Discrete finger sequences are widely represented in human striatum

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Research in primates and rodents ascribes the striatum a critical role in integrating elementary movements into unitary action sequences through reinforcement-based learning. Yet it remains to be shown whether the human striatum represents action sequence-specific information. Young right-handed volunteers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while they performed four discrete finger sequences with their right hand, consisting of five button presses. Specific finger sequences could be discriminated based on the distributed activity patterns in left and right striatum, but not by average differences in single-voxel activity. Multiple bilateral clusters in putamen and caudate nucleus belonging to motor, associative, parietal and limbic territories contributed to classification sensitivity. The results show that individual finger movement sequences are widely represented in human striatum, supporting functional integration rather than segregation. The findings are compatible with the idea that the basal ganglia simultaneously integrate motor, associative and limbic aspects in the control of complex overlearned behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13189
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 250214137