When subjects perform a learned motor task with increased visual gain, error and variability are reduced. Neuroimaging studies have identified a corresponding increase in activity in parietal cortex, premotor cortex, primary motor cortex, and extrastriate visual cortex. Much less is understood about the neural processes that underlie the immediate transition from low to high visual gain within a trial. This study used 128-channel electroencephalography to measure cortical activity during a visually guided precision grip task, in which the gain of the visual display was changed during the task. Force variability during the transition from low to high visual gain was characterized by an inverted U-shape, whereas force error decreased from low to high gain. Source analysis identified cortical activity in the same structures previously identified using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Source analysis also identified a time-varying shift in the strongest source activity. Superior regions of the motor and parietal cortex had stronger source activity from 300 to 600 ms after the transition, whereas inferior regions of the extrastriate visual cortex had stronger source activity from 500 to 700 ms after the transition. Force variability and electrical activity were linearly related, with a positive relation in the parietal cortex and a negative relation in the frontal cortex. Force error was nonlinearly related to electrical activity in the parietal cortex and frontal cortex by a quadratic function. This is the first evidence that force variability and force error are systematically related to a timevarying shift in cortical activity in frontal and parietal cortex in response to enhanced visual gain.
- Event-related potentials
- Low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography
- Visual gain
ASJC Scopus subject areas