Mind Over Motor: Contribution of Posterior Systems in Motor Error Correction




Barss, Isaac

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Error processing in motor control has a hierarchical structure. High-level errors occur after completion of an action and modify future behaviour by indicating if the movement was successful. Low-level errors occur during an action and are used to modify the ongoing movement by indicating if the movement will be successful. Previous electroencephalography (EEG) research demonstrates that the P300 event-related potential (ERP) is elicited by low-level errors in target reaching tasks, but only speculates as to whether the ERP reflects a process that supports online motor corrections. The purpose of the present study was to substantiate the role of the P300 in online motor control. Participants performed a computer target reaching task in which a joystick was manipulated to move a cursor from a start position to a target which jumped after movement onset, establishing a low-level error. In a random subset of trials, participants corrected the trajectory to the new position, while in others they simply watched as the computer corrected the movement. We found that while the P300 was elicited by target perturbation in all conditions, the full control condition elicited the greatest amplitude. These results suggest that the P300 represents posterior system contributions to online correction of movement.



error processing, learning, motor control, ERP, electroencephalography, neuroscience