be divided, and a detailed description of the relevant mechanics in terms of balance control and centre of mass elevation. Motor strategy modifications associated with speed variation could also be identified. For a global evaluation of the motor act it showed to be no less informative than more demanding multi-segment models. Although it is true that specific musculo-articular functions can only be inferred, the more compact information yielded by the TIP model is expected to facilitate subject and/or disability

  20. Task-irrelevant alpha component analysis in motor imagery based brain computer interface.

    PubMed

    Lou, Bin; Hong, Bo; Gao, Shangkai

    2008-01-01

    In motor imagery based BCI, the alpha rhythm shares the same frequency band with sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), and does not correlate with mental task, which contaminates the SMR recording. Independent component analysis (ICA) was applied to decompose original EEG signal into source components, and a comprehensive method was proposed to discriminate those source components by combining temporal, frequency, spatial, and class label information. Task-irrelevant alpha components were sorted out and their projections were reduced by proper bipolar electrode placement for improving the BCI performance.

  1. Emergence of motor synergy in vertical reaching task via tacit learning.

    PubMed

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2013-01-01

    The dynamics of multijoint limbs often causes complex dynamic interaction torques which are the inertial effect of other joints motion. It is known that Cerebellum takes important role in a motor learning by developing the internal model. In this paper, we propose a novel computational control paradigm in vertical reaching task which involves the management of interaction torques and gravitational effect. The obtained results demonstrate that the proposed method is valid for acquiring motor synergy in the system with actuation redundancy and resulted in the energy efficient solutions. It is highlighted that the tacit learning in vertical reaching task can bring computational adaptability and optimality with model-free and cost-function-free approach differently from previous studies.

  2. Second-order motor planning in children: insights from a cup-manipulation-task.

    PubMed

    Wunsch, Kathrin; Weiss, Daniel J; Schack, Thomas; Weigelt, Matthias

    2015-07-01

    The present study examined the development of anticipatory motor planning in an object manipulation task that has been used to successfully demonstrate motor planning in non-human primates (Weiss et al. in Psychol Sci 18:1063-1068, 2007). Seventy-five participants from four different age groups participated in a cup-manipulation task. One group was preschool children (average age of 5.1 years), two groups were primary school children (7.7 and 9.8 years old respectively) and the final group was comprised of adults. The experimental task entailed reaching for a plastic cup that was vertically suspended in an apparatus in either upright or inverted orientation, removing the cup by its stem and then retrieving a small toy from the inside of the cup. When the cup was inverted in the apparatus, evidence for anticipatory motor planning could be achieved by initially gripping the stem using an inverted (thumb-down) grip posture. We found that when the cup was in upright orientation, all participants reached for the cup using an upright grip (i.e., thumb-up posture). However, when the cup was inverted in the apparatus, only adults consistently used an inverted grasping posture, though the percentage of inverted grips among participants did increase with age. These results suggest a protracted development for anticipatory motor planning abilities in children. Surprisingly, the performance of adults on this task more closely resembles the performance of several nonhuman primate species as opposed to children even at approximately 10 years of age. We discuss how morphological constraints on flexibility may help account for these findings.

  3. Application of Hilbert-Huang transform for the study of motor imagery tasks.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Xu, Guizhi; Wang, Jiang; Yang, Shuo; Yan, Weili

    2008-01-01

    A motor based Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) translates the subject's motor intention into a control signal by means of the method which extracts characteristic feature from EEG recorded from the scalp. In this paper, the EEG signal recorded during three motor imagery tasks, which were imagination of left hand, right hand and foot movements, was investigated. A novel method named Hilbert-Huang transform (HHT) is introduced to extract the feature from signal. Firstly, raw signal is decomposed using Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD). And then, several Intrinsic Mode Functions (IMF) are gained. For further study, the IMFs whose main frequency is higher than 5 Hz are selected. Secondly, based on the IMFs selected above, Hilbert spectrum is calculated. In each motor imagery task, local instantaneous energies, within specific frequency band of electrode C3 and C4, are selected as the features. A three-layer BP Neural Network classifier is structured for pattern classification. The classification results show that HHT can be used in EEG-based BCI research as a method to analysis non-linear and non-stationary signal.

  4. Two distinct layer-specific dynamics of cortical ensembles during learning of a motor task.

    PubMed

    Masamizu, Yoshito; Tanaka, Yasuhiro R; Tanaka, Yasuyo H; Hira, Riichiro; Ohkubo, Fuki; Kitamura, Kazuo; Isomura, Yoshikazu; Okada, Takashi; Matsuzaki, Masanori

    2014-07-01

    The primary motor cortex (M1) possesses two intermediate layers upstream of the motor-output layer: layer 2/3 (L2/3) and layer 5a (L5a). Although repetitive training often improves motor performance and movement coding by M1 neuronal ensembles, it is unclear how neuronal activities in L2/3 and L5a are reorganized during motor task learning. We conducted two-photon calcium imaging in mouse M1 during 14 training sessions of a self-initiated lever-pull task. In L2/3, the accuracy of neuronal ensemble prediction of lever trajectory remained unchanged globally, with a subset of individual neurons retaining high prediction accuracy throughout the training period. However, in L5a, the ensemble prediction accuracy steadily improved, and one-third of neurons, including subcortical projection neurons, evolved to contribute substantially to ensemble prediction in the late stage of learning. The L2/3 network may represent coordination of signals from other areas throughout learning, whereas L5a may participate in the evolving network representing well-learned movements.

  5. 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. PMID:26253223

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:25828580

  8. Impaired motor memory for a pursuit rotor task following Stage 2 sleep loss in college students.

    PubMed

    Smith; MacNeill

    1994-12-01

    It has recently been reported that selective REM sleep deprivation (REMD) in college students results in memory impairment of the application of a set of rules in a logic task, but not recall of a paired associate task. The present experiments were designed to examine the effects of Total Sleep Deprivation (TSD) and (REMD) following acquisition of a pure motor task, the pursuit rotor. In Experiment 1, subjects (N = 90) were exposed to TSD for one of several nights following training. Results showed that TSD on the same night as training resulted in poorer performance on retest one week later. In Experiment 2, subjects (N = 42) were exposed to various kinds of sleep deprivation on the night of task acquisition. One group was subjected to REMD. Other groups included a non-REM awakening control group (NREMA), a TSD group, a normally rested Control group and a group allowed the first 4 h of sleep in the night before being subjected to TSD (LH - TSD) for the rest of the night. Results showed the REMD and Control groups to have excellent memory for this task while the TSD and LH - TSD subjects had significantly poorer memory for the task. The NREMA group showed a slight, but not significant deficit. It was concluded that Stage 2 sleep, rather than REM sleep was the important stage of sleep for efficient memory processing of the pursuit rotor task. PMID:10607127

  9. Motor planning in different grasping tasks by capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.).

    PubMed

    Sabbatini, Gloria; Meglio, Giusy; Truppa, Valentina

    2016-10-01

    Studies on motor planning and action selection in object use reveal that what we choose to do in the present moment depends on our next planned action. In particular, many studies have shown that adult humans initially adopt uncomfortable hand postures to accommodate later task demands (i.e., the end-state comfort effect). Recent studies on action planning in different non-human primates species have provided contrasting results. Here, we tested whether capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.), natural tool users, would show planning abilities in two tasks with varying complexity: (i) an object-retrieval task involving self-directed actions (Experiment 1) and (ii) a tool-using task involving actions directed toward an external target (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, six of 10 monkeys preferentially used a radial grip (i.e., with the thumb-side oriented towards the baited end) to grasp a horizontal dowel with either the left- or right-end baited and bring it to their mouth. In Experiment 2, all six tested capuchins preferentially used a radial grip (i.e., with the thumb-side oriented towards the center of the dowel) to grasp a dowel that was positioned horizontally at different orientations and to dislodge an out-of-reach food reward. Thus, we found that the capuchins showed second-order planning abilities in both tasks, but performance differences emerged in relation to hand preference and learning across sessions. Our findings support the idea that second-order motor planning occurred in an early stage of the primate lineage. Factors affecting the ability of nonhuman primates to estimate motor costs in action selection are discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. Motor planning in different grasping tasks by capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.).

    PubMed

    Sabbatini, Gloria; Meglio, Giusy; Truppa, Valentina

    2016-10-01

    Studies on motor planning and action selection in object use reveal that what we choose to do in the present moment depends on our next planned action. In particular, many studies have shown that adult humans initially adopt uncomfortable hand postures to accommodate later task demands (i.e., the end-state comfort effect). Recent studies on action planning in different non-human primates species have provided contrasting results. Here, we tested whether capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.), natural tool users, would show planning abilities in two tasks with varying complexity: (i) an object-retrieval task involving self-directed actions (Experiment 1) and (ii) a tool-using task involving actions directed toward an external target (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, six of 10 monkeys preferentially used a radial grip (i.e., with the thumb-side oriented towards the baited end) to grasp a horizontal dowel with either the left- or right-end baited and bring it to their mouth. In Experiment 2, all six tested capuchins preferentially used a radial grip (i.e., with the thumb-side oriented towards the center of the dowel) to grasp a dowel that was positioned horizontally at different orientations and to dislodge an out-of-reach food reward. Thus, we found that the capuchins showed second-order planning abilities in both tasks, but performance differences emerged in relation to hand preference and learning across sessions. Our findings support the idea that second-order motor planning occurred in an early stage of the primate lineage. Factors affecting the ability of nonhuman primates to estimate motor costs in action selection are discussed. PMID:27283976

  12. Distributed task-specific processing of somatosensory feedback for voluntary motor control

    PubMed Central

    Omrani, Mohsen; Murnaghan, Chantelle D; Pruszynski, J Andrew; Scott, Stephen H

    2016-01-01

    Corrective responses to limb disturbances are surprisingly complex, but the neural basis of these goal-directed responses is poorly understood. Here we show that somatosensory feedback is transmitted to many sensory and motor cortical regions within 25 ms of a mechanical disturbance applied to the monkey’s arm. When limb feedback was salient to an ongoing motor action (task engagement), neurons in parietal area 5 immediately (~25 ms) increased their response to limb disturbances, whereas neurons in other regions did not alter their response until 15 to 40 ms later. In contrast, initiation of a motor action elicited by a limb disturbance (target selection) altered neural responses in primary motor cortex ~65 ms after the limb disturbance, and then in dorsal premotor cortex, with no effect in parietal regions until 150 ms post-perturbation. Our findings highlight broad parietofrontal circuits that provide the neural substrate for goal-directed corrections, an essential aspect of highly skilled motor behaviors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13141.001 PMID:27077949

  13. Event-related brain potentials during the visuomotor mental rotation task: The contingent negative variation scales to angle of rotation.

    PubMed

    Heath, M; Hassall, C D; MacLean, S; Krigolson, O E

    2015-12-17

    Perceptual judgments about the angular disparity of a character from its standard upright (i.e., mental rotation task) result in a concurrent increase in reaction time (RT) and modulation of the amplitude of the P300 event-related brain potential (ERP). It has therefore been proposed that the P300 represents the neural processes associated with a visual rotation. In turn, the visuomotor mental rotation (VMR) task requires reaching to a location that deviates from a target by a predetermined angle. Although the VMR task exhibits a linear increase in RT with increasing oblique angles of rotation, work has not examined whether the task is supported via a visual rotation analogous to its mental rotation task counterpart. This represents a notable issue because seminal work involving non-human primates has ascribed VMR performance to the motor-related rotation of directionally tuned neurons in the primary motor cortex. Here we examined the concurrent behavioral and ERP characteristics of a standard reaching task and VMR tasks of 35°, 70°, and 105° of rotation. Results showed that the P300 amplitude was larger for the standard compared to each VMR task--an effect independent of the angle of rotation. In turn, the amplitude of the contingent negative variation (CNV)--an ERP related to cognitive and visuomotor integration for movement preparation--was systematically modulated with angle of rotation. Thus, we propose that the CNV represents an ERP correlate related to the cognitive and/or visuomotor transformation demands of increasing the angular separation between a stimulus and a movement goal.

  14. Task-dependent activity of motor unit populations in feline ankle extensor muscles.

    PubMed

    Hodson-Tole, Emma F; Pantall, Annette; Maas, Huub; Farrell, Brad; Gregor, Robert J; Prilutsky, Boris I

    2012-11-01

    Understanding the functional significance of the morphological diversity of mammalian skeletal muscles is limited by technical difficulties of estimating the contribution of motor units with different properties to unconstrained motor behaviours. Recently developed wavelet and principal components analysis of intramuscular myoelectric signals has linked signals with lower and higher frequency contents to the use of slower and faster motor unit populations. In this study we estimated the relative contributions of lower and higher frequency signals of cat ankle extensors (soleus, medial and lateral gastrocnemii, plantaris) during level, downslope and upslope walking and the paw-shake response. This was done using the first two myoelectric signal principal components (PCI, PCII), explaining over 90% of the signal, and an angle θ, a function of PCI/PCII, indicating the relative contribution of slower and faster motor unit populations. Mean myoelectric frequencies in all walking conditions were lowest for slow soleus (234 Hz) and highest for fast gastrocnemii (307 and 330 Hz) muscles. Motor unit populations within and across the studied muscles that demonstrated lower myoelectric frequency (suggesting slower populations) were recruited during tasks and movement phases with lower mechanical demands on the ankle extensors--during downslope and level walking and in early walking stance and paw-shake phases. With increasing mechanical demands (upslope walking, mid-phase of paw-shake cycles), motor unit populations generating higher frequency signals (suggesting faster populations) contributed progressively more. We conclude that the myoelectric frequency contents within and between feline ankle extensors vary across studied motor behaviours, with patterns that are generally consistent with muscle fibre-type composition.

  15. 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

  16. Changing students' attitudes towards risky motor tasks: an application of the IZOF model.

    PubMed

    Robazza, Claudio; Bortoli, Laura

    2005-10-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention programme in the physical education setting designed to change attitudes and emotions triggered by potentially risky motor tasks. The individual zones of optimal functioning (IZOF) model was used as a theoretical framework for the study. Italian male and female high school students (N = 84) took part in a 12 lesson intervention and in test-retest sessions. The assessment was conducted using the Motor Activity Anxiety Test to measure the students' approach-avoidance attitudes in the face of physical education tasks purported to engender strong emotional reactions. An idiosyncratic emotional profile was also implemented using a list of pleasant/unpleasant emotional adjectives. Two experimental groups were involved in the learning and performing of several potentially risky, highly emotion-arousing tasks, while two control groups were engaged in low-risk team sports. According to the hypothesis of the study, the programme was effective in decreasing the students' avoidance tendencies towards thrilling tasks and in increasing optimal-pleasant emotions. Our findings also demonstrated the feasibility and utility of applying the IZOF model to the context of physical education. PMID:16194984

  17. 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

  18. Motor imagery in Asperger syndrome: testing action simulation by the hand laterality task.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Perceptual effect on motor learning in the serial reaction-time task.

    PubMed

    Kemény, Ferenc; Lukács, Agnes

    2011-01-01

    Although the Serial Reaction-Time Task has been an effective tool in studying procedural learning, there is still a debate as to whether learning in the task is effector-based, stimulus-based, or response-based. In this article, the authors contribute to this debate by contrasting response- and stimulus-based learning by manipulating them selectively and simultaneously. Results show that (a) participants learned response sequences in the absence of stimulus-specific perceptual sequence information but (b) not stimulus sequences without corresponding response information. In a third condition, response sequence and stimulus frequency information were in conflict, and each effect decreased learning in the other domain. Overall, our findings show that learning in these tasks is primarily motor-based, but it is also constrained by relatively salient perceptual information. Together with earlier findings in the literature, the findings also suggest a task and stimulus-arrangement-specific interaction between motor and perceptual learning, where relevance and salience of the specific information plays a crucial role.

  20. The relation of aerobic fitness to neuroelectric indices of cognitive and motor task preparation.

    PubMed

    Kamijo, Keita; O'Leary, Kevin C; Pontifex, Matthew B; Themanson, Jason R; Hillman, Charles H

    2010-09-01

    The relation of aerobic fitness to task preparation was examined in a sample of young adults separated into higher- and lower-fit groups according to their maximal oxygen consumption. Participants performed a modified Sternberg working memory task under speed and accuracy instructions while measures of task performance and contingent negative variation (CNV) were collected. Analyses revealed no significant fitness differences between groups on task performance measures. However, frontal CNV amplitude was significantly larger for lower-fit participants compared to higher-fit participants during the speed instructions, an effect not found for the accuracy instructions. These results suggest that lower-fit individuals may rely to a greater extent on cognitive control processes to respond under speeded conditions, whereas higher-fit individuals may maintain a more constant level of control irrespective of the task instructions.

  1. 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)

  2. Effects of Perceptual Variations on Number Comparison Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kingma, Johannes; Loth, Franciska L.

    1984-01-01

    Investigates the performance of 502 children ranging in age from four years to six years, ten months, on two-choice and multiple-choice number comparison tasks, and explores the effects of perceptual manipulations of elements in the multiple-choice tasks. (RH)

  3. 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. PMID:25838843

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

    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.

  7. 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…

  8. Testing the embodied account of object naming: a concurrent motor task affects naming artifacts and animals.

    PubMed

    Matheson, Heath E; White, Nicole; McMullen, Patricia A

    2014-01-01

    Embodied theories of object representation propose that the same neural networks are involved in encoding and retrieving object knowledge. In the present study, we investigated whether motor programs play a causal role in the retrieval of object names. Participants performed an object-naming task while squeezing a sponge with either their right or left hand. The objects were artifacts (e.g. hammer) or animals (e.g. giraffe) and were presented in an orientation that favored a grasp or not. We hypothesized that, if activation of motor programs is necessary to retrieve object knowledge, then concurrent motor activity would interfere with naming manipulable artifacts but not non-manipulable animals. In Experiment 1, we observed naming interference for all objects oriented towards the occupied hand. In Experiment 2, we presented the objects in more 'canonical orientations'. Participants named all objects more quickly when they were oriented towards the occupied hand. Together, these interference/facilitation effects suggest that concurrent motor activity affects naming for both categories. These results also suggest that picture-plane orientation interacts with an attentional bias that is elicited by the objects and their relationship to the occupied hand. These results may be more parsimoniously accounted for by a domain-general attentional effect, constraining the embodied theory of object representations. We suggest that researchers should scrutinize attentional accounts of other embodied cognitive effects.

  9. Disentangling perceptual from motor implicit sequence learning with a serial color-matching task.

    PubMed

    Gheysen, Freja; Gevers, Wim; De Schutter, Erik; Van Waelvelde, Hilde; Fias, Wim

    2009-08-01

    This paper contributes to the domain of implicit sequence learning by presenting a new version of the serial reaction time (SRT) task that allows unambiguously separating perceptual from motor learning. Participants matched the colors of three small squares with the color of a subsequently presented large target square. An identical sequential structure was tied to the colors of the target square (perceptual version, Experiment 1) or to the manual responses (motor version, Experiment 2). Short blocks of sequenced and randomized trials alternated and hence provided a continuous monitoring of the learning process. Reaction time measurements demonstrated clear evidence of independently learning perceptual and motor serial information, though revealed different time courses between both learning processes. No explicit awareness of the serial structure was needed for either of the two types of learning to occur. The paradigm introduced in this paper evidenced that perceptual learning can occur with SRT measurements and opens important perspectives for future imaging studies to answer the ongoing question, which brain areas are involved in the implicit learning of modality specific (motor vs. perceptual) or general serial order.

  10. Testing the embodied account of object naming: a concurrent motor task affects naming artifacts and animals.

    PubMed

    Matheson, Heath E; White, Nicole; McMullen, Patricia A

    2014-01-01

    Embodied theories of object representation propose that the same neural networks are involved in encoding and retrieving object knowledge. In the present study, we investigated whether motor programs play a causal role in the retrieval of object names. Participants performed an object-naming task while squeezing a sponge with either their right or left hand. The objects were artifacts (e.g. hammer) or animals (e.g. giraffe) and were presented in an orientation that favored a grasp or not. We hypothesized that, if activation of motor programs is necessary to retrieve object knowledge, then concurrent motor activity would interfere with naming manipulable artifacts but not non-manipulable animals. In Experiment 1, we observed naming interference for all objects oriented towards the occupied hand. In Experiment 2, we presented the objects in more 'canonical orientations'. Participants named all objects more quickly when they were oriented towards the occupied hand. Together, these interference/facilitation effects suggest that concurrent motor activity affects naming for both categories. These results also suggest that picture-plane orientation interacts with an attentional bias that is elicited by the objects and their relationship to the occupied hand. These results may be more parsimoniously accounted for by a domain-general attentional effect, constraining the embodied theory of object representations. We suggest that researchers should scrutinize attentional accounts of other embodied cognitive effects. PMID:24291119

  11. The impact of diurnal sleep on the consolidation of a complex gross motor adaptation task

    PubMed Central

    Hoedlmoser, Kerstin; Birklbauer, Juergen; Schabus, Manuel; Eibenberger, Patrick; Rigler, Sandra; Mueller, Erich

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal sleep effects on consolidation of a complex, ecological valid gross motor adaptation task were examined using a bicycle with an inverse steering device. We tested 24 male subjects aged between 20 and 29 years using a between-subjects design. Participants were trained to adapt to the inverse steering bicycle during 45 min. Performance was tested before (TEST1) and after (TEST2) training, as well as after a 2 h retention interval (TEST3). During retention, participants either slept or remained awake. To assess gross motor performance, subjects had to ride the inverse steering bicycle 3 × 30 m straight-line and 3 × 30 m through a slalom. Beyond riding time, we sophisticatedly measured performance accuracy (standard deviation of steering angle) in both conditions using a rotatory potentiometer. A significant decrease of accuracy during straight-line riding after nap and wakefulness was shown. Accuracy during slalom riding remained stable after wakefulness but was reduced after sleep. We found that the duration of rapid eye movement sleep as well as sleep spindle activity are negatively related with gross motor performance changes over sleep. Together these findings suggest that the consolidation of adaptation to a new steering device does not benefit from a 2 h midday nap. We speculate that in case of strongly overlearned motor patterns such as normal cycling, diurnal sleep spindles and rapid eye movement sleep might even help to protect everyday needed skills, and to rapidly forget newly acquired, interfering and irrelevant material. PMID:25256866

  12. Motor learning in children with spina bifida: intact learning and performance on a ballistic task.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Maureen; Jewell, Derryn; Edelstein, Kim; Brandt, Michael E; Hetherington, Ross; Blaser, Susan E; Fletcher, Jack M

    2006-09-01

    Learning and performance on a ballistic task were investigated in children with spina bifida meningomyelocele (SBM), with either upper level spinal lesions (n = 21) or lower level spinal lesions (n = 81), and in typically developing controls (n = 35). Participants completed three phases (20 trials each) of an elbow goniometer task that required a ballistic arm movement to move a cursor to one of two target positions on a screen, including (1) an initial learning phase, (2) an adaptation phase with a gain change such that recalibration of the ballistic arm movement was required, and (3) a learning reactivation phase under the original gain condition. Initial error rate, asymptotic error rate, and learning rate did not differ significantly between the SBM and control groups. Relative to controls, the SBM group had reduced volumes in the cerebellar hemispheres and pericallosal gray matter (the region including the basal ganglia), although only the pericallosal gray matter was significantly correlated with motor adaptation. Congenital cerebellar dysmorphology is associated with preserved motor skill learning on voluntary, nonreflexive tasks in children with SBM, in whom the relative roles of the cerebellum and basal ganglia may differ from those in the adult brain.

  13. Effect of practice on performance of a skilled motor task in patients with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed Central

    Soliveri, P; Brown, R G; Jahanshahi, M; Marsden, C D

    1992-01-01

    Parkinson's disease leads to a breakdown in the execution of highly practised, skilled movements such as walking and handwriting. The improved execution of skilled movements with practice can be understood as a process of schema learning, the determining of the relevant parameters of the specific movement. The ability of patients with Parkinson's disease and age matched normal control subjects to improve their performance, with practice, on a skilled motor task, doing up buttons, was assessed. The task was assessed on its own and with simultaneous foot tapping. Both groups showed an initial improvement in the task on its own and deterioration in performance when buttoning with foot tapping. The amount of interference, however, decreased with practice, particularly in the patients with a 2 Hz tapping rate. The results suggest that patients with Parkinson's disease are capable of schema learning but require more practice than control subjects to achieve comparable levels of performance. This may be a reflection of the fundamental motor dysfunction of the disease rather than a specific learning deficit. PMID:1619411

  14. Exposure to Repetitive Tasks Induces Motor Changes Related to Skill Acquisition and Inflammation in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kietrys, David M.; Barr, Ann E; Barbe, Mary F

    2013-01-01

    This study elucidates exposure-response relationships between repetitive tasks, inflammation and motor changes with work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Using a rat model of reaching and handle-pulling, we examined effects of performing a high repetition low force (HRLF), low repetition high force (LRHF), or high repetition high force (HRHF) task (2 h/day, 3 days/wk, 12 wks) on reach rate and force, percent success, duration of participation and grip strength. Reach rate and reach force improved with HRLF, and percent success increased in all groups in week 9, and HRLF and HRHF in week 12, indicative of skill acquisition. Duration and grip strength showed force-dependent declines with task performance. A subset of HRHF rats received ibuprofen in weeks 5–12. Ibuprofen significantly improved reach rate, reach force and duration in treated rats, indicative of an inflammatory influence on reach performance. Ibuprofen improved percent successful reaches in week 9, although this increase was not sustained. However, declines in grip strength, a nocifensive behavior, were not prevented by ibuprofen. Examination of cervical spinal cords of untreated and ibuprofen treated HRHF rats showed increased IL-1beta, an inflammatory cytokine, in neurons. These findings suggest that only a preventive intervention could have addressed all motor declines. PMID:22087754

  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. Changes in predictive motor control in drop-jumps based on uncertainties in task execution.

