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Individual optimal attentional strategy during implicit motor learning boosts frontoparietal neural processing efficiency: A functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.


ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:Optimal focus of attention is a crucial factor for improving motor learning. Most previous studies have shown that directing attention to movement outcome (external focus; EF) is more effective than directing attention to body movement itself (internal focus; IF). However, our recent studies demonstrated that the optimal attentional strategy in healthy and clinical populations varies depending on individual motor imagery ability. To explore the neurological basis underlying individual optimal attentional strategy during motor learning tasks, in the present study, we measured frontoparietal activities using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). METHODS:Twenty-eight participants performed a visuomotor learning task requiring circular tracking. During the task, the participants were required to direct their attention internally or externally. The individual optimal attentional strategy was determined by comparing the after-effect sizes between the IF and EF conditions. RESULTS:Fifteen participants showed larger after-effects under the EF condition (External-dominant), whereas the others showed larger after-effects under the IF condition (Internal-dominant). Based on the differences in neural activities between Internal- and External-dominant groups, we identified the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 46) and right somatosensory association cortex (Brodmann area 7) as the neural bases associated with individual optimal attentional strategy during motor learning. Furthermore, we observed a significant negative correlation, that is, lower activity in these areas was associated with a larger after-effect size under the optimal attentional strategy. CONCLUSION:Our findings demonstrated that more efficient neural processing in the frontoparietal area under the individual optimal attentional strategy can accelerate motor learning.

SUBMITTER: Sakurada T 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6346671 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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