Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Brady, R.; Audas, C.; Cohen, H. S.
During the acute phase of adaptation to novel gravitational environments, sensorimotor disturbances have the potential to disrupt the ability of astronauts to perform required mission tasks. The goal of our current series of studies is develop a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program designed to facilitate recovery of functional capabilities when astronauts transition to different gravitational environments. The project has conducted a series of studies investigating the efficacy of treadmill training combined with a variety of sensory challenges (incongruent visual input, support surface instability) designed to increase adaptability. SA training using a treadmill combined with exposure to altered visual input was effective in producing increased adaptability in a more complex over-ground ambulatory task on an obstacle course. This confirms that for a complex task like walking, treadmill training contains enough of the critical features of overground walking to be an effective training modality. SA training can be optimized by using a periodized training schedule. Test sessions that each contain short-duration exposures to multiple perturbation stimuli allows subjects to acquire a greater ability to rapidly reorganize appropriate response strategies when encountering a novel sensory environment. Using a treadmill mounted on top of a six degree-of-freedom motion base platform we investigated locomotor training responses produced by subjects introduced to a dynamic walking surface combined with alterations in visual flow. Subjects who received this training had improved locomotor performance and faster reaction times when exposed to the novel sensory stimuli compared to control subjects. Results also demonstrate that individual sensory biases (i.e. increased visual dependency) can predict adaptive responses to novel sensory environments suggesting that individual training prescription can be developed to enhance adaptability. These data indicate that SA
Bloomberg, J. J.; Peters, B. T.; Mulavara, A. P.; Brady, R. A.; Batson, C. C.; Miller, C. A.; Cohen, H. S.
During exploration-class missions, sensorimotor disturbances may lead to disruption in the ability to ambulate and perform functional tasks during the initial introduction to a novel gravitational environment following a landing on a planetary surface. The goal of our current project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program to facilitate rapid adaptation to novel gravitational environments. We have developed a unique training system comprised of a treadmill placed on a motion-base facing a virtual visual scene that provides an unstable walking surface combined with incongruent visual flow designed to enhance sensorimotor adaptability. We have conducted a series of studies that have shown: Training using a combination of modified visual flow and support surface motion during treadmill walking enhances locomotor adaptability to a novel sensorimotor environment. Trained individuals become more proficient at performing multiple competing tasks while walking during adaptation to novel discordant sensorimotor conditions. Trained subjects can retain their increased level of adaptability over a six months period. SA training is effective in producing increased adaptability in a more complex over-ground ambulatory task on an obstacle course. This confirms that for a complex task like walking, treadmill training contains enough of the critical features of overground walking to be an effective training modality. The structure of individual training sessions can be optimized to promote fast/strategic motor learning. Training sessions that each contain short-duration exposures to multiple perturbation stimuli allows subjects to acquire a greater ability to rapidly reorganize appropriate response strategies when encountering a novel sensory environment. Individual sensory biases (i.e. increased visual dependency) can predict adaptive responses to novel sensory environments suggesting that customized training prescriptions can be developed to enhance
Leow, Li-Ann; Marinovic, Welber; Riek, Stephan; Carroll, Timothy J
Neurophysiological and neuroimaging work suggests that the cerebellum is critically involved in sensorimotor adaptation. Changes in cerebellar function alter behaviour when compensating for sensorimotor perturbations, as shown by non-invasive stimulation of the cerebellum and studies involving patients with cerebellar degeneration. It is known, however, that behavioural responses to sensorimotor perturbations reflect both explicit processes (such as volitional aiming to one side of a target to counteract a rotation of visual feedback) and implicit, error-driven updating of sensorimotor maps. The contribution of the cerebellum to these explicit and implicit processes remains unclear. Here, we examined the role of the cerebellum in sensorimotor adaptation to a 30° rotation of visual feedback of hand position during target-reaching, when the capacity to use explicit processes was manipulated by controlling movement preparation times. Explicit re-aiming was suppressed in one condition by requiring subjects to initiate their movements within 300ms of target presentation, and permitted in another condition by requiring subjects to wait approximately 1050ms after target presentation before movement initiation. Similar to previous work, applying anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS; 1.5mA) to the right cerebellum during adaptation resulted in faster compensation for errors imposed by the rotation. After exposure to the rotation, we evaluated implicit remapping in no-feedback trials after providing participants with explicit knowledge that the rotation had been removed. Crucially, movements were more adapted in these no-feedback trials following cerebellar anodal tDCS than after sham stimulation in both long and short preparation groups. Thus, cerebellar anodal tDCS increased implicit remapping during sensorimotor adaptation, irrespective of preparation time constraints. The results are consistent with the possibility that the cerebellum contributes to the
a test of locomotor function designed specifically to delineate both mechanisms. Aim 3: Develop predictors of sensorimotor adaptability using brain structural and functional metrics. We will measure individual differences in regional brain volumes (structural MRI), white matter integrity (diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI), functional network integrity (resting state functional connectivity MRI), and sensorimotor adaptation task-related functional brain activation (functional MRI). We decided to complete the data collection for Specific Aims 1, 2 and 3 simultaneously on the same subjects to increase data capture. By having the same subjects perform all three specific aims we can enhance our ability to detect how a wider range of factors can predict adaptability in a specific individual. This provides a much richer database and potentially a better understanding of the predictive power of the selected factors. In this presentation I will discuss preliminary data obtained to date.
Mulavara, A. P.; Seidler, R. D.; Peters, B.; Cohen, H. S.; Wood, S.; Bloomberg, J. J.
Astronauts experience sensorimotor disturbances during their initial exposure to microgravity and during the re-adaptation phase following a return to an Earth-gravitational environment. Interestingly, astronauts who return from spaceflight show substantial differences in their abilities to readapt to a gravitational environment. The ability to predict the manner and degree to which individual astronauts would be affected would improve the effectiveness of countermeasure training programs designed to enhance sensorimotor adaptability. In this paper we will be presenting results from our ground-based study that show how behavioral, brain imaging and genomic data may be used to predict individual differences in sensorimotor adaptability to novel sensorimotor environments. This approach will allow us to better design and implement sensorimotor adaptability training countermeasures against decrements in post-mission adaptive capability that are customized for each crewmember's sensory biases, adaptive capacity, brain structure, functional capacities, and genetic predispositions. The ability to customize adaptability training will allow more efficient use of crew time during training and will optimize training prescriptions for astronauts to ensure expected outcomes.
Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Brady, R.; Audas, C.; Ruttley, T. M.; Cohen, H. S.
During the acute phase of adaptation to novel gravitational environments, sensorimotor disturbances have the potential to disrupt the ability of astronauts to perform functional tasks. The goal of this 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 project conducted a series of studies that investigated the efficacy of treadmill training combined with a variety of sensory challenges designed to increase adaptability including alterations in visual flow, body loading, and support surface stability.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Astronauts experience sensorimotor dysfunction during adaption to g-transitions that occur when entering and exiting microgravity. These sensorimotor disturbances...
Full Text Available Sensorimotor plasticity allows us to maintain an efficient motor behavior in reaction to environmental changes. One of the classical models for the study of sensorimotor plasticity is prism adaptation. It consists of pointing to visual targets while wearing prismatic lenses that shift the visual field laterally. The conditions of the development of the plasticity and the sensorimotor after-effects have been extensively studied for more than a century. However, the interest taken in this phenomenon was considerably increased since the demonstration of neglect rehabilitation following prism adaptation by Rossetti and his colleagues in 1998. Mirror effects, i.e. simulation of neglect in healthy individuals, were observed for the first time by Colent and collaborators in 2000. The present review focuses on the expansion of prism adaptation to cognitive functions in healthy individuals during the last 15 years. Cognitive after-effects have been shown in numerous tasks even in those that are not intrinsically spatial in nature. Altogether, these results suggest the existence of a strong link between low-level sensorimotor plasticity and high-level cognitive functions and raise important questions about the mechanisms involved in producing unexpected cognitive effects following prism adaptation. Implications for the functional mechanisms and neuroanatomical network of prism adaptation are discussed to explain how sensorimotor plasticity may affect cognitive processes.
Cassady, Kaitlin; Ruitenberg, Marit; Koppelmans, Vincent; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia; De Dios, Yiri; Gadd, Nichole; Wood, Scott; Riascos Castenada, Roy; Kofman, Igor; Bloomberg, Jacob; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Seidler, Rachael
In this study, we investigate whether individual variability in the rate of visuomotor adaptation and multiday savings is associated with differences in regional gray matter volume and resting-state functional connectivity. Thirty-four participants performed a manual adaptation task during two separate test sessions, on average 9 days apart. Functional connectivity strength between sensorimotor, dorsal cingulate, and temporoparietal regions of the brain was found to predict the rate of learning during the early phase of the adaptation task. In contrast, default mode network connectivity strength was found to predict both the rate of learning during the late adaptation phase and savings. As for structural predictors, greater gray matter volume in temporoparietal and occipital regions predicted faster early learning, whereas greater gray matter volume in superior posterior regions of the cerebellum predicted faster late learning. These findings suggest that the offline neural predictors of early adaptation may facilitate the cognitive aspects of sensorimotor adaptation, supported by the involvement of temporoparietal and cingulate networks. The offline neural predictors of late adaptation and savings, including the default mode network and the cerebellum, likely support the storage and modification of newly acquired sensorimotor representations. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Wright, W Geoffrey
Technological advances that involve human sensorimotor processes can have both intended and unintended effects on the central nervous system (CNS). This mini review focuses on the use of virtual environments (VE) to augment brain functions by enhancing perception, eliciting automatic motor behavior, and inducing sensorimotor adaptation. VE technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in medical rehabilitation, training simulators, gaming, and entertainment. Although these VE applications have often been shown to optimize outcomes, whether it be to speed recovery, reduce training time, or enhance immersion and enjoyment, there are inherent drawbacks to environments that can potentially change sensorimotor calibration. Across numerous VE studies over the years, we have investigated the effects of combining visual and physical motion on perception, motor control, and adaptation. Recent results from our research involving exposure to dynamic passive motion within a visually-depicted VE reveal that short-term exposure to augmented sensorimotor discordance can result in systematic aftereffects that last beyond the exposure period. Whether these adaptations are advantageous or not, remains to be seen. Benefits as well as risks of using VE-driven sensorimotor stimulation to enhance brain processes will be discussed.
W. Geoffrey Wright
Full Text Available Technological advances that involve human sensorimotor processes can have both intended and unintended effects on the central nervous system (CNS. This mini-review focuses on the use of virtual environments (VE to augment brain functions by enhancing perception, eliciting automatic motor behavior, and inducing sensorimotor adaptation. VE technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in medical rehabilitation, training simulators, gaming, and entertainment. Although these VE applications have often been shown to optimize outcomes, whether it be to speed recovery, reduce training time, or enhance immersion and enjoyment, there are inherent drawbacks to environments that can potentially change sensorimotor calibration. Across numerous VE studies over the years, we have investigated the effects of combining visual and physical motion on perception, motor control, and adaptation. Recent results from our research involving exposure to dynamic passive motion within a visually-depicted VE reveal that short-term exposure to augmented sensorimotor discordance can result in systematic aftereffects that last beyond the exposure period. Whether these adaptations are advantageous or not, remains to be seen. Benefits as well as risks of using VE-driven sensorimotor stimulation to enhance brain processes will be discussed.
Galvan, R. C.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Clark, T. K.; Merfeld, D. M.; Oman, C. M.
Astronauts experience sensorimotor changes during adaption to G-transitions that occur when entering and exiting microgravity. Post space flight, these sensorimotor disturbances can include postural and gait instability, visual performance changes, manual control disruptions, spatial disorientation, and motion sickness, all of which can hinder the operational capabilities of the astronauts. Crewmember safety would be significantly increased if sensorimotor changes brought on by gravitational changes could be mitigated and adaptation could be facilitated. The goal of this research is to investigate and develop the use of electrical stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) as a countermeasure to augment sensorimotor function and facilitate adaptation. For this project, SVS will be applied via electrodes on the mastoid processes at imperceptible amplitude levels. We hypothesize that SVS will improve sensorimotor performance through the phenomena of stochastic resonance, which occurs when the response of a nonlinear system to a weak input signal is optimized by the application of a particular nonzero level of noise. In line with the theory of stochastic resonance, a specific optimal level of SVS will be found and tested for each subject . Three experiments are planned to investigate the use of SVS in sensory-dependent tasks and performance. The first experiment will aim to demonstrate stochastic resonance in the vestibular system through perception based motion recognition thresholds obtained using a 6-degree of freedom Stewart platform in the Jenks Vestibular Laboratory at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. A range of SVS amplitudes will be applied to each subject and the subjectspecific optimal SVS level will be identified as that which results in the lowest motion recognition threshold, through previously established, well developed methods [2,3,4]. The second experiment will investigate the use of optimal SVS in facilitating sensorimotor adaptation to system
van der Steen, M C Marieke; Jacoby, Nori; Fairhurst, Merle T; Keller, Peter E
The current study investigated the human ability to synchronize movements with event sequences containing continuous tempo changes. This capacity is evident, for example, in ensemble musicians who maintain precise interpersonal coordination while modulating the performance tempo for expressive purposes. Here we tested an ADaptation and Anticipation Model (ADAM) that was developed to account for such behavior by combining error correction processes (adaptation) with a predictive temporal extrapolation process (anticipation). While previous computational models of synchronization incorporate error correction, they do not account for prediction during tempo-changing behavior. The fit between behavioral data and computer simulations based on four versions of ADAM was assessed. These versions included a model with adaptation only, one in which adaptation and anticipation act in combination (error correction is applied on the basis of predicted tempo changes), and two models in which adaptation and anticipation were linked in a joint module that corrects for predicted discrepancies between the outcomes of adaptive and anticipatory processes. The behavioral experiment required participants to tap their finger in time with three auditory pacing sequences containing tempo changes that differed in the rate of change and the number of turning points. Behavioral results indicated that sensorimotor synchronization accuracy and precision, while generally high, decreased with increases in the rate of tempo change and number of turning points. Simulations and model-based parameter estimates showed that adaptation mechanisms alone could not fully explain the observed precision of sensorimotor synchronization. Including anticipation in the model increased the precision of simulated sensorimotor synchronization and improved the fit of model to behavioral data, especially when adaptation and anticipation mechanisms were linked via a joint module based on the notion of joint internal
Clark, T. K.; Peters, B.; Gadd, N. E.; De Dios, Y. E.; Wood, S.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.
Introduction: During space exploration missions astronauts are exposed to a series of novel sensorimotor environments, requiring sensorimotor adaptation. Until adaptation is complete, sensorimotor decrements occur, affecting critical tasks such as piloted landing or docking. Of particularly interest are locomotion tasks such as emergency vehicle egress or extra-vehicular activity. While nearly all astronauts eventually adapt sufficiently, it appears there are substantial individual differences in how quickly and effectively this adaptation occurs. These individual differences in capacity for sensorimotor adaptation are poorly understood. Broadly, we aim to identify measures that may serve as pre-flight predictors of and individual's adaptation capacity to spaceflight-induced sensorimotor changes. As a first step, since spaceflight is thought to involve a reinterpretation of graviceptor cues (e.g. otolith cues from the vestibular system) we investigate the relationships between various measures of vestibular function in humans. Methods: In a set of 15 ground-based control subjects, we quantified individual differences in vestibular function using three measures: 1) ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential (oVEMP), 2) computerized dynamic posturography and 3) vestibular perceptual thresholds. oVEMP responses are elicited using a mechanical stimuli approach. Computerized dynamic posturography was used to quantify Sensory Organization Tests (SOTs), including SOT5M which involved performing pitching head movements while balancing on a sway-reference support surface with eyes closed. We implemented a vestibular perceptual threshold task using the tilt capabilities of the Tilt-Translation Sled (TTS) at JSC. On each trial, the subject was passively roll-tilted left ear down or right ear down in the dark and verbally provided a forced-choice response regarding which direction they felt tilted. The motion profile was a single-cycle sinusoid of angular acceleration with a
Madansingh, S.; Bloomberg, J. J.
With the upcoming shift to extra-long duration missions (1 year) aboard the ISS, sensorimotor adaptations during transitory periods in-and-out of microgravity are more important to understand and prepare for. Advances in virtual reality technology enables everyday adoption of these tools for entertainment and use in training. Experiencing virtual environments (VE) allows for the manipulation of visual flow to elicit automatic motor behavior and produce sensorimotor adaptation (SA). Recently, the ability to train individuals using repeatable and varied exposures to SA challenges has shown success by improving performance during exposure to a novel environment (Batson 2011). This capacity to 'learn to learn' is referred to as sensorimotor adaptive generalizability and, through the use of treadmill training, represents an untapped potential for individualized countermeasures. The goal of this study is to determine the feasibility of present head mounted displays (HMDs) to produce compelling visual flow information and the expected adaptations for use in future SA treadmill-based countermeasures. Participants experience infinite hallways providing congruent (baseline) or incongruent visual information (half or double speed) via HMD while walking on an instrumented treadmill at 1.1m/s. As gait performance approaches baseline levels, an adaptation time constant is derived to establish individual time-to-adapt (TTA). It is hypothesized that decreasing the TTA through SA treadmill training will facilitate sensorimotor adaptation during gravitational transitions. In this way, HMD technology represents a novel platform for SA training using off-the-shelf consumer products for greater training flexibility in astronaut and terrestrial applications alike.
Madansingh, S.; Bloomberg, J. J.
among participants where the hallway is perceived to move at either half (0.5x) or twice (2.0x) their preferred walking speed. Participants will remain on the treadmill between trials and will not be warned of the upcoming change to visual flow to minimize preparatory adjustments. Stride length, step frequency and dual-support time will be quantified during each trial. We hypothesize that participants will experience a rapid modification in gait performance during periods of adaptive change, expressed as a decrease in step length, an increase in step frequency and an increase in dual-support time, followed by a period of adaptation where these movement parameters will return to near-baseline levels. As stride length, step frequency and dual support times return to baseline values, an adaptation time constant will be derived to establish individual time-to-adapt (TTA). HMD technology represents a paradigm shift in sensorimotor adaptation training where gait adaptability can be stressed using off-the-shelf consumer products and minimal experimental equipment, allowing for greater training flexibility in astronaut and terrestrial applications alike.
Bloomberg, Jacob J; Peters, Brian T; Cohen, Helen S; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P
Astronauts experience disturbances in balance and gait function when they return to Earth. The highly plastic human brain enables individuals to modify their behavior to match the prevailing environment. Subjects participating in specially designed variable sensory challenge training programs can enhance their ability to rapidly adapt to novel sensory situations. This is useful in our application because we aim to train astronauts to rapidly formulate effective strategies to cope with the balance and locomotor challenges associated with new gravitational environments-enhancing their ability to "learn to learn." We do this by coupling various combinations of sensorimotor challenges with treadmill walking. A unique training system has been developed that is comprised of a treadmill mounted on a motion base to produce movement of the support surface during walking. This system provides challenges to gait stability. Additional sensory variation and challenge are imposed with a virtual visual scene that presents subjects with various combinations of discordant visual information during treadmill walking. This experience allows them to practice resolving challenging and conflicting novel sensory information to improve their ability to adapt rapidly. Information obtained from this work will inform the design of the next generation of sensorimotor countermeasures for astronauts.
It is well established that listening to music can modify subjects' cognitive performance. The present study evaluates whether this so-called Mozart Effect extends beyond cognitive tasks and includes sensorimotor adaptation. Three subject groups listened to musical pieces that in the author's judgment were serene, neutral, or sad, respectively. This judgment was confirmed by the subjects' introspective reports. While listening to music, subjects engaged in a pointing task that required them to adapt to rotated visual feedback. All three groups adapted successfully, but the speed and magnitude of adaptive improvement was more pronounced with serene music than with the other two music types. In contrast, aftereffects upon restoration of normal feedback were independent of music type. These findings support the existence of a "Mozart effect" for strategic movement control, but not for adaptive recalibration. Possibly, listening to music modifies neural activity in an intertwined cognitive-emotional network.
Full Text Available Orientation of posture relative to the environment depends on the contributions from the somatosensory, vestibular, and visual systems mixed in varying proportions to produce a sensorimotor set. Here, we probed the sensorimotor set composition using a postural adaptation task in which healthy adults stood on an inclined surface for 3 min. Upon returning to a horizontal surface, participants displayed a range of postural orientations – from an aftereffect that consisted of a large forward postural lean to an upright stance with little or no aftereffect. It has been hypothesized that the post-incline postural change depends on each individual’s sensorimotor set: whether the set was dominated by the somatosensory or vestibular system: Somatosensory dominance would cause the lean aftereffect whereas vestibular dominance should steer stance posture toward upright orientation. We investigated the individuals who displayed somatosensory dominance by manipulating their attention to spatial orientation. We introduced a distraction condition in which subjects concurrently performed a difficult arithmetic subtraction task. This manipulation altered the time course of their post-incline aftereffect. When not distracted, participants returned to upright stance within the 3-min period. However, they continued leaning forward when distracted. These results suggest that the mechanism of sensorimotor set adaptation to inclined stance comprises at least two components. The first component reflects the dominant contribution from the somatosensory system. Since the postural lean was observed among these subjects even when they were not distracted, it suggests that the aftereffect is difficult to overcome. The second component includes a covert attentional component which manifests as the dissipation of the aftereffect and the return of posture to upright orientation.
Jacob J Bloomberg
Full Text Available Astronauts experience disturbances in balance and gait function when they return to Earth. The highly plastic human brain enables individuals to modify their behavior to match the prevailing environment. Subjects participating in specially designed variable sensory challenge training programs can enhance their ability to rapidly adapt to novel sensory situations. This is useful in our application because we aim to train astronauts to rapidly formulate effective strategies to cope with the balance and locomotor challenges associated with new gravitational environments - enhancing their ability to learn to learn. We do this by coupling various combinations of sensorimotor challenges with treadmill walking. A unique training system has been developed that is comprised of a treadmill mounted on a motion base to produce movement of the support surface during walking. This system provides challenges to gait stability. Additional sensory variation and challenge are imposed with a virtual visual scene that presents subjects with various combinations of discordant visual information during treadmill walking. This experience allows them to practice resolving challenging and conflicting novel sensory information to improve their ability to adapt rapidly. Information obtained from this work will inform the design of the next generation of sensorimotor countermeasures for astronauts.
Caetano, Maria Joana D; Menant, Jasmine C; Schoene, Daniel; Pelicioni, Paulo H S; Sturnieks, Daina L; Lord, Stephen R
The ability to adapt gait when negotiating unexpected hazards is crucial to maintain stability and avoid falling. This study investigated whether impaired gait adaptability in a task including obstacle and stepping targets is associated with cognitive and sensorimotor capacities in older adults. Fifty healthy older adults (74±7 years) were instructed to either (a) avoid an obstacle at usual step distance or (b) step onto a target at either a short or long step distance projected on a walkway two heel strikes ahead and then continue walking. Participants also completed cognitive and sensorimotor function assessments. Stroop test and reaction time performance significantly discriminated between participants who did and did not make stepping errors, and poorer Trail-Making test performance predicted shorter penultimate step length in the obstacle avoidance condition. Slower reaction time predicted poorer stepping accuracy; increased postural sway, weaker quadriceps strength, and poorer Stroop and Trail-Making test performances predicted increased number of steps taken to approach the target/obstacle and shorter step length; and increased postural sway and higher concern about falling predicted slower step velocity. Superior executive function, fast processing speed, and good muscle strength and balance were all associated with successful gait adaptability. Processing speed appears particularly important for precise foot placements; cognitive capacity for step length adjustments; and early and/or additional cognitive processing involving the inhibition of a stepping pattern for obstacle avoidance. This information may facilitate fall risk assessments and fall prevention strategies. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Passot, Jean-Baptiste; Luque, Niceto R; Arleo, Angelo
The cerebellum is thought to mediate sensorimotor adaptation through the acquisition of internal models of the body-environment interaction. These representations can be of two types, identified as forward and inverse models. The first predicts the sensory consequences of actions, while the second provides the correct commands to achieve desired state transitions. In this paper, we propose a composite architecture consisting of multiple cerebellar internal models to account for the adaptation performance of humans during sensorimotor learning. The proposed model takes inspiration from the cerebellar microcomplex circuit, and employs spiking neurons to process information. We investigate the intrinsic properties of the cerebellar circuitry subserving efficient adaptation properties, and we assess the complementary contributions of internal representations by simulating our model in a procedural adaptation task. Our simulation results suggest that the coupling of internal models enhances learning performance significantly (compared with independent forward and inverse models), and it allows for the reproduction of human adaptation capabilities. Furthermore, we provide a computational explanation for the performance improvement observed after one night of sleep in a wide range of sensorimotor tasks. We predict that internal model coupling is a necessary condition for the offline consolidation of procedural memories.
Full Text Available The cerebellum is thought to mediate sensorimotor adaptation through the acquisition of internal models of the body–environment interaction. These representations can be of two types, identified as forward and inverse models. The first predicts the sensory consequences of actions, while the second provides the correct commands to achieve desired state transitions. In this paper, we propose a composite architecture consisting of multiple cerebellar internal models to account for the adaptation performance of humans during sensorimotor learning. The proposed model takes inspiration from the cerebellar microcomplex circuit, and employs spiking neurons to process information. We investigate the intrinsic properties of the cerebellar circuitry subserving efficient adaptation properties, and we assess the complementary contributions of internal representations by simulating our model in a procedural adaptation task. Our simulation results suggest that the coupling of internal models enhances learning performance significantly (compared with independent forward and inverse models, and it allows for the reproduction of human adaptation capabilities. Furthermore, we provide a computational explanation for the performance improvement observed after one night of sleep in a wide range of sensorimotor tasks. We predict that internal model coupling is a necessary condition for the offline consolidation of procedural memories.
Bloomberg, J.J.; Peters, B.T.; Mulavara, A.P.; Brady, R.; Batson, C.; Cohen, H.S.
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.
Beaton, K. H.; Bloomberg, J. J.
One of the greatest challenges for sensorimotor adaptation to the spaceflight environment is the large variability in symptoms, and corresponding functional impairments, from one crewmember to the next. This renders preflight training and countermeasure development difficult, as a "one-size-fits-all" approach is inappropriate. Therefore, it would be highly advantageous to know ahead of time which crewmembers might have more difficulty adjusting to the novel g-levels inherent to spaceflight. This information could guide individually customized countermeasures, which would enable more efficient use of crew time and provide better outcomes. The principal aim of this work is to look for baseline performance metrics that relate to locomotor adaptability. We propose a novel hypothesis that considers baseline inter-trial correlations, the trial-to-trial fluctuations ("noise") in motor performance, as a predictor of individual adaptive capabilities.
Butcher, Peter A; Ivry, Richard B; Kuo, Sheng-Han; Rydz, David; Krakauer, John W; Taylor, Jordan A
Individuals with damage to the cerebellum perform poorly in sensorimotor adaptation paradigms. This deficit has been attributed to impairment in sensory prediction error-based updating of an internal forward model, a form of implicit learning. These individuals can, however, successfully counter a perturbation when instructed with an explicit aiming strategy. This successful use of an instructed aiming strategy presents a paradox: In adaptation tasks, why do individuals with cerebellar damage not come up with an aiming solution on their own to compensate for their implicit learning deficit? To explore this question, we employed a variant of a visuomotor rotation task in which, before executing a movement on each trial, the participants verbally reported their intended aiming location. Compared with healthy control participants, participants with spinocerebellar ataxia displayed impairments in both implicit learning and aiming. This was observed when the visuomotor rotation was introduced abruptly ( experiment 1 ) or gradually ( experiment 2 ). This dual deficit does not appear to be related to the increased movement variance associated with ataxia: Healthy undergraduates showed little change in implicit learning or aiming when their movement feedback was artificially manipulated to produce similar levels of variability ( experiment 3 ). Taken together the results indicate that a consequence of cerebellar dysfunction is not only impaired sensory prediction error-based learning but also a difficulty in developing and/or maintaining an aiming solution in response to a visuomotor perturbation. We suggest that this dual deficit can be explained by the cerebellum forming part of a network that learns and maintains action-outcome associations across trials. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Individuals with cerebellar pathology are impaired in sensorimotor adaptation. This deficit has been attributed to an impairment in error-based learning, specifically, from a deficit in using sensory
Gajda, Kathrin; Sülzenbrück, Sandra; Heuer, Herbert
Adaptation to sensorimotor transformations has received much attention in recent years. However, the role of motivation and its relation to the implicit and explicit processes underlying adaptation has been neglected thus far. Here, we examine the influence of extrinsic motivation on adaptation to a visuomotor rotation by way of providing financial incentives for accurate movements. Participants in the experimental group "bonus" received a defined amount of money for high end-point accuracy in a visuomotor rotation task; participants in the control group "no bonus" did not receive a financial incentive. Results showed better overall adaptation to the visuomotor transformation in participants who were extrinsically motivated. However, there was no beneficial effect of financial incentives on the implicit component, as assessed by the after-effects, and on separately assessed explicit knowledge. These findings suggest that the positive influence of financial incentives on adaptation is due to a component which cannot be measured by after-effects or by our test of explicit knowledge. A likely candidate is model-free learning based on reward-prediction errors, which could be enhanced by the financial bonuses.
Astronauts experience sensorimotor disturbances during the initial exposure to microgravity and during the readapation phase following a return to a gravitational environment. These alterations may lead to disruption in the ability to perform mission critical functions during and after these gravitational transitions. Astronauts show significant inter-subject variation in adaptive capability following gravitational transitions. The way each individual's brain synthesizes the available visual, vestibular and somatosensory information is likely the basis for much of the variation. Identifying the presence of biases in each person's use of information available from these sensorimotor subsystems and relating it to their ability to adapt to a novel locomotor task will allow us to customize a training program designed to enhance sensorimotor adaptability. Eight tests are being used to measure sensorimotor subsystem performance. Three of these use measures of body sway to characterize balance during varying sensorimotor challenges. The effect of vision is assessed by repeating conditions with eyes open and eyes closed. Standing on foam, or on a support surface that pitches to maintain a constant ankle angle provide somatosensory challenges. Information from the vestibular system is isolated when vision is removed and the support surface is compromised, and it is challenged when the tasks are done while the head is in motion. The integration and dominance of visual information is assessed in three additional tests. The Rod & Frame Test measures the degree to which a subject's perception of the visual vertical is affected by the orientation of a tilted frame in the periphery. Locomotor visual dependence is determined by assessing how much an oscillating virtual visual world affects a treadmill-walking subject. In the third of the visual manipulation tests, subjects walk an obstacle course while wearing up-down reversing prisms. The two remaining tests include direct
van der Steen, M. C. (Marieke); Keller, Peter E.
A constantly changing environment requires precise yet flexible timing of movements. Sensorimotor synchronization (SMS)—the temporal coordination of an action with events in a predictable external rhythm—is a fundamental human skill that contributes to optimal sensory-motor control in daily life. A large body of research related to SMS has focused on adaptive error correction mechanisms that support the synchronization of periodic movements (e.g., finger taps) with events in regular pacing sequences. The results of recent studies additionally highlight the importance of anticipatory mechanisms that support temporal prediction in the context of SMS with sequences that contain tempo changes. To investigate the role of adaptation and anticipatory mechanisms in SMS we introduce ADAM: an ADaptation and Anticipation Model. ADAM combines reactive error correction processes (adaptation) with predictive temporal extrapolation processes (anticipation) inspired by the computational neuroscience concept of internal models. The combination of simulations and experimental manipulations based on ADAM creates a novel and promising approach for exploring adaptation and anticipation in SMS. The current paper describes the conceptual basis and architecture of ADAM. PMID:23772211
Beaton, K. H.; Bloomberg, J. J.
One of the greatest challenges surrounding adaptation to the spaceflight environment is the large variability in symptoms, and corresponding functional impairments, from one crewmember to the next. This renders preflight training and countermeasure development difficult, as a "one-size-fits-all" approach is inappropriate. Therefore, it would be highly advantageous to know ahead of time which crewmembers might have more difficulty adjusting to the novel g-levels inherent to spaceflight. Such knowledge could guide individually customized countermeasures, which would enable more efficient use of crew time, both preflight and inflight, and provide better outcomes. The primary goal of this project is to look for a baseline performance metric that can forecast sensorimotor adaptability without exposure to an adaptive stimulus. We propose a novel hypothesis that considers baseline inter-trial correlations, the trial-to-trial fluctuations in motor performance, as a predictor of individual sensorimotor adaptive capabilities. To-date, a strong relationship has been found between baseline inter-trial correlations and adaptability in two oculomotor systems. For this project, we will explore an analogous predictive mechanism in the locomotion system. METHODS: Baseline Inter-trial Correlations: Inter-trial correlations specify the relationships among repeated trials of a given task that transpire as a consequence of correcting for previous performance errors over multiple timescales. We can quantify the strength of inter-trial correlations by measuring the decay of the autocorrelation function (ACF), which describes how rapidly information from past trials is "forgotten." Processes whose ACFs decay more slowly exhibit longer-term inter-trial correlations (longer memory processes), while processes whose ACFs decay more rapidly exhibit shorterterm inter-trial correlations (shorter memory processes). Longer-term correlations reflect low-frequency activity, which is more easily
Harm, D. L.; Taylor, L. C.; Bloomberg, J. J.
Virtual environments offer unique training opportunities, particularly for training astronauts and preadapting them to the novel sensory conditions of microgravity. Two unresolved human factors issues in virtual reality (VR) systems are: 1) potential "cybersickness", and 2) maladaptive sensorimotor performance following exposure to VR systems. Interestingly, these aftereffects are often quite similar to adaptive sensorimotor responses observed in astronauts during and/or following space flight. Initial interpretation of novel sensory information may be inappropriate and result in perceptual errors. Active exploratory behavior in a new environment, with resulting feedback and the formation of new associations between sensory inputs and response outputs, promotes appropriate perception and motor control in the new environment. Thus, people adapt to consistent, sustained alterations of sensory input such as those produced by microgravity, unilateral labyrinthectomy and experimentally produced stimulus rearrangements. The purpose of this research was to compare disturbances in sensorimotor coordination produced by dome and head-mounted virtual environment displays and to examine the effects of exposure duration, and repeated exposures to VR systems. The first study examined disturbances in balance control, and the second study examined disturbances in eye-head-hand (EHH) and eye-head coordination.
Stark-Inbar, Alit; Raza, Meher; Taylor, Jordan A; Ivry, Richard B
In standard taxonomies, motor skills are typically treated as representative of implicit or procedural memory. We examined two emblematic tasks of implicit motor learning, sensorimotor adaptation and sequence learning, asking whether individual differences in learning are correlated between these tasks, as well as how individual differences within each task are related to different performance variables. As a prerequisite, it was essential to establish the reliability of learning measures for each task. Participants were tested twice on a visuomotor adaptation task and on a sequence learning task, either the serial reaction time task or the alternating reaction time task. Learning was evident in all tasks at the group level and reliable at the individual level in visuomotor adaptation and the alternating reaction time task but not in the serial reaction time task. Performance variability was predictive of learning in both domains, yet the relationship was in the opposite direction for adaptation and sequence learning. For the former, faster learning was associated with lower variability, consistent with models of sensorimotor adaptation in which learning rates are sensitive to noise. For the latter, greater learning was associated with higher variability and slower reaction times, factors that may facilitate the spread of activation required to form predictive, sequential associations. Interestingly, learning measures of the different tasks were not correlated. Together, these results oppose a shared process for implicit learning in sensorimotor adaptation and sequence learning and provide insight into the factors that account for individual differences in learning within each task domain. We investigated individual differences in the ability to implicitly learn motor skills. As a prerequisite, we assessed whether individual differences were reliable across test sessions. We found that two commonly used tasks of implicit learning, visuomotor adaptation and the
Sosnoff, Jacob J.; Voudrie, Stefani J.
The purpose of the present investigation was to examine whether the ability to adapt to task constraints is influenced by short-term practice in older adults. Young (18–29 years old) and old (65–75 years old) adults produced force output to a constant force target and a 1-Hz sinusoidal force target by way of the index finger flexion. Participants completed each task 5 times per session for 5 concurrent sessions. The amount and structure of force variability was calculated using linear and nonlinear analyses. As expected, there was a decrease in the magnitude of variability (coefficient of variation) in both tasks and task-related change in the structure of force variability (approximate entropy) with training across groups. The authors found older adults to have a greater amount of variability than their younger counterparts in both tasks. Older adults also demonstrated an increase in the structure of force output in the constant task but a decrease in structure in the sinusoidal task. Age differences in the adaptability to task constraints persisted throughout practice. The authors propose that older adults' ability to adapt sensorimotor output to task demands is not a result of lack of familiarity with the task but that it is, instead, characteristic of the aging process. PMID:19201684
Xiong, Xiaofeng; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate
The control of multilegged animal walking is a neuromechanical process, and to achieve this in an adaptive and energy efficient way is a difficult and challenging problem. This is due to the fact that this process needs in real time: 1) to coordinate very many degrees of freedom of jointed legs; 2......) to generate the proper leg stiffness (i.e., compliance); and 3) to determine joint angles that give rise to particular positions at the endpoints of the legs. To tackle this problem for a robotic application, here we present a neuromechanical controller coupled with sensorimotor learning. The controller...... energy efficient walking, compared to other small legged robots. In addition, this paper also shows that the tight combination of neural control with tunable muscle-like functions, guided by sensory feedback and coupled with sensorimotor learning, is a way forward to better understand and solve adaptive...
Stefane A Aguiar
Full Text Available The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of sleep deprivation (SD in adaptation of the coupling between visual information and body sway in young adults' postural control due to changes in optic flow characteristics. Fifteen young adults were kept awake for approximately 25 hours and formed the SD group, while fifteen adults who slept normally the night before the experiment participated as part of the control group. All participants stood as still as possible in a moving room before and after being exposed to one trial with higher amplitude and velocity of room movement. Postural performance and the coupling between visual information, provided by a moving room, and body sway were examined. Results showed that after an abrupt change in visual cues, larger amplitude, and higher velocity of the room, the influence of room motion on body sway was decreased in both groups. However, such a decrease was less pronounced in sleep deprived as compared to control subjects. Sleep deprived adults were able to adapt motor responses to the environmental change provided by the increase in room motion amplitude. Nevertheless, they were not as efficient as control subjects in doing so, which demonstrates that SD impairs the ability to adapt sensorimotor coupling while controlling posture when a perturbation occurs.
Passot , Jean-Baptiste; Luque , Niceto R.; Arleo , Angelo
International audience; The cerebellum is thought to mediate sensorimotor adaptation through the acquisition of internal models of the body-environment interaction. These representations can be of two types, identified as forward and inverse models. The first predicts the sensory consequences of actions, while the second provides the correct commands to achieve desired state transitions. In this paper, we propose a composite architecture consisting of multiple cerebellar internal models to ac...
Gruber, M; Bruhn, S; Gollhofer, A
The aim of this study was to examine how fixations of the ankle joint during sensorimotor training (SMT) influence adaptations in mechanical stiffness and neuromuscular control of the knee joint. Sixty-three healthy subjects were randomly assigned to three training groups that differed in their degree of ankle joint fixation, which was either barefooted, with an ankle brace or with a ski boot. Mechanical knee joint stiffness and reflex control of m. vastus medialis, m. vastus lateralis, m. biceps femoris, and m. semitendinosus were tested during force controlled anterior tibial displacements. This force was applied as both a fast and a slow stimulus. After the training period the group that trained barefooted showed an increase in mechanical stiffness of the knee joint from 79 +/- 21 (Mean +/- SD) N/mm to 110 +/- 38 N/mm (p boots was able to improve knee joint stiffness from 67 +/- 26 N/mm to 96 +/- 47 N/mm (p knee joint injuries.
Otte, Willem M; van der Marel, Kajo; van Meer, Maurits P A; van Rijen, Peter C; Gosselaar, Peter H; Braun, Kees P J; Dijkhuizen, Rick M
Hemispherectomy is often followed by remarkable recovery of cognitive and motor functions. This reflects plastic capacities of the remaining hemisphere, involving large-scale structural and functional adaptations. Better understanding of these adaptations may (1) provide new insights in the neuronal configuration and rewiring that underlies sensorimotor outcome restoration, and (2) guide development of rehabilitation strategies to enhance recovery after hemispheric lesioning. We assessed brain structure and function in a hemispherectomy model. With MRI we mapped changes in white matter structural integrity and gray matter functional connectivity in eight hemispherectomized rats, compared with 12 controls. Behavioral testing involved sensorimotor performance scoring. Diffusion tensor imaging and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging were acquired 7 and 49 days post surgery. Hemispherectomy caused significant sensorimotor deficits that largely recovered within 2 weeks. During the recovery period, fractional anisotropy was maintained and white matter volume and axial diffusivity increased in the contralateral cerebral peduncle, suggestive of preserved or improved white matter integrity despite overall reduced white matter volume. This was accompanied by functional adaptations in the contralateral sensorimotor network. The observed white matter modifications and reorganization of functional network regions may provide handles for rehabilitation strategies improving functional recovery following large lesions.
Full Text Available Neuroimaging studies have shown neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES-evoked movements activate regions of the cortical sensorimotor network, including the primary sensorimotor cortex (SMC, premotor cortex (PMC, supplementary motor area (SMA, and secondary somatosensory area (S2, as well as regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC known to be involved in pain processing. The aim of this study, on nine healthy subjects, was to compare the cortical network activation profile and pain ratings during NMES of the right forearm wrist extensor muscles at increasing current intensities up to and slightly over the individual maximal tolerated intensity (MTI, and with reference to voluntary (VOL wrist extension movements. By exploiting the capability of the multi-channel time domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy technique to relate depth information to the photon time-of-flight, the cortical and superficial oxygenated (O2Hb and deoxygenated (HHb hemoglobin concentrations were estimated. The O2Hb and HHb maps obtained using the General Linear Model (NIRS-SPM analysis method, showed that the VOL and NMES-evoked movements significantly increased activation (i.e., increase in O2Hb and corresponding decrease in HHb in the cortical layer of the contralateral sensorimotor network (SMC, PMC/SMA, and S2. However, the level and area of contralateral sensorimotor network (including PFC activation was significantly greater for NMES than VOL. Furthermore, there was greater bilateral sensorimotor network activation with the high NMES current intensities which corresponded with increased pain ratings. In conclusion, our findings suggest that greater bilateral sensorimotor network activation profile with high NMES current intensities could be in part attributable to increased attentional/pain processing and to increased bilateral sensorimotor integration in these cortical regions.
Muthalib, Makii; Re, Rebecca; Zucchelli, Lucia; Perrey, Stephane; Contini, Davide; Caffini, Matteo; Spinelli, Lorenzo; Kerr, Graham; Quaresima, Valentina; Ferrari, Marco; Torricelli, Alessandro
Neuroimaging studies have shown neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)-evoked movements activate regions of the cortical sensorimotor network, including the primary sensorimotor cortex (SMC), premotor cortex (PMC), supplementary motor area (SMA), and secondary somatosensory area (S2), as well as regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) known to be involved in pain processing. The aim of this study, on nine healthy subjects, was to compare the cortical network activation profile and pain ratings during NMES of the right forearm wrist extensor muscles at increasing current intensities up to and slightly over the individual maximal tolerated intensity (MTI), and with reference to voluntary (VOL) wrist extension movements. By exploiting the capability of the multi-channel time domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy technique to relate depth information to the photon time-of-flight, the cortical and superficial oxygenated (O2Hb) and deoxygenated (HHb) hemoglobin concentrations were estimated. The O2Hb and HHb maps obtained using the General Linear Model (NIRS-SPM) analysis method, showed that the VOL and NMES-evoked movements significantly increased activation (i.e., increase in O2Hb and corresponding decrease in HHb) in the cortical layer of the contralateral sensorimotor network (SMC, PMC/SMA, and S2). However, the level and area of contralateral sensorimotor network (including PFC) activation was significantly greater for NMES than VOL. Furthermore, there was greater bilateral sensorimotor network activation with the high NMES current intensities which corresponded with increased pain ratings. In conclusion, our findings suggest that greater bilateral sensorimotor network activation profile with high NMES current intensities could be in part attributable to increased attentional/pain processing and to increased bilateral sensorimotor integration in these cortical regions.
Onu, Mihaela; Badea, Liviu; Roceanu, Adina; Bajenaru, Ovidiu; Tivarus, Madalina
Our study is using Independent Component Analysis (ICA) to evaluate functional connectivity changes in Parkinson's disease (PD) in an unbiased manner. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data was collected for 27 PD patients and 16 healthy subjects. Differences for intra- and inter-network connectivity between healthy subjects and patients were investigated using FMRIB Software Library (FSL) tools (Melodic ICA, dual regression, FSLNets). Twenty-three ICA maps were identified as components of neuronal origin. For intra-network connectivity changes, eight components showed a significant connectivity increase in patients (p < 0.05); these were correlated with clinical scores and were largest for (sensori)motor networks. For inter-network connectivity changes, we found higher connectivity between the sensorimotor network and the spatial attention network (p = 0.0098) and lower connectivity between anterior and posterior default mode networks (DMN) (p = 0.024), anterior DMN and visual recognition networks (p = 0.026), as well as between visual attention and main dorsal attention networks (p = 0.03), for patients as compared to healthy subjects. The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve for the best predictor (partial correlation between sensorimotor and spatial attention networks) was 0.772. These functional alterations were not associated with any gray or white matter structural changes. Our results show higher connectivity between sensorimotor and spatial attention areas in patients that may be related to the reduced movement automaticity in PD. (orig.)
Onu, Mihaela [Medical Imaging Department, Clinical Hospital ' ' Prof. Dr. Th. Burghele' ' , Bucharest (Romania); Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Biophysics, Bucharest (Romania); Badea, Liviu [National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics, Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics Group, Bucharest (Romania); Roceanu, Adina; Bajenaru, Ovidiu [University of Bucharest Emergency Hospital, Neurology Department, Bucharest (Romania); Tivarus, Madalina [University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Imaging Sciences and Rochester Center for Brain Imaging, Rochester, NY (United States)
Our study is using Independent Component Analysis (ICA) to evaluate functional connectivity changes in Parkinson's disease (PD) in an unbiased manner. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data was collected for 27 PD patients and 16 healthy subjects. Differences for intra- and inter-network connectivity between healthy subjects and patients were investigated using FMRIB Software Library (FSL) tools (Melodic ICA, dual regression, FSLNets). Twenty-three ICA maps were identified as components of neuronal origin. For intra-network connectivity changes, eight components showed a significant connectivity increase in patients (p < 0.05); these were correlated with clinical scores and were largest for (sensori)motor networks. For inter-network connectivity changes, we found higher connectivity between the sensorimotor network and the spatial attention network (p = 0.0098) and lower connectivity between anterior and posterior default mode networks (DMN) (p = 0.024), anterior DMN and visual recognition networks (p = 0.026), as well as between visual attention and main dorsal attention networks (p = 0.03), for patients as compared to healthy subjects. The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve for the best predictor (partial correlation between sensorimotor and spatial attention networks) was 0.772. These functional alterations were not associated with any gray or white matter structural changes. Our results show higher connectivity between sensorimotor and spatial attention areas in patients that may be related to the reduced movement automaticity in PD. (orig.)
Full Text Available Incongruence between our motor intention and the sensory feedback of the action (sensorimotor conflict induces abnormalities in sensory perception in various chronic pain populations, and to a lesser extent in pain-free individuals. The aim of this study was to simultaneously investigate sensory and motor disturbances evoked by sensorimotor conflicts, as well as to assess how they are influenced by the presence of acute pain. It was hypothesized that both sensory and motor disturbances would be increased in presence of pain, which would suggest that pain makes body representations less robust. Thirty healthy participants realized cyclic asymmetric movements of flexion-extension with both upper limbs in a robotized system combined to a 2D virtual environment. The virtual environment provided a visual feedback (VF about movements that was either congruent or incongruent, while the robotized system precisely measured motor performance (characterized by bilateral amplitude asymmetry and medio-lateral drift. Changes in sensory perception were assessed with a questionnaire after each trial. The effect of pain (induced with capsaicin was compared to three control conditions (no somatosensory stimulation, tactile distraction and proprioceptive masking. Results showed that while both sensory and motor disturbances were induced by sensorimotor conflicts, only sensory disturbances were enhanced during pain condition comparatively to the three control conditions. This increase did not statistically differ across VF conditions (congruent or incongruent. Interestingly however, the types of sensations evoked by the conflict in the presence of pain (changes in intensity of pain or discomfort, changes in temperature or impression of a missing limb were different than those evoked by the conflict alone (loss of control, peculiarity and the perception of having an extra limb. Finally, results showed no relationship between the amount of motor and sensory
Crewmember adapted to the microgravity state may need to egress the vehicle within a few minutes for safety and operational reasons after gravitational transitions. The transition from one sensorimotor state to another consists of two main mechanisms: strategic and plastic-adaptive and have been demonstrated in astronauts returning after long duration space flight. Strategic modifications represent "early adaptation" - immediate and transitory changes in control that are employed to deal with short-term changes in the environment. If these modifications are prolonged then plastic-adaptive changes are evoked that modify central nervous system function, automating new behavioral responses. More importantly, this longer term adaptive recovery mechanism was significantly associated with their strategic ability to recover on the first day after return to Earth G. We are developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance information transfer by improving the brain's ability to detect vestibular signals (Vestibular Stochastic Resonance, VSR) especially when combined with balance training exercises such as sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training for rapid improvement in functional skill, for standing and mobility. This countermeasure to improve detection of vestibular signals is a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable providing low imperceptible levels of white noise based binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system (stochastic vestibular stimulation). To determine efficacy of vestibular stimulation on physiological and perceptual responses during otolith-canal conflicts and dynamic perturbations we have conducted a series of studies: We have shown that imperceptible binaural bipolar electrical stimulation of the vestibular system across the mastoids enhances balance performance in the mediolateral (ML) plane while standing on an unstable surface. We have followed up on the previous study showing VSR stimulation improved balance
Tan, Huiling; Wade, Cian; Brown, Peter
Beta oscillations are a dominant feature of the sensorimotor system. A transient and prominent increase in beta oscillations is consistently observed across the sensorimotor cortical-basal ganglia network after cessation of voluntary movement: the post-movement beta synchronization (PMBS). Current theories about the function of the PMBS have been focused on either the closure of motor response or the processing of sensory afferance. Computational models of sensorimotor control have emphasized the importance of the integration between feedforward estimation and sensory feedback, and therefore the putative motor and sensory functions of beta oscillations may reciprocally interact with each other and in fact be indissociable. Here we show that the amplitude of sensorimotor PMBS is modulated by the history of visual feedback of task-relevant errors, and negatively correlated with the trial-to-trial exploratory adjustment in a sensorimotor adaptation task in young healthy human subjects. The PMBS also negatively correlated with the uncertainty associated with the feedforward estimation, which was recursively updated in light of new sensory feedback, as identified by a Bayesian learning model. These results reconcile the two opposing motor and sensory views of the function of PMBS, and suggest a unifying theory in which PMBS indexes the confidence in internal feedforward estimation in Bayesian sensorimotor integration. Its amplitude simultaneously reflects cortical sensory processing and signals the need for maintenance or adaptation of the motor output, and if necessary, exploration to identify an altered sensorimotor transformation. For optimal sensorimotor control, sensory feedback and feedforward estimation of a movement's sensory consequences should be weighted by the inverse of their corresponding uncertainties, which require recursive updating in a dynamic environment. We show that post-movement beta activity (13-30 Hz) over sensorimotor cortex in young healthy
Full Text Available Complementing its primary role in motor control, cerebellar learning has also a bottom-up influence on cognitive functions, where high-level representations build up from elementary sensorimotor memories. In this paper we examine the cerebellar contribution to both procedural and declarative components of spatial cognition. To do so, we model a functional interplay between the cerebellum and the hippocampal formation during goal-oriented navigation. We reinterpret and complete existing genetic behavioural observations by means of quantitative accounts that cross-link synaptic plasticity mechanisms, single cell and population coding properties, and behavioural responses. In contrast to earlier hypotheses positing only a purely procedural impact of cerebellar adaptation deficits, our results suggest a cerebellar involvement in high-level aspects of behaviour. In particular, we propose that cerebellar learning mechanisms may influence hippocampal place fields, by contributing to the path integration process. Our simulations predict differences in place-cell discharge properties between normal mice and L7-PKCI mutant mice lacking long-term depression at cerebellar parallel fibre-Purkinje cell synapses. On the behavioural level, these results suggest that, by influencing the accuracy of hippocampal spatial codes, cerebellar deficits may impact the exploration-exploitation balance during spatial navigation.
Goel, R.; De Dios, Y. E.; Gadd, N. E.; Caldwell, E. E.; Peters, B. T.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Oddsson, L. I. E.; Mulavara, A. P.
Astronauts returning from space flight show significant inter-subject variations in their abilities to readapt to a gravitational environment because of their innate sensory weighting. The ability to predict the manner and degree to which each individual astronaut will be affected would improve the effectiveness of countermeasure training programs designed to enhance sensorimotor adaptability. We hypothesize participant's ability to utilize individual sensory information (vision, proprioception and vestibular) influences adaptation in sensorimotor performance after space flight. The goal of this study is to develop a reliable protocol to test proprioceptive utilization in a functional postural control task. Subjects "stand" in a supine position while strapped to a backpack frame holding a friction-free device using air-bearings that allow the subject to move freely in the frontal plane, similar to when in upright standing. The frame is attached to a pneumatic cylinder, which can provide different levels of a gravity-like force that the subject must balance against to remain "upright". The supine posture with eyes closed ensures reduced vestibular and visual contribution to postural control suggesting somatosensory and/or non-otolith vestibular inputs will provide relevant information for maintaining balance control in this task. This setup is called the gravity bed. Fourteen healthy subjects carried out three trials each with eyes open alternated with eyes closed, "standing" on their dominant leg in the gravity bed environment while loaded with 60 percent of their body weight. Subjects were instructed to: "use your sense of sway about the ankle and pressure changes under the foot to maintain balance." Maximum length of a trial was 45 seconds. A force plate underneath the foot recorded forces and moments during the trial and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) attached on the backpack's frame near the center of mass of the subject recorded upper body postural
Galvan, R. C.; Clark, T. K.; Merfeld, D. M.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Oman, C. M.
measurement units placed on the upper and lower torso of the subjects. Additionally, each individual’s threshold for illusory motion perception of suprasensory electrical vestibular stimulation is measured multiple times within and across days to better understand how multiple SVS test methods compare. The second study aims to demonstrate stochastic resonance in the vestibular system using a perception based motion recognition task. This task measures an individual’s velocity threshold of motion recognition using a 6-degree of freedom Stewart platform and a 3-down/1-up staircase procedure. For this study, thresholds are determined using 150 trials in the upright, head-centered roll tilt motion direction at a 0.2 Hz frequency. We aim to demonstrate the characteristic bell shaped curve associated with stochastic resonance with each subject’s motion recognition thresholds at varying SVS levels ranging from 0 to 1500 micro A. The curve includes the individual’s baseline threshold with no SVS, optimal or minimal threshold at some mid-level of SVS, and finally degraded or increased threshold at a high SVS level. An additional aim is to formally retest each subject at his or her individual optimal SVS level on a different day than the original testing for additional validity. The overall purpose of this research is to further quantify the effects of SVS on various sensorimotor tasks and investigate the practical implications of its use in the context of human space flight so that it may be implemented in the future as a component of a comprehensive countermeasure plan for adaptation to G-transitions.
Full Text Available According to a prominent view of sensorimotor processing in primates, selection and specification of possible actions are not sequential operations. Rather, a decision for an action emerges from competition between different movement plans, which are specified and selected in parallel. For action choices which are based on ambiguous sensory input, the frontoparietal sensorimotor areas are considered part of the common underlying neural substrate for selection and specification of action. These areas have been shown capable of encoding alternative spatial motor goals in parallel during movement planning, and show signatures of competitive value-based selection among these goals. Since the same network is also involved in learning sensorimotor associations, competitive action selection (decision making should not only be driven by the sensory evidence and expected reward in favor of either action, but also by the subject's learning history of different sensorimotor associations. Previous computational models of competitive neural decision making used predefined associations between sensory input and corresponding motor output. Such hard-wiring does not allow modeling of how decisions are influenced by sensorimotor learning or by changing reward contingencies. We present a dynamic neural field model which learns arbitrary sensorimotor associations with a reward-driven Hebbian learning algorithm. We show that the model accurately simulates the dynamics of action selection with different reward contingencies, as observed in monkey cortical recordings, and that it correctly predicted the pattern of choice errors in a control experiment. With our adaptive model we demonstrate how network plasticity, which is required for association learning and adaptation to new reward contingencies, can influence choice behavior. The field model provides an integrated and dynamic account for the operations of sensorimotor integration, working memory and action
Seidler, R D; Carson, R G
Here we provide an overview of findings and viewpoints on the mechanisms of sensorimotor learning presented at the 2016 Biomechanics and Neural Control of Movement (BANCOM) conference in Deer Creek, OH. This field has shown substantial growth in the past couple of decades. For example it is now well accepted that neural systems outside of primary motor pathways play a role in learning. Frontoparietal and anterior cingulate networks contribute to sensorimotor adaptation, reflecting strategic aspects of exploration and learning. Longer term training results in functional and morphological changes in primary motor and somatosensory cortices. Interestingly, re-engagement of strategic processes once a skill has become well learned may disrupt performance. Efforts to predict individual differences in learning rate have enhanced our understanding of the neural, behavioral, and genetic factors underlying skilled human performance. Access to genomic analyses has dramatically increased over the past several years. This has enhanced our understanding of cellular processes underlying the expression of human behavior, including involvement of various neurotransmitters, receptors, and enzymes. Surprisingly our field has been slow to adopt such approaches in studying neural control, although this work does require much larger sample sizes than are typically used to investigate skill learning. We advocate that individual differences approaches can lead to new insights into human sensorimotor performance. Moreover, a greater understanding of the factors underlying the wide range of performance capabilities seen across individuals can promote personalized medicine and refinement of rehabilitation strategies, which stand to be more effective than "one size fits all" treatments.
Pesavento, Michael J; Schlag, John
Synchronizing a motor response to a predictable sensory stimulus, like a periodic flash or click, relies on feedback (somesthetic, auditory, visual, or other) from the motor response. Practically, this results in a small (<50 ms) asynchrony in which the motor response leads the sensory event. Here we show that the perceived simultaneity in a coincidence-anticipation task (line crossing) is affected by changing the perceived simultaneity in a different task (pacing). In the pace task, human subjects were instructed to press a key in perfect synchrony with a red square flashed every second. In training sessions, feedback was provided by flashing a blue square with each key press, below the red square. There were two types of training pace sessions: one in which the feedback was provided with no delay, the other (adapting), in which the feedback was progressively delayed (up to 100 ms). Subjects' asynchrony was unchanged in the first case, but it was significantly increased in the pace task with delay. In the coincidence-anticipation task, a horizontally moving vertical bar crossed a vertical line in the middle of a screen. Subjects were instructed to press a key exactly when the bar crossed the line. They were given no feedback on their performance. Asynchrony on the line-crossing task was tested after the training pace task with feedback. We found that this asynchrony to be significantly increased even though there never was any feedback on the coincidence-anticipation task itself. Subjects were not aware that their sensorimotor asynchrony had been lengthened (sometimes doubled). We conclude that perception of simultaneity in a sensorimotor task is learned. If this perception is caused by coincidence of signals in the brain, the timing of these signals depends on something-acquired by experience-more adaptable than physiological latencies.
Wood, S. J.; Reschke, M. F.; Harm, D. L.; Paloski, W. H.; Bloomberg, J. J.
The Space Shuttle Program provided the opportunity to examine sensorimotor adaptation to space flight in unprecedented numbers of astronauts, including many over multiple missions. Space motion sickness (SMS) severity was highly variable across crewmembers. SMS generally lasted 2-3 days in-flight with approximately 1/3 of crewmembers experiencing moderate to severe symptoms, and decreased incidence in repeat flyers. While SMS has proven difficult to predict from susceptibility to terrestrial analogs, symptoms were alleviated by medications, restriction of early activities, maintaining familiar orientation with respect to the visual environment and maintaining contact cues. Adaptive changes were also reflected by the oculomotor and perceptual disturbances experienced early inflight and by the perceptual and motor coordination problems experienced during re-entry and landing. According to crew self-reports, systematic head movements performed during reentry, as long as paced within one's threshold for motion tolerance, facilitated the early readaptation process. The Shuttle provided early postflight crew access to document the initial performance decrements and time course of recovery. These early postflight measurements were critical to inform the program of risks associated with extending the duration of Shuttle missions. Neurological postflight deficits were documented using a standardized subjective rating by flight surgeons. Computerized dynamic posturography was also implemented as a quantitative means of assessing sensorimotor function to support crew return-to-duty assessments. Towards the end of the Shuttle Program, more emphasis has been placed on mapping physiological changes to functional performance. Future commercial flights will benefit from pre-mission training including exposures to launch and entry G transitions and sensorimotor adaptability assessments. While SMS medication usage will continue to be refined, non-pharmacological countermeasures (e
Cogliati Dezza, I; Zito, G; Tomasevic, L
regions-known to be crucial for sensorimotor networks effectiveness-decrease with MS fatigue increase. Functional connectivity measures at rest and during a simple motor task (weak handgrip of either the right or left hand) were derived from primary sensorimotor areas electroencephalographic recordings......Fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) is a highly disabling symptom. Among the central mechanisms behind it, an involvement of sensorimotor networks is clearly evident from structural and functional studies. We aimed at assessing whether functional/structural balances of homologous sensorimotor...... in 27 mildly disabled MS patients. Structural MRI-derived inter-hemispheric asymmetries included the cortical thickness of Rolandic regions and the volume of thalami. Fatigue symptoms increased together with the functional inter-hemispheric imbalance of sensorimotor homologous areas activities at rest...