    PubMed

    Leukel, Christian; Taube, Wolfgang; Lorch, Michael; Gollhofer, Albert

    2012-02-01

    Drop-jumps are controlled by predictive and reactive motor strategies which differ with respect to the utilization of sensory feedback. With reaction, sensory feedback is integrated while performing the task. With prediction, sensory information may be used prior to movement onset. Certainty about upcoming events is important for prediction. The present study aimed at investigating how uncertainties in the task execution affect predictive motor control in drop-jumps. Ten healthy subjects (22±1 years, M±SD) participated. The subjects performed either (i) drop-jumps by knowing that they might had to switch to a landing movement upon an auditory cue, which was sometimes elicited prior to touch-down (uncertainty). In (ii), subjects performed drop-jumps by knowing that there would be no auditory cue and consequently no switch of the movement (certainty). The m. soleus EMG prior to touch-down was higher when subjects knew there would be no auditory cue compared to when subjects performed the same task but switching from drop-jump to landing was possible (uncertainty). The EMG was reversed in the late concentric phase, meaning that it was higher in the high uncertainty task. The results of the present study showed that the muscular activity was predictively adjusted according to uncertainties in task execution. It is argued that tendomuscular stiffness was the variable responsible for the adjustment of muscular activity. The required tendomuscular stiffness was higher in drop-jumps than in landings. Consequently, when it was not certain whether to jump or to land, muscular activity and therefore tendomuscular stiffness was reduced. PMID:21757248

  17. Study Motor Skill Learning by Single-pellet Reaching Tasks in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chia-Chien; Gilmore, Anthony; Zuo, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Reaching for and retrieving objects require precise and coordinated motor movements in the forelimb. When mice are repeatedly trained to grasp and retrieve food rewards positioned at a specific location, their motor performance (defined as accuracy and speed) improves progressively over time, and plateaus after persistent training. Once such reaching skill is mastered, its further maintenance does not require constant practice. Here we introduce a single-pellet reaching task to study the acquisition and maintenance of skilled forelimb movements in mice. In this video, we first describe the behaviors of mice that are commonly encountered in this learning and memory paradigm, and then discuss how to categorize these behaviors and quantify the observed results. Combined with mouse genetics, this paradigm can be utilized as a behavioral platform to explore the anatomical underpinnings, physiological properties, and molecular mechanisms of learning and memory. PMID:24637358

  18. 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

  19. Motor learning of cue-dependent pull-force changes during an isometric precision grip task.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Barbara C; Meindl, Tobias; Timmann, Dagmar; Kolb, Florian P; Kutz, Dieter F

    2015-02-01

    The "raspberry task" represents a precision grip task that requires continuous adjustment of grip and pull forces. During this task subjects grip a specialized grip rod and have to increase the pull force linearly while the rod is locked. The aim of this study was to determine whether an associated, initially neutral cue is able to evoke pull-force changes in the raspberry task. A standard delay paradigm was used to study cued pull-force changes during an ongoing movement resulting in unloading. Pull force and EMG activity of hand and arm muscles were recorded from 13 healthy, young subjects. The cue was associated with a complex change in motor behavior. In this task, cued force changes take place more rapidly than in protective reflex systems (in median after the second presentation of the cueing stimulus). A cued force change was detectable in two-thirds of paired trials. Although the force change is produced by a decrease of the EMG activity in several grip- and pull-force-producing muscles, the most significant effect in the majority of the subjects was an increase of the activity of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle which antagonises corresponding pull-force-producing muscles. Cued force changes require adequately and precisely controlled activation of the muscle groups involved in the movement.

  20. Extracting motor synergies from random movements for low-dimensional task-space control of musculoskeletal robots.

    PubMed

    Fu, Kin Chung Denny; Dalla Libera, Fabio; Ishiguro, Hiroshi

    2015-10-08

    In the field of human motor control, the motor synergy hypothesis explains how humans simplify body control dimensionality by coordinating groups of muscles, called motor synergies, instead of controlling muscles independently. In most applications of motor synergies to low-dimensional control in robotics, motor synergies are extracted from given optimal control signals. In this paper, we address the problems of how to extract motor synergies without optimal data given, and how to apply motor synergies to achieve low-dimensional task-space tracking control of a human-like robotic arm actuated by redundant muscles, without prior knowledge of the robot. We propose to extract motor synergies from a subset of randomly generated reaching-like movement data. The essence is to first approximate the corresponding optimal control signals, using estimations of the robot's forward dynamics, and to extract the motor synergies subsequently. In order to avoid modeling difficulties, a learning-based control approach is adopted such that control is accomplished via estimations of the robot's inverse dynamics. We present a kernel-based regression formulation to estimate the forward and the inverse dynamics, and a sliding controller in order to cope with estimation error. Numerical evaluations show that the proposed method enables extraction of motor synergies for low-dimensional task-space control.

  1. Extracting motor synergies from random movements for low-dimensional task-space control of musculoskeletal robots.

    PubMed

    Fu, Kin Chung Denny; Dalla Libera, Fabio; Ishiguro, Hiroshi

    2015-10-01

    In the field of human motor control, the motor synergy hypothesis explains how humans simplify body control dimensionality by coordinating groups of muscles, called motor synergies, instead of controlling muscles independently. In most applications of motor synergies to low-dimensional control in robotics, motor synergies are extracted from given optimal control signals. In this paper, we address the problems of how to extract motor synergies without optimal data given, and how to apply motor synergies to achieve low-dimensional task-space tracking control of a human-like robotic arm actuated by redundant muscles, without prior knowledge of the robot. We propose to extract motor synergies from a subset of randomly generated reaching-like movement data. The essence is to first approximate the corresponding optimal control signals, using estimations of the robot's forward dynamics, and to extract the motor synergies subsequently. In order to avoid modeling difficulties, a learning-based control approach is adopted such that control is accomplished via estimations of the robot's inverse dynamics. We present a kernel-based regression formulation to estimate the forward and the inverse dynamics, and a sliding controller in order to cope with estimation error. Numerical evaluations show that the proposed method enables extraction of motor synergies for low-dimensional task-space control. PMID:26448530

  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. Predicting hand orientation in reach-to-grasp tasks using neural activities from primary motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Ma, Xuan; Huang, Hailong; He, Jiping

    2014-01-01

    Hand orientation is an important control parameter during reach-to-grasp task. In this paper, we presented a study for predicting hand orientation of non-human primate by decoding neural activities from primary motor cortex (M1). A non-human primate subject was guided to do reaching and grasping tasks meanwhile neural activities were acquired by chronically implanted microelectrode arrays. A Support Vector Machines (SVMs) classifier has been trained for predicting three different hand orientations using these M1 neural activities. Different number of neurons were selected and analyzed; the classifying accuracy was 94.1% with 2 neurons and was 100% with 8 neurons. Data from highly event related neuron units contribute a lot to the accuracy of hand orientation prediction. These results indicate that three different hand orientations can be predicted accurately and effectively before the actual movements occurring with a small number of related neurons in M1.

  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. 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…

  6. Effects of uncontrollability and failure on the development of learned helplessness in perceptual-motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Gernigon, C; Fleurance, P; Reine, B

    2000-03-01

    The aim of this study was to distinguish between the roles of uncontrollability and failure on learned helplessness in a perceptual-motor task. Forty-eight junior high school students were randomly assigned in a 2 x 2 (Controllability: Contingent vs. Yoked Noncontingent Feedback x Type of Outcome: Success vs. Failure) factorial design to complete a gun-shooting task on a moving target using a computer screen. Twelve other participants (control group) simply read a passage. After filling out causal attribution and self-efficacy expectations questionnaires, all participants carried out another gun-shooting task (test task). Results showed that contingency led to higher performances than noncontingency. Success conditions elicited higher self-efficacy expectations than failure conditions. Failure entailed less persistence than success did for participants who had been assigned to the contingency condition. Internalization of failure was negatively correlated with persistence. Comparisons with the control group showed that expectations and performance deficits of learned helplessness were provoked by failure in noncontingent situations; persistence deficits were due to failure in contingent situations. These results reveal that both uncontrollability and failure can be responsible for different forms of learned helplessness. PMID:10763520

  7. Sonification and haptic feedback in addition to visual feedback enhances complex motor task learning.

    PubMed

    Sigrist, Roland; Rauter, Georg; Marchal-Crespo, Laura; Riener, Robert; Wolf, Peter

    2015-03-01

    Concurrent augmented feedback has been shown to be less effective for learning simple motor tasks than for complex tasks. However, as mostly artificial tasks have been investigated, transfer of results to tasks in sports and rehabilitation remains unknown. Therefore, in this study, the effect of different concurrent feedback was evaluated in trunk-arm rowing. It was then investigated whether multimodal audiovisual and visuohaptic feedback are more effective for learning than visual feedback only. Naïve subjects (N = 24) trained in three groups on a highly realistic virtual reality-based rowing simulator. In the visual feedback group, the subject's oar was superimposed to the target oar, which continuously became more transparent when the deviation between the oars decreased. Moreover, a trace of the subject's trajectory emerged if deviations exceeded a threshold. The audiovisual feedback group trained with oar movement sonification in addition to visual feedback to facilitate learning of the velocity profile. In the visuohaptic group, the oar movement was inhibited by path deviation-dependent braking forces to enhance learning of spatial aspects. All groups significantly decreased the spatial error (tendency in visual group) and velocity error from baseline to the retention tests. Audiovisual feedback fostered learning of the velocity profile significantly more than visuohaptic feedback. The study revealed that well-designed concurrent feedback fosters complex task learning, especially if the advantages of different modalities are exploited. Further studies should analyze the impact of within-feedback design parameters and the transferability of the results to other tasks in sports and rehabilitation.

  8. Effects of reversible inactivation by cooling of the primate face motor cortex on the performance of a trained tongue-protrusion task and a trained biting task.

    PubMed

    Murray, G M; Lin, L D; Moustafa, E M; Sessle, B J

    1991-03-01

    1. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) and surface stimulation studies of primate face motor cortex have shown an extensive representation within face motor cortex devoted to movements of the tongue and face; only a very small representation for jaw-closing movements has ever been demonstrated. These data suggest that face motor cortex plays a critical role in the generation of tongue and facial movements but is less important in the generation of jaw-closing movements. Our aim was to determine whether disruption of primate face motor cortical function would indeed interfere with the generation of tongue movements but would not interfere with the generation of jaw-closing movements. 2. The face motor cortex was reversibly inactivated with the use of cooling in two monkeys that were trained to perform both a tongue-protrusion task and a biting task. Recording of single neuronal activity in the cortex beneath the thermode confirmed the reversible inactivation of the cortex. Each task involved a series of trials in which the monkey was required to produce a preset force level for a 0.5-s force holding period; the monkey received a fruit-juice reward if it successfully completed a task trial. Cooling of the ICMS-defined face motor cortex was achieved bilaterally or, in one experiment, unilaterally by circulating coolant through thermodes placed either on intact dura overlying face motor cortex in both monkeys or directly on the exposed pia in one of the monkeys;thermode temperature was lowered to 3-5 degrees C during cooling. Electromyographic (EMG) recordings were also made from masseter, genioglossus, and digastric muscles. 3. During bilateral cooling of the thermodes on the dura overlying the face motor cortex, there was a significant reduction in the success rates for the performance of the tongue-protrusion task in comparison with control series of trials (i.e., precool and postcool) in which the thermodes were kept at 37 degrees C. Quantitative analyses of

  9. Risk sensitivity in a motor task with speed-accuracy trade-off.

    PubMed

    Nagengast, Arne J; Braun, Daniel A; Wolpert, Daniel M

    2011-06-01

    When a racing driver steers a car around a sharp bend, there is a trade-off between speed and accuracy, in that high speed can lead to a skid whereas a low speed increases lap time, both of which can adversely affect the driver's payoff function. While speed-accuracy trade-offs have been studied extensively, their susceptibility to risk sensitivity is much less understood, since most theories of motor control are risk neutral with respect to payoff, i.e., they only consider mean payoffs and ignore payoff variability. Here we investigate how individual risk attitudes impact a motor task that involves such a speed-accuracy trade-off. We designed an experiment where a target had to be hit and the reward (given in points) increased as a function of both subjects' endpoint accuracy and endpoint velocity. As faster movements lead to poorer endpoint accuracy, the variance of the reward increased for higher velocities. We tested subjects on two reward conditions that had the same mean reward but differed in the variance of the reward. A risk-neutral account predicts that subjects should only maximize the mean reward and hence perform identically in the two conditions. In contrast, we found that some (risk-averse) subjects chose to move with lower velocities and other (risk-seeking) subjects with higher velocities in the condition with higher reward variance (risk). This behavior is suboptimal with regard to maximizing the mean number of points but is in accordance with a risk-sensitive account of movement selection. Our study suggests that individual risk sensitivity is an important factor in motor tasks with speed-accuracy trade-offs. PMID:21430284

  10. Working memory modulates neural efficiency over motor components during a novel action planning task: an EEG study.

    PubMed

    Behmer, Lawrence P; Fournier, Lisa R

    2014-03-01

    Research shows neural efficiency of motor-related activity based on learning and expertise in a specific domain (e.g., guitar playing, sharp-shooting or a sport). However, it is unknown whether neural efficiency of motor-related activity, underlying action planning and maintenance, can be modulated by general cognitive ability alone. This study examined whether working memory span can influence motor-related neural activity during a novel motor task. Participants were divided into low- and high-span working memory groups based on their scores in an operation span task. Afterwards, participants learned different sequences of button responses corresponding to different abstract stimuli. The task required participants to briefly maintain an action plan in working memory to a stimulus that they would execute after responding to a subsequent stimulus. We used EEG to record changes in event related power in the mu- and beta-bands in left and right motor components during the interval where participants planned and maintained an action in working memory. Results showed decreases in mu- and beta-event related power for low-span participants and increases in mu- and beta-event related power for high-span participants over the left motor cluster while maintaining an action plan in working memory. Also, high-span participants were faster and more accurate in the task than low-span participants. This suggests that neural efficiency during a novel motor task can be influenced by working memory span, and that such differences are localized to the motor system. PMID:24291024

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Covert motor activity on NoGo trials in a task sharing paradigm: evidence from the lateralized readiness potential.

    PubMed

    Holländer, Antje; Jung, Christina; Prinz, Wolfgang

    2011-06-01

    Previous studies on task sharing propose that a representation of the co-actor's task share is generated when two actors share a common task. An important function of co-representation seems to lie in the anticipation of others' upcoming actions, which is essential for one's own action planning, as it enables the rapid selection of an appropriate response. We utilized measures of lateralized motor activation, the lateralized readiness potential (LRP), in a task sharing paradigm to address the questions (1) whether the generation of a co-representation involves motor activity in the non-acting person when it is other agent's turn to respond, and (2) whether co-representation of the other's task share is generated from one's own egocentric perspective or from the perspective of the actor (allocentric). Results showed that although it was the other agent's turn to respond, the motor system of the non-acting person was activated prior to the other's response. Furthermore, motor activity was based on egocentric spatial properties. The findings support the tight functional coupling between one's own actions and actions produced by others, suggesting that the involvement of the motor system is crucial for social interaction.

  18. Intermanual transfer and bilateral cortical plasticity is maintained in older adults after skilled motor training with simple and complex tasks

    PubMed Central

    Dickins, Daina S. E.; Sale, Martin V.; Kamke, Marc R.

    2015-01-01

    Intermanual transfer refers to the phenomenon whereby unilateral motor training induces performance gains in both the trained limb and in the opposite, untrained limb. Evidence indicates that intermanual transfer is attenuated in older adults following training on a simple ballistic movement task, but not after training on a complex task. This study investigated whether differences in plasticity in bilateral motor cortices underlie these differential intermanual transfer effects in older adults. Twenty young (<35 years-old) and older adults (>65 years) trained on a simple (repeated ballistic thumb abduction) and complex (sequential finger-thumb opposition) task in separate sessions. Behavioral performance was used to quantify intermanual transfer between the dominant (trained) and non-dominant (untrained) hands. The amplitude of motor-evoked potentials induced by single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to investigate excitability changes in bilateral motor cortices. Contrary to predictions, both age groups exhibited performance improvements in both hands after unilateral skilled motor training with simple and complex tasks. These performance gains were accompanied by bilateral increases in cortical excitability in both groups for the simple but not the complex task. The findings suggest that advancing age does not necessarily influence the capacity for intermanual transfer after training with the dominant hand. PMID:25999856

  19. Heart rate variability during motor and cognitive tasks in females with major depressive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Nugent, Allison Carol; Bain, Earle Eugene; Thayer, Julian Francis; Sollers, John James; Drevets, Wayne Curtis

    2010-01-01

    Research indicates that major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with alterations in autonomic control, particularly cardiac control as measured by heart rate variability (HRV). In this preliminary study, we investigated the neural correlates of autonomic control by measuring both HRV and associated brain activity during the performance of mildly stressful tasks. Medically healthy female subjects with MDD (N=10) and healthy controls (N=7) underwent H2 15O-PET and ECG recording while performing a handgrip motor task and an n-back task. Indices of HRV were calculated and correlated with regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF). Differences in the rCBF and HRV correlations between depressed and healthy subjects were evident in both the medial and lateral orbital cortices. In addition, these areas appeared to be involved in different facets of autonomic control with regard to sympathetic or parasympathetic dominance of cardiac control. These results are consistent with the known roles of networks within the orbital cortex in both autonomic control and the pathophysiology of MDD. PMID:21129936

  20. 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.

  1. STABILITY OF AGE-RELATED DEFICITS IN THE MNEMONIC SIMILARITY TASK ACROSS TASK VARIATIONS

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26030427

  2. Prefrontal cortex activity during motor tasks with additional mental load requiring attentional demand: a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Mandrick, Kevin; Derosiere, Gérard; Dray, Gérard; Coulon, Denis; Micallef, Jean-Paul; Perrey, Stéphane

    2013-07-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is suitable for investigating cerebral oxygenation changes during motor and/or mental tasks. In the present study, we investigated how an additional mental load during a motor task at two submaximal loadings affects the fNIRS-measured brain activation over the right prefrontal cortex (PFC). Fifteen healthy males performed isometric grasping contractions at 15% and 30% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) with or without an additional mental (i.e., arithmetic) task. Mental performance, force variability, fNIRS and subjective perception responses were measured in each condition. The performance of the mental task decreased significantly while the force variability increased significantly at 30% MVC as compared to 15% MVC, suggesting that performance of dual-task required more attentional resources. PFC activity increased significantly as the effort increased from 15% to 30% MVC (p<.001). Although a larger change in the deoxyhemoglobin was observed in dual-task conditions (p=.051), PFC activity did not change significantly as compared to the motor tasks alone. In summary, participants were unable to invest more attention and effort in performing the more difficult levels in order to maintain adequate mental performance.

  3. Prefrontal cortex activity during motor tasks with additional mental load requiring attentional demand: a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Mandrick, Kevin; Derosiere, Gérard; Dray, Gérard; Coulon, Denis; Micallef, Jean-Paul; Perrey, Stéphane

    2013-07-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is suitable for investigating cerebral oxygenation changes during motor and/or mental tasks. In the present study, we investigated how an additional mental load during a motor task at two submaximal loadings affects the fNIRS-measured brain activation over the right prefrontal cortex (PFC). Fifteen healthy males performed isometric grasping contractions at 15% and 30% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) with or without an additional mental (i.e., arithmetic) task. Mental performance, force variability, fNIRS and subjective perception responses were measured in each condition. The performance of the mental task decreased significantly while the force variability increased significantly at 30% MVC as compared to 15% MVC, suggesting that performance of dual-task required more attentional resources. PFC activity increased significantly as the effort increased from 15% to 30% MVC (p<.001). Although a larger change in the deoxyhemoglobin was observed in dual-task conditions (p=.051), PFC activity did not change significantly as compared to the motor tasks alone. In summary, participants were unable to invest more attention and effort in performing the more difficult levels in order to maintain adequate mental performance. PMID:23665138

  4. 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. PMID:26151605

  5. Adolescent Balloon Analog Risk Task and Behaviors that Influence Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Injury

    PubMed Central

    Vaca, Federico E.; Walthall, Jessica M.; Ryan, Sheryl; Moriarty-Daley, Alison; Riera, Antonio; Crowley, Michael J.; Mayes, Linda C.

    2013-01-01

    Risk-taking propensity is a pivotal facet of motor vehicle crash involvement and subsequent traumatic injury in adolescents. Clinical encounters are important opportunities to identify teens with high risk-taking propensity who may later experience serious injury. Our objective was to compare self-reports of health risk behavior with performance on the Balloon Analog Risk Task (BART), a validated metric of risk-taking propensity, in adolescents during a clinical encounter. 100 adolescent patients from a hospital emergency department and adolescent health clinic completed a computer-based survey of self-reported risk behaviors including substance use behaviors and behaviors that influence crash involvement. They then completed the BART, a validated laboratory-based risk task in which participants earn points by pumping up a computer-generated balloon with greater pumps leading to increased chance of balloon explosion. 20 trials were undertaken. Mean number of pumps on the BART showed a correlation of .243 (p=.015) with self-reported driver/passenger behaviors and attitudes towards driving that influence risk of crash injury. Regression analyses showed that self-reports of substance use and mean number of pumps on the BART uniquely predict self-reports of behaviors influencing the risk of crash injury. The BART is a promising correlate of real-world risk-taking behavior related to traffic safety. It remains a valid predictor of behaviors influencing risk of crash injury when using just 10 trials, suggesting its utility as a quick and effective screening measure for use in busy clinical environments. This tool may be an important link to prevention interventions for those most at-risk for future motor vehicle crash involvement and injury. PMID:24406948

  6. 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

  7. Cortical EEG alpha rhythms reflect task-specific somatosensory and motor interactions in humans.

    PubMed

    Babiloni, Claudio; Del Percio, Claudio; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Soricelli, Andrea; Romani, Gian Luca; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Capotosto, Paolo

    2014-10-01

    Anticipating sensorimotor events allows adaptive reactions to environment with crucial implications for self-protection and survival. Here we review several studies of our group that aimed to test the hypothesis that the cortical processes preparing the elaboration of sensorimotor interaction is reflected by the reduction of anticipatory electroencephalographic alpha power (about 8-12Hz; event-related desynchronization, ERD), as an index that regulate task-specific sensorimotor processes, accounted by high-alpha sub-band (10-12Hz), rather than a general tonic alertness, accounted by low-alpha sub-band (8-10Hz). In this line, we propose a model for human cortical processes anticipating warned sensorimotor interactions. Overall, we reported a stronger high-alpha ERD before painful than non-painful somatosensory stimuli that is also predictive of the subjective evaluation of pain intensity. Furthermore, we showed that anticipatory high-alpha ERD increased before sensorimotor interactions between non-painful or painful stimuli and motor demands involving opposite hands. In contrast, sensorimotor interactions between painful somatosensory and sensorimotor demands involving the same hand decreased anticipatory high-alpha ERD, due to a sort of sensorimotor "gating" effect. In conclusion, we suggest that anticipatory cortical high-alpha rhythms reflect the central interference and/or integration of ascending (sensory) and descending (motor) signals relative to one or two hands before non-painful and painful sensorimotor interactions. PMID:24929901

  8. Unilateral striatal lesions in the cat disrupt well-learned motor plans in a GO/NO-GO reaching task.

    PubMed

    Aldridge, J W; Thompson, J F; Gilman, S

    1997-03-01

    We examined the changes in learned and spontaneous motor behavior after a unilateral excitotoxin lesion of the neostriatum. Cats were trained to perform a sensory-cued GO/NO-GO reaching task. Success rate, reaction time, movement speed and kinematic patterns were used to characterize motor system properties. In addition, motor properties before and after the lesion were compared by clinical neurological examinations and video tape observations of free-range behavior. We found that in normal animals motor performance in the task was fluent, highly automatic and skillful with consistent patterns from trial to trial and day to day. The striatal lesion resulted in a marked impairment in the animals' ability to perform the automatic response to the sensory cues in the motor task. In contrast, sensorimotor behavior in contexts apart from the task was altered minimally, with changes that were often difficult to detect. The animals recovered their ability to perform the task gradually, although they never reached prelesion performance levels in up to 24 weeks of evaluation. The animals had difficulty making reaching movements in GO trials and, in NO-GO trials failures to withhold movements were more frequent. Failures were due to a specific inability to execute previously well-learned movements in response to cues and not to an inability to recognize and interpret the cues. The lesion effects were restricted to the automatic motor response to the learned cues, as the animals could make reaching movements to the target without obvious impairment in response to novel stimuli. They also made similar spontaneous movements apart from the motor task that appeared to be unimpaired. The unique motor style and strategies that characterized the behavior of individual animals prior to the lesion were still evident after the lesion, even though they were superimposed on lower success rates and slower movement speeds. Our findings suggest that the basal ganglia facilitate the fluent

  9. 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. PMID:24880223

  10. 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

  11. Relationships between task-oriented postural control and motor ability in children and adolescents with Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    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 task-oriented postural control and motor ability in children and adolescents with DS. The participants were 23 children and adolescents with DS (DS group, M±SD age, 14.4±2.8 years) and 18 age- and gender-matched peers (M±SD age, 13.8±3.6 years). A force plate was used to collect postural data represented by center of pressure (COP) parameters. Postural measurements were conducted for both groups in quiet standing with eyes open and with eyes closed, and also while throwing a ball at erect standing. Assessments of motor ability were only applied to the DS group by using two dimensions of the original version of Gross Motor Function Measure and 4 subtests of the Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, second edition. The results showed that while the participants with DS showed greater displacement and higher velocity of COP sways at quiet standing, they exhibited smaller COP displacement in anterior/posterior direction during throwing the ball. Three areas of motor ability, including standing motor skills, walk/run/jump motor skills and muscle strength, were found to make a significant contribution to the displacement and velocity of postural sway during the voluntary movement. It is suggested that future research should focus on investigating the definite underlying mechanism of postural sway during movement and the influence of increasing motor ability on the reactive postural sway in this population.

