Increased adaptation rates and reduction in trial-by-trial variability in subjects with cerebral palsy following a multi-session locomotor adaptation training

Firas Mawase, Simona Bar-Haim, Katherin Joubran, Lihi Rubin, Amir Karniel, Lior Shmuelof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cerebral Palsy (CP) results from an insult to the developing brain and is associated with deficits in locomotor and manual skills and in sensorimotor adaptation. We hypothesized that the poor sensorimotor adaptation in persons with CP is related to their high execution variability and does not reflect a general impairment in adaptation learning. We studied the interaction between performance variability and adaptation deficits using a multi-session locomotor adaptation design in persons with CP. Six adolescents with diplegic CP were exposed, during a period of 15 weeks, to a repeated split-belt treadmill perturbation spread over 30 sessions and were tested again 6 months after the end of training. Compared to age-matched healthy controls, subjects with CP showed poor adaptation and high execution variability in the first exposure to the perturbation. Following training they showed marked reduction in execution variability and an increase in learning rates. The reduction in variability and the improvement in adaptation were highly correlated in the CP group and were retained 6 months after training. Interestingly, despite reducing their variability in the washout phase, subjects with CP did not improve learning rates during washout phases that were introduced only four times during the experiment. Our results suggest that locomotor adaptation in subjects with CP is related to their execution variability. Nevertheless, while variability reduction is generalized to other locomotor contexts, the development of savings requires both reduction in execution variability and multiple exposures to the perturbation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume10
Issue numberMAY2016
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 May 2016

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Asymptotic performance
  • Execution variability
  • Gait
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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