Mirror neurons, which have now been found in the human and songbird as well as the macaque, respond to both the observation and the performance of the same action. It has been suggested that their matching response properties have evolved as an adaptation for action understanding; alternatively, these properties may arise through sensorimotor experience. Here I review mirror neuron response characteristics from the perspective of ontogeny; I discuss the limited evidence for mirror neurons in early development; and I describe the growing body of evidence suggesting that mirror neuron responses can be modified through experience, and that sensorimotor experience is the critical type of experience for producing mirror neuron responses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Alexander S Klyubin
Full Text Available The central resource processed by the sensorimotor system of an organism is information. We propose an information-based quantity that allows one to characterize the efficiency of the perception-action loop of an abstract organism model. It measures the potential of the organism to imprint information on the environment via its actuators in a way that can be recaptured by its sensors, essentially quantifying the options available and visible to the organism. Various scenarios suggest that such a quantity could identify the preferred direction of evolution or adaptation of the sensorimotor loop of organisms.
Tamakoshi, Keigo; Kawanaka, Kentaro; Onishi, Hideaki; Takamatsu, Yasuyuki; Ishida, Kazuto
In this study, we examined the effects of motor skills training on the sensorimotor function and the expression of genes associated with synaptic plasticity after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in rats. Male Wistar rats were subjected to ICH or sham operation. ICH was caused by the injection of collagenase into the left striatum. Rats were randomly assigned to no training, acrobatic training, and sham groups. The acrobatic group performed 5 types of acrobatic tasks from 4 to 28 days after surgery. The forelimb sensorimotor function was evaluated over time using forepaw grasping, forelimb placing, and postural instability tests. At 14 and 29 days after the lesion, we analyzed the mRNA expression levels of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and growth-associated protein 43 in the bilateral sensorimotor cortex (forelimb area) by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Motor skills training in ICH rats improved the sensorimotor dysfunction significantly from the early phase. The mRNA expression level of MAP2 was upregulated in the ipsilesional sensorimotor cortex by motor skills training at 29 days after the lesion. Our results suggest that sensorimotor functional recovery following motor skills training after ICH is promoted by dendritic growth in the ipsilesional sensorimotor cortex. Copyright © 2016 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Computational Sensorimotor Systems Lab focuses on the exploration, analysis, modeling and implementation of biological sensorimotor systems for both scientific...
Bock, Otmar; Weigelt, Cornelia; Bloomberg, Jacob J
Two previous single-case studies found that the dual-task costs of manual tracking plus memory search increased during a space mission, and concluded that sensorimotor deficits during spaceflight may be related to cognitive overload. Since dual-task costs were insensitive to the difficulty of memory search, the authors argued that the overload may reflect stress-related problems of multitasking, rather than a scarcity of specific cognitive resources. Here we expand the available database and compare different types of concurrent task. Three subjects were repeatedly tested before, during, and after an extended mission on the International Space Station (ISS). They performed an unstable tracking task and four reaction-time tasks, both separately and concurrently. Inflight data could only be obtained during later parts of the mission. The tracking error increased from pre- to in flight by a factor of about 2, both under single- and dual-task conditions. The dual-task costs with a reaction-time task requiring rhythm production was 2.4 times higher than with a reaction-time task requiring visuo-spatial transformations, and 8 times higher than with a regular choice reaction-time task. Long-term sensorimotor deficits during spaceflight may reflect not only stress, but also a scarcity of resources related to complex motor programming; possibly those resources are tied up by sensorimotor adaptation to the space environment.
Allievi, Alessandro G; Arichi, Tomoki; Tusor, Nora; Kimpton, Jessica; Arulkumaran, Sophie; Counsell, Serena J; Edwards, A David; Burdet, Etienne
Preterm birth engenders an increased risk of conditions like cerebral palsy and therefore this time may be crucial for the brain's developing sensori-motor system. However, little is known about how cortical sensori-motor function matures at this time, whether development is influenced by experience, and about its role in spontaneous motor behavior. We aimed to systematically characterize spatial and temporal maturation of sensori-motor functional brain activity across this period using functional MRI and a custom-made robotic stimulation device. We studied 57 infants aged from 30 + 2 to 43 + 2 weeks postmenstrual age. Following both induced and spontaneous right wrist movements, we saw consistent positive blood oxygen level-dependent functional responses in the contralateral (left) primary somatosensory and motor cortices. In addition, we saw a maturational trend toward faster, higher amplitude, and more spatially dispersed functional responses; and increasing integration of the ipsilateral hemisphere and sensori-motor associative areas. We also found that interhemispheric functional connectivity was significantly related to ex-utero exposure, suggesting the influence of experience-dependent mechanisms. At term equivalent age, we saw a decrease in both response amplitude and interhemispheric functional connectivity, and an increase in spatial specificity, culminating in the establishment of a sensori-motor functional response similar to that seen in adults. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.
Full Text Available The aim of the study was to investigate, for the first time, if it is possible to integrate primary reflexes in adults with sensorimotor disorders through sensorimotor therapy. Participants consisted of 14 adults, 1 man and 13 women, with an average age of 35 years who completed a sensorimotor therapy program over three years. They were compared with a reference group of 100 youngsters spanning from 11 to 17 years. Procedures were the same for both youngsters and adults including regular visits to a therapist and training approximately 15 minutes each day at home throughout therapy. Assessments of sensorimotor abilities were made before and after the therapy. Results showed significant improvements on all measurements with regard to treatment for both age groups and the main picture indicated small differences between age groups. After therapy adults were better on balance and orientation tests while the youngsters performed better on sports related gross motor movements, processing of speech sounds and had acquired a better relation between visual skills and vestibular function. Conclusions were that motor problems do not disappear with age and that the same diagnostic instruments and treatment methods can be used for both children and adults with sensorimotor difficulties.
Green, Sharon; Grierson, Lawrence E. M.; Dubrowski, Adam; Carnahan, Heather
It is well known that sensorimotor memories are built and updated through experience with objects. These representations are useful to anticipatory and feedforward control processes that preset grip and load forces during lifting. When individuals lift objects with qualities that are not congruent with their memory-derived expectations, feedback…
Kofman, I. S.; De Dios, Y. E.; Lawrence, K.; Schade, A.; Reschke, M. F.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Wood, S. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Seidle, R. D.
In consideration of the health and performance of crewmembers during flight and postflight, we are conducting a controlled prospective longitudinal study to investigate the effects of spaceflight on the extent, longevity and neural bases of sensorimotor, cognitive, and neural changes. Previous studies investigating sensorimotor adaptation to the microgravity environment longitudinally inflight have shown reduction in the ability to perform complex dual tasks. In this study we perform a series of tests investigating the longitudinal effects of adaptation to the microgravity environment and how it affects spatial cognition, manual visuo-motor adaption and dual tasking.
Makino, Hiroshi; Hwang, Eun Jung; Hedrick, Nathan G.; Komiyama, Takaki
SUMMARY The relationship between the brain and the environment is flexible, forming the foundation for our ability to learn. Here we review the current state of our understanding of the modifications in the sensorimotor pathway related to sensorimotor learning. We divide the process in three hierarchical levels with distinct goals: 1) sensory perceptual learning, 2) sensorimotor associative learning, and 3) motor skill learning. Perceptual learning optimizes the representations of important sensory stimuli. Associative learning and the initial phase of motor skill learning are ensured by feedback-based mechanisms that permit trial-and-error learning. The later phase of motor skill learning may primarily involve feedback-independent mechanisms operating under the classic Hebbian rule. With these changes under distinct constraints and mechanisms, sensorimotor learning establishes dedicated circuitry for the reproduction of stereotyped neural activity patterns and behavior. PMID:27883902
Harm, Deborah L.; Taylor, Laura C.
The overall goal of this study is to examine the extent to which exposure to virtual reality (VR) systems produces motion sickness and disrupts sensorimotor functions. Two of the major problems in using VRs are: 1) potential "cybersickness", a form of motion sickness, and 2) maladaptive sensorimotor coordination following virtual environment (VE) training. It is likely that users will eventually adapt to any unpleasant perceptual experiences in a virtual environment. However the most critical problem for training applications is that sensorimotor coordination strategies learned in the VE may not be similar to the responses required in the real environment. This study will evaluate and compare responses to the two types of VR delivery systems (head-mounted display [HMD] and a dome-projection system [DOME]), two exposure duration periods (30 minutes or 60 minutes), and repeated exposures (3 sessions). Specific responses that we will examine include cybersickness severity and symptom patterns, and several sensorimotor functions (eye-hea.d and eye-head-hand coordination, and postural equilibrium). To date, all hardware and software acquisition, development, integration and testing has been completed. A database has been developed and tested for the input, management and storage of all questionnaire data. All data analysis scripts have been developed and tested. Data was collected from 20 subjects in a pilot study that was conducted to determine the amount of training necessary to achieve a stable performance level. Seven subjects are currently enrolled in the study designed to examine the effects of exposure to VE systems on postural control. Data has been collected from two subjects, and it is expected that the results from ten subjects will be presented.
This book analyzes the philosophical foundations of sensorimotor theory and discusses the most recent applications of sensorimotor theory to human computer interaction, child’s play, virtual reality, robotics, and linguistics. Why does a circle look curved and not angular? Why does red not sound like a bell? Why, as I interact with the world, is there something it is like to be me? An analytic philosopher might suggest: ``if we ponder the concept of circle we find that it is the essence of a circle to be round’’. However, where does this definition come from? Was it set in stone by the Gods, in other words by divine arbiters of circleness, redness and consciousness? Particularly, with regard to visual consciousness, a first attempt to explain why our conscious experience of the world appears as it does has been attributed to Kevin O’Regan and Alva Noe, who published their sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness in 2001. Starting with a chapter by Kevin O’Regan, Contemporary Sensorimo...
Leibfried, Felix; Grau-Moya, Jordi; Braun, Daniel A
Although complex forms of communication like human language are often assumed to have evolved out of more simple forms of sensorimotor signaling, less attention has been devoted to investigate the latter. Here, we study communicative sensorimotor behavior of humans in a two-person joint motor task where each player controls one dimension of a planar motion. We designed this joint task as a game where one player (the sender) possesses private information about a hidden target the other player (the receiver) wants to know about, and where the sender's actions are costly signals that influence the receiver's control strategy. We developed a game-theoretic model within the framework of signaling games to investigate whether subjects' behavior could be adequately described by the corresponding equilibrium solutions. The model predicts both separating and pooling equilibria, in which signaling does and does not occur respectively. We observed both kinds of equilibria in subjects and found that, in line with model predictions, the propensity of signaling decreased with increasing signaling costs and decreasing uncertainty on the part of the receiver. Our study demonstrates that signaling games, which have previously been applied to economic decision-making and animal communication, provide a framework for human signaling behavior arising during sensorimotor interactions in continuous and dynamic environments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mirror neurons, which have now been found in the human and songbird as well as the macaque, respond to both the observation and the performance of the same action. It has been suggested that their matching response properties have evolved as an adaptation for action understanding; alternatively, these properties may arise through sensorimotor experience. Here I review mirror neuron response characteristics from the perspective of ontogeny; I discuss the limited evidence for mirror neurons in ...
Bloomberg, J. J.; Peters, B. T.; Mulavara, A. P.; Brady, R. A.; Batson, C. D.; Miller, C. A.; Ploutz-Snyder, R. J.; Guined, J. R.; Buxton, R. E.; Cohen, H. S.
During exploration-class missions, sensorimotor disturbances may lead to disruption in the ability to ambulate and perform functional tasks during the initial introduction to a novel gravitational environment following a landing on a planetary surface. The overall goal of our current project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability training program to facilitate rapid adaptation to these environments. We have developed a unique training system comprised of a treadmill placed on a motion-base facing a virtual visual scene. It provides an unstable walking surface combined with incongruent visual flow designed to enhance sensorimotor adaptability. Greater metabolic cost incurred during balance instability means more physical work is required during adaptation to new environments possibly affecting crewmembers? ability to perform mission critical tasks during early surface operations on planetary expeditions. The goal of this study was to characterize adaptation to a discordant sensory challenge across a number of performance modalities including locomotor stability, multi-tasking ability and metabolic cost. METHODS: Subjects (n=15) walked (4.0 km/h) on a treadmill for an 8 -minute baseline walking period followed by 20-minutes of walking (4.0 km/h) with support surface motion (0.3 Hz, sinusoidal lateral motion, peak amplitude 25.4 cm) provided by the treadmill/motion-base system. Stride frequency and auditory reaction time were collected as measures of locomotor stability and multi-tasking ability, respectively. Metabolic data (VO2) were collected via a portable metabolic gas analysis system. RESULTS: At the onset of lateral support surface motion, subj ects walking on our treadmill showed an increase in stride frequency and auditory reaction time indicating initial balance and multi-tasking disturbances. During the 20-minute adaptation period, balance control and multi-tasking performance improved. Similarly, throughout the 20-minute adaptation period, VO2 gradually
Blumberg, Mark S; Marques, Hugo Gravato; Iida, Fumiya
It is still not known how the 'rudimentary' movements of fetuses and infants are transformed into the coordinated, flexible and adaptive movements of adults. In addressing this important issue, we consider a behavior that has been perennially viewed as a functionless by-product of a dreaming brain: the jerky limb movements called myoclonic twitches. Recent work has identified the neural mechanisms that produce twitching as well as those that convey sensory feedback from twitching limbs to the spinal cord and brain. In turn, these mechanistic insights have helped inspire new ideas about the functional roles that twitching might play in the self-organization of spinal and supraspinal sensorimotor circuits. Striking support for these ideas is coming from the field of developmental robotics: when twitches are mimicked in robot models of the musculoskeletal system, the basic neural circuitry undergoes self-organization. Mutually inspired biological and synthetic approaches promise not only to produce better robots, but also to solve fundamental problems concerning the developmental origins of sensorimotor maps in the spinal cord and brain. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Laudner, Kevin G
Injuries stemming from shoulder instability are very common among athletes participating in contact sports, such as football. Previous research has shown that increased laxity negatively affects the function of the sensorimotor system potentially leading to a pathological cycle of shoulder dysfunction. Currently, there are no data detailing such effects among football players. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the differences in upper extremity sensorimotor control among football players compared with that of a control group. Forty-five collegiate football players and 70 male control subjects with no previous experience in contact sports participated. All the subjects had no recent history of upper extremity injury. Each subject performed three 30-second upper extremity balance trials on each arm. The balance trials were conducted in a single-arm push-up position with the test arm in the center of a force platform and the subjects' feet on a labile device. The trials were averaged, and the differences in radial area deviation between groups were analyzed using separate 1-way analyses of variance (p football players showed significantly more radial area deviation of the dominant (0.41 ± 1.23 cm2, p = 0.02) and nondominant arms (0.47 ± 1.63 cm2, p = 0.03) when compared with the control group. These results suggest that football players may have decreased sensorimotor control of the upper extremity compared with individuals with no contact sport experience. The decreased upper extremity sensorimotor control among the football players may be because of the frequent impacts accumulated during football participation. Football players may benefit from exercises that target the sensorimotor system. These findings may also be beneficial in the evaluation and treatment of various upper extremity injuries among football players.
Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Examination of sensorimotor activation alone in multiple sclerosis (MS patients may not yield a comprehensive view of cerebral response to task stimulation. Additional information may be obtained by examining the negative BOLD response (deactivation. Aim of this work was to characterize activation and deactivation patterns during passive hand movements in MS patients. METHODS: 13 relapsing remitting-MS patients (RRMS, 18 secondary progressive-MS patients (SPMS and 15 healthy controls (HC underwent an fMRI study during passive right-hand movements. Activation and deactivation contrasts in the three groups were entered into ANOVA, age and gender corrected. Post-hoc analysis was performed with one-sample and two-sample t-tests. For each patient we obtained lesion volume (LV from both T1- and T2-weighted images. RESULTS: Activations showed a progressive extension to the ipsilateral brain hemisphere according to the group and the clinical form (HC
Pisotta, Iolanda; Perruchoud, David; Ionta, Silvio
Living in a multisensory world entails the continuous sensory processing of environmental information in order to enact appropriate motor routines. The interaction between our body and our brain is the crucial factor for achieving such sensorimotor integration ability. Several clinical conditions dramatically affect the constant body-brain exchange, but the latest developments in biomedical engineering provide promising solutions for overcoming this communication breakdown. The ultimate technological developments succeeded in transforming neuronal electrical activity into computational input for robotic devices, giving birth to the era of the so-called brain-machine interfaces. Combining rehabilitation robotics and experimental neuroscience the rise of brain-machine interfaces into clinical protocols provided the technological solution for bypassing the neural disconnection and restore sensorimotor function. Based on these advances, the recovery of sensorimotor functionality is progressively becoming a concrete reality. However, despite the success of several recent techniques, some open issues still need to be addressed. Typical interventions for sensorimotor deficits include pharmaceutical treatments and manual/robotic assistance in passive movements. These procedures achieve symptoms relief but their applicability to more severe disconnection pathologies is limited (e.g. spinal cord injury or amputation). Here we review how state-of-the-art solutions in biomedical engineering are continuously increasing expectances in sensorimotor rehabilitation, as well as the current challenges especially with regards to the translation of the signals from brain-machine interfaces into sensory feedback and the incorporation of brain-machine interfaces into daily activities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
O'Regan, J K; Noë, A
Many current neurophysiological, psychophysical, and psychological approaches to vision rest on the idea that when we see, the brain produces an internal representation of the world. The activation of this internal representation is assumed to give rise to the experience of seeing. The problem with this kind of approach is that it leaves unexplained how the existence of such a detailed internal representation might produce visual consciousness. An alternative proposal is made here. We propose that seeing is a way of acting. It is a particular way of exploring the environment. Activity in internal representations does not generate the experience of seeing. The outside world serves as its own, external, representation. The experience of seeing occurs when the organism masters what we call the governing laws of sensorimotor contingency. The advantage of this approach is that it provides a natural and principled way of accounting for visual consciousness, and for the differences in the perceived quality of sensory experience in the different sensory modalities. Several lines of empirical evidence are brought forward in support of the theory, in particular: evidence from experiments in sensorimotor adaptation, visual "filling in," visual stability despite eye movements, change blindness, sensory substitution, and color perception.
Gheorghe, Delia A; Panouillères, Muriel T N; Walsh, Nicholas D
Despite being overlooked in theoretical models of stress-related disorders, differences in cerebellar structure and function are consistently reported in studies of individuals exposed to current and early-life stressors. However, the mediating processes through which stress impacts upon cerebellar function are currently unknown. The aim of the current experiment was to test the effects of experimentally-induced acute stress on cerebellar functioning, using a classic, forward saccadic adaptation paradigm in healthy, young men and women. Stress induction was achieved by employing the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST), a task employing mental arithmetic and negative social feedback to generate significant physiological and endocrine stress responses. Saccadic adaptation was elicited using the double-step target paradigm. In the experiment, 48 participants matched for gender and age were exposed to either a stress (n = 25) or a control (n = 23) condition. Saliva for cortisol analysis was collected before, immediately after, and 10, and 30 min after the MIST. Saccadic adaptation was assessed approximately 10 min after stress induction, when cortisol levels peaked. Participants in the stress group reported significantly more stress symptoms and exhibited greater total cortisol output compared to controls. The stress manipulation was associated with slower learning rates in the stress group, while control participants acquired adaptation faster. Learning rates were negatively associated with cortisol output and mood disturbance. Results suggest that experimentally-induced stress slowed acquisition of cerebellar-dependent saccadic adaptation, related to increases in cortisol output. These 'proof-of-principle' data demonstrate that stress modulates cerebellar-related functions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Musical ensemble performance requires temporally precise interpersonal action coordination. To play in synchrony, ensemble musicians presumably rely on anticipatory mechanisms that enable them to predict the timing of sounds produced by co-performers. Previous studies have shown that individuals differ in their ability to predict upcoming tempo changes in paced finger-tapping tasks (indexed by cross-correlations between tap timing and pacing events and that the degree of such prediction influences the accuracy of sensorimotor synchronization (SMS and interpersonal coordination in dyadic tapping tasks. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging study investigated the neural correlates of auditory temporal predictions during SMS in a within-subject design. Hemodynamic responses were recorded from 18 musicians while they tapped in synchrony with auditory sequences containing gradual tempo changes under conditions of varying cognitive load (achieved by a simultaneous visual n-back working-memory task comprising three levels of difficulty: observation only, 1-back, and 2-back object comparisons. Prediction ability during SMS decreased with increasing cognitive load. Results of a parametric analysis revealed that the generation of auditory temporal predictions during SMS recruits (1 a distributed network in cortico-cerebellar motor-related brain areas (left dorsal premotor and motor cortex, right lateral cerebellum, SMA proper and bilateral inferior parietal cortex and (2 medial cortical areas (medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex. While the first network is presumably involved in basic sensory prediction, sensorimotor integration, motor timing, and temporal adaptation, activation in the second set of areas may be related to higher-level social-cognitive processes elicited during action coordination with auditory signals that resemble music performed by human agents.
Rossignol, Serge; Barrière, Grégory; Frigon, Alain
The present paper reviews aspects of locomotor sensorimotor interactions by focussing on work performed in spinal cats. We provide a brief overview of spinal locomotion and describe the effects of various types of sensory deprivations (e.g. rhizotomies, and lesions of muscle and cutaneous nerves......) to highlight the spinal neuroplasticity necessary for adapting to sensory loss. Recent work on plastic interactions between reflex pathways that could be responsible for such plasticity, in particular changes in proprioceptive and cutaneous pathways that occur during locomotor training of spinal cats...
Lackner, J. R.; Lobovits, D. N.
Visual-target pointing experiments were performed on 24 adult volunteers in order to compare the relative effectiveness of incremental (stepwise) and single-step exposure conditions on adaptation to visual rearrangement. The differences between the preexposure and postexposure scores served as an index of the adaptation elicited during the exposure period. It is found that both single-step and stepwise exposure to visual rearrangement elicit compensatory changes in sensorimotor coordination. However, stepwise exposure, when compared to single-step exposur in terms of the average magnitude of visual displacement over the exposure period, clearly enhances the rate of adaptation. It seems possible that the enhancement of adaptation to unusual patterns of sensory stimulation produced by incremental exposure reflects a general principle of sensorimotor function.
Full Text Available During the procedure of prism adaptation, subjects execute pointing movements to visual targets under a lateral optical displacement: as consequence of the discrepancy between visual and proprioceptive inputs, their visuo-motor activity is characterized by pointing errors. The perception of such final errors triggers error-correction processes that eventually result into sensori-motor compensation, opposite to the prismatic displacement (i.e., after-effects. Here we tested whether the mere observation of erroneous pointing movements, similar to those executed during prism adaptation, is sufficient to produce adaptation-like after-effects. Neurotypical participants observed, from a first-person perspective, the examiner's arm making incorrect pointing movements that systematically overshot visual targets location to the right, thus simulating a rightward optical deviation. Three classical after-effect measures (proprioceptive, visual and visual-proprioceptive shift were recorded before and after first-person's perspective observation of pointing errors. Results showed that mere visual exposure to an arm that systematically points on the right-side of a target (i.e., without error correction produces a leftward after-effect, which mostly affects the observer's proprioceptive estimation of her body midline. In addition, being exposed to such a constant visual error induced in the observer the illusion "to feel" the seen movement. These findings indicate that it is possible to elicit sensori-motor after-effects by mere observation of movement errors.
Burris, Kyle; Vittetoe, Kelly; Ramger, Benjamin; Suresh, Sunith; Tokdar, Surya T; Reiter, Jerome P; Appelbaum, L Gregory
Baseball players must be able to see and react in an instant, yet it is hotly debated whether superior performance is associated with superior sensorimotor abilities. In this study, we compare sensorimotor abilities, measured through 8 psychomotor tasks comprising the Nike Sensory Station assessment battery, and game statistics in a sample of 252 professional baseball players to evaluate the links between sensorimotor skills and on-field performance. For this purpose, we develop a series of Bayesian hierarchical latent variable models enabling us to compare statistics across professional baseball leagues. Within this framework, we find that sensorimotor abilities are significant predictors of on-base percentage, walk rate and strikeout rate, accounting for age, position, and league. We find no such relationship for either slugging percentage or fielder-independent pitching. The pattern of results suggests performance contributions from both visual-sensory and visual-motor abilities and indicates that sensorimotor screenings may be useful for player scouting.
Schumann, Frank; Keyser, Johannes; Goeke, Caspar; Krause, Carina; Wache, Susan; Lytochkin, Aleksey; Ebert, Manuel; Brunsch, Vincent; Wahn, Basil; Kaspar, Kai; Nagel, Saskia K.; Meilinger, Tobias; Bülthoff, Heinrich; Wolbers, Thomas; Büchel, Christian; König, Peter
Theories of embodied cognition propose that perception is shaped by sensory stimuli and by the actions of the organism. Following sensorimotor contingency theory, the mastery of lawful relations between own behavior and resulting changes in sensory signals, called sensorimotor contingencies, is constitutive of conscious perception. Sensorimotor contingency theory predicts that, after training, knowledge relating to new sensorimotor contingencies develops, leading to changes in the activation of sensorimotor systems, and concomitant changes in perception. In the present study, we spell out this hypothesis in detail and investigate whether it is possible to learn new sensorimotor contingencies by sensory augmentation. Specifically, we designed an fMRI compatible sensory augmentation device, the feelSpace belt, which gives orientation information about the direction of magnetic north via vibrotactile stimulation on the waist of participants. In a longitudinal study, participants trained with this belt for seven weeks in natural environment. Our EEG results indicate that training with the belt leads to changes in sleep architecture early in the training phase, compatible with the consolidation of procedural learning as well as increased sensorimotor processing and motor programming. The fMRI results suggest that training entails activity in sensory as well as higher motor centers and brain areas known to be involved in navigation. These neural changes are accompanied with changes in how space and the belt signal are perceived, as well as with increased trust in navigational ability. Thus, our data on physiological processes and subjective experiences are compatible with the hypothesis that new sensorimotor contingencies can be acquired using sensory augmentation. PMID:27959914
König, Sabine U; Schumann, Frank; Keyser, Johannes; Goeke, Caspar; Krause, Carina; Wache, Susan; Lytochkin, Aleksey; Ebert, Manuel; Brunsch, Vincent; Wahn, Basil; Kaspar, Kai; Nagel, Saskia K; Meilinger, Tobias; Bülthoff, Heinrich; Wolbers, Thomas; Büchel, Christian; König, Peter
Theories of embodied cognition propose that perception is shaped by sensory stimuli and by the actions of the organism. Following sensorimotor contingency theory, the mastery of lawful relations between own behavior and resulting changes in sensory signals, called sensorimotor contingencies, is constitutive of conscious perception. Sensorimotor contingency theory predicts that, after training, knowledge relating to new sensorimotor contingencies develops, leading to changes in the activation of sensorimotor systems, and concomitant changes in perception. In the present study, we spell out this hypothesis in detail and investigate whether it is possible to learn new sensorimotor contingencies by sensory augmentation. Specifically, we designed an fMRI compatible sensory augmentation device, the feelSpace belt, which gives orientation information about the direction of magnetic north via vibrotactile stimulation on the waist of participants. In a longitudinal study, participants trained with this belt for seven weeks in natural environment. Our EEG results indicate that training with the belt leads to changes in sleep architecture early in the training phase, compatible with the consolidation of procedural learning as well as increased sensorimotor processing and motor programming. The fMRI results suggest that training entails activity in sensory as well as higher motor centers and brain areas known to be involved in navigation. These neural changes are accompanied with changes in how space and the belt signal are perceived, as well as with increased trust in navigational ability. Thus, our data on physiological processes and subjective experiences are compatible with the hypothesis that new sensorimotor contingencies can be acquired using sensory augmentation.
Sabine U König
Full Text Available Theories of embodied cognition propose that perception is shaped by sensory stimuli and by the actions of the organism. Following sensorimotor contingency theory, the mastery of lawful relations between own behavior and resulting changes in sensory signals, called sensorimotor contingencies, is constitutive of conscious perception. Sensorimotor contingency theory predicts that, after training, knowledge relating to new sensorimotor contingencies develops, leading to changes in the activation of sensorimotor systems, and concomitant changes in perception. In the present study, we spell out this hypothesis in detail and investigate whether it is possible to learn new sensorimotor contingencies by sensory augmentation. Specifically, we designed an fMRI compatible sensory augmentation device, the feelSpace belt, which gives orientation information about the direction of magnetic north via vibrotactile stimulation on the waist of participants. In a longitudinal study, participants trained with this belt for seven weeks in natural environment. Our EEG results indicate that training with the belt leads to changes in sleep architecture early in the training phase, compatible with the consolidation of procedural learning as well as increased sensorimotor processing and motor programming. The fMRI results suggest that training entails activity in sensory as well as higher motor centers and brain areas known to be involved in navigation. These neural changes are accompanied with changes in how space and the belt signal are perceived, as well as with increased trust in navigational ability. Thus, our data on physiological processes and subjective experiences are compatible with the hypothesis that new sensorimotor contingencies can be acquired using sensory augmentation.
Philippens, Ingrid H C H M; Wubben, Jacqueline A; Vanwersch, Raymond A P; Estevao, Dave L; Tass, Peter A
Neurofeedback may enhance compensatory brain mechanisms. EEG-based sensorimotor rhythm neurofeedback training was suggested to be beneficial in Parkinson's disease. In a placebo-controlled study in parkinsonian nonhuman primates we here show that sensorimotor rhythm neurofeedback training reduces MPTP-induced parkinsonian symptoms and both ON and OFF scores during classical L-DOPA treatment. Our findings encourage further development of sensorimotor rhythm neurofeedback training as adjunct therapy for Parkinson's disease which might help reduce L-DOPA-induced side effects.
Moutzouri, Maria; Gleeson, Nigel; Coutts, Fiona; Tsepis, Elias; John, Gliatis
To assess the effects of early self-managed focal sensorimotor training compared to functional exercise training after total knee replacement on functional mobility and sensorimotor function. A single-blind controlled clinical trial. University Hospital of Rion, Greece. A total of 52 participants following total knee replacement. The primary outcome was the Timed Up and Go Test and the secondary outcomes were balance, joint position error, the Knee Outcome Survey Activities of Daily Living Scale, and pain. Patients were assessed on three separate occasions (presurgery, 8 weeks post surgery, and 14 weeks post surgery). Participants were randomized to either focal sensorimotor exercise training (experimental group) or functional exercise training (control group). Both groups received a 12-week home-based programme prescribed for 3-5 sessions/week (35-45 minutes). Consistently greater improvements ( F 2,98 = 4.3 to 24.8; P effect size range of 1.3-6.5. Overall, the magnitude of improvements in functional mobility and sensorimotor function endorses using focal sensorimotor training as an effective mode of rehabilitation following knee replacement.
Bloomberg, J. J.; Peters, B. T.; Mulavara, A. P.; Brady, R. A.; Batson, C. D.; Ploutz-Snyder, R. J.; Cohen, H. S.
During adaptation to novel gravitational environments, sensorimotor disturbances have the potential to disrupt the ability of astronauts to perform required mission tasks. The goal of this project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program to facilitate rapid adaptation. We have developed a unique training system comprised of a treadmill placed on a motion-base facing a virtual visual scene that provides an unstable walking surface combined with incongruent visual flow designed to enhance sensorimotor adaptability. The goal of our present study was to determine if SA training improved both the locomotor and cognitive responses to a novel sensory environment and to quantify the extent to which training would be retained. Methods: Twenty subjects (10 training, 10 control) completed three, 30-minute training sessions during which they walked on the treadmill while receiving discordant support surface and visual input. Control subjects walked on the treadmill but did not receive any support surface or visual alterations. To determine the efficacy of training all subjects performed the Transfer Test upon completion of training. For this test, subjects were exposed to novel visual flow and support surface movement, not previously experienced during training. The Transfer Test was performed 20 minutes, 1 week, 1, 3 and 6 months after the final training session. Stride frequency, auditory reaction time, and heart rate data were collected as measures of postural stability, cognitive effort and anxiety, respectively. Results: Using mixed effects regression methods we determined that subjects who received SA training showed less alterations in stride frequency, auditory reaction time and heart rate compared to controls. Conclusion: Subjects who received SA training improved performance across a number of modalities including enhanced locomotor function, increased multi-tasking capability and reduced anxiety during adaptation to novel discordant sensory
Blangero, Annabelle; Kelly, Simon P
In situations in which impending sensory events demand fast action choices, we must be ready to prioritize higher-value courses of action to avoid missed opportunities. When such a situation first presents itself, stimulus-action contingencies and their relative value must be encoded to establish a value-biased state of preparation for an impending sensorimotor decision. Here, we sought to identify neurophysiological signatures of such processes in the human brain (both female and male). We devised a task requiring fast action choices based on the discrimination of a simple visual cue in which the differently valued sensory alternatives were presented 750-800 ms before as peripheral "targets" that specified the stimulus-action mapping for the upcoming decision. In response to the targets, we identified a discrete, transient, spatially selective signal in the event-related potential (ERP), which scaled with relative value and strongly predicted the degree of behavioral bias in the upcoming decision both across and within subjects. This signal is not compatible with any hitherto known ERP signature of spatial selection and also bears novel distinctions with respect to characterizations of value-sensitive, spatially selective activity found in sensorimotor areas of nonhuman primates. Specifically, a series of follow-up experiments revealed that the signal was reliably invoked regardless of response laterality, response modality, sensory feature, and reward valence. It was absent, however, when the response deadline was relaxed and the strategic need for biasing removed. Therefore, more than passively representing value or salience, the signal appears to play a versatile and active role in adaptive sensorimotor prioritization. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In many situations such as fast-moving sports, we must be ready to act fast in response to sensory events and, in our preparation, prioritize courses of action that lead to greater rewards. Although behavioral effects of
Zittel, S.; Helmich, R.C.G.; Demiralay, C.; Munchau, A.; Baumer, T.
Previous studies indicated that sensorimotor integration and plasticity of the sensorimotor system are impaired in dystonia patients. We investigated motor evoked potential amplitudes and short latency afferent inhibition to examine corticospinal excitability and cortical sensorimotor integration,
Williams, George W; Shankar, Bairavi; Klier, Eliana M; Chuang, Alice Z; El Marjiya-Villarreal, Salma; Nwokolo, Omonele O; Sharma, Aanchal; Sereno, Anne B
Medical residents working overnight call shifts experience sleep deprivation and circadian clock disruption. This leads to deficits in sensorimotor function and increases in workplace accidents. Using quick tablet-based tasks, we investigate whether measureable executive function differences exist following a single overnight call versus routine shift, and whether factors like stress, rest and caffeine affect these measures. A prospective, observational, longitudinal, comparison study was conducted. An academic tertiary hospital's main operating room suite staffed by attending anesthesiologists, anesthesiology residents, anesthesiologist assistants and nurse anesthetists. Subjects were 30 anesthesiology residents working daytime shifts and 30 peers working overnight call shifts from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Before and after their respective work shifts, residents completed the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS) and the ProPoint and AntiPoint tablet-based tasks. These latter tasks are designed to measure sensorimotor and executive functions, respectively. The SSS is a self-reported measure of sleepiness. Response times (RTs) are measured in the pointing tasks. Call residents exhibited increased RTs across their shifts (post-pre) on both ProPoint (p=0.002) and AntiPoint (pRoutine residents. Increased stress was associated with decreases in AntiPoint RT for Routine (p=0.007), but with greater increases in sleepiness for Call residents (proutine daytime shift residents, (2) sensorimotor slowing is greater in overnight Call residents who drink caffeine habitually, and (3) increased stress during a shift reduces (improves) cognitive RTs during routine daytime but not overnight call shifts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Zoetmulder, Marielle; Biernat, Heidi Bryde; Nikolic, Miki
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the auditory blink reflex is a measure of sensorimotor gating, which reflects an organism's ability to filter out irrelevant sensory information. PPI has never been studied in patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA), although sensorimotor deficits are frequently a...... associated with synucleinopathies. We investigated whether alterations in PPI were more pronounced in MSA compared with Parkinson's disease (PD), idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) and healthy controls....
Early functional neuroimaging research on normal aging brain has been dominated by the interest in cognitive decline. In this framework the age-related compensatory recruitment of prefrontal cortex, in terms of executive system or reduced lateralization, has been established. Further details on these compensatory mechanisms and the findings reflecting cognitive decline, however, remain the matter of intensive investigations. Studies in another framework where age-related neural alteration is considered adaptation to the environmental change are recently burgeoning and appear largely categorized into three domains. The age-related increase in activation of the sensorimotor network may reflect the alteration of the peripheral sensorimotor systems. The increased susceptibility of the network for the mental-state inference to the socioemotional significance may be explained by the age-related motivational shift due to the altered social perception. The age-related change in activation of the self-referential network may be relevant to the focused positive self-concept of elderly driven by a similar motivational shift. Across the domains, the concept of the self and internal model may provide the theoretical bases of this adaptation framework. These two frameworks complement each other to provide a comprehensive view of the normal aging brain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kober, Silvia Erika; Witte, Matthias; Stangl, Matthias; Väljamäe, Aleksander; Neuper, Christa; Wood, Guilherme
In the present study, we investigated how the electrical activity in the sensorimotor cortex contributes to improved cognitive processing capabilities and how SMR (sensorimotor rhythm, 12-15Hz) neurofeedback training modulates it. Previous evidence indicates that higher levels of SMR activity reduce sensorimotor interference and thereby promote cognitive processing. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups, one experimental (N=10) group receiving SMR neurofeedback training, in which they learned to voluntarily increase SMR, and one control group (N=10) receiving sham feedback. Multiple cognitive functions and electrophysiological correlates of cognitive processing were assessed before and after 10 neurofeedback training sessions. The experimental group but not the control group showed linear increases in SMR power over training runs, which was associated with behavioural improvements in memory and attentional performance. Additionally, increasing SMR led to a more salient stimulus processing as indicated by increased N1 and P3 event-related potential amplitudes after the training as compared to the pre-test. Finally, functional brain connectivity between motor areas and visual processing areas was reduced after SMR training indicating reduced sensorimotor interference. These results indicate that SMR neurofeedback improves stimulus processing capabilities and consequently leads to improvements in cognitive performance. The present findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying SMR neurofeedback training and cognitive processing and implicate that SMR neurofeedback might be an effective cognitive training tool. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Murphy, Karagh; James, Logan S; Sakata, Jon T; Prather, Jonathan F
Sensorimotor integration is the process through which the nervous system creates a link between motor commands and associated sensory feedback. This process allows for the acquisition and refinement of many behaviors, including learned communication behaviors such as speech and birdsong. Consequently, it is important to understand fundamental mechanisms of sensorimotor integration, and comparative analyses of this process can provide vital insight. Songbirds offer a powerful comparative model system to study how the nervous system links motor and sensory information for learning and control. This is because the acquisition, maintenance, and control of birdsong critically depend on sensory feedback. Furthermore, there is an incredible diversity of song organizations across songbird species, ranging from songs with simple, stereotyped sequences to songs with complex sequencing of vocal gestures, as well as a wide diversity of song repertoire sizes. Despite this diversity, the neural circuitry for song learning, control, and maintenance remains highly similar across species. Here, we highlight the utility of songbirds for the analysis of sensorimotor integration and the insights about mechanisms of sensorimotor integration gained by comparing different songbird species. Key conclusions from this comparative analysis are that variation in song sequence complexity seems to covary with the strength of feedback signals in sensorimotor circuits and that sensorimotor circuits contain distinct representations of elements in the vocal repertoire, possibly enabling evolutionary variation in repertoire sizes. We conclude our review by highlighting important areas of research that could benefit from increased comparative focus, with particular emphasis on the integration of new technologies. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.
Di Paolo, Ezequiel Alejandro; Barandiaran, Xabier E; Beaton, Michael; Buhrmann, Thomas
if understanding is required for perception, how can we learn to perceive something new, something we do not yet understand? According to the sensorimotor approach, perception involves mastery of regular sensorimotor co-variations that depend on the agent and the environment, also known as the "laws" of sensorimotor contingencies (SMCs). In this sense, perception involves enacting relevant sensorimotor skills in each situation. It is important for this proposal that such skills can be learned and refined with experience and yet up to this date, the sensorimotor approach has had no explicit theory of perceptual learning. The situation is made more complex if we acknowledge the open-ended nature of human learning. In this paper we propose Piaget's theory of equilibration as a potential candidate to fulfill this role. This theory highlights the importance of intrinsic sensorimotor norms, in terms of the closure of sensorimotor schemes. It also explains how the equilibration of a sensorimotor organization faced with novelty or breakdowns proceeds by re-shaping pre-existing structures in coupling with dynamical regularities of the world. This way learning to perceive is guided by the equilibration of emerging forms of skillful coping with the world. We demonstrate the compatibility between Piaget's theory and the sensorimotor approach by providing a dynamical formalization of equilibration to give an explicit micro-genetic account of sensorimotor learning and, by extension, of how we learn to perceive. This allows us to draw important lessons in the form of general principles for open-ended sensorimotor learning, including the need for an intrinsic normative evaluation by the agent itself. We also explore implications of our micro-genetic account at the personal level.
Full Text Available Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent functional MRI (BOLD fMRI during electrical paw stimulation has been widely used in studies aimed at the understanding of the somatosensory network in rats. However, despite the well-established anatomical connections between cortical and subcortical structures of the sensorimotor system, most of these functional studies have been concentrated on the cortical effects of sensory electrical stimulation. BOLD fMRI study of the integration of a sensorimotor input across the sensorimotor network requires an appropriate methodology to elicit functional activation in cortical and subcortical areas owing to the regional differences in both neuronal and vascular architectures between these brain regions. Here, using a combination of low level anesthesia, long pulse duration of the electrical stimulation along with improved spatial and temporal signal to noise ratios, we provide a functional description of the main cortical and subcortical structures of the sensorimotor rat brain. With this calibrated fMRI protocol, unilateral non-noxious sensorimotor electrical hindpaw stimulation resulted in robust positive activations in the contralateral sensorimotor cortex and bilaterally in the sensorimotor thalamus nuclei, whereas negative activations were observed bilaterally in the dorsolateral caudate-putamen. These results demonstrate that, once the experimental setup allowing necessary spatial and temporal signal to noise ratios is reached, hemodynamic changes related to neuronal activity, as preserved by the combination of a soft anesthesia with a soft muscle relaxation, can be measured within the sensorimotor network. Moreover, the observed responses suggest that increasing pulse duration of the electrical stimulus adds a proprioceptive component to the sensory input that activates sensorimotor network in the brain, and that these activation patterns are similar to those induced by digits paw's movements. These findings may
Ezequiel Alejandro Di Paolo
Full Text Available Learning to perceive faces a classical paradox: if understanding is required for perception, how can we learn to perceive something new, something we do not yet understand? According to the sensorimotor approach, perception involves mastery of regular sensorimotor co-variations that depend on the agent and the environment, also known as the ‘laws’ of sensorimotor contingencies. In this sense, perception involves enacting relevant sensorimotor skills in each situation. It is important for this proposal that such skills can be learned and refined with experience and yet up to this date, the sensorimotor approach has had no explicit theory of perceptual learning. The situation is made more complex if we acknowledge the open-ended nature of human learning. In this paper we propose Piaget’s theory of equilibration as a potential candidate to fulfill this role. This theory highlights the importance of intrinsic sensorimotor norms, in terms of the closure of sensorimotor schemes. It also explains how the equilibration of a sensorimotor organization faced with novelty or breakdowns proceeds by re-shaping pre-existing structures in coupling with dynamical regularities of the world. This way learning to perceive is guided by the equilibration of emerging forms of skillful coping with the world. We demonstrate the compatibility between Piaget’s theory and the sensorimotor approach by providing a dynamical formalization of equilibration to give an explicit micro-genetic account of sensorimotor learning and, by extension, of how we learn to perceive. This allows us to draw important lessons in the form of general principles for open-ended sensorimotor learning, including the need for an intrinsic normative evaluation by the agent itself. We also explore implications of our micro-genetic account at the personal level.
Full Text Available In this paper I propose a hypothesis linking elements of a model of theoretical syntax with neural mechanisms in the domain of sensorimotor processing. The syntactic framework I adopt to express this linking hypothesis is Chomsky’s Minimalism: I propose that the language-independent ’Logical Form’ (LF of a sentence reporting a concrete episode in the world can be interpreted as a detailed description of the sensorimotor processes involved in apprehending that episode. The hypothesis is motivated by a detailed study of one particular episode, in which an agent grasps a target object. There are striking similarities between the LF structure of transitive sentences describing this episode and the structure of the sensorimotor processes through which it is apprehended by an observer. The neural interpretation of Minimalist LF structure allows it to incorporate insights from empiricist accounts of syntax, relating to sentence processing and to the learning of syntactic constructions.
Flynn, Sarah M.
A young woman initiated counselling services at a community agency to address her explosive anger that was a remnant of childhood physical and emotional abuse. Sensorimotor psychotherapy was used to help this client learn how to monitor and regulate her sensorimotor processes. In conjunction with this approach, Cognitive behavioural therapy was…
Full Text Available Information processing in the nervous system during sensorimotor tasks with inherent uncertainty has been shown to be consistent with Bayesian integration. Bayes optimal decision-makers are, however, risk-neutral in the sense that they weigh all possibilities based on prior expectation and sensory evidence when they choose the action with highest expected value. In contrast, risk-sensitive decision-makers are sensitive to model uncertainty and bias their decision-making processes when they do inference over unobserved variables. In particular, they allow deviations from their probabilistic model in cases where this model makes imprecise predictions. Here we test for risk-sensitivity in a sensorimotor integration task where subjects exhibit Bayesian information integration when they infer the position of a target from noisy sensory feedback. When introducing a cost associated with subjects' response, we found that subjects exhibited a characteristic bias towards low cost responses when their uncertainty was high. This result is in accordance with risk-sensitive decision-making processes that allow for deviations from Bayes optimal decision-making in the face of uncertainty. Our results suggest that both Bayesian integration and risk-sensitivity are important factors to understand sensorimotor integration in a quantitative fashion.
Mele, Sonia; Ghirardi, Valentina; Craighero, Laila
A long-term debate concerns whether the sensorimotor coding carried out during transitive actions observation reflects the low-level movement implementation details or the movement goals. On the contrary, phonemes and emotional facial expressions are intransitive actions that do not fall into this debate. The investigation of phonemes discrimination has proven to be a good model to demonstrate that the sensorimotor system plays a role in understanding actions acoustically presented. In the present study, we adapted the experimental paradigms already used in phonemes discrimination during face posture manipulation, to the discrimination of emotional facial expressions. We submitted participants to a lower or to an upper face posture manipulation during the execution of a four alternative labelling task of pictures randomly taken from four morphed continua between two emotional facial expressions. The results showed that the implementation of low-level movement details influence the discrimination of ambiguous facial expressions differing for a specific involvement of those movement details. These findings indicate that facial expressions discrimination is a good model to test the role of the sensorimotor system in the perception of actions visually presented.
Brown, Katlyn E; Neva, Jason L; Feldman, Samantha J; Staines, W Richard; Boyd, Lara A
The integration of somatosensory information from the environment into the motor cortex to inform movement is essential for motor function. As motor deficits commonly persist into the chronic phase of stroke recovery, it is important to understand potential contributing factors to these deficits, as well as their relationship with motor function. To date the impact of chronic stroke on sensorimotor integration has not been thoroughly investigated. The current study aimed to comprehensively examine the influence of chronic stroke on sensorimotor integration, and determine whether sensorimotor integration can be modified with an intervention. Further, it determined the relationship between neurophysiological measures of sensorimotor integration and motor deficits post-stroke. Fourteen individuals with chronic stroke and twelve older healthy controls participated. Motor impairment and function were quantified in individuals with chronic stroke. Baseline neurophysiology was assessed using nerve-based measures (short- and long-latency afferent inhibition, afferent facilitation) and vibration-based measures of sensorimotor integration, which paired vibration with single and paired-pulse TMS techniques. Neurophysiological assessment was performed before and after a vibration-based sensory training paradigm to assess changes within these circuits. Vibration-based, but not nerve-based measures of sensorimotor integration were different in individuals with chronic stroke, as compared to older healthy controls, suggesting that stroke differentially impacts integration of specific types of somatosensory information. Sensorimotor integration was behaviourally relevant in that it related to both motor function and impairment post-stroke. Finally, sensory training modulated sensorimotor integration in individuals with chronic stroke and controls. Sensorimotor integration is differentially impacted by chronic stroke based on the type of afferent feedback. However, both nerve
Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Peters, Brian T.; Cohen, Helen S.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.
Astronauts experience disturbances in balance and gait function when they return to Earth. The highly plastic human brain enables individuals to modify their behavior to match the prevailing environment. Subjects participating in specially designed variable sensory challenge training programs can enhance their ability to rapidly adapt to novel sensory situations. This is useful in our application because we aim to train astronauts to rapidly formulate effective strategies to cope with the bal...
Full Text Available We use functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate short-term neural effects of a brief sensorimotor intervention adapted from the Feldenkrais method, a movement-based learning method. Twenty-one participants (10 men, 19-30 years took part in the study. Participants were in a supine position in the scanner with extended legs while an experienced Feldenkrais practitioner used a planar board to touch and apply minimal force to different parts of the sole and toes of their left foot under two experimental conditions. In the local condition, the practitioner explored movement within foot and ankle. In the global condition, the practitioner focused on the connection and support from the foot to the rest of the body. Before (baseline and after each intervention (post-local, post-global, we measured brain activity during intermittent pushing/releasing with the left leg and during resting state. Independent localizer tasks were used to identify regions of interest (ROI.Brain activity during left-foot pushing did not significantly differ between conditions in sensorimotor areas. Resting state activity (regional homogeneity, ReHo increased from baseline to post-local in medial right motor cortex, and from baseline to post-global in the left supplementary/cingulate motor area. Contrasting post-global to post-local showed higher ReHo in right lateral motor cortex. ROI analyses showed significant increases in ReHo in pushing-related areas from baseline to both post-local and post-global, and this increase tended to be more pronounced post-local. The results of this exploratory study show that a short, non-intrusive sensorimotor intervention can have short-term effects on spontaneous cortical activity in functionally related brain regions. Increased resting state activity in higher-order motor areas supports the hypothesis that the global intervention engages action-related neural processes.
Full Text Available Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI in neonates has been introduced as a non-invasive method for studying sensorimotor processing in the developing brain. However, previous neonatal studies have delivered conflicting results regarding localization, lateralization, and directionality of blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD responses in sensorimotor cortex (SMC. Amongst the confounding factors in interpreting neonatal fMRI studies include the use of standard adult MR-coils providing insufficient signal to noise, and liberal statistical thresholds, compromising clinical interpretation at the single subject level.Here, we employed a custom-designed neonatal MR-coil adapted and optimized to the head size of a newborn in order to improve robustness, reliability and validity of neonatal sensorimotor fMRI. Thirteen preterm infants with a median gestational age of 26 weeks were scanned at term-corrected age using a prototype 8-channel neonatal head coil at 3T (Achieva, Philips, Best, NL. Sensorimotor stimulation was elicited by passive extension/flexion of the elbow at 1 Hz in a block design. Analysis of temporal signal to noise ratio (tSNR was performed on the whole brain and the SMC, and was compared to data acquired with an 'adult' 8 channel head coil published previously. Task-evoked activation was determined by single-subject SPM8 analyses, thresholded at p < 0.05, whole-brain FWE-corrected.Using a custom-designed neonatal MR-coil, we found significant positive BOLD responses in contralateral SMC after unilateral passive sensorimotor stimulation in all neonates (analyses restricted to artifact-free data sets = 8/13. Improved imaging characteristics of the neonatal MR-coil were evidenced by additional phantom and in vivo tSNR measurements: phantom studies revealed a 240% global increase in tSNR; in vivo studies revealed a 73% global and a 55% local (SMC increase in tSNR, as compared to the 'adult' MR-coil.Our findings strengthen the
Full Text Available AbstractIn addition to difficulties in social communication, current diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum conditions (ASC also incorporate sensorimotor difficulties; repetitive motor movements and atypical reactivity to sensory input (APA, 2013. This paper explores whether sensorimotor difficulties are associated with the development and maintenance of symptoms in ASC. Firstly, studies have shown difficulties coordinating sensory input into planning and executing movement effectively in ASC. Secondly, studies have shown associations between sensory reactivity and motor coordination with core ASC symptoms, suggesting these areas each strongly influence the development of social and communication skills. Thirdly, studies have begun to demonstrate that sensorimotor difficulties in ASC could account for reduced social attention early in development, with a cascading effect on later social, communicative and emotional development. These results suggest that sensorimotor difficulties not only contribute to non-social difficulties such as narrow circumscribed interests, but also to the development of social behaviours such as effectively coordinating eye contact with speech and gesture, interpreting others’ behaviour and responding appropriately. Further research is needed to explore the link between sensory and motor difficulties in ASC, and their contribution to the development and maintenance of ASC.
Dineva, Evelina; Schöner, Gregor
In Piaget's classical A-not-B-task, infants repeatedly make a sensorimotor decision to reach to one of two cued targets. Perseverative errors are induced by switching the cue from A to B, while spontaneous errors are unsolicited reaches to B when only A is cued. We argue that theoretical accounts of sensorimotor decision-making fail to address how motor decisions leave a memory trace that may impact future sensorimotor decisions. Instead, in extant neural models, perseveration is caused solely by the history of stimulation. We present a neural dynamic model of sensorimotor decision-making within the framework of Dynamic Field Theory, in which a dynamic instability amplifies fluctuations in neural activation into macroscopic, stable neural activation states that leave memory traces. The model predicts perseveration, but also a tendency to repeat spontaneous errors. To test the account, we pool data from several A-not-B experiments. A conditional probabilities analysis accounts quantitatively how motor decisions depend on the history of reaching. The results provide evidence for the interdependence among subsequent reaching decisions that is explained by the model, showing that by amplifying small differences in activation and affecting learning, decisions have consequences beyond the individual behavioural act.
As the field of robotics advances, more robots are employed in our everyday environment. Thus, the implementation of robots that can actively engage in physical collaboration and naturally interact with humans is of high importance. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to study human interaction and social cognition and how these aspects can be implemented in robotic agents. The theory of social sensorimotor contingencies hypothesises that many aspects of human-human interaction de...
Westendorff, Stephanie; Kuang, Shenbing; Taghizadeh, Bahareh; Donchin, Opher; Gail, Alexander
Different error signals can induce sensorimotor adaptation during visually guided reaching, possibly evoking different neural adaptation mechanisms. Here we investigate reach adaptation induced by visual target errors without perturbing the actual or sensed hand position. We analyzed the spatial generalization of adaptation to target error to compare it with other known generalization patterns and simulated our results with a neural network model trained to minimize target error independent of prediction errors. Subjects reached to different peripheral visual targets and had to adapt to a sudden fixed-amplitude displacement ("jump") consistently occurring for only one of the reach targets. Subjects simultaneously had to perform contralateral unperturbed saccades, which rendered the reach target jump unnoticeable. As a result, subjects adapted by gradually decreasing reach errors and showed negative aftereffects for the perturbed reach target. Reach errors generalized to unperturbed targets according to a translational rather than rotational generalization pattern, but locally, not globally. More importantly, reach errors generalized asymmetrically with a skewed generalization function in the direction of the target jump. Our neural network model reproduced the skewed generalization after adaptation to target jump without having been explicitly trained to produce a specific generalization pattern. Our combined psychophysical and simulation results suggest that target jump adaptation in reaching can be explained by gradual updating of spatial motor goal representations in sensorimotor association networks, independent of learning induced by a prediction-error about the hand position. The simulations make testable predictions about the underlying changes in the tuning of sensorimotor neurons during target jump adaptation. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
Lex, Heiko; Weigelt, Matthias; Knoblauch, Andreas; Schack, Thomas
The aim of our study was to explore whether or not different types of learners in a sensorimotor task possess characteristically different cognitive representations. Participants' sensorimotor adaptation performance was measured with a pointing paradigm which used a distortion of the visual feedback in terms of a left-right reversal. The structure of cognitive representations was assessed using a newly established experimental method, the Cognitive Measurement of Represented Directions. A post hoc analysis revealed inter-individual differences in participants' adaptation performance, and three different skill levels (skilled, average, and poor adapters) have been defined. These differences in performance were correlated with the structure of participants' cognitive representations of movement directions. Analysis of these cognitive representations revealed performance advantages for participants possessing a global cognitive representation of movement directions (aligned to cardinal movement axes), rather than a local representation (aligned to each neighboring direction). Our findings are evidence that cognitive representation structures play a functional role in adaptation performance.
Poon, Chi-Sang; Tin, Chung; Yu, Yunguo
Homeostasis is a basic tenet of biomedicine and an open problem for many physiological control systems. Among them, none has been more extensively studied and intensely debated than the dilemma of exercise hyperpnea - a paradoxical homeostatic increase of respiratory ventilation that is geared to metabolic demands instead of the normal chemoreflex mechanism. Classical control theory has led to a plethora of "feedback/feedforward control" or "set point" hypotheses for homeostatic regulation, yet so far none of them has proved satisfactory in explaining exercise hyperpnea and its interactions with other respiratory inputs. Instead, the available evidence points to a far more sophisticated respiratory controller capable of integrating multiple afferent and efferent signals in adapting the ventilatory pattern toward optimality relative to conflicting homeostatic, energetic and other objectives. This optimality principle parsimoniously mimics exercise hyperpnea, chemoreflex and a host of characteristic respiratory responses to abnormal gas exchange or mechanical loading/unloading in health and in cardiopulmonary diseases - all without resorting to a feedforward "exercise stimulus". Rather, an emergent controller signal encoding the projected metabolic level is predicted by the principle as an exercise-induced 'mental percept' or 'internal model', presumably engendered by associative learning (operant conditioning or classical conditioning) which achieves optimality through continuous identification of, and adaptation to, the causal relationship between respiratory motor output and resultant chemical-mechanical afferent feedbacks. This internal model self-tuning adaptive control paradigm opens a new challenge and exciting opportunity for experimental and theoretical elucidations of the mechanisms of respiratory control - and of homeostatic regulation and sensorimotor integration in general.
Full Text Available Objective: To determine whether changes in sensorimotor control resulting from speaking conditions that induce fluency in people who stutter (PWS can be measured using electroencephalographic (EEG mu rhythms in neurotypical speakers.Methods: Non-stuttering (NS adults spoke in one control condition (solo speaking and four experimental conditions (choral speech, delayed auditory feedback (DAF, prolonged speech and pseudostuttering. Independent component analysis (ICA was used to identify sensorimotor μ components from EEG recordings. Time-frequency analyses measured μ-alpha (8–13 Hz and μ-beta (15–25 Hz event-related synchronization (ERS and desynchronization (ERD during each speech condition.Results: 19/24 participants contributed μ components. Relative to the control condition, the choral and DAF conditions elicited increases in μ-alpha ERD in the right hemisphere. In the pseudostuttering condition, increases in μ-beta ERD were observed in the left hemisphere. No differences were present between the prolonged speech and control conditions.Conclusions: Differences observed in the experimental conditions are thought to reflect sensorimotor control changes. Increases in right hemisphere μ-alpha ERD likely reflect increased reliance on auditory information, including auditory feedback, during the choral and DAF conditions. In the left hemisphere, increases in μ-beta ERD during pseudostuttering may have resulted from the different movement characteristics of this task compared with the solo speaking task. Relationships to findings in stuttering are discussed.Significance: Changes in sensorimotor control related feedforward and feedback control in fluency-enhancing speech manipulations can be measured using time-frequency decompositions of EEG μ rhythms in neurotypical speakers. This quiet, non-invasive, and temporally sensitive technique may be applied to learn more about normal sensorimotor control and fluency enhancement in PWS.
Full Text Available Changes in sensorimotor function and increased trunk muscle fatigability have been identified in patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP. This study assessed the control of trunk force production in conditions with and without local erector spinae muscle vibration and evaluated the influence of muscle fatigue on trunk sensorimotor control.Twenty non-specific cLBP patients and 20 healthy participants were asked to perform submaximal isometric trunk extension torque with and without local vibration stimulation, before and after a trunk extensor muscle fatigue protocol. Constant error (CE, variable error (VE as well as absolute error (AE in peak torque were computed and compared across conditions. Trunk extensor muscle activation during isometric contractions and during the fatigue protocol was measured using surface electromyography (sEMG.Force reproduction accuracy of the trunk was significantly lower in the patient group (CE = 9.81 ± 2.23 Nm; AE = 18.16 ± 3.97 Nm than in healthy participants (CE = 4.44 ± 1.68 Nm; AE = 12.23 ± 2.44 Nm. Local erector spinae vibration induced a significant reduction in CE (4.33 ± 2.14 Nm and AE (13.71 ± 3.45 Nm mean scores in the patient group. Healthy participants conversely showed a significant increase in CE (8.17 ± 2.10 Nm and AE (16.29 ± 2.82 Nm mean scores under vibration conditions. The fatigue protocol induced erector spinae muscle fatigue as illustrated by a significant decrease in sEMG median time-frequency slopes. Following the fatigue protocol, patients with cLBP showed significant decrease in sEMG root mean square activity at L4-5 level and responded in similar manner with and without vibration stimulation in regard to CE mean scores.Patients with cLBP have a less accurate force reproduction sense than healthy participants. Local muscle vibration led to significant trunk neuromuscular control improvements in the cLBP patients before and after a muscle fatigue protocol. Muscle vibration
Abboud, Jacques; Nougarou, François; Normand, Martin C.
