The neural consequences of conflict between intention and the senses.


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Article: article from journal or magazin.
The neural consequences of conflict between intention and the senses.
Fink G.R., Marshall J.C., Halligan P.W., Frith C.D., Driver J., Frackowiak R.S., Dolan R.J.
0006-8950 (Print)
Publication state
Issued date
122 ( Pt 3)
Publication types: Clinical Trial ; Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tPublication Status: ppublish
Normal sensorimotor states involve integration of intention, action and sensory feedback. An example is the congruence between motor intention and sensory experience (both proprioceptive and visual) when we move a limb through space. Such goal-directed action necessitates a mechanism that monitors sensorimotor inputs to ensure that motor outputs are congruent with current intentions. Monitoring in this sense is usually implicit and automatic but becomes conscious whenever there is a mismatch between expected and realized sensorimotor states. To investigate how the latter type of monitoring is achieved we conducted three fully factorial functional neuroimaging experiments using PET measures of relative regional cerebral blood flow with healthy volunteers. In the first experiment subjects were asked to perform Luria's bimanual co-ordination task which involves either in-phase (conditions 1 and 3) or out-of-phase (conditions 2 and 4) bimanual movements (factor one), while looking towards their left hand. In half of the conditions (conditions 3 and 4) a mirror was used that altered visual feedback (factor two) by replacing their left hand with the mirror image of their right hand. Hence (in the critical condition 4) subjects saw in-phase movements despite performing out-of-phase movements. This mismatch between intention, proprioception and visual feedback engendered cognitive conflict. The main effect of out-of-phase movements was associated with increased neural activity in posterior parietal cortex (PPC) bilaterally [Brodmann area (BA) 40, extending into BA 7] and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) bilaterally (BA 9/46). The main effect of the mirror showed increased neural activity in right DLPFC (BA 9/ 46) and right superior PPC (BA 7) only. Analysis of the critical interaction revealed that the mismatch condition led to a specific activation in the right DLPFC alone (BA 9/46). Study 2, using an identical experimental set-up but manipulating visual feedback from the right hand (instead of the left), subsequently demonstrated that this right DLPFC activation was independent of the hand attended. Finally, study 3 removed the motor intentional component by moving the subjects' hand passively, thus engendering a mismatch between proprioception and vision only. Activation in the right lateral prefrontal cortex was now more ventral than in studies 1 or 2 (BA 44/45). A direct comparison of studies 1 and 3 (which both manipulated visual feedback from the left hand) confirmed that a ventral right lateral prefrontal region is primarily activated by discrepancies between signals from sensory systems, while a more dorsal area in right lateral prefrontal cortex is activated when actions must be maintained in the face of a conflict between intention and sensory outcome.
Adult, Brain Mapping, Cognition/physiology, Conflict (Psychology), Feedback/physiology, Female, Hand/physiology, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Movement/physiology, Psychomotor Performance, Sensation/physiology, Tomography, Emission-Computed
Web of science
Open Access
Create date
16/09/2011 16:17
Last modification date
20/08/2019 12:38
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