Spatio-temporal modulation of cortical activity during motor
deadaptation depends on the feedback of task-related error
Motor adaptations are responsible for recalibrating actions and
facilitating the achievement of goals in an ever-changing environment.
Once consolidated, the decay of motor adaptation is a process affected
by available sensory information during deadaptation. However, the
cortical response to task error feedback during the deadaptation phase
has received little attention. Here, we explored changes in brain
cortical responses due to feedback of task-related error during
deadaptation. Twelve healthy volunteers were recruited for the study.
Right hand movement and EEG were recorded during repetitive trials of a
hand reaching movement. A visuomotor rotation of 30° was introduced to
induce motor adaptation. Volunteers participated in two experimental
sessions organized in baseline, adaptation, and deadaptation blocks. In
the deadaptation block, the visuomotor rotation was removed, and visual
feedback was only provided in one session. Performance was quantified
using angle end-point error, mean speed, and movement onset time.
Non-parametric spatiotemporal cluster-level permutation test was used to
analyze the EEG recordings. During deadaptation, participants
experienced a greater error reduction when feedback of the cursor was
provided. The EEG responses showed larger activity in the left
centro-frontal parietal areas during the deadaptation block when
participants received feedback, as opposed to when they did not receive
feedback. Centrally distributed clusters were found for the adaptation
and deadaptation blocks in the absence of visual feedback. The results
suggest that visual feedback of the task-related error activates
cortical areas related to performance monitoring. Different neural
circuits contribute to the deadaptation process depending on the
available surrounding information.