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  Recursion in action: An fMRI study on the generation of new hierarchical levels in motor sequences

Martins, M., Bianco, R., Sammler, D., & Villringer, A. (2019). Recursion in action: An fMRI study on the generation of new hierarchical levels in motor sequences. Human Brain Mapping, 40(9), 2623-2638. doi:10.1002/hbm.24549.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-3DFF-B Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-4FD9-0
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Martins, Mauricio1, 2, 3, Author              
Bianco, Roberta2, 4, Author              
Sammler, Daniela5, Author              
Villringer, Arno1, 2, 3, Author              
Affiliations:
1Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_634549              
3Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4UCL Ear Institute, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
5Otto Hahn Group Neural Bases of Intonation in Speech, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_1797284              

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Free keywords: fMRI; Hierarchy; Motor; Prefrontal cortex; Recursion
 Abstract: Generation of hierarchical structures, such as the embedding of subordinate elements into larger structures, is a core feature of human cognition. Processing of hierarchies is thought to rely on lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, the neural underpinnings supporting active generation of new hierarchical levels remain poorly understood. Here, we created a new motor paradigm to isolate this active generative process by means of fMRI. Participants planned and executed identical movement sequences by using different rules: a Recursive hierarchical embedding rule, generating new hierarchical levels; an Iterative rule linearly adding items to existing hierarchical levels, without generating new levels; and a Repetition condition tapping into short term memory, without a transformation rule. We found that planning involving generation of new hierarchical levels (Recursive condition vs. both Iterative and Repetition) activated a bilateral motor imagery network, including cortical and subcortical structures. No evidence was found for lateral PFC involvement in the generation of new hierarchical levels. Activity in basal ganglia persisted through execution of the motor sequences in the contrast Recursive versus Iteration, but also Repetition versus Iteration, suggesting a role of these structures in motor short term memory. These results showed that the motor network is involved in the generation of new hierarchical levels during motor sequence planning, while lateral PFC activity was neither robust nor specific. We hypothesize that lateral PFC might be important to parse hierarchical sequences in a multi‐domain fashion but not to generate new hierarchical levels.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-01-172018-09-022019-01-302019-03-052019-06-15
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1002/hbm.24549
PMID: 0834624
Other: Epub ahead of print
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Title: Human Brain Mapping
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 40 (9) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 2623 - 2638 Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925601686