  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. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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. PMID:25992523

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Event-related near-infrared spectroscopy detects conflict in the motor cortex in a Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Szűcs, Dénes; Killikelly, Clare; Cutini, Simone

    2012-10-01

    The Stroop effect is one of the most popular models of conflict processing in neuroscience and psychology. The response conflict theory of the Stroop effect explains decreased performance in the incongruent condition of Stroop tasks by assuming that the task-relevant and the task-irrelevant stimulus features elicit conflicting response tendencies. However, to date, there is not much explicit neural evidence supporting this theory. Here we used functional near-infrared imaging (fNIRS) to examine whether conflict at the level of the motor cortex can be detected in the incongruent relative to the congruent condition of a Stroop task. Response conflict was determined by comparing the activity of the hemisphere ipsilateral to the response hand in the congruent and incongruent conditions. First, results provided explicit hemodynamic evidence supporting the response conflict theory of the Stroop effect: there was greater motor cortex activation in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the response hand in the incongruent than in the congruent condition during the initial stage of the hemodynamic response. Second, as fNIRS is still a relatively novel technology, it is methodologically significant that our data shows that fNIRS is able to detect a brief and transient increase in hemodynamic activity localized to the motor cortex, which in this study is related to subthreshold motor response activation.

  20. Effects of short-term training on behavioral learning and skill acquisition during intraoral fine motor task.

    PubMed

    Kumar, A; Grigoriadis, J; Trulsson, M; Svensson, P; Svensson, K G

    2015-10-15

    Sensory information from the orofacial mechanoreceptors are used by the nervous system to optimize the positioning of food, determine the force levels, and force vectors involved in biting of food morsels. Moreover, practice resulting from repetition could be a key to learning and acquiring a motor skill. Hence, the aim of the experiment was to test the hypothesis that repeated splitting of a food morsel during a short-term training with an oral fine motor task would result in increased performance and optimization of jaw movements, in terms of reduction in duration of various phases of the jaw movements. Thirty healthy volunteers were asked to intraorally manipulate and split a chocolate candy, into two equal halves. The participants performed three series (with 10 trials) of the task before and after a short-term (approximately 30 min) training. The accuracy of the split and vertical jaw movement during the task were recorded. The precision of task performance improved significantly after training (22% mean deviation from ideal split after vs. 31% before; P<0.001). There was a significant decrease in the total duration of jaw movements during the task after the training (1.21 s total duration after vs. 1.56 s before; P<0.001). Further, when the jaw movements were divided into different phases, the jaw opening phase and contact phase were significantly shorter after training than before training (P=0.001, P=0.002). The results indicate that short-term training of an oral fine motor task induces behavior learning, skill acquisition and optimization of jaw movements in terms of better performance and reduction in the duration of jaw movements, during the task. The finding of the present study provides insights into how humans learn oral motor behaviors or the kind of adaptation that takes place after a successful prosthetic rehabilitation. PMID:26162238

  1. Effects of short-term training on behavioral learning and skill acquisition during intraoral fine motor task.

    PubMed

    Kumar, A; Grigoriadis, J; Trulsson, M; Svensson, P; Svensson, K G

    2015-10-15

    Sensory information from the orofacial mechanoreceptors are used by the nervous system to optimize the positioning of food, determine the force levels, and force vectors involved in biting of food morsels. Moreover, practice resulting from repetition could be a key to learning and acquiring a motor skill. Hence, the aim of the experiment was to test the hypothesis that repeated splitting of a food morsel during a short-term training with an oral fine motor task would result in increased performance and optimization of jaw movements, in terms of reduction in duration of various phases of the jaw movements. Thirty healthy volunteers were asked to intraorally manipulate and split a chocolate candy, into two equal halves. The participants performed three series (with 10 trials) of the task before and after a short-term (approximately 30 min) training. The accuracy of the split and vertical jaw movement during the task were recorded. The precision of task performance improved significantly after training (22% mean deviation from ideal split after vs. 31% before; P<0.001). There was a significant decrease in the total duration of jaw movements during the task after the training (1.21 s total duration after vs. 1.56 s before; P<0.001). Further, when the jaw movements were divided into different phases, the jaw opening phase and contact phase were significantly shorter after training than before training (P=0.001, P=0.002). The results indicate that short-term training of an oral fine motor task induces behavior learning, skill acquisition and optimization of jaw movements in terms of better performance and reduction in the duration of jaw movements, during the task. The finding of the present study provides insights into how humans learn oral motor behaviors or the kind of adaptation that takes place after a successful prosthetic rehabilitation.

  2. 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. PMID:23535978

  3. 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.

  4. Increased brain cortical activity during parabolic flights has no influence on a motor tracking task.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Stefan; Brümmer, Vera; Mierau, Andreas; Carnahan, Heather; Dubrowski, Adam; Strüder, Heiko K

    2008-03-01

    Previous studies showed that changing forces of gravity as they typically occur during parabolic flights might be responsible for adaptional processes of the CNS. However, until now it has not been differentiated between primary influences of weightlessness and secondary influences due to psycho-physiological factors (e.g., physical or mental strain). With the aim of detecting parabolic flight related changes in central cortical activity, a resting EEG was deduced in 16 subjects before, during and after parabolic flights. After subdividing EEG into alpha-, beta-,delta- and theta-wave bands, an increase in beta-power was noticeable inflight, whereas alpha(1)-power was increased postflight. No changes could be observed for the control group. To control possible effects of cortical activation, a manual tracking task with mirror inversion was performed during either the phase of weightlessness or during the normal gravity phase of a parabolic flight. No differences in performance nor in adaptation could be observed between both groups. A third group, performing under normal and stress-free conditions in a lab showed similar tracking values. We assume that the specific increase in brain activity is a sign of an increase in arousal inflight. This does support previous assumptions of non-specific stressors during parabolic flights and has to be considered as a relevant factor for experiments on central nerve adaptation. Although no influences of stress and/or weightlessness on motor performance and adaptation could be observed, we suggest that an "inflight" control group seems to be more adequate than a laboratory control group to investigate gravity-dependent changes in motor control.

  5. Enhanced Spontaneous Oscillations in the Supplementary Motor Area Are Associated with Sleep-Dependent Offline Learning of Finger-Tapping Motor-Sequence Task

    PubMed Central

    Tamaki, Masako; Huang, Tsung-Ren; Yotsumoto, Yuko; Hämäläinen, Matti; Lin, Fa-Hsuan; Náñez, José E.; Watanabe, Takeo

    2013-01-01

    Sleep is beneficial for various types of learning and memory, including a finger-tapping motor-sequence task. However, methodological issues hinder clarification of the crucial cortical regions for sleep-dependent consolidation in motor-sequence learning. Here, to investigate the core cortical region for sleep-dependent consolidation of finger-tapping motor-sequence learning, while human subjects were asleep, we measured spontaneous cortical oscillations by magnetoencephalography together with polysomnography, and source-localized the origins of oscillations using individual anatomical brain information from MRI. First, we confirmed that performance of the task at a retest session after sleep significantly increased compared with performance at the training session before sleep. Second, spontaneous δ and fast-σ oscillations significantly increased in the supplementary motor area (SMA) during post-training compared with pretraining sleep, showing significant and high correlation with the performance increase. Third, the increased spontaneous oscillations in the SMA correlated with performance improvement were specific to slow-wave sleep. We also found that correlations of δ oscillation between the SMA and the prefrontal and between the SMA and the parietal regions tended to decrease after training. These results suggest that a core brain region for sleep-dependent consolidation of the finger-tapping motor-sequence learning resides in the SMA contralateral to the trained hand and is mediated by spontaneous δ and fast-σ oscillations, especially during slow-wave sleep. The consolidation may arise along with possible reorganization of a larger-scale cortical network that involves the SMA and cortical regions outside the motor regions, including prefrontal and parietal regions. PMID:23966709

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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. PMID:26736703

  10. 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.

  11. Analysis of neural interaction in motor cortex during reach-to-grasp task based on Dynamic Bayesian Networks.

    PubMed

    Sang, Dong; Lv, Bin; He, Huiguang; He, Jiping; Wang, Feiyue

    2010-01-01

    In this work, we took the analysis of neural interaction based on the data recorded from the motor cortex of a monkey, when it was trained to complete multi-targets reach-to-grasp tasks. As a recently proved effective tool, Dynamic Bayesian Network (DBN) was applied to model and infer interactions of dependence between neurons. In the results, the gained networks of neural interactions, which correspond to different tasks with different directions and orientations, indicated that the target information was not encoded in simple ways by neuronal networks. We also explored the difference of neural interactions between delayed period and peri-movement period during reach-to-grasp task. We found that the motor control process always led to relatively more complex neural interaction networks than the plan thinking process. PMID:21096882

  12. Variation, Signal, and Noise in Cerebellar Sensory–Motor Processing for Smooth-Pursuit Eye Movements

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Javier F.; Lisberger, Stephen G.

    2009-01-01

    Neural responses are variable, yet motor performance can be quite precise. To ask how neural signal and noise are processed in the brain during sensory–motor behavior, we have evaluated the trial-by-trial variation of Purkinje cell (PC) activity in the floccular complex of the cerebellum, an intermediate stage in the neural circuit for smooth-pursuit eye movements. We find strong correlations between small trial-by-trial variations in the simple spike activity of individual PCs and the eye movements at the initiation of pursuit. The correlation is lower but still present during steady-state pursuit. Recordings from a few pairs of PCs verified the predictions of a model of the PC population, that there is a transition from highly covariant PC activity during movement initiation to more independent activity later on. Application to the data of a theoretical and computational analysis suggests that variation in pursuit initiation arises mostly from variation in visual motion signals that provide common inputs to the PC population. Variation in eye movement during steady-state pursuit can be attributed primarily to signal-dependent motor noise that arises downstream from PCs. PMID:17581971

  13. Costs of control: decreased motor cortex engagement during a Go/NoGo task in Tourette's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Thomalla, Götz; Jonas, Melanie; Bäumer, Tobias; Siebner, Hartwig R; Biermann-Ruben, Katja; Ganos, Christos; Orth, Michael; Hummel, Friedhelm C; Gerloff, Christian; Müller-Vahl, Kirsten; Schnitzler, Alfons; Münchau, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by an impaired ability to inhibit unwanted behaviour. Although the presence of chronic motor and vocal tics defines Tourette's syndrome, other distinctive behavioural features like echo- and coprophenomena, and non-obscene socially inappropriate behaviour are also core features. We investigated neuronal activation during stimulus-driven execution and inhibition of prepared movements in Tourette's syndrome. To this end, we performed event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging and structural diffusion tensor imaging in 15 moderately affected uncomplicated patients with 'pure' Tourette's syndrome and 15 healthy control participants matched for age and gender. Subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a Go/NoGo reaction time task. They had to withhold a prepared finger movement for a variable time until a stimulus instructed them to either execute (Go) or inhibit it (NoGo). Tics were monitored throughout the experiments, combining surface electromyogram, video recording, and clinical assessment in the scanner. Patients with Tourette's syndrome had longer reaction times than healthy controls in Go trials and made more errors in total. Their functional brain activation was decreased in left primary motor cortex and secondary motor areas during movement execution (Go trials) but not during response inhibition (NoGo trials) compared with healthy control subjects. Volume of interest analysis demonstrated less task-related activation in patients with Tourette's syndrome in primary and secondary motor cortex bilaterally, but not in the basal ganglia and cortical non-motor areas. They showed reduced co-activation between the left primary sensory-motor hand area and a network of contralateral sensory-motor areas and ipsilateral cerebellar regions. There were no between-group differences in structural connectivity of the left primary sensory-motor cortex as measured by

  14. 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. PMID:23052601

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

  17. Single session motor learning demonstrated using a visuomotor task: Evidence from fMRI and behavioural analysis.

    PubMed

    Boe, Shaun G; Cassidy, Ryan J; McIlroy, William E; Graham, Simon J

    2012-08-15

    There is a continuing need to improve understanding of the central nervous system control of learning. Specifically, there is a need to examine the characteristics of cortical and sub-cortical activity linked to the stages of motor learning, including those occurring within a single-session. In this study we sought to design and investigate a visuomotor task to determine its ability to assess the component of motor learning occurring during a single session of fMRI (i.e., the 'online' improvement in motor performance). Fourteen healthy control subjects performed a visuomotor task requiring a combination of bilateral grip force to accurately move a cursor towards a target. We assessed online motor learning by comparing behavioural measures (accuracy and error magnitude) and the extent of spatial activation in specific brain regions of interest (ROIs) using fMRI pre- and post-training. Results showed a training-related improvement in performance based on increased accuracy (p<0.0125) and decreased error magnitude (p<0.0125) from pre- to post-training. Decreases in the extent of spatial activation from pre- to post-training in the majority of ROIs supported a training-related attenuation in brain activity associated with online motor learning. Importantly, decreases in error magnitude across conditions (p<0.05) confirmed that improvements in performance continued over the entire course of the experiment. Establishing this task may permit more extensive study of the neural correlates of single-session, online learning in healthy individuals and those with motor control challenges. Information obtained from such studies may provide an opportunity to improve interventions in neurological rehabilitation.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Motor Control in Children and Adults during a Non-Speech Oral Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Heather M.; Robin, Donald A.; McCullagh, Gail; Schmidt, Richard A.

    2001-01-01

    This study examined the accuracy and stability of oral motor control in 20 adults and 20 children. Although the children were less accurate and less stable, adults and children exhibited similar variability in their generalized motor program. Results are discussed within the framework of a schema model of motor control, especially the strategic…

  1. Correlation of near-infrared spectroscopy and transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex in overt reading and musical tasks.

    PubMed

    Lo, Y L; Zhang, H H; Wang, C C; Chin, Z Y; Fook-Chong, S; Gabriel, C; Guan, C T

    2009-01-01

    In overt reading and singing tasks, actual vocalization of words in a rhythmic fashion is performed. During execution of these tasks, the role of underlying vascular processes in relation to cortical excitability changes in a spatial manner is uncertain. Our objective was to investigate cortical excitability changes during reading and singing with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), as well as vascular changes with nearinfrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Findings with TMS and NIRS were correlated. TMS and NIRS recordings were performed in 5 normal subjects while they performed reading and singing tasks separately. TMS was applied over the left motor cortex at 9 positions 2.5 cm apart. NIRS recordings were made over these identical positions. Although both TMS and NIRS showed significant mean cortical excitability and hemodynamic changes from baseline during vocalization tasks, there was no significant spatial correlation of these changes evaluated with the 2 techniques over the left motor cortex. Our findings suggest that increased left-sided cortical excitability from overt vocalization tasks in the corresponding "hand area" were the result of "functional connectivity," rather than an underlying "vascular overflow mechanism" from the adjacent speech processing or face/mouth areas. Our findings also imply that functional neurophysiological and vascular methods may evaluate separate underlying processes, although subjects performed identical vocalization tasks. Future research combining similar methodologies should embrace this aspect and harness their separate capabilities.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. The impact of motor activity on intracerebral ERPs: P3 latency variability in modified auditory odd-ball paradigms involving a motor task.

    PubMed

    Kanovský, Petr; Streitová, Hana; Klajblová, Hana; Bares, Martin; Daniel, Pavel; Rektor, Ivan

    2003-09-01

    The P3 wave of event-related potentials was recorded with intracranial electrodes in 24 epileptic patients during the pre-surgical evaluation of epilepsy surgery. Three different cognitive auditory paradigms were used: (1) odd-ball paradigm with no output required (PGI) where patients had simply to recognize target tones, (2) odd-ball with motor response (PGII), where patients had to press a button in response to target tones, and (3) odd-ball with both counting task and motor response (PGIII), where patients had to recognize target tones, press a button in response to them, and count their number. The occurrence of P3 potential, its latency and amplitude, and the dependence of P3 latency on the task complexity were calculated. Identifiable P3 potentials in all the three paradigms were recorded from locations in mesial cortex (18 locations mesial temporal, eight locations mesial frontal, two locations mesial parietal) and lateral sites (eight sites lateral temporal, five lateral frontal, and two lateral parietal). P3 latency values ranged from 257 to 320 ms in all explored cortical areas when PGI was used; they significantly increased or decreased during PGII and PGIII, depending on the task and structure explored. In the mesial temporal cortex, the changes of P3 latency between paradigms were minimal. In the mesial parietal cortex, there was significant P3 delay in both PGII and PGIII relative to PGI. In the mesial frontal cortex, there was a significant latency decrease in PGII, and practically identical mean latency in PGI and PGIII. In all lateral cortices (temporal, frontal and parietal), there was always a P3 latency increase in PGII and PGIII relative to PGI, the most significant results being observed in the parietal and frontal lateral areas. The results support the multi-generator theory of P3. Prolongation of the mean P3 latency in lateral frontal and parietal cortices when the paradigm involved the execution of a motor task might reflect specific gating

  5. Bilateral motor tasks involve more brain regions and higher neural activation than unilateral tasks: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Noble, Jeremy W; Eng, Janice J; Boyd, Lara A

    2014-09-01

    Movements that involve simultaneous coordination of muscles of the right and left lower limbs form a large part of our daily activities (e.g., standing, rising from a chair). This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine which brain areas are used to control coordinated lower-limb movements, specifically comparing regions that are activated during bilateral exertions to those performed unilaterally. Plantarflexor exertions were produced at a target force level of 15% of the participants' maximum voluntary contraction, in three conditions, with their right (dominant) foot, with their left foot, and with both feet simultaneously. A voxel-wise analysis determined which regions were active in the bilateral, but not in the unilateral conditions. In addition, a region of interest (ROI) approach was used to determine differences in the percent signal change (PSC) between the conditions within motor areas. The voxel-wise analysis showed a large number of regions (cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar) that were active during the bilateral condition, but not during either unilateral condition. The ROI analysis showed several motor regions with higher activation in the bilateral condition than unilateral conditions; further, the magnitude of bilateral PSC was more than the sum of the two unilateral conditions in several of these regions. We postulate that the greater levels of activation during bilateral exertions may arise from interhemispheric inhibition, as well as from the greater need for motor coordination (e.g., synchronizing the two limbs to activate together) and visual processing (e.g., monitoring of two visual stimuli).

  6. Assessment of fine motor skill in musicians and nonmusicians: differences in timing versus sequence accuracy in a bimanual fingering task.

    PubMed

    Kincaid, Anthony E; Duncan, Scott; Scott, Samuel A

    2002-08-01

    While professional musicians are generally considered to possess better control of finger movements than nonmusicians, relatively few reports have experimentally addressed the nature of this discrepancy in fine motor skills. For example, it is unknown whether musicians perform with greater skill than control subjects in all aspects of different types of fine motor activities. More specifically, it is not known whether musicians perform better than control subjects on a fine motor task that is similar, but not identical, to the playing of their primary instrument. The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of finger placement and accuracy of timing in professional musicians and nonmusicians using a simple, rhythmical, bilateral fingering pattern and the technology that allowed separate assessment of these two parameters. Professional musicians (other than pianists) and nonmusicians were given identical, detailed and explicit instructions but not allowed physically to practice the finger pattern. After verbally repeating the correct pattern for the investigator, subjects performed the task on an electric keyboard with both hands simultaneously. Each subject's performance was then converted to a numerical score. While musicians clearly demonstrated better accuracy in timing, no significant difference was found between the groups in their finger placement scores. These findings were not correlated with subjects' age, sex, limb dominance, or primary instrument (for the professional musicians). This study indicates that professional musicians perform better in timing accuracy but not spatial accuracy while executing a simple, novel, bimanual motor sequence. PMID:12365261

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:27631272

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. Variation in U.S. Traffic Safety Policy Environments and Motor Vehicle Fatalities 1980–2010

    PubMed Central

    Silver, Diana; Macinko, James; Bae, Jin Yung; Jimenez, Geronimo; Paul, Maggie

    2013-01-01

    Objective To examine the impact of variation in state laws governing traffic safety on motor vehicle fatalities. Study Design Repeated cross sectional time series design. Methods Fixed effects regression models estimate the relationship between state motor vehicle fatality rates and the strength of the state law environment for 50 states, 1980–2010. The strength of the state policy environment is measured by calculating the proportion of a set of 27 evidence-based laws in place each year. The effect of alcohol consumption on motor vehicle fatalities is estimated using a subset of alcohol laws as instrumental variables. Results Once other risk factors are controlled in statistical models, states with stronger regulation of safer driving and driver/passenger protections had significantly lower motor vehicle fatality rates for all ages. Alcohol consumption was strongly associated with higher MVC death rates, as were state unemployment rates. Conclusions Encouraging laggard states to adopt the full range of available laws could significantly reduce preventable traffic-related deaths in the U.S. – especially those among younger individuals. Estimating the relationship between different policy environments and health outcomes can quantify the result of policy gaps. PMID:24275035

  13. Influence of Age, Circadian and Homeostatic Processes on Inhibitory Motor Control: A Go/Nogo Task Study

    PubMed Central

    Sagaspe, Patricia; Taillard, Jacques; Amiéva, Hélène; Beck, Arnaud; Rascol, Olivier; Dartigues, Jean-François; Capelli, Aurore; Philip, Pierre

    2012-01-01

    Introduction The contribution of circadian system and sleep pressure influences on executive performance as a function of age has never been studied. The aim of our study was to determine the age-related evolution of inhibitory motor control (i.e., ability to suppress a prepotent motor response) and sustained attention under controlled high or low sleep pressure conditions. Methods 14 healthy young males (mean age  = 23±2.7; 20–29 years) and 11 healthy older males (mean age  = 68±1.4; 66–70 years) were recruited. The volunteers were placed for 40 hours in “constant routine”. In the “Sleep Deprivation SD” condition, the volunteer was kept awake for 40 hours to obtain a high sleep pressure condition interacting with the circadian process. In the “NAP” condition, the volunteer adopted a short wake/sleep cycle (150/75 min) resulting in a low sleep pressure condition to counteract the homeostatic pressure and investigate the circadian process. Performances were evaluated by a simple reaction time task and a Go/Nogo task repeated every 3H45. Results In the SD condition, inhibitory motor control (i.e., ability to inhibit an inappropriate response) was impaired by extended wakefulness equally in both age groups (P<.01). Sustained attention (i.e. ability to respond accurately to appropriate stimuli) on the executive task decreased under sleep deprivation in both groups, and even more in young participants (P<.05). In the NAP condition, age did not influence the time course of inhibitory motor control or sustained attention. In the SD and NAP conditions, older participants had a less fluctuating reaction time performance across time of day than young participants (P<.001). Conclusion Aging could be a protective factor against the effects of extended wakefulness especially on sustained attention failures due to an attenuation of sleep pressure with duration of time awake. PMID:22761784

  14. 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

  15. A Developmental and Cognitivist Approach to a Perceptuo-Motor Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zanone, P. G.; Hauert, C. A.

    Discussed are data concerning a simple visuomotor tracking task, especially the expectations and cognitive representations involved in performing such a task. The task consisted in tracking the horizontal displacement of a target spot on the screen by appropriate forearm rotations. Each subject participated in two sessions: first, at a .8 Hz…

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

    PubMed

    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 dynamic nature of executive control.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Bursts of beta oscillation differentiate postperformance activity in the striatum and motor cortex of monkeys performing movement tasks

    PubMed Central

    Feingold, Joseph; Gibson, Daniel J.; DePasquale, Brian; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2015-01-01

    Studies of neural oscillations in the beta band (13–30 Hz) have demonstrated modulations in beta-band power associated with sensory and motor events on time scales of 1 s or more, and have shown that these are exaggerated in Parkinson’s disease. However, even early reports of beta activity noted extremely fleeting episodes of beta-band oscillation lasting <150 ms. Because the interpretation of possible functions for beta-band oscillations depends strongly on the time scale over which they occur, and because of these oscillations’ potential importance in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, we analyzed in detail the distributions of duration and power for beta-band activity in a large dataset recorded in the striatum and motor-premotor cortex of macaque monkeys performing reaching tasks. Both regions exhibited typical beta-band suppression during movement and postmovement rebounds of up to 3 s as viewed in data averaged across trials, but single-trial analysis showed that most beta oscillations occurred in brief bursts, commonly 90–115 ms long. In the motor cortex, the burst probabilities peaked following the last movement, but in the striatum, the burst probabilities peaked at task end, after reward, and continued through the postperformance period. Thus, what appear to be extended periods of postperformance beta-band synchronization reflect primarily the modulated densities of short bursts of synchrony occurring in region-specific and task-time-specific patterns. We suggest that these short-time-scale events likely underlie the functions of most beta-band activity, so that prolongation of these beta episodes, as observed in Parkinson’s disease, could produce deleterious network-level signaling. PMID:26460033

  3. 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

  4. Characterization of motor skill and instrumental learning time scales in a skilled reaching task in rat.

    PubMed

    Buitrago, Manuel M; Ringer, Thomas; Schulz, Jörg B; Dichgans, Johannes; Luft, Andreas R

    2004-12-01

    Successful motor skill learning requires repetitive training interrupted by rest periods. In humans, improvement occurs within and between training sessions reflecting fast and slow components of motor learning [Karni A, Meyer G, Rey-Hipolito C, Jezzard P, Adams MM, Turner R, et al. The acquisition of skilled motor performance: fast and slow experience-driven changes in primary motor cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1998;95:861-8]. Here, these components are characterized in male and female rats using a model of skilled forelimb reaching and are compared to time scales of instrumental learning. Twenty female and 14 male adult Long-Evans rats were pre-trained to operate a motorized door (via a sensor in the opposite cage wall) to access a food pellet by tongue. Latencies between pellet removal and door opening were recorded as measures of instrumental learning. After criterion performance was achieved, skilled forelimb reaching was requested by increasing the pellet-window distance to 1.5cm. Reaching success was recorded per trial. Mean latencies decreased exponentially over sessions and no improvement within-session was found. Skill learning over eight training sessions followed an exponential course in females and a sigmoid course in males. Females acquired the skill significantly faster than males starting at higher baseline levels (P < 0.001) but reaching similar plateaus. Within-session improvement was found during the sessions 1-3 in females and 1-4 in males. Performance at the end of session 1 was not carried over to session 2. Learning curves of individual animals were highly variable. These findings confirm in rat that motor skill learning has fast and slow components. No within-session improvement is seen in instrumental learning.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Questioning implicit motor learning as instantiated by the pursuit-tracking task.

