Reference : Automatic stimulus-induced medial premotor cortex activation without perception or action
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Poster
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Automatic stimulus-induced medial premotor cortex activation without perception or action
D'Ostilio, Kevin mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > > Centre de recherches du cyclotron >]
Garraux, Gaëtan mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département des sciences cliniques > Neurologie >]
Society for neuroscience
San Diego
[en] neuroimaging ; supplementary motor area ; subliminal
[en] Evidence from functional imaging studies suggests that well-established stimulus-action associations may induce an automatic activation of the motor preparation system even when there is no intention to make the associated movement (Grezes & Decety, 2002). Here we investigated whether this automatic motor activation can also be elicited by visual stimuli that are not consciously perceived. However, previous subliminal masked experiments used supraliminal response-target in such a way that unconscious mechanisms were inferred from the accumulation of the effect of the subliminal masked stimulus and the motor response. Here, to investigate neural correlates of unconscious process induced by subliminal stimuli, we used event-related BOLD fMRI at 3T to record brain activity in 24 healthy volunteers (mean age: 21 ± 2 years) as they performed a subliminal priming task (see Eimer & Schlaghecken, 1998). In this visuomotor task, participants were asked to make speeded button presses with the left or right hand following double leftward (<< <<) or rightward (>> >>) pointing arrows, which were preceded by a masked subliminal prime of 17 ms (compatible/incompatible arrows or neutral stimulus). Reaction time analysis revealed the classical positive compatibility effect (PCE), mainly shorter reaction times for compatible (mean RT: 369±38 ms) than for incompatible (mean RT: 383± 30 ms) in comparison to neutral trials (mean RT: 375± 38 ms). In a prime identification task, subjects’ performance was at chance level for primes presented for 17 ms, suggesting that the prime was not consciously perceived in the main experiment. Theses behavioral results suggest an automatic and unconscious motor activation induced by the prime. The responded stimuli were randomly intermixed with non-responded stimuli (0 0) with the assumption that the subliminal arrow prime also elicited an automatic motor activation in these passive trials as in responded trials. Imaging analysis of these non-responded trials showed first that activation was mainly restricted to posterior brain areas when using a subliminal stimulus that has not been previously associated with a motor response. Second, when the subliminal stimulus has been strongly associated with a motor response, this activation extended to rostral brain regions classically involved in motor preparation as the SMA, the premotor cortex and the striatum (cluster level p< 0.05 corrected). This finding corroborates the involvement of a fronto-striatal network, especially of the SMA in automatic and unconscious motor activation.
Centre de Recherches du Cyclotron - CRC
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS

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