Dual-tasking alleviated sleep deprivation disruption in visuomotor tracking: An fMRI study

Gazes, Yunglin; Rakitin, Brian C.; Steffener, Jason; Habeck, Christian; Butterfield, Brady; Basner, Robert C.; Ghez, Claude; Stern, Yaakov

Effects of dual-responding on tracking performance after 49-hr of sleep deprivation (SD) were evaluated behaviorally and with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Continuous visuomotor tracking was performed simultaneously with an intermittent color-matching visual detection task in which a pair of color-matched stimuli constituted a target and non-matches were non-targets. Tracking error means were binned time-locked to stimulus onset of the detection task in order to observe changes associated with dual-responding by comparing the error during targets and non-targets. Similar comparison was made with fMRI data. Our result showed that despite a significant increase in the overall tracking error post SD, from 20 pixels pre SD to 45 pixels post SD, error decreased to a minimum of about 25 pixels 0 to 6 s after dual-response. Despite an overall reduced activation post SD, greater activation difference between targets and non-targets was found post SD in task-related regions, such as the left cerebellum, the left somatosensory cortex, the left extrastriate cortex, bilateral precuneus, the left middle frontal gyrus, and the left motor cortex. Our results suggest that dual-response helps to alleviate performance impairment usually associated with SD. The duration of the alleviation effect was on the order of seconds after dual-responding.



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February 11, 2022