Towards a learning fingerprint: new methods and paradigms for complex motor skill learning in fMRI [article]

Eric Lacosse, Universitaet Tuebingen, Scheffler, Klaus (Prof. Dr.)
2021
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) research in sensorimotor learning focus on two separate paradigms: (1) task-based (tfMRI), where brain changes are evaluated ac- cording to activity elicited by performance of the task, or (2) task-free, i.e., resting-state (rsfMRI), where changes are reflected in spontaneous, internally generated brain activity. While the former paradigm allows careful control and manipulation of the task, the later allows unrestrained motor learning tasks to take
more » ... ace beyond the limitations of the scanner environment. Machine learning approaches attempting to model these two types of measure- ments together to explain physiological effects of learning remained unexplored. Although these paradigms yield results showing considerable overlap between their topographical pat- terns, they are usually treated separately. Consequently, their relationship, and how or if any behaviorally relevant neural information processing mediates it, remains unclear. To resolve this ambiguity, new methodology was developed guided by questions of sensorimotor learning in motor tasks having dynamics completely specified mathematically. First, basic fMRI methodological considerations were made. Machine learning methods that claimed to predict individual tfMRI task maps from rsfMRI activity were improved. In reviewing previous methodology, most methods were found to underperform against trivial baseline model performances based on massive group averaging. New methods were devel- oped that remedies this problem to a great extent. Benchmark comparisons and model evaluation metrics demonstrating empirical properties related to this predictive mapping previously unconsidered were also further developed. With these newly formed empirical ob- servations, a relationship between individual prediction scores and behavioral performance measured during the task could be established. Second, a complex motor learning task performed during an fMRI measurement was designed to relate learning effects observed in both types [...]
doi:10.15496/publikation-55552 fatcat:6yodigz3rrhthogwevatlplgbe