    PubMed

    Lang, Alexandre; Gapenne, Olivier; Rovira, Katia

    2011-10-01

    The effect of concurrent visual feedback on the implicit learning of repeated segments in a task of pursuit tracking has been tested. Although this feedback makes it possible to regulate the positional error during the movement, it could also induce negative guidance effects. To test this hypothesis, a first set of participants (N=42) were assigned to two groups, which performed either the standard pursuit-tracking task based on the experimental paradigm of Pew ( 1974 ; group F-ST), or a task called "movement reproduction" in which the feedback was suppressed (group noF-ST). A second set of participants (N=26) performed in the same feedback condition groups but in a dual-task situation (F-DT and noF-DT; Experiment 2). The results appear to confirm our predictions since the participants in groups without feedback, contrary to those in groups with feedback, succeeded with practice in differentiating their performances as a function of the nature of the segments (repeated or nonrepeated) both in simple (Experiment 1) and in dual-task (Experiment 2) situations. These experiments indicate that the feedback in the pursuit-tracking task induces a guidance function potentially resulting in an easiness tracking that prevents the participants from learning the repetition.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:26296097

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The effects of achievement goals on performance, enjoyment, and practice of a novel motor task.

    PubMed

    Kavussanu, Maria; Morris, Rebecca L; Ring, Christopher

    2009-10-01

    We examined the effects of trichotomous achievement goals on performance, enjoyment, and practice of a golf-putting task. Male (n = 39) and female (n = 63) undergraduate students participated in the experiment in exchange for course credit. Participants were assigned to a mastery, performance-approach, or performance-avoidance goal condition and completed seven blocks of 10 trials (one for baseline, four for the experimental phase, and two for the transfer phase) of a golf-putting task. Distance from the target was measured and performance measures of accuracy and consistency were calculated. Self-reported enjoyment during the baseline and experimental phases and practice during a 5-min period before and following the experimental task were also assessed. Performance accuracy and consistency improved similarly among the three groups. Individuals in all three conditions reported enjoying the task to the same extent. Mastery participants practiced for longer than performance-approach participants during the practice period. Performance-avoidance participants did not differ significantly from the other two groups. The three goals were equally effective in promoting performance and enjoyment of the golf-putting task. The differential practice results for the two performance goals suggest that they should be considered separately. PMID:19735037

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Fine motor movements while drawing during the encoding phase of a serial verbal recall task reduce working memory performance.

    PubMed

    Tindle, Richard; Longstaff, Mitchell G

    2016-02-01

    The time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model of working memory indicates that secondary tasks that capture attention for relatively long periods can result in the interference of working memory processing and maintenance. The current study investigates if discrete and continuous movements have differing effects on a concurrent, verbal serial recall task. In the listening condition, participants were asked to recall spoken words presented in lists of six. In the drawing conditions, participants performed the same task while producing discrete (star) or continuous (circle) movements. As hypothesised, participants recalled more words overall in the listening condition compared to the combined drawing conditions. The prediction that the continuous movement condition would reduce recall compared to listening was also supported. Fine-grained analysis at each serial position revealed significantly more words were recalled at mid serial positions in the listening condition, with worst recall for the continuous condition at position 5 compared to the listening and discrete conditions. Kinematic analysis showed that participants increased the size and speed of the continuous movements resulting in a similar duration and number of strokes for each condition. The duration of brief pauses in the discrete condition was associated with the number of words recalled. The results indicate that fine motor movements reduced working memory performance; however, it was not merely performing a movement but the type of the movement that determined how resources were diverted. In the context of the TBRS, continuous movements could be capturing attention for longer periods relative to discrete movements, reducing verbal serial recall.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:25238621

  2. 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

  3. 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.…

  4. The ability of 6- to 8-year-old children to use motor imagery in a goal-directed pointing task.

    PubMed

    Spruijt, Steffie; van der Kamp, John; Steenbergen, Bert

    2015-11-01

    It has been suggested that motor imagery ability develops gradually between 5 and 12 years of age, but ambiguity remains over the precise developmental course before 9 years. Hence, we determined the age-related differences in the use of motor imagery by children on the mental chronometry paradigm. In addition, we examined whether the use of motor imagery is related to cognitive and hand abilities. To this end, we compared duration of actual pointing and imagined pointing on a radial Fitts' task in 82 children (three age groups; 6-, 7-, and 8-year-olds). In line with previous studies, we found an age-related increase in temporal congruence between actual and imagined pointing and compliance with Fitts' law. Importantly, however, we showed that only a limited number of 7- and 8-year-olds were actually using motor imagery to perform the imagined pointing task, whereas the 6-year-olds did not employ motor imagery to perform the task. The current results extend previous research by establishing that the age of onset to use motor imagery in the mental chronometry paradigm is not prior to 7 years. PMID:26163179

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:24857254

  7. Distribution of practice and metacognition in learning and long-term retention of a discrete motor task.

    PubMed

    Dail, Teresa K; Christina, Robert W

    2004-06-01

    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 significant differences in retention performance were found as a function of three retention intervals (1, 7, and 28 days). Echoing actual acquisition scores, participants in the distributed practice group predicted more proficient retention performance than did those in the massed practice group. Although all participants predicted more proficient performance than was actually achieved, the difference between predicted and actual performance failed to reach significance. PMID:15209333

  8. 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.

  9. Can short-term oral fine motor training affect precision of task performance and induce cortical plasticity of the jaw muscles?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong; Kumar, Abhishek; Kothari, Mohit; Luo, Xiaoping; Trulsson, Mats; Svensson, Krister G; Svensson, Peter

    2016-07-01

    The aim was to test the hypothesis that short-term oral sensorimotor training of the jaw muscles would increase the precision of task performance and induce neuroplastic changes in the corticomotor pathways, related to the masseter muscle. Fifteen healthy volunteers performed six series with ten trials of an oral sensorimotor task. The task was to manipulate and position a spherical chocolate candy in between the anterior teeth and split it into two equal halves. The precision of the task performance was evaluated by comparing the ratio between the two split halves. A series of "hold-and-split" tasks was also performed before and after the training. The hold force and split force along with the electromyographic (EMG) activity of jaw muscles were recorded. Motor-evoked potentials and cortical motor maps of the right masseter muscle were evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation. There was a significant effect of series on the precision of the task performance during the short-term oral sensorimotor training (P < 0.002). The hold force during the "hold-and-split" task was significantly lower after training than before the short-term training (P = 0.011). However, there was no change in the split force and the EMG activity of the jaw muscles before and after the training. Further, there was a significant increase in the amplitude of the motor-evoked potentials (P < 0.016) and in the motor cortex map areas (P = 0.033), after the short-term oral sensorimotor training. Therefore, short-term oral sensorimotor task training increased the precision of task performance and induced signs of neuroplastic changes in the corticomotor pathways, related to the masseter muscle.

  10. Can short-term oral fine motor training affect precision of task performance and induce cortical plasticity of the jaw muscles?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong; Kumar, Abhishek; Kothari, Mohit; Luo, Xiaoping; Trulsson, Mats; Svensson, Krister G; Svensson, Peter

    2016-07-01

    The aim was to test the hypothesis that short-term oral sensorimotor training of the jaw muscles would increase the precision of task performance and induce neuroplastic changes in the corticomotor pathways, related to the masseter muscle. Fifteen healthy volunteers performed six series with ten trials of an oral sensorimotor task. The task was to manipulate and position a spherical chocolate candy in between the anterior teeth and split it into two equal halves. The precision of the task performance was evaluated by comparing the ratio between the two split halves. A series of "hold-and-split" tasks was also performed before and after the training. The hold force and split force along with the electromyographic (EMG) activity of jaw muscles were recorded. Motor-evoked potentials and cortical motor maps of the right masseter muscle were evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation. There was a significant effect of series on the precision of the task performance during the short-term oral sensorimotor training (P < 0.002). The hold force during the "hold-and-split" task was significantly lower after training than before the short-term training (P = 0.011). However, there was no change in the split force and the EMG activity of the jaw muscles before and after the training. Further, there was a significant increase in the amplitude of the motor-evoked potentials (P < 0.016) and in the motor cortex map areas (P = 0.033), after the short-term oral sensorimotor training. Therefore, short-term oral sensorimotor task training increased the precision of task performance and induced signs of neuroplastic changes in the corticomotor pathways, related to the masseter muscle. PMID:26914481

  11. Structure of the set of feasible neural commands for complex motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Valero-Cuevas, F J; Cohn, B A; Szedlak, M; Fukuda, K; Gartner, B

    2015-08-01

    The brain must select its control strategies among an infinite set of possibilities; researchers believe that it must be solving an optimization problem. While this set of feasible solutions is infinite and lies in high dimensions, it is bounded by kinematic, neuromuscular, and anatomical constraints, within which the brain must select optimal solutions. That is, the set of feasible activations is well structured. However, to date there is no method to describe and quantify the structure of these high-dimensional solution spaces. Bounding boxes or dimensionality reduction algorithms do not capture their detailed structure. We present a novel approach based on the well-known Hit-and-Run algorithm in computational geometry to extract the structure of the feasible activations capable of producing 50% of maximal fingertip force in a specific direction. We use a realistic model of a human index finger with 7 muscles, and 4 DOFs. For a given static force vector at the endpoint, the feasible activation space is a 3D convex polytope, embedded in the 7D unit cube. It is known that explicitly computing the volume of this polytope can become too computationally complex in many instances. However, our algorithm was able to sample 1,000,000 uniform at random points from the feasible activation space. The computed distribution of activation across muscles sheds light onto the structure of these solution spaces-rather than simply exploring their maximal and minimal values. Although this paper presents a 7 dimensional case of the index finger, our methods extend to systems with at least 40 muscles. This will allow our motor control community to understand the distributions of feasible muscle activations, providing important contextual information into learning, optimization and adaptation of motor patterns in future research. PMID:26736540

  12. 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

  13. A comparative study: completion of fine motor office related tasks by high school students with autism using video models on large and small screen sizes.

    PubMed

    Mechling, Linda C; Ayres, Kevin M

    2012-11-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to compare fine motor task completion when using video models presented on a smaller screen size (Personal Digital Assistant) compared to a larger laptop screen size. The investigation included four high school students with autism spectrum disorders and mild to moderate intellectual disabilities and used an adapted alternating treatments design with baseline, extended baseline, comparison, and final treatment conditions. Results showed that although independent completion of fine motor office related tasks increased under both procedures, use of video models on the larger screen resulted in a higher percentage of correct responses across all four students.

  14. 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

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27414063

  15. Effect of block of α-1-adrenoceptors on overall motor activity but not on spatial cognition in the object-position recognition task.

    PubMed

    Levčík, D; Stuchlík, A; Klement, D

    2013-01-01

    Prazosin, an alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist, is well known for its depressant effect on motivation and motor activity, while it has no effect on retention of spatial behavior in several tasks, e.g. in the Morris water maze and radial arm maze. The role of alpha(1)-adrenoceptors in operant tasks with stimulus-controlled behavior has not yet been tested. The present study investigated the effect of prazosin on the modulation of overall motor activity and on cognitive performance in a spatial operant task called object-position recognition task, where operant behavior (lever pressing) was controlled by spatial stimuli displayed on a computer screen. This task has been previously showed to be hippocampal-dependent. Pre-test injection of prazosin at the dose of 3 mg/kg decreased the responding rate, while it did not affect the recognition of object's position. In conclusion, we validated the new cognitive test with a drug with known pharmacological effects on behavior and confirmed the depressant effect of prazosin on motor activity and no effect on retrieval of spatial memory in the hippocampal-dependent operant task.

  16. Competition and performance on a computer-based complex perceptual-motor task.

    PubMed

    Worchel, S; Shebilske, W L; Jordan, J A; Prislin, R

    1997-09-01

    Employees of temporary agencies practiced Space Fortress, a complex video game task, for 10 sessions, each consisting of 8 practice and 2 test games of 3 min each. Trainees practiced individually, in dyads, or in tetrads, and they were classified as having high or low aptitude based on computer attitude scores and baseline performance. Competition for monetary prizes was introduced early in training, late in training, or not at all. Competition facilitated high-aptitude trainees but not low-aptitude trainees. Group size and the timing of competition instructions had no main effects or interactions. The results are discussed in terms of social facilitation theory, according to which competition facilitates dominant responses, which helps high-skill trainees but not low-skill trainees. PMID:9394634

  17. Age-related changes in optimality and motor variability: an example of multifinger redundant tasks

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jaebum; Sun, Yao; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M.

    2011-01-01

    We used two methods, analytical inverse optimization (ANIO) and uncontrolled manifold (UCM) analysis of synergies, to explore age-related changes in finger coordination during accurate force and moment of force production tasks. The two methods address two aspects of the control of redundant systems: Finding an optimal solution (an optimal sharing pattern) and using variable solutions across trials (covarying finger forces) that are equally able to solve the task. Young and elderly subjects produced accurate combinations of total force and moment by pressing with the four fingers of the dominant hand on individual force sensors. In session-1, single trials covered a broad range of force–moment combinations. Principal component (PC) analysis showed that the first two PCs explained about 90% and 75% of finger force variance for the young and elderly groups, respectively. The magnitudes of the loading coefficients in the PCs suggested that the young subjects used mechanical advantage to produce moment while elderly subjects did not (confirmed by analysis of moments produced by individual digits). A co-contraction index was computed reflecting the magnitude of moment produced by fingers acting against the required direction of the total moment. This index was significantly higher in the young group. The ANIO approach yielded a quadratic cost function with linear terms. In the elderly group, the contribution of the forces produced by the middle and ring fingers to the cost function value was much smaller than in the young group. The angle between the plane of experimental observations and the plane of optimal solutions (D-angle), was very small (about 1.5°) in the young group and significantly larger (about 5°) in the elderly group. In session-2, four force–moment combinations were used with multiple trials at each. Covariation among finger forces (multifinger synergies) stabilizing total force, total moment, and both was seen in both groups with larger synergy

  18. Age-related changes in optimality and motor variability: an example of multifinger redundant tasks.

    PubMed

    Park, Jaebum; Sun, Yao; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2011-07-01

    We used two methods, analytical inverse optimization (ANIO) and uncontrolled manifold (UCM) analysis of synergies, to explore age-related changes in finger coordination during accurate force and moment of force production tasks. The two methods address two aspects of the control of redundant systems: Finding an optimal solution (an optimal sharing pattern) and using variable solutions across trials (covarying finger forces) that are equally able to solve the task. Young and elderly subjects produced accurate combinations of total force and moment by pressing with the four fingers of the dominant hand on individual force sensors. In session-1, single trials covered a broad range of force-moment combinations. Principal component (PC) analysis showed that the first two PCs explained about 90% and 75% of finger force variance for the young and elderly groups, respectively. The magnitudes of the loading coefficients in the PCs suggested that the young subjects used mechanical advantage to produce moment while elderly subjects did not (confirmed by analysis of moments produced by individual digits). A co-contraction index was computed reflecting the magnitude of moment produced by fingers acting against the required direction of the total moment. This index was significantly higher in the young group. The ANIO approach yielded a quadratic cost function with linear terms. In the elderly group, the contribution of the forces produced by the middle and ring fingers to the cost function value was much smaller than in the young group. The angle between the plane of experimental observations and the plane of optimal solutions (D-angle), was very small (about 1.5°) in the young group and significantly larger (about 5°) in the elderly group. In session-2, four force-moment combinations were used with multiple trials at each. Covariation among finger forces (multifinger synergies) stabilizing total force, total moment, and both was seen in both groups with larger synergy

  19. 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.

  20. 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 disorder."…

  1. A Comparative Study: Completion of Fine Motor Office Related Tasks by High School Students with Autism Using Video Models on Large and Small Screen Sizes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mechling, Linda C.; Ayres, Kevin M.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to compare fine motor task completion when using video models presented on a smaller screen size (Personal Digital Assistant) compared to a larger laptop screen size. The investigation included four high school students with autism spectrum disorders and mild to moderate intellectual disabilities and used an…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Optimization and variability of motor behavior in multifinger tasks: what variables does the brain use?

    PubMed

    Martin, Joel R; Terekhov, Alexander V; Latash, Mark L; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M

    2013-01-01

    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). The authors analyzed which of the 2 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. They 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

  5. Sensory weighting of force and position feedback in human motor control tasks.

    PubMed

    Mugge, Winfred; Schuurmans, Jasper; Schouten, Alfred C; van der Helm, Frans C T

    2009-04-29

    In daily life humans integrate force and position feedback from mechanoreceptors, proprioception, and vision. With handling relatively soft, elastic objects, force and position are related and can be integrated to improve the accuracy of an estimate of either one. Sensory weighting between different sensory systems (e.g., vision and proprioception) has been extensively studied. This study investigated whether similar weighting can be found within the proprioceptive sensory system, more specifically between the modalities force and position. We hypothesized that sensory weighting is governed by object stiffness: position feedback is weighted heavier on soft objects (large deflections), while force feedback is weighted heavier on stiff objects (small deflections). Subjects were instructed to blindly reproduce either position or force while holding a one degree of freedom haptic manipulator that simulated a linear spring with one of four predetermined stiffnesses. In catch trials the spring was covertly replaced by a nonlinear spring. The difference in force (DeltaF) and position (DeltaX) between the regular and the catch trials revealed the sensory weighting between force and position feedback. A maximum likelihood estimation model predicted that: (1) task instruction did not affect the outcome measures, and (2) force feedback is weighted heavier with increasing object stiffness as was hypothesized. Both effects were found experimentally, and the subjects' sensory weighting closely resembled the optimal model predictions. To conclude, this study successfully demonstrated sensory weighting within the proprioceptive system.

  6. Reaction Time in a Visual 4-Choice Reaction Time Task: ERP Effects of Motor Preparation and Hemispheric Involvement.

    PubMed

    Antonova, Ingrida; van Swam, Claudia; Hubl, Daniela; Dierks, Thomas; Griskova-Bulanova, Inga; Koenig, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    Reaction time (RT), the most common measure of CNS efficiency, shows intra- and inter-individual variability. This may be accounted for by hemispheric specialization, individual neuroanatomy, and transient functional fluctuations between trials. To explore RT on these three levels, ERPs were measured in a visual 4-choice RT task with lateralized stimuli (left lateral, left middle, right middle, and right lateral) in 28 healthy right-handed subjects. We analyzed behavioral data, ERP microstates (MS), N1 and P3 components, and trial-by-trial variance. Across subjects, the N1 component was contralateral to the stimulation side. N1-MSs were stronger over the left hemisphere, and middle stimulation evoked stronger activation than lateral stimulation in both hemispheres. The P3 was larger for the right visual field stimulation. RTs were shorter for the right visual hemifield stimulation/right hand responses. Within subjects, covariance analysis of single trial ERPs with RTs showed consistent lateralized predictors of RT over the motor cortex (MC) in the 112-248 ms interval. Decreased RTs were related to negativity over the MC contralateral to the stimulation side, an effect that could be interpreted as the lateralized readiness potential (LRP), and which was strongest for right side stimulation. The covariance analysis linking individual mean RTs and individual mean ERPs showed a frontal negativity and an occipital positivity correlating with decreased RTs in the 212-232 ms interval. We concluded that a particular RT is a composite measure that depends on the appropriateness of the motor preparation to a particular response and on stimulus lateralization that selectively involves a particular hemisphere.

  7. Cortical activity of skilled performance in a complex sports related motor task.

    PubMed

    Baumeister, Jochen; Reinecke, Kirsten; Liesen, Heinz; Weiss, Michael

    2008-11-01

    A skilled player in goal-directed sports performance has the ability to process internal and external information in an effective manner and decide which pieces of information are important and which are irrelevant. Focused attention and somatosensory information processing play a crucial role in this process. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings are able to demonstrate cortical changes in conjunction with this concept and were examined during a golf putting performance in an expert-novice paradigm. The success in putting (score) and performance-related cortical activity were recorded with an EEG during a 5 x 4 min putting series. Subjects were asked to putt balls for four min at their own pace. The EEG data was divided into different frequencies: Theta (4.75-6.75 Hz), Alpha-1 (7-9.5 Hz), Alpha-2 (9.75-12.5 Hz) and Beta-1 (12.75-18.5 Hz) and performance related power values were calculated. Statistical analysis shows significant better performance in the expert golfers (P < 0.001). This was associated with higher fronto-midline Theta power (P < 0.05) and higher parietal Alpha-2 power values (P < 0.05) compared to the novices in golf putting. Frontal Theta and parietal Alpha-2 spectral power in the ongoing EEG demonstrate differences due to skill level. Furthermore the findings suggest that with increasing skill level, golfers have developed task solving strategies including focussed attention and an economy in parietal sensory information processing which lead to more successful performance. In a theoretical framework both cortical parameters may play a role in the concept of the working memory. PMID:18607621

  8. The effect of a cognitive-motor intervention on voluntary step execution under single and dual task conditions in older adults: a randomized controlled pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Pichierri, Giuseppe; Coppe, Amos; Lorenzetti, Silvio; Murer, Kurt; de Bruin, Eling D

    2012-01-01

    Background This randomized controlled pilot study aimed to explore whether a cognitive-motor exercise program that combines traditional physical exercise with dance video gaming can improve the voluntary stepping responses of older adults under attention demanding dual task conditions. Methods Elderly subjects received twice weekly cognitive-motor exercise that included progressive strength and balance training supplemented by dance video gaming for 12 weeks (intervention group). The control group received no specific intervention. Voluntary step execution under single and dual task conditions was recorded at baseline and post intervention (Week 12). Results After intervention between-group comparison revealed significant differences for initiation time of forward steps under dual task conditions (U = 9, P = 0.034, r = 0.55) and backward steps under dual task conditions (U = 10, P = 0.045, r = 0.52) in favor of the intervention group, showing altered stepping levels in the intervention group compared to the control group. Conclusion A cognitive-motor intervention based on strength and balance exercises with additional dance video gaming is able to improve voluntary step execution under both single and dual task conditions in older adults. PMID:22865999

  9. 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

  10. Synchronization in monkey motor cortex during a precision grip task. II. effect of oscillatory activity on corticospinal output.

    PubMed

    Baker, Stuart N; Pinches, Elizabeth M; Lemon, Roger N

    2003-04-01

    Recordings from primary motor cortex (M1) during periods of steady contraction show oscillatory activity; these oscillations are coherent with the activity of contralateral muscles. We investigated synchronization of corticospinal output neurons with the oscillations, which could provide the pathway for their transmission to the spinal motoneurons. One hundred seventy-six antidromically identified pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) were recorded from M1 in three macaque monkeys trained to perform a precision grip task. Local field potentials (LFP) were simultaneously recorded. All analysis was confined to the hold period of the task, where our previous work has shown that there is the strongest oscillatory activity. Coherence was calculated between LFP and PTN discharge. Significant coherence was seen in three bands, with frequencies of 10-14, 17-31, and 34-44 Hz. Coherence values were low, with the majority of PTN-LFP coherences having a peak lower than 0.05. The phase of coherence was approximately -pi/2 radians for each band (with LFP polarity defined as negative upward), although there was some dispersion of phase across the population of PTNs. Coherence was also calculated between pairs of PTNs that had been simultaneously recorded. Where there was significant coherence, it was also generally smaller than 0.05. The phase of PTN-PTN coherence clustered around zero radians. A computer model was constructed to assist the interpretation of the experimental results. It simulated an integrate-and-fire neuron responding to synaptic inputs. A fraction of the synaptic inputs was synchronized with a simulated LFP; the remainder were uncorrelated with it. The model showed that coherence between the LFP and the output spike train considerably underestimated the fraction of synchronized inputs. Additionally, for a given fraction of synchronized inputs, coherence was smaller for high- compared with low-frequency bins. Cell discharge rate also influenced the spike-LFP coherence

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Voltage harmonic variation in three-phase induction motors with different coil pitches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deshmukh, Ram; Moses, Anthony John; Anayi, Fatih

    2006-09-01

    A pulse-width modulation (PWM) inverter feeding four different chorded three-phase induction motors was tested for low-order odd harmonic voltage component and efficiency at different loads. Total harmonic distortion (THD) due to 3rd, 5th and 9th harmonics was less in a motor with 160° coil pitch. Particular harmonic order for each coil pitch was suppressed and the efficiency of a 120° coil pitch motor was increased by 7.5%.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25972896

  17. 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. PMID:25972896

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:27482536

  20. 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

  1. Toward fewer EEG channels and better feature extractor of non-motor imagery mental tasks classification for a wheelchair thought controller.

    PubMed

    Chai, Rifai; Ling, Sai Ho; Hunter, Gregory P; Nguyen, Hung T

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a non-motor imagery tasks classification electroencephalography (EEG) based brain computer interface (BCI) for wheelchair control. It uses only two EEG channels and a better feature extractor to improve the portability and accuracy in the practical system. In addition, two different features extraction methods, power spectral density (PSD) and Hilbert Huang Transform (HHT) energy are compared to find a better method with improved classification accuracy using a Genetic Algorithm (GA) based neural network classifier. The results from five subjects show that using the original eight channels with three tasks, accuracy between 76% and 85% is achieved. With only two channels in combination with the best chosen task using a PSD feature extractor, the accuracy is reduced to between 65% and 79%. However, the HHT based method provides an improved accuracy between 70% and 84% for the classification of three discriminative tasks using two EEG channels.

  2. 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. PMID:22433257

  3. 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.…

  4. Variations of intestinal motor activity in bladder replacements and in the intestine.

    PubMed

    Lobel, B; Guille, F; Olivo, J F; Gosselin, A; Goldwasser, B

    1993-12-01

    Urinary reservoirs are made from intestinal segments. The motor activity of the intestinal tract is regulated by hormonal and neurological controls. This study compares the motor activity of intestine in situ with those of a neobladder, following oral intake. The changes in motor activity before and after ingestion of standardized 570 Kcal meal were measured simultaneously in the duodenum and in the neobladder of 4 patients who underwent a Camey tubularized ileocystoplasty. Similar motor movements were produced in the graft and in the duodenum. Modifications due to oral intake were then measured in 14 patients with various types of urinary reservoirs (ilea, ileo-colic or colic; and tubularized or detubularized) by measuring the pressure inside the graft. After oral intake the compliance of the detubularized colic and ileocolic reservoirs was greater than that of ileal reservoirs, even after detubularization, since the motor activity and the basal pressure increased greatly in the tubularized or detubularized ileal bladders and much less in the detubularized colic and ileocolic bladders. It is well known that digestion is maximal in the second half of the night, therefore this link between intestinal and neobladder motor activity might explain one of several mechanisms involved in nocturnal increase in reservoir pressure and urine incontinence.