Introduction Changes in sensorimotor function and increased trunk muscle fatigability have been identified in patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP). This study assessed the control of trunk force production in conditions with and without local erector spinae muscle vibration and evaluated the influence of muscle fatigue on trunk sensorimotor control. Methods Twenty non-specific cLBP patients and 20 healthy participants were asked to perform submaximal isometric trunk extension torque with and without local vibration stimulation, before and after a trunk extensor muscle fatigue protocol. Constant error (CE), variable error (VE) as well as absolute error (AE) in peak torque were computed and compared across conditions. Trunk extensor muscle activation during isometric contractions and during the fatigue protocol was measured using surface electromyography (sEMG). Results Force reproduction accuracy of the trunk was significantly lower in the patient group (CE = 9.81 ± 2.23 Nm; AE = 18.16 ± 3.97 Nm) than in healthy participants (CE = 4.44 ± 1.68 Nm; AE = 12.23 ± 2.44 Nm). Local erector spinae vibration induced a significant reduction in CE (4.33 ± 2.14 Nm) and AE (13.71 ± 3.45 Nm) mean scores in the patient group. Healthy participants conversely showed a significant increase in CE (8.17 ± 2.10 Nm) and AE (16.29 ± 2.82 Nm) mean scores under vibration conditions. The fatigue protocol induced erector spinae muscle fatigue as illustrated by a significant decrease in sEMG median time-frequency slopes. Following the fatigue protocol, patients with cLBP showed significant decrease in sEMG root mean square activity at L4-5 level and responded in similar manner with and without vibration stimulation in regard to CE mean scores. Conclusions Patients with cLBP have a less accurate force reproduction sense than healthy participants. Local muscle vibration led to significant trunk neuromuscular control improvements in the cLBP patients before and after a muscle
Full Text Available The aim of this article is to track the fetal origin of infants’ sensorimotor behavior. We consider development as the self-organizing emergence of complex forms from spontaneously generated activity, governed by the innate capacity to detect and memorize the consequences of spontaneous activity (contingencies, and constrained by the sensory and motor maturation of the body. In support of this view, we show how observations on fetuses and also several fetal experiments suggest that the fetus’s first motor activity allows it to feel the space around it and to feel its body and the consequences of its movements on its body. This primitive motor babbling gives way progressively to sensorimotor behavior which already possesses most of the characteristics of infants’ later behavior: repetition of actions leading to sensations, intentionality, some motor control and oriented reactions to sensory stimulation. In this way the fetus can start developing a body map and acquiring knowledge of its limited physical and social environment.
Velasques, Bruna; Machado, Sergio; Paes, Flávia; Cunha, Marlo; Sanfim, Antonio; Budde, Henning; Cagy, Mauricio; Anghinah, Renato; Basile, Luis F; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro
Recent evidence is reviewed to examine relationships among sensorimotor and cognitive aspects in some important psychiatry disorders. This study reviews the theoretical models in the context of sensorimotor integration and the abnormalities reported in the most common psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder and squizophrenia. The bibliographical search used Pubmed/Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, Cochrane data base and Scielo databases. The terms chosen for the search were: Alzheimer's disease, AD, autism spectrum disorder, and Squizophrenia in combination with sensorimotor integration. Fifty articles published in English and were selected conducted from 1989 up to 2010. We found that the sensorimotor integration process plays a relevant role in elementary mechanisms involved in occurrence of abnormalities in most common psychiatric disorders, participating in the acquisition of abilities that have as critical factor the coupling of different sensory data which will constitute the basis of elaboration of consciously goal-directed motor outputs. Whether these disorders are associated with an abnormal peripheral sensory input or defective central processing is still unclear, but some studies support a central mechanism. Sensorimotor integration seems to play a significant role in the disturbances of motor control, like deficits in the feedforward mechanism, typically seen in AD, autistic and squizophrenic patients.
Vonne evan Polanen
Full Text Available When lifting an object, the brain uses visual cues and an internal object representation to predict its weight and scale fingertip forces accordingly. Once available, tactile information is rapidly integrated to update the weight prediction and refine the internal object representation. If visual cues cannot be used to predict weight, force planning relies on implicit knowledge acquired from recent lifting experience, termed sensorimotor memory. Here, we investigated whether perception of weight is similarly biased according to previous lifting experience and how this is related to force scaling. Participants grasped and lifted series of light or heavy objects in a semi-randomized order and estimated their weights. As expected, we found that forces were scaled based on previous lifts (sensorimotor memory and these effects increased depending on the length of recent lifting experience. Importantly, perceptual weight estimates were also influenced by the preceding lift, resulting in lower estimations after a heavy lift compared to a light one. In addition, the weight estimations were negatively correlated with the magnitude of planned force parameters. This perceptual bias was only found if the current lift was light, but not heavy since the magnitude of sensorimotor memory effects had, according to Weber’s law, relatively less impact on heavy compared to light objects. A control experiment tested the importance of active lifting in mediating these perceptual changes and showed that when weights are passively applied on the hand, no effect of previous sensory experience is found on perception. These results highlight how fast learning of novel object lifting dynamics can shape weight perception and demonstrate a tight link between action planning and perception control. If predictive force scaling and actual object weight do not match, the online motor corrections, rapidly implemented to downscale forces, will also downscale weight estimation in
Pavlidou, Anastasia; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim
The neural correlates of action recognition have been widely studied in visual and sensorimotor areas of the human brain. However, the role of neuronal oscillations involved during the process of action recognition remains unclear. Here, we were interested in how the plausibility of an action modulates neuronal oscillations in visual and sensorimotor areas. Subjects viewed point-light displays (PLDs) of biomechanically plausible and implausible versions of the same actions. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we examined dynamic changes of oscillatory activity during these action recognition processes. While both actions elicited oscillatory activity in visual and sensorimotor areas in several frequency bands, a significant difference was confined to the beta-band (∼20 Hz). An increase of power for plausible actions was observed in left temporal, parieto-occipital and sensorimotor areas of the brain, in the beta-band in successive order between 1650 and 2650 msec. These distinct spatio-temporal beta-band profiles suggest that the action recognition process is modulated by the degree of biomechanical plausibility of the action, and that spectral power in the beta-band may provide a functional interaction between visual and sensorimotor areas in humans. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mileryan, Y. A.
Sensorimotor function testing in a tracking task under stressfull working conditions established a psychological characterization for a successful aviation pilot: Motivation significantly increased the reliability and effectiveness of their work. Their acitivities were aimed at suppressing weariness and the feeling of fear caused by the stress factors; they showed patience, endurance, persistence, and a capacity for lengthy volitional efforts.
Hove, Michael J; Gravel, Nickolas; Spencer, Rebecca M C; Valera, Eve M
Sensorimotor timing deficits are considered central to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the tasks establishing timing impairments often involve interconnected processes, including low-level sensorimotor timing and higher level executive processes such as attention. Thus, the source of timing deficits in ADHD remains unclear. Low-level sensorimotor timing can be isolated from higher level processes in a finger-tapping task that examines the motor response to unexpected shifts of metronome onsets. In this study, adults with ADHD and ADHD-like symptoms (n = 25) and controls (n = 26) performed two finger-tapping tasks. The first assessed tapping variability in a standard tapping task (metronome-paced and unpaced). In the other task, participants tapped along with a metronome that contained unexpected shifts (±15, 50 ms); the timing adjustment on the tap following the shift captures pre-attentive sensorimotor timing (i.e., phase correction) and thus should be free of potential higher order confounds (e.g., attention). In the standard tapping task, as expected, the ADHD group had higher timing variability in both paced and unpaced tappings. However, in the pre-attentive task, performance did not differ between the ADHD and control groups. Together, results suggest that low-level sensorimotor timing and phase correction are largely preserved in ADHD and that some timing impairments observed in ADHD may stem from higher level factors (such as sustained attention).
Calvo-Merino, B; Jola, C; Glaser, D E; Haggard, P
The field of neuroaesthetics attempts to identify the brain processes underlying aesthetic experience, including but not limited to beauty. Previous neuroaesthetic studies have focussed largely on paintings and music, while performing arts such as dance have been less studied. Nevertheless, increasing knowledge of the neural mechanisms that represent the bodies and actions of others, and which contribute to empathy, make a neuroaesthetics of dance timely. Here, we present the first neuroscientific study of aesthetic perception in the context of the performing arts. We investigated brain areas whose activity during passive viewing of dance stimuli was related to later, independent aesthetic evaluation of the same stimuli. Brain activity of six naïve male subjects was measured using fMRI, while they watched 24 dance movements, and performed an irrelevant task. In a later session, participants rated each movement along a set of established aesthetic dimensions. The ratings were used to identify brain regions that were more active when viewing moves that received high average ratings than moves that received low average ratings. This contrast revealed bilateral activity in the occipital cortices and in right premotor cortex. Our results suggest a possible role of visual and sensorimotor brain areas in an automatic aesthetic response to dance. This sensorimotor response may explain why dance is widely appreciated in so many human cultures.
Maila de C. Neves
Full Text Available Background: Sensorimotor deficits are an important phenomenological facet observed in patients with bipolar disorder (BD. However, there is little research on this topic. We hypothesize that the MPraxis test can be used to screen for motor impairments in BD aiming movements. Method: The MPraxis, which is a quick and easy-to-apply computerized test, measures sensorimotor control. During the test, the participant must move the computer mouse cursor over an ever-shrinking green box and click on it once. We predict that the MPraxis test is capable of detecting differences in sensorimotor performance between patients with BD and controls. We assessed 21 euthymic type I BD patients, without DSM-IV-TR Axis I comorbidity, and 21 healthy controls. Results and conclusions: Compared to the controls, the patients with BD presented a lower response time in their movements in all conditions. Our results showed sensorimotor deficits in BD and suggested that the MPraxis test can be used to screen for motor impairments in patients with euthymic BD.
Jirikowic, Tracy; Westcott McCoy, Sarah; Price, Robert; Ciol, Marcia A; Hsu, Lin-Ya; Kartin, Deborah
To examine the effects of Sensorimotor Training to Affect Balance, Engagement, and Learning (STABEL), a virtual reality system to train sensory adaptation for balance control, for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Twenty-three children with FASDs received STABEL training in a university laboratory, or home, or were controls. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2nd edition (MABC-2) and Pediatric Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction for Balance-2 (P-CTSIB-2) were analyzed by group (lab, home, and control), session (pre-STABEL, 1 week post-STABEL, and 1 month post-STABEL), and group-by-session interaction. Significant effects were group and session for MABC-2 Balance and interaction for MABC-2 Total Motor and P-CTSIB-2. Preliminary results support improved sensory adaptation, balance, and motor performance post-STABEL, which warrant further study with a larger, randomized sample.
Ao, Di; Song, Rong; Tong, Kai-yu
There are aging- and stroke-induced changes on sensorimotor control in daily activities, but their mechanisms have not been well investigated. This study explored speed-, aging-, and stroke-induced changes on sensorimotor control. Eleven stroke patients (affected sides and unaffected sides) and 20 control subjects (10 young and 10 age-matched individuals) were enrolled to perform elbow tracking tasks using sinusoidal trajectories, which included 6 target speeds (15.7, 31.4, 47.1, 62.8, 78.5, and 94.2 deg/s). The actual elbow angle was recorded and displayed on a screen as visual feedback, and three indicators, the root mean square error (RMSE), normalized integrated jerk (NIJ) and integral of the power spectrum density of normalized speed (IPNS), were used to investigate the strategy of sensorimotor control. Both NIJ and IPNS had significant differences among the four groups (Pcontrols controls control. The RMSE increased with the increase in the target speed and the NIJ and IPNS initially declined and then remained steady for all four groups, which indicated a shift from feedback to feedforward control as the target speed increased. The feedback-feedforward trade-off induced by stroke, aging and speed might be explained by a change in the transmission delay and neuromotor noise. The findings in this study improve our understanding of the mechanism underlying the sensorimotor control and neurological changes caused by stroke and aging. PMID:26030289
Scheef, Lukas; Nordmeyer-Massner, Jurek A; Smith-Collins, Adam Pr; Müller, Nicole; Stegmann-Woessner, Gaby; Jankowski, Jacob; Gieseke, Jürgen; Born, Mark; Seitz, Hermann; Bartmann, Peter; Schild, Hans H; Pruessmann, Klaas P; Heep, Axel; Boecker, Henning
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in neonates has been introduced as a non-invasive method for studying sensorimotor processing in the developing brain. However, previous neonatal studies have delivered conflicting results regarding localization, lateralization, and directionality of blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses in sensorimotor cortex (SMC). Amongst the confounding factors in interpreting neonatal fMRI studies include the use of standard adult MR-coils providing insufficient signal to noise, and liberal statistical thresholds, compromising clinical interpretation at the single subject level. Here, we employed a custom-designed neonatal MR-coil adapted and optimized to the head size of a newborn in order to improve robustness, reliability and validity of neonatal sensorimotor fMRI. Thirteen preterm infants with a median gestational age of 26 weeks were scanned at term-corrected age using a prototype 8-channel neonatal head coil at 3T (Achieva, Philips, Best, NL). Sensorimotor stimulation was elicited by passive extension/flexion of the elbow at 1 Hz in a block design. Analysis of temporal signal to noise ratio (tSNR) was performed on the whole brain and the SMC, and was compared to data acquired with an 'adult' 8 channel head coil published previously. Task-evoked activation was determined by single-subject SPM8 analyses, thresholded at p lateralization of SMC activation, as found in children and adults, is already present in the newborn period.
Thomas J Baumgarten
Full Text Available Neuronal oscillatory activity in the beta band (15-30 Hz is a prominent signal within the human sensorimotor cortex. Computational modeling and pharmacological modulation studies suggest an influence of GABAergic interneurons on the generation of beta band oscillations. Accordingly, studies in humans have demonstrated a correlation between GABA concentrations and power of beta band oscillations. It remains unclear, however, if GABA concentrations also influence beta peak frequencies and whether this influence is present in the sensorimotor cortex at rest and without pharmacological modulation. In the present study, we investigated the relation between endogenous GABA concentration (measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy and beta oscillations (measured by magnetoencephalography at rest in humans. GABA concentrations and beta band oscillations were measured for left and right sensorimotor and occipital cortex areas. A significant positive linear correlation between GABA concentration and beta peak frequency was found for the left sensorimotor cortex, whereas no significant correlations were found for the right sensorimotor and the occipital cortex. The results show a novel connection between endogenous GABA concentration and beta peak frequency at rest. This finding supports previous results that demonstrated a connection between oscillatory beta activity and pharmacologically modulated GABA concentration in the sensorimotor cortex. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that for a predominantly right-handed sample, the correlation between beta band oscillations and endogenous GABA concentrations is evident only in the left sensorimotor cortex.
Baumgarten, Thomas J.; Oeltzschner, Georg; Hoogenboom, Nienke; Wittsack, Hans-Jörg; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim
Neuronal oscillatory activity in the beta band (15–30 Hz) is a prominent signal within the human sensorimotor cortex. Computational modeling and pharmacological modulation studies suggest an influence of GABAergic interneurons on the generation of beta band oscillations. Accordingly, studies in humans have demonstrated a correlation between GABA concentrations and power of beta band oscillations. It remains unclear, however, if GABA concentrations also influence beta peak frequencies and whether this influence is present in the sensorimotor cortex at rest and without pharmacological modulation. In the present study, we investigated the relation between endogenous GABA concentration (measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy) and beta oscillations (measured by magnetoencephalography) at rest in humans. GABA concentrations and beta band oscillations were measured for left and right sensorimotor and occipital cortex areas. A significant positive linear correlation between GABA concentration and beta peak frequency was found for the left sensorimotor cortex, whereas no significant correlations were found for the right sensorimotor and the occipital cortex. The results show a novel connection between endogenous GABA concentration and beta peak frequency at rest. This finding supports previous results that demonstrated a connection between oscillatory beta activity and pharmacologically modulated GABA concentration in the sensorimotor cortex. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that for a predominantly right-handed sample, the correlation between beta band oscillations and endogenous GABA concentrations is evident only in the left sensorimotor cortex. PMID:27258089
Loch, A. J.; Adamson, D. C.; Schwabe, K.
Using state contingent analysis we discuss how and why irrigators adapt to alternative water supply signals. This analysis approach helps to illustrate how and why producers currently use state-general and state-allocable inputs to adapt and respond to known and possible future climatic alternative natures. Focusing on the timing of water allocations, we explore inherent differences in the demand for water by two key irrigation sectors: annual and perennial producers which in Australia have allowed a significant degree of risk-minimisation during droughts. In the absence of land constraints, producers also had a capacity to respond to positive state outcomes and achieve super-normal profits. In the future, however, the probability of positive state outcomes is uncertain; production systems may need to adapt to minimise losses and/or achieve positive returns under altered water supply conditions that may arise as a consequence of more frequent drought states. As such, producers must assess whether altering current input/output choice sets in response to possible future climate states will enhance their long-run competitive advantage for both expected new normal and extreme water supply outcomes. Further, policy supporting agricultural sector climate change resilience must avoid poorly-designed strategies that increase producer vulnerability in the face of drought. Our analysis explores the reliability of alternative water property right bundles and how reduced allocations across time influence alternative responses by producers. We then extend our analysis to explore how management strategies could adapt to two possible future drier state types: i) where an average reduction in water supply is experienced; and ii) where the frequency of droughts increase. The combination of these findings are subsequently used to discuss the role water reform policy has to deal with current and future climate scenarios. We argue current policy strategies could drive producers to
Full Text Available A speech-action-repository (SAR or mental syllabary has been proposed as a central module for sensorimotor processing of syllables. In this approach, syllables occurring frequently within language are assumed to be stored as holistic sensorimotor patterns, while non-frequent syllables need to be assembled from sub-syllabic units. Thus, frequent syllables are processed efficiently and quickly during production or perception by a direct activation of their sensorimotor patterns. Whereas several behavioral psycholinguistic studies provided evidence in support of the existence of a syllabary, fMRI studies have failed to demonstrate its neural reality. In the present fMRI study a reaction paradigm using homogeneous vs. heterogeneous syllable blocks are used during overt vs. covert speech production and auditory vs. visual presentation modes. Two complementary data analyses were performed: (1 in a logical conjunction, activation for syllable processing independent of input modality and response mode was assessed, in order to support the assumption of existence of a supramodal hub within a SAR. (2 In addition priming effects in the BOLD response in homogeneous vs. heterogeneous blocks were measured in order to identify brain regions, which indicate reduced activity during multiple production/perception repetitions of a specific syllable in order to determine state maps. Auditory-visual conjunction analysis revealed an activation network comprising bilateral precentral gyrus and left inferior frontal gyrus (area 44. These results are compatible with the notion of a supramodal hub within the SAR. The main effect of homogeneity priming revealed an activation pattern of areas within frontal, temporal, and parietal lobe. These findings are taken to represent sensorimotor state maps of the SAR. In conclusion, the present study provided preliminary evidence for a SAR.
Mornieux, Guillaume; Hirschmüller, Anja; Gollhofer, Albert; Südkamp, Norbert P; Maier, Dirk
Functional evaluation of sensorimotor function of the shoulder joint is important for guidance of sports-specific training, prevention and rehabilitation of shoulder instability. Such assessment should be multimodal and comprise all qualities of sensorimotor shoulder function. This study evaluates feasibility of such multimodal assessment of glenohumeral sensorimotor function in patients with shoulder instability and handball players. Nine patients with untreated anterior instability of their dominant shoulder and 15 asymptomatic recreational handball players performed proprioceptive joint position sense and dynamic stabilization evaluations on an isokinetic device, as well as a functional throwing performance task. Outcome measures were analysed individually and equally weighted in a Shoulder-Specific Sensorimotor Index (S-SMI). Finally, isokinetic strength evaluations were conducted. We observed comparable sensorimotor functions of unstable dominant shoulders compared to healthy, contralateral shoulders (e.g. P=0.59 for S-SMI). Handball players demonstrated superior sensorimotor function of their dominant shoulders exhibiting a significantly higher throwing performance and S-SMI (P0.22). The present study proves feasibility of multimodal assessment of shoulder sensorimotor function in overhead athletes and patients with symptomatic anterior shoulder instability. Untreated shoulder instability led to a loss of dominance-related sensorimotor superiority indicating functional internal rotation deficiency. Dominant shoulders of handball players showed a superior overall sensorimotor function but weakness of dominant internal rotation constituting a risk factor for occurrence of posterior superior impingement syndrome. The S-SMI could serve as a diagnostic tool for guidance of sports-specific training, prevention and rehabilitation of shoulder instability.
Bégel, Valentin; Verga, Laura; Benoit, Charles-Etienne; Kotz, Sonja A; Bella, Simone Dalla
Perceptual and sensorimotor timing skills can be comprehensively assessed with the Battery for the Assessment of Auditory Sensorimotor and Timing Abilities (BAASTA). The battery has been used for testing rhythmic skills in healthy adults and patient populations (e.g., with Parkinson disease), showing sensitivity to timing and rhythm deficits. Here we assessed the test-retest reliability of the BAASTA in 20 healthy adults. Participants were tested twice with the BAASTA, implemented on a tablet interface, with a 2-week interval. They completed 4 perceptual tasks, namely, duration discrimination, anisochrony detection with tones and music, and the Beat Alignment Test (BAT). Moreover, they completed motor tasks via finger tapping, including unpaced and paced tapping with tones and music, synchronization-continuation, and adaptive tapping to a sequence with a tempo change. Despite high variability among individuals, the results showed stable test-retest reliability in most tasks. A slight but significant improvement from test to retest was found in tapping with music, which may reflect a learning effect. In general, the BAASTA was found a reliable tool for evaluating timing and rhythm skills. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Schwenkreis, Peter; El Tom, Susan; Ragert, Patrick; Pleger, Burkhard; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R
As a model for use-dependent plasticity, the brains of professional musicians have been extensively studied to examine structural and functional adaptation to unique requirements of skilled performance. Here we provide a combination of data on motor performance and hand representation in the primary motor and somatosensory cortex of professional violin players, with the aim of assessing possible behavioural consequences of sensorimotor cortical asymmetries. We studied 15 healthy right-handed professional violin players and 35 healthy nonmusician controls. Motor and somatosensory cortex asymmetry was assessed by recording the motor output map after transcranial magnetic stimulation from a small hand muscle, and by dipole source localization of somatosensory evoked potentials after electrical stimulation of the median and ulnar nerves. Motor performance was examined using a series of standardized motor tasks covering different aspects of hand function. Violin players showed a significant right-larger-than-left asymmetry of the motor and somatosensory cortex, whereas nonmusician controls showed no significant interhemispheric difference. The amount of asymmetry in the motor and somatosensory cortices of musicians was significantly correlated. At the behavioural level, motor performance did not significantly differ between musicians and nonmusicians. The results support a use-dependent enlargement of the left hand representation in the sensorimotor cortex of violin players. However, these cortical asymmetries were not paralleled by accompanying altered asymmetries at a behavioural level, suggesting that the reorganisation might be task-specific and does not lead to improved motor abilities in general.
Interpretation: Impairments of GABAergic neurotransmission in the cerebellum and the sensorimotor cortical areas could explain different aspects of loss of inhibitory control in FHD, the former being involved in maladaptive plasticity, the latter in surround inhibition. Reorganization of the inferior prefrontal cortices, part of the associative network, might be compensatory for the loss of inhibitory control in sensorimotor circuits. These findings suggest that cerebellar and cerebral GABAergic abnormalities could play a role in the functional imbalance of striato-cerebello-cortical loops in dystonia.
Hrishikesh M. Rao
Full Text Available Sensorimotor learning refers to improvements that occur through practice in the performance of sensory-guided motor behaviors. Leveraging novel technical capabilities of an immersive virtual environment, we probed the component kinematic processes that mediate sensorimotor learning. Twenty naïve subjects performed a simulated marksmanship task modeled after Olympic Trap Shooting standards. We measured movement kinematics and shooting performance as participants practiced 350 trials while receiving trial-by-trial feedback about shooting success. Spatiotemporal analysis of motion tracking elucidated the ballistic and refinement phases of hand movements. We found systematic changes in movement kinematics that accompanied improvements in shot accuracy during training, though reaction and response times did not change over blocks. In particular, we observed longer, slower, and more precise ballistic movements that replaced effort spent on corrections and refinement. Collectively, these results leverage developments in immersive virtual reality technology to quantify and compare the kinematics of movement during early learning of full-body sensorimotor orienting.
Rao, Hrishikesh M; Khanna, Rajan; Zielinski, David J; Lu, Yvonne; Clements, Jillian M; Potter, Nicholas D; Sommer, Marc A; Kopper, Regis; Appelbaum, Lawrence G
Sensorimotor learning refers to improvements that occur through practice in the performance of sensory-guided motor behaviors. Leveraging novel technical capabilities of an immersive virtual environment, we probed the component kinematic processes that mediate sensorimotor learning. Twenty naïve subjects performed a simulated marksmanship task modeled after Olympic Trap Shooting standards. We measured movement kinematics and shooting performance as participants practiced 350 trials while receiving trial-by-trial feedback about shooting success. Spatiotemporal analysis of motion tracking elucidated the ballistic and refinement phases of hand movements. We found systematic changes in movement kinematics that accompanied improvements in shot accuracy during training, though reaction and response times did not change over blocks. In particular, we observed longer, slower, and more precise ballistic movements that replaced effort spent on corrections and refinement. Collectively, these results leverage developments in immersive virtual reality technology to quantify and compare the kinematics of movement during early learning of full-body sensorimotor orienting.
Mulder, Theo; Hochstenbach, Jacqueline; Dijkstra, Pieter U; Geertzen, Jan H B
The brain adapts to changes that take place in the body. Deprivation of input results in size reduction of cortical representations, whereas an increase in input results in an increase of representational space. Amputation forms one of the most dramatic disturbances of the integrity of the body. The brain adapts in many ways to this breakdown of the afferent-efferent equilibrium. However, almost all studies focus on the sensorimotor consequences. It is not known whether adaptation takes place also at other "levels" in the system. The present study addresses the question whether amputees dream about their intact body, as before the amputation, or about the body after the amputation and whether the dream content was a function of time since the amputation and type of amputation. The results show that the majority of the dreamers reported dreams about their intact body although the mean time that elapsed since the amputation was twelve years. There is no clear relation with the type of amputation. The results give modest evidence for the existence of a basic neural representation of the body that is, at least, partly genetically determined and by this relatively insensitive for changes in the sensory input.
Dekker, Tessa M.; Mareschal, Denis; Johnson, Mark H.; Sereno, Martin I.
Learning to read involves associating abstract visual shapes with familiar meanings. Embodiment theories suggest that word meaning is at least partially represented in distributed sensorimotor networks in the brain (Barsalou, 2008; Pulvermueller, 2013). We explored how reading comprehension develops by tracking when and how printed words start activating these “semantic” sensorimotor representations as children learn to read. Adults and children aged 7–10 years showed clear category-specific cortical specialization for tool versus animal pictures during a one-back categorisation task. Thus, sensorimotor representations for these categories were in place at all ages. However, co-activation of these same brain regions by the visual objects’ written names was only present in adults, even though all children could read and comprehend all presented words, showed adult-like task performance, and older children were proficient readers. It thus takes years of training and expert reading skill before spontaneous processing of printed words’ sensorimotor meanings develops in childhood. PMID:25463817
Ter Huurne, N; Lozano-Soldevilla, D; Onnink, M; Kan, C; Buitelaar, J; Jensen, O
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by problems in regulating attention and in suppressing disruptive motor activity, i.e. hyperactivity and impulsivity. We recently found evidence that aberrant distribution of posterior α band oscillations (8-12 Hz) is associated with attentional problems in ADHD. The sensorimotor cortex also produces strong 8-12 Hz band oscillations, namely the μ rhythm, and is thought to have a similar inhibitory function. Here, we now investigate whether problems in distributing α band oscillations in ADHD generalize to the μ rhythm in the sensorimotor domain. In a group of adult ADHD (n = 17) and healthy control subjects (n = 18; aged 21-40 years) oscillatory brain activity was recorded using magnetoencephalography during a visuo-spatial attention task. Subjects had to anticipate a target with unpredictable timing and respond by pressing a button. Preparing a motor response, the ADHD group failed to increase hemispheric μ lateralization with relatively higher μ power in sensorimotor regions not engaged in the task, as the controls did (F 1,33 = 8.70, p = 0.006). Moreover, the ADHD group pre-response μ lateralization not only correlated positively with accuracy (r s = 0.64, p = 0.0052) and negatively with intra-individual reaction time variability (r s = -0.52, p = 0.033), but it also correlated negatively with the score on an ADHD rating scale (r s = -0.53, p = 0.028). We suggest that ADHD is associated with an inability to sufficiently inhibit task-irrelevant sensorimotor areas by means of modulating μ oscillatory activity. This could explain disruptive motor activity in ADHD. These results provide further evidence that impaired modulation of α band oscillations is involved in the pathogenesis of ADHD.
Seth, Anil K
Normal perception involves experiencing objects within perceptual scenes as real, as existing in the world. This property of "perceptual presence" has motivated "sensorimotor theories" which understand perception to involve the mastery of sensorimotor contingencies. However, the mechanistic basis of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery has remained unclear. Sensorimotor theory also struggles to explain instances of perception, such as synesthesia, that appear to lack perceptual presence and for which relevant sensorimotor contingencies are difficult to identify. On alternative "predictive processing" theories, perceptual content emerges from probabilistic inference on the external causes of sensory signals, however, this view has addressed neither the problem of perceptual presence nor synesthesia. Here, I describe a theory of predictive perception of sensorimotor contingencies which (1) accounts for perceptual presence in normal perception, as well as its absence in synesthesia, and (2) operationalizes the notion of sensorimotor contingencies and their mastery. The core idea is that generative models underlying perception incorporate explicitly counterfactual elements related to how sensory inputs would change on the basis of a broad repertoire of possible actions, even if those actions are not performed. These "counterfactually-rich" generative models encode sensorimotor contingencies related to repertoires of sensorimotor dependencies, with counterfactual richness determining the degree of perceptual presence associated with a stimulus. While the generative models underlying normal perception are typically counterfactually rich (reflecting a large repertoire of possible sensorimotor dependencies), those underlying synesthetic concurrents are hypothesized to be counterfactually poor. In addition to accounting for the phenomenology of synesthesia, the theory naturally accommodates phenomenological differences between a range of experiential states
Chalabaev, Aïna; Radel, Rémi; Masicampo, E J; Dru, Vincent
In four experiments, we tested whether embodied triggers may reduce stereotype threat. We predicted that left-side sensorimotor inductions would increase cognitive performance under stereotype threat, because such inductions are linked to avoidance motivation among right-handers. This sensorimotor-mental congruence hypothesis rests on regulatory fit research showing that stereotype threat may be reduced by avoidance-oriented interventions, and motor congruence research showing positive effects when two parameters of a motor action activate the same motivational system (avoidance or approach). Results indicated that under stereotype threat, cognitive performance was higher when participants contracted their left hand (Study 1) or when the stimuli were presented on the left side of the visual field (Studies 2-4), as compared with right-hand contraction or right-side visual stimulation. These results were observed on math (Studies 1, 2, and 4) and Stroop (Study 3) performance. An indirect effect of congruence on math performance through subjective fluency was also observed. © 2016 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
Paracampo, Riccardo; Tidoni, Emmanuele; Borgomaneri, Sara; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe; Avenanti, Alessio
Understanding whether another's smile reflects authentic amusement is a key challenge in social life, yet, the neural bases of this ability have been largely unexplored. Here, we combined transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with a novel empathic accuracy (EA) task to test whether sensorimotor and mentalizing networks are critical for understanding another's amusement. Participants were presented with dynamic displays of smiles and explicitly requested to infer whether the smiling individual was feeling authentic amusement or not. TMS over sensorimotor regions representing the face (i.e., in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and ventral primary somatosensory cortex (SI)), disrupted the ability to infer amusement authenticity from observed smiles. The same stimulation did not affect performance on a nonsocial task requiring participants to track the smiling expression but not to infer amusement. Neither TMS over prefrontal and temporo-parietal areas supporting mentalizing, nor peripheral control stimulations, affected performance on either task. Thus, motor and somatosensory circuits for controlling and sensing facial movements are causally essential for inferring amusement from another's smile. These findings highlight the functional relevance of IFG and SI to amusement understanding and suggest that EA abilities may be grounded in sensorimotor networks for moving and feeling the body. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Aytemür, Ali; Almeida, Nathalia; Lee, Kwang-Hyuk
Adaptation to delayed sensory feedback following an action produces a subjective time compression between the action and the feedback (temporal recalibration effect, TRE). TRE is important for sensory delay compensation to maintain a relationship between causally related events. It is unclear whether TRE is a sensory modality-specific phenomenon. In 3 experiments employing a sensorimotor synchronization task, we investigated this question using cathodal transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS). We found that cathodal tDCS over the visual cortex, and to a lesser extent over the auditory cortex, produced decreased visual TRE. However, both auditory and visual cortex tDCS did not produce any measurable effects on auditory TRE. Our study revealed different nature of TRE in auditory and visual domains. Visual-motor TRE, which is more variable than auditory TRE, is a sensory modality-specific phenomenon, modulated by the auditory cortex. The robustness of auditory-motor TRE, unaffected by tDCS, suggests the dominance of the auditory system in temporal processing, by providing a frame of reference in the realignment of sensorimotor timing signals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The maintenance of upright equilibrium is essentially a sensorimotor integration task. The central nervous system (CNS has to generate appropriate and complex motor responses based on the selective and rapid integration of sensory information from multiple sources. Since each sensory system has its own coordinate framework, specific time delay and reliability, sensory conflicts may arise and represent situations in which the CNS has to recalibrate the weight attributed to each particular sensory input. The resolution of sensory conflicts may represent a particular challenge for older adults given the age-related decline in the integrity of many postural regulating systems, including musculoskeletal and sensory systems, as well as neural processing and conduction of information. The effects of aging and adaptation (by repeated exposures on the capability of the CNS to select pertinent sensory information and resolve sensory conflicts were thus investigated with virtual reality (VR in the present study. Methods Healthy young and older adults maintained quiet stance while immersed in a virtual environment (VE for 1 hour during which transient visual and/or surface perturbations were randomly presented. Visual perturbations were induced by sudden pitch or roll plane tilts of the VE viewed through a helmet-mounted display, and combined with or without surface perturbations presented in a direction that was either identical or opposite to the visual perturbations. Results Results showed a profound influence of aging on postural adjustments measured by electromyographic (EMG responses and displacements of the center of pressure (COP and body's center of mass (COM in the recovery of upright stance, especially in the presence of sensory conflicts. Older adults relied more on vision as compared to young adults. Aging affects the interaction of the somatosensory and visual systems on the control of equilibrium during standing and the
Wallace, K.L.; Lopez, J.; Shaffery, J.P.; Wells, A.; Paul, I.A.; Bennett, W.A.
Intrauterine infection during pregnancy is associated with early activation of the fetal immune system and poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. Immune activation can lead to alterations in sensorimotor skills, changes in learning and memory and neural plasticity. Both interleukin-10 (IL-10) and Ceftriaxone have been shown to decrease immune system activation and increase memory capacity, respectively. Using a rodent model of intrauterine infection, we examined sensorimotor development in pups, l...
Full Text Available There are aging- and stroke-induced changes on sensorimotor control in daily activities, but their mechanisms have not been well investigated. This study explored speed-, aging-, and stroke-induced changes on sensorimotor control. Eleven stroke patients (affected sides and unaffected sides and 20 control subjects (10 young and 10 age-matched individuals were enrolled to perform elbow tracking tasks using sinusoidal trajectories, which included 6 target speeds (15.7, 31.4, 47.1, 62.8, 78.5, and 94.2 deg/s. The actual elbow angle was recorded and displayed on a screen as visual feedback, and three indicators, the root mean square error (RMSE, normalized integrated jerk (NIJ and integral of the power spectrum density of normalized speed (IPNS, were used to investigate the strategy of sensorimotor control. Both NIJ and IPNS had significant differences among the four groups (P<0.01, and the values were ranked in the following order: young controls < age-matched controls
Full Text Available Decreases in metabolites and increased motor-related, but decreased sensory-related activation of the sensorimotor cortex (SMC have been observed in patients with cervical myelopathy (CM using advanced MRI techniques. However, the nature of intrinsic neuronal activity in the SMC, and the relationship between cerebral function and structural damage of the spinal cord in patients with CM are not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to assess intrinsic neuronal activity by calculating the regional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF using resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI, and correlations with clinical and imaging indices. Nineteen patients and 19 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects underwent rs-fMRI scans. ALFF measurements were performed in the SMC, a key brain network likely to impaired or reorganized patients with CM. Compared with healthy subjects, increased amplitude of cortical low-frequency oscillations (LFO was observed in the right precentral gyrus, right postcentral gyrus, and left supplementary motor area. Furthermore, increased z-ALFF values in the right precentral gyrus and right postcentral gyrus correlated with decreased fractional anisotropy values at the C2 level, which indicated increased intrinsic neuronal activity in the SMC corresponding to the structural impairment in the spinal cord of patients with CM. These findings suggest a complex and diverging relationship of cortical functional reorganization and distal spinal anatomical compression in patients with CM and, thus, add important information in understanding how spinal cord integrity may be a factor in the intrinsic covariance of spontaneous low-frequency fluctuations of BOLD signals involved in cortical plasticity.
Krasich, Kristina; Ramger, Ben; Holton, Laura; Wang, Lingling; Mitroff, Stephen R; Gregory Appelbaum, L
Sensorimotor abilities are crucial for performance in athletic, military, and other occupational activities, and there is great interest in understanding learning in these skills. Here, behavioral performance was measured over three days as twenty-seven participants practiced multiple sessions on the Nike SPARQ Sensory Station (Nike, Inc., Beaverton, Oregon), a computerized visual and motor assessment battery. Wrist-worn actigraphy was recorded to monitor sleep-wake cycles. Significant learning was observed in tasks with high visuomotor control demands but not in tasks of visual sensitivity. Learning was primarily linear, with up to 60% improvement, but did not relate to sleep quality in this normal-sleeping population. These results demonstrate differences in the rate and capacity for learning across perceptual and motor domains, indicating potential targets for sensorimotor training interventions.
Ferris, Jennifer K; Peters, Sue; Brown, Katlyn E; Tourigny, Katherine; Boyd, Lara A
Individuals with type-2 diabetes mellitus experience poor motor outcomes after ischemic stroke. Recent research suggests that type-2 diabetes adversely impacts neuronal integrity and function, yet little work has considered how these neuronal changes affect sensorimotor outcomes after stroke. Here, we considered how type-2 diabetes impacted the structural and metabolic function of the sensorimotor cortex after stroke using volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). We hypothesized that the combination of chronic stroke and type-2 diabetes would negatively impact the integrity of sensorimotor cortex as compared to individuals with chronic stroke alone. Compared to stroke alone, individuals with stroke and diabetes had lower cortical thickness bilaterally in the primary somatosensory cortex, and primary and secondary motor cortices. Individuals with stroke and diabetes also showed reduced creatine levels bilaterally in the sensorimotor cortex. Contralesional primary and secondary motor cortex thicknesses were negatively related to sensorimotor outcomes in the paretic upper-limb in the stroke and diabetes group such that those with thinner primary and secondary motor cortices had better motor function. These data suggest that type-2 diabetes alters cerebral energy metabolism, and is associated with thinning of sensorimotor cortex after stroke. These factors may influence motor outcomes after stroke.
Kikuchi, K; Nishino, K; Ohyu, H
The present investigation was conducted to document a role of L-threo-3,4-dihydroxyphenylserine (L-DOPS), precursor of L-norepinephrine (NE), in the functional recovery from beam-walking performance deficits in rats after unilateral sensorimotor cortex ablation. L-DOPS was administered simultaneously with benserazide (BSZ; a peripheral aromatic amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor), and the regional contents of NE in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum were assayed. Behavioral recovery was demonstrated by the rats treated with L-DOPS and BSZ, and the rate of recovery was significantly different from that of either BSZ-treated or vehicle-treated control rats. The NE tissue levels in the three discrete regions of the rat brain were significantly elevated in the experimental rats receiving both L-DOPS and BSZ. The present studies indicate that increasing NE levels by the precursor L-DOPS may be responsible for facilitating behavioral recovery from beam-walking performance deficits in rats, and further suggest that L-DOPS may become one of the candidate compounds for further clinical human trials promoting functional recovery after injuries to the cerebral cortex.
Amal F. Ahmed
Full Text Available Osteoarthritis (OA is a chronic disabling disease that generates many impairments of functional health status. Impairments of balance are recognized in patients with knee OA. This study investigated the short term effect of sensorimotor training on balance in elderly patients with knee OA, and whether these changes were associated with impairment of functional performance. In addition the possible independent predictors of impaired balance were determined. Forty female patients with knee OA were divided into two equal groups. The control group received a traditional exercise programme and the study group received sensorimotor training in addition to traditional exercises. Blind assessment was conducted at the beginning of the study and after 6 weeks of training to measure balance [in the form of overall stability index (OSI, medial/lateral stability index (MLSI, anterior/posterior stability index (APSI], perceived pain, proprioception acuity, knee extensor muscle torque, and functional disability. For the sensorimotor group, statistically significant improvements were recorded in all measured parameters, while the traditional exercise group recorded significant improvement only on measures of perceived pain, proprioception acuity, muscle torque, and functional disability, and non-significant changes on all balance measurements. Furthermore, the sensorimotor group produced significantly better improvement than the traditional group. The main predictor of balance was proprioception. The classic traditional exercise programme used in the management of knee OA is not enough for improving balance. Addition of sensorimotor training to the rehabilitation programme of these patients could produce more positive effects on balance and functional activity levels. The association between balance, proprioception and functional activity should be considered when treating knee OA.
Curthoys, Ian S.; Guedry, Fred E.; Merfeld, Daniel M.; Watt, Doug G. D.; Tomko, David L.; Wade, Charles E. (Technical Monitor)
Sensorimotor responses (e.g.. eye movements, spinal reflexes, etc depend upon the interpretation of the neural signals from the sensory systems. Since neural signals from the otoliths may represent either tilt (gravity) or translation (linear inertial force), sensory signals from the otolith organs are necessarily somewhat ambiguous. Therefore. the neural responses to changing otolith signals depend upon the context of the stimulation (e.g- active vs. passive, relative orientation of gravity, etc.) as well as upon other sensory signals (e.g., vision. canals, etc.). This session will focus upon the -role -played by the sensory signals from the otolith organs in producing efficient sensorimotor and behavioral responses. Curthoys will show the influence of the peripheral anatomy and physiology. Tomko will discuss the influence of tilt and translational otolith signals on eye movements. Merfeld will demonstrate the rate otolith organs play during the interaction of sensory signals from the canals and otoliths. Watt will show the influence of the otoliths on spinal/postural responses. Guedry will discuss the contribution of vestibular information to "path of movement"' perception and to the development of a stable vertical reference. Sensorimotor responses to the ambiguous inertial force stimulation provide an important tool to investigate how the nervous system processes patterns of sensory information and yields functional sensorimotor responses.
Full Text Available Humans skillfully manipulate objects and tools despite the inherent instability. In order to succeed at these tasks, the sensorimotor control system must build an internal representation of both the force and mechanical impedance. As it is not practical to either learn or store motor commands for every possible future action, the sensorimotor control system generalizes a control strategy for a range of movements based on learning performed over a set of movements. Here, we introduce a computational model for this learning and generalization, which specifies how to learn feedforward muscle activity in a function of the state space. Specifically, by incorporating co-activation as a function of error into the feedback command, we are able to derive an algorithm from a gradient descent minimization of motion error and effort, subject to maintaining a stability margin. This algorithm can be used to learn to coordinate any of a variety of motor primitives such as force fields, muscle synergies, physical models or artificial neural networks. This model for human learning and generalization is able to adapt to both stable and unstable dynamics, and provides a controller for generating efficient adaptive motor behavior in robots. Simulation results exhibit predictions consistent with all experiments on learning of novel dynamics requiring adaptation of force and impedance, and enable us to re-examine some of the previous interpretations of experiments on generalization.
Krafft, Paul R; McBride, Devin W; Lekic, Tim; Rolland, William B; Mansell, Charles E; Ma, Qingyi; Tang, Jiping; Zhang, John H
Formation of brain edema after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is highly associated with its poor outcome. However, the relationship between cerebral edema and behavioral deficits has not been thoroughly examined in the preclinical setting. Hence, this study aimed to evaluate the ability of common sensorimotor tests to predict the extent of brain edema in two mouse models of ICH. One hundred male CD-1 mice were subjected to sham surgery or ICH induction via intrastriatal injection of either autologous blood (30 μL) or bacterial collagenase (0.0375U or 0.075U). At 24 and 72 h after surgery, animals underwent a battery of behavioral tests, including the modified Garcia neuroscore (Neuroscore), corner turn test (CTT), forelimb placing test (FPT), wire hang task (WHT) and beam walking (BW). Brain edema was evaluated via the wet weight/dry weight method. Intrastriatal injection of autologous blood or bacterial collagenase resulted in a significant increase in brain water content and associated sensorimotor deficits (p<0.05). A significant correlation between brain edema and sensorimotor deficits was observed for all behavioral tests except for WHT and BW. Based on these findings, we recommend implementing the Neuroscore, CTT and/or FPT in preclinical studies of unilateral ICH in mice. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
McDougle, Samuel D; Bond, Krista M; Taylor, Jordan A
A popular model of human sensorimotor learning suggests that a fast process and a slow process work in parallel to produce the canonical learning curve (Smith et al., 2006). Recent evidence supports the subdivision of sensorimotor learning into explicit and implicit processes that simultaneously subserve task performance (Taylor et al., 2014). We set out to test whether these two accounts of learning processes are homologous. Using a recently developed method to assay explicit and implicit learning directly in a sensorimotor task, along with a computational modeling analysis, we show that the fast process closely resembles explicit learning and the slow process approximates implicit learning. In addition, we provide evidence for a subdivision of the slow/implicit process into distinct manifestations of motor memory. We conclude that the two-state model of motor learning is a close approximation of sensorimotor learning, but it is unable to describe adequately the various implicit learning operations that forge the learning curve. Our results suggest that a wider net be cast in the search for the putative psychological mechanisms and neural substrates underlying the multiplicity of processes involved in motor learning. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/359568-12$15.00/0.
Aguilera, Miguel; Bedia, Manuel G.; Santos, Bruno A.; Barandiaran, Xabier E.
Despite the increase of both dynamic and embodied/situated approaches in cognitive science, there is still little research on how coordination dynamics under a closed sensorimotor loop might induce qualitatively different patterns of neural oscillations compared to those found in isolated systems. We take as a departure point the Haken-Kelso-Bunz (HKB) model, a generic model for dynamic coordination between two oscillatory components, which has proven useful for a vast range of applications in cognitive science and whose dynamical properties are well understood. In order to explore the properties of this model under closed sensorimotor conditions we present what we call the situated HKB model: a robotic model that performs a gradient climbing task and whose “brain” is modeled by the HKB equation. We solve the differential equations that define the agent-environment coupling for increasing values of the agent's sensitivity (sensor gain), finding different behavioral strategies. These results are compared with two different models: a decoupled HKB with no sensory input and a passively-coupled HKB that is also decoupled but receives a structured input generated by a situated agent. We can precisely quantify and qualitatively describe how the properties of the system, when studied in coupled conditions, radically change in a manner that cannot be deduced from the decoupled HKB models alone. We also present the notion of neurodynamic signature as the dynamic pattern that correlates with a specific behavior and we show how only a situated agent can display this signature compared to an agent that simply receives the exact same sensory input. To our knowledge, this is the first analytical solution of the HKB equation in a sensorimotor loop and qualitative and quantitative analytic comparison of spatially coupled vs. decoupled oscillatory controllers. Finally, we discuss the limitations and possible generalization of our model to contemporary neuroscience and
Full Text Available Despite the increase both of dynamic and embodied/situated approaches in cognitive science, there is still little research on how coordination dynamics under a closed sensorimotor loop might induce qualitatively different patterns of neural oscillations compared to those found in isolated systems. We take as a departure point the HKB model, a generic model for dynamic coordination between two oscillatory components, which has proven useful for a vast range of applications in cognitive science and whose dynamical properties are well understood. In order to explore the properties of this model under closed sensorimotor conditions we present what we call the situated HKB model: a robotic model that performs a gradient climbing task and whose "brain" is modelled by the HKB equation. We solve the differential equations that define the agent-environment coupling for increasing values of the agent's sensitivity (sensor gain, finding different behavioural strategies. These results are compared with two different models: a decoupled HKB with no sensory input and a passively-coupled HKB that is also decoupled but receives a structured input generated by a situated agent. We can precisely quantify and qualitatively describe how the properties of the system, when studied in coupled conditions, radically change in a manner that cannot be deduced from the decoupled HKB models alone. We also present the notion of neurodynamic signature as the dynamic pattern that correlates with a specific behaviour and we show how only a situated agent can display this signature compared to an agent that simply receives the exact same sensory input.To our knowledge, this is the first analytical solution of the HKB equation in a sensorimotor loop and qualitative and quantitative analytic comparison of spatially coupled vs. decoupled oscillatory controllers. Finally, we discuss the limitations and possible generalization of our model to contemporary neuroscience and philosophy
Blumenstein, Tobias; Turova, Varvara; Alves-Pinto, Ana; Lampe, Renée
A sensorimotor jacket, which is able to measure distances to nearby objects with ultrasonic sensors and to transmit information about distances via vibrating transducers, has been designed with the aim of improving the spatial awareness of patients with cerebral palsy and to facilitate spatial orientation for blind people. The efficiency was tested for patients diagnosed with cerebral palsy, blind participants and healthy people. A positive impact of the sensorimotor jacket on the performance in a spatial task has been established both in patients with cerebral palsy and blind participants. Moreover, for patients with cerebral palsy, the training effect was visible after only three training exercises. (paper)
Tso, Ricky Van-yip; Au, Terry Kit-fong; Hsiao, Janet Hui-wen
Holistic processing and left-side bias are both behavioral markers of expert face recognition. By contrast, expert recognition of characters in Chinese orthography involves left-side bias but reduced holistic processing, although faces and Chinese characters share many visual properties. Here, we examined whether this reduction in holistic processing of Chinese characters can be better explained by writing experience than by reading experience. Compared with Chinese nonreaders, Chinese readers who had limited writing experience showed increased holistic processing, whereas Chinese readers who could write characters fluently showed reduced holistic processing. This result suggests that writing and sensorimotor experience can modulate holistic-processing effects and that the reduced holistic processing observed in expert Chinese readers may depend mostly on writing experience. However, both expert writers and writers with limited experience showed similarly stronger left-side bias than novices did in processing mirror-symmetric Chinese characters; left-side bias may therefore be a robust expertise marker for object recognition that is uninfluenced by sensorimotor experience. © The Author(s) 2014.
Luauté, Jacques; Schwartz, Sophie; Rossetti, Yves; Spiridon, Mona; Rode, Gilles; Boisson, Dominique; Vuilleumier, Patrik
Prism adaptation does not only induce short-term sensorimotor plasticity, but also longer-term reorganization in the neural representation of space. We used event-related fMRI to study dynamic changes in brain activity during both early and prolonged exposure to visual prisms. Participants performed a pointing task before, during, and after prism exposure. Measures of trial-by-trial pointing errors and corrections allowed parametric analyses of brain activity as a function of performance. We show that during the earliest phase of prism exposure, anterior intraparietal sulcus was primarily implicated in error detection, whereas parieto-occipital sulcus was implicated in error correction. Cerebellum activity showed progressive increases during prism exposure, in accordance with a key role for spatial realignment. This time course further suggests that the cerebellum might promote neural changes in superior temporal cortex, which was selectively activated during the later phase of prism exposure and could mediate the effects of prism adaptation on cognitive spatial representations.
Degenaar, J.; Keijzer, F.
A serious difficulty for theories of consciousness is to go beyond mere correlation between physical processes and experience. Currently, neural workspace and sensorimotor contingency theories are two of the most promising approaches to make any headway here. This paper explores the relation between
Harris, Alison; Lim, Seung-Lark
Although physical effort can impose significant costs on decision-making, when and how effort cost information is incorporated into choice remains contested, reflecting a larger debate over the role of sensorimotor networks in specifying behavior. Serial information processing models, in which motor circuits simply implement the output of cognitive systems, hypothesize that effort cost factors into decisions relatively late, via integration with stimulus values into net (combined) value signals in dorsomedial frontal cortex (dmFC). In contrast, ethology-inspired approaches suggest a more active role for the dorsal sensorimotor stream, with effort cost signals emerging rapidly after stimulus onset. Here we investigated the time course of effort cost integration using event-related potentials in hungry human subjects while they made decisions about expending physical effort for appetitive foods. Consistent with the ethological perspective, we found that effort cost was represented from as early as 100-250 ms after stimulus onset, localized to dorsal sensorimotor regions including middle cingulate, somatosensory, and motor/premotor cortices. However, examining the same data time-locked to motor output revealed net value signals combining stimulus value and effort cost approximately -400 ms before response, originating from sensorimotor areas including dmFC, precuneus, and posterior parietal cortex. Granger causal connectivity analysis of the motor effector signal in the time leading to response showed interactions between these sensorimotor regions and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, a structure associated with adjusting behavior-response mappings. These results suggest that rapid activation of sensorimotor regions interacts with cognitive valuation systems, producing a net value signal reflecting both physical effort and reward contingencies. Although physical effort imposes a cost on choice, when and how effort cost influences neural correlates of decision
McFarland, Dennis J; Krusienski, Dean J; Wolpaw, Jonathan R
The Wadsworth brain-computer interface (BCI), based on mu and beta sensorimotor rhythms, uses one- and two-dimensional cursor movement tasks and relies on user training. This is a real-time closed-loop system. Signal processing consists of channel selection, spatial filtering, and spectral analysis. Feature translation uses a regression approach and normalization. Adaptation occurs at several points in this process on the basis of different criteria and methods. It can use either feedforward (e.g., estimating the signal mean for normalization) or feedback control (e.g., estimating feature weights for the prediction equation). We view this process as the interaction between a dynamic user and a dynamic system that coadapt over time. Understanding the dynamics of this interaction and optimizing its performance represent a major challenge for BCI research.
Levin, Mindy F; Panturin, Elia
Bobath therapy is used to treat patients with neurological disorders. Bobath practitioners use hands-on approaches to elicit and reestablish typical movement patterns through therapist-controlled sensorimotor experiences within the context of task accomplishment. One aspect of Bobath practice, the recovery of sensorimotor function, is reviewed within the framework of current motor control theories. We focus on the role of sensory information in movement production, the relationship between posture and movement and concepts related to motor recovery and compensation with respect to this therapeutic approach. We suggest that a major barrier to the evaluation of the therapeutic effectiveness of the Bobath concept is the lack of a unified framework for both experimental identification and treatment of neurological motor deficits. More conclusive analysis of therapeutic effectiveness requires the development of specific outcomes that measure movement quality.
Full Text Available The aims of the present study were to (a compare healthy children in terms of sensorimotor maturity to untreated children diagnosed with developmental coordination disorder (DCD and (b compare healthy children to diagnosed children following completed treatment with sensorimotor therapy. Participants were 298 children, 196 boys and 102 girls, distributed into a Norm group of healthy children (n = 99 and a group of children diagnosed with DCD (n = 199 with a total mean age of 8.77 years (SD = 2.88. Participants in both groups were assessed on instruments aimed to detect sensorimotor deviations. The children in the DCD group completed, during on average 36 months, sensorimotor therapy which comprised stereotypical fetal- and infant movements, vestibular stimulation, tactile stimulation, auditory stimulation, complementary play exercises, gross motor milestones, and sports-related gross motor skills. At the final visit a full assessment was once more performed. Results showed that the Norm group performed better on all sensorimotor tests as compared to the untreated children from the DCD group, with the exception of an audiometric test where both groups performed at the same level. Girls performed better on tests assessing proprioceptive and balance abilities. Results also showed, after controls for natural maturing effects, that the children from the DCD group after sensorimotor therapy did catch up with the healthy children. The concept of "catching-up" is used within developmental medicine but has not earlier been documented with regard to children and youth in connection with DCD.
Ageberg, Eva; Bjorkman, Anders; Rosen, Birgitta
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Principles of brain plasticity are used in the treatment of patients with functional limitations to improve sensorimotor function. Training is included in the treatment of knee injury to improve both patient-reported function and sensorimotor function. However, impairment...... in sensorimotor function often persists despite training. Therefore, it was suggested that training programs need to be more effective to improve sensorimotor function after knee injury. The aim of the current study was to investigate if principles of brain plasticity that have been successfully used on the hand...... age 26 years, range 19-34, 50% women) were randomized to temporary local cutaneous application of anesthetic (EMLA) (n=14) or placebo cream (n=14). Fifty grams of EMLA, or placebo, was applied on the leg 10 cm above and 10 cm below the center of patella, leaving the area around the knee without cream...
Wood, S. J.; Clement, G. R.; Rupert, A. H.; Reschke, M. F.; Harm, D. L.; Guedry, F. E.
The central nervous system must resolve the ambiguity of inertial motion sensory cues in order to derive accurate spatial orientation awareness. Adaptive changes in how inertial cues from the otolith system are integrated with other sensory information lead to perceptual and postural disturbances upon return to Earth s gravity. The primary goals of this ground-based research investigation are to explore physiological mechanisms and operational implications of tilt-translation disturbances during and following re-entry, and to evaluate a tactile prosthesis as a countermeasure for improving control of whole-body orientation during tilt and translation motion.
Brady, Rachel A.; Batson, Crystal D.; Peters, Brian T.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.
We designed a gait training study that presented combinations of visual flow and support-surface manipulations to investigate the response of healthy adults to novel discordant sensorimotor conditions. We aimed to determine whether a relationship existed between subjects visual dependence and their postural stability and cognitive performance in a new discordant environment presented at the conclusion of training (Transfer Test). Our training system comprised a treadmill placed on a motion base facing a virtual visual scene that provided a variety of sensory challenges. Ten healthy adults completed 3 training sessions during which they walked on a treadmill at 1.1 m/s while receiving discordant support-surface and visual manipulations. At the first visit, in an analysis of normalized torso translation measured in a scene-movement-only condition, 3 of 10 subjects were classified as visually dependent. During the Transfer Test, all participants received a 2-minute novel exposure. In a combined measure of stride frequency and reaction time, the non-visually dependent subjects showed improved adaptation on the Transfer Test compared to their visually dependent counterparts. This finding suggests that individual differences in the ability to adapt to new sensorimotor conditions may be explained by individuals innate sensory biases. An accurate preflight assessment of crewmembers biases for visual dependence could be used to predict their propensities to adapt to novel sensory conditions. It may also facilitate the development of customized training regimens that could expedite adaptation to alternate gravitational environments.
Full Text Available Background: Diabetic Mellitus is a group of metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycaemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Distal Sensorimotor Polyneuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes which mainly affects the lower limbs. Most of the studies aimed at individually increasing muscle strength or sensation but not on overall performance enhancements of the diabetic lower limbs. The evidence supporting the effectiveness of PNF in diabetic neuropathic patients is scarce. Methods: 30 patients, with age between 50 to 70 years, diagnosed with Diabetic Sensorimotor Polyneuropathy (DSP were selected from the department of Medicine and department of Neurosurgery Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital. Patients were evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the intervention using Diabetic Neuropathy Examination scores. Patients received 3 sets of exercises one hour/day with 3 days/week for 3 months. Each set of exercises consists of 5 repetitions of PNF patterns (alternate day and techniques. Results: D1 & D2 patterns of PNF are effective in improving both motor and sensory functions of diabetic patients with neuropathic symptoms. Improvement in muscle strength, reflex and sensations occurred to a greater extent after the treatment of three months in these subjects. This study shows that PNF patterns were effective at enhancing sensorimotor problems of lower limbs. Conclusion: This study concluded that PNF is found to be effective in improving sensorimotor functions of diabetic neuropathic patients affecting lower limbs.
Bégel, Valentin; Verga, Laura; Benoit, Charles-Etienne; Kotz, Sonja A; Bella, Simone Dalla
Perceptual and sensorimotor timing skills can be comprehensively assessed with the Battery for the Assessment of Auditory Sensorimotor and Timing Abilities (BAASTA). The battery has been used for testing rhythmic skills in healthy adults and patient populations (e.g., with Parkinson disease),
Huang, Helen J.
