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Individual Differences in Subconscious Motor Control Predicted by GABA Concentration in SMA / Frederic Boy; C. John Evans; Richard A.E. Edden; Krish D. Singh; Masud Husain; Petroc Sumner

Current Biology, Volume: 20, Issue: 19, Pages: 1779 - 1785

Swansea University Author: Frederic, Boy

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Abstract

Subliminal visual stimuli affect motor planning [1], but the size of such effects differs greatly between individuals [2, 3]. Here, we investigated whether such variation may be related to neurochemical differences between people. Cortical responsiveness is expected to be lower under the influence o...

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Published in: Current Biology
ISSN: 0960-9822
Published: 2010
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa13373
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Abstract: Subliminal visual stimuli affect motor planning [1], but the size of such effects differs greatly between individuals [2, 3]. Here, we investigated whether such variation may be related to neurochemical differences between people. Cortical responsiveness is expected to be lower under the influence of more of the main inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA [4]. Thus, we hypothesized that, if an individual has more GABA in the supplementary motor area (SMA)—a region previously associated with automatic motor control [5]—this would result in smaller subliminal effects. We measured the reversed masked prime—or negative compat- ibility—effect, and found that it correlated strongly with GABA concentration, measured with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This occurred specifically in the SMA region, and not in other regions from which spectroscopy measure- ments were taken. We replicated these results in an inde- pendent cohort: more GABA in the SMA region is reliably associated with smaller effect size. These findings suggest that, across individuals, the responsiveness of subcon- scious motor mechanisms is related to GABA concentration in the SMA.
Keywords: GABA, Supplementary Motor Area, Individual differences
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Issue: 19
Start Page: 1779
End Page: 1785