Separating brain regions involved in internally guided and visual feedback control of moving effectors: an event-related fMRI study.

Research paper by Kenji K Ogawa, Toshio T Inui, Takeshi T Sugio

Indexed on: 26 Jul '06Published on: 26 Jul '06Published in: NeuroImage


Online visual information of moving effectors plays important roles in visually guided movements. The present study used event-related functional resonance imaging to temporally separate neural activity associated with internally guided and visual feedback control of moving effectors. Using a cursor controlled by a computer mouse, participants traced curved lines on a screen. During this movement, vision of the moving cursor was occluded after tracing had begun and then was restored after variable intervals. The results showed that when visual feedback was unavailable, bilateral activation was significantly greater in the basal ganglia, thalamus, premotor cortex and mesial motor areas, peaking at the presupplementary motor area (pre-SMA). In contrast, when visual feedback was available, significantly greater activation was observed bilaterally in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and cerebellum and in the middle and inferior frontal gyri and occipito-temporal cortex in the right hemisphere. Pre-SMA activity was significantly negatively correlated with tracing error when visual feedback was unavailable. In contrast, right PPC activation showed a significant positive correlation with tracing error after visual feedback became available. These findings suggest that the pre-SMA is involved in internally guided movements in the absence of visual feedback, and that the PPC is related to visual feedback control by evaluating online visuomotor error. The current study clarifies the different functional roles of fronto-parietal and cerebellum circuits subserving visually guided movements regarding visual feedback control of effectors.