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The role of the Supplementary Motor Area during internally and externally triggered movement sequences: a TMS study.

Tillmann, S. (2012) The role of the Supplementary Motor Area during internally and externally triggered movement sequences: a TMS study.

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Abstract:The present study was designed to address the interaction of cognitive and neurological correlates that are involved in the control of sequential motor skill. Responding to individual stimuli in unfamiliar sequences is thought to occur in the reaction mode, whereas familiar sequences are executed in the chunking mode. The supplementary motor area (SMA) is particularly engaged in the preparation and execution of highly practiced sequences that do not necessitate visual cues. We expected the chunking mode to be influenced by the SMA, due to the involvement of both in internally triggered action. First, participants performed eight practice blocks consisting of two discrete sequences in the DSP task. Second, the experimental group received 20 minutes of 1 Hz rTMS over the SMA; the control group did not receive any stimulation. Finally, participants performed a test block consisting of familiar, unfamiliar and single-stimulus sequences that only provided the first cue. We found that participants performed sequences of the unfamiliar test phase in the reaction mode and sequences in the familiar and single-stimulus test phase in the chunking mode. Our hypothesis that the experimental group showed a slowed performance compared to the control group during familiar and single-stimulus test phases could not be confirmed. It was found that during the single-stimulus test phase, groups differed in RTs on the first key. The SMA seems to play a key role in the preparation of sequences performed in the chunking mode, especially sequences that only provide the first stimulus. Only the control group benefitted from explicit sequencing knowledge.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62421
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