We measured the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in six healthy volunteers with PET (positron emission tomography) and H215O to identify the areas of the human brain involved in sensorimotor learning. The learning task was visually guided reaching with sensorimotor discrepancy caused by optical rotation. PET measurements were performed in the early and late stages of the adaptation to the sensorimotor perturbation. Control measurements were obtained during an eye movement task and a reaching task without optical rotation. The rCBF data of each learning stage were compared to those of both control conditions. During the early stage, rCBF increases were detected in the rostral premotor cortex bilaterally, the posterior part of the left superior parietal lobule (SPL), and the right SPL including the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). During the late stage, rCBF increases were detected in the left caudal premotor area, the left supplementary motor area proper, the left SPL, the right SPL including the IPS, and the right postcentral sulcus extending to the inferior parietal lobule. These results reveal that sensorimotor learning accompanies changes in the recruited cortical areas during different stages of the adaptation, reflecting the different functional roles of each area for different components of adaptation, from learning of new sensorimotor coordination to retention or retrieval of acquired coordination. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience