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Trial-to-trial variability differentiates motor imagery during observation between low versus high responders: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study


Holper, L; Kobashi, N; Kiper, D; Scholkmann, F; Wolf, M; Eng, K (2012). Trial-to-trial variability differentiates motor imagery during observation between low versus high responders: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study. Behavioural Brain Research, 229(1):29-40.

Abstract

Trial-to-trial variability is a well-known issue in brain signals measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We aimed to investigate whether trial-to-trial variability does provide information about individual performance. Seventeen subjects observed a virtual reality grasping task in first-person view while either imagining (motor imagery during observation, MIO) or imitating (motor execution, ME) the movements. Each condition was performed with the display in one of two positions, a conventional vertical position and a mirrored horizontal position which placed the virtual arm in the correct position relative to the viewpoint. Averaged oxy-hemoglobin concentration Δ[O(2)Hb] showed that the responses could be differentiated into two distinct groups: low responders (LR) and high responders (HR). Within groups, two main sources of trial-to-trial variability were identified: (a) the Δ[O(2)Hb] amplitude, with largest amplitudes in ME conditions (group HR) and smallest amplitudes in MIO conditions (group LR), and (b) the sign of Δ[O(2)Hb], with positive responses occurring most frequently during ME (group HR) and negative responses most frequently during MIO (group LR). Furthermore, the trial-to-trial dynamics differed between groups and could be described in group LR as inverted polynomial U-shaped curve in the mirror conditions (ME-mirror, MIO-mirror). Last, trial-to-trial variability was significantly dependent on task modality, i.e. ME (group HR) versus MIO (group LR), and/or the mirrored display positions (group LR). Our results show a relationship of trial-to-trial variability to individual MI performance, which may be of significance for neurorehabilitation applications. Although the sources of trial-to-trial variability remain unknown, we suggest that they may contribute to future neurofeedback applications.

Abstract

Trial-to-trial variability is a well-known issue in brain signals measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We aimed to investigate whether trial-to-trial variability does provide information about individual performance. Seventeen subjects observed a virtual reality grasping task in first-person view while either imagining (motor imagery during observation, MIO) or imitating (motor execution, ME) the movements. Each condition was performed with the display in one of two positions, a conventional vertical position and a mirrored horizontal position which placed the virtual arm in the correct position relative to the viewpoint. Averaged oxy-hemoglobin concentration Δ[O(2)Hb] showed that the responses could be differentiated into two distinct groups: low responders (LR) and high responders (HR). Within groups, two main sources of trial-to-trial variability were identified: (a) the Δ[O(2)Hb] amplitude, with largest amplitudes in ME conditions (group HR) and smallest amplitudes in MIO conditions (group LR), and (b) the sign of Δ[O(2)Hb], with positive responses occurring most frequently during ME (group HR) and negative responses most frequently during MIO (group LR). Furthermore, the trial-to-trial dynamics differed between groups and could be described in group LR as inverted polynomial U-shaped curve in the mirror conditions (ME-mirror, MIO-mirror). Last, trial-to-trial variability was significantly dependent on task modality, i.e. ME (group HR) versus MIO (group LR), and/or the mirrored display positions (group LR). Our results show a relationship of trial-to-trial variability to individual MI performance, which may be of significance for neurorehabilitation applications. Although the sources of trial-to-trial variability remain unknown, we suggest that they may contribute to future neurofeedback applications.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neonatology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:24 Jan 2013 10:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:19
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0166-4328
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2011.12.038
PubMed ID:22227507

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