University of Twente Student Theses


Investigating Preparatory Alpha and Theta Oscillations in Motor Sequence Learning : An ERD/ERS Study

Sakirov, Nathan (2023) Investigating Preparatory Alpha and Theta Oscillations in Motor Sequence Learning : An ERD/ERS Study.

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Abstract:While several theoretical frameworks support the cognitive processes entailed in motor sequence learning (MSL), its underlying neurocognitive mechanisms are far from delineated. We aimed to further elucidate the neurocognitive mechanisms of MSL through the investigation of oscillatory activity in the preparation of motor sequences. Previous research has indicated theta oscillations to facilitate executive and working memory processes, and alpha oscillations to promote required motor inhibition within motor preparation. Thus, a new analysis was performed on a previously unpublished EEG dataset with respect to alpha and theta event-related desynchronization (ERD) and synchronization (ERS) patterns in motor preparation. Based on the Go/No-Go Discrete Sequence Production (DSP) paradigm, eighteen participants practised four sequences in six practice blocks and executed familiar and unfamiliar sequences in a test block the following day. Alpha and theta ERD/ERS values were extracted for the test block to contrast between motor preparation for familiar and unfamiliar dominant-hand sequences. For the theta band, analyses revealed predominant ERS in the preparatory period, despite a temporary shift from ERD (starting at -1400ms) to ERS for familiar sequences that was most prevalent (starting at -300ms) in right pre-frontal regions. General ERD was found for the alpha band within motor preparation. While no overall significant change between the two sequence types was identified, interaction analyses revealed a significant increase in ERD for familiar sequences in early preparation (starting at -1300ms), which subsequently decreased (starting at -400ms) in mid-frontal regions. Overall, our results support the relevance of theta oscillations for the storage and retrieval of temporal sequence information within working memory, and the subsiding nature of variable inhibitory properties entailed in preparatory alpha oscillations.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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