Neural correlates of internal-model loading

Curr Biol. 2006 Dec 19;16(24):2440-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2006.10.051.


Skilled object manipulation requires knowledge, or internal models, of object dynamics relating applied force to motion , and our ability to handle myriad objects indicates that the brain maintains multiple models . Recent behavioral studies have shown that once learned, an internal model of an object with novel dynamics can be rapidly recruited and derecruited as the object is grasped and released . We used event-related fMRI to investigate neural activity linked to grasping an object with recently learned dynamics in preparation for moving it after a delay. Subjects also performed two control tasks in which they either moved without the object in hand or applied isometric forces to the object. In all trials, subjects received a cue indicating which task to perform in response to a go signal delivered 5-10 s later. We examined BOLD responses during the interval between the cue and go and assessed the conjunction of the two contrasts formed by comparing the primary task to each control. The analysis revealed significant activity in the ipsilateral cerebellum and the contralateral and supplementary motor areas. We propose that these regions are involved in internal-model recruitment in preparation for movement execution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebellum / physiology
  • Cues
  • Female
  • Hand / innervation
  • Hand / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Motor Skills / physiology*