  5. Task-dependent modulation of functional connectivity between hand motor cortices and neuronal networks underlying language and music: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study in humans.

    PubMed

    Sparing, R; Meister, I G; Wienemann, M; Buelte, D; Staedtgen, M; Boroojerdi, B

    2007-01-01

    Although language functions are, in general, attributed to the left hemisphere, it is still a matter of debate to what extent the cognitive functions underlying the processing of music are lateralized in the human brain. To investigate hemispheric specialization we evaluated the effect of different overt musical and linguistic tasks on the excitability of both left and right hand motor cortices using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Task-dependent changes of the size of the TMS-elicited motor evoked potentials were recorded in 12 right-handed, musically naive subjects during and after overt speech, singing and humming, i.e. the production of melody without word articulation. The articulation of meaningless syllables served as control condition. We found reciprocal lateralized effects of overt speech and musical tasks on motor cortex excitability. During overt speech, the corticospinal projection of the left (i.e. dominant) hemisphere to the right hand was facilitated. In contrast, excitability of the right motor cortex increased during both overt singing and humming, whereas no effect was observed on the left hemisphere. Although the traditional concept of hemispheric lateralization of music has been challenged by recent neuroimaging studies, our findings demonstrate that right-hemisphere preponderance of music is nevertheless present. We discuss our results in terms of the recent concepts on evolution of language and gesture, which hypothesize that cerebral networks mediating hand movement and those subserving language processing are functionally linked. TMS may constitute a useful tool to further investigate the relationship between cortical representations of motor functions, music and language using comparative approaches.

  6. Alpha power and coherence primarily reflect neural activity related to stages of motor response during a continuous monitoring task.

    PubMed

    Moore, Roger A; Gale, Anthony; Morris, Paul H; Forrester, Dave

    2008-08-01

    Previously, EEG theta (4-6 Hz) was related to goal conflict resolution [Moore, R.A., Gale, A., Morris, P.H., Forrester, D., 2006. Theta phase locking across the neocortex reflects cortico-hippocampal recursive communication during goal conflict resolution. Int. J. Psychophysiol. 60, 260-273] in the context of theory linked with animal hippocampal theta [Gray, J.A., McNaughton, N., 2000. The Neuropsychology of Anxiety: An Enquiry into the Functions of the Septo-Hippocampal system, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, Oxford]. Here, the hypothesis that human EEG alpha (8-12 Hz) may also be a natural analogue to animal hippocampal theta is tested. Participants engaged in a monitoring task where the object was to press a response key immediately after presentation of 4 individual, non-repeating, single integer odd digits. These were presented amongst a continuous stream of single integer digits and Xs. EEG recorded in the earlier study were reanalysed; this time extracting alpha power and coherence from the same 34 participants. Alpha had a different profile to theta and was not primarily related to goal conflict. Low alpha (8-10 Hz) coherence consistently increased at electrodes close to primary sensorimotor cortex; particularly during response execution and response inhibition. The coherence analysis revealed that high alpha (10-12 Hz) related to response execution. Supplementary analyses demonstrated widespread high alpha coherence increase during response execution, inhibition and preparation. These data were discussed within the context of motor driven 'classic alpha' and Rolandic mu. A coherence profile which differentiated response execution and response inhibition was proposed to reflect a working memory network which was activated during response execution. Also, alpha power (8-12 Hz) reduced at several central electrodes during response execution. This reflected classic Rolandic mu response. Participants displaying a predicted low alpha power trend had the

  7. 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

  8. Cerebellar Plasticity and Motor Learning Deficits in a Copy Number Variation Mouse Model of Autism

    PubMed Central

    Piochon, Claire; Kloth, Alexander D; Grasselli, Giorgio; Titley, Heather K; Nakayama, Hisako; Hashimoto, Kouichi; Wan, Vivian; Simmons, Dana H; Eissa, Tahra; Nakatani, Jin; Cherskov, Adriana; Miyazaki, Taisuke; Watanabe, Masahiko; Takumi, Toru; Kano, Masanobu; Wang, Samuel S-H; Hansel, Christian

    2014-01-01

    A common feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the impairment of motor control and learning, occurring in a majority of children with autism, consistent with perturbation in cerebellar function. Here we report alterations in motor behavior and cerebellar synaptic plasticity in a mouse model (patDp/+) for the human 15q11-13 duplication, one of the most frequently observed genetic aberrations in autism. These mice show ASD-resembling social behavior deficits. We find that in patDp/+ mice delay eyeblink conditioning—a form of cerebellum-dependent motor learning—is impaired, and observe deregulation of a putative cellular mechanism for motor learning, long-term depression (LTD) at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses. Moreover, developmental elimination of surplus climbing fibers—a model for activity-dependent synaptic pruning—is impaired. These findings point to deficits in synaptic plasticity and pruning as potential causes for motor problems and abnormal circuit development in autism. PMID:25418414

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:24718593

  14. Effects of contextual interference and conditions of movement task on acquisition, retention, and transfer of motor skills by women.

    PubMed

    Jarus, T; Wughalter, E H; Gianutsos, J G

    1997-02-01

    This experiment was designed to investigate varying conditions of contextual interference within two different conditions of movement tasks during acquisition on the acquisition and retention of a computerized task and transfer to a functional skill. Performance of head movements was conducted under open- or closed-task conditions and with random or blocked schedules of practice. Analysis indicated that learning under the open-task condition resulted in better retention and transfer than the closed-task condition. It is suggested that increasing the within-trial variability in the open-task condition produced a contextual interference effect. In this regard, support for Battig's predictions is provided by the current findings in that the high variability present during the open-task condition was more beneficial for retention and transfer than the low variability present during the closed-task condition. Differences between random and blocked schedules of practice on the retention and transfer data were not statistically significant. PMID:9132708

  15. The Presence or Absence of Older Siblings and Variation in Infant Goal-Directed Motor Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid, Vincent; Stahl, Daniel; Striano, Tricia

    2010-01-01

    This study investigates the relationship between having an older sibling and early goal-directed motor development. In a longitudinal study, infants were filmed playing with their mother and were observed at 5 and 12 months of age. After each observation, they were assessed with the Mental Bayley Scale. From the mother-child interaction, playing…

  16. Cumulative lead exposure in community-dwelling adults and fine motor function: comparing standard and novel tasks in the VA Normative Aging Study

    PubMed Central

    Grashow, Rachel; Spiro, Avron; Taylor, Kathryn M.; Newton, Kimberly; Shrairman, Ruth; Landau, Alexander; Sparrow, David; Hu, Howard; Weisskopf, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Lead exposure in children and occupationally-exposed adults has been associated with reduced visuomotor and fine motor function. However, associations in environmentally-exposed adults remain relatively unexplored. To address this, we examined the association between cumulative lead exposure—as measured by lead in bone—and performance on the Grooved Pegboard (GP) manual dexterity task, as well as on handwriting tasks using a novel assessment approach, among men in the VA Normative Aging Study (NAS). Methods GP testing was done with 362 NAS participants, and handwriting assessment with 328, who also had tibia and patella lead measurements made with K-X-Ray Fluorescence (KXRF). GP scores were time (sec) to complete the task with the dominant hand. The handwriting assessment approach assessed the production of signature and cursive lowercase l and m letter samples. Signature and lm task scores reflect consistency in repeated trials. We used linear regression to estimate associations and 95% confidence intervals (CI) with adjustment for age, smoking, education, income and computer experience. A backward elimination algorithm was used in the subset with both GP and handwriting assessment to identify variables predictive of each outcome. Results The mean (SD) participant age was 69.1 (7.2) years; mean patella and tibia concentrations were 25.0 (20.7) μg/g and 19.2 (14.6) μg/g, respectively. In multivariable-adjusted analyses, GP performance was associated with tibia (β per 15 μg/g bone = 4.66, 95% CI: 1.73, 7.58, p=0.002) and patella (β per 20 μg/g = 3.93, 95% CI: 1.11, 6.76, p = 0.006). In multivariable adjusted models of handwriting production, only the lm-pattern task showed a significant association with tibia (β per 15 μg/g bone = 1.27, 95% CI: 0.24, 2.29, p = 0.015), such that lm pattern production was more stable with increasing lead exposure. GP and handwriting scores were differentially sensitive to education, smoking, computer

  17. 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…

  18. And Yet They Act Together: Interpersonal Perception Modulates Visuo-Motor Interference and Mutual Adjustments during a Joint-Grasping Task

    PubMed Central

    Sacheli, Lucia Maria; Candidi, Matteo; Pavone, Enea Francesco; Tidoni, Emmanuele; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2012-01-01

    Prediction of “when” a partner will act and “what” he is going to do is crucial in joint-action contexts. However, studies on face-to-face interactions in which two people have to mutually adjust their movements in time and space are lacking. Moreover, while studies on passive observation have shown that somato-motor simulative processes are disrupted when the observed actor is perceived as an out-group or unfair individual, the impact of interpersonal perception on joint-actions has never been directly addressed. Here we explored this issue by comparing the ability of pairs of participants who did or did not undergo an interpersonal perception manipulation procedure to synchronise their reach-to-grasp movements during: i) a guided interaction, requiring pure temporal reciprocal coordination, and ii) a free interaction, requiring both time and space adjustments. Behavioural results demonstrate that while in neutral situations free and guided interactions are equally challenging for participants, a negative interpersonal relationship improves performance in guided interactions at the expense of the free interactive ones. This was paralleled at the kinematic level by the absence of movement corrections and by low movement variability in these participants, indicating that partners cooperating within a negative interpersonal bond executed the cooperative task on their own, without reciprocally adapting to the partner's motor behaviour. Crucially, participants' performance in the free interaction improved in the manipulated group during the second experimental session while partners became interdependent as suggested by higher movement variability and by the appearance of interference between the self-executed actions and those observed in the partner. Our study expands current knowledge about on-line motor interactions by showing that visuo-motor interference effects, mutual motor adjustments and motor-learning mechanisms are influenced by social perception

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. The optimal neural strategy for a stable motor task requires a compromise between level of muscle cocontraction and synaptic gain of afferent feedback.

    PubMed

    Dideriksen, Jakob L; Negro, Francesco; Farina, Dario

    2015-09-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Improving the Performance of an EEG-Based Motor Imagery Brain Computer Interface Using Task Evoked Changes in Pupil Diameter

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25816285

  6. Cortisol Responses to a Group Public Speaking Task for Adolescents: Variations by Age, Gender, and Race

    PubMed Central

    Hostinar, Camelia E.; McQuillan, Mollie T.; Mirous, Heather J.; Grant, Kathryn E.; Adam, Emma K.

    2014-01-01

    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 5 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. PMID:25218656

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation enhances the effects of motor imagery training in a finger tapping task.

    PubMed

    Saimpont, Arnaud; Mercier, Catherine; Malouin, Francine; Guillot, Aymeric; Collet, Christian; Doyon, Julien; Jackson, Philip L

    2016-01-01

    Motor imagery (MI) training and anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied over the primary motor cortex can independently improve hand motor function. The main objective of this double-blind, sham-controlled study was to examine whether anodal tDCS over the primary motor cortex could enhance the effects of MI training on the learning of a finger tapping sequence. Thirty-six right-handed young human adults were assigned to one of three groups: (i) who performed MI training combined with anodal tDCS applied over the primary motor cortex; (ii) who performed MI training combined with sham tDCS; and (iii) who received tDCS while reading a book. The MI training consisted of mentally rehearsing an eight-item complex finger sequence for 13 min. Before (Pre-test), immediately after (Post-test 1), and at 90 min after (Post-test 2) MI training, the participants physically repeated the sequence as fast and as accurately as possible. An anova showed that the number of sequences correctly performed significantly increased between Pre-test and Post-test 1 and remained stable at Post-test 2 in the three groups (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the percentage increase in performance between Pre-test and Post-test 1 and Post-test 2 was significantly greater in the group that performed MI training combined with anodal tDCS compared with the other two groups (P < 0.05). As a potential physiological explanation, the synaptic strength within the primary motor cortex could have been reinforced by the association of MI training and tDCS compared with MI training alone and tDCS alone. PMID:26540137

  13. 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.

  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. 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. PMID:25570453

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Task-specific brain reorganization in motor recovery induced by a hybrid-rehabilitation combining training with brain stimulation after stroke.

    PubMed

    Koganemaru, Satoko; Sawamoto, Nobukatsu; Aso, Toshihiko; Sagara, Akiko; Ikkaku, Tomoko; Shimada, Kenji; Kanematsu, Madoka; Takahashi, Ryosuke; Domen, Kazuhisa; Fukuyama, Hidenao; Mima, Tatsuya

    2015-03-01

    Recently, we have developed a new hybrid-rehabilitation combining 5Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and extensor motor training of the paretic upper-limb for stroke patients with flexor hypertonia. We previously showed that the extensor-specific plastic change in M1 was associated with beneficial effects of our protocol (Koganemaru et al., 2010). Here, we investigated whether extensor-specific multiregional brain reorganization occurred after the hybrid-rehabilitation using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Eleven chronic stroke patients were scanned while performing upper-limb extensor movements. Untrained flexor movements were used as a control condition. The scanning and clinical assessments were done before, immediately and 2 weeks after the hybrid-rehabilitation. As a result, during the trained extensor movements, the imaging analysis showed a significant reduction of brain activity in the ipsilesional sensorimotor cortex, the contralesional cingulate motor cortex and the contralesional premotor cortex in association with functional improvements of the paretic hands. The activation change was not found for the control condition. Our results suggested that use-dependent plasticity induced by repetitive motor training with brain stimulation might be related to task-specific multi-regional brain reorganization. It provides a key to understand why repetitive training of the target action is one of the most powerful rehabilitation strategies to help patients.

  19. 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.

  20. Beyond affect: A role for genetic variation of the serotonin transporter in neural activation during a cognitive attention task

    PubMed Central

    Canli, Turhan; Omura, Kazufumi; Haas, Brian W.; Fallgatter, Andreas; Constable, R. Todd; Lesch, Klaus Peter

    2005-01-01

    Prior work has highlighted the role of genetic variation within the repetitive sequence in the transcriptional control region of the serotonin (5-HT) transporter gene (5-HTT, SLC6A4) in modulating amygdala and prefrontal activation to negative emotional stimuli. However, these studies have not explicitly tested the assumption that the control condition (neutral baseline) does not itself produce changes in activation as a function of 5-HTT genotype. Using a fixation baseline condition, we show that variation in 5-HTT genotype is associated with differential activation to negative, positive, and neutral stimuli in limbic, striatal, and cortical regions. We replicate earlier reports of increased amygdala activation to negative, relative to neutral, stimuli, but then show that these differences are driven by decreased activation to neutral stimuli, rather than increased activation to negative stimuli, in carriers of the 5-HTT short allele. Using high-resolution structural images and automated processes to test for brain volume and gray matter density, we further report significant differences, as a function of 5-HTT genotype, in frontal cortical regions, anterior cingulate, and cerebellum. These functional and structural differences suggest a much broader role for 5-HT transport efficiency in brain processes than previously thought. 5-HTT genotype affects neural systems controlling affective, cognitive, and motor processes. PMID:16093315

  1. 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.

  2. The role of the medial caudate nucleus, but not the hippocampus, in a matching-to sample task for a motor response.

    PubMed

    Kesner, Raymond P; Gilbert, Paul E

    2006-04-01

    A delayed-match-to-sample task was used to assess memory for motor responses in rats with control, hippocampus, or medial caudate nucleus (MCN) lesions. All testing was conducted on a cheeseboard maze in complete darkness using an infrared camera. A start box was positioned in the centre of the maze facing a randomly determined direction on each trial. On the sample phase, a phosphorescent object was randomly positioned to cover a baited food well in one of five equally spaced positions around the circumference of the maze forming a 180-degree arc 60 cm from the box. The rat had to displace the object to receive food and return to the start box. The box was then rotated to face a different direction. An identical baited phosphorescent object was placed in the same position relative to the start box. A second identical object was positioned to cover a different unbaited well. On the choice phase, the rat must remember the motor response made on the sample phase and make the same motor response on the choice phase to receive a reward. Hippocampus lesioned and control rats improved as a function of increased angle separation used to separate the correct object from the foil (45, 90, 135, and 180 degrees) and matched the performance of controls. However, rats with MCN lesions were impaired across all separations. Results suggest that the MCN, but not the hippocampus, supports working memory and/or a process aimed at reducing interference for motor response selection based on vector angle information.

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:27458384

  16. gSRT-Soft: a generic software application and some methodological guidelines to investigate implicit learning through visual-motor sequential tasks.

    PubMed

    Chambaron, Stéphanie; Ginhac, Dominique; Perruchet, Pierre

    2008-05-01

    Serial reaction time tasks and, more generally, the visual-motor sequential paradigms are increasingly popular tools in a variety of research domains, from studies on implicit learning in laboratory contexts to the assessment of residual learning capabilities of patients in clinical settings. A consequence of this success, however, is the increased variability in paradigms and the difficulty inherent in respecting the methodological principles that two decades of experimental investigations have made more and more stringent. The purpose of the present article is to address those problems. We present a user-friendly application that simplifies running classical experiments, but is flexible enough to permit a broad range of nonstandard manipulations for more specific objectives. Basic methodological guidelines are also provided, as are suggestions for using the software to explore unconventional directions of research. The most recent version of gSRT-Soft may be obtained for free by contacting the authors.

  17. Using Fractal and Local Binary Pattern Features for Classification of ECOG Motor Imagery Tasks Obtained from the Right Brain Hemisphere.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fangzhou; Zhou, Weidong; Zhen, Yilin; Yuan, Qi; Wu, Qi

    2016-09-01

    The feature extraction and classification of brain signal is very significant in brain-computer interface (BCI). In this study, we describe an algorithm for motor imagery (MI) classification of electrocorticogram (ECoG)-based BCI. The proposed approach employs multi-resolution fractal measures and local binary pattern (LBP) operators to form a combined feature for characterizing an ECoG epoch recording from the right hemisphere of the brain. A classifier is trained by using the gradient boosting in conjunction with ordinary least squares (OLS) method. The fractal intercept, lacunarity and LBP features are extracted to classify imagined movements of either the left small finger or the tongue. Experimental results on dataset I of BCI competition III demonstrate the superior performance of our method. The cross-validation accuracy and accuracy is 90.6% and 95%, respectively. Furthermore, the low computational burden of this method makes it a promising candidate for real-time BCI systems. PMID:27255798

  18. Neuronal control of turtle hindlimb motor rhythms.

    PubMed

    Stein, P S G

    2005-03-01

    The turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans, uses its hindlimb during the rhythmic motor behaviors of walking, swimming, and scratching. For some tasks, one or more motor strategies or forms may be produced, e.g., forward swimming or backpaddling. This review discusses experiments that reveal characteristics of the spinal neuronal networks producing these motor behaviors. Limb-movement studies show shared properties such as rhythmic alternation between hip flexion and hip extension, as well as variable properties such as the timing of knee extension in the cycle of hip movements. Motor-pattern studies show shared properties such as rhythmic alternation between hip flexor and hip extensor motor activities, as well as variable properties such as modifiable timing of knee extensor motor activity in the cycle of hip motor activity. Motor patterns also display variations such as the hip-extensor deletion of rostral scratching. Neuronal-network studies reveal mechanisms responsible for movement and motor-pattern properties. Some interneurons in the spinal cord have shared activities, e.g., each unit is active during more than one behavior, and have distinct characteristics, e.g., each unit is most excited during a specific behavior. Interneuronal recordings during variations support the concept of modular organization of central pattern generators in the spinal cord.

  19. Differential activation of brain regions involved with error-feedback and imitation based motor simulation when observing self and an expert's actions in pilots and non-pilots on a complex glider landing task.

    PubMed

    Callan, Daniel E; Terzibas, Cengiz; Cassel, Daniel B; Callan, Akiko; Kawato, Mitsuo; Sato, Masa-Aki

    2013-05-15

    In this fMRI study we investigate neural processes related to the action observation network using a complex perceptual-motor task in pilots and non-pilots. The task involved landing a glider (using aileron, elevator, rudder, and dive brake) as close to a target as possible, passively observing a replay of one's own previous trial, passively observing a replay of an expert's trial, and a baseline do nothing condition. The objective of this study is to investigate two types of motor simulation processes used during observation of action: imitation based motor simulation and error-feedback based motor simulation. It has been proposed that the computational neurocircuitry of the cortex is well suited for unsupervised imitation based learning, whereas, the cerebellum is well suited for error-feedback based learning. Consistent with predictions, pilots (to a greater extent than non-pilots) showed significant differential activity when observing an expert landing the glider in brain regions involved with imitation based motor simulation (including premotor cortex PMC, inferior frontal gyrus IFG, anterior insula, parietal cortex, superior temporal gyrus, and middle temporal MT area) than when observing one's own previous trial which showed significant differential activity in the cerebellum (only for pilots) thought to be concerned with error-feedback based motor simulation. While there was some differential brain activity for pilots in regions involved with both Execution and Observation of the flying task (potential Mirror System sites including IFG, PMC, superior parietal lobule) the majority was adjacent to these areas (Observation Only Sites) (predominantly in PMC, IFG, and inferior parietal loblule). These regions showing greater activity for observation than for action may be involved with processes related to motor-based representational transforms that are not necessary when actually carrying out the task.

  20. Temporal variations in mortality: a comparison of U.S. suicides and motor vehicle fatalities, 1972-1976.

    PubMed

    Bollen, K A

    1983-02-01

    Among the various types of mortality, motor vehicle fatalities (MVF) and suicides are two that are very responsive to social, economic, and psychological factors. The analysis of the temporal patterns of suicides and MVF points to important but neglected forces affecting them. This paper examines the daily patterns of MVF and suicides for the United States from 1972 to 1976. The effects of the day of the week, month, year, and holidays on these types of mortality are estimated. Total MVF and suicides, as well as daily differentials by sex, age, and race, are analyzed with regression techniques. The results show that temporal variations are stronger in MVF than in suicides but are present in both. MVF tend to peak on Saturday, in the summer months, in 1972 and 1973, and on holidays. Suicides are generally highest on Monday, in the spring months, in 1975 and 1976, and on nonholidays. Differentials in the temporal patterns are evident. For instance, whites generally have a sharper decline in suicides on holidays than do nonwhites. The holiday peak in MVF for the 60 and over population is Christmas, while it is New Year's for the younger age groups. Males exhibit a greater increase in suicides from March to May than do females. Finally, the results of a comparison of the daily patterns of MVF and suicides revealed a negative correlation. This contrasted with the strong positive relationship between MVF and suicides generally found in cross-sectional studies. The implications of these findings are briefly discussed.

  1. Coordination of degrees of freedom and stabilization of task variables in a complex motor skill: expertise-related differences in cello bowing.

    PubMed

    Verrel, Julius; Pologe, Steven; Manselle, Wayne; Lindenberger, Ulman; Woollacott, Marjorie

    2013-02-01

    Stringed instrument bowing is a complex sensorimotor skill, involving fine regulation of bow orientation and motion relative to the string. In this study, we characterize this skill in terms of stabilization of specific bow parameters as well as the underlying use and coordination of the degrees of freedom (DOF) of the right bowing arm. Age-matched samples of 10 advanced cellists and 10 cello novices took part in the study. Kinematic bow movement data were analyzed with respect to task variables suggested by the cello teaching literature: position and orientation of the bow relative to the string, bow velocity, and timing. Joint motion of the bowing arm was analyzed in terms of movement amplitude and inter-joint coordination (principal component analysis). As expected, novices showed poorer control of bowing parameters. In addition, novices differed markedly from advanced players in the use and coordination of the DOF of the bowing arm, with the elbow and wrist showing less overall movement and a reduced proportion of variance explained by the first principal component (PC1). In contrast, larger amounts of shoulder variance were explained by PC1 in novices compared to experts. Our findings support Bernstein's theory of graded skill acquisition, according to which early stages of motor skill learning are characterized by a "freezing" of movement DOF, while later learning stages exploit the DOF, possibly following a proximal-to-distal sequence, for improved task performance. PMID:23109087

  2. 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.

  3. I know what I will see: action-specific motor preparation activity in a passive observation task.

    PubMed

    Bozzacchi, Chiara; Spinelli, Donatella; Pitzalis, Sabrina; Giusti, Maria Assunta; Di Russo, Francesco

    2015-06-01

    Literature on mirror neurons has shown that seeing someone preparing to move generates in the motor areas of the observers a brain activity similar to that generated when the subject prepares his own actions. Thus, the 'mirroring' of action would not be limited to the execution phase but also involves the preparation process. Here we confirm and extend this notion showing that, just as different brain activities prepare different voluntary actions, also different brain activities prepare to observe different predictable actions. Videos of two different actions from egocentric point of view were presented in separate blocks: (i) grasping of a cup and (ii) impossible grasping of a cup. Subjects had to passively observe the videos showing object-directed hand movements. Through the use of the event-related potentials, we found a cortical activity before observing the actions, which was very similar to the one recorded prior to the actual execution of that same action, in terms of both topography and latency. This anticipatory activity does not represent a general preparation state but an action-specific state, because being dependent on the specific meaning of the forthcoming action. These results reinforce our knowledge about the correspondence between action, perception and cognition. PMID:25261822

  4. Motor Deficits on a Ladder Rung Task in Male and Female Adolescent and Adult CGG Knock-in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Hunsaker, Michael R.; von Leden, Ramona E.; Ta, Binh T.; Goodrich-Hunsaker, Naomi J.; Arque, Gloria; Kim, Kyoungmi; Willemsen, Rob; Berman, Robert F.

