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Electrophysiological evidence for right frontal lobe dominance in spatial visuomotor learning

Archives Italiennes de Biologie 124(1): 1-13
Electrophysiological evidence for right frontal lobe dominance in spatial visuomotor learning
Slow negative potential shifts were recorded together with the error made in motor performance when two different groups of 14 students tracked visual stimuli with their right hand. Various vasuomotor tasks were compared i) A tracking task (T) in which subjects had to track the stimulus directly, showed no decrease of error in motor performance during the experiment. ii) In a distorted tracking task (DT) a continuous horizontal distortion of the visual feedback had to be compensated. The additional demands of this task required visuomotor learning. iii) Another learning condition was a mirrored-tracking task (horizontally inverted tracking, hIT), i.e. an elementary function, such as the concept of changing left and right was interposed between perception and action. iv) In addition, subjects performed a non-tracking control task (NT) in which they started the visual stimulus without tracking it. A slow negative potential shift was associated with the visuomotor performance (TP: tracking potential). In the learning tasks (DT and hlT) this negativitity was significantly enhanced over the anterior midline and in hlT frontally and precentrally over both hemispheres. Comparing hlT and T for every subject, the enhancement of the tracking potential in hlT was correlated with the success in motor learning in frontomedial and bilaterally in frontolateral recordings (r = 0.81-0.88). However, comparing DT and T, such a correlation was only found in frontomedial and right frontolateral electrodes (r = 0.5-061), but not at the left frontolateral electrode. These experiments are consistent with previous findings (34) and give further neurophysiological evidence for frontal lobe activity in visuomotor learning. The hemispherical asymmetry is discussed in respect to hemispherical specialization (right frontal lobe dominance in spatial visuomotor learning).

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Accession: 005349638

PMID: 3741032

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