Neural representations for multi-context visuomotor adaptation and the impact of common representation on multi-task performance: a multivariate decoding approach

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The human brain's remarkable motor adaptability stems from the formation of context representations and the use of a common context representation (e.g., an invariant task structure across task contexts) derived from structural learning. However, direct evaluation of context representations and structural learning in sensorimotor tasks remains limited. This study aimed to rigorously distinguish neural representations of visual, movement, and context levels crucial for multi-context visuomotor adaptation and investigate the association between representation commonality across task contexts and adaptation performance using multivariate decoding analysis with fMRI data. Here, we focused on three distinct task contexts, two of which share a rotation structure (i.e., visuomotor rotation contexts with -90 degrees and +90 degrees rotations, in which the mouse cursor's movement was rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise and clockwise relative to the hand-movement direction, respectively) and the remaining one does not (i.e., mirror-reversal context where the horizontal movement of the computer mouse was inverted). This study found that visual representations (i.e., visual direction) were decoded in the occipital area, while movement representations (i.e., hand-movement direction) were decoded across various visuomotor-related regions. These findings are consistent with prior research and the widely recognized roles of those areas. Task-context representations (i.e., either -90 degrees rotation, +90 degrees rotation, or mirror-reversal) were also distinguishable in various brain regions. Notably, these regions largely overlapped with those encoding visual and movement representations. This overlap suggests a potential intricate dependency of encoding visual and movement directions on the context information. Moreover, we discovered that higher task performance is associated with task-context representation commonality, as evidenced by negative correlations between task performance and task-context-decoding accuracy in various brain regions, potentially supporting structural learning. Importantly, despite limited similarities between tasks (e.g., rotation and mirror-reversal contexts), such association was still observed, suggesting an efficient mechanism in the brain that extracts commonalities from different task contexts (such as visuomotor rotations or mirror-reversal) at multiple structural levels, from high-level abstractions to lower-level details. In summary, while illuminating the intricate interplay between visuomotor processing and context information, our study highlights the efficiency of learning mechanisms, thereby paving the way for future exploration of the brain's versatile motor ability.
Publisher
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA
Issue Date
2023-09
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE, v.17

ISSN
1662-5161
DOI
10.3389/fnhum.2023.1221944
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/313688
Appears in Collection
BC-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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