Cerebellar Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Modulates the Motor Learning of Visually Guided Voluntary Postural Control Task

SOURCE: Neuroscience Letters. 788:136859, 2022 09 25.

AUTHORS: Matsugi A; Mori N; Hosomi K; Saitoh Y

ABSTRACT: We investigated whether vermal cerebellar low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (crTMS) affects motor learning of visually guided postural tracking training (VTT) using foot center of pressure (COP) as well as the stability and sensory contribution of upright standing. Twenty-one healthy volunteers participated (10 in the sham-crTMS group and 11 in the active-crTMS group). For VTT, participants stood on the force plate 1.5 m from the monitor on which the COP and target moved in a circle. Participants tracked the target with their own COP for 1 min, and 10 VTT sessions were conducted. The tracking error (TE) was compared between trials. Active- or sham-crTMS sessions were conducted prior to VTT. At baseline (before crTMS), pre-VTT (after crTMS), and post-VTT, the COP trajectory during upright static standing under four conditions (eyes, open/closed; surface, hard/rubber) was recorded. Comparison of the length of the COP trajectory or path and sensory-contribution-rate showed no significant difference between baseline and pre- and post-VTT. There was a significant decrease in TE in the sham-crTMS but not in the active-crTMS group. VTT and crTMS did not immediately affect the stability and sensory contribution of upright
standing; however, crTMS immediately affected motor learning. The vermal cerebellum may contribute to motor learning of voluntary postural control.