Neural changes induced by learning a challenging perceptual-motor task

S. Houweling, A. Daffertshofer, B.W. van Dijk, P.J. Beek

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    We studied the neural changes accompanying the learning of a perceptual-motor task involving polyrhythmic bimanual force production. Motor learning was characterized by an increase in stability of performance. To assess after-effects in the corresponding neural network, magnetoencophalographic and electromyographic signals were recorded and analyzed in terms of (event-related) amplitude changes and synchronization patterns. The topology of the network was first identified using a beamformer analysis, which revealed differential effects of activation in cortical areas and cerebellar hemispheres. We found event-related (de-)synchronization of β-activity in bilateral cortical motor areas and α-modulations in the cerebellum. The α-modulation increased after learning and, simultaneously, the bilateral M1 coupling increased around the movement frequency reflecting improved motor timing. Furthermore, the inter-hemispheric γ-synchronization between primary motor areas decreased, which may reflect a reduced attentional demand after learning. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1395-1407
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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