The ability to learn new movements and dynamics is important for maintaining independence with advancing age. Age-related sensorimotor changes and increased muscle coactivation likely alter the trial-and-error-based process of adapting to new movement demands (motor adaptation). Here, we asked, to what extent is motor adaptation to novel dynamics maintained in older adults (≥65 yr)? We hypothesized that older adults would adapt to the novel dynamics less well than young adults. Because older adults often use muscle coactivation, we expected older adults to use greater muscle coactivation during motor adaptation than young adults. Nevertheless, we predicted that older adults would reduce muscle activity and metabolic cost with motor adaptation, similar to young adults. Seated older (n = 11, 73.8 ± 5.6 yr) and young (n = 15, 23.8 ± 4.7 yr) adults made targeted reaching movements while grasping a robotic arm. We measured their metabolic rate continuously via expired gas analysis. A force field was used to add novel dynamics. Older adults had greater movement deviations and compensated for just 65% of the novel dynamics compared with 84% in young adults. As expected, older adults used greater muscle coactivation than young adults. Last, older adults reduced muscle activity with motor adaptation and had consistent reductions in metabolic cost later during motor adaptation, similar to young adults. These results suggest that despite increased muscle coactivation, older adults can adapt to the novel dynamics, albeit less accurately. These results also suggest that reductions in metabolic cost may be a fundamental feature of motor adaptation. PMID:24133222
Kröger, B J; Birkholz, P; Neuschaefer-Rube, C
Detailed knowledge of the neurophysiology of speech acquisition is important for understanding the developmental aspects of speech perception and production and for understanding developmental disorders of speech perception and production. A computer implemented neural model of sensorimotor control of speech production was developed. The model is capable of demonstrating the neural functions of different cortical areas during speech production in detail. (i) Two sensory and two motor maps or neural representations and the appertaining neural mappings or projections establish the sensorimotor feedback control system. These maps and mappings are already formed and trained during the prelinguistic phase of speech acquisition. (ii) The feedforward sensorimotor control system comprises the lexical map (representations of sounds, syllables, and words of the first language) and the mappings from lexical to sensory and to motor maps. The training of the appertaining mappings form the linguistic phase of speech acquisition. (iii) Three prelinguistic learning phases--i. e. silent mouthing, quasi stationary vocalic articulation, and realisation of articulatory protogestures--can be defined on the basis of our simulation studies using the computational neural model. These learning phases can be associated with temporal phases of prelinguistic speech acquisition obtained from natural data. The neural model illuminates the detailed function of specific cortical areas during speech production. In particular it can be shown that developmental disorders of speech production may result from a delayed or incorrect process within one of the prelinguistic learning phases defined by the neural model.
Wood, S. J.; Harm, D. L.; Reschke, M. F.; Rupert, A. H.; Clement, G. R.
The central nervous system must resolve the ambiguity of inertial motion sensory cues in order to derive accurate spatial orientation awareness. We hypothesize that multi-sensory integration will be adaptively optimized in altered gravity environments based on the dynamics of other sensory information available, with greater changes in otolith-mediated responses in the mid-frequency range where there is a crossover of tilt and translation responses. The primary goals of this ground-based research investigation are to explore physiological mechanisms and operational implications of tilt-translation disturbances during and following re-entry, and to evaluate a tactile prosthesis as a countermeasure for improving control of whole-body orientation.
Kattenstroth, Jan C; Kalisch, Tobias; Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Greulich, Wolfgang; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R
Repetitive sensory stimulation (RSS) adapts the timing of stimulation protocols used in cellular studies to induce synaptic plasticity. In healthy subjects, RSS leads to widespread sensorimotor cortical reorganization paralleled by improved sensorimotor behavior. Here, we investigated whether RSS reduces sensorimotor upper limb impairment in patients with subacute stroke more effectively than conventional therapy. A single-blinded sham-controlled clinical trial assessed the effectiveness of RSS in treating sensorimotor deficits of the upper limbs. Patients with subacute unilateral ischemic stroke were randomly assigned to receive standard therapy in combination with RSS or with sham RSS. Patients were masked to treatment allocation. RSS consisted of intermittent 20 Hz electrical stimulation applied on the affected hand for 45 min/day, 5 days per week, for 2 weeks, and was transmitted using custom-made stimulation-gloves with built-in electrodes contacting each fingertip separately. Before and after the intervention, we assessed light-touch and tactile discrimination, proprioception, dexterity, grip force, and subtasks of the Jebsen Taylor hand-function test for the non-affected and the affected hand. Data from these quantitative tests were combined into a total performance index serving as primary outcome measure. In addition, tolerability and side effects of RSS intervention were recorded. Seventy one eligible patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive RSS treatment (n = 35) or sham RSS (n = 36). Data of 25 patients were not completed because they were transferred to another hospital, resulting in n = 23 for each group. Before treatment, sensorimotor performance between groups was balanced (p = 0.237). After 2 weeks of the intervention, patients in the group receiving standard therapy with RSS showed significantly better restored sensorimotor function than the control group (standardized mean difference 0.57; 95% CI -0
Oranje, Bob; Wienberg, Malene; Glenthøj, Birte Yding
Early mechanisms to limit the input of sensory information to higher brain areas are important for a healthy individual. In previous studies, we found that a low dose of 10mg escitalopram (SSRI) disrupts habituation, without affecting sensory and sensorimotor gating in healthy volunteers. In the ......Early mechanisms to limit the input of sensory information to higher brain areas are important for a healthy individual. In previous studies, we found that a low dose of 10mg escitalopram (SSRI) disrupts habituation, without affecting sensory and sensorimotor gating in healthy volunteers....... In the current study a higher dose of 15mg was used. The hypothesis was that this higher dose of escitalopram would not only disrupt habituation, but also sensory and sensorimotor gating. Twenty healthy male volunteers received either placebo or 15mg escitalopram, after which they were tested in a P50...... suppression, and a habituation and prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reflex paradigm. Escitalopram significantly decreased P50 suppression and habituation, but had no effect on PPI. The results indicate that habituation and sensory gating are disrupted by increased serotonergic activity, while...
Haegens, Saskia; Nácher, Verónica; Luna, Rogelio; Romo, Ranulfo; Jensen, Ole
Extensive work in humans using magneto- and electroencephalography strongly suggests that decreased oscillatory α-activity (8-14 Hz) facilitates processing in a given region, whereas increased α-activity serves to actively suppress irrelevant or interfering processing. However, little work has been done to understand how α-activity is linked to neuronal firing. Here, we simultaneously recorded local field potentials and spikes from somatosensory, premotor, and motor regions while a trained monkey performed a vibrotactile discrimination task. In the local field potentials we observed strong activity in the α-band, which decreased in the sensorimotor regions during the discrimination task. This α-power decrease predicted better discrimination performance. Furthermore, the α-oscillations demonstrated a rhythmic relation with the spiking, such that firing was highest at the trough of the α-cycle. Firing rates increased with a decrease in α-power. These findings suggest that α-oscillations exercise a strong inhibitory influence on both spike timing and firing rate. Thus, the pulsed inhibition by α-oscillations plays an important functional role in the extended sensorimotor system.
Allet, Lara; Kim, Hogene; Ashton-Miller, James; De Mott, Trina; Richardson, James K.
Introduction Changes occur in muscles and nerves with aging. This study aimed to explore the relationship between unipedal stance time (UST) and frontal plane hip and ankle sensorimotor function in subjects with diabetic neuropathy. Methods UST, quantitative measures of frontal plane ankle proprioceptive thresholds, and ankle and hip motor function were tested in forty-one persons with a spectrum of lower limb sensorimotor function, ranging from healthy to moderately severe diabetic neuropathy. Results Frontal plane hip and ankle sensorimotor function demonstrated significant relationships with UST. Multivariate analysis identified only composite hip strength, composite ankle proprioceptive threshold, and age to be significant predictors of UST (R2=0.73); they explained 46%, 24% and 3% of the variance, respectively. Discussion/Conclusions Frontal plane hip strength was the single best predictor of UST and appeared to compensate for less precise ankle proprioceptive thresholds. This finding is clinically relevant given the possibility of strengthening the hip, even in patients with significant PN. . PMID:22431092
Full Text Available The hypothesis that brain organization is based on mechanisms of metastable synchronization in neural assemblies has been popularized during the last decades of neuroscientific research. Nevertheless, the role of body and environment for understanding the functioning of metastable assemblies is frequently dismissed. The main goal of this paper is to investigate the contribution of sensorimotor coupling to neural and behavioural metastability using a minimal computational model of plastic neural ensembles embedded in a robotic agent in a behavioural preference task. Our hypothesis is that, under some conditions, the metastability of the system is not restricted to the brain but extends to the system composed by the interaction of brain, body and environment. We test this idea, comparing an agent in continuous interaction with its environment in a task demanding behavioural flexibility with an equivalent model from the point of view of 'internalist neuroscience'. A statistical characterization of our model and tools from information theory allows us to show how (1 the bidirectional coupling between agent and environment brings the system closer to a regime of criticality and triggers the emergence of additional metastable states which are not found in the brain in isolation but extended to the whole system of sensorimotor interaction, (2 the synaptic plasticity of the agent is fundamental to sustain open structures in the neural controller of the agent flexibly engaging and disengaging different behavioural patterns that sustain sensorimotor metastable states, and (3 these extended metastable states emerge when the agent generates an asymmetrical circular loop of causal interaction with its environment, in which the agent responds to variability of the environment at fast timescales while acting over the environment at slow timescales, suggesting the constitution of the agent as an autonomous entity actively modulating its sensorimotor coupling
Aguilera, Miguel; Bedia, Manuel G; Barandiaran, Xabier E
The hypothesis that brain organization is based on mechanisms of metastable synchronization in neural assemblies has been popularized during the last decades of neuroscientific research. Nevertheless, the role of body and environment for understanding the functioning of metastable assemblies is frequently dismissed. The main goal of this paper is to investigate the contribution of sensorimotor coupling to neural and behavioral metastability using a minimal computational model of plastic neural ensembles embedded in a robotic agent in a behavioral preference task. Our hypothesis is that, under some conditions, the metastability of the system is not restricted to the brain but extends to the system composed by the interaction of brain, body and environment. We test this idea, comparing an agent in continuous interaction with its environment in a task demanding behavioral flexibility with an equivalent model from the point of view of "internalist neuroscience." A statistical characterization of our model and tools from information theory allow us to show how (1) the bidirectional coupling between agent and environment brings the system closer to a regime of criticality and triggers the emergence of additional metastable states which are not found in the brain in isolation but extended to the whole system of sensorimotor interaction, (2) the synaptic plasticity of the agent is fundamental to sustain open structures in the neural controller of the agent flexibly engaging and disengaging different behavioral patterns that sustain sensorimotor metastable states, and (3) these extended metastable states emerge when the agent generates an asymmetrical circular loop of causal interaction with its environment, in which the agent responds to variability of the environment at fast timescales while acting over the environment at slow timescales, suggesting the constitution of the agent as an autonomous entity actively modulating its sensorimotor coupling with the world. We
Cheng, Ming-Yang; Huang, Chung-Ju; Chang, Yu-Kai; Koester, Dirk; Schack, Thomas; Hung, Tsung-Min
Sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) activity has been related to automaticity during skilled action execution. However, few studies have bridged the causal link between SMR activity and sports performance. This study investigated the effect of SMR neurofeedback training (SMR NFT) on golf putting performance. We hypothesized that preelite golfers would exhibit enhanced putting performance after SMR NFT. Sixteen preelite golfers were recruited and randomly assigned into either an SMR or a control group. Participants were asked to perform putting while electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded, both before and after intervention. Our results showed that the SMR group performed more accurately when putting and exhibited greater SMR power than the control group after 8 intervention sessions. This study concludes that SMR NFT is effective for increasing SMR during action preparation and for enhancing golf putting performance. Moreover, greater SMR activity might be an EEG signature of improved attention processing, which induces superior putting performance.
Wood, Adrienne; Rychlowska, Magdalena; Korb, Sebastian; Niedenthal, Paula
When we observe a facial expression of emotion, we often mimic it. This automatic mimicry reflects underlying sensorimotor simulation that supports accurate emotion recognition. Why this is so is becoming more obvious: emotions are patterns of expressive, behavioral, physiological, and subjective feeling responses. Activation of one component can therefore automatically activate other components. When people simulate a perceived facial expression, they partially activate the corresponding emotional state in themselves, which provides a basis for inferring the underlying emotion of the expresser. We integrate recent evidence in favor of a role for sensorimotor simulation in emotion recognition. We then connect this account to a domain-general understanding of how sensory information from multiple modalities is integrated to generate perceptual predictions in the brain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Sensing gravity is vital for our perception of spatial orientation, the control of upright posture, and generation of our every day activities. When an astronaut transitions to microgravity or returns to earth, the vestibular input arising from self-motion will not match the brain’s expectation. Our recent neurophysiological studies have provided insight into how the nervous system rapidly reorganizes when vestibular input becomes unreliable by both 1 updating its internal model of the sensory consequences of motion and 2 up-weighting more reliable extra-vestibular information. These neural strategies, in turn, are linked to improvements in sensorimotor performance (e.g., gaze and postural stability, locomotion, orienting and perception characterized by similar time courses. We suggest that furthering our understanding of the neural mechanisms that underlie sensorimotor adaptation will have important implications for optimizing training programs for astronauts before and after space exploration missions and for the design of goal-oriented rehabilitation for patients.
McGregor, Heather R.; Pun, Henry C. H.; Buckingham, Gavin; Gribble, Paul L.
The human sensorimotor system is routinely capable of making accurate predictions about an object's weight, which allows for energetically efficient lifts and prevents objects from being dropped. Often, however, poor predictions arise when the weight of an object can vary and sensory cues about object weight are sparse (e.g., picking up an opaque water bottle). The question arises, what strategies does the sensorimotor system use to make weight predictions when one is dealing with an object whose weight may vary? For example, does the sensorimotor system use a strategy that minimizes prediction error (minimal squared error) or one that selects the weight that is most likely to be correct (maximum a posteriori)? In this study we dissociated the predictions of these two strategies by having participants lift an object whose weight varied according to a skewed probability distribution. We found, using a small range of weight uncertainty, that four indexes of sensorimotor prediction (grip force rate, grip force, load force rate, and load force) were consistent with a feedforward strategy that minimizes the square of prediction errors. These findings match research in the visuomotor system, suggesting parallels in underlying processes. We interpret our findings within a Bayesian framework and discuss the potential benefits of using a minimal squared error strategy. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Using a novel experimental model of object lifting, we tested whether the sensorimotor system models the weight of objects by minimizing lifting errors or by selecting the statistically most likely weight. We found that the sensorimotor system minimizes the square of prediction errors for object lifting. This parallels the results of studies that investigated visually guided reaching, suggesting an overlap in the underlying mechanisms between tasks that involve different sensory systems. PMID:27760821
Cook, Richard; Press, Clare; Dickinson, Anthony; Heyes, Cecilia
The associative sequence learning model proposes that the development of the mirror system depends on the same mechanisms of associative learning that mediate Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning. To test this model, two experiments used the reduction of automatic imitation through incompatible sensorimotor training to assess whether mirror…
Saha, Simanto; Ahmed, Khawza I; Mostafa, Raqibul; Khandoker, Ahsan H; Hadjileontiadis, Leontios
Electroencephalography (EEG) captures electrophysiological signatures of cortical events from the scalp with high-dimensional electrode montages. Usually, excessive sources produce outliers and potentially affect the actual event related sources. Besides, EEG manifests inherent inter-subject variability of the brain dynamics, at the resting state and/or under the performance of task(s), caused probably due to the instantaneous fluctuation of psychophysiological states. A wavelet coherence (WC) analysis for optimally selecting associative inter-subject channels is proposed here and is being used to boost performances of motor imagery (MI)-based inter-subject brain computer interface (BCI). The underlying hypothesis is that optimally associative inter-subject channels can reduce the effects of outliers and, thus, eliminate dissimilar cortical patterns. The proposed approach has been tested on the dataset IVa from BCI competition III, including EEG data acquired from five healthy subjects who were given visual cues to perform 280 trials of MI for the right hand and right foot. Experimental results have shown increased classification accuracy (81.79%) using the WC-based selected 16 channels compared to the one (56.79%) achieved using all the available 118 channels. The associative channels lie mostly around the sensorimotor regions of the brain, reinforced by the previous literature, describing spatial brain dynamics during sensorimotor oscillations. Apparently, the proposed approach paves the way for optimised EEG channel selection that could boost further the efficiency and real-time performance of BCI systems.
Aoi, Shinya; Nachstedt, Timo; Manoonpong, Poramate; Wörgötter, Florentin; Matsuno, Fumitoshi
Insects have various gaits with specific characteristics and can change their gaits smoothly in accordance with their speed. These gaits emerge from the embodied sensorimotor interactions that occur between the insect’s neural control and body dynamic systems through sensory feedback. Sensory feedback plays a critical role in coordinated movements such as locomotion, particularly in stick insects. While many previously developed insect models can generate different insect gaits, the functional role of embodied sensorimotor interactions in the interlimb coordination of insects remains unclear because of their complexity. In this study, we propose a simple physical model that is amenable to mathematical analysis to explain the functional role of these interactions clearly. We focus on a foot contact sensory feedback called phase resetting, which regulates leg retraction timing based on touchdown information. First, we used a hexapod robot to determine whether the distributed decoupled oscillators used for legs with the sensory feedback generate insect-like gaits through embodied sensorimotor interactions. The robot generated two different gaits and one had similar characteristics to insect gaits. Next, we proposed the simple model as a minimal model that allowed us to analyze and explain the gait mechanism through the embodied sensorimotor interactions. The simple model consists of a rigid body with massless springs acting as legs, where the legs are controlled using oscillator phases with phase resetting, and the governed equations are reduced such that they can be explained using only the oscillator phases with some approximations. This simplicity leads to analytical solutions for the hexapod gaits via perturbation analysis, despite the complexity of the embodied sensorimotor interactions. This is the first study to provide an analytical model for insect gaits under these interaction conditions. Our results clarified how this specific foot contact sensory
Full Text Available Ana LLinares, Francisco Javier Badesa, Ricardo Morales, Nicolas Garcia-Aracil, JM Sabater, Eduardo Fernandez Biomedical Neuroengineering, Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, Elche, Spain Purpose: This paper examines the influence of age on several attributes of sensorimotor performance while performing a reaching task. Our hypothesis, based on previous studies, is that aged persons will show differences in one or more of the attributes of sensorimotor performance. Patients and methods: Fifty-one subjects (aged 20–80 years with no known neuromotor disorders of the upper limbs participated in the study. Subjects were asked to grasp the end-effector of a pneumatic robotic device with two degrees of freedom in order to reach peripheral targets (1.0 cm radius, "quickly and accurately", from a centrally located target (1.0 cm radius. Subjects began each trial by holding the hand within the central target for 2000 milliseconds. Afterwards, a peripheral target was illuminated. Then participants were given 3000 milliseconds to complete the movement. When a target was reached, the participant had to return to the central target in order to start a new trial. A total of 64 trials were completed and each peripheral target was illuminated in a random block design. Results: Subjects were divided into three groups according to age: group 1 (age 20–40 years, group 2 (age 41–60 years, and group 3 (age 61–80 years. The Kruskal–Wallis test showed significant differences (P < 0.05 between groups, except for the variables postural speed in the dominant arm, and postural speed and initial deviation in the non-dominant arm (P > 0.05. These results suggest that age introduces significant differences in upper-limb motor function. Conclusion: Our findings show that there are objective differences in sensorimotor function due to age, and that these differences are greater for the dominant arm. Therefore for the assessment of upper-limb function, we should
Full Text Available Purpose: assessment of the influence of the level of psychoemotional stress and the effectiveness of mental self-regulation on the functional state of the neuromuscular system and the effectiveness of the sensorimotor activity of highly skilled athletes specializing in complex co-ordination sports (on the example of diving. Material & Methods: study involved 14 high-class athletes (master of sport, international master of sport, honored master of sports at the age of 15–30 years. To determine the psychophysiological properties of the nervous system of athletes, the diagnostic complex "Diagnost-1" are used. Electroneuromyography was performed on the neurodiagnostic complex "Nicolet Viking Select". For a differentiated assessment of the level of stress, the emotional state of the respondents and also for assessing the effectiveness of mental self-regulation, a technique to select colors was used. Result: interrelation between the effectiveness of mental self-regulation and adaptability, the intensity of existing stress, emotional stability and vegetative balance with electroneuromyographic characteristics, strength and functional mobility of nervous processes, the accuracy of reaction to a moving object and the ratio of the reactions of lead and lag, the efficiency of sensorimotor activity are identified. Conclusion: revealed interrelation of the effectiveness of mental self-regulation and adaptability, intensity of existing stress, emotional stability and vegetative balance with typological properties of the higher parts of the central nervous system and electroneuromyographic characteristics of athletes can have prognostic value and be used to optimize the sports development of promising young people.
König, Sabine U.; Schumann, Frank; Keyser, Johannes; Goeke, Caspar; Krause, Carina; Wache, Susan; Lytochkin, Aleksey; Ebert, Manuel; Brunsch, Vincent; Wahn, Basil; Kaspar, Kai; Nagel, Saskia K.; Nagel, Saskia Kathi; Meilinger, Tobias; Bülthoff, Heinrich; Wolbers, Thomas; Büchel, Christian; König, Peter
Theories of embodied cognition propose that perception is shaped by sensory stimuli and by the actions of the organism. Following sensorimotor contingency theory, the mastery of lawful relations between own behavior and resulting changes in sensory signals, called sensorimotor contingencies, is
Grohmann, Till D A
During the last decades, the focus in autism research has been progressively extended. Today it offers a large amount of material on sensorimotor disturbances as well as perceptive-cognitive preferences of people with autism. However, there are more and more critical voices against an intellectualist perspective in the cognitive sciences. The "enactive approach" as well as a new "movement perspective" to autism challenge the view of autism as a mere "cognitive" disturbance. They criticize the conception of a cognizing subject which is only interested in the world in as much as she/he can extract knowledge and organize it rationally. The present paper discusses fundamental insights from this critical sensorimotor perspective to autism from a phenomenological standpoint. Several important papers have already proven the fruitful combination of phenomenology with sensorimotor-focused research in the field of autism. However, these writings generally concentrate on problems of embodied intersubjectivity as an alternative approach to leading "theory of mind" paradigms. The present article reflects on the role and dimension of sensorimotor problems in themselves and not primarily in the intersubjective encounter. The notion of body intentionality will turn out to be a central heuristic device in order to understand the subject's relationship to the world within a holistic framework, in which the person's way to move, feel, and perceive are manners of understanding his/her own world. Empirical findings on difficulties in proactive and anticipatory control of movement as well as research outcome on proprioception and kinesthetic feedback will provide suitable material for discussing the transformation of body intentionality in autism. Phenomenology will provide the theoretical foundation in order to understand atypical movement patterns as alternative ways for producing alternative meanings. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Raj, Anil K.; Neuhaus, Peter D.; Moucheboeuf, Adrien M.; Noorden, Jerryll H.; Lecoutre, David V.
While most mobility options for persons with paraplegia or paraparesis employ wheeled solutions, significant adverse health, psychological, and social consequences result from wheelchair confinement. Modern robotic exoskeleton devices for gait assistance and rehabilitation, however, can support legged locomotion systems for those with lower extremity weakness or paralysis. The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) has developed the Mina, a prototype sensorimotor robotic ort...
Beinert, Konstantin; Taube, Wolfgang
The authors' aim was to evaluate the effect of balance training on cervical joint position sense in people with subclinical neck pain. Thirty-four participants were randomly assigned to balance training or to stay active. Sensorimotor function was determined before and after 5 weeks of training by assessing the ability to reproduce the neutral head position and a predefined rotated head position. After balance training, the intervention group showed improved joint repositioning accuracy and decreased pain whereas no effects were observed in the control group. A weak correlation was identified between reduced neck pain intensity and improved joint repositioning. The present data demonstrate that balance training can effectively improve cervical sensorimotor function and decrease neck pain intensity.
Gomez-Rodriguez, M.; Peters, J.; Hill, J.; Schölkopf, B.; Gharabaghi, A.; Grosse-Wentrup, M.
The combination of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) with robot-assisted physical therapy constitutes a promising approach to neurorehabilitation of patients with severe hemiparetic syndromes caused by cerebrovascular brain damage (e.g. stroke) and other neurological conditions. In such a scenario, a key aspect is how to reestablish the disrupted sensorimotor feedback loop. However, to date it is an open question how artificially closing the sensorimotor feedback loop influences the decoding performance of a BCI. In this paper, we answer this issue by studying six healthy subjects and two stroke patients. We present empirical evidence that haptic feedback, provided by a seven degrees of freedom robotic arm, facilitates online decoding of arm movement intention. The results support the feasibility of future rehabilitative treatments based on the combination of robot-assisted physical therapy with BCIs.
Hänggi, Jürgen; Vitacco, Deborah A; Hilti, Leonie M; Luechinger, Roger; Kraemer, Bernd; Brugger, Peter
Xenomelia is a rare condition characterized by the persistent and compulsive desire for the amputation of one or more physically healthy limbs. We highlight the neurological underpinnings of xenomelia by assessing structural and functional connectivity by means of whole-brain connectome and network analyses of regions previously implicated in empirical research in this condition. We compared structural and functional connectivity between 13 xenomelic men with matched controls using diffusion tensor imaging combined with fiber tractography and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Altered connectivity in xenomelia within the sensorimotor system has been predicted. We found subnetworks showing structural and functional hyperconnectivity in xenomelia compared with controls. These subnetworks were lateralized to the right hemisphere and mainly comprised by nodes belonging to the sensorimotor system. In the connectome analyses, the paracentral lobule, supplementary motor area, postcentral gyrus, basal ganglia, and the cerebellum were hyperconnected to each other, whereas in the xenomelia-specific network analyses, hyperconnected nodes have been found in the superior parietal lobule, primary and secondary somatosensory cortex, premotor cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, and insula. Our study provides empirical evidence of structural and functional hyperconnectivity within the sensorimotor system including those regions that are core for the reconstruction of a coherent body image. Aberrant connectivity is a common response to focal neurological damage. As exemplified here, it may affect different brain regions differentially. Due to the small sample size, our findings must be interpreted cautiously and future studies are needed to elucidate potential associations between hyperconnectivity and limb disownership reported in xenomelia.
Boulay, Chadwick B; Chen, Xiang Yang; Wolpaw, Jonathan R
Sensorimotor cortex exerts both short-term and long-term control over the spinal reflex pathways that serve motor behaviors. Better understanding of this control could offer new possibilities for restoring function after central nervous system trauma or disease. We examined the impact of ongoing sensorimotor cortex (SMC) activity on the largely monosynaptic pathway of the H-reflex, the electrical analog of the spinal stretch reflex. In 41 awake adult rats, we measured soleus electromyographic (EMG) activity, the soleus H-reflex, and electrocorticographic activity over the contralateral SMC while rats were producing steady-state soleus EMG activity. Principal component analysis of electrocorticographic frequency spectra before H-reflex elicitation consistently revealed three frequency bands: μβ (5-30 Hz), low γ (γ1; 40-85 Hz), and high γ (γ2; 100-200 Hz). Ongoing (i.e., background) soleus EMG amplitude correlated negatively with μβ power and positively with γ1 power. In contrast, H-reflex size correlated positively with μβ power and negatively with γ1 power, but only when background soleus EMG amplitude was included in the linear model. These results support the hypothesis that increased SMC activation (indicated by decrease in μβ power and/or increase in γ1 power) simultaneously potentiates the H-reflex by exciting spinal motoneurons and suppresses it by decreasing the efficacy of the afferent input. They may help guide the development of new rehabilitation methods and of brain-computer interfaces that use SMC activity as a substitute for lost or impaired motor outputs. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
The post-Cold War world demands increased adaptability. Since the accelerating pace of technological change reduces DoD ability to forecast threat characteristics, DOD force planning methodology is undermined...
The evolutionary process of adaptation to the aquatic environment has dramatically modified the anatomy and physiology of secondarily-aquatic, air-breathing seabirds and marine mammals to address oxygen constraints and unique sensorimotor conditions. As taxa that have arguably undergone significant evolutionary transformations, deep-diving sphenisciforms (penguins) and obligatorily aquatic cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) provide an excellent opportunity to study such physiological...
Frydendal, Thomas; Eshøj, Henrik; Liaghat, Behnam
INTRODUCTION: Shoulder pain is highly prevalent in competitive swimmers, and generalized joint hypermobility (GJH) is considered a risk factor. Sensorimotor control deficiencies and altered neuromuscular activation of the shoulder may represent underlying factors. RESEARCH QUESTION: To investigate...... whether competitive swimmers with GJH including shoulder hypermobility (GJHS) differ in shoulder sensorimotor control and muscle activity from those without GJH and no shoulder hypermobility (NGJH). METHODS: Competitive swimmers (aged 13-17) were recruited. GJHS or NGJH status was determined using...... (29%) pectoralis major activity during BL-EO compared to NGJH (5.35 ± 1.77%MVE vs. 7.51 ± 1.96%MVE; p = 0.043). SIGNIFICANCE: Adolescent competitive swimmers with GJHS displayed no shoulder sensorimotor control deficiencies and no generally altered shoulder muscle activity pattern, except...
Muthalib, Makii; Ferrari, Marco; Quaresima, Valentina; Kerr, Graham; Perrey, Stephane
This study used non-invasive functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging to monitor bilateral sensorimotor region activation during unilateral voluntary (VOL) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)-evoked movements. In eight healthy male volunteers, fNIRS was used to measure relative changes in oxyhaemoglobin (O 2 Hb) and deoxyhaemoglobin (HHb) concentrations from a cortical sensorimotor region of interest in the left (LH) and right (RH) hemispheres during NMES-evoked and VOL wrist extension movements of the right arm. NMES-evoked movements induced significantly greater activation (increase in O 2 Hb and concomitant decrease in HHb) in the contralateral LH than in the ipsilateral RH (O 2 Hb: 0·44 ± 0·16 μM and 0·25 ± 0·22 μM, P = 0·017; HHb: -0·19 ± 0·10 μM and -0·12 ± 0·09 μM, P = 0·036, respectively) as did VOL movements (0·51 ± 0·24 μΜ and 0·34 ± 0·21 μM, P = 0·031; HHb: -0·18 ± 0·07 μΜ and -0·12 ± 0·04 μΜ, P = 0·05, respectively). There was no significant difference between conditions for O 2 Hb (P = 0·144) and HHb (P = 0·958). fNIRS neuroimaging enables quantification of bilateral sensorimotor regional activation profiles during voluntary and NMES-evoked wrist extension movements. © 2017 Scandinavian Society of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Abdolhamid Daneshjoo; Ashril Yusof
This study examined the effect of sensorimotor training on static balance in two different environments; in water and on land. Thirty non-clinical university male students (aged 22±0.85 years) were divided randomly into three groups; water, land and control groups. The experimental groups performed their respective sensorimotor training programs for 6 weeks (3 times per week). The Stork Stand Balance Test was used to examine the static balance at pre- and post-time points. Significant main ef...
Di Cicco, D.; Antal, S.; Ammassari-Teule, M.
The effects of prenatal exposure on gamma/neutron radiations (0.5 Gy at about the 18th day of fetal life) were studied in a hybrid strain of mice (DBA/Cne males x C57BL/Cne females). During ontogeny, measurements of sensorimotor reflexes revealed in prenatally irradiated mice (1) a delay in sensorial development, (2) deficits in tests involving body motor control, and (3) a reduction of both motility and locomotor activity scores. In adulthood, the behaviour of prenatally irradiated and control mice was examined in the open field test and in reactivity to novelty. Moreover, their learning performance was compared in several situations. The results show that, in the open field test, only rearings were more frequent in irradiated mice. In the presence of a novel object, significant sex x treatment interactions were observed since ambulation and leaning against the novel object increased in irradiated females but decreased in irradiated males. Finally, when submitted to different learning tasks, irradiated mice were impaired in the radial maze, but paradoxically exhibited higher avoidance scores than control mice, possibly because of their low pain thresholds. Taken together, these observations indicate that late prenatal gamma/neutron irradiation induces long lasting alterations at the sensorimotor level which, in turn, can influence learning abilities of adult mice
Ritzmann, Ramona; Freyler, Kathrin; Krause, Anne; Gollhofer, Albert
Scopolamine is used to counteract motion sickness in parabolic flight (PF) experiments. Although the drug's anticholinergic properties effectively impede vomiting, recent studies document other sensory side-effects in the central nervous system that may considerably influence sensorimotor performance. This study aimed to quantify such effects in order to determine if they are of methodological and operational significance for sensorimotor control. Ten subjects of a PF campaign received a weight-sex-based dose of a subcutaneous scopolamine injection. Sensorimotor performance was recorded before medication, 20min, 2h and 4h after injection in four space-relevant paradigms: balance control in one-leg stance with eyes open (protocol 1) and closed as well as force-generating capacity in countermovement jumps and hops (protocol 2). Postural sway, forces and joint angles were recorded. Neuromuscular control was assessed by electromyography and peripheral nerve stimulation; H-reflexes and M-waves were used to monitor spinal excitability of the Ia afferent reflex circuitry and maximal motor output. (1) H-reflex amplitudes, latencies and functional reflexes remained unchanged after scopolamine injection. (2) M-waves, neuromuscular activation intensities and antagonistic muscle coordination did not change with scopolamine administration. (3) Balance performance and force-generating capacity were not impeded by scopolamine. We found no evidence for changes in sensorimotor control in response to scopolamine injection. Sensory processing of daily relevant reflexes, spinal excitability, maximal motor output and performance parameters were not sensitive to the medication. We conclude that scopolamine administration can be used to counteract motion sickness in PF without methodological and operational concerns or interference regarding sensorimotor skills associated with neuromuscular control.
Full Text Available The recent outburst of interest in cognitive developmental robotics is fueled by the ambition to propose ecologically plausible mechanisms of how, among other things, a learning agent/robot could ground linguistic meanings in its sensorimotor behaviour. Along this stream, we propose a model that allows the simulated iCub robot to learn the meanings of actions (point, touch and push oriented towards objects in robot's peripersonal space. In our experiments, the iCub learns to execute motor actions and comment on them. Architecturally, the model is composed of three neural-network-based modules that are trained in different ways. The first module, a two-layer perceptron, is trained by back-propagation to attend to the target position in the visual scene, given the low-level visual information and the feature-based target information. The second module, having the form of an actor-critic architecture, is the most distinguishing part of our model, and is trained by a continuous version of reinforcement learning to execute actions as sequences, based on a linguistic command. The third module, an echo-state network, is trained to provide the linguistic description of the executed actions. The trained model generalises well in case of novel action-target combinations with randomised initial arm positions. It can also promptly adapt its behavior if the action/target suddenly changes during motor execution.
Moss, Cynthia F; Chiu, Chen; Surlykke, Annemarie
Echolocation operates through adaptive sensorimotor systems that collectively enable the bat to localize and track sonar objects as it flies. The features of sonar signals used by a bat to probe its surroundings determine the information available to its acoustic imaging system. In turn, the bat......'s perception of a complex scene guides its active adjustments in the features of subsequent sonar vocalizations. Here, we propose that the bat's active vocal-motor behaviors play directly into its representation of a dynamic auditory scene....
Full Text Available Humans are capable of pointing to a target with accuracy. However, when vision is distorted through a visual rotation or mirror-reversed vision, the performance is initially degraded and thereafter improves with practice. There are suggestions this gradual improvement results from a sensorimotor recalibration involving initial gating of the somatosensory information from the pointing hand. In the present experiment, we examined if this process interfered with balance control by asking participants to point to targets with a visual rotation from a standing posture. This duality in processing sensory information (i.e., gating sensory signals from the hand while processing those arising from the control of balance could generate initial interference leading to a degraded pointing performance. We hypothesized that if this is the case, the attenuation of plantar sole somatosensory information through cooling could reduce the sensorimotor interference, and facilitate the early adaptation (i.e. improvement in the pointing task. Results supported this hypothesis. These observations suggest that processing sensory information for balance control interferes with the sensorimotor recalibration process imposed by a pointing task when vision is rotated.
Karin Zazo Ortiz
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Introduction: Dysfunction in the basal ganglia circuits is a determining factor in the physiopathology of the classic signs of Parkinson's disease (PD and hypokinetic dysarthria is commonly related to PD. Regarding speech disorders associated with PD, the latest four-level framework of speech complicates the traditional view of dysarthria as a motor execution disorder. Based on findings that dysfunctions in basal ganglia can cause speech disorders, and on the premise that the speech deficits seen in PD are not related to an execution motor disorder alone but also to a disorder at the motor programming level, the main objective of this study was to investigate the presence of sensorimotor disorders of programming (besides the execution disorders previously described in PD patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a sample of 60 adults matched for gender, age and education: 30 adult patients diagnosed with idiopathic PD (PDG and 30 healthy adults (CG. All types of articulation errors were reanalyzed to investigate the nature of these errors. Interjections, hesitations and repetitions of words or sentences (during discourse were considered typical disfluencies; blocking, episodes of palilalia (words or syllables were analyzed as atypical disfluencies. We analysed features including successive self-initiated trial, phoneme distortions, self-correction, repetition of sounds and syllables, prolonged movement transitions, additions or omissions of sounds and syllables, in order to identify programming and/or execution failures. Orofacial agility was also investigated. Results: The PDG had worse performance on all sensorimotor speech tasks. All PD patients had hypokinetic dysarthria. Conclusion: The clinical characteristics found suggest both execution and programming sensorimotor speech disorders in PD patients.
T. S. Krivonogova
and II half of pregnancy, anemia, the threat of pregnancy termination, hypertension and hypotension.The complex of breathing exercises and aqua-gymnastics was carried out as follows. Firstly the presence of somatic diseases and prenatal risk factors (ultrasound, CTG, Doppler were confirmed. Then terminating breath tests were carried out, after which the complex of breathing exercises and aqua-gymnastics was put on.Carrying out this complex by main group women allowed increasing their functional reserves level and forming a good adaptation to the various factors of external and internal environment, as indicated by the adaptive type of response in 64% of the cases. There was a gradual decline in the functional reserves of pregnant women with somatic morbidity and prenatal risk factors who did not make the complex of breathing exercises and aqua-gymnastics that indicates the possible worsening of somatic pathology. Subsequently, these women have a disease recurrence contributed to a further decrease in functional reserves, which led to the breakdown of adaptation in 35% of cases.The performing of breathing exercises and aqua-gymnastics had a positive effect on the hormonal and metabolic status of pregnant women. In the first trimester cortisol concentration was significantly lower in women of main group and comparison group compared to control group. Against the background of the active respiratory training within the main group of women it was shown normalization of this hormone concentration in the blood serum up to the performance level of healthy mothers. Indices of insulin in the blood serum against the background of pregnancy also tended to increase, but they remained within the reference ranges.Breathing exercises combined with aqua-gymnastics helped to increase the sensitivity to hormones and exerted a stimulating effect on the secretion of glucocorticoid effect.In the main group of women against the background of the respiratory training in the third
Jessica Marie Ross
Full Text Available The human sensorimotor system can be readily entrained to environmental rhythms, through multiple sensory modalities. In this review, we provide an overview of theories of timekeeping that make this neuroentrainment possible. First, we present recent evidence that contests the assumptions made in classic timekeeper models. The role of state estimation, sensory feedback and movement parameters on the organization of sensorimotor timing are discussed in the context of recent experiments that examined simultaneous timing and force control. This discussion is extended to the study of coordinated multi-effector movements and how they may be entrained.
He, Hao; Zhang, Wei-Dong
This study proposes that there are two types of sensorimotor mismapping in poor-pitch singing: erroneous mapping and no mapping. We created operational definitions for the two types of mismapping based on the precision of pitch-matching and predicted that in the two types of mismapping, phonation differs in terms of accuracy and the dependence on the articulation consistency between the target and the intended vocal action. The study aimed to test this hypothesis by examining the reliability and criterion-related validity of the operational definitions. A within-subject design was used in this study. Thirty-two participants identified as poor-pitch singers were instructed to vocally imitate pure tones and to imitate their own vocal recordings with the same articulation as self-targets and with different articulation from self-targets. Definitions of the types of mismapping were demonstrated to be reliable with the split-half approach and to have good criterion-related validity with findings that pitch-matching with no mapping was less accurate and more dependent on the articulation consistency between the target and the intended vocal action than pitch-matching with erroneous mapping was. Furthermore, the precision of pitch-matching was positively associated with its accuracy and its dependence on articulation consistency when mismapping was analyzed on a continuum. Additionally, the data indicated that the self-imitation advantage was a function of articulation consistency. Types of sensorimotor mismapping lead to pitch-matching that differs in accuracy and its dependence on the articulation consistency between the target and the intended vocal action. Additionally, articulation consistency produces the self-advantage. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pulvermüller, Friedemann; Garagnani, Max
Memory cells, the ultimate neurobiological substrates of working memory, remain active for several seconds and are most commonly found in prefrontal cortex and higher multisensory areas. However, if correlated activity in "embodied" sensorimotor systems underlies the formation of memory traces, why should memory cells emerge in areas distant from their antecedent activations in sensorimotor areas, thus leading to "disembodiment" (movement away from sensorimotor systems) of memory mechanisms? We modelled the formation of memory circuits in six-area neurocomputational architectures, implementing motor and sensory primary, secondary and higher association areas in frontotemporal cortices along with known between-area neuroanatomical connections. Sensorimotor learning driven by Hebbian neuroplasticity led to formation of cell assemblies distributed across the different areas of the network. These action-perception circuits (APCs) ignited fully when stimulated, thus providing a neural basis for long-term memory (LTM) of sensorimotor information linked by learning. Subsequent to ignition, activity vanished rapidly from APC neurons in sensorimotor areas but persisted in those in multimodal prefrontal and temporal areas. Such persistent activity provides a mechanism for working memory for actions, perceptions and symbols, including short-term phonological and semantic storage. Cell assembly ignition and "disembodied" working memory retreat of activity to multimodal areas are documented in the neurocomputational models' activity dynamics, at the level of single cells, circuits, and cortical areas. Memory disembodiment is explained neuromechanistically by APC formation and structural neuroanatomical features of the model networks, especially the central role of multimodal prefrontal and temporal cortices in bridging between sensory and motor areas. These simulations answer the "where" question of cortical working memory in terms of distributed APCs and their inner structure
Castellano, Soledad; Arnedillo-Sánchez, Inmaculada
This paper presents a discussion on potential conflicts originated by sensorimotor distractions when learning with mobile phones on-the-move. While research in mobile learning points to the possibility of everywhere, all the time learning; research in the area suggests that tasks performed while on-the-move predominantly require low cognitive…
Gozli, Davood G; Bavelier, Daphne; Pratt, Jay
Research on the impact of action video game playing has revealed performance advantages on a wide range of perceptual and cognitive tasks. It is not known, however, if playing such games confers similar advantages in sensorimotor learning. To address this issue, the present study used a manual motion-tracking task that allowed for a sensitive measure of both accuracy and improvement over time. When the target motion pattern was consistent over trials, gamers improved with a faster rate and eventually outperformed non-gamers. Performance between the two groups, however, did not differ initially. When the target motion was inconsistent, changing on every trial, results revealed no difference between gamers and non-gamers. Together, our findings suggest that video game playing confers no reliable benefit in sensorimotor control, but it does enhance sensorimotor learning, enabling superior performance in tasks with consistent and predictable structure. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Avraamides, Marios N.; Kyranidou, Melina-Nicole
The influence of sensorimotor interference was examined in two experiments that compared pointing with iconic arrows and verbal responding in a task that entailed locating target-objects from imagined perspectives. Participants studied text narratives describing objects at locations around them in a remote environment and then responded to targets from memory. Results revealed only minor differences between the two response modes suggesting that bodily cues do not exert severe detrimental interference on spatial reasoning from imagined perspective when non-immediate described environments are used. The implications of the findings are discussed.
Mohan, Hemanth; de Haan, Roel; Mansvelder, Huibert D; de Kock, Christiaan P J
Our daily life consists of a continuous interplay between incoming sensory information and outgoing motor plans. Particularly during goal-directed behavior and active exploration of the sensory environment, brain circuits are merging sensory and motor signals. This is referred to as sensorimotor
Brady, Rachel A.; Batson, Crystal D.; Peters, Brian T.; Ploutz-Snyder, Robert J.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.
After spaceflight, the process of readapting to Earth's gravity commonly presents crewmembers with a variety of locomotor challenges. Our recent work has shown that the ability to adapt to a novel discordant sensorimotor environment can be increased through preflight training, so one focus of our laboratory has been the development of a gait training countermeasure to expedite the return of normal locomotor function after spaceflight. We used a training system comprising a treadmill mounted on a motion base facing a virtual visual scene that provided a variety of sensory challenges. As part of their participation in a larger retention study, 10 healthy adults completed 3 training sessions during which they walked on a treadmill at 1.1 m/s while receiving discordant support-surface and visual manipulations. After a single training session, subjects stride frequencies improved, and after 2 training sessions their auditory reaction times improved, where improvement was indicated by a return toward baseline values. Interestingly, improvements in reaction time came after stride frequency improvements plateaued. This finding suggests that postural stability was given a higher priority than a competing cognitive task. Further, it demonstrates that improvement in both postural stability and dual-tasking can be achieved with multiple training exposures. We conclude that, with training, individuals become more proficient at walking in discordant sensorimotor conditions and are able to devote more attention to competing tasks.
Puzzo, Ignazio; Cooper, Nicholas R; Cantarella, Simona; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Russo, Riccardo
Previous research suggested that EEG markers of mirror neuron system activation may differ, in the normal population as a function of different levels of the autistic spectrum quotient; (AQ). The present study aimed at modulating the EEG sensorimotor reactivity induced by hand movement observation by means of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied to the inferior parietal lobule. We examined how the resulting rTMS modulation differed in relation to the self-reported autistic traits in the typically developing population. Results showed that during sham stimulation, all participants had significantly greater sensorimotor alpha reactivity (motor cortex-C electrodes) when observing hand movements compared to static hands. This sensorimotor alpha reactivity difference was reduced during active rTMS stimulation. Results also revealed that in the average AQ group at sham there was a significant increase in low beta during hand movement than static hand observation (pre-motor areas-FC electrodes) and that (like alpha over the C electrodes) this difference is abolished when active rTMS is delivered. Participants with high AQ scores showed no significant difference in low beta sensorimotor reactivity between active and sham rTMS during static hand or hand movement observation. These findings suggest that unlike sham, active rTMS over the IPL modulates the oscillatory activity of the low beta frequency of a distal area, namely the anterior sector of the sensorimotor cortex, when participants observe videos of static hand. Importantly, this modulation differs according to the degree of self-reported traits of autism in a typically developing population. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Space flight is known to cause alterations in multiple physiological systems including changes in sensorimotor, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular systems. These changes may affect a crewmember s ability to perform critical mission tasks immediately after landing on a planetary surface. The overall goal of this project is to determine the effects of space flight on functional tests that are representative of high priority exploration mission tasks and to identify the key underlying physiological factors that contribute to decrements in performance. This presentation will focus on the sensorimotor contributions to postflight functional performance.
Full Text Available Present diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum conditions (ASC include social communication and interaction difficulties, repetitive behaviour and movement, and atypical sensory responsivity. Few studies have explored the influence of motor coordination and sensory responsivity on severity of ASC symptoms. In the current study, we explore whether sensory responsivity and motor coordination differences can account for the severity of autistic behaviours in children with ASC. 36 children took part: 18 (13 male, 5 female with ASC (ages 7-16: mean age 9.93 years and 18 (7 male, 11 female typically developing (TD children (ages 6-12; mean age 9.16 years. Both groups completed a battery of assessments that included motor coordination, sensory responsivity, receptive language, non-verbal reasoning and social communication measures Children with ASC also completed the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised.. Results showed that children with ASC scored significantly lower on receptive language, coordination and sensory responsivity and a sensorimotor subscale, Modulation of Activity (MoA compared to the TD group. In the ASC group, MoA significantly predicted ASC severity across all ASC measures; receptive language and sensory responsivity significantly predicted parental reported autism measures; and coordination significantly predicted examiner observed reported scores. Additionally, specific associations were found between the somatosensory perceptive modalities and ASC severity. The results show that sensorimotor skills are associated with severity of ASC symptoms; furthering the need to research sensorimotor integration in ASC and also implying that diagnosis of ASC should also include the assessment of both coordination deficit and atypical sensory responsivity.
Full Text Available Brain plasticity, including anatomical changes and functional reorganization, is the physiological basis of functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI. The correlation between brain anatomical changes and functional reorganization after SCI is unclear. This study aimed to explore whether alterations of cortical structure and network function are concomitant in sensorimotor areas after incomplete SCI. Eighteen patients with incomplete SCI (mean age 40.94 ± 14.10 years old; male:female, 7:11 and 18 healthy subjects (37.33 ± 11.79 years old; male:female, 7:11 were studied by resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Gray matter volume (GMV and functional connectivity were used to evaluate cortical structure and network function, respectively. There was no significant alteration of GMV in sensorimotor areas in patients with incomplete SCI compared with healthy subjects. Intra-hemispheric functional connectivity between left primary somatosensory cortex (BA1 and left primary motor cortex (BA4, and left BA1 and left somatosensory association cortex (BA5 was decreased, as well as inter-hemispheric functional connectivity between left BA1 and right BA4, left BA1 and right BA5, and left BA4 and right BA5 in patients with SCI. Functional connectivity between both BA4 areas was also decreased. The decreased functional connectivity between the left BA1 and the right BA4 positively correlated with American Spinal Injury Association sensory score in SCI patients. The results indicate that alterations of cortical anatomical structure and network functional connectivity in sensorimotor areas were non-concomitant in patients with incomplete SCI, indicating the network functional changes in sensorimotor areas may not be dependent on anatomic structure. The strength of functional connectivity within sensorimotor areas could serve as a potential imaging biomarker for assessment and prediction of sensory function in patients with incomplete SCI
Krüger, Norbert; Geib, Christopher; Piater, Justus
This paper formalises Object-Action Complexes (OACs) as a basis for symbolic representations of sensorimotor experience and behaviours. OACs are designed to capture the interaction between objects and associated actions in articial cognitive systems. This paper gives a formal denition of OACs, pr......, provides examples of their use for autonomous cognitive robots, and enumerates a number of critical learning problems in terms of OACs....
Zapała, Dariusz; Zabielska-Mendyk, Emilia; Cudo, Andrzej; Krzysztofiak, Agnieszka; Augustynowicz, Paweł; Francuz, Piotr
The authors' aim was to examine whether short-term kinesthetic training affects the level of sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) in different frequency band: alpha (8-12 Hz), lower beta (12.5-16 Hz) and beta (16.5-20 Hz) during the execution of a motor imagery task of closing and opening the right and the left hand by experts (jugglers, practicing similar exercises on an everyday basis) and amateurs (individuals not practicing any sports). It was found that the performance of short kinesthetic training increases the power of alpha rhythm when executing imagery tasks only in the group of amateurs. Therefore, kinesthetic training may be successfully used as a method increasing the vividness of motor imagery, for example, in tasks involving the control of brain-computer interfaces based on SMR.
Full Text Available The evolution of cumulative adaptive culture has received widespread interest in recent years, especially the factors promoting its occurrence. Current evolutionary models suggest that an increase in population size may lead to an increase in cultural complexity via a higher rate of cultural transmission and innovation. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the role of natural selection in the evolution of cultural complexity. Here we use an agent-based simulation model to demonstrate that high selection pressure in the form of resource pressure promotes the accumulation of adaptive culture in spite of small population sizes and high innovation costs. We argue that the interaction of demography and selection is important, and that neither can be considered in isolation. We predict that an increase in cultural complexity is most likely to occur under conditions of population pressure relative to resource availability. Our model may help to explain why culture change can occur without major environmental change. We suggest that understanding the interaction between shifting selective pressures and demography is essential for explaining the evolution of cultural complexity.
Full Text Available Visuo-motor adaptation to optical prisms displacing the visual scene (prism adaptation, PA is a method used for investigating visuo-motor plasticity in healthy individuals and, in clinical settings, for the rehabilitation of unilateral spatial neglect. In the standard paradigm, the adaptation phase involves repeated pointings to visual targets, while wearing optical prisms displacing the visual scene laterally. Here we explored differences in PA, and its aftereffects (AEs, as related to the sensory modality of the target. Visual, auditory, and multisensory – audio-visual – targets in the adaptation phase were used, while participants wore prisms displacing the visual field rightward by 10°. Proprioceptive, visual, visual-proprioceptive, auditory-proprioceptive straight-ahead shifts were measured. Pointing to auditory and to audio-visual targets in the adaptation phase produces proprioceptive, visual-proprioceptive, and auditory-proprioceptive AEs, as the typical visual targets did. This finding reveals that cross-modal plasticity effects involve both the auditory and the visual modality, and their interactions (Experiment 1. Even a shortened PA phase, requiring only 24 pointings to visual and audio-visual targets (Experiment 2, is sufficient to bring about AEs, as compared to the standard 92-pointings procedure. Finally, pointings to auditory targets cause AEs, although PA with a reduced number of pointings (24 to auditory targets brings about smaller AEs, as compared to the 92-pointings procedure (Experiment 3. Together, results from the three experiments extend to the auditory modality the sensorimotor plasticity underlying the typical AEs produced by PA to visual targets. Importantly, PA to auditory targets appears characterized by less accurate pointings and error correction, suggesting that the auditory component of the PA process may be less central to the building up of the AEs, than the sensorimotor pointing activity per se. These
Popovich, C; Dockstader, C; Cheyne, D; Tannock, R
We used magnetoencephalography to investigate the effect of directed attention on sensorimotor mu (8-12 Hz) response (mu reactivity) to non-painful electrical stimulation of the median nerve in healthy adults. Mu desynchronization in the 10-12 Hz bandwidth is typically observed during higher-order cognitive functions including selective attentional processing of sensorimotor information (Pfurtscheller, Neuper, & Krauz, 2000). We found attention-related sex differences in mu reactivity, with females showing (i) prolonged mu desynchrony when attending to somatosensory stimuli, (ii) attentional modulation of the mu response based on whether attention was directed towards or away from somatosensory stimuli, which was absent in males, and (iii) a trend for greater neuronal excitability of the primary somatosensory region suggesting greater physiological responsiveness to sensory stimulation overall. Our findings suggest sex differences in attentional control strategies when processing somatosensory stimuli, whose salience may be greater for females. These sex differences in attention to somatosensory stimuli may help elucidate the well-documented sex biases in pain processing wherein females typically report greater sensitivity to experimental and clinical pain. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Recent theories propose that language comprehension can influence perception at the low level of perceptual system. Here, we used an adaptation paradigm to test whether processing language caused color adaptation in the visual system. After prolonged exposure to a color linguistic context, which depicted red, green, or non-specific color scenes, participants immediately performed a color detection task, indicating whether they saw a green color square in the middle of a white screen or not. We found that participants were more likely to perceive the green color square after listening to discourses denoting red compared to discourses denoting green or conveying non-specific color information, revealing that language comprehension caused an adaptation aftereffect at the perceptual level. Therefore, semantic representation of color may have a common neural substrate with color perception. These results are in line with the simulation view of embodied language comprehension theory, which predicts that processing language reactivates the sensorimotor systems that are engaged during real experience.
Full Text Available Brain plasticity studies have shown functional reorganization in participants with outstanding motor expertise. Little is known about neural plasticity associated with exceptionally long motor training or of its predictive value for motor performance excellence. The present study utilised resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI in a unique sample of world-class athletes: Olympic, elite, and internationally ranked swimmers (n=30. Their world ranking ranged from 1st to 250th: each had prepared for participation in the Olympic Games. Combining rs-fMRI graph-theoretical and seed-based functional connectivity analyses, it was discovered that the thalamus has its strongest connections with the sensorimotor network in elite swimmers with the highest world rankings (career best rank: 1–35. Strikingly, thalamo-sensorimotor functional connections were highly correlated with the swimmers’ motor performance excellence, that is, accounting for 41% of the individual variance in best world ranking. Our findings shed light on neural correlates of long-term athletic performance involving thalamo-sensorimotor functional circuits.
Full Text Available The dual process model of moral decision-making suggests that decisions to reject causing harm on moral dilemmas (where causing harm saves lives reflect concern for others. Recently, some theorists have suggested such decisions actually reflect self-focused concern about causing harm, rather than witnessing others suffering. We examined brain activity while participants witnessed needles pierce another person’s hand, versus similar non-painful stimuli. More than a month later, participants completed moral dilemmas where causing harm either did or did not maximize outcomes. We employed process dissociation to independently assess harm-rejection (deontological and outcome-maximization (utilitarian response tendencies. Activity in the posterior inferior frontal cortex (pIFC while participants witnessed others in pain predicted deontological, but not utilitarian, response tendencies. Previous brain stimulation studies have shown that the pIFC seems crucial for sensorimotor representations of observed harm. Hence, these findings suggest that deontological response tendencies reflect genuine other-oriented concern grounded in sensorimotor representations of harm.
Christov-Moore, Leonardo; Conway, Paul; Iacoboni, Marco
The dual process model of moral decision-making suggests that decisions to reject causing harm on moral dilemmas (where causing harm saves lives) reflect concern for others. Recently, some theorists have suggested such decisions actually reflect self-focused concern about causing harm, rather than witnessing others suffering. We examined brain activity while participants witnessed needles pierce another person's hand, versus similar non-painful stimuli. More than a month later, participants completed moral dilemmas where causing harm either did or did not maximize outcomes. We employed process dissociation to independently assess harm-rejection (deontological) and outcome-maximization (utilitarian) response tendencies. Activity in the posterior inferior frontal cortex (pIFC) while participants witnessed others in pain predicted deontological, but not utilitarian, response tendencies. Previous brain stimulation studies have shown that the pIFC seems crucial for sensorimotor representations of observed harm. Hence, these findings suggest that deontological response tendencies reflect genuine other-oriented concern grounded in sensorimotor representations of harm.
Full Text Available The cerebellum plays a crucial role in motor learning and it acts as a predictive controller. Modeling it and embedding it into sensorimotor tasks allows us to create functional links between plasticity mechanisms, neural circuits and behavioral learning. Moreover, if applied to real-time control of a neurorobot, the cerebellar model has to deal with a real noisy and changing environment, thus showing its robustness and effectiveness in learning. A biologically inspired cerebellar model with distributed plasticity, both at cortical and nuclear sites, has been used. Two cerebellum-mediated paradigms have been designed: an associative Pavlovian task and a vestibulo-ocular reflex, with multiple sessions of acquisition and extinction and with different stimuli and perturbation patterns. The cerebellar controller succeeded to generate conditioned responses and finely tuned eye movement compensation, thus reproducing human-like behaviors. Through a productive plasticity transfer from cortical to nuclear sites, the distributed cerebellar controller showed in both tasks the capability to optimize learning on multiple time-scales, to store motor memory and to effectively adapt to dynamic ranges of stimuli.
Janet H. Bultitude
Full Text Available Patients with hemispatial neglect (‘neglect’ following a brain lesion show difficulty responding or orienting to objects and events on the left side of space. Substantial evidence supports the use of a sensorimotor training technique called prism adaptation as a treatment for neglect. Reaching for visual targets viewed through prismatic lenses that induce a rightward shift in the visual image results in a leftward recalibration of reaching movements that is accompanied by a reduction of symptoms in patients with neglect. The understanding of prism adaptation has also been advanced through studies of healthy participants, in whom adaptation to leftward prismatic shifts results in temporary neglect-like performance. Interestingly, prism adaptation can also alter aspects of non-lateralised spatial attention. We previously demonstrated that prism adaptation alters the extent to which neglect patients and healthy participants process local features versus global configurations of visual stimuli. Since deficits in non-lateralised spatial attention are thought to contribute to the severity of neglect symptoms, it is possible that the effect of prism adaptation on these deficits contributes to its efficacy. This study examines the pervasiveness of the effects of prism adaptation on perception by examining the effect of prism adaptation on configural face processing using a composite face task. The composite face task is a persuasive demonstration of the automatic global-level processing of faces: the top and bottom halves of two familiar faces form a seemingly new, unknown face when viewed together. Participants identified the top or bottom halves of composite faces before and after prism adaptation. Sensorimotor adaptation was confirmed by significant pointing aftereffect, however there was no significant change in the extent to which the irrelevant face half interfered with processing. The results support the proposal that the therapeutic effects
Marsh, Brandi T; Tarigoppula, Venkata S Aditya; Chen, Chen; Francis, Joseph T
For decades, neurophysiologists have worked on elucidating the function of the cortical sensorimotor control system from the standpoint of kinematics or dynamics. Recently, computational neuroscientists have developed models that can emulate changes seen in the primary motor cortex during learning. However, these simulations rely on the existence of a reward-like signal in the primary sensorimotor cortex. Reward modulation of the primary sensorimotor cortex has yet to be characterized at the level of neural units. Here we demonstrate that single units/multiunits and local field potentials in the primary motor (M1) cortex of nonhuman primates (Macaca radiata) are modulated by reward expectation during reaching movements and that this modulation is present even while subjects passively view cursor motions that are predictive of either reward or nonreward. After establishing this reward modulation, we set out to determine whether we could correctly classify rewarding versus nonrewarding trials, on a moment-to-moment basis. This reward information could then be used in collaboration with reinforcement learning principles toward an autonomous brain-machine interface. The autonomous brain-machine interface would use M1 for both decoding movement intention and extraction of reward expectation information as evaluative feedback, which would then update the decoding algorithm as necessary. In the work presented here, we show that this, in theory, is possible. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/357374-14$15.00/0.
Nagengast, Arne J; Braun, Daniel A; Wolpert, Daniel M
Numerous psychophysical studies suggest that the sensorimotor system chooses actions that optimize the average cost associated with a movement. Recently, however, violations of this hypothesis have been reported in line with economic theories of decision-making that not only consider the mean payoff, but are also sensitive to risk, that is the variability of the payoff. Here, we examine the hypothesis that risk-sensitivity in sensorimotor control arises as a mean-variance trade-off in movement costs. We designed a motor task in which participants could choose between a sure motor action that resulted in a fixed amount of effort and a risky motor action that resulted in a variable amount of effort that could be either lower or higher than the fixed effort. By changing the mean effort of the risky action while experimentally fixing its variance, we determined indifference points at which participants chose equiprobably between the sure, fixed amount of effort option and the risky, variable effort option. Depending on whether participants accepted a variable effort with a mean that was higher, lower or equal to the fixed effort, they could be classified as risk-seeking, risk-averse or risk-neutral. Most subjects were risk-sensitive in our task consistent with a mean-variance trade-off in effort, thereby, underlining the importance of risk-sensitivity in computational models of sensorimotor control.
