The cerebellum plays a critical role in acquiring visuomotor skills. Visuomotor task mastery requires improving both visuomotor accuracy and stability; however, the cerebellum’s contribution to these processes remains unclear. We hypothesized that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the cerebellum exerts frequency-dependent modulatory effects on both accuracy and stability in subjects performing a visuomotor coordination task (i.e., pursuit rotor task). We recruited 43 healthy volunteers and randomly assigned them to the high-frequency (HF), low-frequency (LF), and sham rTMS groups. We calculated changes in performance of the pursuit rotor task at the highest rotation speed and the minimum distance from target as indices of accuracy. We also calculated the intertrial variability (standard deviations) of time on target and distance from target as indices of stability. Visuomotor accuracy was significantly enhanced in the HF group and disrupted in the LF group compared to the sham group, indicating frequency-dependent effects of rTMS. In contrast, both HF and LF rTMS demonstrated no significant change in visuomotor stability. Surprisingly, our findings demonstrated that the accuracy and stability of visuomotor performance may be differentially influenced by cerebellar rTMS. This suggests that visuomotor accuracy and stability have different underlying neural mechanisms and revealed the possibility of training strategies based on cerebellar neuromodulation.
|Journal||Frontiers in Neuroscience|
|State||Published - 18 Mar 2022|
- frequency-dependent effect
- repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
- visuomotor accuracy
- visuomotor coordination
- visuomotor stability