Mu suppression is sensitive to observational practice but results in different patterns of activation in comparison with physical practice

MSL research field: 
Skill acquisition
TitleMu suppression is sensitive to observational practice but results in different patterns of activation in comparison with physical practice
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAlhajri, N, Hodges, NJ, Zwicker, J, Virji-Babul, N
JournalNeural Plasticity
Volumeopen access
Pagination1-12
Date Published05/2018
Type of Articlespecial issue: Boosting Action Observation and Motor Imagery to Promote Plasticity and Learning
KeywordsAction observation, EEG, Motor learning, observational learning
AbstractResearch has shown the effectiveness of observational practice for motor learning, but there continues to be debate about the mechanisms underlying effectiveness. Although cortical processes can be moderated during observation, after both physical and observational practice, how these processes change with respect to behavioural measures of learning has not been studied. Here we compared short-term physical and observational practice during the acquisition and retention of a novel motor task to evaluate how each type of practice modulates EEG mu rhythm (8-13Hz). Thirty healthy individuals were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) physical practice (PP); (2) observational practice (OP); and (3) no practice (NP) control. There were four testing stages: baseline EEG, practice, post-practice observation, and delayed retention. There was significant bilateral suppression of mu rhythm during PP but only left lateralized mu suppression during OP. In the post-practice observation phase, mu suppression was bilateral and larger after PP compared to that after OP. NP control showed no evidence of suppression and was significantly different to both the OP and PP groups. When comparing the three groups in retention, the groups did not differ with respect to tracing times, but the PP group showed fewer errors, especially in comparison to the NP group. Therefore, although the neurophysiological measures index changes in the OP group, which are similar but moderated in comparison to PP, changes in these processes are not manifest in observational practice outcomes when assessed in a delayed retention test.
URLhttps://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/si/804684/
DOI10.1155/2018/8309483/
Short Titlemu suppression and observational practice
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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