The basal ganglia comprise a crucial circuit involved in force production and force selection, but the specific role of each nucleus to the production of force pulses and the selection of pulses of different force amplitudes remains unknown. We conducted an fMRI study in which participants produced force using a precision grip while (a) holding a steady-state force, (b) performing a series of force pulses with similar amplitude, and (c) selecting force pulses of different amplitude. Region of interest analyses were conducted in the basal ganglia and frontal cortex to compare percent signal change during force pulse versus steady-state force production and compare force amplitude selection to force production when selection of force amplitude was not present. There were three novel findings in the basal ganglia. First, the caudate nucleus increased activation during the selection of different force amplitudes when compared to producing a series of similar force pulses. Second, GPi, STN, and posterior putamen increased activation during the production of similar force amplitudes when compared to holding a steady-state force, and maintained similar activation during the production of different force amplitudes in which force selection was required. Third, GPe and anterior putamen had increased activation during the production of similar force pulses and further increased activation during the selection of different force pulses. These findings suggest that anterior basal ganglia nuclei are involved in selecting the amplitude of force contractions and posterior basal ganglia nuclei regulate basic aspects of dynamic force pulse production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience