WorldWideScience

Sample records for motor learning approach

  1. A Deep Learning Approach for Fault Diagnosis of Induction Motors in Manufacturing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Si-Yu; Sun, Wen-Jun; Yan, Ru-Qiang; Wang, Peng; Gao, Robert X.

    2017-11-01

    Extracting features from original signals is a key procedure for traditional fault diagnosis of induction motors, as it directly influences the performance of fault recognition. However, high quality features need expert knowledge and human intervention. In this paper, a deep learning approach based on deep belief networks (DBN) is developed to learn features from frequency distribution of vibration signals with the purpose of characterizing working status of induction motors. It combines feature extraction procedure with classification task together to achieve automated and intelligent fault diagnosis. The DBN model is built by stacking multiple-units of restricted Boltzmann machine (RBM), and is trained using layer-by-layer pre-training algorithm. Compared with traditional diagnostic approaches where feature extraction is needed, the presented approach has the ability of learning hierarchical representations, which are suitable for fault classification, directly from frequency distribution of the measurement data. The structure of the DBN model is investigated as the scale and depth of the DBN architecture directly affect its classification performance. Experimental study conducted on a machine fault simulator verifies the effectiveness of the deep learning approach for fault diagnosis of induction motors. This research proposes an intelligent diagnosis method for induction motor which utilizes deep learning model to automatically learn features from sensor data and realize working status recognition.

  2. A novel deep learning approach for classification of EEG motor imagery signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabar, Yousef Rezaei; Halici, Ugur

    2017-02-01

    Signal classification is an important issue in brain computer interface (BCI) systems. Deep learning approaches have been used successfully in many recent studies to learn features and classify different types of data. However, the number of studies that employ these approaches on BCI applications is very limited. In this study we aim to use deep learning methods to improve classification performance of EEG motor imagery signals. In this study we investigate convolutional neural networks (CNN) and stacked autoencoders (SAE) to classify EEG Motor Imagery signals. A new form of input is introduced to combine time, frequency and location information extracted from EEG signal and it is used in CNN having one 1D convolutional and one max-pooling layers. We also proposed a new deep network by combining CNN and SAE. In this network, the features that are extracted in CNN are classified through the deep network SAE. The classification performance obtained by the proposed method on BCI competition IV dataset 2b in terms of kappa value is 0.547. Our approach yields 9% improvement over the winner algorithm of the competition. Our results show that deep learning methods provide better classification performance compared to other state of art approaches. These methods can be applied successfully to BCI systems where the amount of data is large due to daily recording.

  3. Examining Change in Metacognitive Knowledge and Metacognitive Control During Motor Learning: What Can be Learned by Combining Methodological Approaches?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Sangster Jokić

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Growing recognition of the importance of understanding metacognitive behaviour as it occurs in everyday learning situations has prompted an expansion of the methodological approaches used to examine metacognition. This becomes especially pertinent when examining the process of metacognitive change, where 'on-line' observational approaches able to capture metacognitive performance as it occurs during socially-mediated learning are being increasingly applied. This study applied a mixed methods approach to examine children's metacognitive performance as it was exhibited during participation in an intervention program aimed at addressing motor performance difficulties. Participants in the study were ten 7-9 year old children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD, a condition characterized by poor motor coordination and difficulty acquiring motor-based tasks. All participants engaged in a 10-session program in which children were taught to use a problem-solving strategy for addressing motor performance difficulties. To examine children's metacognitive performance, sessions were video-taped and subsequently analysed using a quantitative observational coding method and an in-depth qualitative review of therapist-child interactions. This allowed for a fine-grained analysis of children's demonstration of metacognitive knowledge and control and how such performance evolved over the course of the program. Of particular interest was the finding that while children were often able to express task-specific knowledge, they failed to apply this knowledge during practice. Conversely, children were often able to demonstrate performance-based evidence for metacognitive control but were not able to make conscious reports of such skill following practice. This finding is consistent with models of metacognitive development which suggest that the emergence of performance-based metacognitive skills precede the ability for the conscious expression of

  4. Brief Overview of Motor Learning and It's Application to Rehabilitation: Part Ⅰ: Motor Learning Theory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Christopher A Zaino

    2003-01-01

    @@ 1 DEFINITION OF MOTOR LEARNING Motor learning is the study of how we acquire and modify movements.1 The acquisition of motor skills is the process of learning how to do a particular movement (performance), but the real key to therapeutic intervention is being able to affect permanent changes in motor skills via the process of motor learning. Therefore, motor learning is defined as the ability to retain the ability to perform a motor task at a later time. In rehabilitation, it is important to be cognizant of the concepts of acquisition and retention. We can facilitate acquisition,but do little to assist in the retention of the task (learning). Conversely, we can arrange practice such that acquisition is slowed, but we can actually be assisting learning the task. It is important to have a clear goal in mind and work towards the eventual learning of the task to allow full functional use of that skill.

  5. Movement Sonification: Effects on Motor Learning beyond Rhythmic Adjustments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Effenberg, Alfred O.; Fehse, Ursula; Schmitz, Gerd; Krueger, Bjoern; Mechling, Heinz

    2016-01-01

    Motor learning is based on motor perception and emergent perceptual-motor representations. A lot of behavioral research is related to single perceptual modalities but during last two decades the contribution of multimodal perception on motor behavior was discovered more and more. A growing number of studies indicates an enhanced impact of multimodal stimuli on motor perception, motor control and motor learning in terms of better precision and higher reliability of the related actions. Behavioral research is supported by neurophysiological data, revealing that multisensory integration supports motor control and learning. But the overwhelming part of both research lines is dedicated to basic research. Besides research in the domains of music, dance and motor rehabilitation, there is almost no evidence for enhanced effectiveness of multisensory information on learning of gross motor skills. To reduce this gap, movement sonification is used here in applied research on motor learning in sports. Based on the current knowledge on the multimodal organization of the perceptual system, we generate additional real-time movement information being suitable for integration with perceptual feedback streams of visual and proprioceptive modality. With ongoing training, synchronously processed auditory information should be initially integrated into the emerging internal models, enhancing the efficacy of motor learning. This is achieved by a direct mapping of kinematic and dynamic motion parameters to electronic sounds, resulting in continuous auditory and convergent audiovisual or audio-proprioceptive stimulus arrays. In sharp contrast to other approaches using acoustic information as error-feedback in motor learning settings, we try to generate additional movement information suitable for acceleration and enhancement of adequate sensorimotor representations and processible below the level of consciousness. In the experimental setting, participants were asked to learn a closed

  6. Movement sonification: Effects on motor learning beyond rhythmic adjustments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Oliver Effenberg

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Motor learning is based on motor perception and emergent perceptual-motor representations. A lot of behavioral research is related to single perceptual modalities, but during last two decades the contribution of multimodal perception on motor behavior was discovered more and more. A growing number of studies indicate an enhanced impact of multimodal stimuli on motor perception, motor control and motor learning in terms of better precision and higher reliability of the related actions. Behavioral research is supported by neurophysiological data, revealing that multisensory integration supports motor control and learning. But the overwhelming part of both research lines is dedicated to basic research. Besides research in the domains of music, dance and motor rehabilitation there is nearly no evidence about enhanced effectiveness of multisensory information on learning of gross motor skills. To reduce this gap movement sonification is used here in applied research on motor learning in sports.Based on the current knowledge on the multimodal organization of the perceptual system we generate additional real-time movement information being suitable for integration with perceptual feedback streams of visual and proprioceptive modality. With ongoing training synchronously processed auditory information should be initially integrated into the emerging internal models, enhancing the efficacy of motor learning. This is achieved by a direct mapping of kinematic and dynamic motion parameters to electronic sounds, resulting in continuous auditory and convergent audiovisual or audio-proprioceptive stimulus arrays. In sharp contrast to other approaches using acoustic information as error feedback in motor learning settings we try to generate additional movement information suitable for acceleration and enhancement of adequate sensorimotor representations and processible below the level of consciousness. In the experimental setting participants were asked to

  7. Movement Sonification: Effects on Motor Learning beyond Rhythmic Adjustments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Effenberg, Alfred O; Fehse, Ursula; Schmitz, Gerd; Krueger, Bjoern; Mechling, Heinz

    2016-01-01

    Motor learning is based on motor perception and emergent perceptual-motor representations. A lot of behavioral research is related to single perceptual modalities but during last two decades the contribution of multimodal perception on motor behavior was discovered more and more. A growing number of studies indicates an enhanced impact of multimodal stimuli on motor perception, motor control and motor learning in terms of better precision and higher reliability of the related actions. Behavioral research is supported by neurophysiological data, revealing that multisensory integration supports motor control and learning. But the overwhelming part of both research lines is dedicated to basic research. Besides research in the domains of music, dance and motor rehabilitation, there is almost no evidence for enhanced effectiveness of multisensory information on learning of gross motor skills. To reduce this gap, movement sonification is used here in applied research on motor learning in sports. Based on the current knowledge on the multimodal organization of the perceptual system, we generate additional real-time movement information being suitable for integration with perceptual feedback streams of visual and proprioceptive modality. With ongoing training, synchronously processed auditory information should be initially integrated into the emerging internal models, enhancing the efficacy of motor learning. This is achieved by a direct mapping of kinematic and dynamic motion parameters to electronic sounds, resulting in continuous auditory and convergent audiovisual or audio-proprioceptive stimulus arrays. In sharp contrast to other approaches using acoustic information as error-feedback in motor learning settings, we try to generate additional movement information suitable for acceleration and enhancement of adequate sensorimotor representations and processible below the level of consciousness. In the experimental setting, participants were asked to learn a closed

  8. Learning motor skills from algorithms to robot experiments

    CERN Document Server

    Kober, Jens

    2014-01-01

    This book presents the state of the art in reinforcement learning applied to robotics both in terms of novel algorithms and applications. It discusses recent approaches that allow robots to learn motor skills and presents tasks that need to take into account the dynamic behavior of the robot and its environment, where a kinematic movement plan is not sufficient. The book illustrates a method that learns to generalize parameterized motor plans which is obtained by imitation or reinforcement learning, by adapting a small set of global parameters, and appropriate kernel-based reinforcement learning algorithms. The presented applications explore highly dynamic tasks and exhibit a very efficient learning process. All proposed approaches have been extensively validated with benchmarks tasks, in simulation, and on real robots. These tasks correspond to sports and games but the presented techniques are also applicable to more mundane household tasks. The book is based on the first author’s doctoral thesis, which wo...

  9. Neuroplasticity & Motor Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Lundbye

    Practice of a new motor task is usually associated with an improvement in performance. Indeed, if we stop practicing and return the next day to the same task, we find that our performance has been maintained and may even be better than it was at the start of the first day. This improvement...... is a measure of our ability to form and store a motor memory of the task. However, the initial memory of the task is labile and may be subject to interference. During and following motor learning plastic changes occur within the central nervous system. On one hand these changes are driven by motor practice......, on the other hand the changes underlie the formation of motor memory and the retention of improved motor performance. During motor learning changes may occur at many different levels within the central nervous system dependent on the type of task and training. Here, we demonstrate different studies from our...

  10. A Combination of Machine Learning and Cerebellar-like Neural Networks for the Motor Control and Motor Learning of the Fable Modular Robot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baira Ojeda, Ismael; Tolu, Silvia; Pacheco, Moises

    2017-01-01

    We scaled up a bio-inspired control architecture for the motor control and motor learning of a real modular robot. In our approach, the Locally Weighted Projection Regression algorithm (LWPR) and a cerebellar microcircuit coexist, in the form of a Unit Learning Machine. The LWPR algorithm optimizes...... the input space and learns the internal model of a single robot module to command the robot to follow a desired trajectory with its end-effector. The cerebellar-like microcircuit refines the LWPR output delivering corrective commands. We contrasted distinct cerebellar-like circuits including analytical...

  11. The Integration of Environmental Education in Science Materials by Using "MOTORIC" Learning Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukarjita, I. Wayan; Ardi, Muhammad; Rachman, Abdul; Supu, Amiruddin; Dirawan, Gufran Darma

    2015-01-01

    The research of the integration of Environmental Education in science subject matter by application of "MOTORIC" Learning models has carried out on Junior High School Kupang Nusa Tenggara Timur Indonesia. "MOTORIC" learning model is an Environmental Education (EE) learning model that collaborate three learning approach i.e.…

  12. A long-memory model of motor learning in the saccadic system: a regime-switching approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Aaron L; Shelhamer, Mark

    2013-08-01

    Maintenance of movement accuracy relies on motor learning, by which prior errors guide future behavior. One aspect of this learning process involves the accurate generation of predictions of movement outcome. These predictions can, for example, drive anticipatory movements during a predictive-saccade task. Predictive saccades are rapid eye movements made to anticipated future targets based on error information from prior movements. This predictive process exhibits long-memory (fractal) behavior, as suggested by inter-trial fluctuations. Here, we model this learning process using a regime-switching approach, which avoids the computational complexities associated with true long-memory processes. The resulting model demonstrates two fundamental characteristics. First, long-memory behavior can be mimicked by a system possessing no true long-term memory, producing model outputs consistent with human-subjects performance. In contrast, the popular two-state model, which is frequently used in motor learning, cannot replicate these findings. Second, our model suggests that apparent long-term memory arises from the trade-off between correcting for the most recent movement error and maintaining consistent long-term behavior. Thus, the model surprisingly predicts that stronger long-memory behavior correlates to faster learning during adaptation (in which systematic errors drive large behavioral changes); greater apparent long-term memory indicates more effective incorporation of error from the cumulative history across trials.

  13. Auditory-motor learning influences auditory memory for music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2012-05-01

    In two experiments, we investigated how auditory-motor learning influences performers' memory for music. Skilled pianists learned novel melodies in four conditions: auditory only (listening), motor only (performing without sound), strongly coupled auditory-motor (normal performance), and weakly coupled auditory-motor (performing along with auditory recordings). Pianists' recognition of the learned melodies was better following auditory-only or auditory-motor (weakly coupled and strongly coupled) learning than following motor-only learning, and better following strongly coupled auditory-motor learning than following auditory-only learning. Auditory and motor imagery abilities modulated the learning effects: Pianists with high auditory imagery scores had better recognition following motor-only learning, suggesting that auditory imagery compensated for missing auditory feedback at the learning stage. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 with melodies that contained greater variation in acoustic features. Melodies that were slower and less variable in tempo and intensity were remembered better following weakly coupled auditory-motor learning. These findings suggest that motor learning can aid performers' auditory recognition of music beyond auditory learning alone, and that motor learning is influenced by individual abilities in mental imagery and by variation in acoustic features.

  14. To What Extent Can Motor Imagery Replace Motor Execution While Learning a Fine Motor Skill?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Szarkiewicz, Sylwia; Prekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaskowski, Wojciech; van der Lubbe, Robert Henricus Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Motor imagery is generally thought to share common mechanisms with motor execution. In the present study, we examined to what extent learning a fine motor skill by motor imagery may substitute physical practice. Learning effects were assessed by manipulating the proportion of motor execution and

  15. Motor Skill Learning and Corticospinal Excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Lasse

    Background Motor skill learning (MSL) is the persistent increase in performance of a skill obtained through practice. This process is associated with changes throughout the central nervous system. One of these is a change in corticospinal excitability (CSE) assessable with Transcranial Magnetic...... a novel visuomotor skill. I hypothesized that changes in CSE accompanying long-term motor practice relate to the process of learning rather than repetitive practice on an acquired skill and investigated this by incrementally increasing task difficulty and thus postponing saturation of learning....... Furthermore, we aimed to investigate the feasibility of applying paired associative stimulation to the investigation of learning-dependent motor cortical plasticity by comparing the transient increase in CSE accompanying motor skill learning to the associative plasticity induced by pairing electrical motor...

  16. Emergence of Virtual Reality as a Tool for Upper Limb Rehabilitation: Incorporation of Motor Control and Motor Learning Principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Patrice L.; Keshner, Emily A.

    2015-01-01

    The primary focus of rehabilitation for individuals with loss of upper limb movement as a result of acquired brain injury is the relearning of specific motor skills and daily tasks. This relearning is essential because the loss of upper limb movement often results in a reduced quality of life. Although rehabilitation strives to take advantage of neuroplastic processes during recovery, results of traditional approaches to upper limb rehabilitation have not entirely met this goal. In contrast, enriched training tasks, simulated with a wide range of low- to high-end virtual reality–based simulations, can be used to provide meaningful, repetitive practice together with salient feedback, thereby maximizing neuroplastic processes via motor learning and motor recovery. Such enriched virtual environments have the potential to optimize motor learning by manipulating practice conditions that explicitly engage motivational, cognitive, motor control, and sensory feedback–based learning mechanisms. The objectives of this article are to review motor control and motor learning principles, to discuss how they can be exploited by virtual reality training environments, and to provide evidence concerning current applications for upper limb motor recovery. The limitations of the current technologies with respect to their effectiveness and transfer of learning to daily life tasks also are discussed. PMID:25212522

  17. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berghuis, K M M; Veldman, M P; Solnik, S; Koch, G; Zijdewind, I; Hortobágyi, T

    2015-06-01

    It is controversial whether or not old adults are capable of learning new motor skills and consolidate the performance gains into motor memory in the offline period. The underlying neuronal mechanisms are equally unclear. We determined the magnitude of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults and examined if specific metrics of neuronal excitability measured by magnetic brain stimulation mediate the practice and retention effects. Eleven healthy old adults practiced a wrist extension-flexion visuomotor skill for 20 min (MP, 71.3 years), while a second group only watched the templates without movements (attentional control, AC, n = 11, 70.5 years). There was 40 % motor learning in MP but none in AC (interaction, p learn a new motor skill and consolidate the learned skill into motor memory, processes that are most likely mediated by disinhibitory mechanisms. These results are relevant for the increasing number of old adults who need to learn and relearn movements during motor rehabilitation.

  18. Towards Machine Learning of Motor Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Jan; Schaal, Stefan; Schölkopf, Bernhard

    Autonomous robots that can adapt to novel situations has been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. Early approaches to this goal during the heydays of artificial intelligence research in the late 1980s, however, made it clear that an approach purely based on reasoning or human insights would not be able to model all the perceptuomotor tasks that a robot should fulfill. Instead, new hope was put in the growing wake of machine learning that promised fully adaptive control algorithms which learn both by observation and trial-and-error. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to fulfill this promise as only few methods manage to scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of humanoid robotics, and usually scaling was only achieved in precisely pre-structured domains. In this paper, we investigate the ingredients for a general approach to motor skill learning in order to get one step closer towards human-like performance. For doing so, we study two major components for such an approach, i.e., firstly, a theoretically well-founded general approach to representing the required control structures for task representation and execution and, secondly, appropriate learning algorithms which can be applied in this setting.

  19. Motor cortex is required for learning but not executing a motor skill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawai, Risa; Markman, Timothy; Poddar, Rajesh; Ko, Raymond; Fantana, Antoniu; Dhawale, Ashesh; Kampff, Adam R.; Ölveczky, Bence P.

    2018-01-01

    Motor cortex is widely believed to underlie the acquisition and execution of motor skills, yet its contributions to these processes are not fully understood. One reason is that studies on motor skills often conflate motor cortex’s established role in dexterous control with roles in learning and producing task-specific motor sequences. To dissociate these aspects, we developed a motor task for rats that trains spatiotemporally precise movement patterns without requirements for dexterity. Remarkably, motor cortex lesions had no discernible effect on the acquired skills, which were expressed in their distinct pre-lesion forms on the very first day of post-lesion training. Motor cortex lesions prior to training, however, rendered rats unable to acquire the stereotyped motor sequences required for the task. These results suggest a remarkable capacity of subcortical motor circuits to execute learned skills and a previously unappreciated role for motor cortex in ‘tutoring’ these circuits during learning. PMID:25892304

  20. Modulation of motor performance and motor learning by transcranial direct current stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Janine; Fritsch, Brita

    2011-12-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has shown preliminary success in improving motor performance and motor learning in healthy individuals, and restitution of motor deficits in stroke patients. This brief review highlights some recent work. Within the past years, behavioural studies have confirmed and specified the timing and polarity specific effects of tDCS on motor skill learning and motor adaptation. There is strong evidence that timely co-application of (hand/arm) training and anodal tDCS to the contralateral M1 can improve motor learning. Improvements in motor function as measured by clinical scores have been described for combined tDCS and training in stroke patients. For this purpose, electrode montages have been modified with respect to interhemispheric imbalance after brain injury. Cathodal tDCS applied to the unlesioned M1 or bihemispheric M1 stimulation appears to be well tolerated and useful to induce improvements in motor function. Mechanistic studies in humans and animals are discussed with regard to physiological motor learning. tDCS is well tolerated, easy to use and capable of inducing lasting improvements in motor function. This method holds promise for the rehabilitation of motor disabilities, although acute studies in patients with brain injury are so far lacking.

  1. Learning without knowing: subliminal visual feedback facilitates ballistic motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Leukel, Christian; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    by subconscious (subliminal) augmented visual feedback on motor performance. To test this, 45 subjects participated in the experiment, which involved learning of a ballistic task. The task was to execute simple ankle plantar flexion movements as quickly as possible within 200 ms and to continuously improve...... by the learner, indeed facilitated ballistic motor learning. This effect likely relates to multiple (conscious versus unconscious) processing of visual feedback and to the specific neural circuitries involved in optimization of ballistic motor performance.......). It is a well- described phenomenon that we may respond to features of our surroundings without being aware of them. It is also a well-known principle, that learning is reinforced by augmented feedback on motor performance. In the present experiment we hypothesized that motor learning may be facilitated...

  2. Construction of scientific knowledge in motor learning: history and perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cláudio Márcio Oliveira

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The present work aims to inquire the construction of scientific knowledge in the motor learning area. A necessary historical retrospective on this study field considers the epistemology of Francis Bacon, Karl Popper, Paul Feyerabend and Thomas Kuhn. Bacon and Popper’s conceptions show to be inadequate to explain the scientific progress of motor learning. Feyerabend’s ideas are also inadequate as they lack coherency, even though in some aspects they are adequate. The Kuhnian approach, however, seems more satisfactory, particularly with regard to the notion of “crisis of paradigm” between the ecological approach and the information-processing approach. A critique is offered from human and social sciences perspective. This leads us to reflect on the possible growth of a new paradigm and consider scientific practice as a social practice.

  3. Enhanced Multisensory Integration and Motor Reactivation after Active Motor Learning of Audiovisual Associations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Andrew J.; James, Thomas W.; James, Karin Harman

    2011-01-01

    Everyday experience affords us many opportunities to learn about objects through multiple senses using physical interaction. Previous work has shown that active motor learning of unisensory items enhances memory and leads to the involvement of motor systems during subsequent perception. However, the impact of active motor learning on subsequent…

  4. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berghuis, K. M. M.; Veldman, M. P.; Solnik, S.; Koch, G.; Zijdewind, I.; Hortobagyi, T.

    It is controversial whether or not old adults are capable of learning new motor skills and consolidate the performance gains into motor memory in the offline period. The underlying neuronal mechanisms are equally unclear. We determined the magnitude of motor learning and motor memory consolidation

  5. The many facets of motor learning and their relevance for Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marinelli, Lucio; Quartarone, Angelo; Hallett, Mark; Frazzitta, Giuseppe; Ghilardi, Maria Felice

    2017-07-01

    The final goal of motor learning, a complex process that includes both implicit and explicit (or declarative) components, is the optimization and automatization of motor skills. Motor learning involves different neural networks and neurotransmitters systems depending on the type of task and on the stage of learning. After the first phase of acquisition, a motor skill goes through consolidation (i.e., becoming resistant to interference) and retention, processes in which sleep and long-term potentiation seem to play important roles. The studies of motor learning in Parkinson's disease have yielded controversial results that likely stem from the use of different experimental paradigms. When a task's characteristics, instructions, context, learning phase and type of measures are taken into consideration, it is apparent that, in general, only learning that relies on attentional resources and cognitive strategies is affected by PD, in agreement with the finding of a fronto-striatal deficit in this disease. Levodopa administration does not seem to reverse the learning deficits in PD, while deep brain stimulation of either globus pallidus or subthalamic nucleus appears to be beneficial. Finally and most importantly, patients with PD often show a decrease in retention of newly learned skill, a problem that is present even in the early stages of the disease. A thorough dissection and understanding of the processes involved in motor learning is warranted to provide solid bases for effective medical, surgical and rehabilitative approaches in PD. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. All rights reserved.

  6. Movement Sonification: Audiovisual benefits on motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weber Andreas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Processes of motor control and learning in sports as well as in motor rehabilitation are based on perceptual functions and emergent motor representations. Here a new method of movement sonification is described which is designed to tune in more comprehensively the auditory system into motor perception to enhance motor learning. Usually silent features of the cyclic movement pattern "indoor rowing" are sonified in real time to make them additionally available to the auditory system when executing the movement. Via real time sonification movement perception can be enhanced in terms of temporal precision and multi-channel integration. But beside the contribution of a single perceptual channel to motor perception and motor representation also mechanisms of multisensory integration can be addressed, if movement sonification is configured adequately: Multimodal motor representations consisting of at least visual, auditory and proprioceptive components - can be shaped subtly resulting in more precise motor control and enhanced motor learning.

  7. Motor cortex is required for learning but not for executing a motor skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawai, Risa; Markman, Timothy; Poddar, Rajesh; Ko, Raymond; Fantana, Antoniu L; Dhawale, Ashesh K; Kampff, Adam R; Ölveczky, Bence P

    2015-05-06

    Motor cortex is widely believed to underlie the acquisition and execution of motor skills, but its contributions to these processes are not fully understood. One reason is that studies on motor skills often conflate motor cortex's established role in dexterous control with roles in learning and producing task-specific motor sequences. To dissociate these aspects, we developed a motor task for rats that trains spatiotemporally precise movement patterns without requirements for dexterity. Remarkably, motor cortex lesions had no discernible effect on the acquired skills, which were expressed in their distinct pre-lesion forms on the very first day of post-lesion training. Motor cortex lesions prior to training, however, rendered rats unable to acquire the stereotyped motor sequences required for the task. These results suggest a remarkable capacity of subcortical motor circuits to execute learned skills and a previously unappreciated role for motor cortex in "tutoring" these circuits during learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Does Narrative Feedback Enhance Children's Motor Learning in a Virtual Environment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levac, Danielle E; Lu, Amy S

    2018-04-30

    Augmented feedback has motivational and informational functions in motor learning, and is a key feature of practice in a virtual environment (VE). This study evaluated the impact of narrative (story-based) feedback as compared to standard feedback during practice of a novel task in a VE on typically developing children's motor learning, motivation and engagement. Thirty-eight children practiced navigating through a virtual path, receiving narrative or non-narrative feedback following each trial. All participants improved their performance on retention but not transfer, with no significant differences between groups. Self-reported engagement was associated with acquisition, retention and transfer for both groups. A narrative approach to feedback delivery did not offer an additive benefit; additional affective advantages of augmented feedback for motor learning in VEs should be explored.

  9. Auditory and motor imagery modulate learning in music performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2013-01-01

    Skilled performers such as athletes or musicians can improve their performance by imagining the actions or sensory outcomes associated with their skill. Performers vary widely in their auditory and motor imagery abilities, and these individual differences influence sensorimotor learning. It is unknown whether imagery abilities influence both memory encoding and retrieval. We examined how auditory and motor imagery abilities influence musicians' encoding (during Learning, as they practiced novel melodies), and retrieval (during Recall of those melodies). Pianists learned melodies by listening without performing (auditory learning) or performing without sound (motor learning); following Learning, pianists performed the melodies from memory with auditory feedback (Recall). During either Learning (Experiment 1) or Recall (Experiment 2), pianists experienced either auditory interference, motor interference, or no interference. Pitch accuracy (percentage of correct pitches produced) and temporal regularity (variability of quarter-note interonset intervals) were measured at Recall. Independent tests measured auditory and motor imagery skills. Pianists' pitch accuracy was higher following auditory learning than following motor learning and lower in motor interference conditions (Experiments 1 and 2). Both auditory and motor imagery skills improved pitch accuracy overall. Auditory imagery skills modulated pitch accuracy encoding (Experiment 1): Higher auditory imagery skill corresponded to higher pitch accuracy following auditory learning with auditory or motor interference, and following motor learning with motor or no interference. These findings suggest that auditory imagery abilities decrease vulnerability to interference and compensate for missing auditory feedback at encoding. Auditory imagery skills also influenced temporal regularity at retrieval (Experiment 2): Higher auditory imagery skill predicted greater temporal regularity during Recall in the presence of

  10. Auditory and motor imagery modulate learning in music performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rachel M.; Palmer, Caroline

    2013-01-01

    Skilled performers such as athletes or musicians can improve their performance by imagining the actions or sensory outcomes associated with their skill. Performers vary widely in their auditory and motor imagery abilities, and these individual differences influence sensorimotor learning. It is unknown whether imagery abilities influence both memory encoding and retrieval. We examined how auditory and motor imagery abilities influence musicians' encoding (during Learning, as they practiced novel melodies), and retrieval (during Recall of those melodies). Pianists learned melodies by listening without performing (auditory learning) or performing without sound (motor learning); following Learning, pianists performed the melodies from memory with auditory feedback (Recall). During either Learning (Experiment 1) or Recall (Experiment 2), pianists experienced either auditory interference, motor interference, or no interference. Pitch accuracy (percentage of correct pitches produced) and temporal regularity (variability of quarter-note interonset intervals) were measured at Recall. Independent tests measured auditory and motor imagery skills. Pianists' pitch accuracy was higher following auditory learning than following motor learning and lower in motor interference conditions (Experiments 1 and 2). Both auditory and motor imagery skills improved pitch accuracy overall. Auditory imagery skills modulated pitch accuracy encoding (Experiment 1): Higher auditory imagery skill corresponded to higher pitch accuracy following auditory learning with auditory or motor interference, and following motor learning with motor or no interference. These findings suggest that auditory imagery abilities decrease vulnerability to interference and compensate for missing auditory feedback at encoding. Auditory imagery skills also influenced temporal regularity at retrieval (Experiment 2): Higher auditory imagery skill predicted greater temporal regularity during Recall in the presence of

  11. Auditory and motor imagery modulate learning in music performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel M. Brown

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Skilled performers such as athletes or musicians can improve their performance by imagining the actions or sensory outcomes associated with their skill. Performers vary widely in their auditory and motor imagery abilities, and these individual differences influence sensorimotor learning. It is unknown whether imagery abilities influence both memory encoding and retrieval. We examined how auditory and motor imagery abilities influence musicians’ encoding (during Learning, as they practiced novel melodies, and retrieval (during Recall of those melodies. Pianists learned melodies by listening without performing (auditory learning or performing without sound (motor learning; following Learning, pianists performed the melodies from memory with auditory feedback (Recall. During either Learning (Experiment 1 or Recall (Experiment 2, pianists experienced either auditory interference, motor interference, or no interference. Pitch accuracy (percentage of correct pitches produced and temporal regularity (variability of quarter-note interonset intervals were measured at Recall. Independent tests measured auditory and motor imagery skills. Pianists’ pitch accuracy was higher following auditory learning than following motor learning and lower in motor interference conditions (Experiments 1 and 2. Both auditory and motor imagery skills improved pitch accuracy overall. Auditory imagery skills modulated pitch accuracy encoding (Experiment 1: Higher auditory imagery skill corresponded to higher pitch accuracy following auditory learning with auditory or motor interference, and following motor learning with motor or no interference. These findings suggest that auditory imagery abilities decrease vulnerability to interference and compensate for missing auditory feedback at encoding. Auditory imagery skills also influenced temporal regularity at retrieval (Experiment 2: Higher auditory imagery skill predicted greater temporal regularity during Recall in the

  12. A Combination of Machine Learning and Cerebellar Models for the Motor Control and Learning of a Modular Robot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baira Ojeda, Ismael; Tolu, Silvia; Pacheco, Moises

    2017-01-01

    We scaled up a bio-inspired control architecture for the motor control and motor learning of a real modular robot. In our approach, the Locally Weighted Projection Regression algorithm (LWPR) and a cerebellar microcircuit coexist, forming a Unit Learning Machine. The LWPR optimizes the input space...... and learns the internal model of a single robot module to command the robot to follow a desired trajectory with its end-effector. The cerebellar microcircuit refines the LWPR output delivering corrective commands. We contrasted distinct cerebellar circuits including analytical models and spiking models...

