UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Learning a locomotor task: with or without errors?


Marchal-Crespo, Laura; Schneider, Jasmin; Jaeger, Lukas; Riener, Robert (2014). Learning a locomotor task: with or without errors? Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation (JNER), 11:25.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Robotic haptic guidance is the most commonly used robotic training strategy to reduce performance errors while training. However, research on motor learning has emphasized that errors are a fundamental neural signal that drive motor adaptation. Thus, researchers have proposed robotic therapy algorithms that amplify movement errors rather than decrease them. However, to date, no study has analyzed with precision which training strategy is the most appropriate to learn an especially simple task.
METHODS: In this study, the impact of robotic training strategies that amplify or reduce errors on muscle activation and motor learning of a simple locomotor task was investigated in twenty two healthy subjects. The experiment was conducted with the MAgnetic Resonance COmpatible Stepper (MARCOS) a special robotic device developed for investigations in the MR scanner. The robot moved the dominant leg passively and the subject was requested to actively synchronize the non-dominant leg to achieve an alternating stepping-like movement. Learning with four different training strategies that reduce or amplify errors was evaluated: (i) Haptic guidance: errors were eliminated by passively moving the limbs, (ii) No guidance: no robot disturbances were presented, (iii) Error amplification: existing errors were amplified with repulsive forces, (iv) Noise disturbance: errors were evoked intentionally with a randomly-varying force disturbance on top of the no guidance strategy. Additionally, the activation of four lower limb muscles was measured by the means of surface electromyography (EMG).
RESULTS: Strategies that reduce or do not amplify errors limit muscle activation during training and result in poor learning gains. Adding random disturbing forces during training seems to increase attention, and therefore improve motor learning. Error amplification seems to be the most suitable strategy for initially less skilled subjects, perhaps because subjects could better detect their errors and correct them.
CONCLUSIONS: Error strategies have a great potential to evoke higher muscle activation and provoke better motor learning of simple tasks. Neuroimaging evaluation of brain regions involved in learning can provide valuable information on observed behavioral outcomes related to learning processes. The impacts of these strategies on neurological patients need further investigations.

BACKGROUND: Robotic haptic guidance is the most commonly used robotic training strategy to reduce performance errors while training. However, research on motor learning has emphasized that errors are a fundamental neural signal that drive motor adaptation. Thus, researchers have proposed robotic therapy algorithms that amplify movement errors rather than decrease them. However, to date, no study has analyzed with precision which training strategy is the most appropriate to learn an especially simple task.
METHODS: In this study, the impact of robotic training strategies that amplify or reduce errors on muscle activation and motor learning of a simple locomotor task was investigated in twenty two healthy subjects. The experiment was conducted with the MAgnetic Resonance COmpatible Stepper (MARCOS) a special robotic device developed for investigations in the MR scanner. The robot moved the dominant leg passively and the subject was requested to actively synchronize the non-dominant leg to achieve an alternating stepping-like movement. Learning with four different training strategies that reduce or amplify errors was evaluated: (i) Haptic guidance: errors were eliminated by passively moving the limbs, (ii) No guidance: no robot disturbances were presented, (iii) Error amplification: existing errors were amplified with repulsive forces, (iv) Noise disturbance: errors were evoked intentionally with a randomly-varying force disturbance on top of the no guidance strategy. Additionally, the activation of four lower limb muscles was measured by the means of surface electromyography (EMG).
RESULTS: Strategies that reduce or do not amplify errors limit muscle activation during training and result in poor learning gains. Adding random disturbing forces during training seems to increase attention, and therefore improve motor learning. Error amplification seems to be the most suitable strategy for initially less skilled subjects, perhaps because subjects could better detect their errors and correct them.
CONCLUSIONS: Error strategies have a great potential to evoke higher muscle activation and provoke better motor learning of simple tasks. Neuroimaging evaluation of brain regions involved in learning can provide valuable information on observed behavioral outcomes related to learning processes. The impacts of these strategies on neurological patients need further investigations.

Citations

6 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

28 downloads since deposited on 23 Jun 2014
19 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:March 2014
Deposited On:23 Jun 2014 14:23
Last Modified:23 Nov 2016 08:05
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1743-0003
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-0003-11-25
Related URLs:http://www.zora.uzh.ch/89293/
PubMed ID:24594267
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-96667

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 429kB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations