Selection of prime actor in humans during bimanual object manipulation
2010 (English)In: Journal of Neuroscience, ISSN 0270-6474, E-ISSN 1529-2401, Vol. 30, no 31, 10448-10459 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In bimanual object manipulation tasks, people flexibly assign one hand as a prime actor while the other assists. Little is known, however, about the neural mechanisms deciding the role assignment. We addressed this issue in a task in which participants moved a cursor to hit targets on a screen by applying precisely coupled symmetrical opposing linear and twist forces on a tool held freely between the hands. In trials presented in an unpredictable order, the action of either the left or the right hand was spatially congruent with the cursor movements, which automatically rendered the left or right hand the dominant actor, respectively. Functional magnetic resonance imaging indicated that the hand-selection process engaged prefrontal cortical areas belonging to an executive control network presumed critical for judgment and decision-making and to a salience network attributed to evaluation of utility of actions. Task initiation, which involved switching between task sets, had a superordinate role with reference to hand selection. Behavioral and brain imaging data indicated that participants initially expressed two competing action representations, matching either mapping rule, before selecting the appropriate one based on the consequences of the initial manual actions. We conclude that implicit processes engaging the prefrontal cortex reconcile selections among action representations that compete for the establishment of a dominant actor in bimanual object manipulation tasks. The representation selected is the one that optimizes performance by relying on the superior capacity of the brain to process spatial congruent, as opposed to noncongruent, mappings between manual actions and desired movement goals.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 30, no 31, 10448-10459 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-41341DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1624-10.2010ISI: 000280789600018PubMedID: 20685987OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-41341DiVA: diva2:405706