Salomon, R.; Fernandez, N. B.; van Elk, M.; Vachicouras, N.; Sabatier, F.; Tychinskaya, A.; Llobera, J.; Blanke, O.
Experimentally induced sensorimotor conflicts can result in a loss of the feeling of control over a movement (sense of agency). These findings are typically interpreted in terms of a forward model in which the predicted sensory consequences of the movement are compared with the observed sensory consequences. In the present study we investigated whether a mismatch between movements and their observed sensory consequences does not only result in a reduced feeling of agency, but may affect motor perception as well. Visual feedback of participants’ finger movements was manipulated using virtual reality to be anatomically congruent or incongruent to the performed movement. Participants made a motor perception judgment (i.e. which finger did you move?) or a visual perceptual judgment (i.e. which finger did you see moving?). Subjective measures of agency and body ownership were also collected. Seeing movements that were visually incongruent to the performed movement resulted in a lower accuracy for motor perception judgments, but not visual perceptual judgments. This effect was modified by rotating the virtual hand (Exp.2), but not by passively induced movements (Exp.3). Hence, sensorimotor conflicts can modulate the perception of one’s motor actions, causing viewed “alien actions” to be felt as one’s own. PMID:27225834
Goldstein, L B
The recovery of beam-walking ability following a unilateral sensorimotor cortex lesion in the rat is hypothesized to be noradrenergically-mediated. We carried out two experiments to further test this hypothesis. In the first experiment, bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine locus coeruleus (LC) lesions or sham LC lesions were made 2 weeks prior to a right sensorimotor cortex suction-ablation lesion or sham cortex lesion. In the second experiment, unilateral left or right LC lesions or sham LC lesions were made 2 weeks prior to a right sensorimotor cortex lesion or sham cortex lesion. Beam-walking recovery was measured over the 12 days following cortex lesioning in each experiment. Bilateral, unilateral left, and unilateral right LC lesions resulted in impaired recovery. These data provide additional support for the hypothesis that beam-walking recovery after sensorimotor cortex injury is, at least in part, noradrenergically mediated.
Judkins, Timothy; Scheidt, Robert A
We examined whether visual and proprioceptive estimates of transient (midreach) target capture errors contribute to motor adaptation according to the probabilistic rules of information integration used for perception. Healthy adult humans grasped and moved a robotic handle between targets in the horizontal plane while the robot generated springlike loads that varied unpredictably from trial to trial. For some trials, a visual cursor faithfully tracked hand motion. In others, the handle's position was locked and subjects viewed motion of a point-mass cursor driven by hand forces. In yet other trials, cursor feedback was dissociated from hand motion or altogether eliminated. We used time- and frequency-domain analyses to characterize how sensorimotor memories influence performance on subsequent reaches. When the senses were used separately, subjects were better at rejecting physical disturbances applied to the hand than virtual disturbances applied to the cursor. In part, this observation reflected differences in how participants used sensorimotor memories to adapt to perturbations when performance feedback was limited to only proprioceptive or visual information channels. When both vision and proprioception were available to guide movement, subjects processed memories in a manner indistinguishable from the vision-only condition, regardless of whether the cursor tracked the hand faithfully or whether we experimentally dissociated motions of the hand and cursor. This was true even though, on average, perceptual uncertainty in the proprioceptive estimation of movement extent exceeded that of visual estimation by just 47%. In contrast to perceptual tasks wherein vision and proprioception both contribute to an optimal estimate of limb state, our findings support a switched-input, multisensory model of predictive load compensation wherein visual feedback of transient performance errors overwhelmingly dominates proprioception in determining adaptive reach performance.
Alessandro G Allievi
Full Text Available There is a pressing need for new techniques capable of providing accurate information about sensori-motor function during the first 2 years of childhood. Here we review current clinical methods and challenges for assessing motor function in early infancy, and discuss the potential benefits of applying technology-assisted methods. We also describe how the use of these tools with neuroimaging, and in particular functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, can shed new light on the intra-cerebral processes underlying neurodevelopmental impairment. This knowledge is of particular relevance in the early infant brain which has an increased capacity for compensatory neural plasticity. Such tools could bring a wealth of knowledge about the underlying pathophysiological processes of diseases such as cerebral palsy; act as biomarkers to monitor the effects of possible therapeutic interventions; and provide clinicians with much needed early diagnostic information.
Cappe, Céline; Morel, Anne; Barone, Pascal
Multisensory and sensorimotor integrations are usually considered to occur in superior colliculus and cerebral cortex, but few studies proposed the thalamus as being involved in these integrative processes. We investigated whether the organization of the thalamocortical (TC) systems for different modalities partly overlap, representing an anatomical support for multisensory and sensorimotor interplay in thalamus. In 2 macaque monkeys, 6 neuroanatomical tracers were injected in the rostral and caudal auditory cortex, posterior parietal cortex (PE/PEa in area 5), and dorsal and ventral premotor cortical areas (PMd, PMv), demonstrating the existence of overlapping territories of thalamic projections to areas of different modalities (sensory and motor). TC projections, distinct from the ones arising from specific unimodal sensory nuclei, were observed from motor thalamus to PE/PEa or auditory cortex and from sensory thalamus to PMd/PMv. The central lateral nucleus and the mediodorsal nucleus project to all injected areas, but the most significant overlap across modalities was found in the medial pulvinar nucleus. The present results demonstrate the presence of thalamic territories integrating different sensory modalities with motor attributes. Based on the divergent/convergent pattern of TC and corticothalamic projections, 4 distinct mechanisms of multisensory and sensorimotor interplay are proposed. PMID:19150924
Lacherez, Philippe; Wood, Joanne M; Anstey, Kaarin J; Lord, Stephen R
To establish whether sensorimotor function and balance are associated with on-road driving performance in older adults. The performance of 270 community-living adults aged 70-88 years recruited via the electoral roll was measured on a battery of peripheral sensation, strength, flexibility, reaction time, and balance tests and on a standardized measure of on-road driving performance. Forty-seven participants (17.4%) were classified as unsafe based on their driving assessment. Unsafe driving was associated with reduced peripheral sensation, lower limb weakness, reduced neck range of motion, slow reaction time, and poor balance in univariate analyses. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified poor vibration sensitivity, reduced quadriceps strength, and increased sway on a foam surface with eyes closed as significant and independent risk factors for unsafe driving. These variables classified participants into safe and unsafe drivers with a sensitivity of 74% and specificity of 70%. A number of sensorimotor and balance measures were associated with driver safety and the multivariate model comprising measures of sensation, strength, and balance was highly predictive of unsafe driving in this sample. These findings highlight important determinants of driver safety and may assist in developing efficacious driver safety strategies for older drivers.
Pouw, Wim T J L; Eielts, Charly; van Gog, Tamara; Zwaan, Rolf A.; Paas, Fred
Previous research indicates that sensori-motor experience with physical systems can have a positive effect on learning. However, it is not clear whether this effect is caused by mere bodily engagement or the intrinsically meaningful information that such interaction affords in performing the
Adaptation to Increase Resilience to Climate Change in Ethiopian Agriculture ... Climate change and agriculture in Ethiopia Scientists are predicting that rainfall in Ethiopia will be more variable, with more drought- and flood-related incidents in the ... Amélioration de la planification de la gestion des inondations en Thaïlande.
This article explores the hypothesis that the differences between our conscious sensations (color, sound, smell, etc.) could be linked to the different ways in which our senses process and structure information. It is also proposed that the organization of our conscious sensations into a conscious perception of a three-dimensional world could be linked to our mastery of sensorimotor contingencies. These hypotheses are supported by a number of observations, including the appearance of consciou...
Sangani, Samir; Lamontagne, Anouk; Fung, Joyce
Sensorimotor integration is a complex process in the central nervous system that produces task-specific motor output based on selective and rapid integration of sensory information from multiple sources. This chapter reviews briefly the role of haptic cues in postural control during tandem stance and locomotion, focusing on sensorimotor enhancement of locomotion post stroke. The use of mixed-reality systems incorporating both haptic cues and virtual reality technology in gait rehabilitation post stroke is discussed. Over the last decade, researchers and clinicians have shown evidence of cerebral reorganization that underlies functional recovery after stroke based on results from neuroimaging techniques such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. These imaging modalities are however limited in their capacity to measure cortical changes during extensive body motions in upright stance. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) on the other hand provides a unique opportunity to measure cortical activity associated with postural control during locomotion. Evidence of cortical changes associated with sensorimotor enhancement induced by haptic touch during locomotion is revealed through fNIRS in a pilot study involving healthy individuals and a case study involving a chronic stroke patient. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Battistella, Giovanni; Fuertinger, Stefan; Fleysher, Lazar; Ozelius, Laurie J.; Simonyan, Kristina
Background Spasmodic dysphonia (SD), or laryngeal dystonia, is a task-specific isolated focal dystonia of unknown causes and pathophysiology. Although functional and structural abnormalities have been described in this disorder, the influence of its different clinical phenotypes and genotypes remains scant, making it difficult to explain SD pathophysiology and to identify potential biomarkers. Methods We used a combination of independent component analysis and linear discriminant analysis of resting-state functional MRI data to investigate brain organization in different SD phenotypes (abductor vs. adductor type) and putative genotypes (familial vs. sporadic cases) and to characterize neural markers for genotype/phenotype categorization. Results We found abnormal functional connectivity within sensorimotor and frontoparietal networks in SD patients compared to healthy individuals as well as phenotype- and genotype-distinct alterations of these networks, involving primary somatosensory, premotor and parietal cortices. The linear discriminant analysis achieved 71% accuracy classifying SD and healthy individuals using connectivity measures in the left inferior parietal and sensorimotor cortex. When categorizing between different forms of SD, the combination of measures from left inferior parietal, premotor and right sensorimotor cortices achieved 81% discriminatory power between familial and sporadic SD cases, whereas the combination of measures from the right superior parietal, primary somatosensory and premotor cortices led to 71% accuracy in the classification of adductor and abductor SD forms. Conclusions Our findings present the first effort to identify and categorize isolated focal dystonia based on its brain functional connectivity profile, which may have a potential impact on the future development of biomarkers for this rare disorder. PMID:27346568
Battistella, G; Fuertinger, S; Fleysher, L; Ozelius, L J; Simonyan, K
Spasmodic dysphonia (SD), or laryngeal dystonia, is a task-specific isolated focal dystonia of unknown causes and pathophysiology. Although functional and structural abnormalities have been described in this disorder, the influence of its different clinical phenotypes and genotypes remains scant, making it difficult to explain SD pathophysiology and to identify potential biomarkers. We used a combination of independent component analysis and linear discriminant analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data to investigate brain organization in different SD phenotypes (abductor versus adductor type) and putative genotypes (familial versus sporadic cases) and to characterize neural markers for genotype/phenotype categorization. We found abnormal functional connectivity within sensorimotor and frontoparietal networks in patients with SD compared with healthy individuals as well as phenotype- and genotype-distinct alterations of these networks, involving primary somatosensory, premotor and parietal cortices. The linear discriminant analysis achieved 71% accuracy classifying SD and healthy individuals using connectivity measures in the left inferior parietal and sensorimotor cortices. When categorizing between different forms of SD, the combination of measures from the left inferior parietal, premotor and right sensorimotor cortices achieved 81% discriminatory power between familial and sporadic SD cases, whereas the combination of measures from the right superior parietal, primary somatosensory and premotor cortices led to 71% accuracy in the classification of adductor and abductor SD forms. Our findings present the first effort to identify and categorize isolated focal dystonia based on its brain functional connectivity profile, which may have a potential impact on the future development of biomarkers for this rare disorder. © 2016 EAN.
Goldstein, L B
The ability of rats to traverse a narrow elevated beam has been used to quantitate recovery of hindlimb motor function after unilateral injury to the sensorimotor cortex. We tested the hypothesis that the rate of spontaneous beam-walking recovery varies with the side of the cortex lesion. Groups of rats that were trained at the beam-walking task underwent suction-ablation of either the right or left hindlimb sensorimotor cortex. There was no difference in hindlimb motor function between the groups on the first post-operative beam-waking trial carried out the day after cortex ablation and no difference between the groups in overall recovery rates over the next two weeks. Subsequent analyses of lesion surface parameters showed no differences in lesion size or extent. Regardless of the side of the lesion, there were also no differences between the right and left hemispheres in norepinephrine content of the lesioned or contralateral cortex. We conclude that the side of sensorimotor cortex ablation injury does not differentially affect the rate of spontaneous motor recovery as measured with the beam-walking task.
Yuan, Ye; Brown, Steven
Drawing and writing are the two major means of creating what are referred to as "images", namely visual patterns on flat surfaces. They share many sensorimotor processes related to visual guidance of hand movement, resulting in the formation of visual shapes associated with pictures and words. However, while the human capacity to draw is tens of thousands of years old, the capacity for writing is only a few thousand years old, and widespread literacy is quite recent. In order to compare the neural activations for drawing and writing, we conducted two activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses for these two bodies of neuroimaging literature. The results showed strong overlap in the activation profiles, especially in motor areas (motor cortex, frontal eye fields, supplementary motor area, cerebellum, putamen) and several parts of the posterior parietal cortex. A distinction was found in the left posterior parietal cortex, with drawing showing a preference for a ventral region and writing a dorsal region. These results demonstrate that drawing and writing employ the same basic sensorimotor networks but that some differences exist in parietal areas involved in spatial processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Roelcke, U; Curt, A; Otte, A; Missimer, J; Maguire, RP; Dietz, [No Value; Leenders, KL
Objectives-To assess the effect of a transverse spinal cord lesion on cerebral energy metabolism in view of sensorimotor reorganisation. Methods-PET and F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose were used to study resting cerebral glucose metabolism in 11 patients with complete paraplegia or tetraplegia after spinal
Parrett, Jonathan M; Knell, Robert J
Strong sexual selection has been reported to both enhance and hinder the adaptive capacity and persistence of populations when exposed to novel environments. Consequently, how sexual selection influences population adaption and persistence under stress remains widely debated. Here, we present two empirical investigations of the fitness consequences of sexual selection on populations of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, exposed to stable or gradually increasing temperatures. When faced with increasing temperatures, strong sexual selection was associated with both increased fecundity and offspring survival compared with populations experiencing weak sexual selection, suggesting sexual selection acts to drive adaptive evolution by favouring beneficial alleles. Strong sexual selection did not, however, delay extinction when the temperature became excessively high. By manipulating individuals' mating opportunities during fitness assays, we were able to assess the effect of multiple mating independently from the effect of population-level sexual selection, and found that polyandry has a positive effect on both fecundity and offspring survival under increasing temperatures in those populations evolving with weak sexual selection. Within stable temperatures, there were some benefits from strong sexual selection but these were not consistent across the entire experiment, possibly reflecting changing costs and benefits of sexual selection under stabilizing and directional selection. These results indicate that sexual selection can provide a buffer against climate change and increase adaptation rates within a continuously changing environment. These positive effects of sexual selection may, however, be too small to protect populations and delay extinction when environmental changes are relatively rapid. © 2018 The Author(s).
Nielsen, Lene Nørby; Larsen, Marianne Halberg; Skovgaard, Sissel
was initially 4 mg/L and remained unaltered by the exposure. The adapted S. aureus isolates retained normal colony size but displayed increased expression of fabI encoding an essential enzyme in bacterial fatty acid synthesis. Also, they displayed decreased or no expression of the virulence associated agr......C of the agr quorum sensing system. While most adapted strains of USA300 carried mutations in fabI, none of the adapted strains of 8325-4 did. Conclusions. Adaptability to triclosan varies substantially between Gram positive human pathogens. S. aureus displayed an intrinsically lower MIC for triclosan compared...... to L. monocytogenes but was easily adapted leading to the same MIC as L. monocytogenes. Even though all adapted S. aureus strains over-expressed fabI and eliminated expression of the agr quorum sensing system, adaptation in USA300 involved fabI mutations whereas this was not the case for 8325-4. Thus...
Alexandrov, A.V.; Lippi, V.; Mergner, T.; Frolov, A. A.; Hettich, G.; Húsek, Dušan
Roč. 11, 25 April (2017), č. článku 22. ISSN 1662-5188 Institutional support: RVO:67985807 Keywords : human sensorimotor system * neuromechanics * biorobotics * motor control * eigenmovements Subject RIV: JD - Computer Applications, Robotics OBOR OECD: Robotics and automatic control Impact factor: 1.821, year: 2016
Schaffert, Jeffrey; Lee, Chi-Mei; Neill, Rebecca; Bo, Jin
The current study examined the augmentation of error feedback on visuomotor adaptability in older adults with varying degrees of cognitive decline (assessed by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment; MoCA). Twenty-three participants performed a center-out computerized visuomotor adaptation task when the visual feedback of their hand movement error was presented in a regular (ratio=1:1) or enhanced (ratio=1:2) error feedback schedule. Results showed that older adults with lower scores on the MoCA had less adaptability than those with higher MoCA scores during the regular feedback schedule. However, participants demonstrated similar adaptability during the enhanced feedback schedule, regardless of their cognitive ability. Furthermore, individuals with lower MoCA scores showed larger after-effects in spatial control during the enhanced schedule compared to the regular schedule, whereas individuals with higher MoCA scores displayed the opposite pattern. Additional neuro-cognitive assessments revealed that spatial working memory and processing speed were positively related to motor adaptability during the regular scheduled but negatively related to adaptability during the enhanced schedule. We argue that individuals with mild cognitive decline employed different adaptation strategies when encountering enhanced visual feedback, suggesting older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may benefit from enhanced visual error feedback during sensorimotor adaptation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Beinert, Konstantin; Keller, Martin; Taube, Wolfgang
People with neck pain display a diminished joint position sense and disturbed postural control, which is thought to be a result of impaired somatosensory afferent activity and/or integration. Afferent processing can be artificially manipulated by vibration and was shown to reduce motor performance in healthy subjects. However, the effect of vibration on sensorimotor function in neck pain patients is scarcely investigated. To assess the effect of neck muscle vibration on joint position sense and postural control in neck pain subjects and healthy controls. Case control study. Thirteen neck pain patients and 10 healthy controls participated in the present study. Cervical joint position sense and dynamic and static postural stability. Short-term, targeted neck muscle vibration with 100 Hz was applied after baseline measurement. Vibration had opposite effects in patients and healthy subjects. Patients showed improved joint position sense (pneck pain. Thus, vibration may be used to counteract sensorimotor impairment of the cervical spine. Potential underlying mechanisms are discussed. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Full Text Available Homonymous Visual Field Defects (HVFD are common following stroke and can be highly debilitating for visual perception and higher level cognitive functions such as exploring visual scene or reading a text. Rehabilitation using oculomotor compensatory methods with automatic training over a short duration (~15 days have been shown as efficient as longer voluntary training methods (>1 month. Here, we propose to evaluate and compare the effect of an original HVFD rehabilitation method based on a single 15 min voluntary anti-saccades task (AS toward the blind hemifield, with automatic sensorimotor adaptation to increase AS amplitude. In order to distinguish between adaptation and training effect, fourteen left- or right-HVFD patients were exposed, one month apart, to three training, two isolated AS task (Delayed-shift & No-shift paradigm and one combined with AS adaptation (Adaptation paradigm. A quality of life questionnaire (NEI-VFQ 25 and functional measurements (reading speed, visual exploration time in pop-out and serial tasks as well as oculomotor measurements were assessed before and after each training. We could not demonstrate significant adaptation at the group level, but we identified a group of 9 adapted patients. While AS training itself proved to demonstrate significant functional improvements in the overall patient group , we could also demonstrate in the sub-group of adapted patients and specifically following the adaptation training, an increase of saccade amplitude during the reading task (left-HVFD patients and the Serial exploration task, and improvement of the visual quality of life. We conclude that short-lasting AS training combined with adaptation could be implemented in rehabilitation methods of cognitive dysfunctions following HVFD. Indeed, both voluntary and automatic processes have shown interesting effects on the control of visually guided saccades in different cognitive tasks.
Full Text Available With a worldwide increase in disasters, the effects of climate change are already being felt, and it is the urban poor in developing countries who are most at risk. There is an urgent need to better understand the factors that determine people's capacity to cope with and adapt to adverse climate conditions. This paper examines the influence of formal education in determining the adaptive capacity of the residents of two low-income settlements: Los Manantiales in San Salvador (El Salvador and Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, where climate-related disasters are recurrent. In both case study areas, it was found that the average levels of education were lower for households living at high risk, as opposed to residents of lower risk areas. In this context, the influence of people's level of education was identified to be twofold due to (a its direct effect on aspects that reduce risk, and (b its mitigating effect on aspects that increase risk. The results further suggest that education plays a more determinant role for women than for men in relation to their capacity to adapt. In light of these results, the limited effectiveness of institutional support identified by this study might also relate to the fact that the role of formal education has so far not been sufficiently explored. Promoting (improved access to and quality of formal education as a way to increase people's adaptive capacity is further supported with respect to the negative effects of disasters on people's level of education, which in turn reduce their adaptive capacity, resulting in a vicious circle of increasing risk.
de Zoete, Rutger M J; Osmotherly, Peter G; Rivett, Darren A; Farrell, Scott F; Snodgrass, Suzanne J
(1) To identify reported tests used to assess sensorimotor control in individuals with idiopathic neck pain and (2) to investigate whether these tests can quantify differences between individuals with idiopathic neck pain and healthy individuals. Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase, MEDLINE, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus. Studies reporting sensorimotor outcomes in individuals with idiopathic neck pain or healthy individuals were identified. There were 1,677 records screened independently by 2 researchers for eligibility: 43 studies were included in the review, with 30 of these studies included in the meta-analysis. Methodologic quality was determined using the Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies. Data were extracted using a standardized extraction table. Sensorimotor control was most commonly assessed by joint position error and postural sway. Pooled means for joint position error after cervical rotation in individuals with neck pain (range, 2.2°-9.8°) differed significantly (P=.04) compared with healthy individuals (range, 1.66°-5.1°). Postural sway with eyes open ranged from 4.85 to 10.5cm 2 (neck pain) and 3.5 to 6.6cm 2 (healthy) (P=.16), and postural sway with eyes closed ranged from 2.51 to 16.6cm 2 (neck pain) and 2.74 to 10.9cm 2 (healthy) (P=.30). Individual studies, but not meta-analysis, demonstrated differences between neck pain and healthy groups for postural sway. Other test conditions and other tests were not sufficiently investigated to enable pooling of data. The findings from this review suggest sensorimotor control testing may be clinically useful in individuals with idiopathic neck pain. However, results should be interpreted with caution because clinical differences were small; therefore, further cross-sectional research with larger samples is needed to determine the magnitude of the relation between
Liu, Weilin; Wang, Xian; Yang, Shanli; Huang, Jia; Xue, Xiehua; Zheng, Yi; Shang, Guanhao; Tao, Jing; Chen, Lidian
Electroacupuncture (EA) is one of the safety and effective therapies for improving neurological and sensorimotor impairment via blockade of inappropriate inflammatory responses. However, the mechanisms of anti-inflammation involved is far from been fully elucidated. Focal cerebral ischemic stroke was administered by the middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion (MCAO/R) surgery. The MCAO/R rats were accepted EA treatment at the LI 11 and ST 36 acupoints for consecutive 3days. The neurological outcome, animal behaviors test and molecular biology assays were used to evaluate the MCAO/R model and therapeutic effect of EA. EA treatment for MCAO rats showed a significant reduction in the infarct volumes accompanied by functional recovery in mNSS outcomes, motor function performances. The possible mechanisms that EA treatment attenuated the over-activation of Iba-1 and ED1 positive microglia in the peri-infract sensorimotor cortex. Simultaneously, both tissue and serum protein levels of the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were decreased by EA treatment in MCAO/R injured rats. The levels of inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6) were decreased in the peri-infract sensorimotor cortex and blood serum of MCAO/R injured rats after EA treatment. Furthermore, we found that EA treatment prevented from the nucleus translocation of NF-κB p65 and suppressed the expression of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) and myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) in the peri-infract sensorimotor cortex. The findings from this study indicated that EA improved the motor impairment via inhibition of microglia-mediated neuroinflammation that invoked NF-κB p65, p38 MAPK and MyD88 produced proinflammatory cytokine in the peri-infract sensorimotor cortex of rats following ischemic stroke. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Preller, Katrin H; Ingold, Nina; Hulka, Lea M; Vonmoos, Matthias; Jenni, Daniela; Baumgartner, Markus R; Vollenweider, Franz X; Quednow, Boris B
Cocaine dependence has been associated with blunted dopamine and norepinephrine signaling, but it is unknown if recreational cocaine use is also associated with alterations of catecholamine systems. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response-a measure of sensorimotor gating-is highly sensitive for manipulations of the catecholamine system. Therefore, we investigated whether relatively pure recreational users (RCU) and dependent cocaine users (DCU) display alterations of PPI, startle reactivity, and habituation. Moreover, the influences of methylenedioxymethamphetamine and cannabis co-use, craving, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on startle measures were examined. In 64 RCU, 29 DCU, and 66 stimulant-naïve control subjects, PPI of acoustic startle response, startle reactivity, habituation, ADHD symptoms, and cocaine craving were assessed. Drug use of all participants was controlled by hair and urine toxicologies. Both RCU and DCU showed increased PPI in comparison with control participants (Cohen's d=.38 and d=.67, respectively), while RCU and DCU did not differ in PPI measures (d=.12). No significant group differences were found in startle reactivity or habituation measures. In cocaine users, PPI was positively correlated with cumulative cocaine dose used, craving for cocaine, and ADHD symptoms. Users with a diagnosis of ADHD and strong craving symptoms displayed the highest PPI levels compared with control subjects (d=.78). The augmented PPI in RCU and DCU suggests that recreational use of cocaine is associated with altered catecholamine signaling, in particular if ADHD or craving symptoms are present. Finally, ADHD might be a critical risk factor for cocaine-induced changes of the catecholamine system. Copyright © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
2015 Sensorimotor Risk Standing Review Panel Evidence and Status Review For: the Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft/Associated Systems and Decreased Mobility Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Spaceflight
The 2015 Sensorimotor Risk Standing Review Panel (from here on referred to as the SRP) participated in a WebEx/teleconference with members of the Human Health Countermeasures (HHC) Element, representatives from the Human Research Program (HRP), NASA Headquarters, and NASA Research and Education Support Services (NRESS) on December 17, 2015 (list of participants is in Section VI of this report). The SRP reviewed the new Evidence Report for the Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft/Associated Systems and Decreased Mobility Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Spaceflight (from here on referred to as the 2015 Sensorimotor Evidence Report), and also received a status review of the Risk. The opening section of the 2015 Sensorimotor Evidence Report provides written descriptions of various incidents that have occurred during space missions. In most of these incidents, the main underlying contributing factors are not easy to identify unambiguously. For example, in section 1.9, a number of falls occurred while astronauts were walking on the moon. It is not clear to the SRP, however, why they fell. It is only possible to extrapolate from likely specific psychophysical or physiological abnormalities, but how these abnormalities were determined, and how they were directly responsible for the falls is unclear to the SRP. Section 2.1.2 on proprioception is very interesting, but the functional significance of the abnormalities detected is not clear. The SRP sees this as a problem throughout the report: a mapping between the component abnormalities identified and the holistic behaviors that are most relevant, for example, controlling the vehicle, and locomotion during egress, is generally lacking. The SRP thinks the cognitive section is too strongly focused on vestibular functioning. The SRP questions the notion that the main cognitive effects are mainly attributable to reversible vestibular changes induced by spaceflight. The SRP thinks that there can also
Chou, Howard H; Keasling, Jay D
The complexity inherent in biological systems challenges efforts to rationally engineer novel phenotypes, especially those not amenable to high-throughput screens and selections. In nature, increased mutation rates generate diversity in a population that can lead to the evolution of new phenotypes. Here we construct an adaptive control system that increases the mutation rate in order to generate diversity in the population, and decreases the mutation rate as the concentration of a target metabolite increases. This system is called feedback-regulated evolution of phenotype (FREP), and is implemented with a sensor to gauge the concentration of a metabolite and an actuator to alter the mutation rate. To evolve certain novel traits that have no known natural sensors, we develop a framework to assemble synthetic transcription factors using metabolic enzymes and construct four different sensors that recognize isopentenyl diphosphate in bacteria and yeast. We verify FREP by evolving increased tyrosine and isoprenoid production.
Mineo, Ludovico; Concerto, Carmen; Patel, Dhaval; Mayorga, Tyrone; Chusid, Eileen; Infortuna, Carmenrita; Aguglia, Eugenio; Sarraf, Yasmin; Battaglia, Fortunato
Autobiographical Memory (AM) retrieval refers to recollection of experienced past events. Previous Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that presentation of emotional negative stimuli affects human motor cortex excitability resulting in larger motor evoked potentials (MEPs). Up to date no TMS studies have been carried out in order to investigate the effect of personal memories with negative emotional value on corticospinal excitability. In this study we hypothesized that negative AM retrieval will modulate corticomotor excitability and sensorimotor integration as determined by TMS neurophysiological parameters. Furthermore, we investigated whether TMS responses during retrieval of negative AM are associated with specific personality traits. Twelve healthy subjects were asked to recall either a negative or a neutral AM across two different days in a randomized order. During this memory retrieval, the following TMS parameters were recorded: MEPs; Short- interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and Intracortical facilitation (ICF); Short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) and Long- latency afferent inhibition (LAI). Personality traits were assessed by using the Big Five scale. Statistical analysis was performed using factorial ANOVAs and multiple linear regression models. When compared to retrieval of neutral AM, recollection of negative AM induced a larger increase in MEP amplitude, an increase in ICF, and a decrease in SAI. The neuroticism personality trait was a significant predictor of the MEP amplitude increase during retrieval of negative AM. Altogether these results indicate that cortical excitability and sensorimotor integration are selectively modulated by the valence of AM. These results provide the first TMS evidence that the modulatory effect of the AM retrieval is associated with specific personality traits. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mundhada, Hemanshu; Seoane, Jose Miguel; Koza, Anna
The amino acid serine has previously been identified as one of the top 30 candidates of value added chemicals, making the production of serine from glucose attractive. Production of serine have previously been attempted in E. coli and C. glutamicum, however, titers sufficient for commercial...... by glyA), the conversion of serine to pyruvate (encoded by sdaA, sdaB and tdcG) was also deleted. As expected, the resulting strain turned out to be susceptible to even low concentrations of serine in the media. In order to improve the tolerance of the strain towards serine, adaptive laboratory evolution....... During the evolution experiment, the serine tolerance was increased substantially. Genome re-sequencing was subsequently used to analyze the genotype of a number of selected strains. These results reveal insights towards the adaptation process as well as the mechanism of serine tolerance....
Full Text Available Neurological disorders and physiological aging can lead to a decline of perceptual abilities. In contrast to the conventional therapeutic approach that comprises intensive training and practicing, passive repetitive sensory stimulation (RSS has recently gained increasing attention as an alternative to countervail the sensory decline by improving perceptual abilities without the need of active participation. A particularly effective type of high-frequency RSS, utilizing Hebbian learning principles, improves perceptual acuity as well as sensorimotor functions and has been successfully applied to treat chronic stroke patients and elderly subjects. High-frequency RSS has been shown to induce plastic changes of somatosensory cortex such as representational map reorganization, but its impact on the brain’s ongoing network activity and resting-state functional connectivity has not been investigated so far. Here, we applied high-frequency RSS in healthy human subjects and analyzed resting state Electroencephalography (EEG functional connectivity patterns before and after RSS by means of imaginary coherency (ImCoh, a frequency-specific connectivity measure which is known to reduce overestimation biases due to volume conduction and common reference. Thirty minutes of passive high-frequency RSS lead to significant ImCoh-changes of the resting state mu-rhythm in the individual upper alpha frequency band within distributed sensory and motor cortical areas. These stimulation induced distributed functional connectivity changes likely underlie the previously observed improvement in sensorimotor integration.
Conclusions: Interhemispheric functional connectivity in the sensorimotor and visual processing pathways was reduced in patients with schizophrenia, but this reduction was unrelated to the disease state; thus, this reduction may serve as a trait marker of schizophrenia.
Full Text Available Transmembrane protein 168 (TMEM168 comprises 697 amino acid residues, including some putative transmembrane domains. It is reported that TMEM168 controls methamphetamine (METH dependence in the nucleus accumbens (NAc of mice. Moreover, a strong link between METH dependence-induced adaptive changes in the brain and mood disorders has been evaluated. In the present study, we investigated the effects of accumbal TMEM168 in a battery of behavioral paradigms. The adeno-associated virus (AAV Tmem168 vector was injected into the NAc of C57BL/6J mice (NAc-TMEM mice. Subsequently, the accumbal TMEM168 mRNA was increased approximately by seven-fold when compared with the NAc-Mock mice (controls. The NAc-TMEM mice reported no change in the locomotor activity, cognitive ability, social interaction, and depression-like behaviors; however, TMEM168 overexpression enhanced anxiety in the elevated-plus maze and light/dark box test. The increased anxiety was reversed by pretreatment with the antianxiety drug diazepam (0.3 mg/kg i.p.. Moreover, the NAc-TMEM mice exhibited decreased prepulse inhibition (PPI in the startle response test, and the induced schizophrenia-like behavior was reversed by pretreatment with the antipsychotic drug risperidone (0.01 mg/kg i.p.. Furthermore, accumbal TMEM168 overexpression decreased the basal levels of extracellular GABA in the NAc and the high K+ (100 mM-stimulated GABA elevation; however, the total contents of GABA in the NAc remained unaffected. These results suggest that the TMEM168-regulated GABAergic neuronal system in the NAc might become a novel target while studying the etiology of anxiety and sensorimotor gating deficits.
Long duration spaceflight has been associated with detrimental alterations in human sensorimotor functioning. Prolonged exposure to a head-down tilt (HDT) position during long duration bed rest can resemble several effects of the microgravity environment such as reduced sensory inputs, body unloading and increased cephalic fluid distribution. The question of whether microgravity affects other central nervous system functions such as brain functional connectivity and its relationship with behavior is largely unknown, but of importance to the health and performance of astronauts both during and post-flight. In the present study, we investigate the effects of prolonged exposure to HDT bed rest on resting state brain functional connectivity and its association with behavioral changes in 17 male participants. To validate that our findings were not due to confounding factors such as time or task practice, we also acquired resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and behavioral measurements from 14 normative control participants at four time points. Bed rest participants remained in bed with their heads tilted down six degrees below their feet for 70 consecutive days. Rs-fMRI and behavioral data were obtained at seven time points averaging around: 12 and 8 days prior to bed rest; 7, 50, and 70 days during bed rest; and 8 and 12 days after bed rest. 70 days of HDT bed rest resulted in significant increases in functional connectivity during bed rest followed by a reversal of changes in the post bed rest recovery period between motor cortical and somatosensory areas of the brain. In contrast, decreases in connectivity were observed between temporoparietal regions. Furthermore, post-hoc correlation analyses revealed a significant relationship between motor-somatosensory network connectivity and standing balance performance changes; participants that exhibited the greatest increases in connectivity strength showed the least deterioration in postural
Canaveral, Cesar Augusto; Danion, Frédéric; Berrigan, Félix; Bernier, Pierre-Michel
Sensorimotor control requires an accurate estimate of the state of the body. The brain optimizes state estimation by combining sensory signals with predictions of the sensory consequences of motor commands using a forward model. Given that both sensory signals and predictions are uncertain (i.e., noisy), the brain optimally weights the relative reliance on each source of information during adaptation. In support, it is known that uncertainty in the sensory predictions influences the rate and generalization of visuomotor adaptation. We investigated whether uncertainty in the sensory predictions affects the retention of a new visuomotor relationship. This was done by exposing three separate groups to a visuomotor rotation whose mean was common at 15° counterclockwise but whose variance around the mean differed (i.e., SD of 0°, 3.2°, or 4.5°). Retention was assessed by measuring the persistence of the adapted behavior in a no-vision phase. Results revealed that mean reach direction late in adaptation was similar across groups, suggesting it depended mainly on the mean of exposed rotations and was robust to differences in variance. However, retention differed across groups, with higher levels of variance being associated with a more rapid reversion toward nonadapted behavior. A control experiment ruled out the possibility that differences in retention were accounted for by differences in success rates. Exposure to variable rotations may have increased the uncertainty in sensory predictions, making the adapted forward model more labile and susceptible to change or decay. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The brain predicts the sensory consequences of motor commands through a forward model. These predictions are subject to uncertainty. We use visuomotor adaptation and modulate uncertainty in the sensory predictions by manipulating the variance in exposed rotations. Results reveal that variance does not influence the final extent of adaptation but selectively impairs the retention of
Girard, Benoît; Guigon, Emmanuel
Sensorimotor synchronization is a fundamental skill involved in the performance of many artistic activities (e.g., music, dance). After a century of research, the manner in which the nervous system produces synchronized movements remains poorly understood. Typical rhythmic movements involve a motion and a motionless phase (dwell). The dwell phase represents a sizable fraction of the rhythm period, and scales with it. The rationale for this organization remains unexplained and is the object of this study. Twelve participants, four drummers (D) and eight nondrummers (ND), performed tapping movements paced at 0.5–2.5 Hz by a metronome. The participants organized their tapping behavior into dwell and movement phases according to two strategies: 1) Eight participants (1 D, 7 ND) maintained an almost constant ratio of movement time (MT) and dwell time (DT) irrespective of the metronome period. 2) Four participants increased the proportion of DT as the period increased. The temporal variabilities of both the dwell and movement phases were consistent with Weber's law, i.e., their variability increased with their durations, and the longest phase always exhibited the smallest variability. We developed an optimal statistical model that formalized the distribution of time into dwell and movement intervals as a function of their temporal variability. The model accurately predicted the participants' dwell and movement durations irrespective of their strategy and musical skill, strongly suggesting that the distribution of DT and MT results from an optimization process, dependent on each participant's skill to predict time during rest and movement. PMID:25878154
Full Text Available To comprehend the sensorimotor control ability in diabetic hands, this study investigated the sensation, motor function and precision pinch performances derived from a pinch-holding-up activity (PHUA test of the hands of diabetic patients and healthy subjects. The precision, sensitivity and specificity of the PHUA test in the measurements of diabetic patients were also analyzed. We hypothesized that the diabetic hands would have impacts on the sensorimotor functions of the hand performances under functionally quantitative measurements. One hundred and fifty-nine patients with clinically defined diabetes mellitus (DM and 95 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were included. Semmes-Weinstein monofilament (SWM, static and moving two-point discrimination (S2PD and M2PD, maximal pinch strength and precision pinch performance tests were conducted to evaluate the sensation, motor and sensorimotor status of the recruited hands. The results showed that there were significant differences (all p<0.05 in SWM, S2PD, M2PD and maximum pinch strength between the DM and control groups. A higher force ratio in the DM patients than in the controls (p<0.001 revealed a poor ability of pinch force adjustment in the DM patients. The percentage of maximal pinch strength was also significantly different (p<0.001 between the DM and control groups. The sensitivity, specificity and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve were 0.85, 0.51, and 0.724, respectively, for the PHUA test. Statistically significant degradations in sensory and motor functions and sensorimotor control ability were observed in the hands of the diabetic patients. The PHUA test could be feasibly used as a clinical tool to determine the sensorimotor function of the hands of diabetic patients from a functional perspective.
Jansen, Peter A.; Watter, Scott
Connectionist language modelling typically has difficulty with syntactic systematicity, or the ability to generalise language learning to untrained sentences. This work develops an unsupervised connectionist model of infant grammar learning. Following the semantic boostrapping hypothesis, the network distils word category using a developmentally plausible infant-scale database of grounded sensorimotor conceptual representations, as well as a biologically plausible semantic co-occurrence activation function. The network then uses this knowledge to acquire an early benchmark clausal grammar using correlational learning, and further acquires separate conceptual and grammatical category representations. The network displays strongly systematic behaviour indicative of the general acquisition of the combinatorial systematicity present in the grounded infant-scale language stream, outperforms previous contemporary models that contain primarily noun and verb word categories, and successfully generalises broadly to novel untrained sensorimotor grounded sentences composed of unfamiliar nouns and verbs. Limitations as well as implications to later grammar learning are discussed.
Tsang, William W N; Hui-Chan, Christina W Y
In addition to environmental factors, deteriorating sensorimotor control of balance will predispose older adults to falls. Understanding the aging effects on sensorimotor control of balance performance is important for designing fall prevention programs for older adults. How repeated practice of Tai Chi can improve limb joint proprioception, integration of neural signals in the central nervous system for balance control, and motor output at the level of knee muscles is discussed in this chapter. Our previous studies showed that elderly Tai Chi practitioners performed significantly better than elderly nonpractitioners in (1) knee joint proprioception, (2) reduced or conflicting sensory situations that demand more visual or vestibular contributions, (3) standing balance control after vestibular stimulation without visual input, (4) voluntary weight shifting in different directions within the base of support, (5) single-leg stance during perturbations of the support surface, and (6) knee extensor and flexor muscle strength. In a prospective study, we further showed that 4 weeks of daily Tai Chi practice but not general education produced significant improvement in balance performance. The requirements of Tai Chi for accurate joint positioning and weight transfer involving smooth coordination of neck, trunk, upper and lower limb movements, make it particularly useful for improving the sensorimotor control of balance in the elderly. Because Tai Chi can be practiced any time and anywhere, and is well accepted by older people in both the East and now the West, it is especially suited to be a key component of a low-costing community-based fall prevention program alongside with education about environmental factors.
McCoy, Sarah Westcott; Jirikowic, Tracy; Price, Robert; Ciol, Marcia A; Hsu, Lin-Ya; Dellon, Brian; Kartin, Deborah
Diminished sensory adaptation has been associated with poor balance control for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). A virtual reality system, Sensorimotor Training to Affect Balance, Engagement and Learning (STABEL), was developed to train sensory control for balance. The purpose of this study was to examine the STABEL system in children with FASD and children with typical development (TD) to (1) determine the feasibility of the STABEL system and (2) explore the immediate effects of the STABEL system on sensory attention and postural control. This is a technical report with observational study data. Eleven children with FASD and 11 children with TD, aged 8 to 16 years, completed 30 minutes of STABEL training. The children answered questions about their experience using STABEL. Sensory attention and postural control were measured pre- and post-STABEL training with the Multimodal Balance Entrainment Response system and compared using repeated-measures analysis of variance. All children engaged in game play and tolerated controlled sensory input during the STABEL protocol. Immediate effects post-STABEL training in both groups were increased postural sway velocity and some changes in entrainment gain. Children with FASD showed higher entrainment gain to vestibular stimuli. There were no significant changes in sensory attention fractions. The small sample size, dose of STABEL training, and exploratory statistical analyses are study limitations, but findings warrant larger systematic study to examine therapeutic effects. Children completed the training protocol, demonstrating the feasibility of the STABEL system. Differences in postural sway velocity post-STABEL training may have been affected by fatigue, warranting further investigation. Limited immediate effects suggest more practice is needed to affect sensory attention; however, entrainment gain changes suggest the STABEL system provoked vestibular responses during balance practice. © 2015
Vesicle trafficking systems play essential roles in the communication between the organelles of eukaryotic cells and also between cells and their environment. Endocytosis and the late secretory route are mediated by clathrin-coated vesicles, while the COat Protein I and II (COPI and COPII) routes stand for the bidirectional traffic between the ER and the Golgi apparatus. Despite similar fundamental organizations, the molecular machinery, functions, and evolutionary characteristics of the three systems are very different. In this work, we compiled the basic functional protein groups of the three main routes for human and yeast and analyzed them from the structural disorder perspective. We found similar overall disorder content in yeast and human proteins, confirming the well-conserved nature of these systems. Most functional groups contain highly disordered proteins, supporting the general importance of structural disorder in these routes, although some of them seem to heavily rely on disorder, while others do not. Interestingly, the clathrin system is significantly more disordered (∼23%) than the other two, COPI (∼9%) and COPII (∼8%). We show that this structural phenomenon enhances the inherent plasticity and increased evolutionary adaptability of the clathrin system, which distinguishes it from the other two routes. Since multi-functionality (moonlighting) is indicative of both plasticity and adaptability, we studied its prevalence in vesicle trafficking proteins and correlated it with structural disorder. Clathrin adaptors have the highest capability for moonlighting while also comprising the most highly disordered members. The ability to acquire tissue specific functions was also used to approach adaptability: clathrin route genes have the most tissue specific exons encoding for protein segments enriched in structural disorder and interaction sites. Overall, our results confirm the general importance of structural disorder in vesicle trafficking and
Catmur, Caroline; Heyes, Cecilia
Imitation is important in the development of social and technological skills throughout the lifespan. Experiments investigating the acquisition and modulation of imitation (and of its proposed neural substrate, the mirror neuron system) have produced evidence that the capacity for imitation depends on associative learning in which connections are formed between sensory and motor representations of actions. However, evidence that the development of imitation depends on associative learning has been found only for non-goal-directed actions. One reason for the lack of research on goal-directed actions is that imitation of such actions is commonly confounded with the tendency to respond in a spatially compatible manner. However, since the most prominent account of mirror neuron function, and hence of imitation, suggests that these cells encode goal-directed actions, it is important to establish whether sensorimotor learning can also modulate imitation of goal-directed actions. Experiment 1 demonstrated that imitation of goal-directed grasping can be measured while controlling for spatial compatibility, and Experiment 2 showed that this imitation effect can be modulated by sensorimotor training. Together these data support the hypothesis that the capacity for behavioural imitation, and the properties of the mirror neuron system, are constructed in the course of development through associative learning.
Full Text Available Aim of this study was to assess whether the ability to predict the temporal outcome of a sport action was influenced by the sensorimotor skills previously acquired during a specific sport training. Four groups, each of 30 subjects, were enrolled in this study; subjects of three groups practiced different sports disciplines (i.e., swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, and water polo at competitive level whilst the fourth group consisted of control subjects. Subjects were asked to observe a video showing a swimmer doing two laps in crawl style. This video was shown 36 times, and was occluded after variable intervals, randomized across trials, by a dark window that started 3, 6, and 12 s before the swimmer touched the poolside. During the occluded interval, subjects were asked to indicate when the swimmer touched the edge of the pool by clicking on any button of the laptop keyboard. We found that swimmers were more accurate than subjects performing other sports in temporally predicting the final outcome of the swimming task. Particularly, we observed a significant difference in absolute timing error that was lower in swimmers compared to other groups when they were asked to make a temporal prediction with the occluded interval of short duration (i.e., 3 s. Our findings demonstrate that the ability to extract temporal patterns of a motor action depends largely on the subjective expertise, suggesting that sport-acquired sensorimotor skills impact on the temporal representation of the previously observed action, allowing subjects to predict the time course of the action in absence of visual information.
Mysoet, Julien; Dupont, Erwan; Bastide, Bruno; Canu, Marie-Hélène
In the adult rat, sensorimotor restriction by hindlimb unloading (HU) is known to induce impairments in motor behavior as well as a disorganization of somatosensory cortex (shrinkage of the cortical representation of the hindpaw, enlargement of the cutaneous receptive fields, decreased cutaneous sensibility threshold). Recently, our team has demonstrated that IGF-1 level was decreased in the somatosensory cortex of rats submitted to a 14-day period of HU. To determine whether IGF-1 is involved in these plastic mechanisms, a chronic cortical infusion of this substance was performed by means of osmotic minipump. When administered in control rats, IGF-1 affects the size of receptive fields and the cutaneous threshold, but has no effect on the somatotopic map. In addition, when injected during the whole HU period, IGF-1 is interestingly implied in cortical changes due to hypoactivity: the shrinkage of somatotopic representation of hindlimb is prevented, whereas the enlargement of receptive fields is reduced. IGF-1 has no effect on the increase in neuronal response to peripheral stimulation. We also explored the functional consequences of IGF-1 level restoration on tactile sensory discrimination. In HU rats, the percentage of paw withdrawal after a light tactile stimulation was decreased, whereas it was similar to control level in HU-IGF-1 rats. Taken together, the data clearly indicate that IGF-1 plays a key-role in cortical plastic mechanisms and in behavioral alterations induced by a decrease in sensorimotor activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ipek Komsuoglu Celikyurt
Full Text Available Introduction: Prepulse inhibition (PPI is a measurable form of sensorimotor gating. Disruption of PPI reflects the impairment in the neural filtering process of mental functions that are related to the transformation of an external stimuli to a response. Impairment of PPI is reported in neuropsychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, Huntington′s disease, Parkinson′s diseases, Tourette syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, and temporal lobe epilepsy with psychosis. Absence epilepsy is the most common type of primary generalized epilepsy. Lamotrigine is an antiepileptic drug that is preferred in absence epilepsy and acts by stabilizing the voltage-gated sodium channels. Aim: In this study, we have compared WAG-Rij rats (genetically absence epileptic rats with Wistar rats, in order to clarify if there is a deficient sensorimotor gating in absence epilepsy, and have examined the effects of lamotrigine (15, 30 mg/kg, i.p. on this phenomenon. Materials and Methods: Depletion in PPI percent value is accepted as a disruption in sensory-motor filtration function. The difference between the Wistar and WAG/Rij rats has been evaluated with the student t test and the effects of lamotrigine on the PPI percent have been evaluated by the analysis of variance (ANOVA post-hoc Dunnett′s test. Results: The PPI percent was low in the WAG/Rij rats compared to the controls (P<0.0001, t:9,612. Although the PPI percent value of the control rats was not influenced by lamotrigine, the PPI percent value of the WAG/Rij rats was raised by lamotrigine treatment (P<0.0001, F:861,24. Conclusions: As a result of our study, PPI was disrupted in the WAG/Rij rats and this disruption could be reversed by an antiepileptic lamotrigine.
In a previous article, we reviewed empirical evidence demonstrating action-based effects on music perception to substantiate the musical embodiment thesis (Maes et al., 2014). Evidence was largely based on studies demonstrating that music perception automatically engages motor processes, or that body states/movements influence music perception. Here, we argue that more rigorous evidence is needed before any decisive conclusion in favor of a "radical" musical embodiment thesis can be posited. In the current article, we provide a focused review of recent research to collect further evidence for the "radical" embodiment thesis that music perception is a dynamic process firmly rooted in the natural disposition of sounds and the human auditory and motor system. Though, we emphasize that, on top of these natural dispositions, long-term processes operate, rooted in repeated sensorimotor experiences and leading to learning, prediction, and error minimization. This approach sheds new light on the development of musical repertoires, and may refine our understanding of action-based effects on music perception as discussed in our previous article (Maes et al., 2014). Additionally, we discuss two of our recent empirical studies demonstrating that music performance relies on similar principles of sensorimotor dynamics and predictive processing.
Full Text Available Motor control and adaptation are multi-determinate processes with complex interactions. This is reflected for example in the ambiguous nature of interactions during sequential adaptation of reaching under kinematics and dynamics perturbations. It has been suggested that perturbations based on the same kinematic parameter interfere. Others posited that opposing motor adjustments underlie interference. Here, we examined the influence of discordances in task and in motor adjustments on sequential adaptations to visuomotor rotation and viscous force field perturbations. These two factors – perturbation direction and task discordance – have been examined separately by previous studies, thus the inherent difficulty to identify the roots of interference. Forty-eight human subjects adapted sequentially to one or two types of perturbations, of matched or conflicting directions. We found a gradient of interaction effects based on perturbation direction and task discordance. Perturbations of matched directions showed facilitation while perturbations of opposite directions, which required opposing motor adjustments, interfered with each other. Further, interaction effects increased with greater task discordance. We also found that force field and visuomotor rotation had mutual anterograde and retrograde effects. However, we found independence between anterograde and retrograde interferences between similar tasks. The results suggest that the newly acquired internal models of kinematic and dynamic perturbations are not independent but they share common neuronal resources and interact between them. Such overlap does not necessarily imply competition of resources. Rather, our results point to an additional principle of sensorimotor adaptation allowing the system to tap or harness common features across diverse sensory inputs and task contexts whenever available.
Kohn, Florian P M; Ritzmann, Ramona
For decades it has been shown that acute changes in gravity have an effect on neuronal systems of human and animals on different levels, from the molecular level to the whole nervous system. The functional properties and gravity-dependent adaptations of these system levels have been investigated with no or barely any interconnection. This review summarizes the gravity-dependent adaptation processes in human and animal organisms from the in vitro cellular level with its biophysical properties to the in vivo motor responses and underlying sensorimotor functions of human subjects. Subsequently, a first model for short-term adaptation of neuronal transmission is presented and discussed for the first time, which integrates the responses of the different levels of organization to changes in gravity.
putation of both shins at level in top / 3, late beam buttock, right hip ulcers, a beam cataract of the III degree of both eyes, stabilized. The assessment of the efficiency of psychophysiological adaptation in dynamics with 2009 indicates emergence of prevalence of hypochondriac tendencies over a demonstration with accession of high uneasiness and autistic lines at preservation of the leading role of an hypochondriac somatization of alarm with considerable decrease in an emotionality, an integration, a freedom of behavior. The changes revealed in dynamics correspond to the specific increase weight of violations of mental adaptation, characteristic for the period of adaptation exhaustion. The high intelligence, good figurative and logical thinking, well-mannered forms of behavior, high control over the emotional sphere, restraint of emotions, independence, self-sufficiency, organization, behavior taking into account environment requirements provided the patient M. firmness before a heavy illness, promoted good adaptation to an environment with confidence in myself, high social adaptability, opportunity successfully to carry out duties, hold the work account (worked 39 years after accident. Comparative assessment of operator ability of the patient M. showed good average time of common and difficult sensorimotor reactions with 2 mistakes, high time of reaction for moving object, however decrease in accuracy of reaction from 10-13% to 2% testifies to manifestation in dynamics of insufficiency of real functional reserves of nervous system. Conclusions. Efficiency of psychophysiological adaptation depends not only on a dose of radiation and weight of the transferred disease, but, mostly, on premorbid properties of the identity of the victim and his social and labor installation.
INTRODUCTION Testing of crew responses following long-duration flights has not been previously possible until a minimum of more than 24 hours after landing. As a result, it has not been possible to determine the trend of the early recovery process, nor has it been possible to accurately assess the full impact of the decrements associated with long-duration flight. To overcome these limitations, both the Russian and U.S. programs have implemented joint testing at the Soyuz landing site. This International Space Station research effort has been identified as the functional Field Test, and represents data collect on NASA, Russian, European Space Agency, and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency crews. RESEARCH The primary goal of this research is to determine functional abilities associated with long-duration space flight crews beginning as soon after landing as possible on the day of landing (typically within 1 to 1.5 hours). This goal has both sensorimotor and cardiovascular elements. To date, a total of 15 subjects have participated in a 'pilot' version of the full 'field test'. The full version of the 'field test' will assess functional sensorimotor measurements included hand/eye coordination, standing from a seated position (sit-to-stand), walking normally without falling, measurement of dynamic visual acuity, discriminating different forces generated with the hands (both strength and ability to judge just noticeable differences of force), standing from a prone position, coordinated walking involving tandem heel-to-toe placement (tested with eyes both closed and open), walking normally while avoiding obstacles of differing heights, and determining postural ataxia while standing (measurement of quiet stance). Sensorimotor performance has been obtained using video records, and data from body worn inertial sensors. The cardiovascular portion of the investigation has measured blood pressure and heart rate during a timed stand test in conjunction with postural ataxia
Lange-Maia, B. S.; Cauley, J A; Newman, Anne B
We determined whether sensorimotor peripheral nerve (PN) function was associated with physical activity (PA) in older men. The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study Pittsburgh, PA, site (n = 328, age 78.8 ± 4.7 years) conducted PN testing, including: peroneal motor and sural sensory nerve conduction...... (latencies, amplitudes: CMAP and SNAP for motor and sensory amplitude, respectively), 1.4g/10g monoflament (dorsum of the great toe), and neuropathy symptoms. ANOVA and multivariate linear regression modeled PN associations with PA (Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly [PASE] and SenseWear Armband). After...
Full Text Available The ability to decode an individual's intentions in real time has long been a 'holy grail' of research on human volition. For example, a reliable method could be used to improve scientific study of voluntary action by allowing external probe stimuli to be delivered at different moments during development of intention and action. Several Brain Computer Interface applications have used motor imagery of repetitive actions to achieve this goal. These systems are relatively successful, but only if the intention is sustained over a period of several seconds; much longer than the timescales identified in psychophysiological studies for normal preparation for voluntary action. We have used a combination of sensorimotor rhythms and motor imagery training to decode intentions in a single-trial cued-response paradigm similar to those used in human and non-human primate motor control research. Decoding accuracy of over 0.83 was achieved with twelve participants. With this approach, we could decode intentions to move the left or right hand at sub-second timescales, both for instructed choices instructed by an external stimulus and for free choices generated intentionally by the participant. The implications for volition are considered.
Kirsch, Louise P; Cross, Emily S
Understanding how action perception, embodiment, and emotion interact is essential for advancing knowledge about how we perceive and interact with each other in a social world. One tool that has proved particularly useful in the past decade for exploring the relationship between perception, action, and affect is dance. Dance is, in its essence, a rich and multisensory art form that can be used to help answer not only basic questions about social cognition but also questions concerning how aging shapes the relationship between action perception, and the role played by affect, emotion, and aesthetics in social perception. In the present study, we used a 1-week physical and visual dance training paradigm to instill varying degrees of sensorimotor experience among non-dancers from three distinct age groups (early adolescents, young adults, and older adults). Our aim was to begin to build an understanding of how aging influences the relationship between action embodiment and affective (or aesthetic) value, at both brain and behavioral levels. On balance, our results point toward a similar positive effect of sensorimotor training on aesthetic evaluations across the life span on a behavioral level, but to rather different neural substrates supporting implicit aesthetic judgment of dance movements at different life stages. Taken together, the present study contributes valuable first insights into the relationship between sensorimotor experience and affective evaluations across ages, and underscores the utility of dance as a stimulus and training intervention for addressing key questions relevant to human neuroscience as well as the arts and humanities. © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Simon, Anja; Bock, Otmar
Visuomotor adaptation declines in older age. This has been attributed to cognitive impairments. One relevant cognitive function could be creativity, since creativity is implicated as mediator of early learning. The present study therefore evaluates whether two aspects of creativity, divergent and convergent thinking, are differentially involved in the age-dependent decline of visuomotor adaptation. In 25 young and 24 older volunteers, divergent thinking was assessed by the alternative-uses-task (AUT), convergent thinking by the Intelligenz-Struktur-Test-2000 (IST), and sensorimotor-adaptation by a pointing task with 60° rotated visual feedback. Young participants outperformed older participants in all three tasks. AUT scores were positively associated with young but not older participants' adaptive performance, whereas IST scores were negatively associated with older but not young participants' adaptive performance. This pattern of findings could be attributed to a consistent relationship between AUT, IST and adaptation; taking this into account, adaptation deficits of older participants were no longer significant. We conclude that divergent thinking supports workaround-strategies during adaptation, but doesn't influence visuomotor recalibration. Furthermore, the decay of divergent thinking in older adults may explain most of age-related decline of adaptive strategies. When the age-related decay of divergent thinking coincides with well-preserved convergent thinking, adaptation suffers most. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Verma, M.; Diffenbaugh, N. S.; Hertel, T. W.
In absence of of new crop varieties or significant shifts in the geography of corn production, US national corn yields variation could double by the year 2040 as a result of climate change and without adaptation this could lead the variability in US corn prices to quadruple (Diffenbaugh et al. 2012). In addition to climate induced price changes, analysis of recent commodity price spikes suggests that interventionist trade policies are partly to blame. Assuming we cannot much influence the future climate outcome, what policies can we undertake to adapt better? Can we use markets to blunt this edge? Diffenbaugh et al. find that sale of corn- ethanol for use in liquid fuel, when governed by quotas such as US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), could make US corn prices even more variable; in contrast the same food-fuel market link (we refer to it as intersectoral link) may well dampen price volatility when the sale of corn to ethanol industry is driven by higher future oil prices. The latter however comes at the cost of exposing corn prices to the greater volatility in oil markets. Similarly intervention in corn trade can make US corn prices less or more volatile by distorting international corn price transmission. A negative US corn yield shock shows that domestic corn supply falls and domestic prices to go up irrespective of whether or not markets are integrated. How much the prices go up depends on how much demand adjusts to accommodate the supply shock. Based on the forgoing analysis, one should expect that demand would adjust more readily when markets are integrated and therefore reduce the resulting price fluctuation. Simulation results confirm this response of corn markets. In terms of relative comparisons however a policy driven intersectoral integration is least effective and prices rise much more. Similarly, a positive world oil price shock makes the US oil imports expensive and with oil being used to produce gasoline blends, it increases the price of gasoline
Barbosa, Nubia E; Forero, Sandra M; Galeano, Claudia P; Hernández, Edgar D; Landinez, Nancy S; Sunnerhagen, Katharina S; Alt Murphy, Margit
Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) is the most widely used and recommended clinical scale for evaluation of sensorimotor impairment post stroke, but an official Spanish version is not available today. This study aimed to establish methodological structure for translation and cultural adaptation process and perform a transcultural validation of the upper and lower extremity FMA to Colombian Spanish. Procedures included forward and backward translation, step-wise reviewing by bilingual and professional experts to ensure conceptual and semantic equivalence. Validation included a pilot evaluation of item-level agreement on 10 individuals with stroke at the Central Military Hospital of Colombia. Comprehensive step-wise procedure for transcultural validation was established. Low agreement (less than 70%) was detected for items assessing arm movements within synergies and for coordination/speed subscale. All points of disagreement were systematically reviewed and agreed upon when drafting the final version of the Spanish FMA. Use of FMA will allow unified description of stroke severity and motor recovery in Spanish speaking countries. This will open up possibility to compare stroke and rehabilitation outcomes with other countries and regions world-wide. Comprehensive methodological procedures provided can facilitate introduction of well-established clinical scales in other languages. Implications for Rehabilitation The Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) of upper and lower extremity is the most used and recommended clinical scale for evaluation of sensorimotor impairment after stroke. The Spanish version of FMA, validated in this study, is now first time available for use in research and clinical practice. Use of FMA will allow unified description of stroke severity and motor recovery in Spanish speaking countries, which in turn opens up possibility to compare stroke and rehabilitation outcomes with other countries and regions world-wide.
Talbot, Darren A; Duchamp, Claude; Rey, Benjamin; Hanuise, Nicolas; Rouanet, Jean Louis; Sibille, Brigitte; Brand, Martin D
Juvenile king penguins develop adaptive thermogenesis after repeated immersion in cold water. However, the mechanisms of such metabolic adaptation in birds are unknown, as they lack brown adipose tissue and uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1), which mediate adaptive non-shivering thermogenesis in mammals. We used three different groups of juvenile king penguins to investigate the mitochondrial basis of avian adaptive thermogenesis in vitro. Skeletal muscle mitochondria isolated from penguins that had never been immersed in cold water showed no superoxide-stimulated proton conductance, indicating no functional avian UCP. Skeletal muscle mitochondria from penguins that had been either experimentally immersed or naturally adapted to cold water did possess functional avian UCP, demonstrated by a superoxide-stimulated, GDP-inhibitable proton conductance across their inner membrane. This was associated with a markedly greater abundance of avian UCP mRNA. In the presence (but not the absence) of fatty acids, these mitochondria also showed a greater adenine nucleotide translocase-catalysed proton conductance than those from never-immersed penguins. This was due to an increase in the amount of adenine nucleotide translocase. Therefore, adaptive thermogenesis in juvenile king penguins is linked to two separate mechanisms of uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle mitochondria: increased proton transport activity of avian UCP (dependent on superoxide and inhibited by GDP) and increased proton transport activity of the adenine nucleotide translocase (dependent on fatty acids and inhibited by carboxyatractylate).
Highfield, Linda; Hartman, Marieke A.; Mullen, Patricia Dolan; Rodriguez, Serena A.; Fernandez, Maria E.; Bartholomew, L. Kay
This paper describes and demonstrates the use of the systematic planning process, Intervention Mapping, to adapt an evidence-based public health intervention (EBI). We used a simplified version of Intervention Mapping (IM Adapt) to increase an intervention's fit with a new setting and population. IM Adapt guides researchers and practitioners in selecting an EBI, making decisions about whether and what to adapt, and executing the adaptation while guarding the EBI's essential elements (those re...
Heiniger, Louise; Price, Melanie A; Charles, Margaret; Butow, Phyllis N
Little is known about the process of psychosocial adaptation to familial risk in tested and untested individuals at increased familial risk of cancer. This paper presents findings from a qualitative study of 36 women participating in the Kathleen Cuningham Consortium for Research into Familial Breast cancer (kConFab) Psychosocial study. Facilitators and challenges in psychosocial adaptation were identified through semi-structured interviews. The women, who were either tested (carriers or non-carriers of breast cancer susceptibility mutations) or untested (ineligible for testing or eligible but delayed or declined testing), described personal, support network and healthcare characteristics that impacted on the adaptation process. Challenges in one domain could be overcome by facilitators in other domains and key differences relating to whether women had undergone testing, or not, were identified. Tested and untested women with an increased familial risk of breast cancer may benefit from support tailored to their mutation testing status in order to enhance adaptation.
Fourneau, Julie; Canu, Marie-Hélène; Cieniewski-Bernard, Caroline; Bastide, Bruno; Dupont, Erwan
In human, a chronic sensorimotor perturbation (SMP) through prolonged body immobilization alters motor task performance through a combination of peripheral and central factors. Studies performed on a rat model of SMP have shown biomolecular changes and a reorganization of sensorimotor cortex through events such as morphological modifications of dendritic spines (number, length, functionality). However, underlying mechanisms are still unclear. It is well known that phosphorylation regulates a wide field of synaptic activity leading to neuroplasticity. Another post-translational modification that interplays with phosphorylation is O-GlcNAcylation. This atypical glycosylation, reversible and dynamic, is involved in essential cellular and physiological processes such as synaptic activity, neuronal morphogenesis, learning and memory. We examined potential roles of phosphorylation/O-GlcNAcylation interplay in synaptic plasticity within rat sensorimotor cortex after a SMP period. For this purpose, sensorimotor cortex synaptosomes were separated by sucrose gradient, in order to isolate a subcellular compartment enriched in proteins involved in synaptic functions. A period of SMP induced plastic changes at the pre- and postsynaptic levels, characterized by a reduction of phosphorylation (synapsin1, AMPAR GluA2) and expression (synaptophysin, PSD-95, AMPAR GluA2) of synaptic proteins, as well as a decrease in MAPK/ERK42 activation. Expression levels of OGT/OGA enzymes was unchanged but we observed a specific reduction of synapsin1 O-GlcNAcylation in sensorimotor cortex synaptosomes. The synergistic regulation of synapsin1 phosphorylation/O-GlcNAcylation could affect presynaptic neurotransmitter release. Associated with other pre- and postsynaptic changes, synaptic efficacy could be impaired in somatosensory cortex of SMP rat. Thus, synapsin1 O-GlcNAcylation/phosphorylation interplay also appears to be involved in this synaptic plasticity by finely regulating neural activity
Sako, Wataru; Abe, Takashi; Izumi, Yuishin; Yamazaki, Hiroki; Matsui, Naoko; Harada, Masafumi; Kaji, Ryuji
Previous studies failed to detect reduced value of the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) derived from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging in the primary motor cortex in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) though primary motor cortex was mainly affected with ALS. We aimed to investigate the cause of masking the abnormality in the primary motor cortex in ALS and usefulness of ALFF for differential diagnosis among diseases showing muscle weakness. We enrolled ten patients with ALS and eleven disease controls showing muscle weakness. Voxel-wise analysis revealed that significant reduction of ALFF value was present in the right sensorimotor cortex in ALS. There was a significant negative correlation between ALFF value in the right sensorimotor cortex and fractional anisotropy (FA) value in the posterior limbs of the internal capsule (PLIC). For a diagnostic tool, the area under receiver operating characteristic curve improved if the ALS patients with disease duration >1 year were excluded. The present findings raised the possibility of usefulness of ALFF value in the sensorimotor cortex for differential diagnosis of ALS, and supported the notion that adjustment for FA value in the PLIC could improve accuracy.
Davison, J.E.; Graumlich, L.J.; Rowland, E.L.; Pederson, G.T.; Breshears, D.D.
Human-driven changes in the global environment pose an increasingly urgent challenge for the management of ecosystems that is made all the more difficult by the uncertain future of both environmental conditions and ecological responses. Land managers need strategies to increase regional adaptive capacity, but relevant and rapid assessment approaches are lacking. To address this need, we developed a method to assess regional protected area networks across biophysically important climatic gradients often linked to biodiversity and ecosystem function. We plot the land of the southwestern United States across axes of historical climate space, and identify landscapes that may serve as strategic additions to current protected area portfolios. Considering climate space is straightforward, and it can be applied using a variety of relevant climate parameters across differing levels of land protection status. The resulting maps identify lands that are climatically distinct from existing protected areas, and may be utilized in combination with other ecological and socio-economic information essential to collaborative landscape-scale decision-making. Alongside other strategies intended to protect species of special concern, natural resources, and other ecosystem services, the methods presented herein provide another important hedging strategy intended to increase the adaptive capacity of protected area networks. ?? 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Panarese, Alessandro; Edin, Benoni B; Vecchi, Fabrizio; Carrozza, Maria C; Johansson, Roland S
Tactile sensory feedback is essential for dexterous object manipulation. Users of hand myoelectric prostheses without tactile feedback must depend essentially on vision to control their device. Indeed, improved tactile feedback is one of their main priorities. Previous research has provided evidence that conveying tactile feedback can improve prostheses control, although additional effort is required to solve problems related to pattern recognition learning, unpleasant sensations, sensory adaptation, and low spatiotemporal resolution. Still, these studies have mainly focused on providing stimulation to hairy skin regions close to the amputation site, i.e., usually to the upper arm. Here, we explored the possibility to provide tactile feedback to the glabrous skin of toes, which have mechanical and neurophysiological properties similar to the fingertips. We explored this paradigm in a grasp-and-lift task, in which healthy participants controlled two opposing digits of a robotic hand by changing the spacing of their index finger and thumb. The normal forces applied by the robotic fingertips to a test object were fed back to the right big and second toe. We show that within a few lifting trials, all the participants incorporated the force feedback received by the foot in their sensorimotor control of the robotic hand.
Full Text Available Uwe Wollina Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Academic Teaching Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Dresden, Germany Abstract: Polycythemia vera is a rare myeloproliferative disease. Cutaneous symptoms are uncommon. We report about a 72-year-old female patient with JAK2V617F-positive polycythemia who developed peripheral sensorimotor axonal neuropathy and erythromelalgia. Possible causes and treatment are discussed. Keywords: bone marrow diseases, myeloproliferative diseases, JAK2 mutations, burning sensations, peripheral neuropathy
Hubsch, Cecile; Roze, Emmanuel; Popa, Traian; Russo, Margherita; Balachandran, Ammu; Pradeep, Salini; Mueller, Florian; Brochard, Vanessa; Quartarone, Angelo; Degos, Bertrand; Vidailhet, Marie; Kishore, Asha
A large body of evidence points to a role of basal ganglia dysfunction in the pathophysiology of dystonia, but recent studies indicate that cerebellar dysfunction may also be involved. The cerebellum influences sensorimotor adaptation by modulating sensorimotor plasticity of the primary motor cortex. Motor cortex sensorimotor plasticity is maladaptive in patients with writer’s cramp. Here we examined whether putative cerebellar dysfunction in dystonia is linked to these patients’ maladaptive plasticity. To that end we compared the performances of patients and healthy control subjects in a reaching task involving a visuomotor conflict generated by imposing a random deviation (−40° to 40°) on the direction of movement of the mouse/cursor. Such a task is known to involve the cerebellum. We also compared, between patients and healthy control subjects, how the cerebellum modulates the extent and duration of an ongoing sensorimotor plasticity in the motor cortex. The cerebellar cortex was excited or inhibited by means of repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation before artificial sensorimotor plasticity was induced in the motor cortex by paired associative stimulation. Patients with writer’s cramp were slower than the healthy control subjects to reach the target and, after having repeatedly adapted their trajectories to the deviations, they were less efficient than the healthy control subjects to perform reaching movement without imposed deviation. It was interpreted as impaired washing-out abilities. In healthy subjects, cerebellar cortex excitation prevented the paired associative stimulation to induce a sensorimotor plasticity in the primary motor cortex, whereas cerebellar cortex inhibition led the paired associative stimulation to be more efficient in inducing the plasticity. In patients with writer’s cramp, cerebellar cortex excitation and inhibition were both ineffective in modulating sensorimotor plasticity. In patients with writer’s cramp, but not
Reichert, Johanna L.; Kober, Silvia E.; Schweiger, Daniela; Grieshofer, Peter; Neuper, Christa; Wood, Guilherme
Introduction: Neurofeedback training aims at learning self-regulation of brain activity underlying cognitive, emotional or physiological functions. Despite of promising investigations on neurofeedback as a tool for cognitive rehabilitation in neurological diseases, such as after stroke, there is still a lack of research on feasibility and efficiency of neurofeedback in this field. Methods: The present study aimed at investigating behavioral and electrophysiological effects of 10 sessions of sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) neurofeedback in a 74-years-old stroke patient (UG20). Based on previous results in healthy young participants, we hypothesized that SMR neurofeedback leads to a decrease in sensorimotor interferences and improved stimulus processing, reflected by changes in event-related potentials (ERPs) and electrophysiological coherence. To assess whether UG20 benefited from the training as much as healthy persons of a similar age, a healthy control group of N = 10 elderly persons was trained as well. Before and after neurofeedback training, participants took part in a multichannel electroencephalography measurement conducted during a non-verbal and a verbal learning task. Results: Both UG20 and the healthy controls were able to regulate their SMR activity during neurofeedback training. Moreover, in a non-verbal learning task, changes in ERPs and coherence were observed after training: UG20 showed a better performance in the non-verbal learning task and a higher P3 amplitude after training than before, and coherence between central and parietal electrodes decreased after training. The control group also showed a behavioral improvement in the non-verbal learning task and tendencies for higher P3 amplitudes and decreased central-parietal coherence after training. Single-case analyses indicated that the changes observed in UG20 were not smaller than the changes in healthy controls. Conclusion: Neurofeedback can be successfully applied in a stroke patient and in healthy
Johanna Louise Reichert
Full Text Available Introduction: Neurofeedback training aims at learning self-regulation of brain activity underlying cognitive, emotional or physiological functions. Despite of promising investigations on neurofeedback as a tool for cognitive rehabilitation in neurological diseases, such as after stroke, there is still a lack of research on feasibility and efficiency of neurofeedback in this field. Methods: The present study aimed at investigating behavioral and electrophysiological effects of 10 sessions of sensorimotor rhythm (SMR neurofeedback in a 74-year-old stroke patient (UG20. Based on previous results in healthy young participants, we hypothesized that SMR neurofeedback leads to a decrease in sensorimotor interferences and improved stimulus processing, reflected by changes in event-related potentials and electrophysiological coherence. To assess whether UG20 benefited from the training as much as healthy persons of a similar age, a healthy control group of N = 10 elderly persons was trained as well. Before and after neurofeedback training, participants took part in a multichannel EEG measurement conducted during a nonverbal and a verbal learning task. Results: Both UG20 and the healthy controls were able to regulate their SMR activity during neurofeedback training. Moreover, in a nonverbal learning task, changes in event-related potentials and coherence were observed after training: UG20 showed a better performance in the nonverbal learning task and a higher P3 amplitude after training than before, and coherence between central and parietal electrodes decreased after training. The control group also showed a behavioral improvement in the nonverbal learning task and tendencies for higher P3 amplitudes and decreased central-parietal coherence after training. Single-case analyses indicated that the changes observed in UG20 were not smaller than the changes in healthy controls. Conclusions: Neurofeedback can be successfully applied in a stroke patient and in
Livia J. De Picker
Full Text Available Objective: To compare sensorimotor performance and learning in stable schizophrenia patients, healthy age- and sex-matched controls and elderly controls on two variations of the Rotary Pursuit: Circle Pursuit (true motor learning and Figure Pursuit (motor and sequence learning.Method: In the Circle Pursuit a target circle, rotating with increasing speed along a predictable circular path on the computer screen, must be followed by a cursor controlled by a pen on a writing tablet. In the eight-trial Figure Pursuit, subjects learn to draw a complex figure by pursuing the target circle that moves along an invisible trajectory between and around several goals. Tasks were administered thrice (day 1, day 2, day 7 to 30 patients with stable schizophrenia (S, 30 healthy age- and sex-matched controls (C and 30 elderly participants (>65y; E and recorded with a digitizing tablet and pressure-sensitive pen. The outcome measure accuracy (% of time that cursor is within the target was used to assess performance.Results: We observed significant group differences in accuracy, both in Circle and Figure Pursuit tasks (E
sensorimotor performance that was found in the schizophrenia patients their sensorimotor learning seems to be preserved. The relevance of this finding for the evaluation of procedural learning in schizophrenia is discussed. The better performance and learning rate of the patients compared to the elderly controls was unexpected and deserves further study.
Lalonde, R; Strazielle, C
Homozygous Dab1(scm) mouse mutants with cell ectopias in cerebellar cortex and neocortex were compared with non-ataxic controls on two tests of motor coordination: rotorod and grid climbing. Even at the minimal speed of 4 rpm and unlike controls, none of the Dab1(scm) mutants reached criterion on the constant speed rotorod. In contrast, Dab1(scm) mutants improved their performances on the vertical grid over the course of the same number of trials. Thus, despite massive cerebellar degeneration, sensorimotor learning for equilibrium is still possible, indicating the potential usefulness of the grid-climbing test in determining residual functions in mice with massive cerebellar damage. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Singh, Tarkeshwar; S K M, Varadhan; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L
We tested a hypothesis that fatigue of an element (a finger) leads to an adaptive neural strategy that involves an increase in force variability in the other finger(s) and an increase in co-variation of commands to fingers to keep total force variability relatively unchanged. We tested this hypothesis using a system with small redundancy (two fingers) and a marginally redundant system (with an additional constraint related to the total moment of force produced by the fingers, unstable condition). The subjects performed isometric accurate rhythmic force production tasks by the index (I) finger and two fingers (I and middle, M) pressing together before and after a fatiguing exercise by the I finger. Fatigue led to a large increase in force variance in the I-finger task and a smaller increase in the IM-task. We quantified two components of variance in the space of hypothetical commands to fingers, finger modes. Under both stable and unstable conditions, 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. This resulted in an increase in an index of the force-stabilizing synergy. These results indicate that marginal redundancy is sufficient to allow the central nervous system to use adaptive increase in variability to shield important variables from effects of fatigue. We offer an interpretation of these results based on a recent development of the equilibrium-point hypothesis known as the referent configuration hypothesis. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keijzer, Fred; Arnellos, Argyris
Godfrey-Smith's environmental complexity thesis (ECT) is most often applied to multicellular animals and the complexity of their macroscopic environments to explain how cognition evolved. We think that the ECT may be less suited to explain the origins of the animal bodily organization, including this organization's potentiality for dealing with complex macroscopic environments. We argue that acquiring the fundamental sensorimotor features of the animal body may be better explained as a consequence of dealing with internal bodily-rather than environmental complexity. To press and elucidate this option, we develop the notion of an animal sensorimotor organization (ASMO) that derives from an internal coordination account for the evolution of early nervous systems. The ASMO notion is a reply to the question how a collection of single cells can become integrated such that the resulting multicellular organization becomes sensitive to and can manipulate macroscopic features of both the animal body and its environment. In this account, epithelial contractile tissues play the central role in the organization behind complex animal bodies. In this paper, we relate the ASMO concept to recent work on epithelia, which provides empirical evidence that supports central assumptions behind the ASMO notion. Second, we discuss to what extent the notion applies to basic animal architectures, exemplified by sponges and jellyfish. We conclude that the features exhibited by the ASMO are plausibly explained by internal constraints acting on and within this multicellular organization, providing a challenge for the role the ECT plays in this context.
Vecchiato, Giovanni; Tieri, Gaetano; Jelic, Andrea; De Matteis, Federico; Maglione, Anton G; Babiloni, Fabio
Nowadays there is the hope that neuroscientific findings will contribute to the improvement of building design in order to create environments which satisfy man's demands. This can be achieved through the understanding of neurophysiological correlates of architectural perception. To this aim, the electroencephalographic (EEG) signals of 12 healthy subjects were recorded during the perception of three immersive virtual reality environments (VEs). Afterwards, participants were asked to describe their experience in terms of Familiarity, Novelty, Comfort, Pleasantness, Arousal, and Presence using a rating scale from 1 to 9. These perceptual dimensions are hypothesized to influence the pattern of cerebral spectral activity, while Presence is used to assess the realism of the virtual stimulation. Hence, the collected scores were used to analyze the Power Spectral Density (PSD) of the EEG for each behavioral dimension in the theta, alpha and mu bands by means of time-frequency analysis and topographic statistical maps. Analysis of Presence resulted in the activation of the frontal-midline theta, indicating the involvement of sensorimotor integration mechanisms when subjects expressed to feel more present in the VEs. Similar patterns also characterized the experience of familiar and comfortable VEs. In addition, pleasant VEs increased the theta power across visuomotor circuits and activated the alpha band in areas devoted to visuospatial exploration and processing of categorical spatial relations. Finally, the de-synchronization of the mu rhythm described the perception of pleasant and comfortable VEs, showing the involvement of left motor areas and embodied mechanisms for environment appreciation. Overall, these results show the possibility to measure EEG correlates of architectural perception involving the cerebral circuits of sensorimotor integration, spatial navigation, and embodiment. These observations can help testing architectural hypotheses in order to design
M. Yulmetyev, Renat; Emelyanova, Natalya; Hänggi, Peter; Gafarov, Fail; Prokhorov, Alexander
In this paper, the non-Markov statistical processes and long-range memory effects in human sensorimotor coordination are investigated. The theoretical basis of this study is the statistical theory of non-stationary discrete non-Markov processes in complex systems (Phys. Rev. E 62, 6178 (2000)). The human sensorimotor coordination was experimentally studied by means of standard dynamical tapping test on the group of 32 young peoples with tap numbers up to 400. This test was carried out separately for the right and the left hand according to the degree of domination of each brain hemisphere. The numerical analysis of the experimental results was made with the help of power spectra of the initial time correlation function, the memory functions of low orders and the first three points of the statistical spectrum of non-Markovity parameter. Our observations demonstrate, that with the regard to results of the standard dynamic tapping-test it is possible to divide all examinees into five different dynamic types. We have introduced the conflict coefficient to estimate quantitatively the order-disorder effects underlying life systems. The last one reflects the existence of disbalance between the nervous and the motor human coordination. The suggested classification of the neurophysiological activity represents the dynamic generalization of the well-known neuropsychological types and provides the new approach in a modern neuropsychology.
Steven T Moore
Full Text Available Performance on a visuomotor task in the presence of novel vestibular stimulation was assessed in nine healthy subjects. Four subjects had previously been adapted to 120 minutes exposure to noisy Galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS over 12 weekly sessions of 10 minutes; the remaining five subjects had never experienced GVS. Subjects were seated in a flight simulator and asked to null the roll motion of a visual bar presented on a screen using a joystick. Both the visual bar and the simulator cabin were moving in roll with a pseudorandom (sum of sines waveform that were uncorrelated. The cross correlation coefficient, which ranges from 1 (identical waveforms to 0 (unrelated waveforms, was calculated for the ideal (perfect nulling of bar motion and actual joystick input waveform for each subject. The cross correlation coefficient for the GVS-adapted group (0.90 [SD 0.04] was significantly higher (t=3.162; p=0.013 than the control group (0.82 [SD 0.04], suggesting that prior adaptation to GVS was associated with an enhanced ability to perform the visuomotor task in the presence of novel vestibular noise.
Sheridan, R.; Rooijen, M. van; Giles, O.; Mushtaq, F.; Steenbergen, B.; Mon-Williams, M.; Waterman, A.H.
Mathematics is often conducted with a writing implement. But is there a relationship between numerical processing and sensorimotor 'pen' control? We asked participants to move a stylus so it crossed an unmarked line at a location specified by a symbolic number (1-9), where number colour indicated
Harm, D. L.; Taylor, L. C.
Two critical and unresolved human factors issues in VR systems are: 1) potential "cybersickness", a form of motion sickness which is experienced in virtual worlds, and 2) maladaptive sensorimotor performance following exposure to VR systems. Interestingly, these aftereffects are often quite similar to adaptive sensorimotor responses observed in astronauts during and/or following space flight. Most astronauts and cosmonauts experience perceptual and sensorimotor disturbances during and following space flight. All astronauts exhibit decrements in postural control following space flight. It has been suggested that training in virtual reality (VR) may be an effective countermeasure for minimizing perceptual and/or sensorimotor disturbances. People adapt to consistent, sustained alterations of sensory input such as those produced by microgravity, and experimentally-produced stimulus rearrangements (e.g., reversing prisms, magnifying lenses, flight simulators, and VR systems). Adaptation is revealed by aftereffects including perceptual disturbances and sensorimotor control disturbances. The purpose of the current study was to compare disturbances in postural control produced by dome and head-mounted virtual environment displays. Individuals recovered from motion sickness and the detrimental effects of exposure to virtual reality on postural control within one hour. Sickness severity and initial decrements in postural equilibrium decreases over days, which suggests that subjects become dual-adapted over time. These findings provide some direction for developing training schedules for VR users that facilitate adaptation, and address safety concerns about aftereffects.
Full Text Available The sensorimotor system (SMS plays an important role in sports and in every day movement. Several tools for assessment and training have been designed. Many of them are directed to specific populations, and have major shortcomings due to the training effect or safety. The aim of the present study was to design and assess a dynamic sensorimotor test and training device that can be adjusted for all levels of performance. The novel pneumatic-driven mechatronic device can guide the trainee, allow independent movements or disrupt the individual with unpredicted perturbations while standing on a platform. The test-reliability was evaluated using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC. Subjects were required to balance their center of pressure (COP in a target circle (TITC. The time in TITC and the COP error (COPe were recorded for analysis. The results of 22 males and 14 females (23.7 ± 2.6 years showed good to excellent test–retest reliability. The newly designed Active Balance System (ABS was then compared with the Biodex Balance System SD® (BBS. The results of 15 females, 14 males (23.4 ± 1.6 years showed modest correlation in static and acceptable correlation in dynamic conditions, suggesting that ABS could be a reliable and comparable tool for dynamic balance assessments.
Harm, D. L.; Taylor, L. C.
Virtual environments offer unique training opportunities, particularly for training astronauts and preadapting them to the novel sensory conditions of microgravity. Two unresolved human factors issues in virtual reality (VR) systems are: 1) potential "cybersickness", and 2) maladaptive sensorimotor performance following exposure to VR systems. Interestingly, these aftereffects are often quite similar to adaptive sensorimotor responses observed in astronauts during and/or following space flight. Changes in the environmental sensory stimulus conditions and the way we interact with the new stimuli may result in motion sickness, and perceptual, spatial orientation and sensorimotor disturbances. Initial interpretation of novel sensory information may be inappropriate and result in perceptual errors. Active exploratory behavior in a new environment, with resulting feedback and the formation of new associations between sensory inputs and response outputs, promotes appropriate perception and motor control in the new environment. Thus, people adapt to consistent, sustained alterations of sensory input such as those produced by microgravity, unilateral labyrinthectomy and experimentally produced stimulus rearrangements. Adaptation is revealed by aftereffects including perceptual disturbances and sensorimotor control disturbances. The purpose of the current study was to compare disturbances in postural control produced by dome and head-mounted virtual environment displays, and to examine the effects of exposure duration, and repeated exposures to VR systems. Forty-one subjects (21 men, 20 women) participated in the study with an age range of 21-49 years old. One training session was completed in order to achieve stable performance on the posture and VR tasks before participating in the experimental sessions. Three experimental sessions were performed each separated by one day. The subjects performed a navigation and pick and place task in either a dome or head-mounted display
An extensive body of literature has explored the involvement of motor processes in mental rotation, yet underlying individual differences are less documented and remain to be fully understood. We propose that sensorimotor experience shapes spatial abilities such as assessed in mental rotation tasks. Elite wrestlers' and non-athletes' mental…
Challinor, Andrew J [Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT (United Kingdom); Simelton, Elisabeth S; Fraser, Evan D G [Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT (United Kingdom); Hemming, Debbie; Collins, Mathew, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB (United Kingdom)
Tools for projecting crop productivity under a range of conditions, and assessing adaptation options, are an important part of the endeavour to prioritize investment in adaptation. We present ensemble projections of crop productivity that account for biophysical processes, inherent uncertainty and adaptation, using spring wheat in Northeast China as a case study. A parallel 'vulnerability index' approach uses quantitative socio-economic data to account for autonomous farmer adaptation. The simulations show crop failure rates increasing under climate change, due to increasing extremes of both heat and water stress. Crop failure rates increase with mean temperature, with increases in maximum failure rates being greater than those in median failure rates. The results suggest that significant adaptation is possible through either socio-economic measures such as greater investment, or biophysical measures such as drought or heat tolerance in crops. The results also show that adaptation becomes increasingly necessitated as mean temperature and the associated number of extremes rise. The results, and the limitations of this study, also suggest directions for research for linking climate and crop models, socio-economic analyses and crop variety trial data in order to prioritize options such as capacity building, plant breeding and biotechnology.
Full Text Available This paper describes and demonstrates the use of the systematic planning process, Intervention Mapping, to adapt an evidence-based public health intervention (EBI. We used a simplified version of Intervention Mapping (IM Adapt to increase an intervention’s fit with a new setting and population. IM Adapt guides researchers and practitioners in selecting an EBI, making decisions about whether and what to adapt, and executing the adaptation while guarding the EBI’s essential elements (those responsible for effectiveness. We present a case study of a project in which we used IM Adapt to find, adapt, implement, and evaluate an EBI to improve mammography adherence for African American women in a new practice setting in Houston, Texas. IM Adapt includes the following (1 assess needs and organizational capacity; (2 find EBIs; (3 plan adaptations based on fit assessments; (4 make adaptations; (5 plan for implementation; and (6 plan for evaluation of the adapted EBI. The case study shows an example of how public health researchers and practitioners can use the tool to make it easier to find and use EBIs, thus encouraging greater uptake. IM Adapt adds to existing dissemination and adaptation models by providing detailed guidance on how to decide on effective adaptation, while maintaining the essential elements of the EBI.
Highfield, Linda; Hartman, Marieke A; Mullen, Patricia Dolan; Rodriguez, Serena A; Fernandez, Maria E; Bartholomew, L Kay
This paper describes and demonstrates the use of the systematic planning process, Intervention Mapping, to adapt an evidence-based public health intervention (EBI). We used a simplified version of Intervention Mapping (IM Adapt) to increase an intervention's fit with a new setting and population. IM Adapt guides researchers and practitioners in selecting an EBI, making decisions about whether and what to adapt, and executing the adaptation while guarding the EBI's essential elements (those responsible for effectiveness). We present a case study of a project in which we used IM Adapt to find, adapt, implement, and evaluate an EBI to improve mammography adherence for African American women in a new practice setting in Houston, Texas. IM Adapt includes the following (1) assess needs and organizational capacity; (2) find EBIs; (3) plan adaptations based on fit assessments; (4) make adaptations; (5) plan for implementation; and (6) plan for evaluation of the adapted EBI. The case study shows an example of how public health researchers and practitioners can use the tool to make it easier to find and use EBIs, thus encouraging greater uptake. IM Adapt adds to existing dissemination and adaptation models by providing detailed guidance on how to decide on effective adaptation, while maintaining the essential elements of the EBI.
Ho, S Shaun; Macdonald, Adam; Swain, James E
Mirror neuron-based associative learning may be understood according to associative learning theories, in addition to sensorimotor learning theories. This is important for a comprehensive understanding of the role of mirror neurons and related hormone modulators, such as oxytocin, in complex social interactions such as among parent-infant dyads and in examples of mirror neuron function that involve abnormal motor systems such as depression.
Ho, S. Shaun; MacDonald, Adam; Swain, James E.
Mirror neuron–based associative learning may be understood according to associative learning theories, in addition to sensorimotor learning theories. This is important for a comprehensive understanding of the role of mirror neurons and related hormone modulators, such as oxytocin, in complex social interactions such as among parent–infant dyads and in examples of mirror neuron function that involve abnormal motor systems such as depression.
Full Text Available Rhythm perception and synchronization have been extensively investigated in the auditory domain, as they underlie means of human communication such as music and speech. Although recent studies suggest comparable mechanisms for synchronizing with periodically moving visual objects, the extent to which it applies to ecologically relevant information, such as the rhythm of complex biological motion, remains unknown. The present study addressed this issue by linking rhythm of music and dance in the framework of action-perception coupling. As a previous study showed that observers perceived multiple metrical periodicities in dance movements that embodied this structure, the present study examined whether sensorimotor synchronization (SMS to dance movements resembles what is known of auditory SMS. Participants watched a point-light figure performing two basic steps of Swing dance cyclically, in which the trunk bounced at every beat and the limbs moved at every second beat, forming two metrical periodicities. Participants tapped synchronously to the bounce of the trunk with or without the limbs moving in the stimuli (Experiment 1, or tapped synchronously to the leg movements with or without the trunk bouncing simultaneously (Experiment 2. Results showed that, while synchronization with the bounce (lower-level pulse was not influenced by the presence or absence of limb movements (metrical accent, synchronization with the legs (beat was improved by the presence of the bounce (metrical subdivision across different movement types. The latter finding parallels the subdivision benefit often demonstrated in auditory tasks, suggesting common sensorimotor mechanisms for visual rhythms in dance and auditory rhythms in music.
Full Text Available In behavioral sports sciences, knowledge of athletic performance and underlying sensorimotor processing remains limited, because most data is obtained in the laboratory. In laboratory experiments we can strictly control the measurement conditions, but the action we can target may be limited and differ from actual sporting action. Thus, the obtained data is potentially unrealistic. We propose using virtual reality (VR technology to compensate for the lack of actual reality. We have developed a head mounted display (HMD-based VR system for application to baseball batting where the user can experience hitting a pitch in a virtual baseball stadium. The batter and the bat movements are measured using nine-axis inertial sensors attached to various parts of the body and bat, and they are represented by a virtual avatar in real time. The pitched balls are depicted by computer graphics based on previously recorded ball trajectories and are thrown in time with the motion of a pitcher avatar based on simultaneously recorded motion capture data. The ball bounces depending on its interaction with the bat. In a preliminary measurement where the VR system was combined with measurement equipment we found some differences between the behavioral and physiological data (i.e., the body movements and respiration of experts and beginners and between the types of pitches during virtual batting. This VR system with a sufficiently real visual experience will provide novel findings as regards athletic performance that were formerly hard to obtain and allow us to elucidate their sensorimotor processing in detail.
Rhythm perception and synchronization have been extensively investigated in the auditory domain, as they underlie means of human communication such as music and speech. Although recent studies suggest comparable mechanisms for synchronizing with periodically moving visual objects, the extent to which it applies to ecologically relevant information, such as the rhythm of complex biological motion, remains unknown. The present study addressed this issue by linking rhythm of music and dance in the framework of action-perception coupling. As a previous study showed that observers perceived multiple metrical periodicities in dance movements that embodied this structure, the present study examined whether sensorimotor synchronization (SMS) to dance movements resembles what is known of auditory SMS. Participants watched a point-light figure performing two basic steps of Swing dance cyclically, in which the trunk bounced at every beat and the limbs moved at every second beat, forming two metrical periodicities. Participants tapped synchronously to the bounce of the trunk with or without the limbs moving in the stimuli (Experiment 1), or tapped synchronously to the leg movements with or without the trunk bouncing simultaneously (Experiment 2). Results showed that, while synchronization with the bounce (lower-level pulse) was not influenced by the presence or absence of limb movements (metrical accent), synchronization with the legs (beat) was improved by the presence of the bounce (metrical subdivision) across different movement types. The latter finding parallels the “subdivision benefit” often demonstrated in auditory tasks, suggesting common sensorimotor mechanisms for visual rhythms in dance and auditory rhythms in music. PMID:27199709
Parianen Lesemann, Franca H; Reuter, Eva-Maria; Godde, Ben
The pure exposure to extensive tactile stimulation, without the requirement of attention or active training, has been revealed to enhance sensorimotor functioning presumably due to an induction of plasticity in the somatosensory cortex. The induced effects, including increased tactile acuity and manual dexterity have repeatedly been observed in basic as well as clinical research. However, results vary greatly in respect to the strength and direction of the effects on the behavioral and on the brain level. Multiple evidences show that differences in the stimulation protocols (e.g., two vs. multiple stimulation sites) and parameters (e.g., duration, frequency, and amplitude) might contribute to this variability of effects. Nevertheless, stimulation protocols have not been comprehensively compared yet. Identifying favorable parameters for tactile stimulation interventions is especially important because of its possible application as a treatment option for patients suffering from sensory loss, maladaptive plasticity, or certain forms of motor impairment. This review aims to compare the effects of different tactile stimulation protocols and to assess possible implications for tactile interventions. Our goal is to identify ways of optimizing stimulation protocols to improve sensorimotor performance. To this end, we reviewed research on tactile stimulation in the healthy population, with a focus on the effectiveness of the applied parameters regarding psychophysiological measures. We discuss the association of stimulation-induced changes on the behavioral level with alterations in neural representations and response characteristics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Foerster, Rebecca M
Before acting humans saccade to a target object to extract relevant visual information. Even when acting on remembered objects, locations previously occupied by relevant objects are fixated during imagery and memory tasks - a phenomenon called "looking-at-nothing". While looking-at-nothing was robustly found in tasks encouraging declarative memory built-up, results are mixed in the case of procedural sensorimotor tasks. Eye-guidance to manual targets in complete darkness was observed in a task practiced for days beforehand, while investigations using only a single session did not find fixations to remembered action targets. Here, it is asked whether looking-at-nothing can be found in a single sensorimotor session and thus independent from sleep consolidation, and how it progresses when visual information is repeatedly unavailable. Eye movements were investigated in a computerized version of the trail making test. Participants clicked on numbered circles in ascending sequence. Fifty trials were performed with the same spatial arrangement of 9 visual targets to enable long-term memory consolidation. During 50 consecutive trials, participants had to click the remembered target sequence on an empty screen. Participants scanned the visual targets and also the empty target locations sequentially with their eyes, however, the latter less precise than the former. Over the course of the memory trials, manual and oculomotor sequential target scanning became more similar to the visual trials. Results argue for robust looking-at-nothing during procedural sensorimotor tasks provided that long-term memory information is sufficient. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mu, Yan; Huang, Yingyu; Ji, Chao; Gu, Li; Wu, Xiang
The superiority of the auditory over visual modality in sensorimotor synchronization-a fundamental ability to coordinate movements with external rhythms-has long been established, whereas recent metronome synchronization work showed that synchronization of a visual bouncing ball was not less stable than synchronization of auditory tones in adults. The present study examined synchronization to isochronous sequences composed of auditory tones, visual flashes, or a bouncing ball in 6- to 7-year-old children, 12- to 15-year-old children, and 19- to 29-year-old adults. Consistent with previous reporting, the results showed that synchronization stability increased with age and synchronization was less stable for flashes than for tones and bouncing balls. As for the focus of the present study, the results revealed that synchronization of the bouncing ball was less stable than synchronization of tones for younger children, but not for teenagers and adults. The finding suggests the predisposition of the auditory advantage of sensorimotor synchronization in early childhood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Tolu, Silvia; Vanegas, Mauricio; Luque, Niceto R; Garrido, Jesús A; Ros, Eduardo
This study proposes an adaptive control architecture based on an accurate regression method called Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR) and on a bio-inspired module, such as a cerebellar-like engine. This hybrid architecture takes full advantage of the machine learning module (LWPR kernel) to abstract an optimized representation of the sensorimotor space while the cerebellar component integrates this to generate corrective terms in the framework of a control task. Furthermore, we illustrate how the use of a simple adaptive error feedback term allows to use the proposed architecture even in the absence of an accurate analytic reference model. The presented approach achieves an accurate control with low gain corrective terms (for compliant control schemes). We evaluate the contribution of the different components of the proposed scheme comparing the obtained performance with alternative approaches. Then, we show that the presented architecture can be used for accurate manipulation of different objects when their physical properties are not directly known by the controller. We evaluate how the scheme scales for simulated plants of high Degrees of Freedom (7-DOFs).
Warren, L. E.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Cohen, H. S.; Richards, J. T.; Miller, C. A.; Brady, R.; Ruttley, T. M.; Bloomberg, J. J.
Space flight induces adaptive modification in sensorimotor function, allowing crewmembers to operate in the unique microgravity environment. This adaptive state, however, is inappropriate for a terrestrial environment. During a re-adaptation period upon their return to Earth, crewmembers experience alterations in sensorimotor function, causing various disturbances in perception, spatial orientation, posture, gait, and eye-head coordination. Following long duration space flight, sensorimotor dysfunction would prevent or extend the time required to make an emergency egress from the vehicle; compromising crew safety and mission objectives. We are investigating two types of motor learning that may interact with each other and influence a crewmember's ability to re-adapt to Earth's gravity environment. In strategic learning, crewmembers make rapid modifications in their motor control strategy emphasizing error reduction. This type of learning may be critical during the first minutes and hours after landing. In adaptive learning, long-term plastic transformations occur, involving morphological changes and synaptic modification. In recent literature these two behavioral components have been associated with separate brain structures that control the execution of motor strategies: the strategic component was linked to the posterior parietal cortex and the adaptive component was linked to the cerebellum (Pisella, et al. 2004). The goal of this paper was to demonstrate the relative contributions of the strategic and adaptive components to the re-adaptation process in locomotor control after long duration space flight missions on the International Space Station (ISS). The Functional Mobility Test (FMT) was developed to assess crewmember s ability to ambulate postflight from an operational and functional perspective. Sixteen crewmembers were tested preflight (3 sessions) and postflight (days 1, 2, 4, 7, 25) following a long duration space flight (approx 6 months) on the ISS. We
Hanlon, Colleen A.; Wesley, Michael J.; Roth, Alicia J.; Miller, Mack D.; Porrino, Linda J.
Movement disturbances are often overlooked consequences of chronic cocaine abuse. The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate sensorimotor performance in chronic cocaine users and characterize changes in brain activity among movement-related regions of interest (ROIs) in these users. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from fourteen chronic cocaine users and fifteen age and gender matched controls. All participants performed a sequential finger-tapping ta...
Karabanov, Anke Ninija; Jin, Seung-Hyun; Joutsen, Atte
at baseline and at four time points (0, 30, 60, and 180 min) after training. For EEG, task-related power and coherence were calculated for early and late training phases. The conditioned MEP was facilitated at a 2-ms conditioning-test interval before training. However, facilitation was abolished immediately...... following training, but returned to baseline at subsequent time points. Regional EEG activity and interregional connectivity between PPC and M1 showed an initial increase during early training followed by a significant decrease in the late phases. The findings indicate that parietal-motor interactions......Interplay between posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and ipsilateral primary motor cortex (M1) is crucial during execution of movements. The purpose of the study was to determine whether functional PPC-M1 connectivity in humans can be modulated by sensorimotor training. Seventeen participants...
Ifan Ridlo Suhelm
Full Text Available Tidal inundation, flood and land subsidence are the problems faced by Semarang city related to climate change. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC predicted the increase of sea level rise 18-59 cm during 1990-2100 while the temperature increase 0,6°C to 4°C during the same period. The Semarang coastal city was highly vulnerable to sea level rise and it increased with two factors, topography and land subsidence. The purpose of this study was to map the adaptive capacity of coastal areas in the face of the threat of disasters caused by climate change. The parameters used are Network Number, Employee based educational background, Source Main Livelihoods, Health Facilities, and Infrastructure Road. Adaptive capacity of regions classified into 3 (three classes, namely low, medium and high. The results of the study showed that most of the coastal area of Semarang have adaptive capacities ranging from low to moderate, while the village with low capacity totaling 58 villages (58.62% of the total coastal district in the city of Semarang.
A series of experiments is presented, using a robot manipulator, which attempt to reproduce human sensorimotor control during grasping. The work utilizes a multifingered, dexterous robot hand equipped with a fingertip force sensor to explore dynamic grasp force adjustment during manipulation. The work is primarily concerned with the relationship between the weight of an object and the grasp force required to lift it. Too weak a grasp is unstable and the object will slip from the hand. Too strong a grasp may damage the object and/or the manipulator. An algorithm is presented which reproduces observed human behavior during grasp-and-lift tasks. The algorithm uses tactile information from the sensor to dynamically adjust the grasp force during lift. It is assumed that there is no a priori knowledge about the object to be manipulated. The effects of different arm/hand postures and object surfaces is explored. Finally, the use of sensory data to detect unexpected object motion and to signal transitions between manipulation phases--with the coincident triggering of new motor programs--is investigated
Long duration spaceflight has been associated with detrimental alterations in human sensorimotor systems and neurocognitive performance. Prolonged exposure to a head-down tilt position during long duration bed rest can resemble several effects of the microgravity environment such as reduced sensory inputs, body unloading and increased cephalic fluid distribution. The question of whether microgravity affects other central nervous system functions such as brain functional connectivity and its relationship with neurocognitive performance is largely unknown, but of potential importance to the health and performance of astronauts both during and post-flight. The aims of the present study are 1) to identify changes in sensorimotor resting state functional connectivity that occur with extended bed rest exposure, and to characterize their recovery time course; 2) to evaluate how these neural changes correlate with neurocognitive performance. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) data were collected from 17 male participants. The data were acquired through the NASA bed rest facility, located at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston, TX). Participants remained in bed with their heads tilted down six degrees below their feet for 70 consecutive days. RsfMRI data were obtained at seven time points: 7 and 12 days before bed rest; 7, 50, and 65 days during bed rest; and 7 and 12 days after bed rest. Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) analysis was performed to measure the connectivity of sensorimotor networks in the brain before, during, and post-bed rest. We found a decrease in left putamen connectivity with the pre- and post-central gyri from pre bed rest to the last day in bed rest. In addition, vestibular cortex connectivity with the posterior cingulate cortex decreased from pre to post bed rest. Furthermore, connectivity between cerebellar right superior posterior fissure and other cerebellar regions decreased from
Schultz, K. P.
Saccadic eye movements are rapid transfers of gaze between objects of interest. Their duration is too short for the visual system to be able to follow their progress in time. Adaptive mechanisms constantly recalibrate the saccadic responses by detecting how close the landings are to the selected targets. The double-step saccadic paradigm is a common method to simulate alterations in saccadic gain. While the subject is responding to a first target shift, a second shift is introduced in the middle of this movement, which masks it from visual detection. The error in landing introduced by the second shift is interpreted by the brain as an error in the programming of the initial response, with gradual gain changes aimed at compensating the apparent sensorimotor mismatch. A second shift applied dichoptically to only one eye introduces disconjugate landing errors between the two eyes. A monocular adaptive system would independently modify only the gain of the eye exposed to the second shift in order to reestablish binocular alignment. Our results support a binocular mechanism. A version-based saccadic adaptive process detects postsaccadic version errors and generates compensatory conjugate gain alterations. A vergence-based saccadic adaptive process detects postsaccadic disparity errors and generates corrective nonvisual disparity signals that are sent to the vergence system to regain binocularity. This results in striking dynamical similarities between visually driven combined saccade-vergence gaze transfers, where the disparity is given by the visual targets, and the double-step adaptive disconjugate responses, where an adaptive disparity signal is generated internally by the saccadic system. PMID:23076111
Bowers, Andrew; Saltuklaroglu, Tim; Harkrider, Ashley; Cuellar, Megan
Constructivist theories propose that articulatory hypotheses about incoming phonetic targets may function to enhance perception by limiting the possibilities for sensory analysis. To provide evidence for this proposal, it is necessary to map ongoing, high-temporal resolution changes in sensorimotor activity (i.e., the sensorimotor μ rhythm) to accurate speech and non-speech discrimination performance (i.e., correct trials.). Sixteen participants (15 female and 1 male) were asked to passively listen to or actively identify speech and tone-sweeps in a two-force choice discrimination task while the electroencephalograph (EEG) was recorded from 32 channels. The stimuli were presented at signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) in which discrimination accuracy was high (i.e., 80-100%) and low SNRs producing discrimination performance at chance. EEG data were decomposed using independent component analysis and clustered across participants using principle component methods in EEGLAB. ICA revealed left and right sensorimotor µ components for 14/16 and 13/16 participants respectively that were identified on the basis of scalp topography, spectral peaks, and localization to the precentral and postcentral gyri. Time-frequency analysis of left and right lateralized µ component clusters revealed significant (pFDRspeech discrimination trials relative to chance trials following stimulus offset. Findings are consistent with constructivist, internal model theories proposing that early forward motor models generate predictions about likely phonemic units that are then synthesized with incoming sensory cues during active as opposed to passive processing. Future directions and possible translational value for clinical populations in which sensorimotor integration may play a functional role are discussed.
Peh, Wendy Y X; Roberts, Todd F; Mooney, Richard
Vocal communication depends on the coordinated activity of sensorimotor neurons important to vocal perception and production. How vocalizations are represented by spatiotemporal activity patterns in these neuronal populations remains poorly understood. Here we combined intracellular recordings and two-photon calcium imaging in anesthetized adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to examine how learned birdsong and its component syllables are represented in identified projection neurons (PNs) within HVC, a sensorimotor region important for song perception and production. These experiments show that neighboring HVC PNs can respond at markedly different times to song playback and that different syllables activate spatially intermingled PNs within a local (~100 μm) region of HVC. Moreover, noise correlations were stronger between PNs that responded most strongly to the same syllable and were spatially graded within and between classes of PNs. These findings support a model in which syllabic and temporal features of song are represented by spatially intermingled PNs functionally organized into cell- and syllable-type networks within local spatial scales in HVC. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355589-17$15.00/0.
van Heijst, JJ; Touwen, BCL; Vos, JE
This paper reports on a neural network model for early sensori-motor development and on the possible implications of this research for our understanding and, eventually, treatment of motor disorders like cerebral palsy. We recapitulate the results we published in detail in a series of papers [1-4].
Foerster, Rebecca M; Schneider, Werner X
Long-term memory (LTM) delivers important control signals for attentional selection. LTM expectations have an important role in guiding the task-driven sequence of covert attention and gaze shifts, especially in well-practiced multistep sensorimotor actions. What happens when LTM expectations are disconfirmed? Does a sensory-based visual-search mode of attentional selection replace the LTM-based mode? What happens when prior LTM expectations become valid again? We investigated these questions in a computerized version of the number-connection test. Participants clicked on spatially distributed numbered shapes in ascending order while gaze was recorded. Sixty trials were performed with a constant spatial arrangement. In 20 consecutive trials, either numbers, shapes, both, or no features switched position. In 20 reversion trials, participants worked on the original arrangement. Only the sequence-affecting number switches elicited slower clicking, visual search-like scanning, and lower eye-hand synchrony. The effects were neither limited to the exchanged numbers nor to the corresponding actions. Thus, expectation violations in a well-learned sensorimotor sequence cause a regression from LTM-based attentional selection to visual search beyond deviant-related actions and locations. Effects lasted for several trials and reappeared during reversion. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.
Full Text Available Depression involves a dysfunction in an affective fronto-limbic circuitry including the prefrontal cortices, several limbic structures including the cingulate cortex, the amygdala and the hippocampus as well as the basal ganglia. A major emphasis of research on the etiology and treatment of mood disorders has been to assess the impact of centrally generated (top-down processes impacting the affective fronto-limbic circuitry. The present review shows that peripheral (bottom-up unipolar stimulation via the visual and the auditory modalities as well as by physical exercise modulates mood and depressive symptoms in humans and animals and activates the same central affective neurocircuitry involved in depression. It is proposed that the amygdala serves as a gateway by articulating the mood regulatory sensorimotor stimulation with the central affective circuitry by emotionally labeling and mediating the storage of such emotional events in long-term memory. Since both amelioration and aggravation of mood is shown to be possible by unipolar stimulation, the review suggests that a psychophysical assessment of mood modulation by multi-modal stimulation may uncover mood ameliorative synergisms and serve as adjunctive treatment for depression. Thus, the integrative review not only emphasizes the relevance of investigating the optimal levels of mood regulatory sensorimotor stimulation, but also provides a conceptual springboard for related future research.
Hanlon, Colleen A; Wesley, Michael J; Roth, Alicia J; Miller, Mack D; Porrino, Linda J
Movement disturbances are often overlooked consequences of chronic cocaine abuse. The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate sensorimotor performance in chronic cocaine users and characterize changes in brain activity among movement-related regions of interest (ROIs) in these users. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 14 chronic cocaine users and 15 age- and gender-matched controls. All participants performed a sequential finger-tapping task with their dominant, right hand interleaved with blocks of rest. For each participant, percent signal change from rest was calculated for seven movement-related ROIs in both the left and right hemisphere. Cocaine users had significantly longer reaction times and higher error rates than controls. Whereas the controls used a left-sided network of motor-related brain areas to perform the task, cocaine users activated a less lateralized pattern of brain activity. Users had significantly more activity in the ipsilateral (right) motor and premotor cortical areas, anterior cingulate cortex and the putamen than controls. These data demonstrate that, in addition to the cognitive and affective consequences of chronic cocaine abuse, there are also pronounced alterations in sensorimotor control in these individuals, which are associated with functional alterations throughout movement-related neural networks.
Full Text Available The article explores the possibilities of formalizing and explaining the mechanisms that support spatial and social perspective alignment sustained over the duration of a social interaction. The basic proposed principle is that in social contexts the mechanisms for sensorimotor transformations and multisensory integration (learn to incorporate information relative to the other actor(s, similar to the "re-calibration" of visual receptive fields in response to repeated tool use. This process aligns or merges the co-actors' spatial representations and creates a "Shared Action Space" supporting key computations of social interactions and joint actions; for example, the remapping between the coordinate systems and frames of reference of the co-actors, including perspective taking, the sensorimotor transformations required for lifting jointly an object, and the predictions of the sensory effects of such joint action. The social re-calibration is proposed to be based on common basis function maps and could constitute an optimal solution to sensorimotor transformation and multisensory integration in joint action or more in general social interaction contexts. However, certain situations such as discrepant postural and viewpoint alignment and associated differences in perspectives between the co-actors could constrain the process quite differently. We discuss how alignment is achieved in the first place, and how it is maintained over time, providing a taxonomy of various forms and mechanisms of space alignment and overlap based, for instance, on automaticity vs. control of the transformations between the two agents. Finally, we discuss the link between low-level mechanisms for the sharing of space and high-level mechanisms for the sharing of cognitive representations.
Gonçalves, Giovanna Barros; Leite, Marco Antônio A; Orsini, Marco; Pereira, João Santos
The use of the Nintendo Wii has been considered a good alternative in the motor rehabilitation of individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD), requiring simultaneous interaction to develop strategies for physical, visual, auditory, cognitive, psychological and social activities in the performing of virtual activities, resulting in improvement in functional performance and gait. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of virtual sensorimotor activity on gait disorders in people with PD. Fifteen subjects with a clinical diagnosis of PD were submitted to the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS III), Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living Scale (SE), Functional Independence Measure (FIM), and biomechanical gait analysis using digital images taken with a video camera before and after the treatment program. The activities with the Nintendo Wii virtual platform were standardized into three categories: aerobics, balance and Wii plus exercises. Participants carried out separate virtual exercises for 40 min, twice a week, for a total of 14 sessions. The program improved sensorimotor performance in PD gait, with an increase in stride length and gait speed, in addition to a reduction in motor impairment, especially in items of rigidity and flexibility of the lower limbs evaluated by UPDRS III, and greater functional independence, as evidenced in the SE and FIM scales. Improvements in items related to locomotion and stair climbing were also observed. The training was effective in motor recovery in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, showing improvement in motor performance and functional independence in individuals with PD.
Full Text Available Carbohydrate-protein supplementation has been found to increase the rate of training adaptation when provided postresistance exercise. The present study compared the effects of a carbohydrate and protein supplement in the form of chocolate milk (CM, isocaloric carbohydrate (CHO, and placebo on training adaptations occurring over 4.5 weeks of aerobic exercise training. Thirty-two untrained subjects cycled 60 min/d, 5 d/wk for 4.5 wks at 75–80% of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max. Supplements were ingested immediately and 1 h after each exercise session. VO2 max and body composition were assessed before the start and end of training. VO2 max improvements were significantly greater in CM than CHO and placebo. Greater improvements in body composition, represented by a calculated lean and fat mass differential for whole body and trunk, were found in the CM group compared to CHO. We conclude supplementing with CM postexercise improves aerobic power and body composition more effectively than CHO alone.
Wymbs, Nicholas F; Bassett, Danielle S; Mucha, Peter J; Porter, Mason A; Grafton, Scott T
Motor chunking facilitates movement production by combining motor elements into integrated units of behavior. Previous research suggests that chunking involves two processes: concatenation, aimed at the formation of motor-motor associations between elements or sets of elements, and segmentation, aimed at the parsing of multiple contiguous elements into shorter action sets. We used fMRI to measure the trial-wise recruitment of brain regions associated with these chunking processes as healthy subjects performed a cued-sequence production task. A dynamic network analysis identified chunking structure for a set of motor sequences acquired during fMRI and collected over 3 days of training. Activity in the bilateral sensorimotor putamen positively correlated with chunk concatenation, whereas a left-hemisphere frontoparietal network was correlated with chunk segmentation. Across subjects, there was an aggregate increase in chunk strength (concatenation) with training, suggesting that subcortical circuits play a direct role in the creation of fluid transitions across chunks. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The efficacy of a HUBER exercise system mediated sensorimotor training protocol on proprioceptive system, lumbar movement control and quality of life in patients with chronic non-specific low back pain.
Letafatkar, Amir; Nazarzadeh, Maryam; Hadadnezhad, Malihe; Farivar, Niloufar
There is a relation between deficits of the proprioceptive system and movement control dysfunction in patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) but, the exact mechanism of this relation is unknown. Exercise therapy has been recognized as an effective method for low back pain treatment. In spite of this, it is not clear which of the various exercise therapy programs lead to better results. Therefore, the present analyze the efficacy of a HUBER study aims to exercise system mediated sensorimotor training protocol on proprioceptive system, lumbar movement control (LMC) and quality of life (QOL) in patients with chronic non-specific LBP. Quasi-experimental study. 53 patients with chronic non-specific LBP (mean age 37.55 ± 6.67 years,and Body Mass Index (BMI) 22.4 ± 3.33) were selected by using Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMQ) and were assigned into two experimental (N= 27) and control groups (N= 26) The experimental group underwent a five-week (10 sessions) Sensorimotor training by using the Human Body Equalizer (HUBER) spine force under the supervision of an investigator. The movement control battery tests, the HUBER machine testing option, goniometer and visual analogue scale used for movement control, neuromuscular coordination, proprioception and LBP assessment respectively. The assessments were completed in pre-test and after five weeks. The paired and sample T tests were used for data analysis in SPSS program version 18 (Significance level were set at a P value pain scores of subjects with chronic non-specific LBP in the sensorimotor group (P= 0.001). In this study, only the short term effects of the sensorimotor training were examined. The results suggest that a sensorimotor training program causes significant improvement in patients with chronic non-specific LBP. Future research should be carried out with a larger sample size to examine the long term effects of the sensorimotor training program on treatment of patients with chronic non
Kattenstroth, Jan-Christoph; Kalisch, Tobias; Holt, Stephan; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R.
During aging, sensorimotor, cognitive and physical performance decline, but can improve by training and exercise indicating that age-related changes are treatable. Dancing is increasingly used as an intervention because it combines many diverse features making it a promising neuroplasticity-inducing tool. We here investigated the effects of a 6-month dance class (1 h/week) on a group of healthy elderly individuals compared to a matched control group (CG). We performed a broad assessment covering cognition, intelligence, attention, reaction time, motor, tactile, and postural performance, as well as subjective well-being and cardio-respiratory performance. After 6 months, in the CG no changes, or further degradation of performance was found. In the dance group, beneficial effects were found for dance-related parameters such as posture and reaction times, but also for cognitive, tactile, motor performance, and subjective well-being. These effects developed without alterations in the cardio-respiratory performance. Correlation of baseline performance with the improvement following intervention revealed that those individuals, who benefitted most from the intervention, were those who showed the lowest performance prior to the intervention. Our findings corroborate previous observations that dancing evokes widespread positive effects. The pre-post design used in the present study implies that the efficacy of dance is most likely not based on a selection bias of particularly gifted individuals. The lack of changes of cardio-respiratory fitness indicates that even moderate levels of physical activity can in combination with rich sensorimotor, cognitive, social, and emotional challenges act to ameliorate a wide spectrum of age-related decline. PMID:23447455
Full Text Available During aging, sensorimotor, cognitive and physical performance decline, but can improve by training and exercise indicating that age-related changes are treatable. Dancing is increasingly used as an intervention because it combines many diverse features making it a promising neuroplasticity-inducing tool. We here investigated the effects of a 6-months dance class (1 h/week on a group of healthy elderly individuals compared to a matched control group. We performed a broad assessment covering cognition, intelligence, attention, reaction time, motor, tactile, and postural performance, as well as subjective well-being and cardio-respiratory performance. After 6 months, in the control group no changes, or further degradation of performance was found. In the dance group, beneficial effects were found for dance-related parameters such as posture and reaction times, but also for cognitive, tactile, motor performance, and subjective well-being. These effects developed without alterations in the cardio-respiratory performance. Correlation of baseline performance with the improvement following intervention revealed that those individuals, who benefitted most from the intervention, were those who showed the lowest performance prior to the intervention. Our findings corroborate previous observations that dancing evokes widespread positive effects. The pre-post design used in the present study implies that the efficacy of dance is most likely not based on a selection bias of particularly gifted individuals. The lack of changes of cardio-respiratory fitness indicates that even moderate levels of physical activity can in combination with rich sensorimotor, cognitive, social, and emotional challenges act to ameliorate a wide spectrum of age-related decline.
Full Text Available Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies have demonstrated alterations during task-induced brain activation in spinal cord injury (SCI patients. The interruption to structural integrity of the spinal cord and the resultant disrupted flow of bidirectional communication between the brain and the spinal cord might contribute to the observed dynamic reorganization (neural plasticity. However, the effect of SCI on brain resting-state connectivity patterns remains unclear. We undertook a prospective resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI study to explore changes to cortical activation patterns following SCI. With institutional review board approval, rs-fMRI data was obtained in eleven patients with complete cervical SCI (>2 years post injury and nine age-matched controls. The data was processed using the Analysis of Functional Neuroimages software. Region of interest (ROI based analysis was performed to study changes in the sensorimotor network using pre- and post-central gyri as seed regions. Two-sampled t-test was carried out to check for significant differences between the two groups. SCI patients showed decreased functional connectivity in motor and sensory cortical regions when compared to controls. The decrease was noted in ipsilateral, contralateral, and interhemispheric regions for left and right precentral ROIs. Additionally, the left postcentral ROI demonstrated increased connectivity with the thalamus bilaterally in SCI patients. Our results suggest that cortical activation patterns in the sensorimotor network undergo dynamic reorganization following SCI. The presence of these changes in chronic spinal cord injury patients is suggestive of the inherent neural plasticity within the central nervous system.