    2011-01-01

    The fragile X premutation is a tandem CGG trinucleotide repeat expansion on the FMR1 gene between 55 and 200 repeats in length. A CGG knock-in (CGG KI) mouse with CGG trinucleotide repeat lengths between 70 and 350 has been developed and used to model the histopathology and cognitive deficits reported in carriers of the fragile X premutation. Previous studies have shown that CGG KI mice show progressive deficits in processing spatial and temporal information. To characterize the motor deficits associated with the fragile X premutation, male and female CGG KI mice ranging from 2–16 months of age with trinucleotide repeats ranging from 72–240 CGG in length were tested for their ability to perform a skilled ladder rung walking test. The results demonstrate that both male and female CGG KI mice showed a greater number of foot slips as a function of increased CGG repeat length, independent of the age of the animal or general activity level. PMID:21440572

  5. Dissociated multi-unit activity and local field potentials: a theory inspired analysis of a motor decision task.

    PubMed

    Mattia, Maurizio; Ferraina, Stefano; Del Giudice, Paolo

    2010-09-01

    Local field potentials (LFP) and multi-unit activity (MUA) recorded in vivo are known to convey different information about the underlying neural activity. Here we extend and support the idea that single-electrode LFP-MUA task-related modulations can shed light on the involved large-scale, multi-modular neural dynamics. We first illustrate a theoretical scheme and associated simulation evidence, proposing that in a multi-modular neural architecture local and distributed dynamic properties can be extracted from the local spiking activity of one pool of neurons in the network. From this new perspective, the spectral features of the field potentials reflect the time structure of the ongoing fluctuations of the probed local neuronal pool on a wide frequency range. We then report results obtained recording from the dorsal premotor (PMd) cortex of monkeys performing a countermanding task, in which a reaching movement is performed, unless a visual stop signal is presented. We find that the LFP and MUA spectral components on a wide frequency band (3-2000 Hz) are very differently modulated in time for successful reaching, successful and wrong stop trials, suggesting an interplay of local and distributed components of the underlying neural activity in different periods of the trials and for different behavioural outcomes. Besides, the MUA spectral power is shown to possess a time-dependent structure, which we suggest could help in understanding the successive involvement of different local neuronal populations. Finally, we compare signals recorded from PMd and dorso-lateral prefrontal (PFCd) cortex in the same experiment, and speculate that the comparative time-dependent spectral analysis of LFP and MUA can help reveal patterns of functional connectivity in the brain.

  6. The role of the posterior parietal cortex in stereopsis and hand-eye coordination during motor task behaviours.

    PubMed

    Paggetti, Giulia; Leff, Daniel Richard; Orihuela-Espina, Felipe; Mylonas, George; Darzi, Ara; Yang, Guang-Zhong; Menegaz, Gloria

    2015-05-01

    The field of 'Neuroergonomics' has the potential to improve safety in high-risk operative environments through a better appreciation of the way in which the brain responds during human-tool interactions. This is especially relevant to minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Amongst the many challenges imposed on the surgeon by traditional MIS (laparoscopy), arguably the greatest is the loss of depth perception. Robotic MIS platforms, on the other hand, provide the surgeon with a magnified three-dimensional view of the environment, and as a result may offload a degree of the cognitive burden. The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays an integral role in human depth perception. Therefore, it can be hypothesized that differences in PPC activation between monoscopic and stereoscopic vision may be observed. In order to investigate this hypothesis, the current study explores disparities in PPC responses between monoscopic and stereoscopic visual perception to better de-couple the burden imposed by laparoscopy and robotic surgery on the operator's brain. Fourteen participants conducted tasks of depth perception and hand-eye coordination under both monoscopic and stereoscopic visual feedback. Cortical haemodynamic responses were monitored throughout using optical functional neuroimaging. Overall, recruitment of the bilateral superior parietal lobule was observed during both depth perception and hand-eye coordination tasks. This occurred contrary to our hypothesis, regardless of the mode of visual feedback. Operator technical performance was significantly different in two- and three-dimensional visual displays. These differences in technical performance do not appear to be explained by significant differences in parietal lobe processing.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Online attentional-focus manipulations in a soccer-dribbling task: implications for the proceduralization of motor skills.

    PubMed

    Ford, Paul; Hodges, Nicola J; Williams, A Mark

    2005-09-01

    A focus of attention on the step-by-step control of a skill has been shown to be detrimental to experts' performance but to have no significant effect on novices' performance (e.g., S. L. Beilock, T. H. Carr, C. MacMahon, & J. L. Starkes, 2002), contrary to the results of manipulations of the direction of attentional focus (e.g., G. Wulf, M. Höss, & W. Prinz, 1998). In previous studies, researchers have not separated the focus of attention from the nature of the instruction provided or the skill level of the participants. In the present experiment, 10 skilled and 10 less skilled soccer players dribbled a ball after receiving instructions directing attention to an internal, skill-relevant feature (foot); an internal, skill-irrelevant feature (arm); or a skill-irrelevant task (word-monitoring). Performance was evaluated in relation to a no-attentional-focus control condition. For skilled performers, an internal focus on the arms and feet interfered with performance. For less skilled performers, an internal, yet skill-relevant, focus of attention (foot) did not degrade performance, whereas attention to the arms and word monitoring had a detrimental effect. No significant differences were observed across the three attentional manipulations when the skilled performers used the nondominant foot. The results generally supported the deautomization of skills hypothesis.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Implicit overcompensation: the influence of negative self-instructions on performance of a self-paced motor task.

    PubMed

    de la Peña, Derek; Murray, Nicholas P; Janelle, Christopher M

    2008-10-01

    According to Wegner's (1994) theory of ironic processes of mental control, self-instructions not to perform in a certain way, together with mental loads, can induce thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that are precisely the opposite of intention. Wegner's theory was tested against the implicit overcompensation hypothesis, which states that movement direction and magnitude are implicitly dictated by self-instruction, irrespective of load, promoting overcompensation of action. Two experiments were conducted using a golf-putting task. In Experiment 1, 48 participants were randomly assigned to one of four load conditions: cognitive, visual, auditory, and self-presentation/incentive. In the experimental trials, participants were instructed to make the putt, but it was emphasized that the putt should not be left short of the target. Following the instructional strategy, putts landed significantly longer than at baseline, irrespective of load. In Experiment 2, 36 participants were divided into one of three groups, without load, in which different instructional sets (control, not putting long, and not putting short) were emphasized. A significant interaction emerged, as participants putted significantly longer or shorter than controls depending on the instructional set given. Overall, our findings support the implicit overcompensation hypothesis. Theoretical and practical considerations are discussed. PMID:18819030

  13. Anger fosters action. Fast responses in a motor task involving approach movements toward angry faces and bodies.

    PubMed

    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

  14. Vowel reduction across tasks for male speakers of American English.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Christina; Weismer, Gary

    2016-07-01

    This study examined acoustic variation of vowels within speakers across speech tasks. The overarching goal of the study was to understand within-speaker variation as one index of the range of normal speech motor behavior for American English vowels. Ten male speakers of American English performed four speech tasks including citation form sentence reading with a clear-speech style (clear-speech), citation form sentence reading (citation), passage reading (reading), and conversational speech (conversation). Eight monophthong vowels in a variety of consonant contexts were studied. Clear-speech was operationally defined as the reference point for describing variation. Acoustic measures associated with the conventions of vowel targets were obtained and examined. These included temporal midpoint formant frequencies for the first three formants (F1, F2, and F3) and the derived Euclidean distances in the F1-F2 and F2-F3 planes. Results indicated that reduction toward the center of the F1-F2 and F2-F3 planes increased in magnitude across the tasks in the order of clear-speech, citation, reading, and conversation. The cross-task variation was comparable for all speakers despite fine-grained individual differences. The characteristics of systematic within-speaker acoustic variation across tasks have potential implications for the understanding of the mechanisms of speech motor control and motor speech disorders. PMID:27475161

  15. How coordinate and categorical spatial relations combine with egocentric and allocentric reference frames in a motor task: effects of delay and stimuli characteristics.

    PubMed

    Ruotolo, Francesco; van der Ham, Ineke; Postma, Albert; Ruggiero, Gennaro; Iachini, Tina

    2015-05-01

    This study explores how people represent spatial information in order to accomplish a visuo-motor task. To this aim we combined two fundamental components of the human visuo-spatial system: egocentric and allocentric frames of reference and coordinate and categorical spatial relations. Specifically, participants learned the position of three objects and then had to judge the distance (coordinate information) and the relation (categorical information) of a target object with respect to themselves (egocentric frame) or with respect to another object (allocentric frame). They gave spatial judgments by reaching and touching the exact position or the side previously occupied by the target object. The possible influence of stimuli characteristics (3D objects vs. 2D images) and delay between learning phase and testing phase (1.5 vs. 5s) was also assessed. Results showed an advantage of egocentric coordinate judgments over the allocentric coordinate ones independently from the kind of stimuli used and the temporal parameters of the response, whereas egocentric categorical judgments were more accurate than allocentric categorical ones only with 3D stimuli and when an immediate response was requested. This pattern of data is discussed in the light of the "perception-action" model by Milner and Goodale [13] and of neuroimaging evidence about frames of reference and spatial relations.

  16. How coordinate and categorical spatial relations combine with egocentric and allocentric reference frames in a motor task: effects of delay and stimuli characteristics.

    PubMed

    Ruotolo, Francesco; van der Ham, Ineke; Postma, Albert; Ruggiero, Gennaro; Iachini, Tina

    2015-05-01

    This study explores how people represent spatial information in order to accomplish a visuo-motor task. To this aim we combined two fundamental components of the human visuo-spatial system: egocentric and allocentric frames of reference and coordinate and categorical spatial relations. Specifically, participants learned the position of three objects and then had to judge the distance (coordinate information) and the relation (categorical information) of a target object with respect to themselves (egocentric frame) or with respect to another object (allocentric frame). They gave spatial judgments by reaching and touching the exact position or the side previously occupied by the target object. The possible influence of stimuli characteristics (3D objects vs. 2D images) and delay between learning phase and testing phase (1.5 vs. 5s) was also assessed. Results showed an advantage of egocentric coordinate judgments over the allocentric coordinate ones independently from the kind of stimuli used and the temporal parameters of the response, whereas egocentric categorical judgments were more accurate than allocentric categorical ones only with 3D stimuli and when an immediate response was requested. This pattern of data is discussed in the light of the "perception-action" model by Milner and Goodale [13] and of neuroimaging evidence about frames of reference and spatial relations. PMID:25698602

  17. Variations in speciated emissions from spark-ignition and compression-ignition motor vehicles in California's south coast air basin.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Eric M; Zielinska, Barbara; Campbell, David E; Arnott, W Patrick; Sagebiel, John C; Mazzoleni, Lynn; Chow, Judith C; Gabele, Peter A; Crews, William; Snow, Richard; Clark, Nigel N; Wayne, W Scott; Lawson, Douglas R

    2007-06-01

    gasoline motor oil but not in fresh oil and are negligible in used diesel engine oil. The contributions of lubrication oils to abundances of these PAHs in the exhaust were large in some cases and were variable with the age and consumption rate of the oil. These factors contributed to the observed variations in their abundances to total carbon or PM2.5 among the SI composition profiles.

  18. Motor learning.

    PubMed

    Wolpert, Daniel M; Flanagan, J Randall

    2010-06-01

    Although learning a motor skill, such as a tennis stroke, feels like a unitary experience, researchers who study motor control and learning break the processes involved into a number of interacting components. These components can be organized into four main groups. First, skilled performance requires the effective and efficient gathering of sensory information, such as deciding where and when to direct one's gaze around the court, and thus an important component of skill acquisition involves learning how best to extract task-relevant information. Second, the performer must learn key features of the task such as the geometry and mechanics of the tennis racket and ball, the properties of the court surface, and how the wind affects the ball's flight. Third, the player needs to set up different classes of control that include predictive and reactive control mechanisms that generate appropriate motor commands to achieve the task goals, as well as compliance control that specifies, for example, the stiffness with which the arm holds the racket. Finally, the successful performer can learn higher-level skills such as anticipating and countering the opponent's strategy and making effective decisions about shot selection. In this Primer we shall consider these components of motor learning using as an example how we learn to play tennis. PMID:20541489

  19. Motor learning.

    PubMed

    Wolpert, Daniel M; Flanagan, J Randall

    2010-06-01

    Although learning a motor skill, such as a tennis stroke, feels like a unitary experience, researchers who study motor control and learning break the processes involved into a number of interacting components. These components can be organized into four main groups. First, skilled performance requires the effective and efficient gathering of sensory information, such as deciding where and when to direct one's gaze around the court, and thus an important component of skill acquisition involves learning how best to extract task-relevant information. Second, the performer must learn key features of the task such as the geometry and mechanics of the tennis racket and ball, the properties of the court surface, and how the wind affects the ball's flight. Third, the player needs to set up different classes of control that include predictive and reactive control mechanisms that generate appropriate motor commands to achieve the task goals, as well as compliance control that specifies, for example, the stiffness with which the arm holds the racket. Finally, the successful performer can learn higher-level skills such as anticipating and countering the opponent's strategy and making effective decisions about shot selection. In this Primer we shall consider these components of motor learning using as an example how we learn to play tennis.

  20. Mental task-induced strain and its after-effect assessed through variations in plasma cortisol levels.

    PubMed

    Wittersheim, G; Brandenberger, G; Follenius, M

    1985-09-01

    Plasma cortisol levels were measured in 20 healthy men while they carried out mental tasks in intermittent noise. Half the subjects performed a serial short-term memory task and, later on, a multiple-choice task, whereas the other half performed only the multiple-choice task. The aim of the experiment was to determine whether enhanced cortisol release, due to a centrally mediated arousal reaction, depressed the cortisol level when the subjects had to cope with a new task situation. In a previous study, such a regulatory after-effect was revealed in the midday meal-related cortisol peak, but not in a subsequent exercise-induced cortisol peak, although cortisol release in both cases could be related to metabolic changes. The results showed that the second mental task still induced a pronounced rise in cortisol levels. No changes in task performances were found. It is concluded that different regulatory mechanisms are involved in adrenocortical secretion, depending on the origin of the stimulation, and that cortisol responses are closely related to individual coping abilities and strategies.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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. PMID:25961027

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. PRESCHOOL CHILDREN'S WILLINGNESS TO TRY DIFFICULT TASKS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    STARKWEATHER, ELIZABETH K.

    INSTRUMENTS WERE ADMINISTERED TO PRESCHOOL CHILDREN TO MEASURE THEIR PERFORMANCE ON VARIOUS TASKS. THE INSTRUMENTS WERE (1) A BUTTONING TASK FOR FINE MOTOR COORDINATION, (2) A PUZZLE TASK FOR VISUAL DISCRIMINATION, AND (3) A TARGET GAME FOR GROSS MOTOR COORDINATION. EACH INSTRUMENT CONSISTED OF FIVE TASKS GRADED IN DIFFICULTY, ADJUSTED TO THE…

  9. An Examination of Prerequisite Relations, Positive Transfer among Learning Tasks, and Variations in Instruction for a Seriation Hierarchy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bergan, John R.; Jeska, Patrick

    1980-01-01

    This study investigated the hypothesis that prerequisite skills in a seriation learning hierarchy mediate positive transfer for superordinate skills. In addition, the effect of instructional conditions involving modeling combined with variations in feedback on skill acquisition at different levels in the seriation sequence was examined.…

  10. 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

  11. Effects of temporal variations in the acidity of rain on crop response to acidic deposition (Task Force Project)

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, J.E.; Irving, P.M.

    1983-01-01

    The variation of rainfall pH from one event to another may have important biological consequences in several respects. A few rainfall events, or even only one, at low pH values may be more damaging than the same total hydrogen ion deposition spread out over a larger number of events with higher pH values. The variation of rainfall pH within events may also affect biological response. For example, during the early stages of an event, acid precipitation may be less effective in damaging vegetation since the water falling on the plant surfaces is continually being washed off by the subsequent rain. On the other hand, that rainwater which falls during the very last stages of an event remains on the vegetation until it evaporates. Since the concentration of contaminants remaining in solution on the leaves in these circumstances steadily increasing during evaporation, this particular rain may have a significantly greater effect. Of course, there is also a third hypothesis to the effect that it is primarily the total hydrogen ion deposition received by plant surfaces over a long period of time (conceivably, over an entire growing season) which is the most important parameter due to the cumulative stress imposed on the plant tissue over the entire period of exposure. The proposed experiments will determine which of these hypotheses best represents the response of a particular, economically-important crop species to the impact of more realistically programmed, acid rain simulant treatments. Design of the experiments is discussed.

  12. 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…

  13. Neural Control Adaptation to Motor Noise Manipulation.

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. Corollary Discharge Failure in an Oculomotor Task Is Related to Delusional Ideation in Healthy Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Malassis, Raphaëlle; Del Cul, Antoine; Collins, Thérèse

    2015-01-01

    Predicting the sensory consequences of saccadic eye movements likely plays a crucial role in planning sequences of saccades and in maintaining visual stability despite saccade-caused retinal displacements. Deficits in predictive activity, such as that afforded by a corollary discharge signal, have been reported in patients with schizophrenia, and may lead to the emergence of positive symptoms, in particular delusions of control and auditory hallucinations. We examined whether a measure of delusional thinking in the general, non-clinical population correlated with measures of predictive activity in two oculomotor tasks. The double-step task measured predictive activity in motor control, and the in-flight displacement task measured predictive activity in trans-saccadic visual perception. Forty-one healthy adults performed both tasks and completed a questionnaire to assess delusional thinking. The quantitative measure of predictive activity we obtained correlated with the tendency towards delusional ideation, but only for the motor task, and not the perceptual task: Individuals with higher levels of delusional thinking showed less self-movement information use in the motor task. Variation of the degree of self-generated movement knowledge as a function of the prevalence of delusional ideation in the normal population strongly supports the idea that corollary discharge deficits measured in schizophrenic patients in previous researches are not due to neuroleptic medication. We also propose that this difference in results between the perceptual and the motor tasks may point to a dissociation between corollary discharge for perception and corollary discharge for action. PMID:26305115

  16. 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 Central

    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. PMID:27069871

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. Effects of prenatal dexamethasone treatment on physical growth, pituitary-adrenal hormones, and performance of motor, motivational, and cognitive tasks in juvenile and adolescent common marmoset monkeys.

    PubMed

    Hauser, Jonas; Knapman, Alana; Zürcher, Nicole R; Pilloud, Sonia; Maier, Claudia; Diaz-Heijtz, Rochellys; Forssberg, Hans; Dettling, Andrea; Feldon, Joram; Pryce, Christopher R

    2008-12-01

    Synthetic glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone (DEX) are commonly used to prevent respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants, but there is emerging evidence of subsequent neurobehavioral abnormalities (e.g. problems with inattention/hyperactivity). In the present study, we exposed pregnant common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus, primates) to daily repeated DEX (5 mg/kg by mouth) during either early (d 42-48) or late (d 90-96) pregnancy (gestation period of 144 days). Relative to control, and with a longitudinal design, we investigated DEX effects in offspring in terms of physical growth, plasma ACTH and cortisol titers, social and maintenance behaviors, skilled motor reaching, motivation for palatable reward, and learning between infancy and adolescence. Early DEX resulted in reduced sociability in infants and increased motivation for palatable reward in adolescents. Late DEX resulted in a mild transient increase in knee-heel length in infants and enhanced reversal learning of stimulus-reward association in adolescents. There was no effect of either early or late DEX on basal plasma ACTH or cortisol titers. Both treatments resulted in impaired skilled motor reaching in juveniles, which attenuated in early DEX but persisted in late DEX across test sessions. The increased palatable-reward motivation and decreased social motivation observed in early DEX subjects provide experimental support for the clinical reports that prenatal glucocorticoid treatment impairs social development and predisposes to metabolic syndrome. These novel primate findings indicate that fetal glucocorticoid overexposure can lead to abnormal development of motor, affective, and cognitive behaviors. Importantly, the outcome is highly dependent upon the timing of glucocorticoid overexposure.

  2. 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.

  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. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Measuring motor coordination in mice.

    PubMed

    Deacon, Robert M J

    2013-01-01

    Mice are increasingly being used in behavioral neuroscience, largely replacing rats as the behaviorist's animal of choice. Before aspects of behavior such as emotionality or cognition can be assessed, however, it is vital to determine whether the motor capabilities of e.g. a mutant or lesioned mouse allow such an assessment. Performance on a maze task requiring strength and coordination, such as the Morris water maze, might well be impaired in a mouse by motor, rather than cognitive, impairments, so it is essential to selectively dissect the latter from the former. For example, sensorimotor impairments caused by NMDA antagonists have been shown to impair water maze performance(2). Motor coordination has traditionally been assessed in mice and rats by the rotarod test, in which the animal is placed on a horizontal rod that rotates about its long axis; the animal must walk forwards to remain upright and not fall off. Both set speed and accelerating versions of the rotarod are available. The other three tests described in this article (horizontal bar, static rods and parallel bars) all measure coordination on static apparatus. The horizontal bar also requires strength for adequate performance, particularly of the forelimbs as the mouse initially grips the bar just with the front paws. Adult rats do not perform well on tests such as the static rods and parallel bars (personal observations); they appear less well coordinated than mice. I have only tested male rats, however, and male mice seem generally less well coordinated than females. Mice appear to have a higher strength:weight ratio than rats; the Latin name, Mus musculus, seems entirely appropriate. The rotarod, the variations of the foot fault test(12) or the Catwalk (Noldus)(15) apparatus are generally used to assess motor coordination in rats. PMID:23748408

  8. Comparison of haptic guidance and error amplification robotic trainings for the learning of a timing-based motor task by healthy seniors.

    PubMed

    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

  9. Comparison of haptic guidance and error amplification robotic trainings for the learning of a timing-based motor task by healthy seniors.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Task-specific Dystonias

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Russotto, Diego; Perlmutter, Joel S.

    2009-01-01

    Task-specific dystonias are primary focal dystonias characterized by excessive muscle contractions producing abnormal postures during selective motor activities that often involve highly skilled, repetitive movements. Historically these peculiar postures were considered psychogenic but have now been classified as forms of dystonia. Writer’s cramp is the most commonly identified task-specific dystonia and has features typical of this group of disorders. Symptoms may begin with lack of dexterity during performance of a specific motor task with increasingly abnormal posturing of the involved body part as motor activity continues. Initially, the dystonia may manifest only during the performance of the inciting task, but as the condition progresses it may also occur during other activities or even at rest. Neurological exam is usually unremarkable except for the dystonia-related abnormalities. Although the precise pathophysiology remains unclear, increasing evidence suggests reduced inhibition at different levels of the sensorimotor system. Symptomatic treatment options include oral medications, botulinum toxin injections, neurosurgical procedures, and adaptive strategies. Prognosis may vary depending upon body part involved and specific type of task affected. Further research may reveal new insights into the etiology, pathophysiology, natural history, and improved treatment of these conditions. PMID:18990127

  11. 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…

  12. Retention of Motor Skills: Review.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schendel, J. D.; And Others

    A summary of an extensive literature survey deals with the variables known or suspected to affect the retention of learned motor behaviors over lengthy no-practice intervals. Emphasis was given to research conducted by or for the military. The variables that may affect the retention of motor skills were dichotomized into task variables and…

  13. Motor efficiency management

    SciTech Connect

    Lobodovsky, K.K. , Penn Valley, CA )

    1994-01-01

    During the 102nd Congress, the Markey Bill, H.R. 2451, was introduced. The bill mandated component efficiency standards for such products as lighting, distribution transformers, and electric A.C. motors. This plan was met with opposition by NEMA and other interested groups. They called for a system approach that would recognize the complex nature of the product involved under the plan. The bill passed by the Energy Power Subcommittee on the theory that the elimination of the least efficient component from the market would ensure that consumers would purchase and use the most efficient products possible. Experience indicates that despite heightened awareness and concern with energy efficiency, the electric motor is either completely neglected or decisions are made on the basis of incomplete information. An on-going analysis of motor performance prevents major breakdown. Performance evaluation of a motor should be done as routinely as it is done on an employee. Both the motor and the employee are equally important. Applied motor maintenance will keep the building or plant running smoothly with minimal stress on the system or downtime because of failure. The Motor Performance Management Process (MPMP) is designed to be the Motor Manager's primary tool to evaluate, measure, and most importantly manage electric motors. MPMP focuses on building a stronger relationship between the Motor Manager and the electric motor employed to perform a task. Specifically, it is a logical, systematic, and structured approach to reduce energy waste. Energy waste reduction is fundamental in becoming more efficient in an increasingly competitive market. The implementation of MPMP is more than a good business practice it is an intelligent management resource.

  14. MotorMaster database of three-phase electric motors

    SciTech Connect

    Stickney, B.L.

    1993-12-31

    Selecting the right motor for a new or replacement application used to be a daunting task. Making an intelligent choice involved a search through a stack of motor catalogs for information on efficiency, voltage, speed, horsepower, torque, service factor, power factor, frame type, and cost. The MotorMaster software package, available from the Washington State Energy Office, takes the drudgery out of motor selection by enabling rapid analysis of the most efficient and cost-effective single-speed three-phase induction motors. It has a built-in motor database, easy to use comparison and analysis features, and can calculate utility rebates and simple paybacks. By speeding the selection process and providing comprehensive economic justification for the final equipment choice, software tools like MotorMaster can become an important component of utility DSM programs. And as a bonus, wide use of such software may lead to more systematic and consistent use of energy efficient equipment.

  15. 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.

  16. Age Differences between Children and Young Adults in the Dynamics of Dual-Task Prioritization: Body (Balance) versus Mind (Memory)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaefer, Sabine; Krampe, Ralf Th.; Lindenberger, Ulman; Baltes, Paul B.

