How effector‑specific is the effect of sequence learning by motor execution and motor imagery?

Rok publikacji: 2017
Wydawca:  Experimental Brain Research, 2017, 235, 12, 3757–3769
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J. Sobierajewicz, A. Przekoracka-Krawczyk, W. Jaśkowski, R. van der Lubbe
The aim of the present study was twofold. First, we wanted to examine how effector specific the effect of sequence learning by motor execution is, and second, we wanted to compare this effect with learning by motor imagery. We employed a Go/NoGo discrete sequence production task in which in each trial a spatial sequence of five stimuli was presented. After a Go signal the corresponding spatial response sequence had to be executed, while after a NoGo signal, the response sequence had to be mentally imagined. For the training phase, participants were divided into two groups. In the index finger group, participants had to respond (physically or mentally) with the left or right index finger, while in the hand group they had to respond with four fingers of the left or right hand. In a final test phase both execution modes were compared and all trials had to be executed. Response times and the percentage of correct responses were determined to establish learning effects. Results showed that sequence learning effects as assessed in the test phase were independent of the effector used during the training phase. Results revealed the presence of aspecific learning effects in the case of learning a required motor task with an index finger, but sequence-specific learning effects, both due to motor execution and to motor imagery, were not effector specific.

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