Multidimensional sequence learning in patients with focal basal ganglia lesions

Brain Cogn. 2005 Jun;58(1):75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2004.09.015. Epub 2004 Dec 2.


Parkinson's patients have been found to be impaired in learning movement sequences. In the current study, patients with unilateral basal ganglia lesions due to stroke were tested on a serial reaction time task in which responses were based on the spatial location of each stimulus. The spatial locations either followed a fixed sequence or were selected at random, with learning operationalized as the difference in reaction time between these two conditions. In addition, three response-to-stimulus intervals were used, and these either followed a fixed sequence or were randomized. Compared to control participants, the patients showed normal learning of the spatial and temporal sequences, as well as normal cross-dimensional learning. This was true for performance with either the contralesional or ipsilesional hand. Sequence learning was not correlated with maximum tapping rate, a simple measure of motor impairment. These results raise questions concerning the use of Parkinson's disease as a model for studying basal ganglia dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Basal Ganglia / physiology*
  • Basal Ganglia Cerebrovascular Disease / etiology
  • Basal Ganglia Cerebrovascular Disease / physiopathology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Physiological / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Serial Learning / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Time Perception / physiology