    2008-01-01

    Task prioritization can lead to trade-off patterns in dual-task situations. The authors compared dual-task performances in 9- and 11-year-old children and young adults performing a cognitive task and a motor task concurrently. The motor task required balancing on an ankle-disc board. Two cognitive tasks measured working memory and episodic memory…

  17. Heritability of motor control and motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Missitzi, Julia; Gentner, Reinhard; Misitzi, Angelica; Geladas, Nickos; Politis, Panagiotis; Klissouras, Vassilis; Classen, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The aim of this study was to elucidate the relative contribution of genes and environment on individual differences in motor control and acquisition of a force control task, in view of recent association studies showing that several candidate polymorphisms may have an effect on them. Forty‐four healthy female twins performed brisk isometric abductions with their right thumb. Force was recorded by a transducer and fed back to the subject on a computer screen. The task was to place the tracing of the peak force in a force window defined between 30% and 40% of the subject's maximum force, as determined beforehand. The initial level of proficiency was defined as the number of attempts reaching the force window criterion within the first 100 trials. The difference between the number of successful trials within the last and the first 100 trials was taken as a measure of motor learning. For motor control, defined by the initial level of proficiency, the intrapair differences in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins were 6.8 ± 7.8 and 13.8 ± 8.4, and the intrapair correlations 0.77 and 0.39, respectively. Heritability was estimated at 0.68. Likewise for motor learning intrapair differences in the increment of the number of successful trials in MZ and DZ twins were 5.4 ± 5.2 and 12.8 ± 7, and the intrapair correlations 0.58 and 0.19. Heritability reached 0.70. The present findings suggest that heredity accounts for a major part of existing differences in motor control and motor learning, but uncertainty remains which gene polymorphisms may be responsible. PMID:24744865

  18. Perceptual decoupling or motor decoupling?

    PubMed

    Head, James; Helton, William S

    2013-09-01

    The current investigation was conducted to elucidate whether errors of commission in the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) are indicators of perceptual or motor decoupling. Twenty-eight participants completed SARTs with motor and perceptual aspects of the task manipulated. The participants completed four different SART blocks whereby stimuli location uncertainty and stimuli acquisition were manipulated. In previous studies of more traditional sustained attention tasks stimuli location uncertainty reduces sustained attention performance. In the case of the SART the motor manipulation (stimuli acquisition), but not the perceptual manipulation (stimuli location uncertainty) significantly reduced commission errors. The results suggest that the majority of SART commission errors are likely to be indicators of motor decoupling not necessarily perceptual decoupling.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of an Exhaustive Exercise on Motor Skill Learning and on the Excitability of Primary Motor Cortex and Supplementary Motor Area

    PubMed Central

    Coco, Marinella; Perciavalle, Vincenzo; Cavallari, Paolo; Perciavalle, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We examined, on 28 healthy adult subjects, the possible correlations of an exhaustive exercise, and the consequent high blood lactate levels, on immediate (explicit) and delayed (implicit) motor execution of sequential finger movements (cognitive task). Moreover, we determined with transcranial magnetic stimulation whether changes in motor performance are associated with variations in excitability of primary motor area (M1) and supplementary motor area (SMA). We observed that, after an acute exhaustive exercise, the large increase of blood lactate is associated with a significant worsening of both explicit and implicit sequential visuomotor task paradigms, without gender differences. We also found that, at the end of the exhaustive exercise, there is a change of excitability in both M1 and SMA. In particular, the excitability of M1 was increased whereas that of SMA decreased and, also in this case, without gender differences. These results support the idea that an increase of blood lactate after an exhaustive exercise appears to have a protective effect at level of primary cortical areas (as M1), although at the expense of efficiency of adjacent cortical regions (as SMA). PMID:26986109

  2. Effects of an Exhaustive Exercise on Motor Skill Learning and on the Excitability of Primary Motor Cortex and Supplementary Motor Area.

    PubMed

    Coco, Marinella; Perciavalle, Vincenzo; Cavallari, Paolo; Perciavalle, Valentina

    2016-03-01

    We examined, on 28 healthy adult subjects, the possible correlations of an exhaustive exercise, and the consequent high blood lactate levels, on immediate (explicit) and delayed (implicit) motor execution of sequential finger movements (cognitive task). Moreover, we determined with transcranial magnetic stimulation whether changes in motor performance are associated with variations in excitability of primary motor area (M1) and supplementary motor area (SMA). We observed that, after an acute exhaustive exercise, the large increase of blood lactate is associated with a significant worsening of both explicit and implicit sequential visuomotor task paradigms, without gender differences. We also found that, at the end of the exhaustive exercise, there is a change of excitability in both M1 and SMA. In particular, the excitability of M1 was increased whereas that of SMA decreased and, also in this case, without gender differences. These results support the idea that an increase of blood lactate after an exhaustive exercise appears to have a protective effect at level of primary cortical areas (as M1), although at the expense of efficiency of adjacent cortical regions (as SMA).

  3. Effects of an Exhaustive Exercise on Motor Skill Learning and on the Excitability of Primary Motor Cortex and Supplementary Motor Area.

    PubMed

    Coco, Marinella; Perciavalle, Vincenzo; Cavallari, Paolo; Perciavalle, Valentina

    2016-03-01

    We examined, on 28 healthy adult subjects, the possible correlations of an exhaustive exercise, and the consequent high blood lactate levels, on immediate (explicit) and delayed (implicit) motor execution of sequential finger movements (cognitive task). Moreover, we determined with transcranial magnetic stimulation whether changes in motor performance are associated with variations in excitability of primary motor area (M1) and supplementary motor area (SMA). We observed that, after an acute exhaustive exercise, the large increase of blood lactate is associated with a significant worsening of both explicit and implicit sequential visuomotor task paradigms, without gender differences. We also found that, at the end of the exhaustive exercise, there is a change of excitability in both M1 and SMA. In particular, the excitability of M1 was increased whereas that of SMA decreased and, also in this case, without gender differences. These results support the idea that an increase of blood lactate after an exhaustive exercise appears to have a protective effect at level of primary cortical areas (as M1), although at the expense of efficiency of adjacent cortical regions (as SMA). PMID:26986109

  4. 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.

  5. Deficient grip force control in schizophrenia: behavioral and modeling evidence for altered motor inhibition and motor noise.

    PubMed

    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 5 N 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.

  6. Neural mechanisms of timing control in a coincident timing task.

    PubMed

    Masaki, Hiroaki; Sommer, Werner; Takasawa, Noriyoshi; Yamazaki, Katuo

    2012-04-01

    Many ball sports such as tennis or baseball require precise temporal anticipation of both sensory input and motor output (i.e., receptor anticipation and effector anticipation, respectively) and close performance monitoring. We investigated the neural mechanisms underlying timing control and performance monitoring in a coincident timing task involving both types of anticipations. Peak force for two time-to-peak force (TTP) conditions-recorded with a force-sensitive key-was required to coincide with a specific position of a stimulus rotating either slow or fast on a clock face while the contingent negative variation (CNV) and the motor-elicited negativity were recorded. Absolute timing error was generally smaller for short TTP (high velocity) conditions. CNV amplitudes increased with both faster stimulus velocity and longer TTPs possibly reflecting increased motor programming efforts. In addition, the motor-elicited negativity was largest in the slow stimulus/short TTP condition, probably representing some forms of performance monitoring as well as shorter response duration. Our findings indicate that the coincident timing task is a good model for real-life situations of tool use. PMID:22415201

  7. Neural mechanisms of timing control in a coincident timing task.

    PubMed

    Masaki, Hiroaki; Sommer, Werner; Takasawa, Noriyoshi; Yamazaki, Katuo

    2012-04-01

    Many ball sports such as tennis or baseball require precise temporal anticipation of both sensory input and motor output (i.e., receptor anticipation and effector anticipation, respectively) and close performance monitoring. We investigated the neural mechanisms underlying timing control and performance monitoring in a coincident timing task involving both types of anticipations. Peak force for two time-to-peak force (TTP) conditions-recorded with a force-sensitive key-was required to coincide with a specific position of a stimulus rotating either slow or fast on a clock face while the contingent negative variation (CNV) and the motor-elicited negativity were recorded. Absolute timing error was generally smaller for short TTP (high velocity) conditions. CNV amplitudes increased with both faster stimulus velocity and longer TTPs possibly reflecting increased motor programming efforts. In addition, the motor-elicited negativity was largest in the slow stimulus/short TTP condition, probably representing some forms of performance monitoring as well as shorter response duration. Our findings indicate that the coincident timing task is a good model for real-life situations of tool use.

  8. Motor unit activity in biceps brachii of left-handed humans during sustained contractions with two load types.

    PubMed

    Gould, Jeffrey R; Cleland, Brice T; Mani, Diba; Amiridis, Ioannis G; Enoka, Roger M

    2016-09-01

    The purpose of the study was to compare the discharge characteristics of single motor units during sustained isometric contractions that required either force or position control in left-handed individuals. The target force for the two sustained contractions (24.9 ± 10.5% maximal force) was identical for each biceps brachii motor unit (n = 32) and set at 4.7 ± 2.0% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force above its recruitment threshold (range: 0.5-41.2% MVC force). The contractions were not sustained to task failure, but the duration (range: 60-330 s) was identical for each motor unit and the decline in MVC force immediately after the sustained contractions was similar for the two tasks (force: 11.1% ± 13.7%; position: 11.6% ± 9.9%). Despite a greater increase in the rating of perceived exertion during the position task (task × time interaction, P < 0.006), the amplitude of the surface-recorded electromyogram for the agonist and antagonist muscles increased similarly during the two tasks. Nonetheless, mean discharge rate of the biceps brachii motor units declined more during the position task (task × time interaction, P < 0.01) and the variability in discharge times (coefficient of variation for interspike interval) increased only during the position task (task × time interaction, P < 0.008). When combined with the results of an identical study on right-handers (Mottram CJ, Jakobi JM, Semmler JG, Enoka RM. J Neurophysiol 93: 1381-1392, 2005), the findings indicate that handedness does not influence the adjustments in biceps brachii motor unit activity during sustained submaximal contractions requiring either force or position control.

  9. Speech versus Nonspeech: Different Tasks, Different Neural Organization

    PubMed Central

    Bunton, Kate

    2009-01-01

    This article reviews the extant studies of the relation of oromotor nonspeech activities to speech production. The relevancy of nonspeech oral motor behaviors to speech motor performance in assessment and treatment is challenged on several grounds. First, contemporary motor theory suggests that movement control is task-specific; in other words, tied to the unique goals, sources of information and characteristics of varying motor acts. Documented differences in movement characteristics for speech production versus nonspeech oral motor tasks support this claim. Second, advantages of training nonspeech oral motor tasks versus training speech production are not supported by current principles of motor learning and neural plasticity. Empirical data supports experience-specific training. Finally, functional imaging studies document differences in activation patterns for speech compared to nonspeech oral motor tasks in neurologically healthy individuals. PMID:19058113

  10. Alpha power indexes task-related networks on large and small scales: A multimodal ECoG study in humans and a non-human primate.

    PubMed

    de Pesters, A; Coon, W G; Brunner, P; Gunduz, A; Ritaccio, A L; Brunet, N M; de Weerd, P; Roberts, M J; Oostenveld, R; Fries, P; Schalk, G

    2016-07-01

    Performing different tasks, such as generating motor movements or processing sensory input, requires the recruitment of specific networks of neuronal populations. Previous studies suggested that power variations in the alpha band (8-12Hz) may implement such recruitment of task-specific populations by increasing cortical excitability in task-related areas while inhibiting population-level cortical activity in task-unrelated areas (Klimesch et al., 2007; Jensen and Mazaheri, 2010). However, the precise temporal and spatial relationships between the modulatory function implemented by alpha oscillations and population-level cortical activity remained undefined. Furthermore, while several studies suggested that alpha power indexes task-related populations across large and spatially separated cortical areas, it was largely unclear whether alpha power also differentially indexes smaller networks of task-related neuronal populations. Here we addressed these questions by investigating the temporal and spatial relationships of electrocorticographic (ECoG) power modulations in the alpha band and in the broadband gamma range (70-170Hz, indexing population-level activity) during auditory and motor tasks in five human subjects and one macaque monkey. In line with previous research, our results confirm that broadband gamma power accurately tracks task-related behavior and that alpha power decreases in task-related areas. More importantly, they demonstrate that alpha power suppression lags population-level activity in auditory areas during the auditory task, but precedes it in motor areas during the motor task. This suppression of alpha power in task-related areas was accompanied by an increase in areas not related to the task. In addition, we show for the first time that these differential modulations of alpha power could be observed not only across widely distributed systems (e.g., motor vs. auditory system), but also within the auditory system. Specifically, alpha power was

  11. Dyspraxia, Motor Function and Visual-Motor Integration in Autism

    PubMed Central

    Miller, M.; Chukoskie, L.; Zinni, M.; Townsend, J.; Trauner, D.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24742861

  12. 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…

  13. 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. PMID:23073721

  14. Kinesthetic motor imagery modulates intermuscular coherence

    PubMed Central

    Stepp, Cara E.; Oyunerdene, Nominerdene; Matsuoka, Yoky

    2012-01-01

    Intermuscular coherence can identify oscillatory coupling between two electromyographic (EMG) signals, measuring common presynaptic drive to motor neurons. Beta band oscillations (15–30 Hz) are hypothesized to originate largely from primary motor cortex, and are reduced during dynamic relative to static motor tasks. It has yet to be established whether motor imagery modulates beta intermuscular coherence. Using visual feedback, 10 unimpaired participants completed eighteen trials of pinching their right thumb and index finger at a constant force. During the 60-second trials, participants simultaneously engaged in one of three types of kinesthetic imagery: the right thumb and index finger executing a constant force pinch (static), the fingers of the right hand sequentially flexing and extending (dynamic), and the right foot pushing down with constant force (foot). Motor imagery of a dynamic motor task resulted in significantly lower intermuscular beta coherence than imagery of a static motor pinch task, without any difference in task performance or root-mean-square EMG. Thus, motor imagery affects intermuscular coherence in the beta band, even while measures of task performance remain constant. This finding provides insight for incorporation of beta band intermuscular coherence in future motor rehabilitation schemes and brain computer interface design. PMID:21984522

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:24110643

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Motor Starters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1986-01-01

    The power factor controller (PFC) was invented by a NASA engineer. It matches voltage with a motor's actual need by sensing shifts in the relationship between voltage and current flow. With the device, power can be trimmed as much as 65%. Intellinet adopted this technology and designed "soft start" and "load-responsive" control modes to start engines gradually and recycle voltage without reducing motor speed. Other features are lower motor heat and faster fault identification.

  1. Understanding motor acts and motor intentions in Williams syndrome.

    PubMed

    Sparaci, Laura; Stefanini, Silvia; Marotta, Luigi; Vicari, Stefano; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2012-06-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare genetic disorder associated with unusually hyper-social demeanor and ease with strangers. These personality traits are accompanied by difficulties in social interactions, possibly related, at least in part, to a difficulty in understanding others' mental states. Studies on mentalizing capacities in individuals with WS have often led to contrasting results, some studies revealing specific impairments, others highlighting spared mentalizing capacities. So far, however, no study investigated the performance of individuals with WS in non-inferential understanding of others' motor intentions. In the present study we investigated this capacity by using a computer-based behavioral task using pictures of hand-object interactions. We asked individuals with WS first to describe what the other was doing (i.e. a task implying no kind of intention reading), and secondly, if successful in answering the first question, to describe the motor intention underlying the observed motor acts (i.e. why an act was being done, a task requiring non-inferential motor intention understanding). Results showed that individuals with WS made more errors in understanding what the other was doing (i.e. understanding a motor act) compared to both mental-age matched controls and chronological-age matched peers with typical development, while showing mental-age appropriate performance in understanding why an individual was acting (i.e. understanding a motor intention). These findings suggest novel perspectives for understanding impairments in social behavior in WS.

  2. Simulation For Task Practice in Technical Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mallory, W. J.

    1981-01-01

    Describes two programs used by the Ford Motor Company to train manufacturing skilled trades personnel. Programmable Controller Maintenance Training Program for Industrial Technicians and Troubleshooting Strategy Program use simulation and provide improved task performance after training. (JOW)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:27378508

  6. 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.

  7. Motor execution and motor imagery: a comparison of functional connectivity patterns based on graph theory.

    PubMed

    Xu, L; Zhang, H; Hui, M; Long, Z; Jin, Z; Liu, Y; Yao, L

    2014-03-01

    Motor execution and imagery (ME and MI), as the basic abilities of human beings, have been considered to be effective strategies in motor skill learning and motor abilities rehabilitation. Neuroimaging studies have revealed several critical regions from functional activation for ME as well as MI. Recently, investigations have probed into functional connectivity of ME; however, few explorations compared the functional connectivity between the two tasks. With betweenness centrality (BC) of graph theory, we explored and compared the functional connectivity between two finger tapping tasks of ME and MI. Our results showed that using BC, the key node for the ME task mainly focused on the supplementary motor area, while the key node for the MI task mainly located in the right premotor area. These results characterized the connectivity patterns of ME and MI and may provide new insights into the neural mechanism underlying motor execution and imagination of movements.

  8. 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.

  9. Task-specific dystonia: pathophysiology and management.

    PubMed

    Sadnicka, Anna; Kassavetis, Panagiotis; Pareés, Isabel; Meppelink, Anne Marthe; Butler, Katherine; Edwards, Mark

    2016-09-01

    Task-specific dystonia is a form of isolated focal dystonia with the peculiarity of being displayed only during performance of a specific skilled motor task. This distinctive feature makes task-specific dystonia a particularly mysterious and fascinating neurological condition. In this review, we cover phenomenology and its increasingly broad-spectrum risk factors for the disease, critically review pathophysiological theories and evaluate current therapeutic options. We conclude by highlighting the unique features of task-specific dystonia within the wider concept of dystonia. We emphasise the central contribution of environmental risk factors, and propose a model by which these triggers may impact on the motor control of skilled movement. By viewing task-specific dystonia through this new lens which considers the disorder a modifiable disorder of motor control, we are optimistic that research will yield novel therapeutic avenues for this highly motivated group of patients.

  10. Task frequency influences stimulus-driven effects on task selection during voluntary task switching.

    PubMed

    Arrington, Catherine M; Reiman, Kaitlin M

    2015-08-01

    Task selection during voluntary task switching involves both top-down (goal-directed) and bottom-up (stimulus-driven) mechanisms. The factors that shift the balance between these two mechanisms are not well characterized. In the present research, we studied the role that task frequency plays in determining the extent of stimulus-driven task selection. In two experiments, we used the basic paradigm adapted from Arrington (Memory & Cognition, 38, 991-997, 2008), in which the effect of stimulus availability serves as a marker of stimulus-driven task selection. A number and letter appeared on each trial with varying stimulus onset asynchronies, and participants performed either a consonant/vowel or an even/odd judgment. In Experiment 1, participants were instructed as to the relative frequency with which each task was to be performed (i.e., 50/50, 60/40, or 75/25) and were further instructed to make their transitions between tasks unpredictable. In Experiment 2, participants were given no instructions about how to select tasks, resulting in naturally occurring variation in task frequency. With both instructed (Exp. 1) and naturally occurring (Exp. 2) relative task frequencies, the less frequently performed task showed a greater effect of stimulus availability on task selection, suggestive of a larger influence of stimulus-driven mechanisms during task performance for the less frequent task. When goal-directed mechanisms of task choice are engaged less frequently, the relative influence of the stimulus environment increases. PMID:26106057

  11. ADHD Subtype Differences in Motivational Responsivity but not Inhibitory Control: Evidence from a Reward-Based Variation of the Stop Signal Paradigm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang-Pollock, Cynthia L.; Mikami, Amori Yee; Pfiffner, Linda; McBurnett, Keith

    2007-01-01

    In this study we examined prepotent motor inhibition and responsiveness to reward using a variation of the stop signal reaction time (SSRT) task in clinic- and community-recruited children ages 7 to 12 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder-inattentive type (ADHD-I), ADHD-combined type (ADHD-C), and non-ADHD controls. Contrary to…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:27392641

  16. Higher Levels of Psychopathy Predict Poorer Motor Control: Implications for Understanding the Psychopathy Construct

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Michael D.; Bresin, Konrad

    2014-01-01

    A review of the literature suggests that higher levels of psychopathy may be linked to less effective behavioral control. However, several commentators have urged caution in making statements of this type in the absence of direct evidence. In two studies (total N = 142), moment-to-moment accuracy in a motor control task was examined as a function of dimensional variations in psychopathy in an undergraduate population. As hypothesized, motor control was distinctively worse at higher levels of psychopathy relative to lower levels, both as a function of primary and secondary psychopathy and particularly their shared variance. These novel findings provide support for the idea that motor control systematically varies by psychopathy, in a basic manner, consistent with views of psychopathy emphasizing lesser control. PMID:25419045

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:22663773

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Motor activity improves temporal expectancy.

    PubMed

    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

  4. Motor activity improves temporal expectancy.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Sleep quality influences subsequent motor skill acquisition.

    PubMed

    Appleman, Erica R; Albouy, Genevieve; Doyon, Julien; Cronin-Golomb, Alice; King, Bradley R

    2016-06-01

    While the influence of sleep on motor memory consolidation has been extensively investigated, its relation to initial skill acquisition is less well understood. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the influence of sleep quality and quantity on subsequent motor skill acquisition in young adults without sleep disorders. Fifty-five healthy adults (mean age = 23.8 years; 34 women) wore actigraph wristbands for 4 nights, which provided data on sleep patterns before the experiment, and then returned to the laboratory to engage in a motor sequence learning task (explicit 5-item finger sequence tapping task). Indicators of sleep quality and quantity were then regressed on a measure of motor skill acquisition (Gains Within Training, GWT). Wake After Sleep Onset (WASO; i.e., the total amount of time the participants spent awake after falling asleep) was significantly and negatively related to GWT. This effect was not because of general arousal level, which was measured immediately before the motor task. Conversely, there was no relationship between GWT and sleep duration or self-reported sleep quality. These results indicate that sleep quality, as assessed by WASO and objectively measured with actigraphy before the motor task, significantly impacts motor skill acquisition in young healthy adults without sleep disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record

  7. Motor neglect.

    PubMed Central

    Laplane, D; Degos, J D

    1983-01-01

    Motor neglect is characterised by an underutilisation of one side, without defects of strength, reflexes or sensibility. Twenty cases of frontal, parietal and thalamic lesions causing motor neglect, but all without sensory neglect, are reported. It is proposed that the cerebral structures involved in motor neglect are the same as those for sensory neglect and for the preparation of movement. As in sensory neglect, the multiplicity of the structures concerned suggests that this interconnection is necessary to maintain a sufficient level of activity. Predominance of left sided neglect by right sided lesions suggests that the left hemisphere is dominant for deliberate activity; hemispheric dominance could be applied to sensory neglect where conscious awareness would play the role of deliberate activity. PMID:6842219

  8. 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. PMID:26890347

  9. Perceptual-motor deficiency in autistic children.

    PubMed

    Fulkerson, S C; Freeman, W M

    1980-02-01

    15 autistic children were matched with normals on the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-motor Integration. The two groups were subsequently compared on ability to (1) increase geometric figure-copying performance using additional information provided during subsequent trials, (2) make figure-ground resolutions, (3) perform a fine motor integration task, and (4) cope with background interference while responding on the Developmental Test of Visual-motor Integration. The primary deficit observed in the autistic subjects appeared to be defective monitoring of the motor response.

  10. Conceptual and motor learning in music performance.

    PubMed

    Palmer, C; Meyer, R K

    2000-01-01

    Are the mental plans for action abstract or specified in terms of the movements with which they are produced? We report motor independence for expert music performance but not for novice performance in a transfer-of-learning task. Skilled adult pianists practiced musical pieces and transferred to new pieces with the same or different motor (hand and finger) requirements and conceptual (melodic) relations. Greatest transfer in sequence duration was observed when the same conceptual relations were retained from training to transfer, regardless of motor movements. In a second experiment, novice child pianists performed the same task. More experienced child pianists showed transfer on both the motor and the conceptual dimensions; the least experienced child pianists demonstrated transfer only to sequences with identical motor and conceptual dimensions. These findings suggest that mental plans for action become independent of the required movements only at advanced skill levels.

  11. Modification of motor cortex excitability during muscle relaxation in motor learning.

    PubMed

    Sugawara, Kenichi; Tanabe, Shigeo; Suzuki, Tomotaka; Saitoh, Kei; Higashi, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    We postulated that gradual muscle relaxation during motor learning would dynamically change activity in the primary motor cortex (M1) and modify short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI). Thus, we compared changes in M1 excitability both pre and post motor learning during gradual muscle relaxation. Thirteen healthy participants were asked to gradually relax their muscles from an isometric right wrist extension (30% maximum voluntary contraction; MVC) using a tracking task for motor learning. Single or paired transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied at either 20% or 80% of the downward force output during muscle release from 30% MVC, and we compared the effects of motor learning immediately after the 1st and 10th blocks. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) from the extensor and flexor carpi radialis (ECR and FCR) were then measured and compared to evaluate their relationship before and after motor learning. In both muscles and each downward force output, motor cortex excitability during muscle relaxation was significantly increased following motor learning. In the ECR, the SICI in the 10th block was significantly increased during the 80% waveform decline compared to the SICI in the 1st block. In the FCR, the SICI also exhibited a greater inhibitory effect when muscle relaxation was terminated following motor learning. During motor training, acquisition of the ability to control muscle relaxation increased the SICI in both the ECR and FCR during motor termination. This finding aids in our understanding of the cortical mechanisms that underlie muscle relaxation during motor learning.

  12. Variation in EMG activity: a hierarchical approach

    PubMed Central

    German, Rebecca Z.; Crompton, A. W.; Thexton, A. J.