  13. Unilateral implicit motor learning deficit in developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Hong-Yan, Bi

    2011-02-01

    It has been suggested that developmental dyslexia involves various literacy, sensory, motor skill, and processing speed deficits. Some recent studies have shown that individuals with developmental dyslexia exhibit implicit motor learning deficits, which may be related to cerebellar functioning. However, previous studies on implicit motor learning in developmental dyslexics have produced conflicting results. Findings from cerebellar lesion patients have shown that patients' implicit motor learning performance varied when different hands were used to complete tasks. This suggests that dyslexia may have different effects on implicit motor learning between the two hands if cerebellar dysfunction is involved. To specify this question, we used a one-handed version of a serial reaction time task to compare the performance of 27 Chinese children with developmental dyslexics with another 27 age-matched children without reading difficulties. All the subjects were students from two primary schools, Grades 4 to 6. The results showed that children with developmental dyslexic responded more slowly than nondyslexic children, and exhibited no implicit motor learning in the condition of left-hand response. In contrast, there was no significant difference in reaction time between two groups of children when they used the right hand to respond. This finding indicates that children with developmental dyslexia exhibited normal motor skill and implicit motor learning ability provided the right hand was used. Taken together, these results suggested that Chinese children with developmental dyslexia exhibit unilateral deficits in motor skill and implicit motor learning in the left hand. Our findings lend partial support to the cerebellar deficit theory of developmental dyslexia.

  14. Intelligent measurement and compensation of linear motor force ripple: a projection-based learning approach in the presence of noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Song, Fazhi; Yang, Xiaofeng; Dong, Yue; Tan, Jiubin

    2018-06-01

    Due to their structural simplicity, linear motors are increasingly receiving attention for use in high velocity and high precision applications. The force ripple, as a space-periodic disturbance, however, would deteriorate the achievable dynamic performance. Conventional force ripple measurement approaches are time-consuming and have high requirements on the experimental conditions. In this paper, a novel learning identification algorithm is proposed for force ripple intelligent measurement and compensation. Existing identification schemes always use all the error signals to update the parameters in the force ripple. However, the error induced by noise is non-effective for force ripple identification, and even deteriorates the identification process. In this paper only the most pertinent information in the error signal is utilized for force ripple identification. Firstly, the effective error signals caused by the reference trajectory and the force ripple are extracted by projecting the overall error signals onto a subspace spanned by the physical model of the linear motor as well as the sinusoidal model of the force ripple. The time delay in the linear motor is compensated in the basis functions. Then, a data-driven approach is proposed to design the learning gain. It balances the trade-off between convergence speed and robustness against noise. Simulation and experimental results validate the proposed method and confirm its effectiveness and superiority.

  15. Psychosocial modulators of motor learning in Parkinson’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra eZemankova

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Using the remarkable overlap between brain circuits affected in Parkinson’s disease (PD and those underlying motor sequence learning, we may improve the effectiveness of motor rehabilitation interventions by identifying motor learning facilitators in PD. For instance, additional sensory stimulation and task cueing enhanced motor learning in people with PD, whereas exercising using musical rhythms or console computer games improved gait and balance, and reduced some motor symptoms, in addition to increasing task enjoyment. Yet, despite these advances, important knowledge gaps remain. Most studies investigating motor learning in PD used laboratory-specific tasks and equipment, with little resemblance to real life situations. Thus, it is unknown whether similar results could be achieved in more ecological setups and whether individual’s task engagement could further improve motor learning capacity. Moreover, the role of social interaction in motor skill learning process has not yet been investigated in PD and the role of mind-set and self-regulatory mechanisms have been sporadically examined. Here we review evidence suggesting that these psychosocial factors may be important modulators of motor learning in PD. We propose their incorporation in future research, given that it could lead to development of improved non-pharmacological interventions aimed to preserve or restore motor function in PD.

  16. Changes of motor-cortical oscillations associated with motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollok, B; Latz, D; Krause, V; Butz, M; Schnitzler, A

    2014-09-05

    Motor learning results from practice but also between practice sessions. After skill acquisition early consolidation results in less interference with other motor tasks and even improved performance of the newly learned skill. A specific significance of the primary motor cortex (M1) for early consolidation has been suggested. Since synchronized oscillatory activity is assumed to facilitate neuronal plasticity, we here investigate alterations of motor-cortical oscillations by means of event-related desynchronization (ERD) at alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) frequencies in healthy humans. Neuromagnetic activity was recorded using a 306-channel whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) system. ERD was investigated in 15 subjects during training on a serial reaction time task and 10 min after initial training. The data were compared with performance during a randomly varying sequence serving as control condition. The data reveal a stepwise decline of alpha-band ERD associated with faster reaction times replicating previous findings. The amount of beta-band suppression was significantly correlated with reduction of reaction times. While changes of alpha power have been related to lower cognitive control after initial skill acquisition, the present data suggest that the amount of beta suppression represents a neurophysiological marker of early cortical reorganization associated with motor learning. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Functional connectivity between somatosensory and motor brain areas predicts individual differences in motor learning by observing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Heather R; Gribble, Paul L

    2017-08-01

    Action observation can facilitate the acquisition of novel motor skills; however, there is considerable individual variability in the extent to which observation promotes motor learning. Here we tested the hypothesis that individual differences in brain function or structure can predict subsequent observation-related gains in motor learning. Subjects underwent an anatomical MRI scan and resting-state fMRI scans to assess preobservation gray matter volume and preobservation resting-state functional connectivity (FC), respectively. On the following day, subjects observed a video of a tutor adapting her reaches to a novel force field. After observation, subjects performed reaches in a force field as a behavioral assessment of gains in motor learning resulting from observation. We found that individual differences in resting-state FC, but not gray matter volume, predicted postobservation gains in motor learning. Preobservation resting-state FC between left primary somatosensory cortex and bilateral dorsal premotor cortex, primary motor cortex, and primary somatosensory cortex and left superior parietal lobule was positively correlated with behavioral measures of postobservation motor learning. Sensory-motor resting-state FC can thus predict the extent to which observation will promote subsequent motor learning. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We show that individual differences in preobservation brain function can predict subsequent observation-related gains in motor learning. Preobservation resting-state functional connectivity within a sensory-motor network may be used as a biomarker for the extent to which observation promotes motor learning. This kind of information may be useful if observation is to be used as a way to boost neuroplasticity and sensory-motor recovery for patients undergoing rehabilitation for diseases that impair movement such as stroke. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  18. Resting-state Functional Connectivity is an Age-dependent Predictor of Motor Learning Abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary, Alison; Wens, Vincent; Op de Beeck, Marc; Leproult, Rachel; De Tiège, Xavier; Peigneux, Philippe

    2017-10-01

    This magnetoencephalography study investigates how ageing modulates the relationship between pre-learning resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) and subsequent learning. Neuromagnetic resting-state activity was recorded 5 min before motor sequence learning in 14 young (19-30 years) and 14 old (66-70 years) participants. We used a seed-based beta-band power envelope correlation approach to estimate rsFC maps, with the seed located in the right primary sensorimotor cortex. In each age group, the relation between individual rsFC and learning performance was investigated using Pearson's correlation analyses. Our results show that rsFC is predictive of subsequent motor sequence learning but involves different cross-network interactions in the two age groups. In young adults, decreased coupling between the sensorimotor network and the cortico-striato-cerebellar network is associated with better motor learning, whereas a similar relation is found in old adults between the sensorimotor, the dorsal-attentional and the DMNs. Additionally, age-related correlational differences were found in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, known to subtend attentional and controlled processes. These findings suggest that motor skill learning depends-in an age-dependent manner-on subtle interactions between resting-state networks subtending motor activity on the one hand, and controlled and attentional processes on the other hand. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Learning new gait patterns: Exploratory muscle activity during motor learning is not predicted by motor modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranganathan, Rajiv; Krishnan, Chandramouli; Dhaher, Yasin Y.; Rymer, William Z.

    2018-01-01

    The motor module hypothesis in motor control proposes that the nervous system can simplify the problem of controlling a large number of muscles in human movement by grouping muscles into a smaller number of modules. Here, we tested one prediction of the modular organization hypothesis by examining whether there is preferential exploration along these motor modules during the learning of a new gait pattern. Healthy college-aged participants learned a new gait pattern which required increased hip and knee flexion during the swing phase while walking in a lower-extremity robot (Lokomat). The new gait pattern was displayed as a foot trajectory in the sagittal plane and participants attempted to match their foot trajectory to this template. We recorded EMG from 8 lower-extremity muscles and we extracted motor modules during both baseline walking and target-tracking using non-negative matrix factorization (NMF). Results showed increased trajectory variability in the first block of learning, indicating that participants were engaged in exploratory behavior. Critically, when we examined the muscle activity during this exploratory phase, we found that the composition of motor modules changed significantly within the first few strides of attempting the new gait pattern. The lack of persistence of the motor modules under even short time scales suggests that motor modules extracted during locomotion may be more indicative of correlated muscle activity induced by the task constraints of walking, rather than reflecting a modular control strategy. PMID:26916510

  20. Interference in motor learning - is motor interference sensory?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Lundbye; Petersen, Tue Hvass; Rothwell, John C

    mechanisms determine whether or not interference occurs. We hypothesised that interference requires the same neural circuits to be engaged in the two tasks and provoke competing processes of synaptic plasticity. To test this, subjects learned a ballistic ankle plantarflexion task. Early motor memory...... was disrupted by subsequent learning of a precision tracking task with the same agonist muscle group, but not by learning involving antagonist muscles or by voluntary agonist contractions that did not require learning. If the competing task was learned with the same agonist muscle group 4 hours following...

  1. Motor learning as a criterion for evaluating coordination motor abilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boraczynski Tomasz

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to evaluate the ability of motor learning based on objective, metric criteria, in terms of pedagogical process aimed at improving the accuracy of hits a golf ball to the target. A group of 77 students of physical education participated in the study. Within 8 months there were performed 11 measurement sessions. In each session, subjects performed 10 hits a golf ball to the target from a distance of 9 m. Accuracy of hits was recorded. Effect of motor learning has been demonstrated in the progress of 10 consecutive hits a golf ball to the target in each session (operational control; in the dynamics of performance improvement between sessions (current control; as well as in the total result of eight-month experiment (stage control. There were developed norms for quantitative and qualitative assessment of accuracy of hits a golf ball to the target. Developed quantitative and qualitative criteria for assessing the speed of motor learning in various conditions of the educational process creates the possibility of organization the operational, current and stage control of the level of human coordination motor abilities, as required by leading process.

  2. Cerebellar motor learning versus cerebellar motor timing: the climbing fibre story

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llinás, Rodolfo R

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Theories concerning the role of the climbing fibre system in motor learning, as opposed to those addressing the olivocerebellar system in the organization of motor timing, are briefly contrasted. The electrophysiological basis for the motor timing hypothesis in relation to the olivocerebellar system is treated in detail. PMID:21486816

  3. Concurrent TMS to the primary motor cortex augments slow motor learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayana, Shalini; Zhang, Wei; Rogers, William; Strickland, Casey; Franklin, Crystal; Lancaster, Jack L.; Fox, Peter T.

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has shown promise as a treatment tool, with one FDA approved use. While TMS alone is able to up- (or down-) regulate a targeted neural system, we argue that TMS applied as an adjuvant is more effective for repetitive physical, behavioral and cognitive therapies, that is, therapies which are designed to alter the network properties of neural systems through Hebbian learning. We tested this hypothesis in the context of a slow motor learning paradigm. Healthy right-handed individuals were assigned to receive 5 Hz TMS (TMS group) or sham TMS (sham group) to the right primary motor cortex (M1) as they performed daily motor practice of a digit sequence task with their non-dominant hand for 4 weeks. Resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) was measured by H215O PET at baseline and after 4 weeks of practice. Sequence performance was measured daily as the number of correct sequences performed, and modeled using a hyperbolic function. Sequence performance increased significantly at 4 weeks relative to baseline in both groups. The TMS group had a significant additional improvement in performance, specifically, in the rate of skill acquisition. In both groups, an improvement in sequence timing and transfer of skills to non-trained motor domains was also found. Compared to the sham group, the TMS group demonstrated increases in resting CBF specifically in regions known to mediate skill learning namely, the M1, cingulate cortex, putamen, hippocampus, and cerebellum. These results indicate that TMS applied concomitantly augments behavioral effects of motor practice, with corresponding neural plasticity in motor sequence learning network. These findings are the first demonstration of the behavioral and neural enhancing effects of TMS on slow motor practice and have direct application in neurorehabilitation where TMS could be applied in conjunction with physical therapy. PMID:23867557

  4. Fast social-like learning of complex behaviors based on motor motifs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo Tapia, Carlos; Tyukin, Ivan Y.; Makarov, Valeri A.

    2018-05-01

    Social learning is widely observed in many species. Less experienced agents copy successful behaviors exhibited by more experienced individuals. Nevertheless, the dynamical mechanisms behind this process remain largely unknown. Here we assume that a complex behavior can be decomposed into a sequence of n motor motifs. Then a neural network capable of activating motor motifs in a given sequence can drive an agent. To account for (n -1 )! possible sequences of motifs in a neural network, we employ the winnerless competition approach. We then consider a teacher-learner situation: one agent exhibits a complex movement, while another one aims at mimicking the teacher's behavior. Despite the huge variety of possible motif sequences we show that the learner, equipped with the provided learning model, can rewire "on the fly" its synaptic couplings in no more than (n -1 ) learning cycles and converge exponentially to the durations of the teacher's motifs. We validate the learning model on mobile robots. Experimental results show that the learner is indeed capable of copying the teacher's behavior composed of six motor motifs in a few learning cycles. The reported mechanism of learning is general and can be used for replicating different functions, including, for example, sound patterns or speech.

  5. Cooperation Not Competition: Bihemispheric tDCS and fMRI Show Role for Ipsilateral Hemisphere in Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, Sheena; Wiestler, Tobias; Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2017-08-02

    What is the role of ipsilateral motor and premotor areas in motor learning? One view is that ipsilateral activity suppresses contralateral motor cortex and, accordingly, that inhibiting ipsilateral regions can improve motor learning. Alternatively, the ipsilateral motor cortex may play an active role in the control and/or learning of unilateral hand movements. We approached this question by applying double-blind bihemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over both contralateral and ipsilateral motor cortex in a between-group design during 4 d of unimanual explicit sequence training in human participants. Independently of whether the anode was placed over contralateral or ipsilateral motor cortex, bihemispheric stimulation yielded substantial performance gains relative to unihemispheric or sham stimulation. This performance advantage appeared to be supported by plastic changes in both hemispheres. First, we found that behavioral advantages generalized strongly to the untrained hand, suggesting that tDCS strengthened effector-independent representations. Second, functional imaging during speed-matched execution of trained sequences conducted 48 h after training revealed sustained, polarity-independent increases in activity in both motor cortices relative to the sham group. These results suggest a cooperative rather than competitive interaction of the two motor cortices during skill learning and suggest that bihemispheric brain stimulation during unimanual skill learning may be beneficial because it harnesses plasticity in the ipsilateral hemisphere. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Many neurorehabilitation approaches are based on the idea that is beneficial to boost excitability in the contralateral hemisphere while attenuating that of the ipsilateral cortex to reduce interhemispheric inhibition. We observed that bihemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with the excitatory anode either over contralateral or ipsilateral motor cortex

  6. Motor contingency learning and infants with Spina Bifida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Heather B; Barnes, Marcia A; Landry, Susan H; Swank, Paul; Fletcher, Jack M; Huang, Furong

    2013-02-01

    Infants with Spina Bifida (SB) were compared to typically developing infants (TD) using a conjugate reinforcement paradigm at 6 months-of-age (n = 98) to evaluate learning, and retention of a sensory-motor contingency. Analyses evaluated infant arm-waving rates at baseline (wrist not tethered to mobile), during acquisition of the sensory-motor contingency (wrist tethered), and immediately after the acquisition phase and then after a delay (wrist not tethered), controlling for arm reaching ability, gestational age, and socioeconomic status. Although both groups responded to the contingency with increased arm-waving from baseline to acquisition, 15% to 29% fewer infants with SB than TD were found to learn the contingency depending on the criterion used to determine contingency learning. In addition, infants with SB who had learned the contingency had more difficulty retaining the contingency over time when sensory feedback was absent. The findings suggest that infants with SB do not learn motor contingencies as easily or at the same rate as TD infants, and are more likely to decrease motor responses when sensory feedback is absent. Results are discussed with reference to research on contingency learning in infants with and without neurodevelopmental disorders, and with reference to motor learning in school-age children with SB.

  7. Motor Learning as Young Gymnast's Talent Indicator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Cagno, Alessandra; Battaglia, Claudia; Fiorilli, Giovanni; Piazza, Marina; Giombini, Arrigo; Fagnani, Federica; Borrione, Paolo; Calcagno, Giuseppe; Pigozzi, Fabio

    2014-12-01

    Talent identification plans are designed to select young athletes with the ability to achieve future success in sports. The aim of the study was to verify the predictive value of coordination and precision in skill acquisition during motor learning, as indicators of talent. One hundred gymnasts, both cadets (aged 11.5 ± 0.5 yr.) and juniors (aged 13.3 ± 0.5 years), competing at the national level, were enrolled in the study. The assessment of motor coordination involved three tests of the validated Hirtz's battery (1985), and motor skill learning involved four technical tests, specific of rhythmic gymnastics. All the tests were correlated with ranking and performance scores reached by each gymnast in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 National Championships. Coordination tests were significantly correlated to 2013 Championships scores (p talent identification and selection procedures it is better to include the evaluation of coordination and motor learning ability.Motor learning assessment concerns performance improvement and the ability to develop it, rather than evaluating the athlete's current performance.In this manner talent identification processes should be focused on the future performance capabilities of athletes.

  8. A motor learning approach to training wheelchair propulsion biomechanics for new manual wheelchair users: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Kerri A; Tucker, Susan M; Klaesner, Joseph W; Engsberg, Jack R

    2017-05-01

    Developing an evidence-based approach to teaching wheelchair skills and proper propulsion for everyday wheelchair users with a spinal cord injury (SCI) is important to their rehabilitation. The purpose of this project was to pilot test manual wheelchair training based on motor learning and repetition-based approaches for new manual wheelchair users with an SCI. A repeated measures within-subject design was used with participants acting as their own controls. Six persons with an SCI requiring the use of a manual wheelchair participated in wheelchair training. The training included nine 90-minute sessions. The primary focus was on wheelchair propulsion biomechanics with a secondary focus on wheelchair skills. During Pretest 1, Pretest 2, and Posttest, wheelchair propulsion biomechanics were measured using the Wheelchair Propulsion Test and a Video Motion Capture system. During Pretest 2 and Posttest, propulsion forces using the WheelMill System and wheelchair skills using the Wheelchair Skills Test were measured. Significant changes in area of the push loop, hand-to-axle relationship, and slope of push forces were found. Changes in propulsion patterns were identified post-training. No significant differences were found in peak and average push forces and wheelchair skills pre- and post-training. This project identified trends in change related to a repetition-based motor learning approach for propelling a manual wheelchair. The changes found were related to the propulsion patterns used by participants. Despite some challenges associated with implementing interventions for new manual wheelchair users, such as recruitment, the results of this study show that repetition-based training can improve biomechanics and propulsion patterns for new manual wheelchair users.

  9. Evaluation of motor development in children with learning disabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josiane Medina-Papst

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine whether children with learning disabilities present any impairment in the components of motor development. Thirty children (21 boys and 9 girls, aged 8 to 10 years, with learning difficulties in school were studied. The Motor Development Scale was used to evaluate the development of the children in terms of fine motor control, gross motor control, balance, body scheme, spatial organization, and temporal organization. A deficit in the development of the body scheme component was observed for all three age groups, as well as a delayed motor development in terms of balance and gross motor control. No significant differences in general motor age were observed between (age groups. In conclusion, the children studied, especially older ones, presented motor deficits in most of the components evaluated. The inclusion of tasks that assist in the development of motor components, in addition to regular school tasks, is recommended to improve the process of learning in these children..

  10. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to the Primary Motor Cortex Interferes with Motor Learning by Observing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Liana E.; Wilson, Elizabeth T.; Gribble, Paul L.

    2009-01-01

    Neural representations of novel motor skills can be acquired through visual observation. We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to test the idea that this "motor learning by observing" is based on engagement of neural processes for learning in the primary motor cortex (M1). Human subjects who observed another person learning…

  11. Motor sequence learning-induced neural efficiency in functional brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karim, Helmet T; Huppert, Theodore J; Erickson, Kirk I; Wollam, Mariegold E; Sparto, Patrick J; Sejdić, Ervin; VanSwearingen, Jessie M

    2017-02-15

    Previous studies have shown the functional neural circuitry differences before and after an explicitly learned motor sequence task, but have not assessed these changes during the process of motor skill learning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging activity was measured while participants (n=13) were asked to tap their fingers to visually presented sequences in blocks that were either the same sequence repeated (learning block) or random sequences (control block). Motor learning was associated with a decrease in brain activity during learning compared to control. Lower brain activation was noted in the posterior parietal association area and bilateral thalamus during the later periods of learning (not during the control). Compared to the control condition, we found the task-related motor learning was associated with decreased connectivity between the putamen and left inferior frontal gyrus and left middle cingulate brain regions. Motor learning was associated with changes in network activity, spatial extent, and connectivity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Enhancing the Motor Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pool-Based Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jihyun; Porretta, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often experience difficulties with motor skill learning and performance. The pool is a unique learning environment that can help children with ASDs learn or improve aquatic skills, fitness, and social skills. A pool-based approach is also aligned with the elements of dynamic systems theory, which…

  13. Neural substrates underlying stimulation-enhanced motor skill learning after stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Stéphanie; Dricot, Laurence; Laloux, Patrice; Gradkowski, Wojciech; Desfontaines, Philippe; Evrard, Frédéric; Peeters, André; Jamart, Jacques; Vandermeeren, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Motor skill learning is one of the key components of motor function recovery after stroke, especially recovery driven by neurorehabilitation. Transcranial direct current stimulation can enhance neurorehabilitation and motor skill learning in stroke patients. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the retention of stimulation-enhanced motor skill learning involving a paretic upper limb have not been resolved. These neural substrates were explored by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging. Nineteen chronic hemiparetic stroke patients participated in a double-blind, cross-over randomized, sham-controlled experiment with two series. Each series consisted of two sessions: (i) an intervention session during which dual transcranial direct current stimulation or sham was applied during motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb; and (ii) an imaging session 1 week later, during which the patients performed the learned motor skill. The motor skill learning task, called the 'circuit game', involves a speed/accuracy trade-off and consists of moving a pointer controlled by a computer mouse along a complex circuit as quickly and accurately as possible. Relative to the sham series, dual transcranial direct current stimulation applied bilaterally over the primary motor cortex during motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb resulted in (i) enhanced online motor skill learning; (ii) enhanced 1-week retention; and (iii) superior transfer of performance improvement to an untrained task. The 1-week retention's enhancement driven by the intervention was associated with a trend towards normalization of the brain activation pattern during performance of the learned motor skill relative to the sham series. A similar trend towards normalization relative to sham was observed during performance of a simple, untrained task without a speed/accuracy constraint, despite a lack of behavioural difference between the dual transcranial direct current stimulation and sham

  14. Motor learning and working memory in children born preterm: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongbloed-Pereboom, Marjolein; Janssen, Anjo J W M; Steenbergen, Bert; Nijhuis-van der Sanden, Maria W G

    2012-04-01

    Children born preterm have a higher risk for developing motor, cognitive, and behavioral problems. Motor problems can occur in combination with working memory problems, and working memory is important for explicit learning of motor skills. The relation between motor learning and working memory has never been reviewed. The goal of this review was to provide an overview of motor learning, visual working memory and the role of working memory on motor learning in preterm children. A systematic review conducted in four databases identified 38 relevant articles, which were evaluated for methodological quality. Only 4 of 38 articles discussed motor learning in preterm children. Thirty-four studies reported on visual working memory; preterm birth affected performance on visual working memory tests. Information regarding motor learning and the role of working memory on the different components of motor learning was not available. Future research should address this issue. Insight in the relation between motor learning and visual working memory may contribute to the development of evidence based intervention programs for children born preterm. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Dual-tDCS Enhances Online Motor Skill Learning and Long-Term Retention in Chronic Stroke Patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, S.; Laloux, P.; Peeters, A.; Desfontaines, P.; Jamart, J.; Vandermeeren, Y.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Since motor learning is a key component for stroke recovery, enhancing motor skill learning is a crucial challenge for neurorehabilitation. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a promising approach for improving motor learning. The aim of this trial was to test the hypothesis that dual-tDCS applied bilaterally over the primary motor cortices (M1) improves online motor skill learning with the paretic hand and its long-term retention. Methods: Eighteen chronic stroke patients participated in a randomized, cross-over, placebo-controlled, double bind trial. During separate sessions, dual-tDCS or sham dual-tDCS was applied over 30 min while stroke patients learned a complex visuomotor skill with the paretic hand: using a computer mouse to move a pointer along a complex circuit as quickly and accurately as possible. A learning index involving the evolution of the speed/accuracy trade-off was calculated. Performance of the motor skill was measured at baseline, after intervention and 1 week later. Results: After sham dual-tDCS, eight patients showed performance worsening. In contrast, dual-tDCS enhanced the amount and speed of online motor skill learning compared to sham (p dual-tDCS (n = 10) than after sham (n = 3). More importantly, 1 week later, online enhancement under dual-tDCS had translated into superior long-term retention (+44%) compared to sham (+4%). The improvement generalized to a new untrained circuit and to digital dexterity. Conclusion: A single-session of dual-tDCS, applied while stroke patients trained with the paretic hand significantly enhanced online motor skill learning both quantitatively and qualitatively, leading to successful long-term retention and generalization. The combination of motor skill learning and dual-tDCS is promising for improving post-stroke neurorehabilitation. PMID:23316151

  16. Cross-limb Interference during motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauber, Benedikt; Jensen, Jesper Lundbye; Keller, Martin

    2013-01-01

    It is well known that following skill learning, improvements in motor performance may transfer to the untrained contralateral limb. It is also well known that retention of a newly learned task A can be degraded when learning a competing task B that takes place directly after learning A. Here we...

  17. Aging increases the susceptibility to motor memory interference and reduces off-line gains in motor skill learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roig, Marc; Ritterband-Rosenbaum, Anina; Jensen, Jesper Lundbye

    2014-01-01

    Declines in the ability to learn motor skills in older adults are commonly attributed to deficits in the encoding of sensorimotor information during motor practice. We investigated whether aging also impairs motor memory consolidation by assessing the susceptibility to memory interference and off...... greater susceptibility to memory interference and no off-line gains in motor skill learning. Performing B produced memory interference and reduced off-line gains only in the older group. However, older adults also showed deficits in memory consolidation independent of the interfering effects of B. Age......-related declines in motor skill learning are not produced exclusively by deficits in the encoding of sensorimotor information during practice. Aging also increases the susceptibility to memory interference and reduces off-line gains in motor skill learning after practice....

  18. Emergence of motor synergy in vertical reaching task via tacit learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2013-01-01

    The dynamics of multijoint limbs often causes complex dynamic interaction torques which are the inertial effect of other joints motion. It is known that Cerebellum takes important role in a motor learning by developing the internal model. In this paper, we propose a novel computational control paradigm in vertical reaching task which involves the management of interaction torques and gravitational effect. The obtained results demonstrate that the proposed method is valid for acquiring motor synergy in the system with actuation redundancy and resulted in the energy efficient solutions. It is highlighted that the tacit learning in vertical reaching task can bring computational adaptability and optimality with model-free and cost-function-free approach differently from previous studies.

  19. On the optimal degree of fluctuations in practice for motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossner, Ernst-Joachim; Käch, Boris; Enz, Jonas

    2016-06-01

    In human movement science, it is widely accepted that random practice generally enhances complex motor-skill learning compared to repetitive practice. In two experiments, a particular variability-related concept is put to empirical test, namely the concept of differencial learning (DL), which assumes (i) that learners should not be distracted from task-space exploration by corrections, and (ii) that learning is facilitated by large inter-trial fluctuations. In both experiments, the advantage of DL over repetitive learning was not statistically significant. Moreover, learning was more pronounced when participants either received corrections in addition to DL (Exp. 1) or practiced in an order in which differences between consecutive trials were relatively small (Exp. 2). These findings suggest that the positive DL effects reported in literature cannot be attributed to the reduction of feedback or to the increase of inter-trial fluctuations. These results are discussed in the light of the structural-learning approach and the two-state model of motor learning in which structure-related learning effects are distinguished from the capability to adapt to current changes. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Functional aging impairs the role of feedback in motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu; Cao, Chunmei; Yan, Jin H

    2013-10-01

    Optimal motor skill acquisition frequently requires augmented feedback or knowledge of results (KR). However, the effect of functional declines on the benefits of KR remains to be determined. The objective of this research was to examine how cognitive and motor deficits of older adults influence the use of KR for motor skill learning. A total of 57 older adults (mean 73.1 years; SD 4.2) received both cognitive and eye-hand coordination assessments, whereas 55 young controls (mean 25.8 years; SD 3.8) took only the eye-hand coordination test. All young and older participants learned a time-constrained arm movement through KR in three pre-KR and post-KR intervals. In the subsequent no-KR skill retests, absolute and variable time errors were not significantly reduced for the older learners who had KR during skill practice, especially for those with cognitive and motor dysfunctions. The finding suggests that KR results in no measureable improvement for older adults with cognitive and motor functional deficiencies. More importantly, for the older adults, longer post-KR intervals showed greater detrimental effects on feedback-based motor learning than shorter pauses after KR delivery. The findings support the hypothesis about the effects of cognitive and motor deficits on KR in motor skill learning of older adults. The dynamics of cognitive and motor aging, external feedback and internal control mechanisms collectively explain the deterioration in the sensory-motor learning of older adults. The theoretical implications and practical relevance of functional aging for motor skill learning are discussed. © 2013 Japan Geriatrics Society.

  1. Interference in ballistic motor learning: specificity and role of sensory error signals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Petersen, Tue Hvass; Rothwell, John C

    2011-01-01

    Humans are capable of learning numerous motor skills, but newly acquired skills may be abolished by subsequent learning. Here we ask what factors determine whether interference occurs in motor learning. We speculated that interference requires competing processes of synaptic plasticity in overlap......Humans are capable of learning numerous motor skills, but newly acquired skills may be abolished by subsequent learning. Here we ask what factors determine whether interference occurs in motor learning. We speculated that interference requires competing processes of synaptic plasticity...... in overlapping circuits and predicted specificity. To test this, subjects learned a ballistic motor task. Interference was observed following subsequent learning of an accuracy-tracking task, but only if the competing task involved the same muscles and movement direction. Interference was not observed from a non......-learning task suggesting that interference requires competing learning. Subsequent learning of the competing task 4 h after initial learning did not cause interference suggesting disruption of early motor memory consolidation as one possible mechanism underlying interference. Repeated transcranial magnetic...

  2. Changes in visual and sensory-motor resting-state functional connectivity support motor learning by observing

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Heather R.

