: Manual dexterity is referred to as the skill to perform fine motor movements and it has been assumed to be associated to the cognitive domain, as well as the sensorimotor one. In this work, we investigated with functional near-infrared spectroscopy the cortical activations elicited by the execution of the 9-HPT, i.e., a standard test evaluating manual dexterity in which nine pegs were taken, placed into and then removed from nine holes on a board as quickly as possible. For comparison, we proposed a new active control task mainly involving the sensorimotor domain, in which the pegs must be placed and removed using the same single hole (1-HPT). Behaviorally, we found two distinct groups based on the difference between the execution time of the 9-HPT and the 1-HPT (ΔHPT). Cortical areas belonging to the network controlling reaching and grasping movements were active in both groups; however, participants showing a large ΔHPT presented significantly higher activation in prefrontal cortical areas (right BA10 and BA11) during 9-HPT and 1-HPT performance with respect to the participants with a small ΔHPT, who showed a deactivation in BA10. Unexpectedly, we observed a significant linear relationship between ΔHPT and right BA10 activity. This suggested that participants performing the 9-HPT more slowly than the 1-HPT recruited prefrontal areas implicitly exploiting the cognitive skills of planning, perhaps in search of a motor strategy to solve the test activating attentional and cognitive control processes, but this resulted not efficient and instead increased the time to accomplish a manual dexterity task.

Don't plan, just do it: Cognitive and sensorimotor contributions to manual dexterity

Bonzano, Laura;Biggio, Monica;Iester, Costanza;Brichetto, Giampaolo;Cutini, Simone;Bove, Marco
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Manual dexterity is referred to as the skill to perform fine motor movements and it has been assumed to be associated to the cognitive domain, as well as the sensorimotor one. In this work, we investigated with functional near-infrared spectroscopy the cortical activations elicited by the execution of the 9-HPT, i.e., a standard test evaluating manual dexterity in which nine pegs were taken, placed into and then removed from nine holes on a board as quickly as possible. For comparison, we proposed a new active control task mainly involving the sensorimotor domain, in which the pegs must be placed and removed using the same single hole (1-HPT). Behaviorally, we found two distinct groups based on the difference between the execution time of the 9-HPT and the 1-HPT (ΔHPT). Cortical areas belonging to the network controlling reaching and grasping movements were active in both groups; however, participants showing a large ΔHPT presented significantly higher activation in prefrontal cortical areas (right BA10 and BA11) during 9-HPT and 1-HPT performance with respect to the participants with a small ΔHPT, who showed a deactivation in BA10. Unexpectedly, we observed a significant linear relationship between ΔHPT and right BA10 activity. This suggested that participants performing the 9-HPT more slowly than the 1-HPT recruited prefrontal areas implicitly exploiting the cognitive skills of planning, perhaps in search of a motor strategy to solve the test activating attentional and cognitive control processes, but this resulted not efficient and instead increased the time to accomplish a manual dexterity task.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1138875
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