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Early Trajectory Prediction in Elite Athletes

Research group De Zeeuw
Publication year 2018
Published in Cerebellum
Authors Cullen B Owens, Casper de Boer, Giulia Gennari, Robin Broersen, Johan J Pel, Brian Miller, Wesley Clapp, Y.D. van der Werf, C.I. De Zeeuw

Cerebellar plasticity is a critical mechanism for optimal feedback control. While Purkinje cell activity of the oculomotor vermis predicts eye movement speed and direction, more lateral areas of the cerebellum may play a role in more complex tasks, including decision-making. It is still under question how this motor-cognitive functional dichotomy between medial and lateral areas of the cerebellum plays a role in optimal feedback control. Here we show that elite athletes subjected to a trajectory prediction, go/no-go task manifest superior subsecond trajectory prediction accompanied by optimal eye movements and changes in cognitive load dynamics. Moreover, while interacting with the cerebral cortex, both the medial and lateral cerebellar networks are prominently activated during the fast feedback stage of the task, regardless of whether or not a motor response was required for the correct response. Our results show that cortico-cerebellar interactions are widespread during dynamic feedback and that experience can result in superior task-specific decision skills.

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