Coherence and phase locking of intracerebral activation during visuo- and audio-motor learning of continuous tracking movements
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The aim of the present study was to assess changes in EEG coherence and phase locking between fronto-parietal areas, including the frontal and parietal motor areas, during early audio- and visuo-motor learning of continuous tracking movements. Subjects learned to turn a steering-wheel according to a given trajectory in order to minimise the discrepancy between a changing foreground stimulus (controllable by the subjects) and a constant background stimulus (uncontrollable) for both the auditory and the visual modality. In the auditory condition, we uncovered a learning-related increase in inter-hemispheric phase locking between inferior parietal regions, suggesting that coupling between areas involved in audiomotor integration is augmented during early learning stages. Intra-hemispheric phase locking between motor and superior parietal areas increased in the left hemisphere as learning progressed, indicative of integrative processes of spatial information and movement execution. Further tests show a significant correlation of intra-hemispheric phase locking between the motor and the parietal area bilaterally and movement performance in the visual condition. These results suggest that the motor-parietal network is operative in the auditory and in the visual condition. This study confirms that a complex fronto-parietal network subserves learning of a new movement that requires sensorimotor transformation and demonstrates the importance of interregional coupling as a neural correlate for successful acquisition and implementation of externally guided behaviour.
KeywordsEEG Coherence Phase locking Motor learning Sensorimotor Alpha rhythm
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