    2008-01-01

    Recordings of naturally occurring Electromyographic (EMG) signals are variable. One of the first formal and successful attempts to quantify variation in EMG signals was Shaffer and Lauder's (1985) study examining several levels of variation but not within muscle. The goal of the current study was to quantify the variation that exists at different levels, using more detailed measures of EMG activity than did Shaffer and Lauder (1985). The importance of accounting for different levels of variation in an EMG study is both biological and statistical. Signal variation within the same muscle for a stereotyped action suggests that each recording represents a sample drawn from a pool of a large number of motor units that, while biologically functioning in an integrated fashion, showed statistical variation. Different levels of variation for different muscles could be related to different functions or different tasks of those muscles. The statistical impact of unaccounted or inappropriately analyzed variation can lead to false rejection (type I error) or false acceptance (type II error) of the null hypothesis. Type II errors occur because such variation will accrue to the error, reducing power, and producing an artificially low F-value. Type I errors are associated with pseudoreplication, in which the replicated units are not truly independent, thereby leading to inflated degrees of freedom, and an underestimate of the error mean square. To address these problems, we used a repeated measures, nested multifactor model to measure the relative contribution of different hierarchical levels of variation to the total variation in EMG signals during swallowing. We found that variation at all levels, among electrodes in the same muscle, in sequences of the same animal, and among individuals and between differently named muscles, was significant. These findings suggest that a single intramuscular electrode, recording from a limited sample of the motor units, cannot be relied upon to

  13. Disentangling motor execution from motor imagery with the phantom limb.

    PubMed

    Raffin, Estelle; Mattout, Jérémie; Reilly, Karen T; Giraux, Pascal

    2012-02-01

    Amputees can move their phantom limb at will. These 'movements without movements' have generally been considered as motor imagery rather than motor execution, but amputees can in fact perform both executed and imagined movements with their phantom and they report distinct perceptions during each task. Behavioural evidence for this dual ability comes from the fact that executed movements are associated with stump muscle contractions whereas imagined movements are not, and that phantom executed movements are slower than intact hand executed movements whereas the speed of imagined movements is identical for both hands. Since neither execution nor imagination produces any visible movement, we hypothesized that the perceptual difference between these two motor tasks relies on the activation of distinct cerebral networks. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and changes in functional connectivity (dynamic causal modelling), we examined the activity associated with imagined and executed movements of the intact and phantom hands of 14 upper-limb amputees. Distinct but partially overlapping cerebral networks were active during both executed and imagined phantom limb movements (both performed at the same speed). A region of interest analysis revealed a 'switch' between execution and imagination; during execution there was more activity in the primary somatosensory cortex, the primary motor cortex and the anterior lobe of the cerebellum, while during imagination there was more activity in the parietal and occipital lobes, and the posterior lobe of the cerebellum. In overlapping areas, task-related differences were detected in the location of activation peaks. The dynamic causal modelling analysis further confirmed the presence of a clear neurophysiological distinction between imagination and execution, as motor imagery and motor execution had opposite effects on the supplementary motor area-primary motor cortex network. This is the first imaging evidence that the

  14. Motor Controllers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Kollmorgen Corporation's Mermaid II two person submersible is propeller-driven by a system of five DC brushless motors with new electronic controllers that originated in work performed in a NASA/DOE project managed by Lewis Research Center. A key feature of the system is electric commutation rather than mechanical commutation for converting AC current to DC.

  15. Therma motor

    DOEpatents

    Kandarian, R.

    The disclosure is directed to a thermal motor utilizing two tapered prestressed parallel adjacent cylinders lengthwise disposed about one third in a coolant. Heat is applied to contacting portions of the cylinders outside the coolant to cause them to deform and turn. Heat sources such as industrial waste heat, geothermal hot water, solar radiation, etc. can be used.

  16. Motor Neuron Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... called upper motor neurons ) are transmitted to nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord (called lower motor neurons ) and from them to particular muscles. Upper motor neurons direct the lower motor neurons ...

  17. Motor Neuron Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... Enhancing Diversity Find People About NINDS NINDS Motor Neuron Diseases Information Page Condensed from Motor Neuron Diseases ... and Information Publicaciones en Español What are Motor Neuron Diseases? The motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are a ...

  18. 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. These results indicate that the ipsilateral primary motor cortex constructed a powerful subnetwork by influencing the linked channels as compensatory effect, although the contralateral primary motor cortex organized an inefficient network by using the connected channels due to lesions. For the MI task, degree centrality and local efficiency significantly decreased on the somatosensory area at the initial motor imagery. Then, there were significant correlations between the properties of brain networks and motor function on the contralateral primary motor cortex and somatosensory area for each motor execution/imagery task. Our results represented that the active and MI tasks have different mechanisms of motor acts. Based on these results, we indicated the possibility of customized rehabilitation according to different motor tasks. We expect these results to help in the construction of the customized rehabilitation system depending on motor tasks by understanding temporal functional

  19. Hemispheric asymmetry in cerebrovascular reactivity of the human primary motor cortex: an in vivo study at 7 T.

    PubMed

    Driver, Ian D; Andoh, Jamila; Blockley, Nicholas P; Francis, Susan T; Gowland, Penny A; Paus, Tomáš

    2015-05-01

    Current functional MRI (fMRI) approaches assess underlying neuronal activity through monitoring the related local variations in cerebral blood oxygenation, blood volume and blood flow. This vascular response is likely to vary across brain regions and across individuals, depending on the composition of the local vascular bed and on the vascular capacity to dilate. The most widely used technique uses the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI signal, which arises from a complex combination of all of these factors. The model of handedness provides a case where one brain region (dominant motor cortex) is known to have a stronger BOLD response over another (non-dominant motor cortex) during hand motor task performance. We predict that this is accompanied by a higher vascular reactivity in the dominant motor cortex, when compared with the non-dominant motor cortex. Precise measurement of end-tidal CO2 and a novel sinusoidal CO2 respiratory challenge were combined with the high sensitivity and finer spatial resolution available for fMRI at 7 T to measure BOLD cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) in eight healthy male participants. BOLD CVR was compared between the left (dominant) and right (non-dominant) primary motor cortices of right-handed adults. Hemispheric asymmetry in vascular reactivity was predicted and observed in the primary motor cortex (left CVR = 0.60 ± 0.15%/mm Hg; right CVR = 0.47 ± 0.08%/mm Hg; left CVR > right CVR, P = 0.04), the first reported evidence of such a vascular difference. These findings demonstrate a cerebral vascular asymmetry between the left and right primary motor cortex. The origin of this asymmetry largely arises from the contribution of large draining veins. This work has implications for future motor laterality studies that use BOLD, and it is also suggestive of a vascular plasticity in the human primary motor cortex. PMID:25788020

  20. Dissociating temporal attention from spatial attention and motor response preparation: A high-density EEG study.

    PubMed

    Faugeras, Frédéric; Naccache, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    Engagement of various forms of attention and response preparation determines behavioral performance during stimulus-response tasks. Many studies explored the respective properties and neural signatures of each of these processes. However, very few experiments were conceived to explore their interaction. In the present work we used an auditory target detection task during which both temporal attention on the one side, and spatial attention and motor response preparation on the other side could be explicitly cued. Both cueing effects speeded response times, and showed strictly additive effects. Target ERP analysis revealed modulations of N1 and P3 responses by these two forms of cueing. Cue-target interval analysis revealed two main effects paralleling behavior. First, a typical contingent negative variation (CNV), induced by the cue and resolved immediately after target onset, was found larger for temporal attention cueing than for spatial and motor response cueing. Second, a posterior and late cue-P3 complex showed the reverse profile. Analyses of lateralized readiness potentials (LRP) revealed both patterns of motor response inhibition and activation. Taken together these results help to clarify and disentangle the respective effects of temporal attention on the one hand, and of the combination of spatial attention and motor response preparation on the other hand on brain activity and behavior.

  1. The Bliss of Motor Abundance

    PubMed Central

    Latash, Mark L.

    2012-01-01

    Motor control is an area of natural science exploring how the nervous system interacts with other body parts and the environment to produce purposeful, coordinated actions. A central problem of motor control – the problem of motor redundancy – was formulated by Nikolai Bernstein as the problem of elimination of redundant degrees-of-freedom. Traditionally, this problem has been addressed using optimization methods based on a variety of cost functions. This review draws attention to a body of recent findings suggesting that the problem has been formulated incorrectly. An alternative view has been suggested as the principle of abundance, which considers the apparently redundant degrees-of-freedom as useful and even vital for many aspects of motor behavior. Over the past ten years, dozens of publications have provided support for this view based on the ideas of synergic control, computational apparatus of the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis, and the equilibrium-point (referent configuration) hypothesis. In particular, large amounts of “good variance” – variance in the space of elements that has no effect on the overall performance – have been documented across a variety of natural actions. “Good variance” helps an abundant system to deal with secondary tasks and unexpected perturbations; its amount shows adaptive modulation across a variety of conditions. These data support the view that there is no problem of motor redundancy; there is bliss of motor abundance. PMID:22246105

  2. RESPONSES OF BRIGHT, NORMAL, AND RETARDED CHILDREN TO LEARNING TASKS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    CARRIER, NEIL A.; AND OTHERS

    THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE VARIABLES OF INTELLIGENCE, LEARNING TASK PERFORMANCE, EMOTIONAL TENSION, AND TASK MOTIVATION WERE STUDIED. ABOUT 120 BRIGHT, NORMAL, AND RETARDED CHILDREN PERFORMED SIX TRIALS OF NUMBER LEARNING, CONCEPT FORMATION, PROBLEM SOLVING, PERCEPTUAL-MOTOR COORDINATION, AND VERBAL LEARNING TASKS. DURING THE LEARNING SESSIONS,…

  3. Motor Demands Constrain Cognitive Rule Structures.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne Gabrielle Eva; Frank, Michael Joshua

    2016-03-01

    Study of human executive function focuses on our ability to represent cognitive rules independently of stimulus or response modality. However, recent findings suggest that executive functions cannot be modularized separately from perceptual and motor systems, and that they instead scaffold on top of motor action selection. Here we investigate whether patterns of motor demands influence how participants choose to implement abstract rule structures. In a learning task that requires integrating two stimulus dimensions for determining appropriate responses, subjects typically structure the problem hierarchically, using one dimension to cue the task-set and the other to cue the response given the task-set. However, the choice of which dimension to use at each level can be arbitrary. We hypothesized that the specific structure subjects adopt would be constrained by the motor patterns afforded within each rule. Across four independent data-sets, we show that subjects create rule structures that afford motor clustering, preferring structures in which adjacent motor actions are valid within each task-set. In a fifth data-set using instructed rules, this bias was strong enough to counteract the well-known task switch-cost when instructions were incongruent with motor clustering. Computational simulations confirm that observed biases can be explained by leveraging overlap in cortical motor representations to improve outcome prediction and hence infer the structure to be learned. These results highlight the importance of sensorimotor constraints in abstract rule formation and shed light on why humans have strong biases to invent structure even when it does not exist.

  4. Motor Demands Constrain Cognitive Rule Structures

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Anne Gabrielle Eva; Frank, Michael Joshua

    2016-01-01

    Study of human executive function focuses on our ability to represent cognitive rules independently of stimulus or response modality. However, recent findings suggest that executive functions cannot be modularized separately from perceptual and motor systems, and that they instead scaffold on top of motor action selection. Here we investigate whether patterns of motor demands influence how participants choose to implement abstract rule structures. In a learning task that requires integrating two stimulus dimensions for determining appropriate responses, subjects typically structure the problem hierarchically, using one dimension to cue the task-set and the other to cue the response given the task-set. However, the choice of which dimension to use at each level can be arbitrary. We hypothesized that the specific structure subjects adopt would be constrained by the motor patterns afforded within each rule. Across four independent data-sets, we show that subjects create rule structures that afford motor clustering, preferring structures in which adjacent motor actions are valid within each task-set. In a fifth data-set using instructed rules, this bias was strong enough to counteract the well-known task switch-cost when instructions were incongruent with motor clustering. Computational simulations confirm that observed biases can be explained by leveraging overlap in cortical motor representations to improve outcome prediction and hence infer the structure to be learned. These results highlight the importance of sensorimotor constraints in abstract rule formation and shed light on why humans have strong biases to invent structure even when it does not exist. PMID:26966909

  5. Motor Demands Constrain Cognitive Rule Structures.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne Gabrielle Eva; Frank, Michael Joshua

    2016-03-01

    Study of human executive function focuses on our ability to represent cognitive rules independently of stimulus or response modality. However, recent findings suggest that executive functions cannot be modularized separately from perceptual and motor systems, and that they instead scaffold on top of motor action selection. Here we investigate whether patterns of motor demands influence how participants choose to implement abstract rule structures. In a learning task that requires integrating two stimulus dimensions for determining appropriate responses, subjects typically structure the problem hierarchically, using one dimension to cue the task-set and the other to cue the response given the task-set. However, the choice of which dimension to use at each level can be arbitrary. We hypothesized that the specific structure subjects adopt would be constrained by the motor patterns afforded within each rule. Across four independent data-sets, we show that subjects create rule structures that afford motor clustering, preferring structures in which adjacent motor actions are valid within each task-set. In a fifth data-set using instructed rules, this bias was strong enough to counteract the well-known task switch-cost when instructions were incongruent with motor clustering. Computational simulations confirm that observed biases can be explained by leveraging overlap in cortical motor representations to improve outcome prediction and hence infer the structure to be learned. These results highlight the importance of sensorimotor constraints in abstract rule formation and shed light on why humans have strong biases to invent structure even when it does not exist. PMID:26966909

  6. Examination of Poststroke Alteration in Motor Unit Firing Behavior Using High-Density Surface EMG Decomposition.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaoyan; Holobar, Ales; Gazzoni, Marco; Merletti, Roberto; Rymer, William Zev; Zhou, Ping

    2015-05-01

    Recent advances in high-density surface electromyogram (EMG) decomposition have made it a feasible task to discriminate single motor unit activity from surface EMG interference patterns, thus providing a noninvasive approach for examination of motor unit control properties. In the current study, we applied high-density surface EMG recording and decomposition techniques to assess motor unit firing behavior alterations poststroke. Surface EMG signals were collected using a 64-channel 2-D electrode array from the paretic and contralateral first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscles of nine hemiparetic stroke subjects at different isometric discrete contraction levels between 2 to 10 N with a 2 N increment step. Motor unit firing rates were extracted through decomposition of the high-density surface EMG signals and compared between paretic and contralateral muscles. Across the nine tested subjects, paretic FDI muscles showed decreased motor unit firing rates compared with contralateral muscles at different contraction levels. Regression analysis indicated a linear relation between the mean motor unit firing rate and the muscle contraction level for both paretic and contralateral muscles (p < 0.001), with the former demonstrating a lower increment rate (0.32 pulses per second (pps)/N) compared with the latter (0.67 pps/N). The coefficient of variation (averaged over the contraction levels) of the motor unit firing rates for the paretic muscles (0.21 ± 0.012) was significantly higher than for the contralateral muscles (0.17 ± 0.014) (p < 0.05). This study provides direct evidence of motor unit firing behavior alterations poststroke using surface EMG, which can be an important factor contributing to hemiparetic muscle weakness.

  7. Increased motor preparation activity during fluent single word production in DS: A correlate for stuttering frequency and severity.

    PubMed

    Vanhoutte, Sarah; Santens, Patrick; Cosyns, Marjan; van Mierlo, Pieter; Batens, Katja; Corthals, Paul; De Letter, Miet; Van Borsel, John

    2015-08-01

    Abnormal speech motor preparation is suggested to be a neural characteristic of stuttering. One of the neurophysiological substrates of motor preparation is the contingent negative variation (CNV). The CNV is an event-related, slow negative potential that occurs between two defined stimuli. Unfortunately, CNV tasks are rarely studied in developmental stuttering (DS). Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate motor preparation in DS by use of a CNV task. Twenty five adults who stutter (AWS) and 35 fluent speakers (FS) were included. They performed a picture naming task while an electro-encephalogram was recorded. The slope of the CNV was evaluated at frontal, central and parietal electrode sites. In addition, a correlation analysis was performed with stuttering severity and frequency measures. There was a marked increase in CNV slope in AWS as compared to FS. This increase was observed over the entire scalp with respect to stimulus onset, and only over the right hemisphere with respect to lip movement onset. Moreover, strong positive correlations were found between CNV slope and stuttering frequency and severity. As the CNV is known to reflect the activity in the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical-network, the present findings confirm an increased activation of this loop during speech motor preparation in stuttering. The more a person stutters, the more neurons of this cortical-subcortical network seem to be activated. Because this increased CNV slope was observed during fluent single word production, it is discussed whether or not this observation refers to a successful compensation strategy.

  8. Bridging the gap between motor imagery and motor execution with a brain-robot interface.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Robert; Fels, Meike; Vukelić, Mathias; Ziemann, Ulf; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2015-03-01

    According to electrophysiological studies motor imagery and motor execution are associated with perturbations of brain oscillations over spatially similar cortical areas. By contrast, neuroimaging and lesion studies suggest that at least partially distinct cortical networks are involved in motor imagery and execution. We sought to further disentangle this relationship by studying the role of brain-robot interfaces in the context of motor imagery and motor execution networks. Twenty right-handed subjects performed several behavioral tasks as indicators for imagery and execution of movements of the left hand, i.e. kinesthetic imagery, visual imagery, visuomotor integration and tonic contraction. In addition, subjects performed motor imagery supported by haptic/proprioceptive feedback from a brain-robot-interface. Principal component analysis was applied to assess the relationship of these indicators. The respective cortical resting state networks in the α-range were investigated by electroencephalography using the phase slope index. We detected two distinct abilities and cortical networks underlying motor control: a motor imagery network connecting the left parietal and motor areas with the right prefrontal cortex and a motor execution network characterized by transmission from the left to right motor areas. We found that a brain-robot-interface might offer a way to bridge the gap between these networks, opening thereby a backdoor to the motor execution system. This knowledge might promote patient screening and may lead to novel treatment strategies, e.g. for the rehabilitation of hemiparesis after stroke.

  9. Motor influences on judgment: Motor and cognitive integration.

    PubMed

    Mullet, Etienne; Cretenet, Joël; Dru, Vincent

    2014-02-01

    Performing motor behaviours (arm flexion vs. extension) that correspond also to lateralized peripheral activations (left vs. right side) of the motivational systems of approach versus avoidance have been previously shown to impact cognitive performance and judgment. Three experiments are reported that examined the combined effect of these variables, as a kind of motor integration, on the implementation of information integration rules in various judgment tasks: judging of a person's attractiveness from personality information, judging of the severity of health risk from alcohol and tobacco intake, and attributing blame to a perpetrator from information as to intent and severity of harm done. It was found that the congruence between these motivational activations consistently influenced the use of interactive information integration rules, compared to additive ones. This set of findings showed that cognitive rules might also be embodied. Motor integration affects cognitive integration in judgment.

  10. Psychosocial Modulators of Motor Learning in Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Zemankova, Petra; Lungu, Ovidiu; Bares, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Using the remarkable overlap between brain circuits affected in Parkinson's disease (PD) and those underlying motor sequence learning, we may improve the effectiveness of motor rehabilitation interventions by identifying motor learning facilitators in PD. For instance, additional sensory stimulation and task cueing enhanced motor learning in people with PD, whereas exercising using musical rhythms or console computer games improved gait and balance, and reduced some motor symptoms, in addition to increasing task enjoyment. Yet, despite these advances, important knowledge gaps remain. Most studies investigating motor learning in PD used laboratory-specific tasks and equipment, with little resemblance to real life situations. Thus, it is unknown whether similar results could be achieved in more ecological setups and whether individual's task engagement could further improve motor learning capacity. Moreover, the role of social interaction in motor skill learning process has not yet been investigated in PD and the role of mind-set and self-regulatory mechanisms have been sporadically examined. Here, we review evidence suggesting that these psychosocial factors may be important modulators of motor learning in PD. We propose their incorporation in future research, given that it could lead to development of improved non-pharmacological interventions aimed to preserve or restore motor function in PD. PMID:26973495

  11. Psychosocial Modulators of Motor Learning in Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Zemankova, Petra; Lungu, Ovidiu; Bares, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Using the remarkable overlap between brain circuits affected in Parkinson's disease (PD) and those underlying motor sequence learning, we may improve the effectiveness of motor rehabilitation interventions by identifying motor learning facilitators in PD. For instance, additional sensory stimulation and task cueing enhanced motor learning in people with PD, whereas exercising using musical rhythms or console computer games improved gait and balance, and reduced some motor symptoms, in addition to increasing task enjoyment. Yet, despite these advances, important knowledge gaps remain. Most studies investigating motor learning in PD used laboratory-specific tasks and equipment, with little resemblance to real life situations. Thus, it is unknown whether similar results could be achieved in more ecological setups and whether individual's task engagement could further improve motor learning capacity. Moreover, the role of social interaction in motor skill learning process has not yet been investigated in PD and the role of mind-set and self-regulatory mechanisms have been sporadically examined. Here, we review evidence suggesting that these psychosocial factors may be important modulators of motor learning in PD. We propose their incorporation in future research, given that it could lead to development of improved non-pharmacological interventions aimed to preserve or restore motor function in PD.

  12. Psychosocial Modulators of Motor Learning in Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Zemankova, Petra; Lungu, Ovidiu; Bares, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Using the remarkable overlap between brain circuits affected in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and those underlying motor sequence learning, we may improve the effectiveness of motor rehabilitation interventions by identifying motor learning facilitators in PD. For instance, additional sensory stimulation and task cueing enhanced motor learning in people with PD, whereas exercising using musical rhythms or console computer games improved gait and balance, and reduced some motor symptoms, in addition to increasing task enjoyment. Yet, despite these advances, important knowledge gaps remain. Most studies investigating motor learning in PD used laboratory-specific tasks and equipment, with little resemblance to real life situations. Thus, it is unknown whether similar results could be achieved in more ecological setups and whether individual’s task engagement could further improve motor learning capacity. Moreover, the role of social interaction in motor skill learning process has not yet been investigated in PD and the role of mind-set and self-regulatory mechanisms have been sporadically examined. Here, we review evidence suggesting that these psychosocial factors may be important modulators of motor learning in PD. We propose their incorporation in future research, given that it could lead to development of improved non-pharmacological interventions aimed to preserve or restore motor function in PD. PMID:26973495

  13. CONTEXTUAL INTERFERENCE AND INTROVERSION/EXTRAVERSION IN MOTOR LEARNING.

    PubMed

    Meira, Cassio M; Fairbrother, Jeffrey T; Perez, Carlos R

    2015-10-01

    The Introversion/Extraversion dimension may interact with contextual interference, as random and blocked practice schedules imply distinct levels of variation. This study investigated the effect of different practice schedules in the acquisition of a motor skill in extraverts and introverts. Forty male undergraduate students (M = 24.3 yr., SD = 5.6) were classified as extraverts (n = 20) and introverts (n = 20) by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and allocated in one of two practice schedules with different levels of contextual interference: blocked (low contextual interference) and random (high contextual interference). Half of each group was assigned to a blocked practice schedule, and the other half was assigned to a random practice schedule. The design had two phases: acquisition and transfer (5 min. and 24 hr.). The participants learned variations of a sequential timing keypressing task. Each variation required the same sequence but different timing; three variations were used in acquisition, and one variation of intermediate length was used in transfer. Results for absolute error and overall timing error (root mean square error) indicated that the contextual interference effect was more pronounced for introverts. In addition, introverts who practiced according to the blocked schedule committed more errors during the 24-hr. transfer, suggesting that introverts did not appear to be challenged by a low contextual interference practice schedule. PMID:26447746

  14. Association of COMT val158met and DRD2 G>T genetic polymorphisms with individual differences in motor learning and performance in female young adults.

    PubMed

    Noohi, Fatemeh; Boyden, Nate B; Kwak, Youngbin; Humfleet, Jennifer; Burke, David T; Müller, Martijn L T M; Bohnen, Nico I; Seidler, Rachael D

    2014-02-01

    Individuals learn new skills at different rates. Given the involvement of corticostriatal pathways in some types of learning, variations in dopaminergic transmission may contribute to these individual differences. Genetic polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme and dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) genes partially determine cortical and striatal dopamine availability, respectively. Individuals who are homozygous for the COMT methionine (met) allele show reduced cortical COMT enzymatic activity, resulting in increased dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex as opposed to individuals who are carriers of the valine (val) allele. DRD2 G-allele homozygotes benefit from a higher striatal dopamine level compared with T-allele carriers. We hypothesized that individuals who are homozygous for COMT met and DRD2 G alleles would show higher rates of motor learning. Seventy-two young healthy females (20 ± 1.9 yr) performed a sensorimotor adaptation task and a motor sequence learning task. A nonparametric mixed model ANOVA revealed that the COMT val-val group demonstrated poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the met-met group and showed a learning deficit in the visuomotor adaptation task compared with both met-met and val-met groups. The DRD2 TT group showed poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the GT group, but there was no difference between DRD2 genotype groups in adaptation rate. Although these results did not entirely come out as one might predict based on the known contribution of corticostriatal pathways to motor sequence learning, they support the role of genetic polymorphisms of COMT val158met (rs4680) and DRD2 G>T (rs 1076560) in explaining individual differences in motor performance and motor learning, dependent on task type. PMID:24225542

  15. Association of COMT val158met and DRD2 G>T genetic polymorphisms with individual differences in motor learning and performance in female young adults

    PubMed Central

    Boyden, Nate B.; Kwak, Youngbin; Humfleet, Jennifer; Burke, David T.; Müller, Martijn L. T. M.; Bohnen, Nico I.; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2013-01-01

    Individuals learn new skills at different rates. Given the involvement of corticostriatal pathways in some types of learning, variations in dopaminergic transmission may contribute to these individual differences. Genetic polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme and dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) genes partially determine cortical and striatal dopamine availability, respectively. Individuals who are homozygous for the COMT methionine (met) allele show reduced cortical COMT enzymatic activity, resulting in increased dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex as opposed to individuals who are carriers of the valine (val) allele. DRD2 G-allele homozygotes benefit from a higher striatal dopamine level compared with T-allele carriers. We hypothesized that individuals who are homozygous for COMT met and DRD2 G alleles would show higher rates of motor learning. Seventy-two young healthy females (20 ± 1.9 yr) performed a sensorimotor adaptation task and a motor sequence learning task. A nonparametric mixed model ANOVA revealed that the COMT val-val group demonstrated poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the met-met group and showed a learning deficit in the visuomotor adaptation task compared with both met-met and val-met groups. The DRD2 TT group showed poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the GT group, but there was no difference between DRD2 genotype groups in adaptation rate. Although these results did not entirely come out as one might predict based on the known contribution of corticostriatal pathways to motor sequence learning, they support the role of genetic polymorphisms of COMT val158met (rs4680) and DRD2 G>T (rs 1076560) in explaining individual differences in motor performance and motor learning, dependent on task type. PMID:24225542