Neurophysiological changes in the visuomotor network after practicing a motor task

James E. Gehringer, David J. Arpin, Elizabeth C Heinrichs-Graham, Tony W Wilson, Max J Kurz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although it is well appreciated that practicing a motor task updates the associated internal model, it is still unknown how the cortical oscillations linked with the motor action change with practice. The present study investigates the short-term changes (e.g., fast motor learning) in the α- and β-event-related desynchronizations (ERD) associated with the production of a motor action. To this end, we used magnetoencephalography to identify changes in the α- and β-ERD in healthy adults after participants practiced a novel isometric ankle plantarflexion target-matching task. After practicing, the participants matched the targets faster and had improved accuracy, faster force production, and a reduced amount of variability in the force output when trying to match the target. Parallel with the behavioral results, the strength of the β-ERD across the motor-planning and execution stages was reduced after practice in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes. No pre/postpractice changes were found in the α-ERD during motor planning or execution. Together, these outcomes suggest that fast motor learning is associated with a decrease in β-ERD power. The decreased strength likely reflects a more refined motor plan, a reduction in neural resources needed to perform the task, and/or an enhancement of the processes that are involved in the visuomotor transformations that occur before the onset of the motor action. These results may augment the development of neurologically based practice strategies and/or lead to new practice strategies that increase motor learning. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We aimed to determine the effects of practice on the movement-related cortical oscillatory activity. Following practice, we found that the performance of the ankle plantarflexion target-matching task improved and the power of the β-oscillations decreased in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes. These novel findings capture the β-oscillatory activity changes in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes that are coupled with behavioral changes to demonstrate the effects of motor learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume120
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Fingerprint

Occipital Lobe
Learning
Ankle
Magnetoencephalography
Sensorimotor Cortex
Power (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Learning
  • Lower extremity
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Motor control
  • β-ERD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

Cite this

Neurophysiological changes in the visuomotor network after practicing a motor task. / Gehringer, James E.; Arpin, David J.; Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth C; Wilson, Tony W; Kurz, Max J.

In: Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 120, No. 1, 01.07.2018, p. 239-249.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{89cef27f2cc2400e901741e8bc4241ff,
title = "Neurophysiological changes in the visuomotor network after practicing a motor task",
abstract = "Although it is well appreciated that practicing a motor task updates the associated internal model, it is still unknown how the cortical oscillations linked with the motor action change with practice. The present study investigates the short-term changes (e.g., fast motor learning) in the α- and β-event-related desynchronizations (ERD) associated with the production of a motor action. To this end, we used magnetoencephalography to identify changes in the α- and β-ERD in healthy adults after participants practiced a novel isometric ankle plantarflexion target-matching task. After practicing, the participants matched the targets faster and had improved accuracy, faster force production, and a reduced amount of variability in the force output when trying to match the target. Parallel with the behavioral results, the strength of the β-ERD across the motor-planning and execution stages was reduced after practice in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes. No pre/postpractice changes were found in the α-ERD during motor planning or execution. Together, these outcomes suggest that fast motor learning is associated with a decrease in β-ERD power. The decreased strength likely reflects a more refined motor plan, a reduction in neural resources needed to perform the task, and/or an enhancement of the processes that are involved in the visuomotor transformations that occur before the onset of the motor action. These results may augment the development of neurologically based practice strategies and/or lead to new practice strategies that increase motor learning. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We aimed to determine the effects of practice on the movement-related cortical oscillatory activity. Following practice, we found that the performance of the ankle plantarflexion target-matching task improved and the power of the β-oscillations decreased in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes. These novel findings capture the β-oscillatory activity changes in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes that are coupled with behavioral changes to demonstrate the effects of motor learning.",
keywords = "Learning, Lower extremity, Magnetoencephalography, Motor control, β-ERD",
author = "Gehringer, {James E.} and Arpin, {David J.} and Heinrichs-Graham, {Elizabeth C} and Wilson, {Tony W} and Kurz, {Max J}",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1152/jn.00020.2018",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "120",
pages = "239--249",
journal = "Journal of Neurophysiology",
issn = "0022-3077",
publisher = "American Physiological Society",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Neurophysiological changes in the visuomotor network after practicing a motor task

AU - Gehringer, James E.

AU - Arpin, David J.

AU - Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth C

AU - Wilson, Tony W

AU - Kurz, Max J

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - Although it is well appreciated that practicing a motor task updates the associated internal model, it is still unknown how the cortical oscillations linked with the motor action change with practice. The present study investigates the short-term changes (e.g., fast motor learning) in the α- and β-event-related desynchronizations (ERD) associated with the production of a motor action. To this end, we used magnetoencephalography to identify changes in the α- and β-ERD in healthy adults after participants practiced a novel isometric ankle plantarflexion target-matching task. After practicing, the participants matched the targets faster and had improved accuracy, faster force production, and a reduced amount of variability in the force output when trying to match the target. Parallel with the behavioral results, the strength of the β-ERD across the motor-planning and execution stages was reduced after practice in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes. No pre/postpractice changes were found in the α-ERD during motor planning or execution. Together, these outcomes suggest that fast motor learning is associated with a decrease in β-ERD power. The decreased strength likely reflects a more refined motor plan, a reduction in neural resources needed to perform the task, and/or an enhancement of the processes that are involved in the visuomotor transformations that occur before the onset of the motor action. These results may augment the development of neurologically based practice strategies and/or lead to new practice strategies that increase motor learning. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We aimed to determine the effects of practice on the movement-related cortical oscillatory activity. Following practice, we found that the performance of the ankle plantarflexion target-matching task improved and the power of the β-oscillations decreased in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes. These novel findings capture the β-oscillatory activity changes in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes that are coupled with behavioral changes to demonstrate the effects of motor learning.

AB - Although it is well appreciated that practicing a motor task updates the associated internal model, it is still unknown how the cortical oscillations linked with the motor action change with practice. The present study investigates the short-term changes (e.g., fast motor learning) in the α- and β-event-related desynchronizations (ERD) associated with the production of a motor action. To this end, we used magnetoencephalography to identify changes in the α- and β-ERD in healthy adults after participants practiced a novel isometric ankle plantarflexion target-matching task. After practicing, the participants matched the targets faster and had improved accuracy, faster force production, and a reduced amount of variability in the force output when trying to match the target. Parallel with the behavioral results, the strength of the β-ERD across the motor-planning and execution stages was reduced after practice in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes. No pre/postpractice changes were found in the α-ERD during motor planning or execution. Together, these outcomes suggest that fast motor learning is associated with a decrease in β-ERD power. The decreased strength likely reflects a more refined motor plan, a reduction in neural resources needed to perform the task, and/or an enhancement of the processes that are involved in the visuomotor transformations that occur before the onset of the motor action. These results may augment the development of neurologically based practice strategies and/or lead to new practice strategies that increase motor learning. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We aimed to determine the effects of practice on the movement-related cortical oscillatory activity. Following practice, we found that the performance of the ankle plantarflexion target-matching task improved and the power of the β-oscillations decreased in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes. These novel findings capture the β-oscillatory activity changes in the sensorimotor and occipital cortexes that are coupled with behavioral changes to demonstrate the effects of motor learning.

KW - Learning

KW - Lower extremity

KW - Magnetoencephalography

KW - Motor control

KW - β-ERD

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85051188443&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85051188443&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1152/jn.00020.2018

DO - 10.1152/jn.00020.2018

M3 - Article

VL - 120

SP - 239

EP - 249

JO - Journal of Neurophysiology

JF - Journal of Neurophysiology

SN - 0022-3077

IS - 1

ER -