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ISSN: 2165-7025

Journal of Novel Physiotherapies
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Research Article

Train the Brain: Novel Electroencephalography Data Indicate Links between Motor Learning and Brain Adaptations

Adam W Kiefer1-3*, Gualberto Cremades J4 and Gregory D Myer5-8
1Director of the TEAM VR Laboratory, Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA
2Assistant Professor, Center for Cognition, Action and Perception, Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA
3Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA
4Associate Professor, Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL, USA
5Director of Research, Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA
6Director of the Human Performance Laboratory, Division of Sports Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA
7Visiting Professor, the Sports Health and Performance Institute, OSU Sports Medicine, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA
8Senior Research Advisor, the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
Corresponding Author : Adam W Kiefer
Division of Sports Medicine
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
3333 Burnet Ave, MLC 10001, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA
Tel: 513.636.1231
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 16, 2014; Accepted February 24, 2014; Published February 26, 2014
Citation: Kiefer AW, Gualberto Cremades J, Myer GD (2014) Train the Brain: Novel Electroencephalography Data Indicate Links between Motor Learning and Brain Adaptations. J Nov Physiother 4:198 doi: 10.4172/2165-7025.1000198
Copyright: © 2014 Kiefer AW, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

EEG differences were examined between part and whole practice in the learning of a novel motor task. Recording was done at 4 sites (i.e., O1, O2, C3, and C4) on 30 participants who performed a novel mirror star tracer task. Individuals were randomly assigned to 3 groups: whole practice, part practice, and control (no practice). Whole practice is defined as practicing a skill in its entirety. Part practice is defined as practicing separate, independent parts of the skill, and gradually combining those parts with parts that are dependent on one another. Each group was assessed during a pretest and posttest. EEG data was analyzed using a 2×2×2×3 (trials×hemisphere×site×practice) repeated measures mixed model ANOVA for each of the wave bands (lower alpha, upper alpha, lower beta, upper beta). All participants performed the task faster as no practice effect was found across the three groups; however the part practice group exhibited a significant decrease in errors. Reduced activation in the occipital and central sites was observed for lower alpha in the posttest compared to the pretest, for all participants. Hemispheric differences were present for all wavebands, with greater activation in the left hemisphere independent of practice type. The results of our study indicate that task learning was likely associated with the observed changes in the lower alpha waveband. Further, a concomitant behavior between the hemispheric lateralization of alpha and beta waveforms was observed. These results have implications for athlete training and rehabilitation. They indicate the utility of EEG for learning assessment in athletes. They also indicate learning strategies with a partial movement focus may be a beneficial strategy to support the development of complex sport skills training and rehabilitation strategies focused on reacquisition of skills prior to sport reintegration.

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