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Motor control

Friday, September 30th,   2011 [17:20 - 19:20]

PS_1.039 - Negative priming as an account for context-dependent sequencing behavior

Ruitenberg, M. & Verwey, W.

Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics. University of Twente. Enschede, The Netherlands

Research suggests that retrieval of learned information is better when the original learning context is reinstated during testing than when this context is changed. Recently, such context-dependencies have been demonstrated for sequential motor skills too. The present study explored the mechanism underlying context-dependent sequencing performance. Participants practiced two 7-key sequences by responding to sequences of visual stimuli in a particular color while ignoring a sequence of stimuli in another color. In two subsequent test blocks participants responded to either the previously ignored sequence or to an unfamiliar sequence. Results showed that responses to the previously ignored sequence were slower than to the unfamiliar sequence. During practice the participants seem to have learned to ignore locations of irrelevant (context) stimuli in order to optimize their performance on the relevant stimuli. When this formerly ignored series of locations requires responding, negative priming (inhibition) continues to affect responding and performance declines. We propose that sequential context information that is potentially interfering can be learned to be inhibited by developing a spatial inhibition strategy.

PS_1.040 - Role of movement complexity and visual feedback in a sensorimotor learning task

Kirsch, W.

Department of Psychology, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of sequence complexity and of visual feedback on the representation acquired during practice of hand movement sequences. The task required the participants to repeatedly hit a series of spatial targets in a fixed order. There were two target conditions and two feedback conditions: (1) a sequence of targets could consist of 5 or 7 elements; (2) during the movements the next target location could visually be presented or had to be retrieved from memory. After some practice blocks a test phase was introduced, in which participants were asked to perform the task with the untrained hand according to the original sequence of stimuli or to a mirrored version of them. We found that transfer to the same spatial locations was significantly better than transfer to the homologues muscles when the sequence was rather complex. For the simple sequence condition, in contrast, the transfer in motor coordinates was comparable to the transfer in visual-spatial coordinates. These results seem to support the view that complex movement sequences are efficiently coded in visual-spatial coordinates, whereas in simple movement sequences motor codes are given more weight.

PS_1.041 - Dynamical properties of repetitive finger movements and intelligence level estimation

Dreszer-Drogorób, J. 1 , Szelag, E. 1, 2, 3 & Osinski, G. . 1

1 Cognitive Science Project, Nicolaus Copernicus University
2 Laboratory of Neuropsychology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology
3 Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Neuroscience evidence has suggested that intelligence might be defined as a system ability to dynamic adaptation to changes in environment. According to this thesis, the most important dimension shared by all adaptation levels is time, conceptualized as temporal structure appearing in human behavior. Personal tempo (PT) can be considered as a promising measure of both dynamics of a human action and intelligence as well. PT may be understood in many ways. For the purposes of this study, PT will be taken to mean as opposite to maximum tempo (MT). The present study investigated 120 students’ dynamical properties of temporal control of repetitive finger movements in PT and in MP. The Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices was applied as a measure of intelligence. Nonlinear elements for the reconstruction of dynamical properties of PT and MT were performed. We found intelligence-related differences in fractal properties of repetitive finger movements in PT. The data would seem to suggest that speed and complexity (fractal properties) of PT were related with complexity and variability of MT. That outcome of the present study encourages us to conclude that temporal structure differences is a good index for intelligence level estimation.

PS_1.042 - Effect-based control of social action

Kunde, W. 1 , Lozo, L. 2 & Neumann, R. 3

1 Department of Psychology. University of Wuerzburg
2 Department of Psychology. University of Technologies Dortmund
3 Department of Psychology. University of Trier

Goal-oriented actions, by definition, aim at producing certain changes in the environment. Such actions have to be governed by codes of anticipatable action consequences. We explored whether actions that produce consequences in the social environment (such as facial expressions) are governed by anticipatory codes of social effects as well. In agreement with such a proposal, we found that the generation of facial expressions was harder when participants produced predictable facial feedback from a virtual counterpart that was incompatible with their own facial expression, such that e.g. smiling produced the presentation of a frowning face. Further experimentation confirmed that this expression-effect compatibility effect was due to the mimic content of the feedback rather than to more peripheral visual properties. These results comply with the assumption that the anticipation of social consequences of facial expressions plays a substantial role in the generation of these facial actions.

PS_1.043 - Congruent and incongruent cues in highly familiar audiovisual action sequences: An ERP study

Harrison, N. 1 , Meyer, G. 2 & Wuerger, S. 3

1 Liverpool Hope University
2 University of Liverpool
3 University of Liverpool

In a previous fMRI study we found significant differences in BOLD responses for congruent and incongruent semantic audiovisual action sequences (whole-body actions and speech actions) in bilateral pSTS, left SMA, left IFG and IPL. Here our main goal was to examine the time-course of these differences using event-related potentials (ERPs). A one-back task was performed while 128 channel EEG data was recorded. ERPs in response to congruent and incongruent audiovisual actions were compared to identify regions and latencies of differences. Responses to congruent and incongruent stimuli differed between 240 - 280 ms, 320 - 400 ms, and 400 - 700 ms after stimulus onset. A dipole analysis (BESA) revealed that the difference around 250 ms can be partly explained by a modulation of sources in the vicinity of the superior temporal area, while the responses after 400 ms are consistent with sources in inferior frontal areas. Our results are in line with a model that postulates early recognition of congruent audiovisual actions in the pSTS, perhaps as a sensory memory buffer, and a later role of the IFG, perhaps in a generative capacity, in reconciling incongruent signals.

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