    2015-01-01

    Motor learning occurs not only through direct first-hand experience but also through observation (Mattar AA, Gribble PL. Neuron 46: 153–160, 2005). When observing the actions of others, we activate many of the same brain regions involved in performing those actions ourselves (Malfait N, Valyear KF, Culham JC, Anton JL, Brown LE, Gribble PL. J Cogn Neurosci 22: 1493–1503, 2010). Links between neural systems for vision and action have been reported in neurophysiological (Strafella AP, Paus T. Neuroreport 11: 2289–2292, 2000; Watkins KE, Strafella AP, Paus T. Neuropsychologia 41: 989–994, 2003), brain imaging (Buccino G, Binkofski F, Fink GR, Fadiga L, Fogassi L, Gallese V, Seitz RJ, Zilles K, Rizzolatti G, Freund HJ. Eur J Neurosci 13: 400–404, 2001; Iacoboni M, Woods RP, Brass M, Bekkering H, Mazziotta JC, Rizzolatti G. Science 286: 2526–2528, 1999), and eye tracking (Flanagan JR, Johansson RS. Nature 424: 769–771, 2003) studies. Here we used a force field learning paradigm coupled with resting-state fMRI to investigate the brain areas involved in motor learning by observing. We examined changes in resting-state functional connectivity (FC) after an observational learning task and found a network consisting of V5/MT, cerebellum, and primary motor and somatosensory cortices in which changes in FC were correlated with the amount of motor learning achieved through observation, as assessed behaviorally after resting-state fMRI scans. The observed FC changes in this network are not due to visual attention to motion or observation of movement errors but rather are specifically linked to motor learning. These results support the idea that brain networks linking action observation and motor control also facilitate motor learning. PMID:25995349

  3. Changes in visual and sensory-motor resting-state functional connectivity support motor learning by observing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Heather R; Gribble, Paul L

    2015-07-01

    Motor learning occurs not only through direct first-hand experience but also through observation (Mattar AA, Gribble PL. Neuron 46: 153-160, 2005). When observing the actions of others, we activate many of the same brain regions involved in performing those actions ourselves (Malfait N, Valyear KF, Culham JC, Anton JL, Brown LE, Gribble PL. J Cogn Neurosci 22: 1493-1503, 2010). Links between neural systems for vision and action have been reported in neurophysiological (Strafella AP, Paus T. Neuroreport 11: 2289-2292, 2000; Watkins KE, Strafella AP, Paus T. Neuropsychologia 41: 989-994, 2003), brain imaging (Buccino G, Binkofski F, Fink GR, Fadiga L, Fogassi L, Gallese V, Seitz RJ, Zilles K, Rizzolatti G, Freund HJ. Eur J Neurosci 13: 400-404, 2001; Iacoboni M, Woods RP, Brass M, Bekkering H, Mazziotta JC, Rizzolatti G. Science 286: 2526-2528, 1999), and eye tracking (Flanagan JR, Johansson RS. Nature 424: 769-771, 2003) studies. Here we used a force field learning paradigm coupled with resting-state fMRI to investigate the brain areas involved in motor learning by observing. We examined changes in resting-state functional connectivity (FC) after an observational learning task and found a network consisting of V5/MT, cerebellum, and primary motor and somatosensory cortices in which changes in FC were correlated with the amount of motor learning achieved through observation, as assessed behaviorally after resting-state fMRI scans. The observed FC changes in this network are not due to visual attention to motion or observation of movement errors but rather are specifically linked to motor learning. These results support the idea that brain networks linking action observation and motor control also facilitate motor learning. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  4. Motor imagery learning modulates functional connectivity of multiple brain systems in resting state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hang; Long, Zhiying; Ge, Ruiyang; Xu, Lele; Jin, Zhen; Yao, Li; Liu, Yijun

    2014-01-01

    Learning motor skills involves subsequent modulation of resting-state functional connectivity in the sensory-motor system. This idea was mostly derived from the investigations on motor execution learning which mainly recruits the processing of sensory-motor information. Behavioral evidences demonstrated that motor skills in our daily lives could be learned through imagery procedures. However, it remains unclear whether the modulation of resting-state functional connectivity also exists in the sensory-motor system after motor imagery learning. We performed a fMRI investigation on motor imagery learning from resting state. Based on previous studies, we identified eight sensory and cognitive resting-state networks (RSNs) corresponding to the brain systems and further explored the functional connectivity of these RSNs through the assessments, connectivity and network strengths before and after the two-week consecutive learning. Two intriguing results were revealed: (1) The sensory RSNs, specifically sensory-motor and lateral visual networks exhibited greater connectivity strengths in precuneus and fusiform gyrus after learning; (2) Decreased network strength induced by learning was proved in the default mode network, a cognitive RSN. These results indicated that resting-state functional connectivity could be modulated by motor imagery learning in multiple brain systems, and such modulation displayed in the sensory-motor, visual and default brain systems may be associated with the establishment of motor schema and the regulation of introspective thought. These findings further revealed the neural substrates underlying motor skill learning and potentially provided new insights into the therapeutic benefits of motor imagery learning.

  5. Does transcranial direct current stimulation affect the learning of a fine sequential hand motor skill with motor imagery?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Jaskowski, Wojciech; van der Lubbe, Robert Henricus Johannes

    2017-01-01

    Learning a fine sequential hand motor skill, comparable to playing the piano or learning to type, improves not only due to physical practice, but also due to motor imagery. Previous studies revealed that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and motor imagery independently affect motor

  6. Region and task-specific activation of Arc in primary motor cortex of rats following motor skill learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosp, J A; Mann, S; Wegenast-Braun, B M; Calhoun, M E; Luft, A R

    2013-10-10

    Motor learning requires protein synthesis within the primary motor cortex (M1). Here, we show that the immediate early gene Arc/Arg3.1 is specifically induced in M1 by learning a motor skill. Arc mRNA was quantified using a fluorescent in situ hybridization assay in adult Long-Evans rats learning a skilled reaching task (SRT), in rats performing reaching-like forelimb movement without learning (ACT) and in rats that were trained in the operant but not the motor elements of the task (controls). Apart from M1, Arc expression was assessed within the rostral motor area (RMA), primary somatosensory cortex (S1), striatum (ST) and cerebellum. In SRT animals, Arc mRNA levels in M1 contralateral to the trained limb were 31% higher than ipsilateral (pmotor skill learning in rats. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Sleep benefits consolidation of visuo-motor adaptation learning in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantua, Janna; Baran, Bengi; Spencer, Rebecca M C

    2016-02-01

    Sleep is beneficial for performance across a range of memory tasks in young adults, but whether memories are similarly consolidated in older adults is less clear. Performance benefits have been observed following sleep in older adults for declarative learning tasks, but this benefit may be reduced for non-declarative, motor skill learning tasks. To date, studies of sleep-dependent consolidation of motor learning in older adults are limited to motor sequence tasks. To examine whether reduced sleep-dependent consolidation in older adults is generalizable to other forms of motor skill learning, we examined performance changes over intervals of sleep and wake in young (n = 62) and older adults (n = 61) using a mirror-tracing task, which assesses visuo-motor adaptation learning. Participants learned the task either in the morning or in evening, and performance was assessed following a 12-h interval containing overnight sleep or daytime wake. Contrary to our prediction, both young adults and older adults exhibited sleep-dependent gains in visuo-motor adaptation. There was a correlation between performance improvement over sleep and percent of the night in non-REM stage 2 sleep. These results indicate that motor skill consolidation remains intact with increasing age although this relationship may be limited to specific forms of motor skill learning.

  8. Motor Imagery Learning Modulates Functional Connectivity of Multiple Brain Systems in Resting State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hang; Long, Zhiying; Ge, Ruiyang; Xu, Lele; Jin, Zhen; Yao, Li; Liu, Yijun

    2014-01-01

    Background Learning motor skills involves subsequent modulation of resting-state functional connectivity in the sensory-motor system. This idea was mostly derived from the investigations on motor execution learning which mainly recruits the processing of sensory-motor information. Behavioral evidences demonstrated that motor skills in our daily lives could be learned through imagery procedures. However, it remains unclear whether the modulation of resting-state functional connectivity also exists in the sensory-motor system after motor imagery learning. Methodology/Principal Findings We performed a fMRI investigation on motor imagery learning from resting state. Based on previous studies, we identified eight sensory and cognitive resting-state networks (RSNs) corresponding to the brain systems and further explored the functional connectivity of these RSNs through the assessments, connectivity and network strengths before and after the two-week consecutive learning. Two intriguing results were revealed: (1) The sensory RSNs, specifically sensory-motor and lateral visual networks exhibited greater connectivity strengths in precuneus and fusiform gyrus after learning; (2) Decreased network strength induced by learning was proved in the default mode network, a cognitive RSN. Conclusions/Significance These results indicated that resting-state functional connectivity could be modulated by motor imagery learning in multiple brain systems, and such modulation displayed in the sensory-motor, visual and default brain systems may be associated with the establishment of motor schema and the regulation of introspective thought. These findings further revealed the neural substrates underlying motor skill learning and potentially provided new insights into the therapeutic benefits of motor imagery learning. PMID:24465577

  9. The influence of motor imagery on the learning of a fine hand motor skill

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaśkowski, Wojciech; Verwey, Willem B.; van der Lubbe, Rob

    2017-01-01

    Motor imagery has been argued to affect the acquisition of motor skills. The present study examined the specificity of motor imagery on the learning of a fine hand motor skill by employing a modified discrete sequence production task: the Go/NoGo DSP task. After an informative cue, a response

  10. Action observation versus motor imagery in learning a complex motor task: a short review of literature and a kinematics study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatti, R; Tettamanti, A; Gough, P M; Riboldi, E; Marinoni, L; Buccino, G

    2013-04-12

    Both motor imagery and action observation have been shown to play a role in learning or re-learning complex motor tasks. According to a well accepted view they share a common neurophysiological basis in the mirror neuron system. Neurons within this system discharge when individuals perform a specific action and when they look at another individual performing the same or a motorically related action. In the present paper, after a short review of literature on the role of action observation and motor imagery in motor learning, we report the results of a kinematics study where we directly compared motor imagery and action observation in learning a novel complex motor task. This involved movement of the right hand and foot in the same angular direction (in-phase movement), while at the same time moving the left hand and foot in an opposite angular direction (anti-phase movement), all at a frequency of 1Hz. Motor learning was assessed through kinematics recording of wrists and ankles. The results showed that action observation is better than motor imagery as a strategy for learning a novel complex motor task, at least in the fast early phase of motor learning. We forward that these results may have important implications in educational activities, sport training and neurorehabilitation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Multiple systems for motor skill learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Dav; Ivry, Richard B

    2010-07-01

    Motor learning is a ubiquitous feature of human competence. This review focuses on two particular classes of model tasks for studying skill acquisition. The serial reaction time (SRT) task is used to probe how people learn sequences of actions, while adaptation in the context of visuomotor or force field perturbations serves to illustrate how preexisting movements are recalibrated in novel environments. These tasks highlight important issues regarding the representational changes that occur during the course of motor learning. One important theme is that distinct mechanisms vary in their information processing costs during learning and performance. Fast learning processes may require few trials to produce large changes in performance but impose demands on cognitive resources. Slower processes are limited in their ability to integrate complex information but minimally demanding in terms of attention or processing resources. The representations derived from fast systems may be accessible to conscious processing and provide a relatively greater measure of flexibility, while the representations derived from slower systems are more inflexible and automatic in their behavior. In exploring these issues, we focus on how multiple neural systems may interact and compete during the acquisition and consolidation of new behaviors. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This article is categorized under: Psychology > Motor Skill and Performance. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Parallel Alterations of Functional Connectivity during Execution and Imagination after Motor Imagery Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Rushao; Hui, Mingqi; Long, Zhiying; Zhao, Xiaojie; Yao, Li

    2012-01-01

    Background Neural substrates underlying motor learning have been widely investigated with neuroimaging technologies. Investigations have illustrated the critical regions of motor learning and further revealed parallel alterations of functional activation during imagination and execution after learning. However, little is known about the functional connectivity associated with motor learning, especially motor imagery learning, although benefits from functional connectivity analysis attract more attention to the related explorations. We explored whether motor imagery (MI) and motor execution (ME) shared parallel alterations of functional connectivity after MI learning. Methodology/Principal Findings Graph theory analysis, which is widely used in functional connectivity exploration, was performed on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of MI and ME tasks before and after 14 days of consecutive MI learning. The control group had no learning. Two measures, connectivity degree and interregional connectivity, were calculated and further assessed at a statistical level. Two interesting results were obtained: (1) The connectivity degree of the right posterior parietal lobe decreased in both MI and ME tasks after MI learning in the experimental group; (2) The parallel alterations of interregional connectivity related to the right posterior parietal lobe occurred in the supplementary motor area for both tasks. Conclusions/Significance These computational results may provide the following insights: (1) The establishment of motor schema through MI learning may induce the significant decrease of connectivity degree in the posterior parietal lobe; (2) The decreased interregional connectivity between the supplementary motor area and the right posterior parietal lobe in post-test implicates the dissociation between motor learning and task performing. These findings and explanations further revealed the neural substrates underpinning MI learning and supported that

  13. Dissociable effects of practice variability on learning motor and timing skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caramiaux, Baptiste; Bevilacqua, Frédéric; Wanderley, Marcelo M; Palmer, Caroline

    2018-01-01

    Motor skill acquisition inherently depends on the way one practices the motor task. The amount of motor task variability during practice has been shown to foster transfer of the learned skill to other similar motor tasks. In addition, variability in a learning schedule, in which a task and its variations are interweaved during practice, has been shown to help the transfer of learning in motor skill acquisition. However, there is little evidence on how motor task variations and variability schedules during practice act on the acquisition of complex motor skills such as music performance, in which a performer learns both the right movements (motor skill) and the right time to perform them (timing skill). This study investigated the impact of rate (tempo) variability and the schedule of tempo change during practice on timing and motor skill acquisition. Complete novices, with no musical training, practiced a simple musical sequence on a piano keyboard at different rates. Each novice was assigned to one of four learning conditions designed to manipulate the amount of tempo variability across trials (large or small tempo set) and the schedule of tempo change (randomized or non-randomized order) during practice. At test, the novices performed the same musical sequence at a familiar tempo and at novel tempi (testing tempo transfer), as well as two novel (but related) sequences at a familiar tempo (testing spatial transfer). We found that practice conditions had little effect on learning and transfer performance of timing skill. Interestingly, practice conditions influenced motor skill learning (reduction of movement variability): lower temporal variability during practice facilitated transfer to new tempi and new sequences; non-randomized learning schedule improved transfer to new tempi and new sequences. Tempo (rate) and the sequence difficulty (spatial manipulation) affected performance variability in both timing and movement. These findings suggest that there is a

  14. Cross-limb interference during motor learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt Lauber

    Full Text Available It is well known that following skill learning, improvements in motor performance may transfer to the untrained contralateral limb. It is also well known that retention of a newly learned task A can be degraded when learning a competing task B that takes place directly after learning A. Here we investigate if this interference effect can also be observed in the limb contralateral to the trained one. Therefore, five different groups practiced a ballistic finger flexion task followed by an interfering visuomotor accuracy task with the same limb. Performance in the ballistic task was tested before the training, after the training and in an immediate retention test after the practice of the interference task for both the trained and the untrained hand. After training, subjects showed not only significant learning and interference effects for the trained limb but also for the contralateral untrained limb. Importantly, the interference effect in the untrained limb was dependent on the level of skill acquisition in the interfering motor task. These behavioural results of the untrained limb were accompanied by training specific changes in corticospinal excitability, which increased for the hemisphere ipsilateral to the trained hand following ballistic training and decreased during accuracy training of the ipsilateral hand. The results demonstrate that contralateral interference effects may occur, and that interference depends on the level of skill acquisition in the interfering motor task. This finding might be particularly relevant for rehabilitation.

  15. Untrivial Pursuit: Measuring Motor Procedures Learning in Children with Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparaci, Laura; Formica, Domenico; Lasorsa, Francesca Romana; Mazzone, Luigi; Valeri, Giovanni; Vicari, Stefano

    2015-08-01

    Numerous studies have underscored prevalence of motor impairments in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but only few of them have analyzed motor strategies exploited by ASD children when learning a new motor procedure. To evaluate motor procedure learning and performance strategies in both ASD and typically developing (TD) children, we built a virtual pursuit rotor (VPR) task, requiring tracking a moving target on a computer screen using a digitalized pen and tablet. Procedural learning was measured as increased time on target (TT) across blocks of trials on the same day and consolidation was assessed after a 24-hour rest. The program and the experimental setting (evaluated in a first experiment considering two groups of TD children) allowed also measures of continuous time on target (CTT), distance from target (DT) and distance from path (DP), as well as 2D reconstructions of children's trajectories. Results showed that the VPR was harder for children with ASD than for TD controls matched for chronological age and intelligence quotient, but both groups displayed comparable motor procedure learning (i.e., similarly incremented their TT). However, closer analysis of CTT, DT, and DP as well as 2D trajectories, showed different motor performance strategies in ASD, highlighting difficulties in overall actions planning. Data underscore the need for deeper investigations of motor strategies exploited by children with ASD when learning a new motor procedure. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Multidisciplinary Views on Applying Explicit and Implicit Motor Learning in Practice: An International Survey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Kleynen

    Full Text Available A variety of options and techniques for causing implicit and explicit motor learning have been described in the literature. The aim of the current paper was to provide clearer guidance for practitioners on how to apply motor learning in practice by exploring experts' opinions and experiences, using the distinction between implicit and explicit motor learning as a conceptual departure point.A survey was designed to collect and aggregate informed opinions and experiences from 40 international respondents who had demonstrable expertise related to motor learning in practice and/or research. The survey was administered through an online survey tool and addressed potential options and learning strategies for applying implicit and explicit motor learning. Responses were analysed in terms of consensus (≥ 70% and trends (≥ 50%. A summary figure was developed to illustrate a taxonomy of the different learning strategies and options indicated by the experts in the survey.Answers of experts were widely distributed. No consensus was found regarding the application of implicit and explicit motor learning. Some trends were identified: Explicit motor learning can be promoted by using instructions and various types of feedback, but when promoting implicit motor learning, instructions and feedback should be restricted. Further, for implicit motor learning, an external focus of attention should be considered, as well as practicing the entire skill. Experts agreed on three factors that influence motor learning choices: the learner's abilities, the type of task, and the stage of motor learning (94.5%; n = 34/36. Most experts agreed with the summary figure (64.7%; n = 22/34.The results provide an overview of possible ways to cause implicit or explicit motor learning, signposting examples from practice and factors that influence day-to-day motor learning decisions.

  17. Refinement of learned skilled movement representation in motor cortex deep output layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qian; Ko, Ho; Qian, Zhong-Ming; Yan, Leo Y. C.; Chan, Danny C. W.; Arbuthnott, Gordon; Ke, Ya; Yung, Wing-Ho

    2017-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying the emergence of learned motor skill representation in primary motor cortex (M1) are not well understood. Specifically, how motor representation in the deep output layer 5b (L5b) is shaped by motor learning remains virtually unknown. In rats undergoing motor skill training, we detect a subpopulation of task-recruited L5b neurons that not only become more movement-encoding, but their activities are also more structured and temporally aligned to motor execution with a timescale of refinement in tens-of-milliseconds. Field potentials evoked at L5b in vivo exhibit persistent long-term potentiation (LTP) that parallels motor performance. Intracortical dopamine denervation impairs motor learning, and disrupts the LTP profile as well as the emergent neurodynamical properties of task-recruited L5b neurons. Thus, dopamine-dependent recruitment of L5b neuronal ensembles via synaptic reorganization may allow the motor cortex to generate more temporally structured, movement-encoding output signal from M1 to downstream circuitry that drives increased uniformity and precision of movement during motor learning. PMID:28598433

  18. Motor learning and working memory in children born preterm: a systematic review.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Janssen, A.J.W.M.; Steenbergen, B.; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M.W.G.

    2012-01-01

    Children born preterm have a higher risk for developing motor, cognitive, and behavioral problems. Motor problems can occur in combination with working memory problems, and working memory is important for explicit learning of motor skills. The relation between motor learning and working memory has

  19. Motor learning and working memory in children born preterm: A systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Janssen, A.J.W.M.; Steenbergen, B.; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M.W.G.

    2012-01-01

    Children born preterm have a higher risk for developing motor, cognitive, and behavioral problems. Motor problems can occur in combination with working memory problems, and working memory is important for explicit learning of motor skills. The relation between motor learning and working memory has

  20. Interference in Ballistic Motor Learning: Specificity and Role of Sensory Error Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Petersen, Tue Hvass; Rothwell, John C.; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2011-01-01

    Humans are capable of learning numerous motor skills, but newly acquired skills may be abolished by subsequent learning. Here we ask what factors determine whether interference occurs in motor learning. We speculated that interference requires competing processes of synaptic plasticity in overlapping circuits and predicted specificity. To test this, subjects learned a ballistic motor task. Interference was observed following subsequent learning of an accuracy-tracking task, but only if the competing task involved the same muscles and movement direction. Interference was not observed from a non-learning task suggesting that interference requires competing learning. Subsequent learning of the competing task 4 h after initial learning did not cause interference suggesting disruption of early motor memory consolidation as one possible mechanism underlying interference. Repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of corticospinal motor output at intensities below movement threshold did not cause interference, whereas suprathreshold rTMS evoking motor responses and (re)afferent activation did. Finally, the experiments revealed that suprathreshold repetitive electrical stimulation of the agonist (but not antagonist) peripheral nerve caused interference. The present study is, to our knowledge, the first to demonstrate that peripheral nerve stimulation may cause interference. The finding underscores the importance of sensory feedback as error signals in motor learning. We conclude that interference requires competing plasticity in overlapping circuits. Interference is remarkably specific for circuits involved in a specific movement and it may relate to sensory error signals. PMID:21408054

  1. Motor skill learning, retention, and control deficits in Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Katharina Pendt

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease, which affects the basal ganglia, is known to lead to various impairments of motor control. Since the basal ganglia have also been shown to be involved in learning processes, motor learning has frequently been investigated in this group of patients. However, results are still inconsistent, mainly due to skill levels and time scales of testing. To bridge across the time scale problem, the present study examined de novo skill learning over a long series of practice sessions that comprised early and late learning stages as well as retention. 19 non-demented, medicated, mild to moderate patients with Parkinson's disease and 19 healthy age and gender matched participants practiced a novel throwing task over five days in a virtual environment where timing of release was a critical element. Six patients and seven control participants came to an additional long-term retention testing after seven to nine months. Changes in task performance were analyzed by a method that differentiates between three components of motor learning prominent in different stages of learning: Tolerance, Noise and Covariation. In addition, kinematic analysis related the influence of skill levels as affected by the specific motor control deficits in Parkinson patients to the process of learning. As a result, patients showed similar learning in early and late stages compared to the control subjects. Differences occurred in short-term retention tests; patients' performance constantly decreased after breaks arising from poorer release timing. However, patients were able to overcome the initial timing problems within the course of each practice session and could further improve their throwing performance. Thus, results demonstrate the intact ability to learn a novel motor skill in non-demented, medicated patients with Parkinson's disease and indicate confounding effects of motor control deficits on retention performance.

  2. Theories and control models and motor learning: clinical applications in neuro-rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cano-de-la-Cuerda, R; Molero-Sánchez, A; Carratalá-Tejada, M; Alguacil-Diego, I M; Molina-Rueda, F; Miangolarra-Page, J C; Torricelli, D

    2015-01-01

    In recent decades there has been a special interest in theories that could explain the regulation of motor control, and their applications. These theories are often based on models of brain function, philosophically reflecting different criteria on how movement is controlled by the brain, each being emphasised in different neural components of the movement. The concept of motor learning, regarded as the set of internal processes associated with practice and experience that produce relatively permanent changes in the ability to produce motor activities through a specific skill, is also relevant in the context of neuroscience. Thus, both motor control and learning are seen as key fields of study for health professionals in the field of neuro-rehabilitation. The major theories of motor control are described, which include, motor programming theory, systems theory, the theory of dynamic action, and the theory of parallel distributed processing, as well as the factors that influence motor learning and its applications in neuro-rehabilitation. At present there is no consensus on which theory or model defines the regulations to explain motor control. Theories of motor learning should be the basis for motor rehabilitation. The new research should apply the knowledge generated in the fields of control and motor learning in neuro-rehabilitation. Copyright © 2011 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  3. Reinforcement learning of self-regulated β-oscillations for motor restoration in chronic stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgios eNaros

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurofeedback training of motor imagery-related brain-states with brain-machine interfaces (BMI is currently being explored prior to standard physiotherapy to improve the motor outcome of stroke rehabilitation. Pilot studies suggest that such a priming intervention before physiotherapy might increase the responsiveness of the brain to the subsequent physiotherapy, thereby improving the clinical outcome. However, there is little evidence up to now that these BMI-based interventions have achieved operate conditioning of specific brain states that facilitate task-specific functional gains beyond the practice of primed physiotherapy. In this context, we argue that BMI technology needs to aim at physiological features relevant for the targeted behavioral gain. Moreover, this therapeutic intervention has to be informed by concepts of reinforcement learning to develop its full potential. Such a refined neurofeedback approach would need to address the following issues (1 Defining a physiological feedback target specific to the intended behavioral gain, e.g. β-band oscillations for cortico-muscular communication. This targeted brain state could well be different from the brain state optimal for the neurofeedback task (2 Selecting a BMI classification and thresholding approach on the basis of learning principles, i.e. balancing challenge and reward of the neurofeedback task instead of maximizing the classification accuracy of the feedback device (3 Adjusting the feedback in the course of the training period to account for the cognitive load and the learning experience of the participant. The proposed neurofeedback strategy provides evidence for the feasibility of the suggested approach by demonstrating that dynamic threshold adaptation based on reinforcement learning may lead to frequency-specific operant conditioning of β-band oscillations paralleled by task-specific motor improvement; a proposal that requires investigation in a larger cohort of stroke

  4. Synergetic motor control paradigm for optimizing energy efficiency of multijoint reaching via tacit learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2014-01-01

    A human motor system can improve its behavior toward optimal movement. The skeletal system has more degrees of freedom than the task dimensions, which incurs an ill-posed problem. The multijoint system involves complex interaction torques between joints. To produce optimal motion in terms of energy consumption, the so-called cost function based optimization has been commonly used in previous works.Even if it is a fact that an optimal motor pattern is employed phenomenologically, there is no evidence that shows the existence of a physiological process that is similar to such a mathematical optimization in our central nervous system.In this study, we aim to find a more primitive computational mechanism with a modular configuration to realize adaptability and optimality without prior knowledge of system dynamics.We propose a novel motor control paradigm based on tacit learning with task space feedback. The motor command accumulation during repetitive environmental interactions, play a major role in the learning process. It is applied to a vertical cyclic reaching which involves complex interaction torques.We evaluated whether the proposed paradigm can learn how to optimize solutions with a 3-joint, planar biomechanical model. The results demonstrate that the proposed method was valid for acquiring motor synergy and resulted in energy efficient solutions for different load conditions. The case in feedback control is largely affected by the interaction torques. In contrast, the trajectory is corrected over time with tacit learning toward optimal solutions.Energy efficient solutions were obtained by the emergence of motor synergy. During learning, the contribution from feedforward controller is augmented and the one from the feedback controller is significantly minimized down to 12% for no load at hand, 16% for a 0.5 kg load condition.The proposed paradigm could provide an optimization process in redundant system with dynamic-model-free and cost-function-free approach.

  5. Synergetic motor control paradigm for optimizing energy efficiency of multijoint reaching via tacit learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2014-01-01

    A human motor system can improve its behavior toward optimal movement. The skeletal system has more degrees of freedom than the task dimensions, which incurs an ill-posed problem. The multijoint system involves complex interaction torques between joints. To produce optimal motion in terms of energy consumption, the so-called cost function based optimization has been commonly used in previous works.Even if it is a fact that an optimal motor pattern is employed phenomenologically, there is no evidence that shows the existence of a physiological process that is similar to such a mathematical optimization in our central nervous system.In this study, we aim to find a more primitive computational mechanism with a modular configuration to realize adaptability and optimality without prior knowledge of system dynamics.We propose a novel motor control paradigm based on tacit learning with task space feedback. The motor command accumulation during repetitive environmental interactions, play a major role in the learning process. It is applied to a vertical cyclic reaching which involves complex interaction torques.We evaluated whether the proposed paradigm can learn how to optimize solutions with a 3-joint, planar biomechanical model. The results demonstrate that the proposed method was valid for acquiring motor synergy and resulted in energy efficient solutions for different load conditions. The case in feedback control is largely affected by the interaction torques. In contrast, the trajectory is corrected over time with tacit learning toward optimal solutions.Energy efficient solutions were obtained by the emergence of motor synergy. During learning, the contribution from feedforward controller is augmented and the one from the feedback controller is significantly minimized down to 12% for no load at hand, 16% for a 0.5 kg load condition.The proposed paradigm could provide an optimization process in redundant system with dynamic-model-free and cost-function-free approach

  6. PKC in motorneurons underlies self-learning, a form of motor learning in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Colomb

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Tethering a fly for stationary flight allows for exquisite control of its sensory input, such as visual or olfactory stimuli or a punishing infrared laser beam. A torque meter measures the turning attempts of the tethered fly around its vertical body axis. By punishing, say, left turning attempts (in a homogeneous environment, one can train a fly to restrict its behaviour to right turning attempts. It was recently discovered that this form of operant conditioning (called operant self-learning, may constitute a form of motor learning in Drosophila. Previous work had shown that Protein Kinase C (PKC and the transcription factor dFoxP were specifically involved in self-learning, but not in other forms of learning. These molecules are specifically involved in various forms of motor learning in other animals, such as compulsive biting in Aplysia, song-learning in birds, procedural learning in mice or language acquisition in humans. Here we describe our efforts to decipher which PKC gene is involved in self-learning in Drosophila. We also provide evidence that motorneurons may be one part of the neuronal network modified during self-learning experiments. The collected evidence is reminiscent of one of the simplest, clinically relevant forms of motor learning in humans, operant reflex conditioning, which also relies on motorneuron plasticity.

  7. Individual differences in implicit motor learning: task specificity in sensorimotor adaptation and sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark-Inbar, Alit; Raza, Meher; Taylor, Jordan A; Ivry, Richard B

    2017-01-01

    In standard taxonomies, motor skills are typically treated as representative of implicit or procedural memory. We examined two emblematic tasks of implicit motor learning, sensorimotor adaptation and sequence learning, asking whether individual differences in learning are correlated between these tasks, as well as how individual differences within each task are related to different performance variables. As a prerequisite, it was essential to establish the reliability of learning measures for each task. Participants were tested twice on a visuomotor adaptation task and on a sequence learning task, either the serial reaction time task or the alternating reaction time task. Learning was evident in all tasks at the group level and reliable at the individual level in visuomotor adaptation and the alternating reaction time task but not in the serial reaction time task. Performance variability was predictive of learning in both domains, yet the relationship was in the opposite direction for adaptation and sequence learning. For the former, faster learning was associated with lower variability, consistent with models of sensorimotor adaptation in which learning rates are sensitive to noise. For the latter, greater learning was associated with higher variability and slower reaction times, factors that may facilitate the spread of activation required to form predictive, sequential associations. Interestingly, learning measures of the different tasks were not correlated. Together, these results oppose a shared process for implicit learning in sensorimotor adaptation and sequence learning and provide insight into the factors that account for individual differences in learning within each task domain. We investigated individual differences in the ability to implicitly learn motor skills. As a prerequisite, we assessed whether individual differences were reliable across test sessions. We found that two commonly used tasks of implicit learning, visuomotor adaptation and the

  8. The Knockout of Secretin in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells Impairs Mouse Motor Coordination and Motor Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li; Chung, Sookja Kim; Chow, Billy Kwok Chong

    2014-01-01

    Secretin (SCT) was first considered to be a gut hormone regulating gastrointestinal functions when discovered. Recently, however, central actions of SCT have drawn intense research interest and are supported by the broad distribution of SCT in specific neuronal populations and by in vivo physiological studies regarding its role in water homeostasis and food intake. The direct action of SCT on a central neuron was first discovered in cerebellar Purkinje cells in which SCT from cerebellar Purkinje cells was found to potentiate GABAergic inhibitory transmission from presynaptic basket cells. Because Purkinje neurons have a major role in motor coordination and learning functions, we hypothesize a behavioral modulatory function for SCT. In this study, we successfully generated a mouse model in which the SCT gene was deleted specifically in Purkinje cells. This mouse line was tested together with SCT knockout and SCT receptor knockout mice in a full battery of behavioral tasks. We found that the knockout of SCT in Purkinje neurons did not affect general motor ability or the anxiety level in open field tests. However, knockout mice did exhibit impairments in neuromuscular strength, motor coordination, and motor learning abilities, as shown by wire hanging, vertical climbing, and rotarod tests. In addition, SCT knockout in Purkinje cells possibly led to the delayed development of motor neurons, as supported by the later occurrence of key neural reflexes. In summary, our data suggest a role in motor coordination and motor learning for SCT expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells. PMID:24356714

  9. Cortical ensemble activity increasingly predicts behaviour outcomes during learning of a motor task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubach, Mark; Wessberg, Johan; Nicolelis, Miguel A. L.

