Visual attentional load influences plasticity in the human motor cortex

Kamke, Marc R., Hall, Michelle G., Lye, Hayley F., Sale, Martin V., Fenlon, Laura R., Carroll, Timothy J., Riek, Stephen and Mattingley, Jason B. (2012) Visual attentional load influences plasticity in the human motor cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 32 20: 7001-7008. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1028-12.2012

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
UQ275726_OA.pdf Full text (open access) application/pdf 640.13KB 0

Author Kamke, Marc R.
Hall, Michelle G.
Lye, Hayley F.
Sale, Martin V.
Fenlon, Laura R.
Carroll, Timothy J.
Riek, Stephen
Mattingley, Jason B.
Title Visual attentional load influences plasticity in the human motor cortex
Journal name Journal of Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0270-6474
Publication date 2012-05-16
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1028-12.2012
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 32
Issue 20
Start page 7001
End page 7008
Total pages 8
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Language eng
Abstract Neural plasticity plays a critical role in learning, memory, and recovery from injury to the nervous system. Although much is known about the physical and physiological determinants of plasticity, little is known about the influence of cognitive factors. In this study, we investigated whether selective attention plays a role in modifying changes in neural excitability reflecting long-term potentiation (LTP)like plasticity. We induced LTP-like effects in the hand area of the human motor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). During the induction of plasticity, participants engaged in a visual detection task with either low or high attentional demands. Changes in neural excitability were assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials in a small hand muscle before and after the TMS procedures. In separate experiments plasticity was induced either by paired associative stimulation (PAS) or intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Because these procedures induce different forms of LTP-like effects, they allowed us to investigate the generality of any attentional influence on plasticity. In both experiments reliable changes in motor cortex excitability were evident under low-load conditions, but this effect was eliminated under high-attentional load. In a third experiment we investigated whether the attentional task was associated with ongoing changes in the excitability of motor cortex, but found no difference in evoked potentials across the levels of attentional load. Our findings indicate that in addition to their role in modifying sensory processing, mechanisms of attention can also be a potent modulator of cortical plasticity.
Keyword Neurosciences
Neurosciences & Neurology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID APP1028210
Institutional Status UQ

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 36 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 38 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 14 Jun 2012, 22:21:29 EST by Dr Martin Sale on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute