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Tics as a model of over-learned behavior-imitation and inhibition of facial tics

Tics as a model of over-learned behavior-imitation and inhibition of facial tics
Tics as a model of over-learned behavior-imitation and inhibition of facial tics

BACKGROUND: Tics are the defining feature in Tourette syndrome and can be triggered by watching tics or single voluntary movements. This automatic imitation of movements referred to as "echopraxia" has been ascribed to a failure in top-down inhibition of imitative response tendencies. Alternatively, it could be interpreted in the context of automatic overlearned behavior. To this end, we investigated 18 Tourette patients aged 28.22 years (9.44 standard deviation; 16 male) and 24 healthy controls (mean age 29.21 years [9.1 standard deviation]; 17 male) using an adapted version of an action-interference paradigm.

METHODS: Patients were asked to respond to 2 different auditory tones with either a facial movement that was part of their tic repertoire (tic-like movement), or a facial movement that was not (nontic movement). Simultaneously, behaviorally irrelevant videos of the 2 same facial movements were presented, which were either compatible or incompatible with the movement executed by the patient. Movements in healthy controls were matched to those in the patients.

RESULTS: Healthy participants responded faster in compatible than in incompatible trials. Tourette patients showed the same effect for nontic movements. However, their responses were equally fast in incompatible and compatible trials when the movement they were asked to execute was a tic-like movement. Error rates did not differ between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that tic-like movements do not occur as a consequence of a failure to inhibit motor output. Instead, tics might be considered highly overlearned behavior that can be triggered without interference by external, incompatible movement stimuli. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Journal Article, Review
1155-1162
Brandt, Valerie Cathérine
e41f5832-70e4-407d-8a15-85b861761656
Patalay, Praveetha
d5333a10-3698-4f1c-ab20-4d551319838e
Bäumer, Tobias
90576a00-054a-4ab7-952e-d50b175f4cec
Brass, Marcel
96ac528f-3815-4631-8b7d-3fa2bf4c0aad
Münchau, Alexander
3254c1b7-9fd4-417d-96e2-b7bc1fe3c736
Brandt, Valerie Cathérine
e41f5832-70e4-407d-8a15-85b861761656
Patalay, Praveetha
d5333a10-3698-4f1c-ab20-4d551319838e
Bäumer, Tobias
90576a00-054a-4ab7-952e-d50b175f4cec
Brass, Marcel
96ac528f-3815-4631-8b7d-3fa2bf4c0aad
Münchau, Alexander
3254c1b7-9fd4-417d-96e2-b7bc1fe3c736

Brandt, Valerie Cathérine, Patalay, Praveetha, Bäumer, Tobias, Brass, Marcel and Münchau, Alexander (2016) Tics as a model of over-learned behavior-imitation and inhibition of facial tics. Movement Disorders, 31 (8), 1155-1162. (doi:10.1002/mds.26607).

Record type: Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Tics are the defining feature in Tourette syndrome and can be triggered by watching tics or single voluntary movements. This automatic imitation of movements referred to as "echopraxia" has been ascribed to a failure in top-down inhibition of imitative response tendencies. Alternatively, it could be interpreted in the context of automatic overlearned behavior. To this end, we investigated 18 Tourette patients aged 28.22 years (9.44 standard deviation; 16 male) and 24 healthy controls (mean age 29.21 years [9.1 standard deviation]; 17 male) using an adapted version of an action-interference paradigm.

METHODS: Patients were asked to respond to 2 different auditory tones with either a facial movement that was part of their tic repertoire (tic-like movement), or a facial movement that was not (nontic movement). Simultaneously, behaviorally irrelevant videos of the 2 same facial movements were presented, which were either compatible or incompatible with the movement executed by the patient. Movements in healthy controls were matched to those in the patients.

RESULTS: Healthy participants responded faster in compatible than in incompatible trials. Tourette patients showed the same effect for nontic movements. However, their responses were equally fast in incompatible and compatible trials when the movement they were asked to execute was a tic-like movement. Error rates did not differ between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that tic-like movements do not occur as a consequence of a failure to inhibit motor output. Instead, tics might be considered highly overlearned behavior that can be triggered without interference by external, incompatible movement stimuli. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

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Accepted/In Press date: 15 February 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 8 April 2016
Published date: August 2016
Additional Information: © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
Keywords: Journal Article, Review

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Local EPrints ID: 413903
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413903
PURE UUID: 0a64662e-e823-43b1-8f2d-d62579dbeefe

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Date deposited: 08 Sep 2017 16:31
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:11

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Contributors

Author: Praveetha Patalay
Author: Tobias Bäumer
Author: Marcel Brass
Author: Alexander Münchau

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