    2000-06-01

    When an animal learns to make movements in response to different stimuli, changes in activity in the motor cortex seem to accompany and underlie this learning. The precise nature of modifications in cortical motor areas during the initial stages of motor learning, however, is largely unknown. Here we address this issue by chronically recording from neuronal ensembles located in the rat motor cortex, throughout the period required for rats to learn a reaction-time task. Motor learning was demonstrated by a decrease in the variance of the rats' reaction times and an increase in the time the animals were able to wait for a trigger stimulus. These behavioural changes were correlated with a significant increase in our ability to predict the correct or incorrect outcome of single trials based on three measures of neuronal ensemble activity: average firing rate, temporal patterns of firing, and correlated firing. This increase in prediction indicates that an association between sensory cues and movement emerged in the motor cortex as the task was learned. Such modifications in cortical ensemble activity may be critical for the initial learning of motor tasks.

  10. Consolidating the effects of waking and sleep on motor-sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brawn, Timothy P; Fenn, Kimberly M; Nusbaum, Howard C; Margoliash, Daniel

    2010-10-20

    Sleep is widely believed to play a critical role in memory consolidation. Sleep-dependent consolidation has been studied extensively in humans using an explicit motor-sequence learning paradigm. In this task, performance has been reported to remain stable across wakefulness and improve significantly after sleep, making motor-sequence learning the definitive example of sleep-dependent enhancement. Recent work, however, has shown that enhancement disappears when the task is modified to reduce task-related inhibition that develops over a training session, thus questioning whether sleep actively consolidates motor learning. Here we use the same motor-sequence task to demonstrate sleep-dependent consolidation for motor-sequence learning and explain the discrepancies in results across studies. We show that when training begins in the morning, motor-sequence performance deteriorates across wakefulness and recovers after sleep, whereas performance remains stable across both sleep and subsequent waking with evening training. This pattern of results challenges an influential model of memory consolidation defined by a time-dependent stabilization phase and a sleep-dependent enhancement phase. Moreover, the present results support a new account of the behavioral effects of waking and sleep on explicit motor-sequence learning that is consistent across a wide range of tasks. These observations indicate that current theories of memory consolidation that have been formulated to explain sleep-dependent performance enhancements are insufficient to explain the range of behavioral changes associated with sleep.

  11. Temperature dependency in motor skill learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immink, Maarten A; Wright, David L; Barnes, William S

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigated the role of temperature as a contextual condition for motor skill learning. Precision grip task training occurred while forearm cutaneous temperature was either heated (40-45 °C) or cooled (10-15 °C). At test, temperature was either reinstated or changed. Performance was comparable between training conditions while at test, temperature changes decreased accuracy, especially after hot training conditions. After cold training, temperature change deficits were only evident when concurrent force feedback was presented. These findings are the first evidence of localized temperature dependency in motor skill learning in humans. Results are not entirely accounted for by a context-dependent memory explanation and appear to represent an interaction of neuromuscular and sensory processes with the temperature present during training and test.

  12. Motor Learning as Young Gymnast’s Talent Indicator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra di Cagno

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Talent identification plans are designed to select young athletes with the ability to achieve future success in sports. The aim of the study was to verify the predictive value of coordination and precision in skill acquisition during motor learning, as indicators of talent. One hundred gymnasts, both cadets (aged 11.5 ± 0.5 yr. and juniors (aged 13.3 ± 0.5 years, competing at the national level, were enrolled in the study. The assessment of motor coordination involved three tests of the validated Hirtz’s battery (1985, and motor skill learning involved four technical tests, specific of rhythmic gymnastics. All the tests were correlated with ranking and performance scores reached by each gymnast in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 National Championships. Coordination tests were significantly correlated to 2013 Championships scores (p < 0.01 and ranking (p < 0.05 of elite cadet athletes. Precision, in skill acquisition test results, was positively and significantly associated with scores in 2013 (adj. R2 = 0.26, p < 0.01. Gymnasts with the best results in coordination and motor learning tests went on to achieve better competition results in three- year time.

  13. The role of plastic changes in the motor cortex and spinal cord for motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens Bo; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    Adaptive changes of the efficacy of neural circuitries at different sites of the central nervous system is the basis of acquisition of new motor skills. Non-invasive human imaging and electrophysiological experiments have demonstrated that the primary motor cortex and spinal cord circuitries...... are key players in the early stages of skill acquisition and consolidation of motor learning. Expansion of the cortical representation of the trained muscles, changes in corticomuscular coupling and changes in stretch reflex activity are thus all markers of neuroplastic changes accompanying early skill...... acquisition. We have shown in recent experiments that sensory feedback from the active muscles play a surprisingly specific role at this stage of learning. Following motor skill training, repeated activation of sensory afferents from the muscle that has been involved in a previous training session, interfered...

  14. Synchrony and motor mimicking in chimpanzee observational learning

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    Fuhrmann, Delia; Ravignani, Andrea; Marshall-Pescini, Sarah; Whiten, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Cumulative tool-based culture underwrote our species' evolutionary success, and tool-based nut-cracking is one of the strongest candidates for cultural transmission in our closest relatives, chimpanzees. However the social learning processes that may explain both the similarities and differences between the species remain unclear. A previous study of nut-cracking by initially naïve chimpanzees suggested that a learning chimpanzee holding no hammer nevertheless replicated hammering actions it witnessed. This observation has potentially important implications for the nature of the social learning processes and underlying motor coding involved. In the present study, model and observer actions were quantified frame-by-frame and analysed with stringent statistical methods, demonstrating synchrony between the observer's and model's movements, cross-correlation of these movements above chance level and a unidirectional transmission process from model to observer. These results provide the first quantitative evidence for motor mimicking underlain by motor coding in apes, with implications for mirror neuron function. PMID:24923651

  15. Synchrony and motor mimicking in chimpanzee observational learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuhrmann, Delia; Ravignani, Andrea; Marshall-Pescini, Sarah; Whiten, Andrew

    2014-06-13

    Cumulative tool-based culture underwrote our species' evolutionary success, and tool-based nut-cracking is one of the strongest candidates for cultural transmission in our closest relatives, chimpanzees. However the social learning processes that may explain both the similarities and differences between the species remain unclear. A previous study of nut-cracking by initially naïve chimpanzees suggested that a learning chimpanzee holding no hammer nevertheless replicated hammering actions it witnessed. This observation has potentially important implications for the nature of the social learning processes and underlying motor coding involved. In the present study, model and observer actions were quantified frame-by-frame and analysed with stringent statistical methods, demonstrating synchrony between the observer's and model's movements, cross-correlation of these movements above chance level and a unidirectional transmission process from model to observer. These results provide the first quantitative evidence for motor mimicking underlain by motor coding in apes, with implications for mirror neuron function.

  16. Rehearsal strategies during motor-sequence learning in old age : Execution vs motor imagery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoter, Arjan J. R.; Scherder, Erik J. A.; Kamsma, Yvo P. T.; Mulder, Theo

    Motor imagery and action-based rehearsal were compared during motor sequence-learning by young adults (M = 25 yr., SD = 3) and aged adults (M = 63 yr., SD = 7). General accuracy of aged adults was lower than that of young adults (F-1,F-28 = 7.37, p = .01) even though working-memory capacity was

  17. Physiotherapists use a great variety of motor learning options in neurological rehabilitation, from which they choose through an iterative process: a retrospective think-aloud study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleynen, Melanie; Moser, Albine; Haarsma, Frederike A; Beurskens, Anna J; Braun, Susy M

    2017-08-01

    The goal of this study was to examine which motor learning options are applied by experienced physiotherapists in neurological rehabilitation, and how they choose between the different options. A descriptive qualitative approach was used. A purposive sample of five expert physiotherapists from the neurological ward of a rehabilitation center participated. Data were collected using nine videotaped therapy situations. During retrospective think-aloud interviews, the physiotherapists were instructed to constantly "think aloud" while they were watching their own videos. Five "operators" were identified: "act", "know", "observe", "assess" and "argue". The "act" operator consisted of 34 motor learning options, which were clustered into "instruction", "feedback" and "organization". The "know", "observe", "assess" and "argue" operators explained how therapists chose one of these options. The four operators seem to be interrelated and together lead to a decision to apply a particular motor learning option. Results show that the participating physiotherapists used a great variety of motor learning options in their treatment sessions. Further, the decision-making process with regard to these motor learning options was identified. Results may support future intervention studies that match the content and process of therapy in daily practice. The study should be repeated with other physiotherapists. Implications for Rehabilitation The study provided insight into the way experienced therapist handle the great variety of possible motor learning options, including concrete ideas on how to operationalize these options in specific situations. Despite differences in patients' abilities, it seems that therapists use the same underlying clinical reasoning process when choosing a particular motor learning option. Participating physiotherapists used more than the in guidelines suggested motor learning options and considered more than the suggested factors, hence adding practice based

  18. Motor learning in childhood reveals distinct mechanisms for memory retention and re-learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musselman, Kristin E; Roemmich, Ryan T; Garrett, Ben; Bastian, Amy J

    2016-05-01

    Adults can easily learn and access multiple versions of the same motor skill adapted for different conditions (e.g., walking in water, sand, snow). Following even a single session of adaptation, adults exhibit clear day-to-day retention and faster re-learning of the adapted pattern. Here, we studied the retention and re-learning of an adapted walking pattern in children aged 6-17 yr. We found that all children, regardless of age, showed adult-like patterns of retention of the adapted walking pattern. In contrast, children under 12 yr of age did not re-learn faster on the next day after washout had occurred-they behaved as if they had never adapted their walking before. Re-learning could be improved in younger children when the adaptation time on day 1 was increased to allow more practice at the plateau of the adapted pattern, but never to adult-like levels. These results show that the ability to store a separate, adapted version of the same general motor pattern does not fully develop until adolescence, and furthermore, that the mechanisms underlying the retention and rapid re-learning of adapted motor patterns are distinct. © 2016 Musselman et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  19. Primary motor and premotor cortex in implicit sequence learning--evidence for competition between implicit and explicit human motor memory systems.

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    Kantak, Shailesh S; Mummidisetty, Chaithanya K; Stinear, James W

    2012-09-01

    Implicit and explicit memory systems for motor skills compete with each other during and after motor practice. Primary motor cortex (M1) is known to be engaged during implicit motor learning, while dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) is critical for explicit learning. To elucidate the neural substrates underlying the interaction between implicit and explicit memory systems, adults underwent a randomized crossover experiment of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (AtDCS) applied over M1, PMd or sham stimulation during implicit motor sequence (serial reaction time task, SRTT) practice. We hypothesized that M1-AtDCS during practice will enhance online performance and offline learning of the implicit motor sequence. In contrast, we also hypothesized that PMd-AtDCS will attenuate performance and retention of the implicit motor sequence. Implicit sequence performance was assessed at baseline, at the end of acquisition (EoA), and 24 h after practice (retention test, RET). M1-AtDCS during practice significantly improved practice performance and supported offline stabilization compared with Sham tDCS. Performance change from EoA to RET revealed that PMd-AtDCS during practice attenuated offline stabilization compared with M1-AtDCS and sham stimulation. The results support the role of M1 in implementing online performance gains and offline stabilization for implicit motor sequence learning. In contrast, enhancing the activity within explicit motor memory network nodes such as the PMd during practice may be detrimental to offline stabilization of the learned implicit motor sequence. These results support the notion of competition between implicit and explicit motor memory systems and identify underlying neural substrates that are engaged in this competition. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Learning-performance distinction and memory processes for motor skills: a focused review and perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantak, Shailesh S; Winstein, Carolee J

    2012-03-01

    Behavioral research in cognitive psychology provides evidence for an important distinction between immediate performance that accompanies practice and long-term performance that reflects the relative permanence in the capability for the practiced skill (i.e. learning). This learning-performance distinction is strikingly evident when challenging practice conditions may impair practice performance, but enhance long-term retention of motor skills. A review of motor learning studies with a specific focus on comparing differences in performance between that at the end of practice and at delayed retention suggests that the delayed retention or transfer performance is a better indicator of motor learning than the performance at (or end of) practice. This provides objective evidence for the learning-performance distinction. This behavioral evidence coupled with an understanding of the motor memory processes of encoding, consolidation and retrieval may provide insight into the putative mechanism that implements the learning-performance distinction. Here, we propose a simplistic empirically-based framework--motor behavior-memory framework--that integrates the temporal evolution of motor memory processes with the time course of practice and delayed retention frequently used in behavioral motor learning paradigms. In the context of the proposed framework, recent research has used noninvasive brain stimulation to decipher the role of each motor memory process, and specific cortical brain regions engaged in motor performance and learning. Such findings provide beginning insights into the relationship between the time course of practice-induced performance changes and motor memory processes. This in turn has promising implications for future research and practical applications. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Reversal of long-term potentiation-like plasticity processes after motor learning disrupts skill retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantarero, Gabriela; Lloyd, Ashley; Celnik, Pablo

    2013-07-31

    Plasticity of synaptic connections in the primary motor cortex (M1) is thought to play an essential role in learning and memory. Human and animal studies have shown that motor learning results in long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity processes, namely potentiation of M1 and a temporary occlusion of additional LTP-like plasticity. Moreover, biochemical processes essential for LTP are also crucial for certain types of motor learning and memory. Thus, it has been speculated that the occlusion of LTP-like plasticity after learning, indicative of how much LTP was used to learn, is essential for retention. Here we provide supporting evidence of it in humans. Induction of LTP-like plasticity can be abolished using a depotentiation protocol (DePo) consisting of brief continuous theta burst stimulation. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation to assess whether application of DePo over M1 after motor learning affected (1) occlusion of LTP-like plasticity and (2) retention of motor skill learning. We found that the magnitude of motor memory retention is proportional to the magnitude of occlusion of LTP-like plasticity. Moreover, DePo stimulation over M1, but not over a control site, reversed the occlusion of LTP-like plasticity induced by motor learning and disrupted skill retention relative to control subjects. Altogether, these results provide evidence of a link between occlusion of LTP-like plasticity and retention and that this measure could be used as a biomarker to predict retention. Importantly, attempts to reverse the occlusion of LTP-like plasticity after motor learning comes with the cost of reducing retention of motor learning.

  2. Motor Skill Learning in Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabbard, Carl P.

    The purpose of this article is to briefly describe schema theory and indicate its relevance to early childhood development, with specific reference to children's acquisition of motor skills. Schema theory proposes an explanation of how individuals learn and perform a seemingly endless variety of movements. According to Schmidt (1975), goal…

  3. Sub-processes of motor learning revealed by a robotic manipulandum for rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambercy, O; Schubring-Giese, M; Vigaru, B; Gassert, R; Luft, A R; Hosp, J A

    2015-02-01

    Rodent models are widely used to investigate neural changes in response to motor learning. Usually, the behavioral readout of motor learning tasks used for this purpose is restricted to a binary measure of performance (i.e. "successful" movement vs. "failure"). Thus, the assignability of research in rodents to concepts gained in human research - implying diverse internal models that constitute motor learning - is still limited. To solve this problem, we recently introduced a three-degree-of-freedom robotic platform designed for rats (the ETH-Pattus) that combines an accurate behavioral readout (in the form of kinematics) with the possibility to invasively assess learning related changes within the brain (e.g. by performing immunohistochemistry or electrophysiology in acute slice preparations). Here, we validate this platform as a tool to study motor learning by establishing two forelimb-reaching paradigms that differ in degree of skill. Both conditions can be precisely differentiated in terms of their temporal pattern and performance levels. Based on behavioral data, we hypothesize the presence of several sub-processes contributing to motor learning. These share close similarities with concepts gained in humans or primates. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Motor Speech Sequence Learning in Adults Who Stutter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahsa Aghazamani

    2018-04-01

    Conclusion The results of this study showed that PWS show improvement in accuracy, reaction time and sequence duration variables from day 1 to day 3. Also, PWS show more substantial number of errors compared to PNS, but this difference was not significant between the two groups. Similar results were obtained for the reaction time. Results of this study demonstrated that PWS show slower sequence duration compared to PNS. Some studies suggested that this could be because people who stutter use a control strategy to reduce the number of errors, although many studies suggested that this may indicate motor learning. According to speech motor skills hypothesis, it can be concluded that people who stutter have limitations in motor speech learning abilities. The findings of the present study could have clinical implication for the treatment of stuttering.

  5. Learning and Chaining of Motor Primitives for Goal-directed Locomotion of a Snake-Like Robot with Screw-Drive Units

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chatterjee, Sromona; Nachstedt, Timo; Tamosiunaite, Minija

    2015-01-01

    -directed locomotion for the robot. The behavioural primitives of the robot are generated using a reinforcement learning approach called "Policy Improvement with Path Integrals" (PI2). PI2 is numerically simple and has the ability to deal with high-dimensional systems. Here, PI2 is used to learn the robot’s motor...... controls by finding proper locomotion control parameters, like joint angles and screw-drive unit velocities, in a coordinated manner for different goals. Thus, it is able to generate a large repertoire of motor primitives, which are selectively stored to form a primitive library. The learning process...

  6. Motor sequence learning occurs despite disrupted visual and proprioceptive feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyd Lara A

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent work has demonstrated the importance of proprioception for the development of internal representations of the forces encountered during a task. Evidence also exists for a significant role for proprioception in the execution of sequential movements. However, little work has explored the role of proprioceptive sensation during the learning of continuous movement sequences. Here, we report that the repeated segment of a continuous tracking task can be learned despite peripherally altered arm proprioception and severely restricted visual feedback regarding motor output. Methods Healthy adults practiced a continuous tracking task over 2 days. Half of the participants experienced vibration that altered proprioception of shoulder flexion/extension of the active tracking arm (experimental condition and half experienced vibration of the passive resting arm (control condition. Visual feedback was restricted for all participants. Retention testing was conducted on a separate day to assess motor learning. Results Regardless of vibration condition, participants learned the repeated segment demonstrated by significant improvements in accuracy for tracking repeated as compared to random continuous movement sequences. Conclusion These results suggest that with practice, participants were able to use residual afferent information to overcome initial interference of tracking ability related to altered proprioception and restricted visual feedback to learn a continuous motor sequence. Motor learning occurred despite an initial interference of tracking noted during acquisition practice.

  7. Interference in ballistic motor learning - is motor interference really sensory?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Petersen, Tue Hvass; Rothwell, John C

    Skill gained after a short period of practice in one motor task can be abolished if a second task is learned shortly afterwards. We hypothesised that interference requires the same circuits to be engaged in the two tasks and provoke competing processes of synaptic plasticity. To test this, subjects...

  8. The Errors of Our Ways: Understanding Error Representations in Cerebellar-Dependent Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popa, Laurentiu S; Streng, Martha L; Hewitt, Angela L; Ebner, Timothy J

    2016-04-01

    The cerebellum is essential for error-driven motor learning and is strongly implicated in detecting and correcting for motor errors. Therefore, elucidating how motor errors are represented in the cerebellum is essential in understanding cerebellar function, in general, and its role in motor learning, in particular. This review examines how motor errors are encoded in the cerebellar cortex in the context of a forward internal model that generates predictions about the upcoming movement and drives learning and adaptation. In this framework, sensory prediction errors, defined as the discrepancy between the predicted consequences of motor commands and the sensory feedback, are crucial for both on-line movement control and motor learning. While many studies support the dominant view that motor errors are encoded in the complex spike discharge of Purkinje cells, others have failed to relate complex spike activity with errors. Given these limitations, we review recent findings in the monkey showing that complex spike modulation is not necessarily required for motor learning or for simple spike adaptation. Also, new results demonstrate that the simple spike discharge provides continuous error signals that both lead and lag the actual movements in time, suggesting errors are encoded as both an internal prediction of motor commands and the actual sensory feedback. These dual error representations have opposing effects on simple spike discharge, consistent with the signals needed to generate sensory prediction errors used to update a forward internal model.

  9. Context-dependent memory decay is evidence of effort minimization in motor learning: a computational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takiyama, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Recent theoretical models suggest that motor learning includes at least two processes: error minimization and memory decay. While learning a novel movement, a motor memory of the movement is gradually formed to minimize the movement error between the desired and actual movements in each training trial, but the memory is slightly forgotten in each trial. The learning effects of error minimization trained with a certain movement are partially available in other non-trained movements, and this transfer of the learning effect can be reproduced by certain theoretical frameworks. Although most theoretical frameworks have assumed that a motor memory trained with a certain movement decays at the same speed during performing the trained movement as non-trained movements, a recent study reported that the motor memory decays faster during performing the trained movement than non-trained movements, i.e., the decay rate of motor memory is movement or context dependent. Although motor learning has been successfully modeled based on an optimization framework, e.g., movement error minimization, the type of optimization that can lead to context-dependent memory decay is unclear. Thus, context-dependent memory decay raises the question of what is optimized in motor learning. To reproduce context-dependent memory decay, I extend a motor primitive framework. Specifically, I introduce motor effort optimization into the framework because some previous studies have reported the existence of effort optimization in motor learning processes and no conventional motor primitive model has yet considered the optimization. Here, I analytically and numerically revealed that context-dependent decay is a result of motor effort optimization. My analyses suggest that context-dependent decay is not merely memory decay but is evidence of motor effort optimization in motor learning.

  10. Context-dependent memory decay is evidence of effort minimization in motor learning: A computational study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken eTakiyama

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent theoretical models suggest that motor learning includes at least two processes: error minimization and memory decay. While learning a novel movement, a motor memory of the movement is gradually formed to minimize the movement error between the desired and actual movements in each training trial, but the memory is slightly forgotten in each trial. The learning effects of error minimization trained with a certain movement are partially available in other non-trained movements, and this transfer of the learning effect can be reproduced by certain theoretical frameworks. Although most theoretical frameworks have assumed that a motor memory trained with a certain movement decays at the same speed during performing the trained movement as non-trained movements, a recent study reported that the motor memory decays faster during performing the trained movement than non-trained movements, i.e., the decay rate of motor memory is movement or context dependent. Although motor learning has been successfully modeled based on an optimization framework, e.g., movement error minimization, the type of optimization that can lead to context-dependent memory decay is unclear. Thus, context-dependent memory decay raises the question of what is optimized in motor learning. To reproduce context-dependent memory decay, I extend a motor primitive framework. Specifically, I introduce motor effort optimization into the framework because some previous studies have reported the existence of effort optimization in motor learning processes and no conventional motor primitive model has yet considered the optimization. Here, I analytically and numerically revealed that context-dependent decay is a result of motor effort optimization. My analyses suggest that context-dependent decay is not merely memory decay but is evidence of motor effort optimization in motor learning.

  11. Gene Expression Changes in the Motor Cortex Mediating Motor Skill Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Vincent C. K.; DeBoer, Caroline; Hanson, Elizabeth; Tunesi, Marta; D'Onofrio, Mara; Arisi, Ivan; Brandi, Rossella; Cattaneo, Antonino; Goosens, Ki A.

    2013-01-01

    The primary motor cortex (M1) supports motor skill learning, yet little is known about the genes that contribute to motor cortical plasticity. Such knowledge could identify candidate molecules whose targeting might enable a new understanding of motor cortical functions, and provide new drug targets for the treatment of diseases which impair motor function, such as ischemic stroke. Here, we assess changes in the motor-cortical transcriptome across different stages of motor skill acquisition. Adult rats were trained on a gradually acquired appetitive reach and grasp task that required different strategies for successful pellet retrieval, or a sham version of the task in which the rats received pellet reward without needing to develop the reach and grasp skill. Tissue was harvested from the forelimb motor-cortical area either before training commenced, prior to the initial rise in task performance, or at peak performance. Differential classes of gene expression were observed at the time point immediately preceding motor task improvement. Functional clustering revealed that gene expression changes were related to the synapse, development, intracellular signaling, and the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, with many modulated genes known to regulate synaptic plasticity, synaptogenesis, and cytoskeletal dynamics. The modulated expression of synaptic genes likely reflects ongoing network reorganization from commencement of training till the point of task improvement, suggesting that motor performance improves only after sufficient modifications in the cortical circuitry have accumulated. The regulated FGF-related genes may together contribute to M1 remodeling through their roles in synaptic growth and maturation. PMID:23637843

  12. Enhanced motor learning following task-concurrent dual transcranial direct current stimulation.

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    Sophia Karok

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS of the primary motor cortex (M1 has beneficial effects on motor performance and motor learning in healthy subjects and is emerging as a promising tool for motor neurorehabilitation. Applying tDCS concurrently with a motor task has recently been found to be more effective than applying stimulation before the motor task. This study extends this finding to examine whether such task-concurrent stimulation further enhances motor learning on a dual M1 montage. METHOD: Twenty healthy, right-handed subjects received anodal tDCS to the right M1, dual tDCS (anodal current over right M1 and cathodal over left M1 and sham tDCS in a repeated-measures design. Stimulation was applied for 10 mins at 1.5 mA during an explicit motor learning task. Response times (RT and accuracy were measured at baseline, during, directly after and 15 mins after stimulation. Motor cortical excitability was recorded from both hemispheres before and after stimulation using single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. RESULTS: Task-concurrent stimulation with a dual M1 montage significantly reduced RTs by 23% as early as with the onset of stimulation (p<0.01 with this effect increasing to 30% at the final measurement. Polarity-specific changes in cortical excitability were observed with MEPs significantly reduced by 12% in the left M1 and increased by 69% in the right M1. CONCLUSION: Performance improvement occurred earliest in the dual M1 condition with a stable and lasting effect. Unilateral anodal stimulation resulted only in trendwise improvement when compared to sham. Therefore, task-concurrent dual M1 stimulation is most suited for obtaining the desired neuromodulatory effects of tDCS in explicit motor learning.

  13. Children show limited movement repertoire when learning a novel motor skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mei-Hua; Farshchiansadegh, Ali; Ranganathan, Rajiv

    2017-09-27

    Examining age differences in motor learning using real-world tasks is often problematic due to task novelty and biomechanical confounds. Here, we investigated how children and adults acquire a novel motor skill in a virtual environment. Participants of three different age groups (9-year-olds, 12-year-olds, and adults) learned to use their upper body movements to control a cursor on a computer screen. Results showed that 9-year-old and 12-year-old children showed poorer ability to control the cursor at the end of practice. Critically, when we investigated the movement coordination, we found that the lower task performance of children was associated with limited exploration of their movement repertoire. These results reveal the critical role of motor exploration in understanding developmental differences in motor learning. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Multiple systems for motor skill learning

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, Dav; Ivry, Richard B.

    2010-01-01

    Motor learning is a ubiquitous feature of human competence. This review focuses on two particular classes of model tasks for studying skill acquisition. The serial reaction time (SRT) task is used to probe how people learn sequences of actions, while adaptation in the context of visuomotor or force field perturbations serves to illustrate how preexisting movements are recalibrated in novel environments. These tasks highlight important issues regarding the representational changes that occur d...

  15. Studies in Motor Behavior: 75 Years of Research in Motor Development, Learning, and Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Beverly D.; Reeve, T. Gilmour

    2005-01-01

    Research focused on human motor development, learning, and control has been a prominent feature in the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (RQES) since it was first published in 1930. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the papers in the RQES that demonstrate the journal's contributions to the study of motor development,…

  16. Using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to study the underlying neural mechanisms of human motor learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Censor, Nitzan; Cohen, Leonardo G

    2011-01-01

    In the last two decades, there has been a rapid development in the research of the physiological brain mechanisms underlying human motor learning and memory. While conventional memory research performed on animal models uses intracellular recordings, microfusion of protein inhibitors to specific brain areas and direct induction of focal brain lesions, human research has so far utilized predominantly behavioural approaches and indirect measurements of neural activity. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), a safe non-invasive brain stimulation technique, enables the study of the functional role of specific cortical areas by evaluating the behavioural consequences of selective modulation of activity (excitation or inhibition) on memory generation and consolidation, contributing to the understanding of the neural substrates of motor learning. Depending on the parameters of stimulation, rTMS can also facilitate learning processes, presumably through purposeful modulation of excitability in specific brain regions. rTMS has also been used to gain valuable knowledge regarding the timeline of motor memory formation, from initial encoding to stabilization and long-term retention. In this review, we summarize insights gained using rTMS on the physiological and neural mechanisms of human motor learning and memory. We conclude by suggesting possible future research directions, some with direct clinical implications.

  17. Specific Deficit in Implicit Motor Sequence Learning following Spinal Cord Injury.

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    Ayala Bloch

    Full Text Available Physical and psychosocial rehabilitation following spinal cord injury (SCI leans heavily on learning and practicing new skills. However, despite research relating motor sequence learning to spinal cord activity and clinical observations of impeded skill-learning after SCI, implicit procedural learning following spinal cord damage has not been examined.To test the hypothesis that spinal cord injury (SCI in the absence of concomitant brain injury is associated with a specific implicit motor sequence learning deficit that cannot be explained by depression or impairments in other cognitive measures.Ten participants with SCI in T1-T11, unharmed upper limb motor and sensory functioning, and no concomitant brain injury were compared to ten matched control participants on measures derived from the serial reaction time (SRT task, which was used to assess implicit motor sequence learning. Explicit generation of the SRT sequence, depression, and additional measures of learning, memory, and intelligence were included to explore the source and specificity of potential learning deficits.There was no between-group difference in baseline reaction time, indicating that potential differences between the learning curves of the two groups could not be attributed to an overall reduction in response speed in the SCI group. Unlike controls, the SCI group showed no decline in reaction time over the first six blocks of the SRT task and no advantage for the initially presented sequence over the novel interference sequence. Meanwhile, no group differences were found in explicit learning, depression, or any additional cognitive measures.The dissociation between impaired implicit learning and intact declarative memory represents novel empirical evidence of a specific implicit procedural learning deficit following SCI, with broad implications for rehabilitation and adjustment.

