Effects of training the coincidence-anticipation timing task on response time and activity in the cortical region

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Abstract

We examined the effects of training the coincidence-anticipation timing task on response time and activity in the cortical region. The task, which used a partially masked stimulus runway, required 12 participants to press a button at the time that they anticipated a moving visual target would arrive at the end of the runway. Training involved practicing the task a total of 10 times (once per day) over a 3-week period. Continuous electroencephalograms were recorded while performing the task before training and after training. The electroencephalograms were subjected to fast Fourier transform to obtain the power density in the beta bands. Peak amplitude and peak latency of event-related potentials were also determined. The results showed that, compared with before training, in the masked section of the task, the percentage of beta band activity was significantly increased in Brodmann’s area 6 and significantly decreased in Brodmann’s area 46 bilaterally after training. In addition, peak latency was significantly shorter in Brodmann’s area 6 after training. These findings suggest that activation of Brodmann’s area 6 in the masked section of the task after training might reflect the transfer from processing visual information of the moving target in the visible section of the task to predicting the target’s movement in the masked section. In addition, the shortened peak latency in Brodmann’s area 6 after training might reflect facilitation of information processing, which is why the mean absolute error was decreased after training.

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