Motor and non-motor sequence learning in patients with basal ganglia lesions: The case of serial reaction time (SRT)

Eli Vakil*, Shimon Kahan, Moshe Huberman, Alicia Osimani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In order to address the question of whether the basal ganglia are involved exclusively in regulation of motor sequence learning, or if they are involved in non-motor sequence learning as well, two versions of the serial reaction time (SRT) task were administered: First is the standard version of the SRT task in which the sequence is executed motorically, and the second is a non-motor version of the task which requires response only to a particular position of the sequence. Sixteen patients with damage restricted to the region of the basal ganglia and 16 matched control subjects participated in this study. In addition to the motor and non-motor SRT tasks, two declarative memory tests (Visual Paired Associates and Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test) were administered to the participants. Results indicate that the two groups did not differ either on learning rate of the two declarative tasks, or on the declarative component of the SRT tasks (i.e., 'generate'). However, the control group was significantly superior to the basal ganglia (BG) group in learning a specific sequence in the motor and non-motor SRT tasks. Results suggest that the basal ganglia are involved in the regulation of non-motor as well as motor sequence learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

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