  18. Rapid motor learning in the translational vestibulo-ocular reflex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Wu; Weldon, Patrick; Tang, Bingfeng; King, W. M.; Shelhamer, M. J. (Principal Investigator)

    2003-01-01

    Motor learning was induced in the translational vestibulo-ocular reflex (TVOR) when monkeys were repeatedly subjected to a brief (0.5 sec) head translation while they tried to maintain binocular fixation on a visual target for juice rewards. If the target was world-fixed, the initial eye speed of the TVOR gradually increased; if the target was head-fixed, the initial eye speed of the TVOR gradually decreased. The rate of learning acquisition was very rapid, with a time constant of approximately 100 trials, which was equivalent to or=1 d without any reinforcement, indicating induction of long-term synaptic plasticity. Although the learning generalized to targets with different viewing distances and to head translations with different accelerations, it was highly specific for the particular combination of head motion and evoked eye movement associated with the training. For example, it was specific to the modality of the stimulus (translation vs rotation) and the direction of the evoked eye movement in the training. Furthermore, when one eye was aligned with the heading direction so that it remained motionless during training, learning was not expressed in this eye, but only in the other nonaligned eye. These specificities show that the learning sites are neither in the sensory nor the motor limb of the reflex but in the sensory-motor transformation stage of the reflex. The dependence of the learning on both head motion and evoked eye movement suggests that Hebbian learning may be one of the underlying cellular mechanisms.

  19. Motor learning in Sport. A short stroll into a (unfamiliar world. [Aprendizaje motor en el deporte: Un corto paseo por un mundo (desconocido].

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Miguel Ruiz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available It was in 1990 when Quest published an issue about “Usefulness of motor learning research for physical educators”. Several scholars tried to give an answer to this question, while motor learning researchers were in favour of this kind of scientific knowledge (Singer, 1990, Magill, 1990 pedagogues were more sceptical (Locke, 1990; Hoffman, 1990. Is it still a question that needs an answer? Does motor learning and expertise research useful for coaches and teachers? To quote J. von Uexkül “perhaps it would be a good idea to give a short stroll into the world of this (unfamiliar world”. Recently the philosophy of mind and philosophy of sport has begun to focus on sport expertise (Breivik, 2007; Moe, 2005. Today we are witnessing a change of the explanatory model of motor skill acquisition. Computational and computer metaphor is rejected and dynamic, sensorimotor, extended and enactive positions are the fashionable approaches (Araujo, 2013; Aviles et al., 2014; Clark and Chalmers, 2011; Davids, 2015; Froese and Di Paolo, 2011; Noë, 2010. In some cases these positions are coincidences but not in others. All of the researchers are agree upon the need to consider the mutuality of human beings and their surroundings. The computer metaphor, which at the time was the paradigm of any explanation, is now beginning to be seen as an overcome idea(Moe, 2005; Varela, Thompson and Rosch, 2005.

  20. Long lasting structural changes in primary motor cortex after motor skill learning: a behavioural and stereological study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAOLA MORALES

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Many motor skills, once acquired, are stored over a long time period, probably sustained by permanent neuronal changes. Thus, in this paper we have investigated with quantitative stereology the generation and persistence of neuronal density changes in primary motor cortex (MI following motor skill learning (skilled reaching task. Rats were trained a lateralised reaching task during an "early" (22-31 days oíd or "late" (362-371 days oíd postnatal period. The trained and corresponding control rats were sacrificed at day 372, immediately after the behavioural testing. The "early" trained group preserved the learned skilled reaching task when tested at day 372, without requiring any additional training. The "late" trained group showed a similar capacity to that of the "early" trained group for learning the skilled reaching task. All trained animáis ("early" and "late" trained groups showed a significant Ínter hemispheric decrease of neuronal density in the corresponding motor forelimb representation área of MI (cortical layers II-III

  1. Using Mobile Devices for Motor-Learning Laboratory Exercises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Kory

    2014-01-01

    When teaching motor-learning concepts, laboratory experiments can be valuable tools for promoting learning. In certain circumstances, traditional laboratory exercises are often impractical due to facilities, time, or cost. Inexpensive or free applications (apps) that run on mobile devices can serve as useful alternatives. This article details…

  2. Motor-enriched learning activities can improve mathematical performance in preadolescent children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beck, Mikkel Malling; Lind, Rune Rasmussen; Geertsen, Svend Sparre

    2016-01-01

    Objective: An emerging field of research indicates that physical activity can benefit cognitive functions and academic achievements in children. However, less is known about how academic achievements can benefit from specific types of motor activities (e.g., fine and gross) integrated into learning......-enriched mathematical teaching in Danish preadolescent children (n = 165, age = 7.5 ± 0.02 years). Three groups were included: a control group (CON), which received non-motor enriched conventional mathematical teaching, a fine motor math group (FMM) and a gross motor math group (GMM), which received mathematical.......73 correct answers (p = 0.04) and FMM 2.14 ± 0.72 correct answers (p = 0.008). These effects were not observed in low math-performers. The effects were partly accounted for by visuo-spatial short-term memory and gross motor skills. Conclusion: The study demonstrates that motor enriched learning activities...

  3. Isolating Visual and Proprioceptive Components of Motor Sequence Learning in ASD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharer, Elizabeth A; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Oberman, Lindsay M

    2016-05-01

    In addition to defining impairments in social communication skills, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also show impairments in more basic sensory and motor skills. Development of new skills involves integrating information from multiple sensory modalities. This input is then used to form internal models of action that can be accessed when both performing skilled movements, as well as understanding those actions performed by others. Learning skilled gestures is particularly reliant on integration of visual and proprioceptive input. We used a modified serial reaction time task (SRTT) to decompose proprioceptive and visual components and examine whether patterns of implicit motor skill learning differ in ASD participants as compared with healthy controls. While both groups learned the implicit motor sequence during training, healthy controls showed robust generalization whereas ASD participants demonstrated little generalization when visual input was constant. In contrast, no group differences in generalization were observed when proprioceptive input was constant, with both groups showing limited degrees of generalization. The findings suggest, when learning a motor sequence, individuals with ASD tend to rely less on visual feedback than do healthy controls. Visuomotor representations are considered to underlie imitative learning and action understanding and are thereby crucial to social skill and cognitive development. Thus, anomalous patterns of implicit motor learning, with a tendency to discount visual feedback, may be an important contributor in core social communication deficits that characterize ASD. Autism Res 2016, 9: 563-569. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Substance P signalling in primary motor cortex facilitates motor learning in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Hertler

    Full Text Available Among the genes that are up-regulated in response to a reaching training in rats, Tachykinin 1 (Tac1-a gene that encodes the neuropeptide Substance P (Sub P-shows an especially strong expression. Using Real-Time RT-PCR, a detailed time-course of Tac1 expression could be defined: a significant peak occurs 7 hours after training ended at the first and second training session, whereas no up-regulation could be detected at a later time-point (sixth training session. To assess the physiological role of Sub P during movement acquisition, microinjections into the primary motor cortex (M1 contralateral to the trained paw were performed. When Sub P was injected before the first three sessions of a reaching training, effectiveness of motor learning became significantly increased. Injections at a time-point when rats already knew the task (i.e. training session ten and eleven had no effect on reaching performance. Sub P injections did not influence the improvement of performance within a single training session, but retention of performance between sessions became strengthened at a very early stage (i.e. between baseline-training and first training session. Thus, Sub P facilitates motor learning in the very early phase of skill acquisition by supporting memory consolidation. In line with these findings, learning related expression of the precursor Tac1 occurs at early but not at later time-points during reaching training.

  5. Substance P signalling in primary motor cortex facilitates motor learning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertler, Benjamin; Hosp, Jonas Aurel; Blanco, Manuel Buitrago; Luft, Andreas Rüdiger

    2017-01-01

    Among the genes that are up-regulated in response to a reaching training in rats, Tachykinin 1 (Tac1)-a gene that encodes the neuropeptide Substance P (Sub P)-shows an especially strong expression. Using Real-Time RT-PCR, a detailed time-course of Tac1 expression could be defined: a significant peak occurs 7 hours after training ended at the first and second training session, whereas no up-regulation could be detected at a later time-point (sixth training session). To assess the physiological role of Sub P during movement acquisition, microinjections into the primary motor cortex (M1) contralateral to the trained paw were performed. When Sub P was injected before the first three sessions of a reaching training, effectiveness of motor learning became significantly increased. Injections at a time-point when rats already knew the task (i.e. training session ten and eleven) had no effect on reaching performance. Sub P injections did not influence the improvement of performance within a single training session, but retention of performance between sessions became strengthened at a very early stage (i.e. between baseline-training and first training session). Thus, Sub P facilitates motor learning in the very early phase of skill acquisition by supporting memory consolidation. In line with these findings, learning related expression of the precursor Tac1 occurs at early but not at later time-points during reaching training.

  6. Development of a Portable Motor Learning Laboratory (PoMLab).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takiyama, Ken; Shinya, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    Most motor learning experiments have been conducted in a laboratory setting. In this type of setting, a huge and expensive manipulandum is frequently used, requiring a large budget and wide open space. Subjects also need to travel to the laboratory, which is a burden for them. This burden is particularly severe for patients with neurological disorders. Here, we describe the development of a novel application based on Unity3D and smart devices, e.g., smartphones or tablet devices, that can be used to conduct motor learning experiments at any time and in any place, without requiring a large budget and wide open space and without the burden of travel on subjects. We refer to our application as POrtable Motor learning LABoratory, or PoMLab. PoMLab is a multiplatform application that is available and sharable for free. We investigated whether PoMLab could be an alternative to the laboratory setting using a visuomotor rotation paradigm that causes sensory prediction error, enabling the investigation of how subjects minimize the error. In the first experiment, subjects could adapt to a constant visuomotor rotation that was abruptly applied at a specific trial. The learning curve for the first experiment could be modeled well using a state space model, a mathematical model that describes the motor leaning process. In the second experiment, subjects could adapt to a visuomotor rotation that gradually increased each trial. The subjects adapted to the gradually increasing visuomotor rotation without being aware of the visuomotor rotation. These experimental results have been reported for conventional experiments conducted in a laboratory setting, and our PoMLab application could reproduce these results. PoMLab can thus be considered an alternative to the laboratory setting. We also conducted follow-up experiments in university physical education classes. A state space model that was fit to the data obtained in the laboratory experiments could predict the learning curves

  7. Development of a Portable Motor Learning Laboratory (PoMLab.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Takiyama

    Full Text Available Most motor learning experiments have been conducted in a laboratory setting. In this type of setting, a huge and expensive manipulandum is frequently used, requiring a large budget and wide open space. Subjects also need to travel to the laboratory, which is a burden for them. This burden is particularly severe for patients with neurological disorders. Here, we describe the development of a novel application based on Unity3D and smart devices, e.g., smartphones or tablet devices, that can be used to conduct motor learning experiments at any time and in any place, without requiring a large budget and wide open space and without the burden of travel on subjects. We refer to our application as POrtable Motor learning LABoratory, or PoMLab. PoMLab is a multiplatform application that is available and sharable for free. We investigated whether PoMLab could be an alternative to the laboratory setting using a visuomotor rotation paradigm that causes sensory prediction error, enabling the investigation of how subjects minimize the error. In the first experiment, subjects could adapt to a constant visuomotor rotation that was abruptly applied at a specific trial. The learning curve for the first experiment could be modeled well using a state space model, a mathematical model that describes the motor leaning process. In the second experiment, subjects could adapt to a visuomotor rotation that gradually increased each trial. The subjects adapted to the gradually increasing visuomotor rotation without being aware of the visuomotor rotation. These experimental results have been reported for conventional experiments conducted in a laboratory setting, and our PoMLab application could reproduce these results. PoMLab can thus be considered an alternative to the laboratory setting. We also conducted follow-up experiments in university physical education classes. A state space model that was fit to the data obtained in the laboratory experiments could predict the

  8. Exploration of joint redundancy but not task space variability facilitates supervised motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Puneet; Jana, Sumitash; Ghosal, Ashitava; Murthy, Aditya

    2016-12-13

    The number of joints and muscles in a human arm is more than what is required for reaching to a desired point in 3D space. Although previous studies have emphasized how such redundancy and the associated flexibility may play an important role in path planning, control of noise, and optimization of motion, whether and how redundancy might promote motor learning has not been investigated. In this work, we quantify redundancy space and investigate its significance and effect on motor learning. We propose that a larger redundancy space leads to faster learning across subjects. We observed this pattern in subjects learning novel kinematics (visuomotor adaptation) and dynamics (force-field adaptation). Interestingly, we also observed differences in the redundancy space between the dominant hand and nondominant hand that explained differences in the learning of dynamics. Taken together, these results provide support for the hypothesis that redundancy aids in motor learning and that the redundant component of motor variability is not noise.

  9. Tissue Plasminogen Activator Induction in Purkinje Neurons After Cerebellar Motor Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeds, Nicholas W.; Williams, Brian L.; Bickford, Paula C.

    1995-12-01

    The cerebellar cortex is implicated in the learning of complex motor skills. This learning may require synaptic remodeling of Purkinje cell inputs. An extracellular serine protease, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), is involved in remodeling various nonneural tissues and is associated with developing and regenerating neurons. In situ hybridization showed that expression of tPA messenger RNA was increased in the Purkinje neurons of rats within an hour of their being trained for a complex motor task. Antibody to tPA also showed the induction of tPA protein associated with cerebellar Purkinje cells. Thus, the induction of tPA during motor learning may play a role in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity.

  10. Children benefit differently from night- and day-time sleep in motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Jin H

    2017-08-01

    Motor skill acquisition occurs while practicing (on-line) and when asleep or awake (off-line). However, developmental questions still remain about whether children of various ages benefit similarly or differentially from night- and day-time sleeping. The likely circadian effects (time-of-day) and the possible between-test-interference (order effects) associated with children's off-line motor learning are currently unknown. Therefore, this study examines the contributions of over-night sleeping and mid-day napping to procedural skill learning. One hundred and eight children were instructed to practice a finger sequence task using computer keyboards. After an equivalent 11-h interval in one of the three states (sleep, nap, wakefulness), children performed the same sequence in retention tests and a novel sequence in transfer tests. Changes in the movement time and sequence accuracy were evaluated between ages (6-7, 8-9, 10-11years) during practice, and from skill training to retrievals across three states. Results suggest that night-time sleeping and day-time napping improved the tapping speed, especially for the 6-year-olds. The circadian factor did not affect off-line motor learning in children. The interference between the two counter-balanced retrieval tests was not found for the off-line motor learning. This research offers possible evidence about the age-related motor learning characteristics in children and a potential means for enhancing developmental motor skills. The dynamics between age, experience, memory formation, and the theoretical implications of motor skill acquisition are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Motor performance and learning difficulties in schoolchildren aged 7 to 10 years old

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Silva

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The general objective of this study was to evaluate the motor performance of children with and without learning difficulty indicatives. Took part in the study 406 students aged 7 to 10 years old, being 231 girls (56.9% and 175 (43.1% boys enrolled in a municipal public school in São José, Santa Catarina, Brazil. The indicative of learning difficulties was verified through the TDE, while motor performance was evaluated with the MABC. Boys without learning difficulties had better performance in the majority of the abilities evaluated, beyond an association between the indicative of motor problems with learning difficulties towards writing, arithmetic, reading, and in general. On the other hand, female students of the sample with and without any indicative of learning difficulties did not differentiate themselves as to motor abilities evaluated, with an association merely between the indicative of motor problems and reading problems. Based on the differences identified between girls and boys, results call attention to the need for future research in this area, considering gender as a differential variable in this relationship.

  12. Learning trajectories for speech motor performance in children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richtsmeier, Peter T; Goffman, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Children with specific language impairment (SLI) often perform below expected levels, including on tests of motor skill and in learning tasks, particularly procedural learning. In this experiment we examined the possibility that children with SLI might also have a motor learning deficit. Twelve children with SLI and thirteen children with typical development (TD) produced complex nonwords in an imitation task. Productions were collected across three blocks, with the first and second blocks on the same day and the third block one week later. Children's lip movements while producing the nonwords were recorded using an Optotrak camera system. Movements were then analyzed for production duration and stability. Movement analyses indicated that both groups of children produced shorter productions in later blocks (corroborated by an acoustic analysis), and the rate of change was comparable for the TD and SLI groups. A nonsignificant trend for more stable productions was also observed in both groups. SLI is regularly accompanied by a motor deficit, and this study does not dispute that. However, children with SLI learned to make more efficient productions at a rate similar to their peers with TD, revealing some modification of the motor deficit associated with SLI. The reader will learn about deficits commonly associated with specific language impairment (SLI) that often occur alongside the hallmark language deficit. The authors present an experiment showing that children with SLI improved speech motor performance at a similar rate compared to typically developing children. The implication is that speech motor learning is not impaired in children with SLI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Learning from sensory and reward prediction errors during motor adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izawa, Jun; Shadmehr, Reza

    2011-03-01

    Voluntary motor commands produce two kinds of consequences. Initially, a sensory consequence is observed in terms of activity in our primary sensory organs (e.g., vision, proprioception). Subsequently, the brain evaluates the sensory feedback and produces a subjective measure of utility or usefulness of the motor commands (e.g., reward). As a result, comparisons between predicted and observed consequences of motor commands produce two forms of prediction error. How do these errors contribute to changes in motor commands? Here, we considered a reach adaptation protocol and found that when high quality sensory feedback was available, adaptation of motor commands was driven almost exclusively by sensory prediction errors. This form of learning had a distinct signature: as motor commands adapted, the subjects altered their predictions regarding sensory consequences of motor commands, and generalized this learning broadly to neighboring motor commands. In contrast, as the quality of the sensory feedback degraded, adaptation of motor commands became more dependent on reward prediction errors. Reward prediction errors produced comparable changes in the motor commands, but produced no change in the predicted sensory consequences of motor commands, and generalized only locally. Because we found that there was a within subject correlation between generalization patterns and sensory remapping, it is plausible that during adaptation an individual's relative reliance on sensory vs. reward prediction errors could be inferred. We suggest that while motor commands change because of sensory and reward prediction errors, only sensory prediction errors produce a change in the neural system that predicts sensory consequences of motor commands.

  14. Dopaminergic mesocortical projections to M1: role in motor learning and motor cortex plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Aurel Hosp

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Although the architecture of a dopaminergic (DA system within the primary motorcortex (M1 was well characterized anatomically, its functional significance remainedobscure for a long time. Recent studies in rats revealed that the integrity ofdopaminergic fibers in M1 is a prerequisite for successful acquisition of motor skills.This essential contribution of DA for motor learning is plausible as it modulates M1circuitry at multiple levels thereby promoting plastic changes that are required forinformation storage: at the network level, DA increases cortical excitability andenhances the stability of motor maps. At the cellular level, DA induces the expressionof learning related genes via the transcription factor c-fos. At the level of synapses,DA is required for the formation of long-term potentiation (LTP, a mechanism thatlikely is a fingerprint of a motor memory trace within M1. Dopaminergic fibersinnervating M1 originate within the midbrain, precisely the ventral tegmental area(VTA and the medial portion of substantia nigra (SN. Thus, they could be part of themeso-cortico-limibic pathway – a network that provides information about saliencyand motivational value of an external stimulus and is commonly referred as

  15. The relationship between gross motor skills and academic achievement in children with learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westendorp, Marieke; Hartman, Esther; Houwen, Suzanne; Smith, Joanne; Visscher, Chris

    2011-01-01

    The present study compared the gross motor skills of 7- to 12-year-old children with learning disabilities (n = 104) with those of age-matched typically developing children (n = 104) using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Additionally, the specific relationships between subsets of gross motor skills and academic performance in reading, spelling, and mathematics were examined in children with learning disabilities. As expected, the children with learning disabilities scored poorer on both the locomotor and object-control subtests than their typically developing peers. Furthermore, in children with learning disabilities a specific relationship was observed between reading and locomotor skills and a trend was found for a relationship between mathematics and object-control skills: the larger children's learning lag, the poorer their motor skill scores. This study stresses the importance of specific interventions facilitating both motor and academic abilities. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Practice makes imperfect: restorative effects of sleep on motor learning.

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    Bhavin R Sheth

    Full Text Available Emerging evidence suggests that sleep plays a key role in procedural learning, particularly in the continued development of motor skill learning following initial acquisition. We argue that a detailed examination of the time course of performance across sleep on the finger-tapping task, established as the paradigm for studying the effect of sleep on motor learning, will help distinguish a restorative role of sleep in motor skill learning from a proactive one. Healthy subjects rehearsed for 12 trials and, following a night of sleep, were tested. Early training rapidly improved speed as well as accuracy on pre-sleep training. Additional rehearsal caused a marked slow-down in further improvement or partial reversal in performance to observed levels below theoretical upper limits derived on the basis of early pre-sleep rehearsal. This decrement in learning efficacy does not occur always, but if and only if it does, overnight sleep has an effect in fully or partly restoring the efficacy and actual performance to the optimal theoretically achieveable level. Our findings re-interpret the sleep-dependent memory enhancement in motor learning reported in the literature as a restoration of fatigued circuitry specialized for the skill. In providing restitution to the fatigued brain, sleep eliminates the rehearsal-induced synaptic fatigue of the circuitry specialized for the task and restores the benefit of early pre-sleep rehearsal. The present findings lend support to the notion that latent sleep-dependent enhancement of performance is a behavioral expression of the brain's restitution in sleep.

  17. Task-specific effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinthia Maria Saucedo Marquez

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS is a relatively new non-invasive brain stimulation technique that modulates neural processes. When applied to the human primary motor cortex (M1, tDCS has beneficial effects on motor skill learning and consolidation in healthy controls and in patients. However, it remains unclear whether tDCS improves motor learning in a general manner or whether these effects depend on which motor task is acquired. Here we compare whether the effect of tDCS differs when the same individual acquires (1 a Sequential Finger Tapping Task (SEQTAP and (2 a Visual Isometric Pinch Force Task (FORCE. Both tasks have been shown to be sensitive to tDCS applied over M1, however, the underlying processes mediating learning and memory formation might benefit differently from anodal-tDCS. Thirty healthy subjects were randomly assigned to an anodal-tDCS group or sham-group. Using a double-blind, sham-controlled cross-over design, tDCS was applied over M1 while subjects acquired each of the motor tasks over 3 consecutive days, with the order being randomized across subjects. We found that anodal-tDCS affected each task differently: The SEQTAP task benefited from anodal-tDCS during learning, whereas the FORCE task showed improvements only at retention. These findings suggest that anodal tDCS applied over M1 appears to have a task-dependent effect on learning and memory formation.

  18. The roles of the olivocerebellar pathway in motor learning and motor control. A consensus paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Eric J.; Apps, Richard; Bengtsson, Fredrik; Cerminara, Nadia L.; De Zeeuw, Chris I.; Ebner, Timothy J.; Heck, Detlef H.; Jaeger, Dieter; Jörntell, Henrik; Kawato, Mitsuo; Otis, Thomas S.; Ozyildirim, Ozgecan; Popa, Laurentiu S.; Reeves, Alexander M.B.; Schweighofer, Nicolas; Sugihara, Izumi; Xiao, Jianqiang

    2016-01-01

    For many decades the predominant view in the cerebellar field has been that the olivocerebellar system's primary function is to induce plasticity in the cerebellar cortex, specifically, at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse. However, it has also long been proposed that the olivocerebellar system participates directly in motor control by helping to shape ongoing motor commands being issued by the cerebellum. Evidence consistent with both hypotheses exists; however, they are often investigated as mutually exclusive alternatives. In contrast, here we take the perspective that the olivocerebellar system can contribute to both the motor learning and motor control functions of the cerebellum, and might also play a role in development. We then consider the potential problems and benefits of its having multiple functions. Moreover, we discuss how its distinctive characteristics (e.g., low firing rates, synchronization, variable complex spike waveform) make it more or less suitable for one or the other of these functions, and why its having a dual role makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. We did not attempt to reach a consensus on the specific role(s) the olivocerebellar system plays in different types of movements, as that will ultimately be determined experimentally; however, collectively, the various contributions highlight the flexibility of the olivocerebellar system, and thereby suggest it has the potential to act in both the motor learning and motor control functions of the cerebellum. PMID:27193702

  19. Generalization of perceptual and motor learning: a causal link with memory encoding and consolidation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Censor, N

    2013-10-10

    In both perceptual and motor learning, numerous studies have shown specificity of learning to the trained eye or hand and to the physical features of the task. However, generalization of learning is possible in both perceptual and motor domains. Here, I review evidence for perceptual and motor learning generalization, suggesting that generalization patterns are affected by the way in which the original memory is encoded and consolidated. Generalization may be facilitated during fast learning, with possible engagement of higher-order brain areas recurrently interacting with the primary visual or motor cortices encoding the stimuli or movements' memories. Such generalization may be supported by sleep, involving functional interactions between low and higher-order brain areas. Repeated exposure to the task may alter generalization patterns of learning and overall offline learning. Development of unifying frameworks across learning modalities and better understanding of the conditions under which learning can generalize may enable to gain insight regarding the neural mechanisms underlying procedural learning and have useful clinical implications. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Understanding Self-Controlled Motor Learning Protocols through the Self-Determination Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanli, Elizabeth A; Patterson, Jae T; Bray, Steven R; Lee, Timothy D

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the present review was to provide a theoretical understanding of the learning advantages underlying a self-controlled practice context through the tenets of the self-determination theory (SDT). Three micro-theories within the macro-theory of SDT (Basic psychological needs theory, Cognitive Evaluation Theory, and Organismic Integration Theory) are used as a framework for examining the current self-controlled motor learning literature. A review of 26 peer-reviewed, empirical studies from the motor learning and medical training literature revealed an important limitation of the self-controlled research in motor learning: that the effects of motivation have been assumed rather than quantified. The SDT offers a basis from which to include measurements of motivation into explanations of changes in behavior. This review suggests that a self-controlled practice context can facilitate such factors as feelings of autonomy and competence of the learner, thereby supporting the psychological needs of the learner, leading to long term changes to behavior. Possible tools for the measurement of motivation and regulation in future studies are discussed. The SDT not only allows for a theoretical reinterpretation of the extant motor learning research supporting self-control as a learning variable, but also can help to better understand and measure the changes occurring between the practice environment and the observed behavioral outcomes.

  1. Understanding self-controlled motor learning protocols through the self determination theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Ann Sanli

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the present review was to provide a theoretical understanding of the learning advantages underlying a self-controlled practice context through the tenets of the self-determination theory (SDT. Three micro theories within the macro theory of SDT (Basic psychological needs theory, Cognitive Evaluation Theory & Organismic Integration Theory are used as a framework for examining the current self-controlled motor learning literature. A review of 26 peer-reviewed, empirical studies from the motor learning and medical training literature revealed an important limitation of the self-controlled research in motor learning: that the effects of motivation have been assumed rather than quantified. The SDT offers a basis from which to include measurements of motivation into explanations of changes in behavior. This review suggests that a self-controlled practice context can facilitate such factors as feelings of autonomy and competence of the learner, thereby supporting the psychological needs of the learner, leading to long term changes to behavior. Possible tools for the measurement of motivation and regulation in future studies are discussed. The SDT not only allows for a theoretical reinterpretation of the extant motor learning research supporting self-control as a learning variable, but also can help to better understand and measure the changes occurring between the practice environment and the observed behavioral outcomes.

  2. The Gross Motor Skills of Children with Mild Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonis, Karen P.; Jernice, Tan Sing Yee

    2014-01-01

    Many international studies have examined the gross motor skills of children studying in special schools while local studies of such nature are limited. This study investigated the gross motor skills of children with Mild Learning Disabilities (MLD; n = 14, M age = 8.93 years, SD = 0.33) with the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2, Ulrich,…

  3. Behavioural and neural basis of anomalous motor learning in children with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marko, Mollie K; Crocetti, Deana; Hulst, Thomas; Donchin, Opher; Shadmehr, Reza; Mostofsky, Stewart H

    2015-03-01

    Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder characterized by deficits in social and communication skills and repetitive and stereotyped interests and behaviours. Although not part of the diagnostic criteria, individuals with autism experience a host of motor impairments, potentially due to abnormalities in how they learn motor control throughout development. Here, we used behavioural techniques to quantify motor learning in autism spectrum disorder, and structural brain imaging to investigate the neural basis of that learning in the cerebellum. Twenty children with autism spectrum disorder and 20 typically developing control subjects, aged 8-12, made reaching movements while holding the handle of a robotic manipulandum. In random trials the reach was perturbed, resulting in errors that were sensed through vision and proprioception. The brain learned from these errors and altered the motor commands on the subsequent reach. We measured learning from error as a function of the sensory modality of that error, and found that children with autism spectrum disorder outperformed typically developing children when learning from errors that were sensed through proprioception, but underperformed typically developing children when learning from errors that were sensed through vision. Previous work had shown that this learning depends on the integrity of a region in the anterior cerebellum. Here we found that the anterior cerebellum, extending into lobule VI, and parts of lobule VIII were smaller than normal in children with autism spectrum disorder, with a volume that was predicted by the pattern of learning from visual and proprioceptive errors. We suggest that the abnormal patterns of motor learning in children with autism spectrum disorder, showing an increased sensitivity to proprioceptive error and a decreased sensitivity to visual error, may be associated with abnormalities in the cerebellum. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf

  4. Neutralization of Nogo-A Enhances Synaptic Plasticity in the Rodent Motor Cortex and Improves Motor Learning in Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinmann, Oliver; Kellner, Yves; Yu, Xinzhu; Vicente, Raul; Gullo, Miriam; Kasper, Hansjörg; Lussi, Karin; Ristic, Zorica; Luft, Andreas R.; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia; Zuo, Yi; Zagrebelsky, Marta; Schwab, Martin E.

    2014-01-01

    The membrane protein Nogo-A is known as an inhibitor of axonal outgrowth and regeneration in the CNS. However, its physiological functions in the normal adult CNS remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of Nogo-A in cortical synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the uninjured adult rodent motor cortex. Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are present at cortical synapses. Acute treatment of slices with function-blocking antibodies (Abs) against Nogo-A or against NgR1 increased long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by stimulation of layer 2/3 horizontal fibers. Furthermore, anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment increased LTP saturation levels, whereas long-term depression remained unchanged, thus leading to an enlarged synaptic modification range. In vivo, intrathecal application of Nogo-A-blocking Abs resulted in a higher dendritic spine density at cortical pyramidal neurons due to an increase in spine formation as revealed by in vivo two-photon microscopy. To investigate whether these changes in synaptic plasticity correlate with motor learning, we trained rats to learn a skilled forelimb-reaching task while receiving anti-Nogo-A Abs. Learning of this cortically controlled precision movement was improved upon anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment. Our results identify Nogo-A as an influential molecular modulator of synaptic plasticity and as a regulator for learning of skilled movements in the motor cortex. PMID:24966370

  5. Can a single session of motor imagery promote motor learning of locomotion in older adults? A randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholson VP

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Vaughan P Nicholson,1 Justin WL Keogh,2–4 Nancy L Low Choy1 1School of Physiotherapy, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 2Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Robina, QLD, Australia; 3Human Potential Centre, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand; 4Cluster for Health Improvement, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia Purpose: To investigate the influence of a single session of locomotor-based motor imagery training on motor learning and physical performance. Patients and methods: Thirty independent adults aged >65 years took part in the randomized controlled trial. The study was conducted within an exercise science laboratory. Participants were randomly divided into three groups following baseline locomotor testing: motor imagery training, physical training, and control groups. The motor imagery training group completed 20 imagined repetitions of a locomotor task, the physical training group completed 20 physical repetitions of a locomotor task, and the control group spent 25 minutes playing mentally stimulating games on an iPad. Imagined and physical performance times were measured for each training repetition. Gait speed (preferred and fast, timed-up-and-go, gait variability and the time to complete an obstacle course were completed before and after the single training session. Results: Motor learning occurred in both the motor imagery training and physical training groups. Motor imagery training led to refinements in motor planning resulting in imagined movements better matching the physically performed movement at the end of training. Motor imagery and physical training also promoted improvements in some locomotion outcomes as demonstrated by medium to large effect size improvements after training for fast gait speed and timed-up-and-go. There were no training effects on gait variability. Conclusion: A single session

  6. Fast But Fleeting: Adaptive Motor Learning Processes Associated with Aging and Cognitive Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trewartha, Kevin M.; Garcia, Angeles; Wolpert, Daniel M.

