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Learning by doing and learning by thinking: An fMRI study of combining motor and mental training
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4458-6475
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI).
2008 (English)In: Frontiers in human neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5161, Vol. 2, no 5, 1-7 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

The current study investigated behavioral and neural effects of motor, mental, and combined motor and mental training on a finger tapping task. The motor or mental training groups trained on a finger-sequence for a total of 72 min over six weeks. The motor and mental training group received 72 min motor training and in addition 72 min mental training. Results showed that all groups increased their tapping performance significantly on the trained sequence. After training fMRI data was collected and indicated training specific increases in ventral pre-motor cortex following motor training, and in fusiform gyrus following mental training. Combined motor and mental training activated both the motor and the visual regions. In addition, motor and mental training showed a significant increase in tapping performance on an untrained sequence (transfer). FMRI scanning indicated that the transfer effect involved the cerebellum. Conclusions were that combined motor and mental training recruited both motor and visual systems, and that combined motor and mental training improves motor flexibility via connections from both motor and cognitive systems to the cerebellum.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 2, no 5, 1-7 p.
Keyword [en]
transfer, fMRI, cerebellum, mental, motor, training
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-10487DOI: 10.3389/neuro.09.005.2008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-10487DiVA: diva2:150158
Available from: 2008-09-16 Created: 2008-09-16 Last updated: 2015-10-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Imaging imagining actions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Imaging imagining actions
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Mental training has been studied extensively for the past century but we are still not completely sure how it affects brain and behavior. The aim of this doctoral thesis was to examine one aspect of mental training i.e. motor imagery. In Study I, active high jumpers were trained for 6 weeks using a motor imagery mental training program. We measured behavioral effects in motor parameters such as total height, false attempts, take off angle, and bar clearance. A significant improvement was found on the bar clearance component compared to a control group of high jumpers that did not participate in the mental training program. The results emphasize the importance of using appropriate outcome measures since mental training may affect distinct features of the movement rather than the entire movement. Study II used fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to examine the neural correlates of imagery for active high jumpers, and also how imagery training affects brain activity. Active high jumpers were compared to a control group of high jumping novices and the results showed that high jumpers were able to activate motor regions, whereas controls used parts of the visual system to perform imagery of the high jump. Thus, we were able to show how important well established motor representations are in order to achieve a neural overlap between imagery and action. In study III we examined the effects after motor, mental and combined motor and mental training on a finger tapping task. Behaviorally, even though mental training improved performance, adding mental training to motor training did not improve the results beyond only using motor training. Imaging results showed that motor and mental training engaged different neural systems, with motor training associated with motor activity and mental training with visual activity. The combination of motor and mental training activated both motor and visual systems. Additionally combining motor and mental training resulted in transfer to an untrained motor sequence and neural data indicated that cerebellum mediated the transfer. The overall findings explain how mental training can be used to improve motor performance and motor parameters. Moreover, it also illustrates that the neural processes underlying such improvements may be distinct from motor training and that the brain may react differently during mental training depending on prior physical experience of the action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Integrativ medicinsk biologi, 2008. 63 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1211
Keyword
mental training, motor training, novices, imaging, athletes, fMRI, internal imagery, motor representation, brain systems, practice, learning, transfer, active
National Category
Physiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1910 (URN)978-91-7264-658-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-11-28, BiA201, Biologihuset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-11-10 Created: 2008-11-10 Last updated: 2010-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Olsson, Carl-JohanJonsson, BertNyberg, Lars
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Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB)Department of PsychologyDiagnostic RadiologyUmeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI)
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