SourceExperimental Brain Research, 142, 1, (2002), pp. 158-162
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ NICI CO
Experimental Brain Research
Subject111 000 Intention & Action; 111 002 Neural dynamics of movement representations; 111 003 Stress and prefrontal motor control; 111 007 Freezing of gait in Parkinson Disease; Action, intention, and motor control
We can cross temporal sensorimotor contingencies by remembering sensory events or by anticipating motor responses. Here we tested the hypothesis that sensory and motor representations can be accessed according to different temporal dynamics. We predicted that the manipulation of movement representations would lead to a performance independent from the length of a delay interposed between sensory instructions and behavioural responses. Conversely, we expected a delay-dependent performance whenever temporary storage of sensory information was necessary to solve the task. We have measured reaction times and error rate in subjects performing a delayed non-matching to sample task. Task contingencies rather than explicit instructions ensured that either sensory or motor representations were used to cross the delay period on each trial. We tested our hypothesis by manipulating the length of the delays between stimulus presentation and behavioural response. We found that carrying sensory material over temporal gaps affects performance as a non-linear function of time, whereas movement representations remain robust over a wide range of delays. This novel behavioural paradigm might prove effective in dissociating the neural bases of preparatory and mnestic processes in normal human subjects, as well as their disorders in neurological patients.
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