Role of alpha-band oscillations in spatial updating across whole body motion
SourceFrontiers in Psychology, 7, (2016), article 671
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ DCC SMN
Frontiers in Psychology
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control
When moving around in the world, we have to keep track of important locations in our surroundings. In this process, called spatial updating, we must estimate our body motion and correct representations of memorized spatial locations in accordance with this motion. While the behavioral characteristics of spatial updating across whole body motion have been studied in detail, its neural implementation lacks detailed study. Here we use electroencephalography (EEG) to distinguish various spectral components of this process. Subjects gazed at a central body-fixed point in otherwise complete darkness, while a target was briefly flashed, either left or right from this point. Subjects had to remember the location of this target as either moving along with the body or remaining fixed in the world while being translated sideways on a passive motion platform. After the motion, subjects had to indicate the remembered target location in the instructed reference frame using a mouse response. While the body motion, as detected by the vestibular system, should not affect the representation of body-fixed targets, it should interact with the representation of a world-centered target to update its location relative to the body. We show that the initial presentation of the visual target induced a reduction of alpha band power in contralateral parieto-occipital areas, which evolved to a sustained increase during the subsequent memory period. Motion of the body led to a reduction of alpha band power in central parietal areas extending to lateral parieto-temporal areas, irrespective of whether the targets had to be memorized relative to world or body. When updating a world-fixed target, its internal representation shifts hemispheres, only when subjects' behavioral responses suggested an update across the body midline. Our results suggest that parietal cortex is involved in both self-motion estimation and the selective application of this motion information to maintaining target locations as fixed in the world or fixed to the body.
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