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Impaired implicit learning and feedback processing after stroke


Lam, J M; Globas, C; Hosp, J A; Karnath, H-O; Wächter, T; Luft, A R (2015). Impaired implicit learning and feedback processing after stroke. Neuroscience, 314:116-124.

Abstract

The ability to learn is assumed to support successful recovery and rehabilitation therapy after stroke. Hence, learning impairments may reduce the recovery potential. Here, the hypothesis is tested that stroke survivors have deficits in feedback-driven implicit learning. Stroke survivors (n=30) and healthy age-matched control subjects (n=21) learned a probabilistic classification task with brain activation measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in a subset of these individuals (17 stroke and 10 controls). Stroke subjects learned slower than controls to classify cues. After being rewarded with a smiley face, they were less likely to give the same response when the cue was repeated. Stroke subjects showed reduced brain activation in putamen, pallidum, thalamus, frontal and prefrontal cortices and cerebellum when compared with controls. Lesion analysis identified those stroke survivors as learning-impaired who had lesions in frontal areas, putamen, thalamus, caudate and insula. Lesion laterality had no effect on learning efficacy or brain activation. These findings suggest that stroke survivors have deficits in reinforcement learning that may be related to dysfunctional processing of feedback-based decision-making, reward signals and working memory.

Abstract

The ability to learn is assumed to support successful recovery and rehabilitation therapy after stroke. Hence, learning impairments may reduce the recovery potential. Here, the hypothesis is tested that stroke survivors have deficits in feedback-driven implicit learning. Stroke survivors (n=30) and healthy age-matched control subjects (n=21) learned a probabilistic classification task with brain activation measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in a subset of these individuals (17 stroke and 10 controls). Stroke subjects learned slower than controls to classify cues. After being rewarded with a smiley face, they were less likely to give the same response when the cue was repeated. Stroke subjects showed reduced brain activation in putamen, pallidum, thalamus, frontal and prefrontal cortices and cerebellum when compared with controls. Lesion analysis identified those stroke survivors as learning-impaired who had lesions in frontal areas, putamen, thalamus, caudate and insula. Lesion laterality had no effect on learning efficacy or brain activation. These findings suggest that stroke survivors have deficits in reinforcement learning that may be related to dysfunctional processing of feedback-based decision-making, reward signals and working memory.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:27 November 2015
Deposited On:22 Dec 2015 14:40
Last Modified:14 Feb 2018 10:13
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0306-4522
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.11.051
PubMed ID:26633264

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