    2014-01-01

    Motor learning has been shown to depend on multiple interacting learning processes. For example, learning to adapt when moving grasped objects with novel dynamics involves a fast process that adapts and decays quickly—and that has been linked to explicit memory—and a slower process that adapts and decays more gradually. Each process is characterized by a learning rate that controls how strongly motor memory is updated based on experienced errors and a retention factor determining the movement-to-movement decay in motor memory. Here we examined whether fast and slow motor learning processes involved in learning novel dynamics differ between younger and older adults. In addition, we investigated how age-related decline in explicit memory performance influences learning and retention parameters. Although the groups adapted equally well, they did so with markedly different underlying processes. Whereas the groups had similar fast processes, they had different slow processes. Specifically, the older adults exhibited decreased retention in their slow process compared with younger adults. Within the older group, who exhibited considerable variation in explicit memory performance, we found that poor explicit memory was associated with reduced retention in the fast process, as well as the slow process. These findings suggest that explicit memory resources are a determining factor in impairments in the both the fast and slow processes for motor learning but that aging effects on the slow process are independent of explicit memory declines. PMID:25274819

  7. Fast but fleeting: adaptive motor learning processes associated with aging and cognitive decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trewartha, Kevin M; Garcia, Angeles; Wolpert, Daniel M; Flanagan, J Randall

    2014-10-01

    Motor learning has been shown to depend on multiple interacting learning processes. For example, learning to adapt when moving grasped objects with novel dynamics involves a fast process that adapts and decays quickly-and that has been linked to explicit memory-and a slower process that adapts and decays more gradually. Each process is characterized by a learning rate that controls how strongly motor memory is updated based on experienced errors and a retention factor determining the movement-to-movement decay in motor memory. Here we examined whether fast and slow motor learning processes involved in learning novel dynamics differ between younger and older adults. In addition, we investigated how age-related decline in explicit memory performance influences learning and retention parameters. Although the groups adapted equally well, they did so with markedly different underlying processes. Whereas the groups had similar fast processes, they had different slow processes. Specifically, the older adults exhibited decreased retention in their slow process compared with younger adults. Within the older group, who exhibited considerable variation in explicit memory performance, we found that poor explicit memory was associated with reduced retention in the fast process, as well as the slow process. These findings suggest that explicit memory resources are a determining factor in impairments in the both the fast and slow processes for motor learning but that aging effects on the slow process are independent of explicit memory declines. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3413411-11$15.00/0.

  8. A Recommended New Approach on Motorization Ratio Calculations of Stepper Motors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nalbandian, Ruben; Blais, Thierry; Horth, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Stepper motors are widely used on most spacecraft mechanisms requiring repeatable and reliable performance. The unique detent torque characteristics of these type of motors makes them behave differently when subjected to low duty cycle excitations where the applied driving pulses are only energized for a fraction of the pulse duration. This phenomenon is even more pronounced in discrete permanent magnet stepper motors used in the space industry. While the inherent high detent properties of discrete permanent magnets provide desirable unpowered holding performance characteristics, it results in unique behavior especially in low duty cycles. Notably, the running torque reduces quickly to the unpowered holding torque when the duty cycle is reduced. The space industry's accepted methodology of calculating the Motorization Ratio (or Torque Margin) is more applicable to systems where the power is continuously applied to the motor coils like brushless DC motors where the cogging torques are low enough not to affect the linear performance of the motors as a function of applied current. This paper summarizes the theoretical and experimental studies performed on a number of space qualified motors under different pulse rates and duty cycles. It is the intention of this paper to introduce a new approach to calculate the Motorization Ratios for discrete permanent magnet steppers under all full and partial duty cycle regimes. The recommended approach defines two distinct relationships to calculate the Motorization Ratio for 100 percent duty cycle and partial duty cycle, when the motor detent (unpowered holding torque) is the main contributor to holding position. These two computations reflect accurately the stepper motor physical behavior as a function of the command phase (ON versus OFF times of the pulses), pointing out how the torque contributors combine. Important points highlighted under this study are the torque margin computations, in particular for well characterized

  9. The possible benefits of reduced errors in the motor skills acquisition of children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Capio Catherine M

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract An implicit approach to motor learning suggests that relatively complex movement skills may be better acquired in environments that constrain errors during the initial stages of practice. This current concept paper proposes that reducing the number of errors committed during motor learning leads to stable performance when attention demands are increased by concurrent cognitive tasks. While it appears that this approach to practice may be beneficial for motor learning, further studies are needed to both confirm this advantage and better understand the underlying mechanisms. An approach involving error minimization during early learning may have important applications in paediatric rehabilitation.

  10. Promoting Therapists' Use of Motor Learning Strategies within Virtual Reality-Based Stroke Rehabilitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danielle E Levac

    Full Text Available Therapists use motor learning strategies (MLSs to structure practice conditions within stroke rehabilitation. Virtual reality (VR-based rehabilitation is an MLS-oriented stroke intervention, yet little support exists to assist therapists in integrating MLSs with VR system use.A pre-post design evaluated a knowledge translation (KT intervention incorporating interactive e-learning and practice, in which 11 therapists learned how to integrate MLSs within VR-based therapy. Self-report and observer-rated outcome measures evaluated therapists' confidence, clinical reasoning and behaviour with respect to MLS use. A focus group captured therapists' perspectives on MLS use during VR-based therapy provision.The intervention improved self-reported confidence about MLS use as measured by confidence ratings (p <0.001. Chart-Stimulated Recall indicated a moderate level of competency in therapists' clinical reasoning about MLSs following the intervention, with no changes following additional opportunities to use VR (p = .944. On the Motor Learning Strategy Rating Instrument, no behaviour change with respect to MLS use was noted (p = 0.092. Therapists favoured the strategy of transferring skills from VR to real-life tasks over employing a more comprehensive MLS approach.The KT intervention improved therapists' confidence but did not have an effect on clinical reasoning or behaviour with regard to MLS use during VR-based therapy.

  11. Motor proficiency in normal children and with learning difficulty: a comparative and correlational study based on the motor proficiency test of Bruininks-Oseretsky

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nilson Roberto Moreira

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this investigation is to verify the difference between children with learning disabilities and children without learning disabilities through motor proficiency test of Bruininks and Ozeretsky (1978. The sample was constituted by 30 children, with 8-year average age, 15 males and 15 females, subdivided into two groups of 15 children from both sexes: children without learning disabilities attending 3rd grade and children with learning disabilities attending 2nd grade having failed a term once. All of them came from a middle class background, according to Grafar scale (adapted by Fonseca, 1991. All children presenting any other disabilities were excluded from the sample. Intelligence factor “G” was controlled by using a percentile, higher or equal to 50 (middle and high level, measured by Raven’s (1974 progressive combinations test. In motor proficiency, children with learning disabilities showed significant differences when compared with normal children of the same age, in all components of global, composed and fine motricity. The tests administered showed a strong correlation between the variables of the motor proficiency components. The results lead to the conclusion that there were significant differences in motor proficiency between normal children and children with learning disabilities, who showed specific motor difficulties evincing a more vulnerable motor profile and not the presence of neurological dysfunction signs.

  12. Analysis of previous perceptual and motor experience in breaststroke kick learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ried Bettina

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the variables that influence motor learning is the learner’s previous experience, which may provide perceptual and motor elements to be transferred to a novel motor skill. For swimming skills, several motor experiences may prove effective. Purpose. The aim was to analyse the influence of previous experience in playing in water, swimming lessons, and music or dance lessons on learning the breaststroke kick. Methods. The study involved 39 Physical Education students possessing basic swimming skills, but not the breaststroke, who performed 400 acquisition trials followed by 50 retention and 50 transfer trials, during which stroke index as well as rhythmic and spatial configuration indices were mapped, and answered a yes/no questionnaire regarding previous experience. Data were analysed by ANOVA (p = 0.05 and the effect size (Cohen’s d ≥0.8 indicating large effect size. Results. The whole sample improved their stroke index and spatial configuration index, but not their rhythmic configuration index. Although differences between groups were not significant, two types of experience showed large practical effects on learning: childhood water playing experience only showed major practically relevant positive effects, and no experience in any of the three fields hampered the learning process. Conclusions. The results point towards diverse impact of previous experience regarding rhythmic activities, swimming lessons, and especially with playing in water during childhood, on learning the breaststroke kick.

  13. Recontextualizing Dance Skills: Overcoming Impediments to Motor Learning and Expressivity in Ballet Dancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karin, Janet

    2016-01-01

    The process of transmitting ballet's complex technique to young dancers can interfere with the innate processes that give rise to efficient, expressive and harmonious movement. With the intention of identifying possible solutions, this article draws on research across the fields of neurology, psychology, motor learning, and education, and considers their relevance to ballet as an art form, a technique, and a training methodology. The integration of dancers' technique and expressivity is a core theme throughout the paper. A brief outline of the historical development of ballet's aesthetics and training methods leads into factors that influence dancers' performance. An exploration of the role of the neuromotor system in motor learning and the acquisition of expert skills reveals the roles of sensory awareness, imagery, and intention in cuing efficient, expressive movement. It also indicates potentially detrimental effects of conscious muscle control, explicit learning and persistent naïve beliefs. Finally, the paper presents a new theory regarding the acquisition of ballet skills. Recontextualization theory proposes that placing a problematic task within a new context may engender a new conceptual approach and/or sensory intention, and hence the genesis of new motor programs; and that these new programs may lead to performance that is more efficient, more rewarding for the dancer, more pleasing aesthetically, and more expressive. From an anecdotal point of view, this theory appears to be supported by the progress of many dancers at various stages of their dancing lives.

  14. Recontextualizing Dance Skills: Overcoming Impediments to Motor Learning and Expressivity in Ballet Dancers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karin, Janet

    2016-01-01

    The process of transmitting ballet’s complex technique to young dancers can interfere with the innate processes that give rise to efficient, expressive and harmonious movement. With the intention of identifying possible solutions, this article draws on research across the fields of neurology, psychology, motor learning, and education, and considers their relevance to ballet as an art form, a technique, and a training methodology. The integration of dancers’ technique and expressivity is a core theme throughout the paper. A brief outline of the historical development of ballet’s aesthetics and training methods leads into factors that influence dancers’ performance. An exploration of the role of the neuromotor system in motor learning and the acquisition of expert skills reveals the roles of sensory awareness, imagery, and intention in cuing efficient, expressive movement. It also indicates potentially detrimental effects of conscious muscle control, explicit learning and persistent naïve beliefs. Finally, the paper presents a new theory regarding the acquisition of ballet skills. Recontextualization theory proposes that placing a problematic task within a new context may engender a new conceptual approach and/or sensory intention, and hence the genesis of new motor programs; and that these new programs may lead to performance that is more efficient, more rewarding for the dancer, more pleasing aesthetically, and more expressive. From an anecdotal point of view, this theory appears to be supported by the progress of many dancers at various stages of their dancing lives. PMID:27047437

  15. Changes in corticospinal drive to spinal motoneurones following visuo-motor skill learning in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perez, Monica A.; Jensen, Jesper Lundbye; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2006-01-01

    learning. Here we investigated the effect of visuo-motor skill training involving the ankle muscles on the coupling between electroencephalographic (EEG) activity recorded from the motor cortex (Cz) and electromyographic (EMG) activity recorded from the left tibialis anterior (TA) muscle in 11 volunteers...... between cortex and muscle as part of the motor learning process....

  16. Sleep and memory consolidation: motor performance and proactive interference effects in sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borragán, Guillermo; Urbain, Charline; Schmitz, Rémy; Mary, Alison; Peigneux, Philippe

    2015-04-01

    That post-training sleep supports the consolidation of sequential motor skills remains debated. Performance improvement and sensitivity to proactive interference are both putative measures of long-term memory consolidation. We tested sleep-dependent memory consolidation for visuo-motor sequence learning using a proactive interference paradigm. Thirty-three young adults were trained on sequence A on Day 1, then had Regular Sleep (RS) or were Sleep Deprived (SD) on the night after learning. After two recovery nights, they were tested on the same sequence A, then had to learn a novel, potentially competing sequence B. We hypothesized that proactive interference effects on sequence B due to the prior learning of sequence A would be higher in the RS condition, considering that proactive interference is an indirect marker of the robustness of sequence A, which should be better consolidated over post-training sleep. Results highlighted sleep-dependent improvement for sequence A, with faster RTs overnight for RS participants only. Moreover, the beneficial impact of sleep was specific to the consolidation of motor but not sequential skills. Proactive interference effects on learning a new material at Day 4 were similar between RS and SD participants. These results suggest that post-training sleep contributes to optimizing motor but not sequential components of performance in visuo-motor sequence learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. High variability impairs motor learning regardless of whether it affects task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardis, Marco; Casadio, Maura; Ranganathan, Rajiv

    2018-01-01

    Motor variability plays an important role in motor learning, although the exact mechanisms of how variability affects learning are not well understood. Recent evidence suggests that motor variability may have different effects on learning in redundant tasks, depending on whether it is present in the task space (where it affects task performance) or in the null space (where it has no effect on task performance). We examined the effect of directly introducing null and task space variability using a manipulandum during the learning of a motor task. Participants learned a bimanual shuffleboard task for 2 days, where their goal was to slide a virtual puck as close as possible toward a target. Critically, the distance traveled by the puck was determined by the sum of the left- and right-hand velocities, which meant that there was redundancy in the task. Participants were divided into five groups, based on both the dimension in which the variability was introduced and the amount of variability that was introduced during training. Results showed that although all groups were able to reduce error with practice, learning was affected more by the amount of variability introduced rather than the dimension in which variability was introduced. Specifically, groups with higher movement variability during practice showed larger errors at the end of practice compared with groups that had low variability during learning. These results suggest that although introducing variability can increase exploration of new solutions, this may adversely affect the ability to retain the learned solution. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We examined the role of introducing variability during motor learning in a redundant task. The presence of redundancy allows variability to be introduced in different dimensions: the task space (where it affects task performance) or the null space (where it does not affect task performance). We found that introducing variability affected learning adversely, but the amount of

  18. Implicit motor sequence learning and working memory performance changes across the adult life span

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Nadine Meissner

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Although implicit motor sequence learning is rather well understood in young adults, effects of aging on this kind of learning are controversial. There is first evidence that working memory (WM might play a role in implicit motor sequence learning in young adults as well as in adults above the age of 65. However the knowledge about the development of these processes across the adult life span is rather limited. As the average age of our population continues to rise, a better understanding of age-related changes in motor sequence learning and potentially mediating cognitive processes takes on increasing significance. Therefore, we investigated aging effects on implicit motor sequence learning and WM. Sixty adults (18-71 years completed verbal and visuospatial n-back tasks and were trained on a serial reaction time task. Randomly varying trials served as control condition. To further assess consolidation indicated by off-line improvement and reduced susceptibility to interference, reaction times (RTs were determined 1 h after initial learning. Young and older but not middle-aged adults showed motor sequence learning. Nine out of 20 older adults (compared to one young/one middle-aged exhibited some evidence of sequence awareness. After 1 h, young and middle-aged adults showed off-line improvement. However, RT facilitation was not specific to sequence trials. Importantly, susceptibility to interference was reduced in young and older adults indicating the occurrence of consolidation. Although WM performance declined in older participants when load was high, it was not significantly related to sequence learning. The data reveal a decline in motor sequence learning in middle-aged but not in older adults. The use of explicit learning strategies in older adults might account for the latter result.

  19. Gender Expression and Homophobia: A Motor Development and Learning Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Clersida

    2011-01-01

    Homosexuality and homophobia are rarely discussed in schools, yet they are relevant in motor-development and motor-learning settings because people hold gender-stereotyped beliefs about movement and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered individuals. This article addresses homophobia and related stereotypes in physical education settings…

  20. EEG classification for motor imagery and resting state in BCI applications using multi-class Adaboost extreme learning machine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Lin; Cheng, Wei; Zhang, Jinhua; Wang, Jue

    2016-08-01

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems provide an alternative communication and control approach for people with limited motor function. Therefore, the feature extraction and classification approach should differentiate the relative unusual state of motion intention from a common resting state. In this paper, we sought a novel approach for multi-class classification in BCI applications. We collected electroencephalographic (EEG) signals registered by electrodes placed over the scalp during left hand motor imagery, right hand motor imagery, and resting state for ten healthy human subjects. We proposed using the Kolmogorov complexity (Kc) for feature extraction and a multi-class Adaboost classifier with extreme learning machine as base classifier for classification, in order to classify the three-class EEG samples. An average classification accuracy of 79.5% was obtained for ten subjects, which greatly outperformed commonly used approaches. Thus, it is concluded that the proposed method could improve the performance for classification of motor imagery tasks for multi-class samples. It could be applied in further studies to generate the control commands to initiate the movement of a robotic exoskeleton or orthosis, which finally facilitates the rehabilitation of disabled people.

  1. Altered synaptic plasticity in Tourette's syndrome and its relationship to motor skill learning.

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    Valerie Cathérine Brandt

    Full Text Available Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics that can be considered motor responses to preceding inner urges. It has been shown that Tourette patients have inferior performance in some motor learning tasks and reduced synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. However, it has not been investigated whether altered synaptic plasticity is directly linked to impaired motor skill acquisition in Tourette patients. In this study, cortical plasticity was assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials before and after paired associative stimulation in 14 Tourette patients (13 male; age 18-39 and 15 healthy controls (12 male; age 18-33. Tic and urge severity were assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Premonitory Urges for Tics Scale. Motor learning was assessed 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity and 9 months later, using the rotary pursuit task. On average, long-term potentiation-like effects in response to the paired associative stimulation were present in healthy controls but not in patients. In Tourette patients, long-term potentiation-like effects were associated with more and long-term depression-like effects with less severe urges and tics. While motor learning did not differ between patients and healthy controls 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity, the learning curve of the healthy controls started at a significantly higher level than the Tourette patients' 9 months later. Induced synaptic plasticity correlated positively with motor skills in healthy controls 9 months later. The present study confirms previously found long-term improvement in motor performance after paired associative stimulation in healthy controls but not in Tourette patients. Tourette patients did not show long-term potentiation in response to PAS and also showed reduced levels of motor skill consolidation after 9 months compared to healthy controls. Moreover

  2. Is Motor Learning Mediated by tDCS Intensity?

    OpenAIRE

    Cuypers, Koen; Leenus, Daphnie J. F.; van den Berg, Femke E.; Nitsche, Michael A.; Thijs, Herbert; Wenderoth, Nicole; Meesen, Raf L. J.

    2013-01-01

    Although tDCS has been shown to improve motor learning, previous studies reported rather small effects. Since physiological effects of tDCS depend on intensity, the present study evaluated this parameter in order to enhance the effect of tDCS on skill acquisition. The effect of different stimulation intensities of anodal tDCS (atDCS) was investigated in a double blind, sham controlled crossover design. In each condition, thirteen healthy subjects were instructed to perform a unimanual motor (...

  3. Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on motor learning in healthy individuals: a systematic review

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    Águida Foerster

    Full Text Available Introduction Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS has been used to modify cortical excitability and promote motor learning. Objective To systematically review published data to investigate the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on motor learning in healthy individuals. Methods Randomized or quasi-randomized studies that evaluated the tDCS effects on motor learning were included and the risk of bias was examined by Cochrane Collaboration’s tool. The following electronic databases were used: PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, LILACS, CINAHL with no language restriction. Results It was found 160 studies; after reading the title and abstract, 17 of those were selected, but just 4 were included. All studies involved healthy, right-handed adults. All studies assessed motor learning by the Jebsen Taylor Test or by the Serial Finger Tapping Task (SFTT. Almost all studies were randomized and all were blinding for participants. Some studies presented differences at SFTT protocol. Conclusion The result is insufficient to draw conclusions if tDCS influences the motor learning. Furthermore, there was significant heterogeneity of the stimulation parameters used. Further researches are needed to investigate the parameters that are more important for motor learning improvement and measure whether the effects are long-lasting or limited in time.

  4. Brain activation in motor sequence learning is related to the level of native cortical excitability.

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    Silke Lissek

    Full Text Available Cortical excitability may be subject to changes through training and learning. Motor training can increase cortical excitability in motor cortex, and facilitation of motor cortical excitability has been shown to be positively correlated with improvements in performance in simple motor tasks. Thus cortical excitability may tentatively be considered as a marker of learning and use-dependent plasticity. Previous studies focused on changes in cortical excitability brought about by learning processes, however, the relation between native levels of cortical excitability on the one hand and brain activation and behavioral parameters on the other is as yet unknown. In the present study we investigated the role of differential native motor cortical excitability for learning a motor sequencing task with regard to post-training changes in excitability, behavioral performance and involvement of brain regions. Our motor task required our participants to reproduce and improvise over a pre-learned motor sequence. Over both task conditions, participants with low cortical excitability (CElo showed significantly higher BOLD activation in task-relevant brain regions than participants with high cortical excitability (CEhi. In contrast, CElo and CEhi groups did not exhibit differences in percentage of correct responses and improvisation level. Moreover, cortical excitability did not change significantly after learning and training in either group, with the exception of a significant decrease in facilitatory excitability in the CEhi group. The present data suggest that the native, unmanipulated level of cortical excitability is related to brain activation intensity, but not to performance quality. The higher BOLD mean signal intensity during the motor task might reflect a compensatory mechanism in CElo participants.

  5. Cognitive ability predicts motor learning on a virtual reality game in patients with TBI.

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    O'Neil, Rochelle L; Skeel, Reid L; Ustinova, Ksenia I

    2013-01-01

    Virtual reality games and simulations have been utilized successfully for motor rehabilitation of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Little is known, however, how TBI-related cognitive decline affects learning of motor tasks in virtual environments. To fill this gap, we examined learning within a virtual reality game involving various reaching motions in 14 patients with TBI and 15 healthy individuals with different cognitive abilities. All participants practiced ten 90-second gaming trials to assess various aspects of motor learning. Cognitive abilities were assessed with a battery of tests including measures of memory, executive functioning, and visuospatial ability. Overall, participants with TBI showed both reduced performance and a slower learning rate in the virtual reality game compared to healthy individuals. Numerous correlations between overall performance and several of the cognitive ability domains were revealed for both the patient and control groups, with the best predictor being overall cognitive ability. The results may provide a starting point for rehabilitation programs regarding which cognitive domains interact with motor learning.

  6. Changes in Cerebral Hemodynamics during Complex Motor Learning by Character Entry into Touch-Screen Terminals.

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    Akira Sagari

    Full Text Available Studies of cerebral hemodynamics during motor learning have mostly focused on neurorehabilitation interventions and their effectiveness. However, only a few imaging studies of motor learning and the underlying complex cognitive processes have been performed.We measured cerebral hemodynamics using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS in relation to acquisition patterns of motor skills in healthy subjects using character entry into a touch-screen terminal. Twenty healthy, right-handed subjects who had no previous experience with character entry using a touch-screen terminal participated in this study. They were asked to enter the characters of a randomly formed Japanese syllabary into the touch-screen terminal. All subjects performed the task with their right thumb for 15 s alternating with 25 s of rest for 30 repetitions. Performance was calculated by subtracting the number of incorrect answers from the number of correct answers, and gains in motor skills were evaluated according to the changes in performance across cycles. Behavioral and oxygenated hemoglobin concentration changes across task cycles were analyzed using Spearman's rank correlations.Performance correlated positively with task cycle, thus confirming motor learning. Hemodynamic activation over the left sensorimotor cortex (SMC showed a positive correlation with task cycle, whereas activations over the right prefrontal cortex (PFC and supplementary motor area (SMA showed negative correlations.We suggest that increases in finger momentum with motor learning are reflected in the activity of the left SMC. We further speculate that the right PFC and SMA were activated during the early phases of motor learning, and that this activity was attenuated with learning progress.

  7. The Influence of Guided Error-Based Learning on Motor Skills Self-Efficacy and Achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Kuei-Pin; Chen, Sufen

    2018-01-01

    The authors investigated the role of errors in motor skills teaching, specifically the influence of errors on skills self-efficacy and achievement. The participants were 75 undergraduate students enrolled in pétanque courses. The experimental group (guided error-based learning, n = 37) received a 6-week period of instruction based on the students' errors, whereas the control group (correct motion instruction, n = 38) received a 6-week period of instruction emphasizing correct motor skills. The experimental group had significantly higher scores in motor skills self-efficacy and outcomes than did the control group. Novices' errors reflect their schema in motor skills learning, which provides a basis for instructors to implement student-centered instruction and to facilitate the learning process. Guided error-based learning can effectively enhance beginners' skills self-efficacy and achievement in precision sports such as pétanque.

  8. The Effect of Haptic Guidance on Learning a Hybrid Rhythmic-Discrete Motor Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchal-Crespo, Laura; Bannwart, Mathias; Riener, Robert; Vallery, Heike

    2015-01-01

    Bouncing a ball with a racket is a hybrid rhythmic-discrete motor task, combining continuous rhythmic racket movements with discrete impact events. Rhythmicity is exceptionally important in motor learning, because it underlies fundamental movements such as walking. Studies suggested that rhythmic and discrete movements are governed by different control mechanisms at different levels of the Central Nervous System. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of fixed/fading haptic guidance on learning to bounce a ball to a desired apex in virtual reality with varying gravity. Changing gravity changes dominance of rhythmic versus discrete control: The higher the value of gravity, the more rhythmic the task; lower values reduce the bouncing frequency and increase dwell times, eventually leading to a repetitive discrete task that requires initiation and termination, resembling target-oriented reaching. Although motor learning in the ball-bouncing task with varying gravity has been studied, the effect of haptic guidance on learning such a hybrid rhythmic-discrete motor task has not been addressed. We performed an experiment with thirty healthy subjects and found that the most effective training condition depended on the degree of rhythmicity: Haptic guidance seems to hamper learning of continuous rhythmic tasks, but it seems to promote learning for repetitive tasks that resemble discrete movements.

  9. Human θ burst stimulation enhances subsequent motor learning and increases performance variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teo, James T H; Swayne, Orlando B C; Cheeran, Binith; Greenwood, Richard J; Rothwell, John C

    2011-07-01

    Intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) transiently increases motor cortex excitability in healthy humans by a process thought to involve synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP), and this is enhanced by nicotine. Acquisition of a ballistic motor task is likewise accompanied by increased excitability and presumed intracortical LTP. Here, we test how iTBS and nicotine influences subsequent motor learning. Ten healthy subjects participated in a double-blinded placebo-controlled trial testing the effects of iTBS and nicotine. iTBS alone increased the rate of learning but this increase was blocked by nicotine. We then investigated factors other than synaptic strengthening that may play a role. Behavioral analysis and modeling suggested that iTBS increased performance variability, which correlated with learning outcome. A control experiment confirmed the increase in motor output variability by showing that iTBS increased the dispersion of involuntary transcranial magnetic stimulation-evoked thumb movements. We suggest that in addition to the effect on synaptic plasticity, iTBS may have facilitated performance by increasing motor output variability; nicotine negated this effect on variability perhaps via increasing the signal-to-noise ratio in cerebral cortex.

  10. Motor Tics, Tourette Syndrome, and Learning Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerer, Robert J.

    1987-01-01

    Complex motor tics associated with vocal tics indicate a high likelihood of Tourette syndrome; children with this syndrome may also have learning disabilities and attentional disorders. Individuals may be treated with stimulant drugs which may precipitate or exacerbate tics. Pharmacotherapy is available for management of tics and attentional…

  11. Self-Controlled Practice Enhances Motor Learning in Introverts and Extroverts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaefer, Angélica; Chiviacowsky, Suzete; Meira, Cassio de Miranda, Jr.; Tani, Go

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of self-controlled feedback on the learning of a sequential-timing motor task in introverts and extroverts. Method: Fifty-six university students were selected by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. They practiced a motor task consisting of pressing computer keyboard keys…

  12. A Novel Approach to Diagnosing Motor Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguirre, Aitor; Lozano-Rodero, Alberto; Matey, Luis M.; Villamañe, Mikel; Ferrero, Begoña

    2014-01-01

    The combination of virtual reality interactive systems and educational technologies have been used in the training of procedural tasks, but there is a lack of research with regard to providing specific assistance for acquiring motor skills. In this paper we present a novel approach to evaluating motor skills with an interactive intelligent…

  13. Modeling speech imitation and ecological learning of auditory-motor maps

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    Claudia eCanevari

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Classical models of speech consider an antero-posterior distinction between perceptive and productive functions. However, the selective alteration of neural activity in speech motor centers, via transcranial magnetic stimulation, was shown to affect speech discrimination. On the automatic speech recognition (ASR side, the recognition systems have classically relied solely on acoustic data, achieving rather good performance in optimal listening conditions. The main limitations of current ASR are mainly evident in the realistic use of such systems. These limitations can be partly reduced by using normalization strategies that minimize inter-speaker variability by either explicitly removing speakers’ peculiarities or adapting different speakers to a reference model. In this paper we aim at modeling a motor-based imitation learning mechanism in ASR. We tested the utility of a speaker normalization strategy that uses motor representations of speech and compare it with strategies that ignore the motor domain. Specifically, we first trained a regressor through state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to build an auditory-motor mapping, in a sense mimicking a human learner that tries to reproduce utterances produced by other speakers. This auditory-motor mapping maps the speech acoustics of a speaker into the motor plans of a reference speaker. Since, during recognition, only speech acoustics are available, the mapping is necessary to recover motor information. Subsequently, in a phone classification task, we tested the system on either one of the speakers that was used during training or a new one. Results show that in both cases the motor-based speaker normalization strategy almost always outperforms all other strategies where only acoustics is taken into account.

  14. Perceptual-motor skill learning in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Evidence for multiple procedural learning and memory systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Rachel; Alexander, Gerianne M; Packard, Mark G; Zhu, Hongtu; Peterson, Bradley S

    2005-01-01

    Procedural learning and memory systems likely comprise several skills that are differentially affected by various illnesses of the central nervous system, suggesting their relative functional independence and reliance on differing neural circuits. Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) is a movement disorder that involves disturbances in the structure and function of the striatum and related circuitry. Recent studies suggest that patients with GTS are impaired in performance of a probabilistic classification task that putatively involves the acquisition of stimulus-response (S-R)-based habits. Assessing the learning of perceptual-motor skills and probabilistic classification in the same samples of GTS and healthy control subjects may help to determine whether these various forms of procedural (habit) learning rely on the same or differing neuroanatomical substrates and whether those substrates are differentially affected in persons with GTS. Therefore, we assessed perceptual-motor skill learning using the pursuit-rotor and mirror tracing tasks in 50 patients with GTS and 55 control subjects who had previously been compared at learning a task of probabilistic classifications. The GTS subjects did not differ from the control subjects in performance of either the pursuit rotor or mirror-tracing tasks, although they were significantly impaired in the acquisition of a probabilistic classification task. In addition, learning on the perceptual-motor tasks was not correlated with habit learning on the classification task in either the GTS or healthy control subjects. These findings suggest that the differing forms of procedural learning are dissociable both functionally and neuroanatomically. The specific deficits in the probabilistic classification form of habit learning in persons with GTS are likely to be a consequence of disturbances in specific corticostriatal circuits, but not the same circuits that subserve the perceptual-motor form of habit learning.

  15. Re-Contextualizing Dance Skills: Overcoming Impediments to Motor Learning and Expressivity in Ballet Dancers

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    Janet eKarin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The process of transmitting ballet’s complex technique to young dancers can interfere with the innate processes that give rise to efficient, expressive and harmonious movement. With the intention of identifying possible solutions, this article draws on research across the fields of neurology, psychology, motor learning, and education, and considers their relevance to ballet as an art form, a technique, and a training methodology. The integration of dancers’ technique and expressivity is a core theme throughout the paper. A brief outline of the historical development of ballet’s aesthetics and training methods leads into factors that influence dancers’ performance. An exploration of the role of the neuromotor system in motor learning and the acquisition of expert skills reveals the roles of sensory awareness, imagery, and intention in cuing efficient, expressive movement. It also indicates potentially detrimental effects of conscious muscle control, explicit learning and persistent naïve beliefs. Finally, the paper presents a new theory regarding the acquisition of ballet skills. Recontextualisation theory proposes that placing a problematic task within a new context may engender a new conceptual approach and/or sensory intention, and hence the genesis of new motor programs; and that these new programs may lead to performance that is more efficient, more rewarding for the dancer, more pleasing aesthetically, and more expressive. From an anecdotal point of view, this theory appears to be supported by the progress of many dancers at various stages of their dancing lives.

