Hyperalignment of motor cortical areas based on motor imagery during action observation

Al-Wasity, S., Vogt, S., Vuckovic, A. and Pollick, F. E. (2020) Hyperalignment of motor cortical areas based on motor imagery during action observation. Scientific Reports, 10, 5362. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-62071-2) (PMID:32210277) (PMCID:PMC7093515)

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Multivariate Pattern Analysis (MVPA) has grown in importance due to its capacity to use both coarse and fine scale patterns of brain activity. However, a major limitation of multivariate analysis is the difficulty of aligning features across brains, which makes MVPA a subject specific analysis. Recent work by Haxby et al. (2011) introduced a method called Hyperalignment that explored neural activity in ventral temporal cortex during object recognition and demonstrated the ability to align individual patterns of brain activity into a common high dimensional space to facilitate Between Subject Classification (BSC). Here we examined BSC based on Hyperalignment of motor cortex during a task of motor imagery of three natural actions (lift, knock and throw). To achieve this we collected brain activity during the combined tasks of action observation and motor imagery to a parametric action space containing 25 stick-figure blends of the three natural actions. From these responses we derived Hyperalignment transformation parameters that were used to map subjects’ representational spaces of the motor imagery task in the motor cortex into a common model representational space. Results showed that BSC of the neural response patterns based on Hyperalignment exceeded both BSC based on anatomical alignment as well as a standard Within Subject Classification (WSC) approach. We also found that results were sensitive to the order in which participants entered the Hyperalignment algorithm. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of Hyperalignment to align neural responses across subject in motor cortex to enable BSC of motor imagery.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work has been supported by the Higher Committee for Educational Development (HCED) in Iraq as part of Al-Wasity’s PhD scholarship. Part of the present paper, including figures where indicated, have been published as part of Al-Wasity’s PhD thesis.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Al-Wasity, Mr Salim and Pollick, Professor Frank and Vuckovic, Dr Aleksandra
Authors: Al-Wasity, S., Vogt, S., Vuckovic, A., and Pollick, F. E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 10:5362
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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