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A Study of Brain Networks Associated With Motor Sequence Learning Foot Tapping Tasks

Muhei-aldin, Othman (2015) A Study of Brain Networks Associated With Motor Sequence Learning Foot Tapping Tasks. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Understanding the learning behavior of brain functional connectivity within motor sequence learning of foot tapping tasks is of great importance to help improving walking quality of elderly people. It is also of great interest to clinical and scientific communities. The role of functional connectivity in brain function has not yet been well understood. This study comprises of two parts; the first part is to investigate brain signal stationarity, while the other will look into brain interactions while performing motor learning sequence task. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was utilized to acquire data from twelve healthy adult participants to study brain functional connectivity and interactions during a sequence of motor learning foot tapping tasks. Tasks were divided into: two different learning blocks, two control blocks, and five blocks of resting states. In this condition, 90 percent of the subjects developed awareness of the sequence. The stationarity of fMRI time series needs to be understood as it has important implications on the choice of appropriate approaches for the analysis of complex brain networks. The reverse arrangement test RAT was utilized to investigate the time series stationarity. Our analysis showed some non-stationary signals with a time varying first moment as a major source of non-stationarity.
Next, we choose to apply psycho-physiological interactions (PPI) approach to our data and we revealed some information about the degree to which components of large-scale neural systems were functionally coupled together to achieve and perform the designed learning sequence task. In this work, we will introduce the idea of psycho-physiological interaction (PPI), which explains the responses in one cortical region in terms of an interaction between the effects of other regions and learning task parameter. We have found that the Thalamus was mostly involved and modulated with our predesigned motor learning task. We also found that the Middle frontal Gyrus and Left pre-central Gyrus were the most interacting regions with the above mentioned cluster. This interaction can only be related to the interactions that are based on the experimental factors which are the psychological and physiological interactions. The current results have also supported PPI as a potential tool for understanding learning mechanism during foot tapping tasks.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Muhei-aldin, Othmanoam4@pitt.eduOAM4
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorSejdić, Ervinesejdic@pitt.eduESEJDIC
Committee MemberMao, Zhi-Hongzhm4@pitt.eduZHM4
Committee MemberEl-jaroudi, Amroamro@pitt.eduAMRO
Date: 8 June 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 March 2015
Approval Date: 8 June 2015
Submission Date: 27 March 2015
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 70
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Electrical Engineering
Degree: MSEE - Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: fMRI, Motor learning, statioarity, PPI
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2015 17:37
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 05:15


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