  16. Motor learning characterization in people with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review

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    Íbis Ariana Peña de Moraes

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder primarily characterized by deficits in social interaction, communication and implicit skill learning. OBJECTIVE: To analyse the results of research on "motor learning" and the means used for measuring "autistic disorder". METHODS: A systematic literature search was done using Medline/PubMed, Web of Science, BVS (virtual health library, and PsycINFO. We included articles that contained the keywords "autism" and "motor learning". The variables considered were the methodological aspects; results presented, and the methodological quality of the studies. RESULTS: A total of 42 studies were identified; 33 articles were excluded because they did not meet the inclusion criteria. Data were extracted from nine eligible studies and summarized. CONCLUSION: We concluded that although individuals with ASD showed performance difficulties in different memory and motor learning tasks, acquisition of skills still takes place in this population; however, this skill acquisition is related to heterogeneous events, occurring without the awareness of the individual.

  17. Motor learning characterization in people with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Moraes, Íbis Ariana Peña; Massetti, Thais; Crocetta, Tânia Brusque; da Silva, Talita Dias; de Menezes, Lilian Del Ciello; Monteiro, Carlos Bandeira de Mello; Magalhães, Fernando Henrique

    2017-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder primarily characterized by deficits in social interaction, communication and implicit skill learning. To analyse the results of research on "motor learning" and the means used for measuring "autistic disorder". A systematic literature search was done using Medline/PubMed, Web of Science, BVS (virtual health library), and PsycINFO. We included articles that contained the keywords "autism" and "motor learning". The variables considered were the methodological aspects; results presented, and the methodological quality of the studies. A total of 42 studies were identified; 33 articles were excluded because they did not meet the inclusion criteria. Data were extracted from nine eligible studies and summarized. We concluded that although individuals with ASD showed performance difficulties in different memory and motor learning tasks, acquisition of skills still takes place in this population; however, this skill acquisition is related to heterogeneous events, occurring without the awareness of the individual.

  18. The Neural Feedback Response to Error As a Teaching Signal for the Motor Learning System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shadmehr, Reza

    2016-01-01

    When we experience an error during a movement, we update our motor commands to partially correct for this error on the next trial. How does experience of error produce the improvement in the subsequent motor commands? During the course of an erroneous reaching movement, proprioceptive and visual sensory pathways not only sense the error, but also engage feedback mechanisms, resulting in corrective motor responses that continue until the hand arrives at its goal. One possibility is that this feedback response is co-opted by the learning system and used as a template to improve performance on the next attempt. Here we used electromyography (EMG) to compare neural correlates of learning and feedback to test the hypothesis that the feedback response to error acts as a template for learning. We designed a task in which mixtures of error-clamp and force-field perturbation trials were used to deconstruct EMG time courses into error-feedback and learning components. We observed that the error-feedback response was composed of excitation of some muscles, and inhibition of others, producing a complex activation/deactivation pattern during the reach. Despite this complexity, across muscles the learning response was consistently a scaled version of the error-feedback response, but shifted 125 ms earlier in time. Across people, individuals who produced a greater feedback response to error, also learned more from error. This suggests that the feedback response to error serves as a teaching signal for the brain. Individuals who learn faster have a better teacher in their feedback control system. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Our sensory organs transduce errors in behavior. To improve performance, we must generate better motor commands. How does the nervous system transform an error in sensory coordinates into better motor commands in muscle coordinates? Here we show that when an error occurs during a movement, the reflexes transform the sensory representation of error into motor

  19. Consensus: "Can tDCS and TMS enhance motor learning and memory formation?"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Janine; Robertson, Edwin; Krakauer, John W; Rothwell, John; Marshall, Lisa; Gerloff, Christian; Wassermann, Eric; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Hummel, Friedhelm; Celnik, Pablo A; Classen, Joseph; Floel, Agnes; Ziemann, Ulf; Paulus, Walter; Siebner, Hartwig R; Born, Jan; Cohen, Leonardo G

    2008-10-01

    Noninvasive brain stimulation has developed as a promising tool for cognitive neuroscientists. Transcranial magnetic (TMS) and direct current (tDCS) stimulation allow researchers to purposefully enhance or decrease excitability in focal areas of the brain. The purpose of this paper is to review information on the use of TMS and tDCS as research tools to facilitate motor memory formation, motor performance and motor learning in healthy volunteers. Studies implemented so far have mostly focused on the ability of TMS and tDCS to elicit relatively short lasting motor improvements and the mechanisms underlying these changes have been only partially investigated. Despite limitations including the scarcity of data, work that has been already accomplished raises the exciting hypothesis that currently available noninvasive transcranial stimulation techniques could modulate motor learning and memory formation in healthy humans and potentially in patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders.

  20. Optimizing performance through intrinsic motivation and attention for learning: The OPTIMAL theory of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulf, Gabriele; Lewthwaite, Rebecca

    2016-10-01

    Effective motor performance is important for surviving and thriving, and skilled movement is critical in many activities. Much theorizing over the past few decades has focused on how certain practice conditions affect the processing of task-related information to affect learning. Yet, existing theoretical perspectives do not accommodate significant recent lines of evidence demonstrating motivational and attentional effects on performance and learning. These include research on (a) conditions that enhance expectancies for future performance, (b) variables that influence learners' autonomy, and (c) an external focus of attention on the intended movement effect. We propose the OPTIMAL (Optimizing Performance through Intrinsic Motivation and Attention for Learning) theory of motor learning. We suggest that motivational and attentional factors contribute to performance and learning by strengthening the coupling of goals to actions. We provide explanations for the performance and learning advantages of these variables on psychological and neuroscientific grounds. We describe a plausible mechanism for expectancy effects rooted in responses of dopamine to the anticipation of positive experience and temporally associated with skill practice. Learner autonomy acts perhaps largely through an enhanced expectancy pathway. Furthermore, we consider the influence of an external focus for the establishment of efficient functional connections across brain networks that subserve skilled movement. We speculate that enhanced expectancies and an external focus propel performers' cognitive and motor systems in productive "forward" directions and prevent "backsliding" into self- and non-task focused states. Expected success presumably breeds further success and helps consolidate memories. We discuss practical implications and future research directions.

  1. Task-specificity of unilateral anodal and dual-M1 tDCS effects on motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karok, Sophia; Fletcher, David; Witney, Alice G

    2017-01-08

    Task-specific effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on motor learning were investigated in 30 healthy participants. In a sham-controlled, mixed design, participants trained on 3 different motor tasks (Purdue Pegboard Test, Visuomotor Grip Force Tracking Task and Visuomotor Wrist Rotation Speed Control Task) over 3 consecutive days while receiving either unilateral anodal over the right primary motor cortex (M1), dual-M1 or sham stimulation. Retention sessions were administered 7 and 28 days after the end of training. In the Purdue Pegboard Test, both anodal and dual-M1 stimulation reduced average completion time approximately equally, an improvement driven by online learning effects and maintained for about 1 week. The Visuomotor Grip Force Tracking Task and the Visuomotor Wrist Rotation Speed Control Task were associated with an advantage of dual-M1 tDCS in consolidation processes both between training sessions and when testing at long-term retention; both were maintained for at least 1 month. This study demonstrates that M1-tDCS enhances and sustains motor learning with different electrode montages. Stimulation-induced effects emerged at different learning phases across the tasks, which strongly suggests that the influence of tDCS on motor learning is dynamic with respect to the functional recruitment of the distributed motor system at the time of stimulation. Divergent findings regarding M1-tDCS effects on motor learning may partially be ascribed to task-specific consequences and the effects of offline consolidation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Successful Transfer of a Motor Learning Strategy to a Novel Sport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearney, Philip E; Judge, Phil

    2017-10-01

    This study investigated whether secondary school students who were taught a motor learning strategy could transfer their knowledge of the strategy to learning a novel task. Twenty adolescents were randomly allocated to a strategy or control group. The strategy group was taught Singer's five-step learning strategy, while the control group received information on the evolution and biomechanics of the basketball free throw. Both groups received three 1-hour practice sessions on a modified basketball shooting task. After one month, participants were introduced to the transfer task, golf putting. Performance accuracy was recorded for all tasks, and participants completed questionnaires regarding strategy use during practice. Participants taught the five-step learning strategy successfully recalled and applied it after a 1-month interval, and they demonstrated superior performance on both acquisition and transfer tasks, relative to the control group. Physical education teachers and coaches should consider using this learning strategy to enhance the learning of closed motor skills.

  3. Progressive practice promotes motor learning and repeated transient increases in corticospinal excitability across multiple days

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Lasse; Madsen, Mads Alexander Just; Bojsen-Møller, Emil

    2018-01-01

    Background: A session of motor skill learning is accompanied by transient increases in corticospinal excitability (CSE), which are thought to reflect acute changes in neuronal connectivity associated with improvements in sensorimotor performance. Factors influencing changes in excitability...... and motor skill with continued practice remain however to be elucidated. Objective/Hypothesis: Here we investigate the hypothesis that progressive motor practice during consecutive days can induce repeated transient increases in corticospinal excitability and promote motor skill learning. Methods: Changes...... in motor performance and CSE were assessed during 4 consecutive days of skill learning and 8 days after the last practice session. CSE was assessed as area under recruitment curves (RC) using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Two groups of participants (n = 12) practiced a visuomotor tracking...

  4. Multidisciplinary Views on Applying Explicit and Implicit Motor Learning in Practice : an International Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sascha Rasquin; Michel Bleijlevens; Jos Halfens; Mark Wilson; Rich Masters; Anna Beurskens; Melanie Kleynen; Monique Lexis; Susy Braun

    2015-01-01

    Background A variety of options and techniques for causing implicit and explicit motor learning have been described in the literature. The aim of the current paper was to provide clearer guidance for practitioners on how to apply motor learning in practice by exploring experts’ opinions and

  5. Basal ganglia-dependent processes in recalling learned visual-motor adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bédard, Patrick; Sanes, Jerome N

    2011-03-01

    Humans learn and remember motor skills to permit adaptation to a changing environment. During adaptation, the brain develops new sensory-motor relationships that become stored in an internal model (IM) that may be retained for extended periods. How the brain learns new IMs and transforms them into long-term memory remains incompletely understood since prior work has mostly focused on the learning process. A current model suggests that basal ganglia, cerebellum, and their neocortical targets actively participate in forming new IMs but that a cerebellar cortical network would mediate automatization. However, a recent study (Marinelli et al. 2009) reported that patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), who have basal ganglia dysfunction, had similar adaptation rates as controls but demonstrated no savings at recall tests (24 and 48 h). Here, we assessed whether a longer training session, a feature known to increase long-term retention of IM in healthy individuals, could allow PD patients to demonstrate savings. We recruited PD patients and age-matched healthy adults and used a visual-motor adaptation paradigm similar to the study by Marinelli et al. (2009), doubling the number of training trials and assessed recall after a short and a 24-h delay. We hypothesized that a longer training session would allow PD patients to develop an enhanced representation of the IM as demonstrated by savings at the recall tests. Our results showed that PD patients had similar adaptation rates as controls but did not demonstrate savings at both recall tests. We interpret these results as evidence that fronto-striatal networks have involvement in the early to late phase of motor memory formation, but not during initial learning.

  6. Distinct cerebellar engrams in short-term and long-term motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wen; Nakadate, Kazuhiko; Masugi-Tokita, Miwako; Shutoh, Fumihiro; Aziz, Wajeeha; Tarusawa, Etsuko; Lorincz, Andrea; Molnár, Elek; Kesaf, Sebnem; Li, Yun-Qing; Fukazawa, Yugo; Nagao, Soichi; Shigemoto, Ryuichi

    2014-01-07

    Cerebellar motor learning is suggested to be caused by long-term plasticity of excitatory parallel fiber-Purkinje cell (PF-PC) synapses associated with changes in the number of synaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs). However, whether the AMPARs decrease or increase in individual PF-PC synapses occurs in physiological motor learning and accounts for memory that lasts over days remains elusive. We combined quantitative SDS-digested freeze-fracture replica labeling for AMPAR and physical dissector electron microscopy with a simple model of cerebellar motor learning, adaptation of horizontal optokinetic response (HOKR) in mouse. After 1-h training of HOKR, short-term adaptation (STA) was accompanied with transient decrease in AMPARs by 28% in target PF-PC synapses. STA was well correlated with AMPAR decrease in individual animals and both STA and AMPAR decrease recovered to basal levels within 24 h. Surprisingly, long-term adaptation (LTA) after five consecutive daily trainings of 1-h HOKR did not alter the number of AMPARs in PF-PC synapses but caused gradual and persistent synapse elimination by 45%, with corresponding PC spine loss by the fifth training day. Furthermore, recovery of LTA after 2 wk was well correlated with increase of PF-PC synapses to the control level. Our findings indicate that the AMPARs decrease in PF-PC synapses and the elimination of these synapses are in vivo engrams in short- and long-term motor learning, respectively, showing a unique type of synaptic plasticity that may contribute to memory consolidation.

  7. Motor imagery training promotes motor learning in adolescents with cerebral palsy: comparison between left and right hemiparesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabral-Sequeira, Audrey Sartori; Coelho, Daniel Boari; Teixeira, Luis Augusto

    2016-06-01

    This experiment was designed to evaluate the effects of pure motor imagery training (MIT) and its combination with physical practice on learning an aiming task with the more affected arm in adolescents suffering from cerebral palsy. Effect of MIT was evaluated as a function of side of hemiparesis. The experiment was accomplished by 11- to 16-year-old participants (M = 13.58 years), who suffered left (n = 16) or right (n = 15) mild hemiparesis. They were exposed to pure MIT (day 1) followed by physical practice (day 2) on an aiming task demanding movement accuracy and speed. Posttraining movement kinematics of the group receiving MIT were compared with movement kinematics of the control group after receiving recreational activities (day 1) and physical practice (day 2). Kinematic analysis showed that MIT led to decreased movement time and straighter hand displacements to the target. Performance achievements from MIT were increased with further physical practice, leading to enhanced effects on motor learning. Retention evaluation indicated that performance improvement from pure MIT and its combination with physical practice were stable over time. Performance achievements were equivalent between adolescents with either right or left hemiparesis, suggesting similar capacity between these groups to achieve performance improvement from pure imagery training and from its association with physical practice. Our results suggest that motor imagery training is a procedure potentially useful to increase motor learning achievements in individuals suffering from cerebral palsy.

  8. Specialized motor-driven dusp1 expression in the song systems of multiple lineages of vocal learning birds.

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    Haruhito Horita

    Full Text Available Mechanisms for the evolution of convergent behavioral traits are largely unknown. Vocal learning is one such trait that evolved multiple times and is necessary in humans for the acquisition of spoken language. Among birds, vocal learning is evolved in songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds. Each time similar forebrain song nuclei specialized for vocal learning and production have evolved. This finding led to the hypothesis that the behavioral and neuroanatomical convergences for vocal learning could be associated with molecular convergence. We previously found that the neural activity-induced gene dual specificity phosphatase 1 (dusp1 was up-regulated in non-vocal circuits, specifically in sensory-input neurons of the thalamus and telencephalon; however, dusp1 was not up-regulated in higher order sensory neurons or motor circuits. Here we show that song motor nuclei are an exception to this pattern. The song nuclei of species from all known vocal learning avian lineages showed motor-driven up-regulation of dusp1 expression induced by singing. There was no detectable motor-driven dusp1 expression throughout the rest of the forebrain after non-vocal motor performance. This pattern contrasts with expression of the commonly studied activity-induced gene egr1, which shows motor-driven expression in song nuclei induced by singing, but also motor-driven expression in adjacent brain regions after non-vocal motor behaviors. In the vocal non-learning avian species, we found no detectable vocalizing-driven dusp1 expression in the forebrain. These findings suggest that independent evolutions of neural systems for vocal learning were accompanied by selection for specialized motor-driven expression of the dusp1 gene in those circuits. This specialized expression of dusp1 could potentially lead to differential regulation of dusp1-modulated molecular cascades in vocal learning circuits.

  9. Probabilistic Motor Sequence Yields Greater Offline and Less Online Learning than Fixed Sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Yue; Prashad, Shikha; Schoenbrun, Ilana; Clark, Jane E

    2016-01-01

    It is well acknowledged that motor sequences can be learned quickly through online learning. Subsequently, the initial acquisition of a motor sequence is boosted or consolidated by offline learning. However, little is known whether offline learning can drive the fast learning of motor sequences (i.e., initial sequence learning in the first training session). To examine offline learning in the fast learning stage, we asked four groups of young adults to perform the serial reaction time (SRT) task with either a fixed or probabilistic sequence and with or without preliminary knowledge (PK) of the presence of a sequence. The sequence and PK were manipulated to emphasize either procedural (probabilistic sequence; no preliminary knowledge (NPK)) or declarative (fixed sequence; with PK) memory that were found to either facilitate or inhibit offline learning. In the SRT task, there were six learning blocks with a 2 min break between each consecutive block. Throughout the session, stimuli followed the same fixed or probabilistic pattern except in Block 5, in which stimuli appeared in a random order. We found that PK facilitated the learning of a fixed sequence, but not a probabilistic sequence. In addition to overall learning measured by the mean reaction time (RT), we examined the progressive changes in RT within and between blocks (i.e., online and offline learning, respectively). It was found that the two groups who performed the fixed sequence, regardless of PK, showed greater online learning than the other two groups who performed the probabilistic sequence. The groups who performed the probabilistic sequence, regardless of PK, did not display online learning, as indicated by a decline in performance within the learning blocks. However, they did demonstrate remarkably greater offline improvement in RT, which suggests that they are learning the probabilistic sequence offline. These results suggest that in the SRT task, the fast acquisition of a motor sequence is driven

  10. Inter-individual differences in audio-motor learning of piano melodies and white matter fiber tract architecture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engel, Annerose; Hijmans, Brenda S.; Cerliani, Leonardo; Bangert, Marc; Nanetti, Luca; Keller, Peter E.; Keysers, Christian

    Humans vary substantially in their ability to learn new motor skills. Here, we examined inter-individual differences in learning to play the piano, with the goal of identifying relations to structural properties of white matter fiber tracts relevant to audio-motor learning. Non-musicians (n = 18)

  11. Effects of acute sleep deprivation on motor and reversal learning in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varga, Andrew W; Kang, Mihwa; Ramesh, Priyanka V; Klann, Eric

    2014-10-01

    Sleep supports the formation of a variety of declarative and non-declarative memories, and sleep deprivation often impairs these types of memories. In human subjects, natural sleep either during a nap or overnight leads to long-lasting improvements in visuomotor and fine motor tasks, but rodent models recapitulating these findings have been scarce. Here we present evidence that 5h of acute sleep deprivation impairs mouse skilled reach learning compared to a matched period of ad libitum sleep. In sleeping mice, the duration of total sleep time during the 5h of sleep opportunity or during the first bout of sleep did not correlate with ultimate gain in motor performance. In addition, we observed that reversal learning during the skilled reaching task was also affected by sleep deprivation. Consistent with this observation, 5h of sleep deprivation also impaired reversal learning in the water-based Y-maze. In conclusion, acute sleep deprivation negatively impacts subsequent motor and reversal learning and memory. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. A new neural net approach to robot 3D perception and visuo-motor coordination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sukhan

    1992-01-01

    A novel neural network approach to robot hand-eye coordination is presented. The approach provides a true sense of visual error servoing, redundant arm configuration control for collision avoidance, and invariant visuo-motor learning under gazing control. A 3-D perception network is introduced to represent the robot internal 3-D metric space in which visual error servoing and arm configuration control are performed. The arm kinematic network performs the bidirectional association between 3-D space arm configurations and joint angles, and enforces the legitimate arm configurations. The arm kinematic net is structured by a radial-based competitive and cooperative network with hierarchical self-organizing learning. The main goal of the present work is to demonstrate that the neural net representation of the robot 3-D perception net serves as an important intermediate functional block connecting robot eyes and arms.

  13. Enhancement of motor learning by focal intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) of either the primary motor (M1) or somatosensory area (S1) in healthy human subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platz, Thomas; Adler-Wiebe, Marija; Roschka, Sybille; Lotze, Martin

    2018-01-01

    Motor rehabilitation after brain damage relies on motor re-learning as induced by specific training. Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) can alter cortical excitability and thereby has a potential to enhance subsequent training-induced learning. Knowledge about any priming effects of NIBS on motor learning in healthy subjects can help to design targeted therapeutic applications in brain-damaged subjects. To examine whether complex motor learning in healthy subjects can be enhanced by intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) to primary motor or sensory cortical areas. Eighteen young healthy subjects trained eight different arm motor tasks (arm ability training, AAT) once a day for 5 days using their left non-dominant arm. Except for day 1 (baseline), training was performed after applying an excitatory form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (iTBS) to either (I) right M1 or (II) S1, or (III) sham stimulation to the right M1. Subjects were randomly assigned to conditions I, II, or III. A principal component analysis of the motor behaviour data suggested eight independent motor abilities corresponding to the 8 trained tasks. AAT induced substantial motor learning across abilities with generalisation to a non-trained test of finger dexterity (Nine-Hole-Peg-Test, NHPT). Participants receiving iTBS (to either M1 or S1) showed better performance with the AAT tasks over the period of training compared to sham stimulation as well as a bigger improvement with the generalisation task (NHPT) for the trained left hand after training completion. Priming with an excitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation as iTBS of either M1 or S1 can enhance motor learning across different sensorimotor abilities.

  14. Effect of Error Augmentation on Brain Activation and Motor Learning of a Complex Locomotor Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Marchal-Crespo

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Up to date, the functional gains obtained after robot-aided gait rehabilitation training are limited. Error augmenting strategies have a great potential to enhance motor learning of simple motor tasks. However, little is known about the effect of these error modulating strategies on complex tasks, such as relearning to walk after a neurologic accident. Additionally, neuroimaging evaluation of brain regions involved in learning processes could provide valuable information on behavioral outcomes. We investigated the effect of robotic training strategies that augment errors—error amplification and random force disturbance—and training without perturbations on brain activation and motor learning of a complex locomotor task. Thirty-four healthy subjects performed the experiment with a robotic stepper (MARCOS in a 1.5 T MR scanner. The task consisted in tracking a Lissajous figure presented on a display by coordinating the legs in a gait-like movement pattern. Behavioral results showed that training without perturbations enhanced motor learning in initially less skilled subjects, while error amplification benefited better-skilled subjects. Training with error amplification, however, hampered transfer of learning. Randomly disturbing forces induced learning and promoted transfer in all subjects, probably because the unexpected forces increased subjects' attention. Functional MRI revealed main effects of training strategy and skill level during training. A main effect of training strategy was seen in brain regions typically associated with motor control and learning, such as, the basal ganglia, cerebellum, intraparietal sulcus, and angular gyrus. Especially, random disturbance and no perturbation lead to stronger brain activation in similar brain regions than error amplification. Skill-level related effects were observed in the IPS, in parts of the superior parietal lobe (SPL, i.e., precuneus, and temporal cortex. These neuroimaging findings

  15. [Memory transfer in cerebellar motor learning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagao, Soichi

    2012-01-01

    Most of our motor skills are acquired through learning. Experiments of gain adaptation of ocular reflexes have consistently suggested that the memory of adaptation is initially formed in the cerebellar cortex, and is transferred to the cerebellar (vestibular) nuclei for consolidation to long-term memory after repetitions of training. We have recently developed a new system to evaluate the motor learning in human subjects using prism adaptation of hand reaching movement, by referring to the prism adaptation of dart throwing of Martin et al. (1996). In our system, the subject views the small target presented in the touch-panel screen, and touches it with his/her finger without direct visual feedback. After 15-30 trials of touching wearing prisms, an adaptation occurs in healthy subjects: they became able to touch the target correctly. Meanwhile, such an adaptation was impaired in patients of cerebellar disease. We have proposed a model of human prism adaptation that the memory of adaptation is initially encoded in the cerebellar cortex, and is later transferred to the cerebellar nuclei after repetitions of training. The memory in the cerebellar cortex may be formed and extinguished independently of the memory maintained in the cerebellar nuclei, and these two memories work cooperatively.

  16. How and why do infants imitate? An ideomotor approach to social and imitative learning in infancy (and beyond).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulus, Markus

    2014-10-01

    It has been proposed that already in infancy, imitative learning plays a pivotal role in the acquisition of knowledge and abilities. Yet the cognitive mechanisms underlying the acquisition of novel action knowledge through social learning have remained unclear. The present contribution presents an ideomotor approach to imitative learning (IMAIL) in infancy (and beyond) that draws on the ideomotor theory of action control and on recent findings of perception-action matching. According to IMAIL, the central mechanism of imitative and social learning is the acquisition of cascading bidirectional action-effect associations through observation of own and others' actions. First, the observation of the visual effect of own actions leads to the acquisition of first-order action-effect associations, linking motor codes to the action's typical visual effects. Second, observing another person's action leads to motor activation (i.e., motor resonance) due to the first-order associations. This activated motor code then becomes linked to the other salient effects produced by the observed action, leading to the acquisition of (second-order) action-effect associations. These novel action-effect associations enable later imitation of the observed actions. The article reviews recent behavioral and neurophysiological studies with infants and adults that provide empirical support for the model. Furthermore, it is discussed how the model relates to other approaches on social-cognitive development and how developmental changes in imitative abilities can be conceptualized.

  17. Behind Mathematical Learning Disabilities: What about Visual Perception and Motor Skills?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieters, Stefanie; Desoete, Annemie; Roeyers, Herbert; Vanderswalmen, Ruth; Van Waelvelde, Hilde

    2012-01-01

    In a sample of 39 children with mathematical learning disabilities (MLD) and 106 typically developing controls belonging to three control groups of three different ages, we found that visual perception, motor skills and visual-motor integration explained a substantial proportion of the variance in either number fact retrieval or procedural…

  18. [Use of nondeclarative and automatic memory processes in motor learning: how to mitigate the effects of aging].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauvel, Guillaume; Maquestiaux, François; Didierjean, André; Joubert, Sven; Dieudonné, Bénédicte; Verny, Marc

    2011-12-01

    Does normal aging inexorably lead to diminished motor learning abilities? This article provides an overview of the literature on the question, with particular emphasis on the functional dissociation between two sets of memory processes: declarative, effortful processes, and non-declarative, automatic processes. There is abundant evidence suggesting that aging does impair learning when past memories of former actions are required (episodic memory) and recollected through controlled processing (working memory). However, other studies have shown that aging does not impair learning when motor actions are performed non verbally and automatically (tapping procedural memory). These findings led us to hypothesize that one can minimize the impact of aging on the ability to learn new motor actions by favouring procedural learning. Recent data validating this hypothesis are presented. Our findings underline the importance of developing new motor learning strategies, which "bypass" declarative, effortful memory processes.

  19. A novel approach to locomotion learning: Actor-Critic architecture using central pattern generators and dynamic motor primitives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2014-01-01

    In this article, we propose an architecture of a bio-inspired controller that addresses the problem of learning different locomotion gaits for different robot morphologies. The modeling objective is split into two: baseline motion modeling and dynamics adaptation. Baseline motion modeling aims to achieve fundamental functions of a certain type of locomotion and dynamics adaptation provides a "reshaping" function for adapting the baseline motion to desired motion. Based on this assumption, a three-layer architecture is developed using central pattern generators (CPGs, a bio-inspired locomotor center for the baseline motion) and dynamic motor primitives (DMPs, a model with universal "reshaping" functions). In this article, we use this architecture with the actor-critic algorithms for finding a good "reshaping" function. In order to demonstrate the learning power of the actor-critic based architecture, we tested it on two experiments: (1) learning to crawl on a humanoid and, (2) learning to gallop on a puppy robot. Two types of actor-critic algorithms (policy search and policy gradient) are compared in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different actor-critic based learning algorithms for different morphologies. Finally, based on the analysis of the experimental results, a generic view/architecture for locomotion learning is discussed in the conclusion.

  20. A Novel Approach to Locomotion Learning: Actor-Critic Architecture using Central Pattern Generators and Dynamic Motor Primitives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cai eLi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we propose an architecture of a bio-inspired controller that addresses the problem of learning different locomotion gaits for different robot morphologies. The modelling objective is split into two: baseline motion modelling and dynamics adaptation. Baseline motion modelling aims to achieve fundamental functions of a certain type of locomotion and dynamics adaptation provides a ``reshaping function for adapting the baseline motion to desired motion. Based on this assumption, a three-layer architecture is developed using central pattern generators (CPGs, a bio-inspired locomotor center for the the baseline motion and dynamic motor primitives (DMPs, a model with universal ``reshaping functions. In this article, we use this architecture with the actor-critic algorithms for finding a good ``reshaping function. In order to demonstrate the learning power of the actor-critic based architecture, we tested it on two experiments: 1 learning to crawl on a humanoid and, 2 learning to gallop on a puppy robot. Two types of actor-critic algorithms (policy search and policy gradient are compared in order to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different actor-critic based learning algorithms for different morphologies. Finally, based on the analysis of the experimental results, a generic view/architecture for locomotion learning is discussed in the conclusion.

  1. Differencial training facilitates early consolidation in motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Henz

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Current research demonstrates increased learning rates in differencial learning (DL compared to repetitive training. To date, little is known on the underlying neurophysiological processes in DL that contribute to superior performance over repetitive practice. In the present study, we measured electroencephalographic (EEG brain activation patterns after DL and repetitive badminton serve training. Twenty-four semi-professional badminton players performed badminton serves in a DL and repetitive training schedule in a within-subjects design. EEG activity was recorded from nineteen electrodes according to the 10-20 system before and immediately after each 20-minute exercise. Increased theta activity was obtained in contralateral parieto-occipital regions after DL. Further, increased posterior alpha activity was obtained in DL compared to repetitive training. Results indicate different underlying neuronal processes in DL and repetitive training with a higher involvement of parieto-occipital areas in DL. We argue that DL facilitates early consolidation in motor learning indicated by post-training increases in theta and alpha activity. Further, brain activation patterns indicate somatosensory working memory processes where attentional resources are allocated in processing of somatosensory information in DL. Reinforcing a somatosensory memory trace might explain increased motor learning rates in DL. Finally, this memory trace is more stable against interference from internal and external disturbances that afford executively controlled processing such as attentional processes.

  2. Motor Sequence Learning Performance in Parkinson's Disease Patients Depends on the Stage of Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephan, Marianne A.; Meier, Beat; Zaugg, Sabine Weber; Kaelin-Lang, Alain

    2011-01-01

    It is still unclear, whether patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are impaired in the incidental learning of different motor sequences in short succession, although such a deficit might greatly impact their daily life. The aim of this study was thus to clarify the relation between disease parameters of PD and incidental motor learning of two…

  3. Cerebellar plasticity and motor learning deficits in a copy-number variation mouse model of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piochon, Claire; Kloth, Alexander D; Grasselli, Giorgio; Titley, Heather K; Nakayama, Hisako; Hashimoto, Kouichi; Wan, Vivian; Simmons, Dana H; Eissa, Tahra; Nakatani, Jin; Cherskov, Adriana; Miyazaki, Taisuke; Watanabe, Masahiko; Takumi, Toru; Kano, Masanobu; Wang, Samuel S-H; Hansel, Christian

    2014-11-24

    A common feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the impairment of motor control and learning, occurring in a majority of children with autism, consistent with perturbation in cerebellar function. Here we report alterations in motor behaviour and cerebellar synaptic plasticity in a mouse model (patDp/+) for the human 15q11-13 duplication, one of the most frequently observed genetic aberrations in autism. These mice show ASD-resembling social behaviour deficits. We find that in patDp/+ mice delay eyeblink conditioning--a form of cerebellum-dependent motor learning--is impaired, and observe deregulation of a putative cellular mechanism for motor learning, long-term depression (LTD) at parallel fibre-Purkinje cell synapses. Moreover, developmental elimination of surplus climbing fibres--a model for activity-dependent synaptic pruning--is impaired. These findings point to deficits in synaptic plasticity and pruning as potential causes for motor problems and abnormal circuit development in autism.

