Different mechanisms contributing to savings and anterograde interference are impaired in Parkinson's disease

Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Feb 27:7:55. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00055. eCollection 2013.


Reinforcement and use-dependent plasticity mechanisms have been proposed to be involved in both savings and anterograde interference in adaptation to a visuomotor rotation (cf. Huang et al., 2011). In Parkinson's disease (PD), dopamine dysfunction is known to impair reinforcement mechanisms, and could also affect use-dependent plasticity. Here, we assessed savings and anterograde interference in PD with an A1-B-A2 paradigm in which movement repetition was (1) favored by the use of a single-target, and (2) manipulated through the amount of initial training. PD patients and controls completed either limited or extended training in A1 where they adapted movement to a 30° counter-clockwise rotation of visual feedback of the movement trajectory, and then adapted to a 30° clockwise rotation in B. After subsequent washout, participants readapted to the first 30° counter-clockwise rotation in A2. Controls showed significant anterograde interference from A1 to B only after extended training, and significant A1-B-A2 savings after both limited and extended training. However, despite similar A1 adaptation to controls, PD patients showed neither anterograde interference nor savings. That extended training was necessary in controls to elicit anterograde interference but not savings suggests that savings and anterograde interference do not result from equal contributions of the same underlying mechanism(s). It is suggested that use-dependent plasticity mechanisms contributes to anterograde interference but not to savings, while reinforcement mechanisms contribute to both. As both savings and anterograde interference were impaired in PD, dopamine dysfunction in PD might impair both reinforcement and use-dependent plasticity mechanisms during adaptation to a visuomotor rotation.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; anterograde interference; motor adaptation; motor learning; savings; visuomotor rotation.