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1. chinaXiv:202007.00002 [pdf]

Neuroanatomical correlates of individual differences in self-awareness of highly practiced visuomotor skills

Junjun LI; Zhenglong Lin; Ran Tao; Min Xu; Shihong Kong; Hong-Yan Bi; Yang Yang
Subjects: Psychology >> Cognitive Psychology

Metacognition refers to the ability to introspect our cognitive ability, which plays an essential role in guiding and optimizing our activities. However, little is known about metacognitive capacity for highly practiced motor behaviors and its neural correlates. Using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the present study examined the brain substrates underlying individual differences in self-awareness of handwriting in adults, a highly practiced visuomotor skill. Results showed that adult writers generally overestimate their handwriting skill, which is more pronounced in males relative to females. The extent of overestimation of handwriting quality was positively correlated with grey matter volume in the left fusiform gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus and right precuneus. Moreover, the activation of these regions in a handwriting task was not correlation with self-awareness of handwriting, confirming that the identified connection between brain structures and handwriting self-awareness is independent of task performances. The left fusiform gyrus and right middle frontal gyrus are thought to represent domain-specific brain mechanisms for handwriting self-awareness, while the right precuneus is likely to be a domain-general brain mechanism, suggesting that the ability of introspect practiced visuomotor skills relies on both domain-general and domain-specific brain systems. Together, this study is the first to reveal the neuroanatomical correlates of a highly practiced motor behavior, extending our understanding about the neural basis of human metacognition.

submitted time 2020-06-30 Hits3039Downloads337 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:202006.00172 [pdf]

Reconfiguration of functional brain networks underlying the distinctions between automatic and controlled handwriting

Junjun LI; Lei HONG; Hong-yang BI; Yang YANG
Subjects: Psychology >> Cognitive Psychology

This study aimed to examine the brain mechanisms underlying the distinctions between automatic and controlled handwriting. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected while adult participants (n = 53) performed a copying task with varying speed control demands. Network analysis showed significant differences in functional connectivity within and between the frontoparietal network (FPN), the default mode network (DMN), the dorsal attention network (DAN), the somatomotor network (SMN) and the visual network (VN) between automatic and speed-controlled handwriting irrespective of written materials, which are thought to reflect general executive control and task-relevant visuomotor operations. However, there were no differences in brain activation between automatic and controlled handwriting. These results suggest that reconfiguration of functional network architecture, rather than regional activation, underlies the dissociations between automatic and controlled handwriting. Our findings shed new light on the neural mechanisms of handwriting mastery and handwriting impairments in individuals with neurological disorders.

submitted time 2020-06-17 Hits3182Downloads384 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:202003.00007 [pdf]

Brain Functional Specialization is Enhanced among Tai Chi Chuan Practitioners

Chen, Li-Zhen; Yuan, Xinru ; Zhang, Yuanchao ; Zhang, Shu; Zou, Liye ; Yang, Lin ; Chang, Yu-Kai ; Xia, Qixin ; Wang, Yiqun ; Wei, Gao-Xia
Subjects: Psychology >> Cognitive Psychology

Objective: To investigate the effect of long-term Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) practice on practitioners’ brain functional specialization compare with the TCC novices. Methods: 22 TCC practitioners (52.4 ± 6.8 years; 7 males; educated years:12.18 ± 3.03 years) and 18 healthy controls (54.8 ± 6.8 years; 8 males; education years:11.78 ± 2.90 years) matched by age, sex, and education were enrolled. Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning and cognitive test to measure the differences in functional specialization and cognitive function. Functional specialization was evaluated by voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) method. Results: Lower middle frontal gyrus (MFG) VMHC in TCC practitioners compared to controls. For TCC practitioners, the longer they practice, the lower their VMHC in precentral and precuneus. TCC practitioners showed better cognition performance. Limitations: Relatively small sample size. Conclusions: Changed VMHC indicated that TCC practice could enhance functional specialization in the middle frontal cortex of practitioners, which may be associated with higher-order cognitive ability.

submitted time 2020-03-05 Hits12246Downloads670 Comment 0

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