Full Text Available Previous studies have demonstrated that the difference between resting-state brain activations depends on whether the subject was eyes open (EO or eyes closed (EC. However, whether the spontaneous fluctuations are directly related to these two different resting states are still largely unclear. In the present study, we acquired resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 24 healthy subjects (11 males, 20.17 ± 2.74 years under the EO and EC states. The amplitude of the spontaneous brain activity in low-frequency band was subsequently investigated by using the metric of fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (fALFF for each subject under each state. A support vector machine (SVM analysis was then applied to evaluate whether the category of resting states could be determined from the brain spontaneous fluctuations. We demonstrated that these two resting states could be decoded from the identified pattern of brain spontaneous fluctuations, predominantly based on fALFF in the sensorimotor module. Specifically, we observed prominent relationships between increased fALFF for EC and decreased fALFF for EO in sensorimotor regions. Overall, the present results indicate that a SVM performs well in the discrimination between the brain spontaneous fluctuations of distinct resting states and provide new insight into the neural substrate of the resting states during EC and EO.
Hadzigeorgiou, Yannis; Anastasiou, Leonidas; Konsolas, Manos; Prevezanou, Barbara
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether participation in sensorimotor activities by preschool children involving their own bodily balance while walking on a beam over the floor has an effect on their understanding of the mechanical equilibrium of a balance beam. The balance beam consisted of a horizontal stick balancing around its center of mass (middle point), while carrying equal-weight objects on either side of it. The study utilized a two-group design, and was conducted in three phases (pre-test, treatment and post-test). The results of the study provide evidence that there was such an effect, since the children (who participated in the sensorimotor activities) could select out of a number of objects those two with the same weight regardless of their shape, size or colour, in order to balance the stick. This effect also can be seen when a comparison is made with a second group of children, which had previously participated in a hands-on activity regarding the equilibrium of a similar balance beam, and which (children), therefore, had a definite advantage over the other children who had participated in the sensorimotor activity. A Chi Square Test showed no significant differences between the two groups on both an immediate and a delayed post-test, while the McNemar Test for the Significance of Change showed a statistically significant difference (that is, a negative change in performance between the first and the second post-test) only within the hands-on group. This difference represents evidence that the children from the sensorimotor group remembered better the rule they were applying (i.e., selecting equal-weight objects) in order to balance the beam.
Gollee, Henrik; Gawthrop, Peter J; Lakie, Martin; Loram, Ian D
A human controlling an external system is described most easily and conventionally as linearly and continuously translating sensory input to motor output, with the inevitable output remnant, non-linearly related to the input, attributed to sensorimotor noise. Recent experiments show sustained manual tracking involves repeated refractoriness (insensitivity to sensory information for a certain duration), with the temporary 200-500 ms periods of irresponsiveness to sensory input making the control process intrinsically non-linear. This evidence calls for re-examination of the extent to which random sensorimotor noise is required to explain the non-linear remnant. This investigation of manual tracking shows how the full motor output (linear component and remnant) can be explained mechanistically by aperiodic sampling triggered by prediction error thresholds. Whereas broadband physiological noise is general to all processes, aperiodic sampling is associated with sensorimotor decision making within specific frontal, striatal and parietal networks; we conclude that manual tracking utilises such slow serial decision making pathways up to several times per second. The human operator is described adequately by linear translation of sensory input to motor output. Motor output also always includes a non-linear remnant resulting from random sensorimotor noise from multiple sources, and non-linear input transformations, for example thresholds or refractory periods. Recent evidence showed that manual tracking incurs substantial, serial, refractoriness (insensitivity to sensory information of 350 and 550 ms for 1st and 2nd order systems respectively). Our two questions are: (i) What are the comparative merits of explaining the non-linear remnant using noise or non-linear transformations? (ii) Can non-linear transformations represent serial motor decision making within the sensorimotor feedback loop intrinsic to tracking? Twelve participants (instructed to act in three prescribed
Løkkegaard, Annemette; Herz, Damian M; Haagensen, Brian Numelin
Dystonia is characterized by sustained or intermittent muscle contractions causing abnormal, often repetitive, movements or postures. Functional neuroimaging studies have yielded abnormal task-related sensorimotor activation in dystonia, but the results appear to be rather variable across studies....... Further, study size was usually small including different types of dystonia. Here we performed an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies in patients with primary dystonia to test for convergence of dystonia-related alterations in task-related activity...... postcentral gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus and dorsal midbrain. Apart from the midbrain cluster, all between-group differences in task-related activity were retrieved in a sub-analysis including only the 14 studies on patients with focal dystonia. For focal dystonia, an additional cluster of increased...
Pezzulo, Giovanni; Donnarumma, Francesco; Dindo, Haris
Although the importance of communication is recognized in several disciplines, it is rarely studied in the context of online social interactions and joint actions. During online joint actions, language and gesture are often insufficient and humans typically use non-verbal, sensorimotor forms of communication to send coordination signals. For example, when playing volleyball, an athlete can exaggerate her movements to signal her intentions to her teammates (say, a pass to the right) or to feint an adversary. Similarly, a person who is transporting a table together with a co-actor can push the table in a certain direction to signal where and when he intends to place it. Other examples of "signaling" are over-articulating in noisy environments and over-emphasizing vowels in child-directed speech. In all these examples, humans intentionally modify their action kinematics to make their goals easier to disambiguate. At the moment no formal theory exists of these forms of sensorimotor communication and signaling. We present one such theory that describes signaling as a combination of a pragmatic and a communicative action, and explains how it simplifies coordination in online social interactions. We cast signaling within a "joint action optimization" framework in which co-actors optimize the success of their interaction and joint goals rather than only their part of the joint action. The decision of whether and how much to signal requires solving a trade-off between the costs of modifying one's behavior and the benefits in terms of interaction success. Signaling is thus an intentional strategy that supports social interactions; it acts in concert with automatic mechanisms of resonance, prediction, and imitation, especially when the context makes actions and intentions ambiguous and difficult to read. Our theory suggests that communication dynamics should be studied within theories of coordination and interaction rather than only in terms of the maximization of information
Locomotion is one of the most well-studied topics in animal behavioral studies. Many fundamental and clinical research make use of the locomotion of an animal model to explore various aspects in sensorimotor behavior. In the past, most of these studies focused on population average of a specific trait due to limitation of data collection and processing power. With recent advance in computer vision and statistical modeling techniques, it is now possible to track and analyze large amounts of behavioral data. In this thesis, I present two projects that aim to infer the characteristics of sensorimotor behavior by quantifying the dynamics of locomotion of nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, shedding light on statistical dependence between sensing and behavior. In the first project, I investigate the possibility of inferring noxious sensory information from the behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans. I develop a statistical model to infer the heat stimulus level perceived by individual animals from their stereotyped escape responses after stimulation by an IR laser. The model allows quantification of analgesic-like effects of chemical agents or genetic mutations in the worm. At the same time, the method is able to differentiate perturbations of locomotion behavior that are beyond affecting the sensory system. With this model I propose experimental designs that allows statistically significant identification of analgesic-like effects. In the second project, I investigate the relationship of energy budget and stability of locomotion in determining the walking speed distribution of Drosophila melanogaster during aging. The locomotion stability at different age groups is estimated from video recordings using Floquet theory. I calculate the power consumption of different locomotion speed using a biomechanics model. In conclusion, the power consumption, not stability, predicts the locomotion speed distribution at different ages.
Full Text Available Although the importance of communication is recognized in several disciplines, it is rarely studied in the context of online social interactions and joint actions. During online joint actions, language and gesture are often insufficient and humans typically use non-verbal, sensorimotor forms of communication to send coordination signals. For example, when playing volleyball, an athlete can exaggerate her movements to signal her intentions to her teammates (say, a pass to the right or to feint an adversary. Similarly, a person who is transporting a table together with a co-actor can push the table in a certain direction to signal where and when he intends to place it. Other examples of "signaling" are over-articulating in noisy environments and over-emphasizing vowels in child-directed speech. In all these examples, humans intentionally modify their action kinematics to make their goals easier to disambiguate. At the moment no formal theory exists of these forms of sensorimotor communication and signaling. We present one such theory that describes signaling as a combination of a pragmatic and a communicative action, and explains how it simplifies coordination in online social interactions. We cast signaling within a "joint action optimization" framework in which co-actors optimize the success of their interaction and joint goals rather than only their part of the joint action. The decision of whether and how much to signal requires solving a trade-off between the costs of modifying one's behavior and the benefits in terms of interaction success. Signaling is thus an intentional strategy that supports social interactions; it acts in concert with automatic mechanisms of resonance, prediction, and imitation, especially when the context makes actions and intentions ambiguous and difficult to read. Our theory suggests that communication dynamics should be studied within theories of coordination and interaction rather than only in terms of the
Kim, Woo Jin; Choi, Hye Jin; Yang, Sun Young; Koo, Boo Hae; Ahn, Ki Hoon; Hong, Soon Cheol; Oh, Min-Jeong; Kim, Hai-Joong
Objective The cardiovascular system maintains homeostasis through a series of adaptive responses to physiological requirements. However, little is known about the adaptation of fetal cardiac function to gravity, according to gestational age. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the adaptive responses of cardiac function to postural changes, using Tei index measurements. Methods Fetal echocardiography and Doppler examination were performed on 114 women with vertex singleton pregnancies at 19 to 40 weeks' gestation. Participants were placed in an upright seated position, and the Tei index for fetal left ventricular cardiac function was measured. The women were then moved into a supine position and the Tei index was re-measured. Results The mean Tei index when measured in an upright seated position was significantly lower than that measured in a supine positioning for all fetuses (0.528±0.103 vs. 0.555±0.106, P=0.014, respectively). This difference was also noted in fetuses with a gestational age of 28–40 weeks (0.539±0.107 vs. 0.574±0.102, P=0.011, respectively). However, there was no difference in the Tei index between an upright seated and a supine position among fetuses with a gestational age of Postural changes from an upright seated to a supine position result in an increased Tei index after a gestational age of 28 weeks. This appears to reflect maturation in the adaptive responses of the fetal cardiovascular system to postural changes. PMID:27896244
Arne J Nagengast
Full Text Available Many aspects of human motor behavior can be understood using optimality principles such as optimal feedback control. However, these proposed optimal control models are risk-neutral; that is, they are indifferent to the variability of the movement cost. Here, we propose the use of a risk-sensitive optimal controller that incorporates movement cost variance either as an added cost (risk-averse controller or as an added value (risk-seeking controller to model human motor behavior in the face of uncertainty. We use a sensorimotor task to test the hypothesis that subjects are risk-sensitive. Subjects controlled a virtual ball undergoing Brownian motion towards a target. Subjects were required to minimize an explicit cost, in points, that was a combination of the final positional error of the ball and the integrated control cost. By testing subjects on different levels of Brownian motion noise and relative weighting of the position and control cost, we could distinguish between risk-sensitive and risk-neutral control. We show that subjects change their movement strategy pessimistically in the face of increased uncertainty in accord with the predictions of a risk-averse optimal controller. Our results suggest that risk-sensitivity is a fundamental attribute that needs to be incorporated into optimal feedback control models.
Marit F. L. Ruitenberg
Full Text Available A subset of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD experiences problems with impulse control, characterized by a loss of voluntary control over impulses, drives, or temptations regarding excessive hedonic behavior. The present study aimed to better understand the neural basis of such impulse control disorders (ICDs in PD. We collected resting-state functional connectivity and structural MRI data from 21 PD patients with ICDs and 30 patients without such disorders. To assess impulsivity, all patients completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale and performed an information-gathering task. MRI results demonstrated substantial differences in neural characteristics between PD patients with and without ICDs. Results showed that impulsivity was linked to alterations in affective basal ganglia circuitries. Specifically, reduced frontal–striatal connectivity and GPe volume were associated with more impulsivity. We suggest that these changes affect decision making and result in a preference for risky or inappropriate actions. Results further showed that impulsivity was linked to alterations in sensorimotor striatal networks. Enhanced connectivity within this network and larger putamen volume were associated with more impulsivity. We propose that these changes affect sensorimotor processing such that patients have a greater propensity to act. Our findings suggest that the two mechanisms jointly contribute to impulsive behaviors in PD.
Chen, Jia-Ching; Shaw, Fu-Zen
Impaired motor and functional activity following stroke often has negative impacts on the patient, the family and society. The available rehabilitation programs for stroke patients are reviewed. Conventional rehabilitation strategies (Bobath, Brunnstrom, proprioception neuromuscular facilitation, motor relearning and function-based principles) are the mainstream tactics in clinical practices. Numerous advanced strategies for sensory-motor functional enhancement, including electrical stimulation, electromyographic biofeedback, constraint-induced movement therapy, robotics-aided systems, virtual reality, intermittent compression, partial body weight supported treadmill training and thermal stimulation, are being developed and incorporated into conventional rehabilitation programs. The concept of combining valuable rehabilitative procedures into “a training package”, based on the patient’s functional status during different recovery phases after stroke is proposed. Integrated sensorimotor rehabilitation programs with appropriate temporal arrangements might provide great functional benefits for stroke patients. PMID:25133141
Shenoi, V N; Ali, S Z; Prasad, N G
In holometabolous animals such as Drosophila melanogaster, larval crowding can affect a wide range of larval and adult traits. Adults emerging from high larval density cultures have smaller body size and increased mean life span compared to flies emerging from low larval density cultures. Therefore, adaptation to larval crowding could potentially affect adult longevity as a correlated response. We addressed this issue by studying a set of large, outbred populations of D. melanogaster, experimentally evolved for adaptation to larval crowding for 83 generations. We assayed longevity of adult flies from both selected (MCUs) and control populations (MBs) after growing them at different larval densities. We found that MCUs have evolved increased mean longevity compared to MBs at all larval densities. The interaction between selection regime and larval density was not significant, indicating that the density dependence of mean longevity had not evolved in the MCU populations. The increase in longevity in MCUs can be partially attributed to their lower rates of ageing. It is also noteworthy that reaction norm of dry body weight, a trait probably under direct selection in our populations, has indeed evolved in MCU populations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the evolution of adult longevity as a correlated response of adaptation to larval crowding. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Aaro V. Salminen
Full Text Available MEIS1 encodes a developmental transcription factor and has been linked to restless legs syndrome (RLS in genome-wide association studies. RLS is a movement disorder leading to severe sleep reduction and has a substantial impact on the quality of life of patients. In genome-wide association studies, MEIS1 has consistently been the gene with the highest effect size and functional studies suggest a disease-relevant downregulation. Therefore, haploinsufficiency of Meis1 could be the system with the most potential for modeling RLS in animals. We used heterozygous Meis1-knockout mice to study the effects of Meis1 haploinsufficiency on mouse behavioral and neurological phenotypes, and to relate the findings to human RLS. We exposed the Meis1-deficient mice to assays of motor, sensorimotor and cognitive ability, and assessed the effect of a dopaminergic receptor 2/3 agonist commonly used in the treatment of RLS. The mutant mice showed a pattern of circadian hyperactivity, which is compatible with human RLS. Moreover, we discovered a replicable prepulse inhibition (PPI deficit in the Meis1-deficient animals. In addition, these mice were hyposensitive to the PPI-reducing effect of the dopaminergic receptor agonist, highlighting a role of Meis1 in the dopaminergic system. Other reported phenotypes include enhanced social recognition at an older age that was not related to alterations in adult olfactory bulb neurogenesis previously shown to be implicated in this behavior. In conclusion, the Meis1-deficient mice fulfill some of the hallmarks of an RLS animal model, and revealed the role of Meis1 in sensorimotor gating and in the dopaminergic systems modulating it.
Full Text Available Past research demonstrates that we are more likely to positively evaluate a stimulus if we have had previous experience with that stimulus. This has been shown for judgement of faces, architecture, artworks and body movements. In contrast, other evidence suggests that this relationship can also work in the inverse direction, at least in the domain of watching dance. Specifically, it has been shown that in certain contexts, people derive greater pleasure from watching unfamiliar movements they would not be able to physically reproduce compared to simpler, familiar actions they could physically reproduce. It remains unknown, however, how different kinds of experience with complex actions, such as dance, might change observers’ affective judgements of these movements. Our aim was to clarify the relationship between experience and affective evaluation of whole body movements. In a between-subjects design, participants received either physical dance training with a video game system, visual and auditory experience or auditory experience only. Participants’ aesthetic preferences for dance stimuli were measured before and after the training sessions. Results show that participants from the physical training group not only improved their physical performance of the dance sequences, but also reported higher enjoyment and interest in the stimuli after training. This suggests that physically learning particular movements leads to greater enjoyment while observing them. These effects are not simply due to increased familiarity with audio or visual elements of the stimuli, as the other two training groups showed no increase in aesthetic ratings post-training. We suggest these results support an embodied simulation account of aesthetics, and discuss how the present findings contribute to a better understanding of the shaping of preferences by sensorimotor experience.
Eva Maria Hammer
Full Text Available Modulation of sensorimotor rhythms (SMR was suggested as a control signal for brain-computer interfaces (BCI. Yet, there is a population of users estimated between 10 to 50% not able to achieve reliable control and only about 20% of users achieve high (80-100% performance. Predicting performance prior to BCI use would facilitate selection of the most feasible system for an individual, thus constitute a practical benefit for the user, and increase our knowledge about the correlates of BCI control. In a recent study, we predicted SMR-BCI performance from psychological variables that were assessed prior to the BCI sessions and BCI control was supported with machine-learning techniques. We described two significant psychological predictors, namely the visuo-motor coordination ability and the ability to concentrate on the task. The purpose of the current study was to replicate these results thereby validating these predictors within a neurofeedback based SMR-BCI that involved no machine learning. Thirty-three healthy BCI novices participated in a calibration session and three further neurofeedback training sessions. Two variables were related with mean SMR-BCI performance: (1 A measure for the accuracy of fine motor skills, i.e. a trade for a person’s visuo-motor control ability and (2 subject’s attentional impulsivity. In a linear regression they accounted for almost 20% in variance of SMR-BCI performance, but predictor (1 failed significance. Nevertheless, on the basis of our prior regression model for sensorimotor control ability we could predict current SMR-BCI performance with an average prediction error of M = 12.07%. In more than 50% of the participants, the prediction error was smaller than 10%. Hence, psychological variables played a moderate role in predicting SMR-BCI performance in a neurofeedback approach that involved no machine learning. Future studies are needed to further consolidate (or reject the present predictors.
Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Reschke, Millard F.; Clement, Gilles R.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Taylor, Laura C..
Control of vehicles and other complex systems is a high-level integrative function of the central nervous system (CNS). It requires well-functioning subsystem performance, including good visual acuity, eye-hand coordination, spatial and geographic orientation perception, and cognitive function. Evidence from space flight research demonstrates that the function of each of these subsystems is altered by removing gravity, a fundamental orientation reference, which is sensed by vestibular, proprioceptive, and haptic receptors and used by the CNS for spatial orientation, posture, navigation, and coordination of movements. The available evidence also shows that the degree of alteration of each subsystem depends on a number of crew- and mission-related factors. There is only limited operational evidence that these alterations cause functional impacts on mission-critical vehicle (or complex system) control capabilities. Furthermore, while much of the operational performance data collected during space flight has not been available for independent analysis, those that have been reviewed are somewhat equivocal owing to uncontrolled (and/or unmeasured) environmental and/or engineering factors. Whether this can be improved by further analysis of previously inaccessible operational data or by development of new operational research protocols remains to be seen. The true operational risks will be estimable only after we have filled the knowledge gaps and when we can accurately assess integrated performance in off-nominal operational settings (Paloski et al. 2008). Thus, our current understanding of the Risk of Impaired Control of Spacecraft/Associated Systems and Decreased Mobility Due to Vestibular/Sensorimotor Alterations Associated with Space flight is limited primarily to extrapolation of scientific research findings, and, since there are limited ground-based analogs of the sensorimotor and vestibular changes associated with space flight, observation of their functional
Pezzulo, Giovanni; Rigoli, Francesco; Friston, Karl
We review a theory of homeostatic regulation and adaptive behavioural control within the Active Inference framework. Our aim is to connect two research streams that are usually considered independently; namely, Active Inference and associative learning theories of animal behaviour. The former uses a probabilistic (Bayesian) formulation of perception and action, while the latter calls on multiple (Pavlovian, habitual, goal-directed) processes for homeostatic and behavioural control. We offer a synthesis these classical processes and cast them as successive hierarchical contextualisations of sensorimotor constructs, using the generative models that underpin Active Inference. This dissolves any apparent mechanistic distinction between the optimization processes that mediate classical control or learning. Furthermore, we generalize the scope of Active Inference by emphasizing interoceptive inference and homeostatic regulation. The ensuing homeostatic (or allostatic) perspective provides an intuitive explanation for how priors act as drives or goals to enslave action, and emphasises the embodied nature of inference. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
McBride, Devin W.; Wang, Yuechun; Sherchan, Prativa; Tang, Jiping; Zhang, John H.
Brain edema is a major contributor to poor outcome and reduced quality of life after surgical brain injury (SBI). Although SBI pathophysiology is well-known, the correlation between cerebral edema and neurological deficits has not been thoroughly examined in the rat model of SBI. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between brain edema and deficits in standard sensorimotor neurobehavior tests for rats subjected to SBI. Sixty male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected ...
Bubeníková-Valešová, V.; Valeš, Karel; Svoboda, Jan; Páleníček, T.; Horáček, J.
Roč. 18, Suppl.1 (2007), S69-S70 ISSN 0955-8810. [Biennial Meeting of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society /12./. 31.08.2007-03.09.2007, Tübingen] R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 1M0517; GA ČR(CZ) GA309/07/0341; GA MZd(CZ) NR9178 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : dopamine * sensorimotor gating Subject RIV: FH - Neurology
McGettigan, C; Walsh, E; Jessop, R; Agnew, Z K; Sauter, D A; Warren, J E; Scott, S K
Humans express laughter differently depending on the context: polite titters of agreement are very different from explosions of mirth. Using functional MRI, we explored the neural responses during passive listening to authentic amusement laughter and controlled, voluntary laughter. We found greater activity in anterior medial prefrontal cortex (amPFC) to the deliberate, Emitted Laughs, suggesting an obligatory attempt to determine others' mental states when laughter is perceived as less genuine. In contrast, passive perception of authentic Evoked Laughs was associated with greater activity in bilateral superior temporal gyri. An individual differences analysis found that greater accuracy on a post hoc test of authenticity judgments of laughter predicted the magnitude of passive listening responses to laughter in amPFC, as well as several regions in sensorimotor cortex (in line with simulation accounts of emotion perception). These medial prefrontal and sensorimotor sites showed enhanced positive connectivity with cortical and subcortical regions during listening to involuntary laughter, indicating a complex set of interacting systems supporting the automatic emotional evaluation of heard vocalizations. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.
Nathan C Rowland
Full Text Available In Parkinson’s disease patients in the OFF medication state, basal ganglia local field potentials exhibit changes in beta and gamma oscillations that correlate with reduced voluntary movement, manifested as rigidity and akinesia. However, magnetoencephalography and low-resolution electrocorticography (ECoG studies in Parkinson’s patients suggest that changes in sensorimotor cortical oscillations differ from those of the basal ganglia. To more clearly define the role of sensorimotor cortex oscillatory activity in Parkinson’s, we performed intraoperative, high-resolution (4 mm spacing ECoG recordings in 10 Parkinson’s patients (2 females, ages 47-72 undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS lead placement in the awake, OFF medication state. We analyzed ECoG potentials during a computer-controlled reaching task designed to separate movement preparation from movement execution and compared findings to similar invasive recordings in eight patients with essential tremor (3 females, ages 59-78, a condition not associated with rigidity or akinesia. We show that 1 cortical beta spectral power at rest does not differ between Parkinson’s and essential tremor patients (p = 0.85, 2 early motor preparation in Parkinson’s patients in the OFF medication state is associated with a larger beta desynchronization compared to patients with essential tremor (p = 0.0061, and 3 cortical broadband gamma power is elevated in Parkinson’s patients compared to essential tremor patients during both rest and task recordings (p = 0.004. Our findings suggest an oscillatory profile in sensorimotor cortex of Parkinson’s patients that, in contrast to the basal ganglia, may act to promote movement to oppose the anti-kinetic bias of the dopamine-depleted state.
Chris P Jew
Full Text Available The group I metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5 has been implicated in the pathology of various neurological disorders including schizophrenia, ADHD, and autism. mGluR5-dependent synaptic plasticity has been described at a variety of neural connections and its signaling has been implicated in several behaviors. These behaviors include locomotor reactivity to novel environment, sensorimotor gating, anxiety, and cognition. mGluR5 is expressed in glutamatergic neurons, inhibitory neurons, and glia in various brain regions. In this study, we show that deleting mGluR5 expression only in principal cortical neurons leads to defective cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R dependent synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex. These cortical glutamatergic mGluR5 knockout mice exhibit increased novelty-induced locomotion, and their locomotion can be further enhanced by treatment with the psychostimulant methylphenidate. Despite a modest reduction in repetitive behaviors, cortical glutamatergic mGluR5 knockout mice are normal in sensorimotor gating, anxiety, motor balance/learning and fear conditioning behaviors. These results show that mGluR5 signaling in cortical glutamatergic neurons is required for precisely modulating locomotor reactivity to a novel environment but not for sensorimotor gating, anxiety, motor coordination, several forms of learning or social interactions.
Full Text Available Impaired sensorimotor gating occurs in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and can be measured using the prepulse inhibition (PPI paradigm of the acoustic startle response. This assay is frequently used to validate animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders and to explore the therapeutic potential of new drugs. The underlying neural network of PPI has been extensively studied with invasive methods and genetic modifications. However, its relevance for healthy untreated animals and the functional interplay between startle- and PPI-related areas during a PPI session is so far unknown. Therefore, we studied awake rats in a PPI paradigm, startle control and background noise control, combined with behavioral [18F]fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET. Subtractive analyses between conditions were used to identify brain regions involved in startle and PPI processing in well-hearing Black hooded rats. For correlative analysis with regard to the amount of PPI we also included hearing-impaired Lister hooded rats that startled more often, because their hearing threshold was just below the lowest prepulses. Metabolic imaging showed that the brain areas proposed for startle and PPI mediation are active during PPI paradigms in healthy untreated rats. More importantly, we show for the first time that the whole PPI modulation network is active during passive PPI sessions, where no selective attention to prepulse or startle stimulus is required. We conclude that this reflects ongoing monitoring of stimulus significance and constant adjustment of sensorimotor gating.
Globalization and climate change challenges the Arctic communities adaptability and increases vulnerability Kåre Hendriksen, PhD student, Aalborg University, Denmark The previous isolation of the Arctic will change as a wide range of areas increasingly are integrated into the globalized world....... Coinciding climate changes cause an easier access for worldwide market as well as for the extraction of coastal oil and mineral resources. In an attempt to optimize the fishing fleet by economic measures it is centralized to larger units, and the exports of unprocessed fish and shellfish to low wage...... in contemporary developments leaving them with a feeling of being powerless. The consequences of contemporary policies and the problems arising will be illustrated through examples from traditional hunting and fishing districts in Greenland....
Noel, Martin; Fortin, Karine; Bouyer, Laurent J
Adapting to external forces during walking has been proposed as a tool to improve locomotion after central nervous system injury. However, sensorimotor integration during walking varies according to the timing in the gait cycle, suggesting that adaptation may also depend on gait phases. In this study, an ElectroHydraulic AFO (EHO) was used to apply forces specifically during mid-stance and push-off to evaluate if feedforward movement control can be adapted in these 2 gait phases. Eleven healthy subjects walked on a treadmill before (3 min), during (5 min) and after (5 min) exposure to 2 force fields applied by the EHO (mid-stance/push-off; approximately 10 Nm, towards dorsiflexion). To evaluate modifications in feedforward control, strides with no force field ('catch strides') were unexpectedly inserted during the force field walking period. When initially exposed to a mid-stance force field (FF 20%), subjects showed a significant increase in ankle dorsiflexion velocity. Catches applied early into the FF 20% were similar to baseline (P > 0.99). Subjects gradually adapted by returning ankle velocity to baseline over approximately 50 strides. Catches applied thereafter showed decreased ankle velocity where the force field was normally applied, indicating the presence of feedforward adaptation. When initially exposed to a push-off force field (FF 50%), plantarflexion velocity was reduced in the zone of force field application. No adaptation occurred over the 5 min exposure. Catch strides kinematics remained similar to control at all times, suggesting no feedforward adaptation. As a control, force fields assisting plantarflexion (-3.5 to -9.5 Nm) were applied and increased ankle plantarflexion during push-off, confirming that the lack of kinematic changes during FF 50% catch strides were not simply due to a large ankle impedance. Together these results show that ankle exoskeletons such as the EHO can be used to study phase-specific adaptive control of the ankle during
Bouyer Laurent J
Full Text Available Abstract Background Adapting to external forces during walking has been proposed as a tool to improve locomotion after central nervous system injury. However, sensorimotor integration during walking varies according to the timing in the gait cycle, suggesting that adaptation may also depend on gait phases. In this study, an ElectroHydraulic AFO (EHO was used to apply forces specifically during mid-stance and push-off to evaluate if feedforward movement control can be adapted in these 2 gait phases. Methods Eleven healthy subjects walked on a treadmill before (3 min, during (5 min and after (5 min exposure to 2 force fields applied by the EHO (mid-stance/push-off; ~10 Nm, towards dorsiflexion. To evaluate modifications in feedforward control, strides with no force field ('catch strides' were unexpectedly inserted during the force field walking period. Results When initially exposed to a mid-stance force field (FF20%, subjects showed a significant increase in ankle dorsiflexion velocity. Catches applied early into the FF20% were similar to baseline (P > 0.99. Subjects gradually adapted by returning ankle velocity to baseline over ~50 strides. Catches applied thereafter showed decreased ankle velocity where the force field was normally applied, indicating the presence of feedforward adaptation. When initially exposed to a push-off force field (FF50%, plantarflexion velocity was reduced in the zone of force field application. No adaptation occurred over the 5 min exposure. Catch strides kinematics remained similar to control at all times, suggesting no feedforward adaptation. As a control, force fields assisting plantarflexion (-3.5 to -9.5 Nm were applied and increased ankle plantarflexion during push-off, confirming that the lack of kinematic changes during FF50% catch strides were not simply due to a large ankle impedance. Conclusion Together these results show that ankle exoskeletons such as the EHO can be used to study phase-specific adaptive
Noel, Martin; Fortin, Karine; Bouyer, Laurent J
Background Adapting to external forces during walking has been proposed as a tool to improve locomotion after central nervous system injury. However, sensorimotor integration during walking varies according to the timing in the gait cycle, suggesting that adaptation may also depend on gait phases. In this study, an ElectroHydraulic AFO (EHO) was used to apply forces specifically during mid-stance and push-off to evaluate if feedforward movement control can be adapted in these 2 gait phases. Methods Eleven healthy subjects walked on a treadmill before (3 min), during (5 min) and after (5 min) exposure to 2 force fields applied by the EHO (mid-stance/push-off; ~10 Nm, towards dorsiflexion). To evaluate modifications in feedforward control, strides with no force field ('catch strides') were unexpectedly inserted during the force field walking period. Results When initially exposed to a mid-stance force field (FF20%), subjects showed a significant increase in ankle dorsiflexion velocity. Catches applied early into the FF20% were similar to baseline (P > 0.99). Subjects gradually adapted by returning ankle velocity to baseline over ~50 strides. Catches applied thereafter showed decreased ankle velocity where the force field was normally applied, indicating the presence of feedforward adaptation. When initially exposed to a push-off force field (FF50%), plantarflexion velocity was reduced in the zone of force field application. No adaptation occurred over the 5 min exposure. Catch strides kinematics remained similar to control at all times, suggesting no feedforward adaptation. As a control, force fields assisting plantarflexion (-3.5 to -9.5 Nm) were applied and increased ankle plantarflexion during push-off, confirming that the lack of kinematic changes during FF50% catch strides were not simply due to a large ankle impedance. Conclusion Together these results show that ankle exoskeletons such as the EHO can be used to study phase-specific adaptive control of the ankle
Gonçalves, Giovanna Barros; Leite, Marco Antônio A.; Orsini, Marco; Pereira, João Santos
The use of the Nintendo Wii has been considered a good alternative in the motor rehabilitation of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD), requiring simultaneous interaction to develop strategies for physical, visual, auditory, cognitive, psychological and social activities in the performing of virtual activities, resulting in improvement in functional performance and gait. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of virtual sensorimotor activity on gait disorders in people with PD. Fifteen subjects with a clinical diagnosis of PD were submitted to the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS III), Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living Scale (SE), Functional Independence Measure (FIM), and biomechanical gait analysis using digital images taken with a video camera before and after the treatment program. The activities with the Nintendo Wii virtual platform were standardized into three categories: aerobics, balance and Wii plus exercises. Participants carried out separate virtual exercises for 40 min, twice a week, for a total of 14 sessions. The program improved sensorimotor performance in PD gait, with an increase in stride length and gait speed, in addition to a reduction in motor impairment, especially in items of rigidity and flexibility of the lower limbs evaluated by UPDRS III, and greater functional independence, as evidenced in the SE and FIM scales. Improvements in items related to locomotion and stair climbing were also observed. The training was effective in motor recovery in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, showing improvement in motor performance and functional independence in individuals with PD. PMID:24744845
Giovanna Barros Gonçalves
Full Text Available The use of the Nintendo Wii has been considered a good alternative in the motor rehabilitation of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD, requiring simultaneous interaction to develop strategies for physical, visual, auditory, cognitive, psychological and social activities in the performing of virtual activities, resulting in improvement in functional performance and gait. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of virtual sensorimotor activity on gait disorders in people with PD. Fifteen subjects with a clinical diagnosis of PD were submitted to the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS III, Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living Scale (SE, Functional Independence Measure (FIM, and biomechanical gait analysis using digital images taken with a video camera before and after the treatment program. The activities with the Nintendo Wii virtual platform were standardized into three categories: aerobics, balance and Wii plus exercises. Participants carried out separate virtual exercises for 40 min, twice a week, for a total of 14 sessions. The program improved sensorimotor performance in PD gait, with an increase in stride length and gait speed, in addition to a reduction in motor impairment, especially in items of rigidity and flexibility of the lower limbs evaluated by UPDRS III, and greater functional independence, as evidenced in the SE and FIM scales. Improvements in items related to locomotion and stair climbing were also observed. The training was effective in motor recovery in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, showing improvement in motor performance and functional independence in individuals with PD.
Green, Claudia; Minassian, Anuka; Vogel, Stefanie; Diedenhofen, Michael; Beyrau, Andreas; Wiedermann, Dirk; Hoehn, Mathias
Past investigations on stem cell-mediated recovery after stroke have limited their focus on the extent and morphological development of the ischemic lesion itself over time or on the integration capacity of the stem cell graft ex vivo However, an assessment of the long-term functional and structural improvement in vivo is essential to reliably quantify the regenerative capacity of cell implantation after stroke. We induced ischemic stroke in nude mice and implanted human neural stem cells (H9 derived) into the ipsilateral cortex in the acute phase. Functional and structural connectivity changes of the sensorimotor network were noninvasively monitored using magnetic resonance imaging for 3 months after stem cell implantation. A sharp decrease of the functional sensorimotor network extended even to the contralateral hemisphere, persisting for the whole 12 weeks of observation. In mice with stem cell implantation, functional networks were stabilized early on, pointing to a paracrine effect as an early supportive mechanism of the graft. This stabilization required the persistent vitality of the stem cells, monitored by bioluminescence imaging. Thus, we also observed deterioration of the early network stabilization upon vitality loss of the graft after a few weeks. Structural connectivity analysis showed fiber-density increases between the cortex and white matter regions occurring predominantly on the ischemic hemisphere. These fiber-density changes were nearly the same for both study groups. This motivated us to hypothesize that the stem cells can influence, via early paracrine effect, the functional networks, while observed structural changes are mainly stimulated by the ischemic event. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In recent years, research on strokes has made a shift away from a focus on immediate ischemic effects and towards an emphasis on the long-range effects of the lesion on the whole brain. Outcome improvements in stem cell therapies also require the understanding of
Catmur, Caroline; Walsh, Vincent; Heyes, Cecilia
Cells in the "mirror system" fire not only when an individual performs an action but also when one observes the same action performed by another agent [1-4]. The mirror system, found in premotor and parietal cortices of human and monkey brains, is thought to provide the foundation for social understanding and to enable the development of theory of mind and language [5-9]. However, it is unclear how mirror neurons acquire their mirror properties -- how they derive the information necessary to match observed with executed actions . We address this by showing that it is possible to manipulate the selectivity of the human mirror system, and thereby make it operate as a countermirror system, by giving participants training to perform one action while observing another. Before this training, participants showed event-related muscle-specific responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation over motor cortex during observation of little- and index-finger movements [11-13]. After training, this normal mirror effect was reversed. These results indicate that the mirror properties of the mirror system are neither wholly innate  nor fixed once acquired; instead they develop through sensorimotor learning [15, 16]. Our findings indicate that the human mirror system is, to some extent, both a product and a process of social interaction.
Press, Clare; Catmur, Caroline; Cook, Richard; Widmann, Hannah; Heyes, Cecilia; Bird, Geoffrey
Mirror neurons may be a genetic adaptation for social interaction. Alternatively, the associative hypothesis proposes that the development of mirror neurons is driven by sensorimotor learning, and that, given suitable experience, mirror neurons will respond to any stimulus. This hypothesis was tested using fMRI adaptation to index populations of cells with mirror properties. After sensorimotor training, where geometric shapes were paired with hand actions, BOLD response was measured while human participants experienced runs of events in which shape observation alternated with action execution or observation. Adaptation from shapes to action execution, and critically, observation, occurred in ventral premotor cortex (PMv) and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Adaptation from shapes to execution indicates that neuronal populations responding to the shapes had motor properties, while adaptation to observation demonstrates that these populations had mirror properties. These results indicate that sensorimotor training induced populations of cells with mirror properties in PMv and IPL to respond to the observation of arbitrary shapes. They suggest that the mirror system has not been shaped by evolution to respond in a mirror fashion to biological actions; instead, its development is mediated by stimulus-general processes of learning within a system adapted for visuomotor control.
Morishita, Takashi; Yamashita, Akiko; Katayama, Yoichi; Oshima, Hideki; Nishizaki, Yuji; Shijo, Katsunori; Fukaya, Chikashi; Yamamoto, Takamitsu
Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is a treatment option for various disorders such as medically refractory pain, poststroke hemiplegia, and movement disorders. However, the exact mechanisms underlying its effects remain unknown. In this study, the effects of long-term chronic MCS were investigated by observing changes in astrocytes. A quadripolar stimulation electrode was implanted on the dura over the sensorimotor cortex of adult rats, and the cortex was continuously stimulated for 3 hours, 1 week, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. Immunohistochemical staining of microglia (ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 [Iba1] staining) and astrocytes (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP] staining), and neuronal degeneration histochemistry (Fluoro-Jade B staining) were carried out to investigate the morphological changes following long-term chronic MCS. Iba1 staining and Fluoro-Jade B staining showed no evidence of Iba1-positive microglial changes or neurodegeneration. Following continuous MCS, GFAP-positive astrocytes were enlarged and their number increased in the cortex and the thalamus of the stimulated hemisphere. These findings indicate that chronic electrical stimulation can continuously activate astrocytes and result in morphological and quantitative changes. These changes may be involved in the mechanisms underlying the neuroplasticity effect induced by MCS.
Arbachyauskene, N A; Pushinaytis, K V
An adaptive algorithm for predicting increases in central loads of the electrical energy system is suggested for the task of evaluating the condition. The algorithm is based on the Kalman filter. In order to calculate the coefficient of intensification, the a priori assigned noise characteristics with low accuracy are used only in the beginning of the calculation. Further, the coefficient of intensification is calculated from the innovation sequence. This approach makes it possible to correct errors in the assignment of the statistical noise characteristics and to follow their changes. The algorithm is experimentally verified.
Picker, L.J. De; Cornelis, C.; Hulstijn, W.; Dumont, G.J.H.; Fransen, E.; Timmers, M.; Janssens, L.; Morrens, M.; Sabbe, B.G.C.
Objective: To compare sensorimotor performance and learning in stable schizophrenia patients, healthy age- and sex-matched controls and elderly controls on two variations of the rotary pursuit: circle pursuit (true motor learning) and figure pursuit (motor and sequence learning). Method: In the
Branquinho, Cristina; Príncipe, Adriana; Nunes, Alice; Kobel, Melanie; Soares, Cristina; Pinho, Pedro
The recent expansion of the semiarid climate to all the region of the south of Portugal and the growing impact of climate change demands local adaptation. The growth of the native forest represents a strategy at the ecosystem level to adapt to climate change since it increases resilience and increases also de delivery of ecosystem services such as the increment of organic matter in the soil, carbon and nitrogen, biodiversity, water infiltration, etc. Moreover decreases susceptibility to desertification. For that reason, large areas have been reforested in the south of Portugal with the native species holm oak and cork oak but with a low rate of effectiveness. Our goal in this work is to show how the cost-benefit relation of the actions intended to expand the forest of the Portuguese semiarid can be lowered by taking into account the microclimatic conditions and high spatial resolution management. The potential of forest regeneration was modelled at the local and regional level in the semiarid area using information concerning the Potential Solar Radiation. This model gives us the rate of native forest regeneration after a disturbance with high spatial resolution. Based on this model the territory was classified in: i) easy regeneration areas; ii) areas with the need of assisted reforestation, using methods that increase water and soil conservation; iii) areas of difficult reforestation because of the costs. Additionally a summary of the success of reforestations was made in the historical semiarid since the 60s based on the evaluation of a series of case studies, where we quantified the ecosystem services currently delivered by the reforested ecosystems. Acknowledgement: Programa Adapt: financed by EEA Grants and Fundo Português de Carbono
Full Text Available Abstract Background Severe traumatic knee injury, including injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL, leads to impaired sensorimotor function. Although improvements are achieved by training, impairment often persists. Because good sensorimotor function is associated with better patient-reported function and a potential lower risk of future joint problems, more effective treatment is warranted. Temporary cutaneous anesthesia of adjacent body parts was successfully used on the hand and foot to improve sensorimotor function. The aim of this study was to test whether this principle of brain plasticity could be used on the knee. The hypothesis was that temporary anesthesia of the skin area above and below the knee would improve sensorimotor function of the ipsilateral knee and leg in subjects with ACL injury. Methods In this double-blind exploratory study, 39 subjects with ACL injury (mean age 24 years, SD 5.2, 49% women, mean 52 weeks after injury or reconstruction and self-reported functional limitations and lack of trust in the knee were randomized to temporary local cutaneous application of anesthetic (EMLA® (n = 20 or placebo cream (n = 19. Fifty grams of EMLA®, or placebo, was applied on the leg 10 cm above and 10 cm below the center of patella, leaving the area around the knee without cream. Measures of sensory function (perception of touch, vibration sense, knee kinesthesia and motor function (knee muscle strength, hop test were assessed before and after 90 minutes of treatment with EMLA® or placebo. The paired t-test was used for comparisons within groups and analysis of variance between groups, except for ordinal data where the Wilcoxon signed rank test, or Mann–Whitney test, was used. The number of subjects needed was determined by an a priori sample size calculation. Results No statistically significant or clinically relevant differences were seen over time (before vs. after in the measures of sensory or motor
Archila-Meléndez, Mario E.; Valente, Giancarlo; Correia, Joao M.; Rouhl, Rob P. W.; van Kranen-Mastenbroek, Vivianne H.; Jansma, Bernadette M.
Sensorimotor integration, the translation between acoustic signals and motoric programs, may constitute a crucial mechanism for speech. During speech perception, the acoustic-motoric translations include the recruitment of cortical areas for the representation of speech articulatory features, such
Anil K. Raj
Full Text Available While most mobility options for persons with paraplegia or paraparesis employ wheeled solutions, significant adverse health, psychological, and social consequences result from wheelchair confinement. Modern robotic exoskeleton devices for gait assistance and rehabilitation, however, can support legged locomotion systems for those with lower extremity weakness or paralysis. The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC has developed the Mina, a prototype sensorimotor robotic orthosis for mobility assistance that provides mobility capability for paraplegic and paraparetic users. This paper describes the initial concept, design goals, and methods of this wearable overground robotic mobility device, which uses compliant actuation to power the hip and knee joints. Paralyzed users can balance and walk using the device over level terrain with the assistance of forearm crutches employing a quadrupedal gait. We have initiated sensory substitution feedback mechanisms to augment user sensory perception of his or her lower extremities. Using this sensory feedback, we hypothesize that users will ambulate with a more natural, upright gait and will be able to directly control the gait parameters and respond to perturbations. This may allow bipedal (with minimal support gait in future prototypes.
Marc A. Adams
Full Text Available Abstract Background Emerging interventions that rely on and harness variability in behavior to adapt to individual performance over time may outperform interventions that prescribe static goals (e.g., 10,000 steps/day. The purpose of this factorial trial was to compare adaptive vs. static goal setting and immediate vs. delayed, non-contingent financial rewards for increasing free-living physical activity (PA. Methods A 4-month 2 × 2 factorial randomized controlled trial tested main effects for goal setting (adaptive vs. static goals and rewards (immediate vs. delayed and interactions between factors to increase steps/day as measured by a Fitbit Zip. Moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA minutes/day was examined as a secondary outcome. Results Participants (N = 96 were mainly female (77%, aged 41 ± 9.5 years, and all were insufficiently active and overweight/obese (mean BMI = 34.1 ± 6.2. Participants across all groups increased by 2389 steps/day on average from baseline to intervention phase (p < .001. Participants receiving static goals showed a stronger increase in steps per day from baseline phase to intervention phase (2630 steps/day than those receiving adaptive goals (2149 steps/day; difference = 482 steps/day, p = .095. Participants receiving immediate rewards showed stronger improvement (2762 step/day increase from baseline to intervention phase than those receiving delayed rewards (2016 steps/day increase; difference = 746 steps/day, p = .009. However, the adaptive goals group showed a slower decrease in steps/day from the beginning of the intervention phase to the end of the intervention phase (i.e. less than half the rate compared to the static goals group (−7.7 steps vs. -18.3 steps each day; difference = 10.7 steps/day, p < .001 resulting in better improvements for the adaptive goals group by study end. Rate of change over the intervention phase did not differ between reward groups. Significant goal phase x goal
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — 1) In FY12 we completed the data collection and analysis for fifth and sixth studies in this project. 2) During this review period four presentations related to this...
Vanuytsel, T; Karamanolis, G; Van Oudenhove, L; Oudenhove, L V; Vos, R; Tack, J
Duodenal acid infusion induces gastric relaxation and sensitization to distension in healthy volunteers. The acid-sensitive mechanism is still unknown. We hypothesized that 5HT(3)-blockade can inhibit the acid-induced duodenogastric sensorimotor reflex in healthy volunteers. Fourteen healthy volunteers were included in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over trial. An infusion tube with attached pH-electrode was positioned in the duodenum and a barostat balloon was located in the gastric fundus. Proximal gastric volume and sensitivity to distension were assessed before and during duodenal acid infusion and after pretreatment with intravenous (i.v.) ondansetron (a 5HT(3)-receptor antagonist, 8 mg) or saline. An overall perception score (0-6) and an assessment of nine dyspeptic symptoms by visual analogue scales (VAS) were obtained. Results are given as mean ± SEM. Ondansetron had no effect on duodenal pH and on the acid-induced increase of proximal gastric volume (increase of 80 ± 20 vs 83 ± 15 mL after ondansetron and placebo; effect of acid acid infusion and gastric distension. 5HT(3)-receptors are involved in acid-induced duodenogastric sensitization, but not in the duodenogastric inhibitory motor reflex. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Ozaki, Mitsunori; Sano, Hiromi; Sato, Shigeki; Ogura, Mitsuhiro; Mushiake, Hajime; Chiken, Satomi; Nakao, Naoyuki; Nambu, Atsushi
To understand how information from different cortical areas is integrated and processed through the cortico-basal ganglia pathways, we used optogenetics to systematically stimulate the sensorimotor cortex and examined basal ganglia activity. We utilized Thy1-ChR2-YFP transgenic mice, in which channelrhodopsin 2 is robustly expressed in layer V pyramidal neurons. We applied light spots to the sensorimotor cortex in a grid pattern and examined neuronal responses in the globus pallidus (GP) and entopeduncular nucleus (EPN), which are the relay and output nuclei of the basal ganglia, respectively. Light stimulation typically induced a triphasic response composed of early excitation, inhibition, and late excitation in GP/EPN neurons. Other response patterns lacking 1 or 2 of the components were also observed. The distribution of the cortical sites whose stimulation induced a triphasic response was confined, whereas stimulation of the large surrounding areas induced early and late excitation without inhibition. Our results suggest that cortical inputs to the GP/EPN are organized in a "local inhibitory and global excitatory" manner. Such organization seems to be the neuronal basis for information processing through the cortico-basal ganglia pathways, that is, releasing and terminating necessary information at an appropriate timing, while simultaneously suppressing other unnecessary information. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.
Repp, Bruno H; Moseley, Gordon P
Studies of phase correction in sensorimotor synchronization often introduce timing perturbations that are unpredictable with regard to direction, magnitude, and position in the stimulus sequence. If participants knew any or all of these parameters in advance, would they be able to anticipate perturbations and thus regain synchrony more quickly? In Experiment 1, we asked musically trained participants to tap in synchrony with short isochronous tone sequences containing a phase shift (PS) of -100, -40, 40, or 100 ms and provided advance information about its direction, position, or both (but not about its magnitude). The first two conditions had little effect, but in the third condition participants shifted their tap in anticipation of the PS, though only by about ±40 ms on average. The phase correction response to the residual PS was also enhanced. In Experiment 2, we provided complete advance information about PSs of various magnitudes either at the time of the immediately preceding tone ("late") or at the time of the tone one position back ("early") while also varying sequence tempo. Anticipatory phase correction was generally conservative and was impeded by fast tempo in the "late" condition. At fast tempi in both conditions, advancing a tap was more difficult than delaying a tap. The results indicate that temporal constraints on anticipatory phase correction resemble those on reactive phase correction. While the latter is usually automatic, this study shows that phase correction can also be controlled consciously for anticipatory purposes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gurvan Le Clec’H
Full Text Available In this article, we present a simple agent which learns an internal representation of space without a priori knowledge of its environment, body, or sensors. The learned environment is seen as an internal space representation. This representation is isomorphic to the group of transformations applied to the environment. The model solves certain theoretical and practical issues encountered in previous work in sensorimotor contingency theory. Considering the mathematical description of the internal representation, analysis of its properties and simulations, we prove that this internal representation is equivalent to knowledge of space.
Anwar, A R; Muthalib, M; Perrey, S; Galka, A; Granert, O; Wolff, S; Heute, U; Deuschl, G; Raethjen, J; Muthuraman, Muthuraman
Recently, interest has been growing to understand the underlying dynamic directional relationship between simultaneously activated regions of the brain during motor task performance. Such directionality analysis (or effective connectivity analysis), based on non-invasive electrophysiological (electroencephalography-EEG) and hemodynamic (functional near infrared spectroscopy-fNIRS; and functional magnetic resonance imaging-fMRI) neuroimaging modalities can provide an estimate of the motor task-related information flow from one brain region to another. Since EEG, fNIRS and fMRI modalities achieve different spatial and temporal resolutions of motor-task related activation in the brain, the aim of this study was to determine the effective connectivity of cortico-cortical sensorimotor networks during finger movement tasks measured by each neuroimaging modality. Nine healthy subjects performed right hand finger movement tasks of different complexity (simple finger tapping-FT, simple finger sequence-SFS, and complex finger sequence-CFS). We focused our observations on three cortical regions of interest (ROIs), namely the contralateral sensorimotor cortex (SMC), the contralateral premotor cortex (PMC) and the contralateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). We estimated the effective connectivity between these ROIs using conditional Granger causality (GC) analysis determined from the time series signals measured by fMRI (blood oxygenation level-dependent-BOLD), fNIRS (oxygenated-O2Hb and deoxygenated-HHb hemoglobin), and EEG (scalp and source level analysis) neuroimaging modalities. The effective connectivity analysis showed significant bi-directional information flow between the SMC, PMC, and DLPFC as determined by the EEG (scalp and source), fMRI (BOLD) and fNIRS (O2Hb and HHb) modalities for all three motor tasks. However the source level EEG GC values were significantly greater than the other modalities. In addition, only the source level EEG showed a
Pecher, Diane; Zeelenberg, René; Barsalou, Lawrence W
According to the perceptual symbols theory (Barsalou, 1999), sensorimotor simulations underlie the representation of concepts. Simulations are componential in the sense that they vary with the context in which the concept is presented. In the present study, we investigated whether representations are affected by recent experiences with a concept. Concept names (e.g., APPLE) were presented twice in a property verification task with a different property on each occasion. The two properties were either from the same perceptual modality (e.g., green, shiny) or from different modalities (e.g., tart, shiny). All stimuli were words. There was a lag of several intervening trials between the first and second presentation. Verification times and error rates for the second presentation of the concept were higher if the properties were from different modalities than if they were from the same modality.
Full Text Available Previous studies support the notion that sensorimotor learning involves multiple processes. We investigated the neuronal basis of these processes by recording single-unit activity in motor cortex of non-human primates (Macaca fascicularis, during adaptation to force-field perturbations. Perturbed trials (reaching to one direction were practiced along with unperturbed trials (to other directions. The number of perturbed trials relative to the unperturbed ones was either low or high, in two separate practice schedules. Unsurprisingly, practice under high-rate resulted in faster learning with more pronounced generalization, as compared to the low-rate practice. However, generalization and retention of behavioral and neuronal effects following practice in high-rate were less stable; namely, the faster learning was forgotten faster. We examined two subgroups of cells and showed that, during learning, the changes in firing-rate in one subgroup depended on the number of practiced trials, but not on time. In contrast, changes in the second subgroup depended on time and practice; the changes in firing-rate, following the same number of perturbed trials, were larger under high-rate than low-rate learning. After learning, the neuronal changes gradually decayed. In the first subgroup, the decay pace did not depend on the practice rate, whereas in the second subgroup, the decay pace was greater following high-rate practice. This group shows neuronal representation that mirrors the behavioral performance, evolving faster but also decaying faster at learning under high-rate, as compared to low-rate. The results suggest that the stability of a new learned skill and its neuronal representation are affected by the acquisition schedule.
Full Text Available Mirror neurons may be a genetic adaptation for social interaction. Alternatively, the associative hypothesis proposes that the development of mirror neurons is driven by sensorimotor learning, and that, given suitable experience, mirror neurons will respond to any stimulus. This hypothesis was tested using fMRI adaptation to index populations of cells with mirror properties. After sensorimotor training, where geometric shapes were paired with hand actions, BOLD response was measured while human participants experienced runs of events in which shape observation alternated with action execution or observation. Adaptation from shapes to action execution, and critically, observation, occurred in ventral premotor cortex (PMv and inferior parietal lobule (IPL. Adaptation from shapes to execution indicates that neuronal populations responding to the shapes had motor properties, while adaptation to observation demonstrates that these populations had mirror properties. These results indicate that sensorimotor training induced populations of cells with mirror properties in PMv and IPL to respond to the observation of arbitrary shapes. They suggest that the mirror system has not been shaped by evolution to respond in a mirror fashion to biological actions; instead, its development is mediated by stimulus-general processes of learning within a system adapted for visuomotor control.
Press, Clare; Catmur, Caroline; Cook, Richard; Widmann, Hannah; Heyes, Cecilia; Bird, Geoffrey
Mirror neurons may be a genetic adaptation for social interaction . Alternatively, the associative hypothesis ,  proposes that the development of mirror neurons is driven by sensorimotor learning, and that, given suitable experience, mirror neurons will respond to any stimulus. This hypothesis was tested using fMRI adaptation to index populations of cells with mirror properties. After sensorimotor training, where geometric shapes were paired with hand actions, BOLD response was measured while human participants experienced runs of events in which shape observation alternated with action execution or observation. Adaptation from shapes to action execution, and critically, observation, occurred in ventral premotor cortex (PMv) and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Adaptation from shapes to execution indicates that neuronal populations responding to the shapes had motor properties, while adaptation to observation demonstrates that these populations had mirror properties. These results indicate that sensorimotor training induced populations of cells with mirror properties in PMv and IPL to respond to the observation of arbitrary shapes. They suggest that the mirror system has not been shaped by evolution to respond in a mirror fashion to biological actions; instead, its development is mediated by stimulus-general processes of learning within a system adapted for visuomotor control. PMID:23251653
Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda; Evangelista, Emma; Ewing, Louise; Peters, Marianne; Taylor, Libby
Perceptual adaptation not only produces striking perceptual aftereffects, but also enhances coding efficiency and discrimination by calibrating coding mechanisms to prevailing inputs. Attention to simple stimuli increases adaptation, potentially enhancing its functional benefits. Here we show that attention also increases adaptation to faces. In Experiment 1, face identity aftereffects increased when attention to adapting faces was increased using a change detection task. In Experiment 2, figural (distortion) face aftereffects increased when attention was increased using a snap game (detecting immediate repeats) during adaptation. Both were large effects. Contributions of low-level adaptation were reduced using free viewing (both experiments) and a size change between adapt and test faces (Experiment 2). We suggest that attention may enhance adaptation throughout the entire cortical visual pathway, with functional benefits well beyond the immediate advantages of selective processing of potentially important stimuli. These results highlight the potential to facilitate adaptive updating of face-coding mechanisms by strategic deployment of attentional resources. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Macica, Carolyn M; King, Helen E; Wang, Meina; McEachon, Courtney L; Skinner, Catherine W; Tommasini, Steven M
The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of reproductive adaptations to mineral homeostasis on the skeleton in a mouse model of compromised mineral homeostasis compared to adaptations in control, unaffected mice. During pregnancy, maternal adaptations to high mineral demand include more
Notaras, Michael J; Hill, Rachel A; Gogos, Joseph A; van den Buuse, Maarten
Reduced expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism, which results in deficient activity-dependent secretion of BDNF, is associated with clinical features of schizophrenia. We investigated the effect of this polymorphism on Prepulse Inhibition (PPI), a translational model of sensorimotor gating which is disrupted in schizophrenia. We utilized humanized BDNFVal66Met (hBDNFVal66Met) mice which have been modified to carry the Val66Met polymorphism, as well as express humanized BDNF in vivo. We also studied the long-term effect of chronic corticosterone (CORT) exposure in these animals as a model of history of stress. PPI was assessed at 30ms and 100ms interstimulus intervals (ISI). Analysis of PPI at the commonly used 100ms ISI identified that, irrespective of CORT treatment, the hBDNFVal/Met genotype was associated with significantly reduced PPI. In contrast, PPI was not different between hBDNFMet/Met and hBDNFVal/Val genotype mice. At the 30ms ISI, CORT treatment selectively disrupted sensorimotor gating of hBDNFVal/Met heterozygote mice but not hBDNFVal/Val or hBDNFMet/Met mice. Analysis of startle reactivity revealed that chronic CORT reduced startle reactivity of hBDNFVal/Val male mice by 51%. However, this was independent of the effect of CORT on PPI. In summary, we provide evidence of a distinct BDNFVal66Met heterozygote-specific phenotype using the sensorimotor gating endophenotype of schizophrenia. These data have important implications for clinical studies where, if possible, the BDNFVal/Met heterozygote genotype should be distinguished from the BDNFMet/Met genotype. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Düring, Signe; Glenthøj, Birte Y; Andersen, Gitte Saltoft
It has been suggested that psychophysiological measures of sensory and sensorimotor gating, P50 gating and prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI), underlie core features of schizophrenia and are linked to dopaminergic pathways in the striatum and prefrontal cortex. In the present study, ...
Spiess, Kerianne E; Sansosti, Laura E; Meyr, Andrew J
We have previously demonstrated an abnormally delayed mean brake response time and an increased frequency of abnormally delayed brake responses in a group of neuropathic drivers with diabetes compared with a control group of drivers with neither diabetes nor lower extremity neuropathy. The objective of the present case-control study was to compare the mean brake response time between 2 groups of drivers with diabetes with and without lower extremity sensorimotor neuropathy. The braking performances of the participants were evaluated using a computerized driving simulator with specific measurement of the mean brake response time and the frequency of the abnormally delayed brake responses. We compared a control group of 25 active drivers with type 2 diabetes without lower extremity neuropathy and an experimental group of 25 active drivers with type 2 diabetes and lower extremity neuropathy from an urban U.S. podiatric medical clinic. The experimental group demonstrated an 11.49% slower mean brake response time (0.757 ± 0.180 versus 0.679 ± 0.120 second; p time slower than a suggested safety threshold of 0.70 second, and diabetic drivers without neuropathy demonstrated a mean brake response time faster than this threshold. The results of the present investigation provide evidence that the specific onset of lower extremity sensorimotor neuropathy associated with diabetes appears to impart a negative effect on automobile brake responses. Copyright © 2017 American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The cerebellum is involved in a large number of different neural processes, especially in associative learning and in fine motor control. To develop a comprehensive theory of sensorimotor learning and control, it is crucial to determine the neural basis of coding and plasticity embedded into the cerebellar neural circuit and how they are translated into behavioral outcomes in learning paradigms. Learning has to be inferred from the interaction of an embodied system with its real environment, and the same cerebellar principles derived from cell physiology have to be able to drive a variety of tasks of different nature, calling for complex timing and movement patterns. We have coupled a realistic cerebellar spiking neural network (SNN with a real robot and challenged it in multiple diverse sensorimotor tasks. Encoding and decoding strategies based on neuronal firing rates were applied. Adaptive motor control protocols with acquisition and extinction phases have been designed and tested, including an associative Pavlovian task (Eye blinking classical conditioning, a vestibulo-ocular task and a perturbed arm reaching task operating in closed-loop. The SNN processed in real-time mossy fiber inputs as arbitrary contextual signals, irrespective of whether they conveyed a tone, a vestibular stimulus or the position of a limb. A bidirectional long-term plasticity rule implemented at parallel fibers-Purkinje cell synapses modulated the output activity in the deep cerebellar nuclei. In all tasks, the neurorobot learned to adjust timing and gain of the motor responses by tuning its output discharge. It succeeded in reproducing how human biological systems acquire, extinguish and express knowledge of a noisy and changing world. By varying stimuli and perturbations patterns, real-time control robustness and generalizability were validated. The implicit spiking dynamics of the cerebellar model fulfill timing, prediction and learning functions.
