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High-precision voluntary movements are largely independent of preceding vertex potentials elicited by sudden sensory events.

Kilintari, M., Bufacchi, R.J., Novembre, G., Guo, Y., Haggard, P. and Iannetti, G.D., 2018. High-precision voluntary movements are largely independent of preceding vertex potentials elicited by sudden sensory events. Journal of Physiology, 596 (16), 3655 - 3673.

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DOI: 10.1113/JP275715

Abstract

KEY POINTS: Salient and sudden sensory events generate a remarkably large response in the human brain, the vertex wave (VW). The VW is coupled with a modulation of a voluntarily-applied isometric force. In the present study, we tested whether the VW is also related to executing high-precision movements. The execution of a voluntary high-precision movement remains relatively independent of the brain activity reflected by the preceding VW. The apparent relationship between the positive VW and movement onset time is explained by goal-related but stimulus-independent neural activities. These results highlight the need to consider such goal-related but stimulus-independent neural activities when attempting to relate event-related potential amplitude with perceptual and behavioural performance. ABSTRACT: Salient and fast-rising sensory events generate a large biphasic vertex wave (VW) in the human electroencephalogram (EEG). We recently reported that the VW is coupled with a modulation of concomitantly-applied isometric force. In the present study, in five experiments, we tested whether the VW is also related to high-precision visuomotor control. We obtained three results. First, the saliency-induced increase in VW amplitude was paralleled by a modulation in two of the five extracted movement parameters: a reduction in the onset time of the voluntary movement (P < 0.005) and an increase in movement accuracy (P < 0.005). Second, spontaneous trial-by-trial variability in vertex wave amplitude, for a given level of stimulus saliency, was positively correlated with movement onset time (P < 0.001 in four out of five experiments). Third, this latter trial-by-trial correlation was explained by a widespread EEG negativity independent of the occurrence of the positive VW, although overlapping in time with it. These results indicate that (i) the execution of a voluntary high-precision movement remains relatively independent of the neural processing reflected by the preceding VW, with (ii) the exception of movement onset time, for which saliency-based contextual effects are dissociated from trial-by-trial effects. These results also indicate that (iii) attentional effects can produce spurious correlations between event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavioural measures. Although sudden salient stimuli trigger characteristic EEG responses coupled with distinct reactive components within an ongoing isometric task, the results of the present study indicate that the execution of a subsequent voluntary movement appears largely protected from such saliency-based modulation, with the exception of movement onset time.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0022-3751
Uncontrolled Keywords:event-related potentials ; motor control ; saliency ; vertex potential ; voluntary movement ; Acoustic Stimulation ; Adult ; Brain ; Cerebral Cortex ; Electroencephalography ; Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory ; Female ; Humans ; Male ; Motor Activity ; Psychomotor Performance ; Reaction Time ; Young Adult
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:34611
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:02 Oct 2020 13:55
Last Modified:02 Oct 2020 13:55

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