Visuomotor Prediction Errors Modulate EEG Activity Over Parietal Cortex

Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 21;8(1):12513. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30609-0.


The parietal cortex is thought to be involved in visuomotor adaptation, yet it remains unclear whether it is specifically modulated by visuomotor prediction errors (i.e. PEs; mismatch between the predicted and actual visual consequences of the movement). One reason for this is that PEs tend to be associated with task errors, as well as changes in motor output and visual input, making them difficult to isolate. Here this issue is addressed using electroencephalography. A strategy (STR) condition, in which participants were instructed on how to counter a 45° visuomotor rotation, was compared to a condition in which participants had adapted to the rotation (POST). Both conditions were matched for task errors and movement kinematics, with the only difference being the presence of PEs in STR. Results revealed strong parietal modulations in current source density and low theta (2-4 Hz) power shortly after movement onset in STR vs. POST, followed by increased alpha/low beta (8-18 Hz) power during much of the post-movement period. Given recent evidence showing that feedforward and feedback information is respectively carried by theta and alpha/beta oscillations, the observed power modulations may reflect the bottom-up propagation of PEs and the top-down revision of predictions.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Feedback, Sensory
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time
  • Rotation
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult