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PLoS Biol. 2007 Nov;5(11):e316.

Disruption of state estimation in the human lateral cerebellum.

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1
School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom. r.c.miall@bham.ac.uk

Abstract

The cerebellum has been proposed to be a crucial component in the state estimation process that combines information from motor efferent and sensory afferent signals to produce a representation of the current state of the motor system. Such a state estimate of the moving human arm would be expected to be used when the arm is rapidly and skillfully reaching to a target. We now report the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the ipsilateral cerebellum as healthy humans were made to interrupt a slow voluntary movement to rapidly reach towards a visually defined target. Errors in the initial direction and in the final finger position of this reach-to-target movement were significantly higher for cerebellar stimulation than they were in control conditions. The average directional errors in the cerebellar TMS condition were consistent with the reaching movements being planned and initiated from an estimated hand position that was 138 ms out of date. We suggest that these results demonstrate that the cerebellum is responsible for estimating the hand position over this time interval and that TMS disrupts this state estimate.

PMID:
18044990
PMCID:
PMC2229864
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.0050316
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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