Does practicing a skill with the expectation of teaching alter motor preparatory cortical dynamics?

Marcos Daou, Keith R. Lohse, Matthew W. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests practicing a motor skill with the expectation of teaching it enhances learning by increasing information processing during motor preparation. However, the specific motor preparatory processes remain unknown. The present study sought to address this shortcoming by employing EEG to assess participants’ motor preparatory processes while they completed a golf putting pretest, and then practiced putting with the expectation of (a) teaching another participant how to putt the next day (teach group, n = 30), or (b) being tested on their putting the next day (test group, n = 30). Participants’ EEG during the 3-s prior to and 1-s after initiating putter movement was analyzed. All participants completed posttests 1 day after the practice session. The teach group exhibited better posttest performance (superior learning) relative to the test group, but no group differences in motor preparatory processing (EEG) emerged. However, participants in both groups exhibited linear decreases in both theta power at frontal midline and upper-alpha power over motor areas during putt initiation. These results suggest a decrease in working memory and action monitoring (frontal midline theta), and an increase in motor programming (motor upper-alpha) during putt initiation. Further, participants in both groups exhibited increased frontal midline theta from pretest to practice, but decreases in both upper motor-alpha and upper-alpha coherence between left/right temporal and motor planning regions. These results suggest participants utilized working memory and action monitoring to a greater extent during practice relative to pretest, while refining their motor programming and verbal-analytic/visuospatial involvement in motor programming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Volume127
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • EEG
  • Expecting to teach
  • Motor learning

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