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Learning to tie the knot: The acquisition of functional object representations by physical and observational experience

Cross, ES; Hamilton, AFDC; Cohen, NR; Grafton, ST; (2017) Learning to tie the knot: The acquisition of functional object representations by physical and observational experience. PLoS ONE , 12 (10) , Article e0185044. 10.1371/journal.pone.0185044. Green open access

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Abstract

Here we examined neural substrates for physically and observationally learning to construct novel objects, and characterized brain regions associated with each kind of learning using fMRI. Each participant was assigned a training partner, and for five consecutive days practiced tying one group of knots (“tied” condition) or watched their partner tie different knots (“watched” condition) while a third set of knots remained untrained. Functional MRI was obtained prior to and immediately following the week of training while participants performed a visual knot-matching task. After training, a portion of left superior parietal lobule demonstrated a training by scan session interaction. This means this parietal region responded selectively to knots that participants had physically learned to tie in the post-training scan session but not the pre-training scan session. A conjunction analysis on the post-training scan data showed right intraparietal sulcus and right dorsal premotor cortex to respond when viewing images of knots from the tied and watched conditions compared to knots that were untrained during the post-training scan session. This suggests that these brain areas track both physical and observational learning. Together, the data provide preliminary evidence of engagement of brain regions associated with hand-object interactions when viewing objects associated with physical experience, and with observational experience without concurrent physical practice.

Type: Article
Title: Learning to tie the knot: The acquisition of functional object representations by physical and observational experience
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185044
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185044
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2017 Cross 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.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10028116
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