The cerebellum, parietal cortex, and premotor cortex are integral to visuomotor processing. The parameters of visual information that modulate their role in visuomotor control are less clear. From motor psychophysics, the relation between the frequency of visual feedback and force variability has been identified as nonlinear. Thus we hypothesized that visual feedback frequency will differentially modulate the neural activation in the cerebellum, parietal cortex, and premotor cortex related to visuomotor processing. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3 Tesla to examine visually guided grip force control under frequent and infrequent visual feedback conditions. Control conditions with intermittent visual feedback alone and a control force condition without visual feedback were examined. As expected, force variability was reduced in the frequent compared with the infrequent condition. Three novel findings were identified. First, infrequent (0.4 Hz) visual feedback did not result in visuomotor activation in lateral cerebellum (lobule VI/Crus I), whereas frequent (25 Hz) intermittent visual feedback did. This is in contrast to the anterior intermediate cerebellum (lobule V/VI), which was consistently active across all force conditions compared with rest. Second, confirming previous observations, the parietal and premotor cortices were active during grip force with frequent visual feedback. The novel finding was that the parietal and premotor cortex were also active during grip force with infrequent visual feedback. Third, right inferior parietal lobule, dorsal premotor cortex, and ventral premotor cortex had greater activation in the frequent compared with the infrequent grip force condition. These findings demonstrate that the frequency of visual information reduces motor error and differentially modulates the neural activation related to visuomotor processing in the cerebellum, parietal cortex, and premotor cortex.
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