One fundamental principle of the brain functional organization is the elaboration of sensory information for the specification of action plans that are most appropriate for interaction with the environment. Using an incidental go/no-go priming paradigm, we have previously shown a facilita-tion effect for the execution of a walking-related action in response to far vs. near objects/locations in the extrapersonal space, and this effect has been called “macro-affordance” to reflect the role of locomotion in the coverage of extrapersonal distance. Here, we investigated the neurophysiological underpinnings of such an effect by recording scalp electroencephalography (EEG) from 30 human participants during the same paradigm. The results of a whole-brain analysis indicated a significant modulation of the event-related potentials (ERPs) both during prime and target stimulus presenta-tion. Specifically, consistent with a mechanism of action anticipation and automatic activation of affordances, a stronger ERP was observed in response to prime images framing the environment from a far vs. near distance, and this modulation was localized in dorso-medial motor regions. In addition, an inversion of polarity for far vs. near conditions was observed during the subsequent target period in dorso-medial parietal regions associated with spatially directed foot-related actions. These findings were interpreted within the framework of embodied models of brain functioning as arising from a mechanism of motor-anticipation and subsequent prediction error which was guided by the preferential affordance relationship between the distant large-scale environment and locomotion. More in general, our findings reveal a sensory-motor mechanism for the processing of walking-related environmental affordances.

Sensory-motor modulations of eeg event-related potentials reflect walking-related macro-affordances

Tosoni A.
Primo
;
Altomare E. C.
Secondo
;
Brunetti M.;Croce P.;Zappasodi F.
Penultimo
;
Committeri G.
Ultimo
2021-01-01

Abstract

One fundamental principle of the brain functional organization is the elaboration of sensory information for the specification of action plans that are most appropriate for interaction with the environment. Using an incidental go/no-go priming paradigm, we have previously shown a facilita-tion effect for the execution of a walking-related action in response to far vs. near objects/locations in the extrapersonal space, and this effect has been called “macro-affordance” to reflect the role of locomotion in the coverage of extrapersonal distance. Here, we investigated the neurophysiological underpinnings of such an effect by recording scalp electroencephalography (EEG) from 30 human participants during the same paradigm. The results of a whole-brain analysis indicated a significant modulation of the event-related potentials (ERPs) both during prime and target stimulus presenta-tion. Specifically, consistent with a mechanism of action anticipation and automatic activation of affordances, a stronger ERP was observed in response to prime images framing the environment from a far vs. near distance, and this modulation was localized in dorso-medial motor regions. In addition, an inversion of polarity for far vs. near conditions was observed during the subsequent target period in dorso-medial parietal regions associated with spatially directed foot-related actions. These findings were interpreted within the framework of embodied models of brain functioning as arising from a mechanism of motor-anticipation and subsequent prediction error which was guided by the preferential affordance relationship between the distant large-scale environment and locomotion. More in general, our findings reveal a sensory-motor mechanism for the processing of walking-related environmental affordances.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/765627
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