Binding during sequence learning does not alter cortical representations of individual actions [article]

Patrick Beukema, Jörn Diedrichsen, Timothy Verstynen
2018 bioRxiv   pre-print
As a movement sequence is learned, serially ordered actions get bound together into sets in order to reduce computational complexity during planning and execution. Here we examined how the binding of serial actions alters the cortical representations of individual movements. Across five weeks of practice, healthy human subjects learned either a complex 32-item sequence of finger movements (Trained group, N=9) or randomly ordered actions (Control group, N=9). After five weeks of training,
more » ... es during sequence production in the Trained group were correlated, consistent with being bound together under a common command. These behavioral changes, however, did not coincide with plasticity in the multivariate representations of individual finger movements, assessed using fMRI, at any level of the cortical motor hierarchy. This suggests that the representations of individual actions remain stable, even as the execution of those same actions become bound together in the context of producing a well learned sequence.
doi:10.1101/255794 fatcat:zkva7z3kdzbmreu5fq6ll6t43u