Patients with Parkinson’s disease learn to control complex systems via procedural as well as non-procedural learning
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The striatum is considered tomediate some forms of procedural learning. Complex dynamic control (CDC) tasks involve an individual having to make a series of sequential decisions to achieve a specific outcome (e.g. learning to operate and control a car), and they involve procedural learning. The aim of this studywas to test the hypothesis that patients with Parkinson’s diseasewhohave striatal dysfunction, are impaired on CDC tasks only when learning involves procedural learning. 26 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and 26 age-matched controls performed two CDC tasks, one in which training was observation-based (nonprocedural), and a second in which training was action-based (procedural). Both groups were able to control the system to a specific criterion equallywell, regardless of the training condition. However, when reporting their knowledge of the underlying structure of the system, both groups showed poorer accuracy when learning took place through observation-based compared with action-based training. Moreover, the controls’ accuracy in reporting the underlying structure of the systemswas superior to that of PD patients. The findings suggest that the striatal dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease is not associated with impairment of procedural learning, regardless of whether the task involved procedural learning or not. It is possible that the learning and performance on CDC tasks are mediated by perceptual priming mechanisms in the neocortex.
AuthorsBeigi, M; Osman, M; Sanchez Castaneda, C; Jahanshahi, M; Wilkinson, L
- Psychology