Poster D95, Monday, March 27, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Resting state connectivity before and after visuo-motor skill learning
Aurélie L Manuel1, Adrian G Guggisberg1,2, Francesco Turri2, Armin Schnider1,2; 1Laboratory of Cognitive Neurorehabilitation, University of Geneva and University Hospital of Geneva , Switzerland, 2Division of Neurorehabilitation, University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland
Procedural learning, including learning of a new visuo-motor skill, is subject to fast training-induced plasticity and to offline consolidation. The present study investigates how brain functional connectivity (FC) relates to and predicts plastic changes during visuo-motor skill learning and offline consolidation. Twenty-four healthy participants were assigned to one of two groups: The experimental group (Exp) performed a computerized mirror-tracing task, in which right-left movements with the mouse were reversed on the screen. The control group (Ctrl) performed a similar task but with concordant direction of cursor movements. Both groups performed the task for 15 minutes on Day 1. High-density 156-channel EEG was recorded at rest before and immediately after training. Subjects were again tested for offline consolidation 24h later. The Exp group, but not the Ctrl group, showed behavioral improvements during training (p<0.01) and offline consolidation (p<0.01). FC analyses in the alpha frequency band (8-12Hz) revealed that node centrality (a measure of global FC to the entire cortex) of the left superior and inferior parietal cortex before training correlated positively with the learning gain in the Exp group. Furthermore, parietal node centrality decreased during training in the Exp group but not the Ctrl group and this correlated with improved learning. These findings demonstrate that visuo-motor skill learning - but not simple motor execution – modulates left parietal connectivity possibly due to enhanced visuo-spatial processing necessary for perform the mirror-tracing task.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Skill learning