Casellato, Claudia; Antonietti, Alberto; Garrido, Jesus A; Carrillo, Richard R; Luque, Niceto R; Ros, Eduardo; Pedrocchi, Alessandra; D'Angelo, Egidio
The cerebellum is involved in a large number of different neural processes, especially in associative learning and in fine motor control. To develop a comprehensive theory of sensorimotor learning and control, it is crucial to determine the neural basis of coding and plasticity embedded into the cerebellar neural circuit and how they are translated into behavioral outcomes in learning paradigms. Learning has to be inferred from the interaction of an embodied system with its real environment, and the same cerebellar principles derived from cell physiology have to be able to drive a variety of tasks of different nature, calling for complex timing and movement patterns. We have coupled a realistic cerebellar spiking neural network (SNN) with a real robot and challenged it in multiple diverse sensorimotor tasks. Encoding and decoding strategies based on neuronal firing rates were applied. Adaptive motor control protocols with acquisition and extinction phases have been designed and tested, including an associative Pavlovian task (Eye blinking classical conditioning), a vestibulo-ocular task and a perturbed arm reaching task operating in closed-loop. The SNN processed in real-time mossy fiber inputs as arbitrary contextual signals, irrespective of whether they conveyed a tone, a vestibular stimulus or the position of a limb. A bidirectional long-term plasticity rule implemented at parallel fibers-Purkinje cell synapses modulated the output activity in the deep cerebellar nuclei. In all tasks, the neurorobot learned to adjust timing and gain of the motor responses by tuning its output discharge. It succeeded in reproducing how human biological systems acquire, extinguish and express knowledge of a noisy and changing world. By varying stimuli and perturbations patterns, real-time control robustness and generalizability were validated. The implicit spiking dynamics of the cerebellar model fulfill timing, prediction and learning functions.
Soblosky, J S; Colgin, L L; Chorney-Lane, D; Davidson, J F; Carey, M E
Hindlimb and forelimb deficits in rats caused by sensorimotor cortex lesions are frequently tested by using the narrow flat beam (hindlimb), the narrow pegged beam (hindlimb and forelimb) or the grid-walking (forelimb) tests. Although these are excellent tests, the narrow flat beam generates non-parametric data so that using more powerful parametric statistical analyses are prohibited. All these tests can be difficult to score if the rat is moving rapidly. Foot misplacements, especially on the grid-walking test, are indicative of an ongoing deficit, but have not been reliably and accurately described and quantified previously. In this paper we present an easy to construct and use horizontal ladder-beam with a camera system on rails which can be used to evaluate both hindlimb and forelimb deficits in a single test. By slow motion videotape playback we were able to quantify and demonstrate foot misplacements which go beyond the recovery period usually seen using more conventional measures (i.e. footslips and footfaults). This convenient system provides a rapid and reliable method for recording and evaluating rat performance on any type of beam and may be useful for measuring sensorimotor recovery following brain injury.
Temple, D. R.; De Dios, Y. E.; Layne, C. S.; Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.
Astronauts exposed to microgravity face sensorimotor challenges incurred when readapting to a gravitational environment. Sensorimotor Adaptability (SA) training has been proposed as a countermeasure to improve locomotor performance during re-adaptation, and it is suggested that the benefits of SA training may be further enhanced by improving detection of weak sensory signals via mechanisms such as stochastic resonance when a non-zero level of stochastic white noise based electrical stimulation is applied to the vestibular system (stochastic vestibular stimulation, SVS). The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of using SVS to improve short-term adaptation in a sensory discordant environment during performance of a locomotor task.
Anne J. Blood
Full Text Available Preliminary evidence from postmortem studies of X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism (XDP suggests tissue loss may occur first and/or most severely in the striatal striosome compartment, followed later by cell loss in the matrix compartment. However, little is known about how this relates to pathogenesis and pathophysiology. While MRI cannot visualize these striatal compartments directly in humans, differences in relative gradients of afferent cortical connectivity across compartments (weighted toward paralimbic versus sensorimotor cortex, respectively can be used to infer potential selective loss in vivo. In the current study we evaluated relative connectivity of paralimbic versus sensorimotor cortex with the caudate and putamen in 17 individuals with XDP and 17 matched controls. Although caudate and putamen volumes were reduced in XDP, there were no significant reductions in either “matrix-weighted”, or “striosome-weighted” connectivity. In fact, paralimbic connectivity with the putamen was elevated, rather than reduced, in XDP. This was driven most strongly by elevated putamen connectivity with the anterior insula. There was no relationship of these findings to disease duration or striatal volume, suggesting insula and/or paralimbic connectivity in XDP may develop abnormally and/or increase in the years before symptom onset.
Thigpen, Mary T; Cauraugh, James; Creel, Gwen; Day, Kristin; Flynn, Sheryl; Fritz, Stacy; Frost, Shirley; Respess, Robert; Gardner-Smith, Portia; Brack, Mia; Behrman, Andrea
Incomplete spinal cord injury (ISCI) frequently disrupts afferent and efferent neural pathways underlying co-requisite voluntary and involuntary muscle activation required for functional standing and walking. To understand involuntary postural control mechanisms necessary for standing, we compared eight individuals with ISCI to eight controls with no impairment. The aim of this study was to investigate anticipatory and reactive balance responses in individuals with ISCI. The ability to adapt to changes in balance conditions was assessed by monitoring automatic postural responses (APRs) during a series of expected and unexpected changes in perturbation direction (backward translation versus toes-up rotation). Both groups were able to modulate appropriately within one or two trials following an unexpected change in condition. Onset times of anterior tibialis and medial gastrocnemius (MG) were significantly slower in the ISCI group during expected and unexpected conditions. These findings demonstrate that persons with mild to moderate lower extremity sensorimotor deficits are able to generate and adapt APRs to a rapid and unexpected contextual change during a simple standing balance task.
Ouellette, Adam Louis; Liston, Matthew B; Chang, Wei-Ju; Walton, David M; Wand, Benedict Martin; Schabrun, Siobhan M
Chronic low back pain (LBP) is a common and costly health problem yet current treatments demonstrate at best, small effects. The concurrent application of treatments with synergistic clinical and mechanistic effects may improve outcomes in chronic LBP. This pilot trial aims to (1) determine the feasibility, safety and perceived patient response to a combined transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and sensorimotor retraining intervention in chronic LBP and (2) provide data to support a sample size calculation for a fully powered trial should trends of effectiveness be present. A pilot randomised, assessor and participant-blind, sham-controlled trial will be conducted. Eighty participants with chronic LBP will be randomly allocated to receive either (1) active tDCS + sensorimotor retraining or (2) sham tDCS + sensorimotor retraining. tDCS (active or sham) will be applied to the primary motor cortex for 20 min immediately prior to 60 min of supervised sensorimotor retraining twice per week for 10 weeks. Participants in both groups will complete home exercises three times per week. Feasibility, safety, pain, disability and pain system function will be assessed immediately before and after the 10-week intervention. Analysis of feasibility and safety will be performed using descriptive statistics. Statistical analyses will be conducted based on intention-to-treat and per protocol and will be used to determine trends for effectiveness. Ethical approval has been gained from the institutional human research ethics committee (H10184). Written informed consent will be provided by all participants. Results from this pilot study will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. ACTRN12616000624482. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
Dubbioso, Raffaele; Raffin, Estelle; Karabanov, Anke
Using the short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) paradigm, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the primary motor hand area (M1HAND) can probe how sensory input from limbs modulates corticomotor output in humans. Here we applied a novel TMS mapping approach to chart the spatial representat......Using the short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) paradigm, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the primary motor hand area (M1HAND) can probe how sensory input from limbs modulates corticomotor output in humans. Here we applied a novel TMS mapping approach to chart the spatial...... in M1HAND. Like homotopic SAI, heterotopic SAF was somatotopically expressed in M1HAND. Together, the results provide first-time evidence that fast sensorimotor integration involves centre-inhibition and surround-facilitation in human M1HAND....
Feifel, D.; Pang, Z.; Shilling, P.D.; Melendez, G.; Schreiber, R.; Button, D.
BACKGROUND Converging evidence has implicated endogenous neurotensin (NT) in the pathophysiology of brain processes relevant to schizophrenia. Prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI) is a measure of sensorimotor gating and considered to be of strong relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders associated with psychosis and cognitive dysfunction. Mice genetically engineered to not express NT display deficits in PPI that model the PPI deficits seen in schizophrenia patients. NT1 receptors have been most strongly implicated in mediating the psychosis relevant effects of NT such as attenuating PPI deficits. To investigate the role of NT1 receptors in the regulation of PPI, we measured baseline PPI in wildtype (WT) and NT1 knockout (KO) mice. We also tested the effects of amphetamine and dizocilpine, a dopamine agonist and NMDA antagonist, respectively, that reduce PPI as well as the NT1 selective receptor agonist, PD149163, known to increase PPI in rats. METHODS Baseline PPI and acoustic startle response were measured in WT and NT1 knockout KO mice. After baseline testing, mice were tested again after receiving intraperatoneal (IP) saline or one of three doses of amphetamine (1.0, 3.0 and 10.0 mg/kg), dizocilpine (0.3, 1.0 and 3.0 mg/kg) and PD149163 (0.5, 2.0 and 6.0 mg/kg) on separate test days. RESULTS Baseline PPI and acoustic startle response in NT1 KO mice were not significantly different from NT1 WT mice. WT and KO mice exhibited similar responses to the PPI-disrupting effects of dizocilpine and amphetamine. PD149163 significantly facilitated PPI (P < 0.004) and decreased the acoustic startle response (P < 0.001) in WT but not NT1 KO mice. CONCLUSIONS The data does not support the regulation of baseline PPI or the PPI disruptive effects of amphetamine or dizocilpine by endogenous NT acting at the NT1 receptor, although they support the antipsychotic potential of pharmacological activation of NT1 receptors by NT1 agonists. PMID:19596359
Bracken, Maeve; Rohrer, Nicole
The current study assessed the effectiveness of an adapted form of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) in increasing independent requesting in deafblind adults with learning disabilities. PECS cards were created to accommodate individual needs, including adaptations such as enlarging photographs and using swelled images which consisted of images created on raised line drawing paper. Training included up to Phase III of PECS and procedures ensuring generalizations across individuals and contexts were included. The effects of the intervention were evaluated using a multiple baseline design across participants. Results demonstrated an increase in independent requesting with each of the participants reaching mastery criterion. These results suggest that PECS, in combination with some minor adaptations, may be an effective communicative alternative for individuals who are deafblind and have learning impairments. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Yang, Yang; Pu, Fang; Li, Shuyu; Li, Yan; Li, Deyu; Fan, Yubo
Ground-based preflight training utilizing unusual visual stimuli is useful for decreasing the susceptibility to space motion sickness (SMS). The effectiveness of the sensorimotor adaptation training is affected by the training tasks, but what kind of task is more effective remains unknown. Whether the complexity is the decisive factor to consider for designing the training and if other factors are more important need to be analyzed. The results from the analysis can help to optimize the preflight training tasks for astronauts. Twenty right-handed subjects were asked to draw the right path of 45° rotated maze before and after 30 min training. Subjects wore an up-down reversing prism spectacle in test and training sessions. Two training tasks were performed: drawing the right path of the horizontal maze (complex task but with different orientation feature) and drawing the L-shape lines (easy task with same orientation feature). The error rate and the executing time were measured during the test. Paired samples t test was used to compare the effects of the two training tasks. After each training, the error rate and the executing time were significantly decreased. However, the training effectiveness of the easy task was better as the test was finished more quickly and accurately. The complexity is not always the decisive factor for designing the adaptation training task, e.g. the orientation feature is more important in this study. In order to accelerate the adaptation and to counter SMS, the task for astronauts preflight adaptation training could be simple activities with the key features.
Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian
In most everyday situations sensorimotor processes are quite complex because situations often require to carry out several actions in a specific temporal order; i.e. one has to cascade different actions. While it is known that changes to stimuli affect action cascading mechanisms, it is unknown whether action cascading changes when sensory stimuli are not manipulated, but the neural architecture to process these stimuli is altered. In the current study we test this hypothesis using prelingually deaf subjects as a model to answer this question. We use a system neurophysiological approach using event-related potentials (ERPs) and source localization techniques. We show that prelingually deaf subjects show improvements in action cascading. However, this improvement is most likely not due to changes at the perceptual (P1-ERP) and attentional processing level (N1-ERP), but due to changes at the response selection level (P3-ERP). It seems that the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) is important for these effects to occur, because the TPJ comprises overlapping networks important for the processing of sensory information and the selection of responses. Sensory deprivation thus affects cognitive processes downstream of sensory processing and only these seem to be important for behavioral improvements in situations requiring complex sensorimotor processes and action cascading.
Oliveira, Anderson Souza; Arguissain, Federico Gabriel; Andersen, Ole Kæseler
The aim of this study was to investigate whether cognitive processing for defining step precision during walking could induce changes in electrocortical activity. Ten healthy adults (21-36 years) were asked to walk overground in three different conditions: (1) normal walking in a straight path (N...... activity in cognitive, motor and sensorimotor areas may be relevant to produce patterned and safe locomotion through challenging paths.......The aim of this study was to investigate whether cognitive processing for defining step precision during walking could induce changes in electrocortical activity. Ten healthy adults (21-36 years) were asked to walk overground in three different conditions: (1) normal walking in a straight path (NW....../sensorimotor regions, a phase in the gait cycle in which participants define the correct foot placement for the next step. These results suggest that greater cognitive demands during precision stepping influences electrocortical dynamics especially towards step transitions. Therefore, increased electrocortical...
Lincoln J. Colling
Full Text Available Tapping in time to a metronome beat (hereafter beat synchronization shows considerable variability in child populations, and individual differences in beat synchronization are reliably related to reading development. Children with developmental dyslexia show impairments in beat synchronization. These impairments may reflect deficiencies in auditory perception of the beat which in turn affect auditory-motor mapping, or may reflect an independent motor deficit. Here, we used a new methodology in EEG based on measuring beat-related steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EPs, Nozaradan et al., 2015 in an attempt to disentangle neural sensory and motor contributions to behavioral beat synchronization in children with dyslexia. Children tapped with both their left and right hands to every second beat of a metronome pulse delivered at 2.4 Hz, or listened passively to the beat. Analyses of preferred phase in EEG showed that the children with dyslexia had a significantly different preferred phase compared to control children in all conditions. Regarding SS-EPs, the groups differed significantly for the passive Auditory listening condition at 2.4 Hz, and showed a trend toward a difference in the Right hand tapping condition at 3.6 Hz (sensorimotor integration measure. The data suggest that neural rhythmic entrainment is atypical in children with dyslexia for both an auditory beat and during sensorimotor coupling (tapping. The data are relevant to a growing literature suggesting that rhythm-based interventions may help language processing in children with developmental disorders of language learning.
Haruno, M; Wolpert, D M; Kawato, M
Humans demonstrate a remarkable ability to generate accurate and appropriate motor behavior under many different and often uncertain environmental conditions. We previously proposed a new modular architecture, the modular selection and identification for control (MOSAIC) model, for motor learning and control based on multiple pairs of forward (predictor) and inverse (controller) models. The architecture simultaneously learns the multiple inverse models necessary for control as well as how to select the set of inverse models appropriate for a given environment. It combines both feedforward and feedback sensorimotor information so that the controllers can be selected both prior to movement and subsequently during movement. This article extends and evaluates the MOSAIC architecture in the following respects. The learning in the architecture was implemented by both the original gradient-descent method and the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm. Unlike gradient descent, the newly derived EM algorithm is robust to the initial starting conditions and learning parameters. Second, simulations of an object manipulation task prove that the architecture can learn to manipulate multiple objects and switch between them appropriately. Moreover, after learning, the model shows generalization to novel objects whose dynamics lie within the polyhedra of already learned dynamics. Finally, when each of the dynamics is associated with a particular object shape, the model is able to select the appropriate controller before movement execution. When presented with a novel shape-dynamic pairing, inappropriate activation of modules is observed followed by on-line correction.
Bruderer, Alison G; Danielson, D Kyle; Kandhadai, Padmapriya; Werker, Janet F
The influence of speech production on speech perception is well established in adults. However, because adults have a long history of both perceiving and producing speech, the extent to which the perception-production linkage is due to experience is unknown. We addressed this issue by asking whether articulatory configurations can influence infants' speech perception performance. To eliminate influences from specific linguistic experience, we studied preverbal, 6-mo-old infants and tested the discrimination of a nonnative, and hence never-before-experienced, speech sound distinction. In three experimental studies, we used teething toys to control the position and movement of the tongue tip while the infants listened to the speech sounds. Using ultrasound imaging technology, we verified that the teething toys consistently and effectively constrained the movement and positioning of infants' tongues. With a looking-time procedure, we found that temporarily restraining infants' articulators impeded their discrimination of a nonnative consonant contrast but only when the relevant articulator was selectively restrained to prevent the movements associated with producing those sounds. Our results provide striking evidence that even before infants speak their first words and without specific listening experience, sensorimotor information from the articulators influences speech perception. These results transform theories of speech perception by suggesting that even at the initial stages of development, oral-motor movements influence speech sound discrimination. Moreover, an experimentally induced "impairment" in articulator movement can compromise speech perception performance, raising the question of whether long-term oral-motor impairments may impact perceptual development.
It is well known that during ecological monitoring of contaminated territories registration of early abnormalities in an organism is hampered by man-caused influence of habitat. Under these circumstances study of both structural and functional changes in organs and tissues of rodents inhabiting radioactive contaminated territories is of great importance. Study of structural features of endocrine glands, hormones of which trigger the process of active adaptive changes in an organism, is very important in radioecological surveys. Basing on long-term study of voles we have determined that long-term living by rodents on the territories characterized by increased natural and artificial radioactivity (radium contaminated fields in the Komi Republic and 30-km zone of Chernobyl APS) substantially influences morpho-functional state of endocrine system organs, causing quantitative and qualitative changes. It is demonstrated that population processes modify biological consequences of small doze chronic ionizing radiation in habitat. We noticed the following: high heterogeneity of histological changes of thyroid gland and adrenal gland as a response to radioactive habitat contamination; disorder of interconnection among different links of endocrine system; dependence of radiation effects on gender, age, degree and character of radiation contamination of a habitat as well as duration of radioactive influence. We have got data on morphological characteristics of thyroid gland and adrenal gland during different phases of population amount of this kind of rodents. It was discovered that effectiveness of radiation influence is not the same during different periods of population cycle. Presence of voles on the territories characterized by increased radioactivity causes chronic tension of adrenal cortex (increasing of the organ mass, enlarging of thickness of zona fasciculata and zona reticularis). Destructive-necrotic processes combine with manifestation of reparative regeneration
Menz, Hylton B; Lord, Stephen R; Fitzpatrick, Richard C
Many falls in older people occur while walking, however the mechanisms responsible for gait instability are poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a plausible model describing the relationships between impaired sensorimotor function, fear of falling and gait patterns in older people. Temporo-spatial gait parameters and acceleration patterns of the head and pelvis were obtained from 100 community-dwelling older people aged between 75 and 93 years while walking on an irregular walkway. A theoretical model was developed to explain the relationships between these variables, assuming that head stability is a primary output of the postural control system when walking. This model was then tested using structural equation modeling, a statistical technique which enables the testing of a set of regression equations simultaneously. The structural equation model indicated that: (i) reduced step length has a significant direct and indirect association with reduced head stability; (ii) impaired sensorimotor function is significantly associated with reduced head stability, but this effect is largely indirect, mediated by reduced step length, and; (iii) fear of falling is significantly associated with reduced step length, but has little direct influence on head stability. These findings provide useful insights into the possible mechanisms underlying gait characteristics and risk of falling in older people. Particularly important is the indication that fear-related step length shortening may be maladaptive.
Arribas, María; Cabanillas, Laura; Kubota, Kirina; Lázaro, Ester
RNA viruses replicate with very high error rates, which makes them more sensitive to additional increases in this parameter. This fact has inspired an antiviral strategy named lethal mutagenesis, which is based on the artificial increase of the error rate above a threshold incompatible with virus infectivity. A relevant issue concerning lethal mutagenesis is whether incomplete treatments might enhance the adaptive possibilities of viruses. We have addressed this question by subjecting an RNA virus, the bacteriophage Qβ, to different transmission regimes in the presence or the absence of sublethal concentrations of the mutagenic nucleoside analogue 5-azacytidine (AZC). Populations obtained were subsequently exposed to a non-optimal temperature and analyzed to determine their consensus sequences. Our results show that previously mutagenized populations rapidly fixed a specific set of mutations upon propagation at the new temperature, suggesting that the expansion of the mutant spectrum caused by AZC has an influence on later evolutionary behavior. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Roig, Marc; Ritterband-Rosenbaum, Anina; Jensen, Jesper Lundbye
Declines in the ability to learn motor skills in older adults are commonly attributed to deficits in the encoding of sensorimotor information during motor practice. We investigated whether aging also impairs motor memory consolidation by assessing the susceptibility to memory interference and off...... greater susceptibility to memory interference and no off-line gains in motor skill learning. Performing B produced memory interference and reduced off-line gains only in the older group. However, older adults also showed deficits in memory consolidation independent of the interfering effects of B. Age......-related declines in motor skill learning are not produced exclusively by deficits in the encoding of sensorimotor information during practice. Aging also increases the susceptibility to memory interference and reduces off-line gains in motor skill learning after practice....
Harm, Deborah; Taylor, L. C.; Reschke, M. F.
Virtual environments offer unique training opportunities, particularly for training astronauts and preadapting them to the novel sensory conditions of microgravity. Two unresolved human factors issues in virtual reality (VR) systems are: 1) potential "cybersickness", and 2) maladaptive sensorimotor performance following exposure to VR systems. Interestingly, these aftereffects are often quite similar to adaptive sensorimotor responses observed in astronauts during and/or following space flight. Active exploratory behavior in a new environment, with resulting feedback and the formation of new associations between sensory inputs and response outputs, promotes appropriate perception and motor control in the new environment. Thus, people adapt to consistent, sustained alterations of sensory input such as those produced by microgravity. Our research examining the effects of repeated exposures to a full field of view dome VR system showed that motion sickness and initial decrements in eye movement and postural control were greatly diminished following three exposures. These results suggest that repeated transitions between VR and the normal environment preflight might be a useful countermeasure for neurosensory and sensorimotor effects of space flight. The range of VR applications is enormous, extending from ground-based VR training for extravehicular activities at NASA, to medical and educational uses. It seems reasonable to suggest that other space related uses of VR should be investigated. For example, 1) use of head-mounted VR on orbit to rehearse/practice upcoming operational activities, and 2) ground-based VR training for emergency egress procedures. We propose that by combining VR designed for operational activities preflight, along with an appropriate schedule to facilitate sensorimotor adaptation and improve spatial orientation would potentially accomplish two important goals for astronauts and cosmonauts, preflight sensorimotor adaption and enhanced operational
Kojima, Hiroki; Froese, Tom; Oka, Mizuki; Iizuka, Hiroyuki; Ikegami, Takashi
It is not yet well understood how we become conscious of the presence of other people as being other subjects in their own right. Developmental and phenomenological approaches are converging on a relational hypothesis: my perception of a “you” is primarily constituted by another subject’s attention being directed toward “me.” This is particularly the case when my body is being physically explored in an intentional manner. We set out to characterize the sensorimotor signature of the transition...
Albert, Frederic; Santello, Marco; Gordon, Andrew M
We studied the ability to transfer three-digit force sharing patterns learned through consecutive lifts of an object with an asymmetric center of mass (CM). After several object lifts, we asked subjects to rotate and translate the object to the contralateral hand and perform one additional lift. This task was performed under two weight conditions (550 and 950 g) to determine the extent to which subjects would be able to transfer weight and CM information. Learning transfer was quantified by measuring the extent to which force sharing patterns and peak object roll on the first post-translation trial resembled those measured on the pre-translation trial with the same CM. We found that the overall gain of fingertip forces was transferred following object rotation, but that the scaling of individual digit forces was specific to the learned digit-object configuration, and thus was not transferred following rotation. As a result, on the first post-translation trial there was a significantly larger object roll following object lift-off than on the pre-translation trial. This suggests that sensorimotor memories for weight, requiring scaling of fingertip force gain, may differ from memories for mass distribution.
Cook, Richard; Press, Clare; Dickinson, Anthony; Heyes, Cecilia
The associative sequence learning model proposes that the development of the mirror system depends on the same mechanisms of associative learning that mediate Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning. To test this model, two experiments used the reduction of automatic imitation through incompatible sensorimotor training to assess whether mirror system plasticity is sensitive to contingency (i.e., the extent to which activation of one representation predicts activation of another). In Experiment 1, residual automatic imitation was measured following incompatible training in which the action stimulus was a perfect predictor of the response (contingent) or not at all predictive of the response (noncontingent). A contingency effect was observed: There was less automatic imitation indicative of more learning in the contingent group. Experiment 2 replicated this contingency effect and showed that, as predicted by associative learning theory, it can be abolished by signaling trials in which the response occurs in the absence of an action stimulus. These findings support the view that mirror system development depends on associative learning and indicate that this learning is not purely Hebbian. If this is correct, associative learning theory could be used to explain, predict, and intervene in mirror system development.
Frederiksen, Kristian Steen; Oranje, Bob; Wienberg, Malene
Sensorimotor gating is critical to normal brain functioning, and disruptions are associated with certain mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR) (PPI) is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating, of which evidence for a serotonergic...
Full Text Available Among different uses of freshwater, irrigation is the most impacting groundwater resource, leading to water table depletion and possible seawater intrusion. The unbalance between the availability of water resources and demand is currently exacerbated and could become worse in the near future in accordance with climate change observations and scenarios provided by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC. In this context, Increasing Maximum Capacity of the surface reservoir (IMC and Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR are adaptation measures that have the potential to enhance water supply systems resiliency. In this paper, a multiple-users and multiple-resources-Water Supply System (WSS model is implemented to evaluate the effectiveness of these two adaptation strategies in a context of overexploited groundwater under the RCP 4.5 and the RCP 8.5 IPCC scenarios. The presented a case study that is located in the Puglia, a semi-arid region of South Italy characterized by a conspicuous water demand for irrigation. We observed that, although no significant long-term trend affects the proposed precipitation scenarios, the expected temperature increase highly impacts the WSS resources due to the associated increase of water demand for irrigation purposes. Under the RCP 4.5 the MAR scenario results are more effective than the IMC during long term wet periods (typically 5 years and successfully compensates the impact on the groundwater resources. Differently, under RCP 8.5, due to more persistent dry periods, both adaptation scenarios fail and groundwater resource become exposed to massive sea water intrusion during the second half of the century. We conclude that the MAR scenario is a suitable adaptation strategy to face the expected future changes in climate, although mitigation actions to reduce green-house gases are strongly required.
Expression of glial fibrillar acidic protein in the sensorimotor cortex of the cerebral hemispheres in the modeling of transient ischemia against the background of previous sensitization by brain antigen and immunocorrection
L. M. Yaremenko
Full Text Available Aim. In order to analyze the dynamics of expression of glial fibrillar acidic protein in the sensorimotor cortex of the large hemispheres in the simulation of transient ischemia against the background of previous sensitization by brain antigen and immunocorrection. Materials and methods. The study is conducted on 185 male mature white rats from Wistar line weighing 260-290 g, in which the damage of the brain was modulated. The brain for study was taken on the 1st, 3rd, 10th, 30th and 90th days after the start of the experiment. The histological, immunohistochemical, morphometric and statistical methods were used. Results. Observations have shown that sensitization by the brain antigen causes neurodegenerative changes in the sensorimotor cortex and a moderate increase in the number of GFAP+-gliocytes, which is gradually increasing. The discirculatory changes that occurred with PO and BCA against the background of previous sensitization practically do not lead to changes in the number of GFAP+-cells. Against the background of sensitization by brain antigen, brain ischemia leads to an increase in the number of gliocytes that are GFAP labeled. In the affected hemisphere, their number reaches a maximum in the end of the acute period of ischemia, after which it decreases. But even in 3 months after transient vascular lesion, there are almost twice as many as in conditionally intact rats. This can be a factor that will significantly affect the function of brain regions after a vascular accident. The increase in the number of GFAP+-gliocytes in the contralateral hemisphere allows us to speak about a certain systemic response of astrocytic glia after ischemic trauma. An early reaction to increase of the number of labeled astrocytes just a day after ischemic attack suggests that some of this type of gliocytes does not expresses GFAP under normal conditions. The action of Imunofan in MEAs results in a less significant decrease in manifestations of
Carlsson, Fredrik; Edman, Mattias; Holm, Svante; Eriksson, Anna-Maria; Jonsson, Bengt Gunnar
Forest fires have been the major stand-replacing/modifying disturbance in boreal forests. To adapt to fire disturbance, different strategies have evolved. This study focuses on wood fungi, and a specific adaptation to forest fire: increased heat resistance in their mycelia. Fifteen species of wood fungi were selected and a priori sorted in two groups according to their prevalence in fire-affected environments. The fungi were cultivated on fresh wood and exposed to 100, 140, 180, 220 °C for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 min. under laboratory conditions. A clear difference was found among the two groups. Species prevalent in fire-affected habitats had a much higher survival rate over all combinations of time and temperature compared to species associated with other environments. Thus, the results indicate that fire adaptation in terms of increased heat resistance in mycelia occurs in some species of wood fungi. Such adaptation will influence the ecology and population dynamics of wood fungi, as well as having implications for best practices during restoration fires. Copyright © 2012 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Manabe, Yasuko; Gollisch, Katja S.C.; Holton, Laura; Kim, Young–Bum; Brandauer, Josef; Fujii, Nobuharu L.; Hirshman, Michael F.; Goodyear, Laurie J.
Chronic exercise training results in numerous skeletal muscle adaptations, including increases in insulin sensitivity and glycogen content. To understand the mechanism for increased muscle glycogen, we studied the effects of exercise training on glycogen regulatory proteins in rat skeletal muscle. Female Sprague Dawley rats performed voluntary wheel running for 1, 4, or 7 weeks. After 7 weeks of training, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was increased in epitrochlearis muscle. Compared to sedentary control rats, muscle glycogen did not change after 1 week of training, but increased significantly after 4 and 7 weeks. The increases in muscle glycogen were accompanied by elevated glycogen synthase activity and protein expression. To assess the regulation of glycogen synthase, we examined its major activator, protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), and its major deactivator, glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3). Consistent with glycogen synthase activity, PP1 activity was unchanged after 1 week of training but significantly increased after 4 and 7 weeks of training. Protein expression of RGL(GM), another regulatory PP1 subunit, significantly decreased after 4 and 7 weeks of training. Unlike PP1, GSK3 phosphorylation did not follow the pattern of glycogen synthase activity. The ~40% decrease in GSK-3α phosphorylation after 1 week of exercise training persisted until 7 weeks and may function as a negative feedback to elevated glycogen. Our findings suggest that exercise training-induced increases in muscle glycogen content could be regulated by multiple mechanisms including enhanced insulin sensitivity, glycogen synthase expression, allosteric activation of glycogen synthase and PP1activity. PMID:23206309
Contemori, Samuele; Biscarini, Andrea; Botti, Fabio Massimo; Busti, Daniele; Panichi, Roberto; Pettorossi, Vito Enrico
Isolated infraspinatus muscle atrophy (IIMA) only affects the hitting shoulder of overhead-activity athletes, and is caused by suprascapular nerve neuropathy. No study has assessed the static and dynamic stability of the shoulder in overhead professional athletes with IIMA to reveal possible shoulder sensorimotor alterations. To assess the shoulder static stability, dynamic stability, and strength in professional volleyball players with IIMA and in healthy control players. Cross-sectional study. Research laboratory. Twenty-four male professional volleyball players (12 players with diagnosed IIMA and 12 healthy players) recruited from local volleyball teams. Static stability was evaluated with two independent force platforms and dynamic stability was assessed with the "Upper Quarter Y Balance Test". The static stability assessment was conducted in different support (single hand and both hand) and vision (open and closed eyes) conditions. Data from each test were analyzed with ANOVA and paired t-test models, to highlight statistical differences within and between groups. In addition to reduced abduction and external rotation strength, athletes with IIMA consistently demonstrated significant less static (P < 0.001) and dynamic stability (P < 0,001), compared with the contralateral shoulder and with healthy athletes. Closed eyes condition significantly enhanced the static stability deficit of the shoulder with IIMA (P = 0.039 and P = 0.034 for both hand and single hand support, respectively), but had no effect in healthy contralateral and healthy players' shoulders. This study highlights an impairment of the sensorimotor control system of the shoulder with IIMA, which likely results from both proprioceptive and strength deficits. This condition could yield subtle alteration in the functional use of the shoulder and predispose it to acute or overuse injuries. The results of this study may help athletic trainers and physical/physiotherapists to prevent shoulder injuries
Günther, Fritz; Dudschig, Carolin; Kaup, Barbara
Theories of embodied cognition assume that concepts are grounded in non-linguistic, sensorimotor experience. In support of this assumption, previous studies have shown that upwards response movements are faster than downwards movements after participants have been presented with words whose referents are typically located in the upper vertical space (and vice versa for downwards responses). This is taken as evidence that processing these words reactivates sensorimotor experiential traces. This congruency effect was also found for novel words, after participants learned these words as labels for novel objects that they encountered either in their upper or lower visual field. While this indicates that direct experience with a word's referent is sufficient to evoke said congruency effects, the present study investigates whether this direct experience is also a necessary condition. To this end, we conducted five experiments in which participants learned novel words from purely linguistic input: Novel words were presented in pairs with real up- or down-words (Experiment 1); they were presented in natural sentences where they replaced these real words (Experiment 2); they were presented as new labels for these real words (Experiment 3); and they were presented as labels for novel combined concepts based on these real words (Experiment 4 and 5). In all five experiments, we did not find any congruency effects elicited by the novel words; however, participants were always able to make correct explicit judgements about the vertical dimension associated to the novel words. These results suggest that direct experience is necessary for reactivating experiential traces, but this reactivation is not a necessary condition for understanding (in the sense of storing and accessing) the corresponding aspects of word meaning. Copyright © 2017 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Full Text Available The paleoecology of desmostylians has been discussed controversially with a general consensus that desmostylians were aquatic or semi-aquatic to some extent. Bone microanatomy can be used as a powerful tool to infer habitat preference of extinct animals. However, bone microanatomical studies of desmostylians are extremely scarce.We analyzed the histology and microanatomy of several desmostylians using thin-sections and CT scans of ribs, humeri, femora and vertebrae. Comparisons with extant mammals allowed us to better understand the mode of life and evolutionary history of these taxa. Desmostylian ribs and long bones generally lack a medullary cavity. This trait has been interpreted as an aquatic adaptation among amniotes. Behemotops and Paleoparadoxia show osteosclerosis (i.e. increase in bone compactness, and Ashoroa pachyosteosclerosis (i.e. combined increase in bone volume and compactness. Conversely, Desmostylus differs from these desmostylians in displaying an osteoporotic-like pattern.In living taxa, bone mass increase provides hydrostatic buoyancy and body trim control suitable for poorly efficient swimmers, while wholly spongy bones are associated with hydrodynamic buoyancy control in active swimmers. Our study suggests that all desmostylians had achieved an essentially, if not exclusively, aquatic lifestyle. Behemotops, Paleoparadoxia and Ashoroa are interpreted as shallow water swimmers, either hovering slowly at a preferred depth, or walking on the bottom, and Desmostylus as a more active swimmer with a peculiar habitat and feeding strategy within Desmostylia. Therefore, desmostylians are, with cetaceans, the second mammal group showing a shift from bone mass increase to a spongy inner organization of bones in their evolutionary history.
Granacher, U; Gollhofer, A; Strass, D
The aging neuromuscular system is affected by structural and functional changes which lead to a general slowing down of neuromuscular performance and an increased risk of falling. The impact of heavy resistance (HR) training in the elderly on maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) and rate of force development (RFD) has been investigated in the past. However, the influence of sensorimotor (SENSO) training and HR training on the ability to compensate for gait perturbations has not yet been investigated in the elderly. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the impact of HR and SENSO training in elderly men on unexpected treadmill perturbations. Functional reflex activity was recorded by means of surface EMG in 40 male subjects (>60 years) before and after 13 weeks of HR and SENSO training and in another 20 male subjects (>60 years), which served as a CONTROL-group. SENSO training resulted in a decrease in onset latency, an enhanced reflex activity in the prime mover as well as a decrease in maximal angular velocity of the ankle joint complex during the perturbation impulses. No significant changes were observed in the HR- and in the CONTROL-group. The results clearly indicate that SENSO training has an impact on spinal motor control mechanisms in the elderly. Training induced improvements in perception and procession of afferent information could be a possible reason for the increase in reflex contraction. Due to these adaptive processes, SENSO training could be a well-suited method for fall preventive programs in elderly people.
Dynamic Functional Connectivity States Between the Dorsal and Ventral Sensorimotor Networks Revealed by Dynamic Conditional Correlation Analysis of Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Syed, Maleeha F; Lindquist, Martin A; Pillai, Jay J; Agarwal, Shruti; Gujar, Sachin K; Choe, Ann S; Caffo, Brian; Sair, Haris I
Functional connectivity in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) has received substantial attention since the initial findings of Biswal et al. Traditional network correlation metrics assume that the functional connectivity in the brain remains stationary over time. However, recent studies have shown that robust temporal fluctuations of functional connectivity among as well as within functional networks exist, challenging this assumption. In this study, these dynamic correlation differences were investigated between the dorsal and ventral sensorimotor networks by applying the dynamic conditional correlation model to rs-fMRI data of 20 healthy subjects. k-Means clustering was used to determine an optimal number of discrete connectivity states (k = 10) of the sensorimotor system across all subjects. Our analysis confirms the existence of differences in dynamic correlation between the dorsal and ventral networks, with highest connectivity found within the ventral motor network.
Full Text Available Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC administration via the intranasal route could become an effective therapy to treat neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI brain damage. We analyzed long-term effects of intranasal MSC treatment on lesion size, sensorimotor and cognitive behavior, and determined the therapeutic window and dose response relationships. Furthermore, the appearance of MSCs at the lesion site in relation to the therapeutic window was examined. Nine-day-old mice were subjected to unilateral carotid artery occlusion and hypoxia. MSCs were administered intranasally at 3, 10 or 17 days after hypoxia-ischemia (HI. Motor, cognitive and histological outcome was investigated. PKH-26 labeled cells were used to localize MSCs in the brain. We identified 0.5 × 10(6 MSCs as the minimal effective dose with a therapeutic window of at least 10 days but less than 17 days post-HI. A single dose was sufficient for a marked beneficial effect. MSCs reach the lesion site within 24 h when given 3 or 10 days after injury. However, no MSCs were detected in the lesion when administered 17 days following HI. We also show for the first time that intranasal MSC treatment after HI improves cognitive function. Improvement of sensorimotor function and histological outcome was maintained until at least 9 weeks post-HI. The capacity of MSCs to reach the lesion site within 24 h after intranasal administration at 10 days but not at 17 days post-HI indicates a therapeutic window of at least 10 days. Our data strongly indicate that intranasal MSC treatment may become a promising non-invasive therapeutic tool to effectively reduce neonatal encephalopathy.
Borji, Rihab; Sahli, Sonia; Baccouch, Rym; Laatar, Rabeb; Kachouri, Hiba; Rebai, Haithem
Background: This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of a hopping and jumping training programme (HJP) versus a sensorimotor rehabilitation programme (SRP) on postural performances in children with intellectual disability. Methods: Three groups of children with intellectual disability participated in the study: the HJP group, the SRP group…
A. Paige. Fischer
Full Text Available Because wildfire size and frequency are expected to increase in many forested areas in the United States, organizations involved in forest and wildfire management could arguably benefit from working together and sharing information to develop strategies for how to adapt to this increasing risk. Social capital theory suggests that actors in cohesive networks are positioned to build trust and mutual understanding of problems and act collectively to address these problems, and that actors engaged with diverse partners are positioned to access new information and resources that are important for innovation and complex problem solving. We investigated the patterns of interaction within a network of organizations involved in forest and wildfire management in Oregon, USA, for evidence of structural conditions that create opportunities for collective action and learning. We used descriptive statistical analysis of social network data gathered through interviews to characterize the structure of the network and exponential random graph modeling to identify key factors in the formation of network ties. We interpreted our findings through the lens of social capital theory to identify implications for the network's capacity to engage in collective action and complex problem-solving about how to adapt to environmental change. We found that tendencies to associate with others with similar management goals, geographic emphases, and attitudes toward wildfire were strong mechanisms shaping network structure, potentially constraining interactions among organizations with diverse information and resources and limiting opportunities for learning and complex problem-solving needed for adaptation. In particular, we found that organizations with fire protection and forest restoration goals comprised distinct networks despite sharing concern about the problem of increasing wildfire risk.
Full Text Available Fenugreek is a medicinal plant whose seeds are widely used in traditional medicine, mainly for its laxative, galactagogue and antidiabetic effects. However, consumption of fenugreek seeds during pregnancy has been associated with a range of congenital malformations, including hydrocephalus, anencephaly and spina bifida in humans. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of prenatal treatment of fenugreek seeds on the development of sensorimotor functions from birth to young adults. Pregnant mice were treated by gavage with 1 g/kg/day of lyophilized fenugreek seeds aqueous extract (FSAE or distilled water during the gestational period. Behavioral tests revealed in prenatally treated mice a significant delay in righting, cliff avoidance, negative geotaxis responses and the swimming development. In addition, extracellular recording of motor output in spinal cord isolated from neonatal mice showed that the frequency of spontaneous activity and fictive locomotion was reduced in FSAE-exposed mice. On the other hand, the cross-correlation coefficient in control mice was significantly more negative than in treated animals indicating that alternating patterns are deteriorated in FSAE-treated animals. At advanced age, prenatally treated mice displayed altered locomotor coordination in the rotarod test and also changes in static and dynamic parameters assessed by the CatWalk automated gait analysis system. We conclude that FSAE impairs sensorimotor and coordination functions not only in neonates but also in adult mice. Moreover, spinal neuronal networks are less excitable in prenatally FSAE-exposed mice suggesting that modifications within the central nervous system are responsible, at least in part, for the motor impairments.
Almeida, Q J; Frank, J S; Roy, E A; Jenkins, M E; Spaulding, S; Patla, A E; Jog, M S
Recent research suggests that basal ganglia dysfunction may result in problems integrating concurrent vision and proprioception during movement. We evaluated dopaminergic system involvement in this sensorimotor process during locomotion within a large sample of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients while "On" and "Off" their dopaminergic medications (n=25), in conditions that selectively manipulated the availability of proprioception, vision or both. The present experiment focused on two main objectives: i) to examine the relative influence of visual and proprioceptive inputs on locomotion and target accuracy in patients with PD; and ii) to examine the influence of dopamine replacement therapy on sensorimotor integration while moving toward the target. All participants walked at a self-selected pace on a GAITRite carpet in two baseline conditions (light and dark), as well as four experimental darkness conditions: a) to a remembered target (i.e. proprioception only), b) to a remembered target with light on chest for body position awareness (proprioception plus), c) with vision of a lit target, also with light on chest (vision and proprioception), d) pushed in wheelchair to remembered target (no proprioception or vision). Final position was measured by 2-D radial error, and revealed a group by condition interaction, suggesting that PD patients "Off" their medications move to targets with less accuracy, but approach the accuracy of healthy participants when in the "On" state. Both PD and healthy improved their accuracy with availability of concurrent vision and proprioception (condition c). Interestingly, our results demonstrate that PD "Off" performed the task with greater difficulty than when "On" medication, but only when proprioception was the sole source of feedback. Since PD, whether medicated or unmedicated were even more affected when proprioception was removed (wheelchair), a memory-related explanation can be ruled out. Our results suggest that the basal ganglia
Nugent, Allison C; Luber, Bruce; Carver, Frederick W; Robinson, Stephen E; Coppola, Richard; Zarate, Carlos A
Recently, independent components analysis (ICA) of resting state magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings has revealed resting state networks (RSNs) that exhibit fluctuations of band-limited power envelopes. Most of the work in this area has concentrated on networks derived from the power envelope of beta bandpass-filtered data. Although research has demonstrated that most networks show maximal correlation in the beta band, little is known about how spatial patterns of correlations may differ across frequencies. This study analyzed MEG data from 18 healthy subjects to determine if the spatial patterns of RSNs differed between delta, theta, alpha, beta, gamma, and high gamma frequency bands. To validate our method, we focused on the sensorimotor network, which is well-characterized and robust in both MEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) resting state data. Synthetic aperture magnetometry (SAM) was used to project signals into anatomical source space separately in each band before a group temporal ICA was performed over all subjects and bands. This method preserved the inherent correlation structure of the data and reflected connectivity derived from single-band ICA, but also allowed identification of spatial spectral modes that are consistent across subjects. The implications of these results on our understanding of sensorimotor function are discussed, as are the potential applications of this technique. Hum Brain Mapp 38:779-791, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Fiedler, Matthew; DeDios,Yiri E.; Galvan, Raquel; Bloomberg, Jacob; Wood, Scott
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.
Batson, Crystal D.; Brady, Rachel A.; Peters, Brian T.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.
After they return to Earth, astronauts experience sensorimotor disturbances that disrupt their ability to walk. We have previously shown that training with a variety of sensorimotor adaptive challenges enhances the capability of adapting to novel sensorimotor conditions. We are currently developing a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program designed to facilitate recovery of function after gravitational transitions. The purpose of this study was to determine whether trained subjects could transfer learned skills from one discordant visuo-proprioceptive environment to another. During three sessions, subjects walked at 2.5 km/h on a treadmill mounted on a motion base platform. Ten subjects trained with a combination of lateral treadmill translation and superimposed sinusoidal lateral optic flow that was presented on a large screen positioned in front of them. Ten controls completed the same training schedule while viewing only the forward optic flow with no visual or physical oscillation. Twenty minutes after the final training session, all subjects completed a 2-minute trial with a novel combination of visual and treadmill roll perturbations not previously experienced during the training (Transfer Test). Compared to the untrained group, participants who received SA training showed faster reaction times and, based on a composite score derived from stride frequency, heart rate, and reaction time, an overall enhanced performance. Our results showed that an SA training program can improve overall walking performance when subjects are exposed to novel incongruent sensory environments. This training has application for both enhancing adaptive responses in astronauts and reducing fall and injury risk in the elderly.
Lezcano Giménez, Pablo Gabriel
Development of a Sensorimotor Algorithm Able to Deal with Unforeseen Pushes and Its Implementation Based on VHDL is the title of my thesis which concludes my Bachelor Degree in the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería y Sistemas de Telecomunicación of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. It encloses the overall work I did in the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory from the Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin during my ERASMUS year in 2015. This thesis is focused on the field of robotics, sp...
Godar, Sean C; Mosher, Laura J; Strathman, Hunter J; Gochi, Andrea M; Jones, Cori M; Fowler, Stephen C; Bortolato, Marco
The D1CT-7 mouse is one of the best known animal models of Tourette syndrome (TS), featuring spontaneous tic-like behaviours sensitive to standard TS therapies; these characteristics ensure a high face and predictive validity of this model, yet its construct validity remains elusive. To address this issue, we studied the responses of D1CT-7 mice to two critical components of TS pathophysiology: the exacerbation of tic-like behaviours in response to stress and the presence of sensorimotor gating deficits, which are thought to reflect the perceptual alterations causing the tics. D1CT-7 and wild-type (WT) littermates were subjected to a 20 min session of spatial confinement (SC) within an inescapable, 10 cm wide cylindrical enclosure. Changes in plasma corticosterone levels, tic-like behaviours and other spontaneous responses were measured. SC-exposed mice were also tested for the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response (a sensorimotor gating index) and other TS-related behaviours, including open-field locomotion, novel object exploration and social interaction and compared with non-confined counterparts. SC produced a marked increase in corticosterone concentrations in both D1CT-7 and WT mice. In D1CT-7, but not WT mice, SC exacerbated tic-like and digging behaviours, and triggered PPI deficits and aggressive responses. Conversely, SC did not modify locomotor activity or novel object exploration in D1CT-7 mice. Both tic-like behaviours and PPI impairments in SC-exposed D1CT-7 mice were inhibited by standard TS therapies and D1 dopamine receptor antagonism. These findings collectively support the translational and construct validity of D1CT-7 mice with respect to TS. This article is part of a themed section on Updating Neuropathology and Neuropharmacology of Monoaminergic Systems. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v173.13/issuetoc. © 2015 The British Pharmacological Society.
Full Text Available Dyskinesias associated with involuntary movements and painful muscle contractions are a common and severe complication of standard levodopa (L-DOPA, L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine therapy for Parkinson's disease. Pathologic neuroplasticity leading to hyper-responsive dopamine receptor signaling in the sensorimotor striatum is thought to underlie this currently untreatable condition.Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR was employed to evaluate the molecular changes associated with L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson's disease. With this technique, we determined that thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH was greatly increased in the dopamine-depleted striatum of hemi-parkinsonian rats that developed abnormal movements in response to L-DOPA therapy, relative to the levels measured in the contralateral non-dopamine-depleted striatum, and in the striatum of non-dyskinetic control rats. ProTRH immunostaining suggested that TRH peptide levels were almost absent in the dopamine-depleted striatum of control rats that did not develop dyskinesias, but in the dyskinetic rats, proTRH immunostaining was dramatically up-regulated in the striatum, particularly in the sensorimotor striatum. This up-regulation of TRH peptide affected striatal medium spiny neurons of both the direct and indirect pathways, as well as neurons in striosomes.TRH is not known to be a key striatal neuromodulator, but intrastriatal injection of TRH in experimental animals can induce abnormal movements, apparently through increasing dopamine release. Our finding of a dramatic and selective up-regulation of TRH expression in the sensorimotor striatum of dyskinetic rat models suggests a TRH-mediated regulatory mechanism that may underlie the pathologic neuroplasticity driving dopamine hyper-responsivity in Parkinson's disease.
Bloomberg, J. J.; Peters, B. T.; Mulavara, A. P.; Brady, R. A.; Batson, C. D.; Ploutz-Snyder, R. J.; Cohen, H. S.
After spaceflight, the process of readapting to Earth s gravity causes locomotor dysfunction. We are developing a gait training countermeasure to facilitate adaptive responses in locomotor function. Our training system is comprised of a treadmill placed on a motion-base facing a virtual visual scene that provides an unstable walking surface combined with incongruent visual flow designed to train subjects to rapidly adapt their gait patterns to changes in the sensory environment. The goal of our present study was to determine if training improved both the locomotor and dual-tasking ability responses to a novel sensory environment and to quantify the retention of training. Subjects completed three, 30-minute training sessions during which they walked on the treadmill while receiving discordant support surface and visual input. Control subjects walked on the treadmill without any support surface or visual alterations. To determine the efficacy of training, all subjects were then tested using a novel visual flow and support surface movement not previously experienced during training. This test was performed 20 minutes, 1 week, and 1, 3, and 6 months after the final training session. Stride frequency and auditory reaction time were collected as measures of postural stability and cognitive effort, respectively. Subjects who received training showed less alteration in stride frequency and auditory reaction time compared to controls. Trained subjects maintained their level of performance over 6 months. We conclude that, with training, individuals became more proficient at walking in novel discordant sensorimotor conditions and were able to devote more attention to competing tasks.
Knogler, Laura D; Markov, Daniil A; Dragomir, Elena I; Štih, Vilim; Portugues, Ruben
A fundamental question in neurobiology is how animals integrate external sensory information from their environment with self-generated motor and sensory signals in order to guide motor behavior and adaptation. The cerebellum is a vertebrate hindbrain region where all of these signals converge and that has been implicated in the acquisition, coordination, and calibration of motor activity. Theories of cerebellar function postulate that granule cells encode a variety of sensorimotor signals in the cerebellar input layer. These models suggest that representations should be high-dimensional, sparse, and temporally patterned. However, in vivo physiological recordings addressing these points have been limited and in particular have been unable to measure the spatiotemporal dynamics of population-wide activity. In this study, we use both calcium imaging and electrophysiology in the awake larval zebrafish to investigate how cerebellar granule cells encode three types of sensory stimuli as well as stimulus-evoked motor behaviors. We find that a large fraction of all granule cells are active in response to these stimuli, such that representations are not sparse at the population level. We find instead that most responses belong to only one of a small number of distinct activity profiles, which are temporally homogeneous and anatomically clustered. We furthermore identify granule cells that are active during swimming behaviors and others that are multimodal for sensory and motor variables. When we pharmacologically change the threshold of a stimulus-evoked behavior, we observe correlated changes in these representations. Finally, electrophysiological data show no evidence for temporal patterning in the coding of different stimulus durations. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Swafford, Andrew J M; Oakley, Todd H
Complex sensory systems often underlie critical behaviors, including avoiding predators and locating prey, mates and shelter. Multisensory systems that control motor behavior even appear in unicellular eukaryotes, such as Chlamydomonas , which are important laboratory models for sensory biology. However, we know of no unicellular opisthokonts that control motor behavior using a multimodal sensory system. Therefore, existing single-celled models for multimodal sensorimotor integration are very distantly related to animals. Here, we describe a multisensory system that controls the motor function of unicellular fungal zoospores. We found that zoospores of Allomyces arbusculus exhibit both phototaxis and chemotaxis. Furthermore, we report that closely related Allomyces species respond to either the chemical or the light stimuli presented in this study, not both, and likely do not share this multisensory system. This diversity of sensory systems within Allomyces provides a rare example of a comparative framework that can be used to examine the evolution of sensory systems following the gain/loss of available sensory modalities. The tractability of Allomyces and related fungi as laboratory organisms will facilitate detailed mechanistic investigations into the genetic underpinnings of novel photosensory systems, and how multisensory systems may have functioned in early opisthokonts before multicellularity allowed for the evolution of specialized cell types. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Skovgaard, Casper; Almquist, Nicki Winfield; Bangsbo, Jens
The aim of the study was, in runners accustomed to speed endurance training (SET), to examine the effect of increased and maintained frequency of SET on performance and muscular adaptations. After familiarization (FAM) to SET, eighteen male (n=14) and female (n=4) runners (VO2-max: 57.3±3.4 ml·mi...
Morimoto, Chie; Hida, Eisuke; Shima, Keisuke; Okamura, Hitoshi
To identify a specific sensorimotor impairment feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we focused on temporal processing with millisecond accuracy. A synchronized finger-tapping task was used to characterize temporal processing in individuals with ASD as compared to typically developing (TD) individuals. We found that individuals with ASD…
Sawers, Andrew; Ting, Lena H
The ability to quantify differences in walking balance proficiency is critical to curbing the rising health and financial costs of falls. Current laboratory-based approaches typically focus on successful recovery of balance while clinical instruments often pose little difficulty for all but the most impaired patients. Rarely do they test motor behaviors of sufficient difficulty to evoke failures in balance control limiting their ability to quantify balance proficiency. Our objective was to test whether a simple beam-walking task could quantify differences in walking balance proficiency across a range of sensorimotor abilities. Ten experts, ten novices, and five individuals with transtibial limb loss performed six walking trials across three different width beams. Walking balance proficiency was quantified as the ratio of distance walked to total possible distance. Balance proficiency was not significantly different between cohorts on the wide-beam, but clear differences between cohorts on the mid and narrow-beams were identified. Experts walked a greater distance than novices on the mid-beam (average of 3.63±0.04m verus 2.70±0.21m out of 3.66m; p=0.009), and novices walked further than amputees (1.52±0.20m; p=0.03). Amputees were unable to walk on the narrow-beam, while experts walked further (3.07±0.14m) than novices (1.55±0.26m; p=0.0005). A simple beam-walking task and an easily collected measure of distance traveled detected differences in walking balance proficiency across sensorimotor abilities. This approach provides a means to safely study and evaluate successes and failures in walking balance in the clinic or lab. It may prove useful in identifying mechanisms underlying falls versus fall recoveries. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Haldin, Célise; Acher, Audrey; Kauffmann, Louise; Hueber, Thomas; Cousin, Emilie; Badin, Pierre; Perrier, Pascal; Fabre, Diandra; Perennou, Dominic; Detante, Olivier; Jaillard, Assia; Lœvenbruck, Hélène; Baciu, Monica
The rehabilitation of speech disorders benefits from providing visual information which may improve speech motor plans in patients. We tested the proof of concept of a rehabilitation method (Sensori-Motor Fusion, SMF; Ultraspeech player) in one post-stroke patient presenting chronic non-fluent aphasia. SMF allows visualisation by the patient of target tongue and lips movements using high-speed ultrasound and video imaging. This can improve the patient's awareness of his/her own lingual and labial movements, which can, in turn, improve the representation of articulatory movements and increase the ability to coordinate and combine articulatory gestures. The auditory and oro-sensory feedback received by the patient as a result of his/her own pronunciation can be integrated with the target articulatory movements they watch. Thus, this method is founded on sensorimotor integration during speech. The SMF effect on this patient was assessed through qualitative comparison of language scores and quantitative analysis of acoustic parameters measured in a speech production task, before and after rehabilitation. We also investigated cerebral patterns of language reorganisation for rhyme detection and syllable repetition, to evaluate the influence of SMF on phonological-phonetic processes. Our results showed that SMF had a beneficial effect on this patient who qualitatively improved in naming, reading, word repetition and rhyme judgment tasks. Quantitative measurements of acoustic parameters indicate that the patient's production of vowels and syllables also improved. Compared with pre-SMF, the fMRI data in the post-SMF session revealed the activation of cerebral regions related to articulatory, auditory and somatosensory processes, which were expected to be recruited by SMF. We discuss neurocognitive and linguistic mechanisms which may explain speech improvement after SMF, as well as the advantages of using this speech rehabilitation method.
Prisniakova, Lyudmila; Prisniakov, Volodymyr; Volkov, D. S.
The purpose of research was definition and comparison of relative parameters of sensorimotor reactions with a choice depending on a level of lateral asymmetry of hemispheres of a brain at representatives of various types of temperament OF male and female cosmonauts . These parameters were by the bases for verification of theoretical dependence for the latent period of reaction in conditions of weightlessness and overloads. The hypothesis about influence of functional asymmetry on parameters of psychomotor in sensory-motor reactions was laid in a basis of experiment. Techniques of definition of individual characters of the sensori-motor asymmetries were used, and G. Ajzenk's questionnaire EPQ adapted by Prisniakova L. Time of sensorimotor reaction has significant distinctions between representatives of different types of temperament with a various level interchemishere asymmetry OF male and female cosmonauts. With increase in expressiveness of the right hemisphere time of reaction tends to reduction at representatives of all types of temperament, the number of erroneous reactions as a whole increases also a level of achievement tends to reduction. Results of time of sensorimotor reaction correspond with parameter L. Prisniakova which characterizes individual - psychological features. .Earlier the received experimental data of constant time of processing of the information in memory at a period of a sensorimotor reactions of the man and new results for women were used for calculation of these time constants for overloads distinct from terrestrial. These data enable to predict dynamics of behavior of cosmonauts with differing sex in conditions of flight in view of their individual characteristics connected with the hemisphere asymmetry of a brain and with by a various degree of lateralization.
Hadzigeorgiou, Yannis; Anastasiou, Leonidas; Konsolas, Manos; Prevezanou, Barbara
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether participation in sensorimotor activities by preschool children involving their own bodily balance while walking on a beam over the floor has an effect on their understanding of the mechanical equilibrium of a balance beam. The balance beam consisted of a horizontal stick balancing around its…
Ye, Zheng; Hammer, Anke; Münte, Thomas F
Pramipexole is widely prescribed to treat Parkinson's disease but has been reported to cause impulse control disorders such as pathological gambling. Recent neurocomputational models suggested that D2 agonists may distort functional connections between the striatum and the motor cortex, resulting in impaired reinforcement learning and pathological gambling. To examine how D2 agonists modulate the striatal-motor connectivity, we carried out a pharmacological resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study with a double-blind randomized within-subject crossover design. We analyzed the medication-induced changes of network connectivity and topology with two approaches, an independent component analysis (ICA) and a graph theoretical analysis (GTA). The ICA identified the sensorimotor network (SMN) as well as other classical resting-state networks. Within the SMN, the connectivity between the right caudate nucleus and other cortical regions was weaker under pramipexole than under placebo. The GTA measured the topological properties of the whole-brain network at global and regional levels. Both the whole-brain network under placebo and that under pramipexole were identified as small-world networks. The two whole-brain networks were similar in global efficiency, clustering coefficient, small-world index, and modularity. However, the degree of the right caudate nucleus decreased under pramipexole mainly due to the loss of the connectivity with the supplementary motor area, paracentral lobule, and precentral and postcentral gyrus of the SMN. The two network analyses consistently revealed that pramipexole weakened the functional connectivity between the caudate nucleus and t