  4. Assessment of Teaching and Learning Styles in Practical Motor ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... of Teaching and Learning Styles in Practical Motor Vehicle Mechanics Work At ... Board should organize workshop for its teachers in technical colleges on the ... students to participate actively in any activities when teaching practical skills.

  5. Focus of Attention in Children's Motor Learning: Examining the Role of Age and Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocken, J E A; Kal, E C; van der Kamp, J

    2016-01-01

    The authors investigated the relative effectiveness of different attentional focus instructions on motor learning in primary school children. In addition, we explored whether the effect of attentional focus on motor learning was influenced by children's age and verbal working memory capacity. Novice 8-9-year old children (n = 30) and 11-12-year-old children (n = 30) practiced a golf putting task. For each age group, half the participants received instructions to focus (internally) on the swing of their arm, while the other half was instructed to focus (externally) on the swing of the club. Children's verbal working memory capacity was assessed with the Automated Working Memory Assessment. Consistent with many reports on adult's motor learning, children in the external groups demonstrated greater improvements in putting accuracy than children who practiced with an internal focus. This effect was similar across age groups. Verbal working memory capacity was not found to be predictive of motor learning, neither for children in the internal focus groups nor for children in the external focus groups. In conclusion, primary school children's motor learning is enhanced by external focus instructions compared to internal focus instructions. The purported modulatory roles of children's working memory, attentional capacity, or focus preferences require further investigation.

  6. Engaging Environments Enhance Motor Skill Learning in a Computer Gaming Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, Keith R; Boyd, Lara A; Hodges, Nicola J

    2016-01-01

    Engagement during practice can motivate a learner to practice more, hence having indirect effects on learning through increased practice. However, it is not known whether engagement can also have a direct effect on learning when the amount of practice is held constant. To address this question, 40 participants played a video game that contained an embedded repeated sequence component, under either highly engaging conditions (the game group) or mechanically identical but less engaging conditions (the sterile group). The game environment facilitated retention over a 1-week interval. Specifically, the game group improved in both speed and accuracy for random and repeated trials, suggesting a general motor-related improvement, rather than a specific influence of engagement on implicit sequence learning. These data provide initial evidence that increased engagement during practice has a direct effect on generalized learning, improving retention and transfer of a complex motor skill.

  7. Does Sleep Facilitate the Consolidation of Allocentric or Egocentric Representations of Implicitly Learned Visual-Motor Sequence Learning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viczko, Jeremy; Sergeeva, Valya; Ray, Laura B.; Owen, Adrian M.; Fogel, Stuart M.

    2018-01-01

    Sleep facilitates the consolidation (i.e., enhancement) of simple, explicit (i.e., conscious) motor sequence learning (MSL). MSL can be dissociated into egocentric (i.e., motor) or allocentric (i.e., spatial) frames of reference. The consolidation of the allocentric memory representation is sleep-dependent, whereas the egocentric consolidation…

  8. CEREBELLUM: LINKS BETWEEN DEVELOPMENT, DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS AND MOTOR LEARNING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario U Manto

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The study of the links and interactions between development and motor learning has noticeable implications for the understanding and management of neurodevelopmental disorders. This is particularly relevant for the cerebellum which is critical for sensorimotor learning. The olivocerebellar pathway is a key pathway contributing to learning of motor skills. Its developmental maturation and remodelling are being unravelled. Advances in genetics have led to major improvements in our appraisal of the genes involved in cerebellar development, especially studies in mutant mice. Cerebellar neurogenesis is compartmentalized in relationship with neurotransmitter fate. The Engrailed-2 gene is a major actor of the specification of cerebellar cell types and late embryogenic morphogenesis. Math1, expressed by the rhombic lip (RL, is required for the genesis of glutamatergic neurons. Mutants deficient for the transcription factor Ptf1a display a lack of Purkinje cells and gabaergic interneurons. Rora gene contributes to the developmental signalling between granule cells and Purkinje neurons. The expression profile of SHH (Sonic hedgehog in postnatal stages determines the final size/shape of the cerebellum. Genes affecting the development impact upon the physiological properties of the cerebellar circuits. For instance, receptors are developmentally regulated and their action interferes directly with developmental processes. Another field of research which is expanding relates to very preterm neonates. They are at risk for cerebellar lesions, which may themselves impair the developmental events. Very preterm neonates often show sensori-motor deficits, highlighting another major link between impaired development and learning deficiencies. Pathways playing a critical role in cerebellar development are likely to become therapeutical targets for several neurodevelopmental disorders.

  9. Biomechanical procedure to assess sleep restriction on motor control and learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umemura, G S; Noriega, C L; Soares, D F; Forner-Cordero, A

    2017-07-01

    The analysis of sleep quality during long periods and its impact on motor control and learning performance are crucial aspects for human health. The aim of this study is to analyze effects of chronic sleep restriction on motor performance. It is intended to establish motor control indicators in sleep quality analysis. A wearable actigraphy that records accelerometry, ambient light, and body temperature was used to monitor the sleep habits of 12 healthy subjects for two weeks before performing motor control and learning tests. The day of the motor test, the subjects filled two questionnaires about the quality of sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index - PSQI) and sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale - ESS). Afterwards they performed a coincident timing task that consisted of hitting a virtual target falling on the screen with the hand. An elbow flexion in the horizontal plane had to be performed on the correct time to reach the real target on a table at the same time as the virtual target on the screen. The subjects performed three sets of acquisition and transfer blocks of the coincident timing task. The subjects were clustered in two groups based on the PSQI and ESS scores. Actigraphy and motor control parameters (L5, correct responses, time variance) were compared between groups and experimental sets. The group with better sleep parameters did show a constant performance across blocks of task acquisition while the bad sleeper group improved from the first to the second acquisition block. Despite of this improvement, their performance is not better than the one of the good sleepers group. Although the number of subjects is low and it should be increased, these results indicate that the subjects with better sleep converged rapidly to a high level of performance, while the worse sleepers needed more trials to learn the task and their performance was not superior to the other group.

  10. Unifying practice schedules in the timescales of motor learning and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeven, F Martijn; Newell, Karl M

    2018-06-01

    In this article, we elaborate from a multiple time scales model of motor learning to examine the independent and integrated effects of massed and distributed practice schedules within- and between-sessions on the persistent (learning) and transient (warm-up, fatigue) processes of performance change. The timescales framework reveals the influence of practice distribution on four learning-related processes: the persistent processes of learning and forgetting, and the transient processes of warm-up decrement and fatigue. The superposition of the different processes of practice leads to a unified set of effects for massed and distributed practice within- and between-sessions in learning motor tasks. This analysis of the interaction between the duration of the interval of practice trials or sessions and parameters of the introduced time scale model captures the unified influence of the between trial and session scheduling of practice on learning and performance. It provides a starting point for new theoretically based hypotheses, and the scheduling of practice that minimizes the negative effects of warm-up decrement, fatigue and forgetting while exploiting the positive effects of learning and retention. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. A School-Based Movement Programme for Children with Motor Learning Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannisto, Juha-Pekka; Cantell, Marja; Huovinen, Tommi; Kooistra, Libbe; Larkin, Dawne

    2006-01-01

    The study investigated the effectiveness of a school-based movement programme for a population of 5 to 7 year old children. Performance profiles on the Movement ABC were used to classify the children and to assess skill changes over time. Children were assigned to four different groups: motor learning difficulty (n = 10), borderline motor learning…

  12. A Preliminary Comparison of Motor Learning Across Different Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Paradigms Shows No Consistent Modulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia Lopez-Alonso

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS has been widely explored as a way to safely modulate brain activity and alter human performance for nearly three decades. Research using NIBS has grown exponentially within the last decade with promising results across a variety of clinical and healthy populations. However, recent work has shown high inter-individual variability and a lack of reproducibility of previous results. Here, we conducted a small preliminary study to explore the effects of three of the most commonly used excitatory NIBS paradigms over the primary motor cortex (M1 on motor learning (Sequential Visuomotor Isometric Pinch Force Tracking Task and secondarily relate changes in motor learning to changes in cortical excitability (MEP amplitude and SICI. We compared anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS, paired associative stimulation (PAS25, and intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS, along with a sham tDCS control condition. Stimulation was applied prior to motor learning. Participants (n = 28 were randomized into one of the four groups and were trained on a skilled motor task. Motor learning was measured immediately after training (online, 1 day after training (consolidation, and 1 week after training (retention. We did not find consistent differential effects on motor learning or cortical excitability across groups. Within the boundaries of our small sample sizes, we then assessed effect sizes across the NIBS groups that could help power future studies. These results, which require replication with larger samples, are consistent with previous reports of small and variable effect sizes of these interventions on motor learning.

  13. A Preliminary Comparison of Motor Learning Across Different Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Paradigms Shows No Consistent Modulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Alonso, Virginia; Liew, Sook-Lei; Fernández del Olmo, Miguel; Cheeran, Binith; Sandrini, Marco; Abe, Mitsunari; Cohen, Leonardo G.

    2018-01-01

    Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) has been widely explored as a way to safely modulate brain activity and alter human performance for nearly three decades. Research using NIBS has grown exponentially within the last decade with promising results across a variety of clinical and healthy populations. However, recent work has shown high inter-individual variability and a lack of reproducibility of previous results. Here, we conducted a small preliminary study to explore the effects of three of the most commonly used excitatory NIBS paradigms over the primary motor cortex (M1) on motor learning (Sequential Visuomotor Isometric Pinch Force Tracking Task) and secondarily relate changes in motor learning to changes in cortical excitability (MEP amplitude and SICI). We compared anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), paired associative stimulation (PAS25), and intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS), along with a sham tDCS control condition. Stimulation was applied prior to motor learning. Participants (n = 28) were randomized into one of the four groups and were trained on a skilled motor task. Motor learning was measured immediately after training (online), 1 day after training (consolidation), and 1 week after training (retention). We did not find consistent differential effects on motor learning or cortical excitability across groups. Within the boundaries of our small sample sizes, we then assessed effect sizes across the NIBS groups that could help power future studies. These results, which require replication with larger samples, are consistent with previous reports of small and variable effect sizes of these interventions on motor learning. PMID:29740271

  14. Motor skill learning and offline-changes in TGA patients with acute hippocampal CA1 lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Döhring, Juliane; Stoldt, Anne; Witt, Karsten; Schönfeld, Robby; Deuschl, Günther; Born, Jan; Bartsch, Thorsten

    2017-04-01

    Learning and the formation of memory are reflected in various memory systems in the human brain such as the hippocampus based declarative memory system and the striatum-cortex based system involved in motor sequence learning. It is a matter of debate how both memory systems interact in humans during learning and consolidation and how this interaction is influenced by sleep. We studied the effect of an acute dysfunction of hippocampal CA1 neurons on the acquisition (on-line condition) and off-line changes of a motor skill in patients with a transient global amnesia (TGA). Sixteen patients (68 ± 4.4 yrs) were studied in the acute phase and during follow-up using a declarative and procedural test, and were compared to controls. Acute TGA patients displayed profound deficits in all declarative memory functions. During the acute amnestic phase, patients were able to acquire the motor skill task reflected by increasing finger tapping speed across the on-line condition, albeit to a lesser degree than during follow-up or compared to controls. Retrieval two days later indicated a greater off-line gain in motor speed in patients than controls. Moreover, this gain in motor skill performance was negatively correlated to the declarative learning deficit. Our results suggest a differential interaction between procedural and declarative memory systems during acquisition and consolidation of motor sequences in older humans. During acquisition, hippocampal dysfunction attenuates fast learning and thus unmasks the slow and rigid learning curve of striatum-based procedural learning. The stronger gains in the post-consolidation condition in motor skill in CA1 lesioned patients indicate a facilitated consolidation process probably occurring during sleep, and suggest a competitive interaction between the memory systems. These findings might be a reflection of network reorganization and plasticity in older humans and in the presence of CA1 hippocampal pathology. Copyright © 2016

  15. Reinforcement learning of targeted movement in a spiking neuronal model of motor cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George L Chadderdon

    Full Text Available Sensorimotor control has traditionally been considered from a control theory perspective, without relation to neurobiology. In contrast, here we utilized a spiking-neuron model of motor cortex and trained it to perform a simple movement task, which consisted of rotating a single-joint "forearm" to a target. Learning was based on a reinforcement mechanism analogous to that of the dopamine system. This provided a global reward or punishment signal in response to decreasing or increasing distance from hand to target, respectively. Output was partially driven by Poisson motor babbling, creating stochastic movements that could then be shaped by learning. The virtual forearm consisted of a single segment rotated around an elbow joint, controlled by flexor and extensor muscles. The model consisted of 144 excitatory and 64 inhibitory event-based neurons, each with AMPA, NMDA, and GABA synapses. Proprioceptive cell input to this model encoded the 2 muscle lengths. Plasticity was only enabled in feedforward connections between input and output excitatory units, using spike-timing-dependent eligibility traces for synaptic credit or blame assignment. Learning resulted from a global 3-valued signal: reward (+1, no learning (0, or punishment (-1, corresponding to phasic increases, lack of change, or phasic decreases of dopaminergic cell firing, respectively. Successful learning only occurred when both reward and punishment were enabled. In this case, 5 target angles were learned successfully within 180 s of simulation time, with a median error of 8 degrees. Motor babbling allowed exploratory learning, but decreased the stability of the learned behavior, since the hand continued moving after reaching the target. Our model demonstrated that a global reinforcement signal, coupled with eligibility traces for synaptic plasticity, can train a spiking sensorimotor network to perform goal-directed motor behavior.

  16. Reinforcement learning of targeted movement in a spiking neuronal model of motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadderdon, George L; Neymotin, Samuel A; Kerr, Cliff C; Lytton, William W

    2012-01-01

    Sensorimotor control has traditionally been considered from a control theory perspective, without relation to neurobiology. In contrast, here we utilized a spiking-neuron model of motor cortex and trained it to perform a simple movement task, which consisted of rotating a single-joint "forearm" to a target. Learning was based on a reinforcement mechanism analogous to that of the dopamine system. This provided a global reward or punishment signal in response to decreasing or increasing distance from hand to target, respectively. Output was partially driven by Poisson motor babbling, creating stochastic movements that could then be shaped by learning. The virtual forearm consisted of a single segment rotated around an elbow joint, controlled by flexor and extensor muscles. The model consisted of 144 excitatory and 64 inhibitory event-based neurons, each with AMPA, NMDA, and GABA synapses. Proprioceptive cell input to this model encoded the 2 muscle lengths. Plasticity was only enabled in feedforward connections between input and output excitatory units, using spike-timing-dependent eligibility traces for synaptic credit or blame assignment. Learning resulted from a global 3-valued signal: reward (+1), no learning (0), or punishment (-1), corresponding to phasic increases, lack of change, or phasic decreases of dopaminergic cell firing, respectively. Successful learning only occurred when both reward and punishment were enabled. In this case, 5 target angles were learned successfully within 180 s of simulation time, with a median error of 8 degrees. Motor babbling allowed exploratory learning, but decreased the stability of the learned behavior, since the hand continued moving after reaching the target. Our model demonstrated that a global reinforcement signal, coupled with eligibility traces for synaptic plasticity, can train a spiking sensorimotor network to perform goal-directed motor behavior.

  17. Motor learning induces plastic changes in Purkinje cell dendritic spines in the rat cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Tapia, D; González-Ramírez, M M; Vázquez-Hernández, N; González-Burgos, I

    2017-12-14

    The paramedian lobule of the cerebellum is involved in learning to correctly perform motor skills through practice. Dendritic spines are dynamic structures that regulate excitatory synaptic stimulation. We studied plastic changes occurring in the dendritic spines of Purkinje cells from the paramedian lobule of rats during motor learning. Adult male rats were trained over a 6-day period using an acrobatic motor learning paradigm; the density and type of dendritic spines were determined every day during the study period using a modified version of the Golgi method. The learning curve reflected a considerable decrease in the number of errors made by rats as the training period progressed. We observed more dendritic spines on days 2 and 6, particularly more thin spines on days 1, 3, and 6, fewer mushroom spines on day 3, fewer stubby spines on day 1, and more thick spines on days 4 and 6. The initial stage of motor learning may be associated with fast processing of the underlying synaptic information combined with an apparent "silencing" of memory consolidation processes, based on the regulation of the neuronal excitability. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  18. Intact Acquisition and Short-Term Retention of Non-Motor Procedural Learning in Parkinson's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muriel T N Panouillères

    Full Text Available Procedural learning is a form of memory where people implicitly acquire a skill through repeated practice. People with Parkinson's disease (PD have been found to acquire motor adaptation, a form of motor procedural learning, similarly to healthy older adults but they have deficits in long-term retention. A similar pattern of normal learning on initial exposure with a deficit in retention seen on subsequent days has also been seen in mirror-reading, a form of non-motor procedural learning. It is a well-studied fact that disrupting sleep will impair the consolidation of procedural memories. Given the prevalence of sleep disturbances in PD, the lack of retention on following days seen in these studies could simply be a side effect of this well-known symptom of PD. Because of this, we wondered whether people with PD would present with deficits in the short-term retention of a non-motor procedural learning task, when the test of retention was done the same day as the initial exposure. The aim of the present study was then to investigate acquisition and retention in the immediate short term of cognitive procedural learning using the mirror-reading task in people with PD. This task involved two conditions: one where triads of mirror-inverted words were always new that allowed assessing the learning of mirror-reading skill and another one where some of the triads were presented repeatedly during the experiment that allowed assessing the word-specific learning. People with PD both ON and OFF their normal medication were compared to healthy older adults and young adults. Participants were re-tested 50 minutes break after initial exposure to probe for short-term retention. The results of this study show that all groups of participants acquired and retained the two skills (mirror-reading and word-specific similarly. These results suggest that neither healthy ageing nor the degeneration within the basal ganglia that occurs in PD does affect the mechanisms

  19. Motor learning in animal models of Parkinson's disease: Aberrant synaptic plasticity in the motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Tonghui; Wang, Shaofang; Lalchandani, Rupa R; Ding, Jun B

    2017-04-01

    In Parkinson's disease (PD), dopamine depletion causes major changes in the brain, resulting in the typical cardinal motor features of the disease. PD neuropathology has been restricted to postmortem examinations, which are limited to only a single time of PD progression. Models of PD in which dopamine tone in the brain is chemically or physically disrupted are valuable tools in understanding the mechanisms of the disease. The basal ganglia have been well studied in the context of PD, and circuit changes in response to dopamine loss have been linked to the motor dysfunctions in PD. However, the etiology of the cognitive dysfunctions that are comorbid in PD patients has remained unclear until now. In this article, we review recent studies exploring how dopamine depletion affects the motor cortex at the synaptic level. In particular, we highlight our recent findings on abnormal spine dynamics in the motor cortex of PD mouse models through in vivo time-lapse imaging and motor skill behavior assays. In combination with previous studies, a role of the motor cortex in skill learning and the impairment of this ability with the loss of dopamine are becoming more apparent. Taken together, we conclude with a discussion on the potential role for the motor cortex in PD, with the possibility of targeting the motor cortex for future PD therapeutics. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  20. Haptic Human-Human Interaction Through a Compliant Connection Does Not Improve Motor Learning in a Force Field

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beckers, Niek; Keemink, Arvid; van Asseldonk, Edwin; van der Kooij, Herman; Prattichizzo, Domenico; Shinoda, Hiroyuki; Tan, Hong Z.; Ruffaldi, Emanuele; Frisoli, Antonio

    2018-01-01

    Humans have a natural ability to haptically interact with other humans, for instance during physically assisting a child to learn how to ride a bicycle. A recent study has shown that haptic human-human interaction can improve individual motor performance and motor learning rate while learning to

  1. Development of Young Adults' Fine Motor Skills when Learning to Play Percussion Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gzibovskis, Talis; Marnauza, Mara

    2012-01-01

    When playing percussion instruments, the main activity is done with the help of a motion or motor skills; to perform it, developed fine motor skills are necessary: the speed and precision of fingers, hands and palms. The aim of the research was to study and test the development of young adults' fine motor skills while learning to play percussion…

  2. Upper Extremity Motor Learning among Individuals with Parkinson's Disease: A Meta-Analysis Evaluating Movement Time in Simple Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Felix

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Motor learning has been found to occur in the rehabilitation of individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD. Through repetitive structured practice of motor tasks, individuals show improved performance, confirming that motor learning has probably taken place. Although a number of studies have been completed evaluating motor learning in people with PD, the sample sizes were small and the improvements were variable. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to determine the ability of people with PD to learn motor tasks. Studies which measured movement time in upper extremity reaching tasks and met the inclusion criteria were included in the analysis. Results of the meta-analysis indicated that people with PD and neurologically healthy controls both demonstrated motor learning, characterized by a decrease in movement time during upper extremity movements. Movement time improvements were greater in the control group than in individuals with PD. These results support the findings that the practice of upper extremity reaching tasks is beneficial in reducing movement time in persons with PD and has important implications for rehabilitation.

  3. Implicit sequence-specific motor learning after sub-cortical stroke is associated with increased prefrontal brain activations: An fMRI study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, Sean K.; Randhawa, Bubblepreet; Wessel, Brenda; Boyd, Lara A.

    2010-01-01

    Implicit motor learning is preserved after stroke, but how the brain compensates for damage to facilitate learning is unclear. We used a random effects analysis to determine how stroke alters patterns of brain activity during implicit sequence-specific motor learning as compared to general improvements in motor control. Nine healthy participants and 9 individuals with chronic, right focal sub-cortical stroke performed a continuous joystick-based tracking task during an initial fMRI session, over 5 days of practice, and a retention test during a separate fMRI session. Sequence-specific implicit motor learning was differentiated from general improvements in motor control by comparing tracking performance on a novel, repeated tracking sequences during early practice and again at the retention test. Both groups demonstrated implicit sequence-specific motor learning at the retention test, yet substantial differences were apparent. At retention, healthy control participants demonstrated increased BOLD response in left dorsal premotor cortex (BA 6) but decreased BOLD response left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC; BA 9) during repeated sequence tracking. In contrast, at retention individuals with stroke did not show this reduction in DLPFC during repeated tracking. Instead implicit sequence-specific motor learning and general improvements in motor control were associated with increased BOLD response in the left middle frontal gyrus BA 8, regardless of sequence type after stroke. These data emphasize the potential importance of a prefrontal-based attentional network for implicit motor learning after stroke. The present study is the first to highlight the importance of the prefrontal cortex for implicit sequence-specific motor learning after stroke. PMID:20725908

  4. The relationship between gross motor skills and academic achievement in children with learning disabilities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westendorp, Marieke; Hartman, Esther; Houwen, Suzanne; Smith, Joanne; Visscher, Chris

    2011-01-01

    The present study compared the gross motor skills of 7- to 12-year-old children with learning disabilities (n = 104) with those of age-matched typically developing children (n = 104) using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Additionally, the specific relationships between subsets of gross motor

  5. Attentional Focus in Motor Learning, the Feldenkrais Method, and Mindful Movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattes, Josef

    2016-08-01

    The present paper discusses attentional focus in motor learning and performance from the point of view of mindful movement practices, taking as a starting point the Feldenkrais method. It is argued that earlier criticism of the Feldenkrais method (and thereby implicitly of mindful movement practices more generally) because of allegedly inappropriate attentional focus turns out to be unfounded in light of recent developments in the study of motor learning and performance. Conversely, the examples of the Feldenkrais method and Ki-Aikido are used to illustrate how both Western and Eastern (martial arts derived) mindful movement practices might benefit sports psychology. © The Author(s) 2016.

  6. Should Rehabilitation Specialists Use External Focus Instructions When Motor Learning Is Fostered? A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja H. Kakebeeke

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available According to the Constrained Action Hypothesis, motor learning is believed to be more efficient when an external focus (EF of motor control is given to the performer instead of an internal focus (IF of motor control. This systematic review investigated whether findings of studies focusing on the Constrained Action Hypothesis may be transferred to rehabilitation settings by assessing the methodological quality and risk of bias (ROB of available randomized controlled trials (RCTs. Of the 18 selected reports representing 20 RCTs, the methodological quality was rather low, and the majority of the reports appeared to have a high ROB. The 18 reports included 68 patients tested in a rehabilitation setting and 725 healthy participants. The time scale of the motor learning processes presented in the selected articles was heterogenic. The results of this systematic review indicate that the assumption that an external focus of control is to be preferred during motor learning processes is not sufficiently substantiated. The level of available evidence is not large enough to warrant transfer to patient populations (including children and the elderly and raises doubts about research with healthy individuals. This implies that based on the methodology used so far, there seems to be insufficient evidence for the superiority of an external focus of control, neither in healthy individuals nor in clinical populations. The relationship between EF instructions and motor learning research and its effect in both patient rehabilitation settings and healthy populations requires further exploration. Future adequately powered studies with low ROB and with rehabilitation populations that are followed over extended time periods should, therefore, be performed to substantiate or refute the assumption of the superiority of an EF in motor learning.

  7. Effects of visual feedback-induced variability on motor learning of handrim wheelchair propulsion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leving, Marika T; Vegter, Riemer J K; Hartog, Johanneke; Lamoth, Claudine J C; de Groot, Sonja; van der Woude, Lucas H V

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that a higher intra-individual variability benefits the motor learning of wheelchair propulsion. The present study evaluated whether feedback-induced variability on wheelchair propulsion technique variables would also enhance the motor learning process. Learning was operationalized as an improvement in mechanical efficiency and propulsion technique, which are thought to be closely related during the learning process. 17 Participants received visual feedback-based practice (feedback group) and 15 participants received regular practice (natural learning group). Both groups received equal practice dose of 80 min, over 3 weeks, at 0.24 W/kg at a treadmill speed of 1.11 m/s. To compare both groups the pre- and post-test were performed without feedback. The feedback group received real-time visual feedback on seven propulsion variables with instruction to manipulate the presented variable to achieve the highest possible variability (1st 4-min block) and optimize it in the prescribed direction (2nd 4-min block). To increase motor exploration the participants were unaware of the exact variable they received feedback on. Energy consumption and the propulsion technique variables with their respective coefficient of variation were calculated to evaluate the amount of intra-individual variability. The feedback group, which practiced with higher intra-individual variability, improved the propulsion technique between pre- and post-test to the same extent as the natural learning group. Mechanical efficiency improved between pre- and post-test in the natural learning group but remained unchanged in the feedback group. These results suggest that feedback-induced variability inhibited the improvement in mechanical efficiency. Moreover, since both groups improved propulsion technique but only the natural learning group improved mechanical efficiency, it can be concluded that the improvement in mechanical efficiency and propulsion technique do not always appear

  8. Effects of visual feedback-induced variability on motor learning of handrim wheelchair propulsion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marika T Leving

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that a higher intra-individual variability benefits the motor learning of wheelchair propulsion. The present study evaluated whether feedback-induced variability on wheelchair propulsion technique variables would also enhance the motor learning process. Learning was operationalized as an improvement in mechanical efficiency and propulsion technique, which are thought to be closely related during the learning process.17 Participants received visual feedback-based practice (feedback group and 15 participants received regular practice (natural learning group. Both groups received equal practice dose of 80 min, over 3 weeks, at 0.24 W/kg at a treadmill speed of 1.11 m/s. To compare both groups the pre- and post-test were performed without feedback. The feedback group received real-time visual feedback on seven propulsion variables with instruction to manipulate the presented variable to achieve the highest possible variability (1st 4-min block and optimize it in the prescribed direction (2nd 4-min block. To increase motor exploration the participants were unaware of the exact variable they received feedback on. Energy consumption and the propulsion technique variables with their respective coefficient of variation were calculated to evaluate the amount of intra-individual variability.The feedback group, which practiced with higher intra-individual variability, improved the propulsion technique between pre- and post-test to the same extent as the natural learning group. Mechanical efficiency improved between pre- and post-test in the natural learning group but remained unchanged in the feedback group.These results suggest that feedback-induced variability inhibited the improvement in mechanical efficiency. Moreover, since both groups improved propulsion technique but only the natural learning group improved mechanical efficiency, it can be concluded that the improvement in mechanical efficiency and propulsion technique do not

  9. Toward Personalized Vibrotactile Support When Learning Motor Skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga C. Santos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Personal tracking technologies allow sensing of the physical activity carried out by people. Data flows collected with these sensors are calling for big data techniques to support data collection, integration and analysis, aimed to provide personalized support when learning motor skills through varied multisensorial feedback. In particular, this paper focuses on vibrotactile feedback as it can take advantage of the haptic sense when supporting the physical interaction to be learnt. Despite each user having different needs, when providing this vibrotactile support, personalization issues are hardly taken into account, but the same response is delivered to each and every user of the system. The challenge here is how to design vibrotactile user interfaces for adaptive learning of motor skills. TORMES methodology is proposed to facilitate the elicitation of this personalized support. The resulting systems are expected to dynamically adapt to each individual user’s needs by monitoring, comparing and, when appropriate, correcting in a personalized way how the user should move when practicing a predefined movement, for instance, when performing a sport technique or playing a musical instrument.

  10. Context-dependent memory decay is evidence of effort minimization in motor learning: a computational study

    OpenAIRE

    Takiyama, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Recent theoretical models suggest that motor learning includes at least two processes: error minimization and memory decay. While learning a novel movement, a motor memory of the movement is gradually formed to minimize the movement error between the desired and actual movements in each training trial, but the memory is slightly forgotten in each trial. The learning effects of error minimization trained with a certain movement are partially available in other non-trained movements, and this t...

  11. Motor-Enriched Learning Activities Can Improve Mathematical Performance in Preadolescent Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Mikkel M.; Lind, Rune R.; Geertsen, Svend S.; Ritz, Christian; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Wienecke, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    Objective: An emerging field of research indicates that physical activity can benefit cognitive functions and academic achievements in children. However, less is known about how academic achievements can benefit from specific types of motor activities (e.g., fine and gross) integrated into learning activities. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether fine or gross motor activity integrated into math lessons (i.e., motor-enrichment) could improve children's mathematical performance. Methods: A 6-week within school cluster-randomized intervention study investigated the effects of motor-enriched mathematical teaching in Danish preadolescent children (n = 165, age = 7.5 ± 0.02 years). Three groups were included: a control group (CON), which received non-motor enriched conventional mathematical teaching, a fine motor math group (FMM) and a gross motor math group (GMM), which received mathematical teaching enriched with fine and gross motor activity, respectively. The children were tested before (T0), immediately after (T1) and 8 weeks after the intervention (T2). A standardized mathematical test (50 tasks) was used to evaluate mathematical performance. Furthermore, it was investigated whether motor-enriched math was accompanied by different effects in low and normal math performers. Additionally, the study investigated the potential contribution of cognitive functions and motor skills on mathematical performance. Results: All groups improved their mathematical performance from T0 to T1. However, from T0 to T1, the improvement was significantly greater in GMM compared to FMM (1.87 ± 0.71 correct answers) (p = 0.02). At T2 no significant differences in mathematical performance were observed. A subgroup analysis revealed that normal math-performers benefitted from GMM compared to both CON 1.78 ± 0.73 correct answers (p = 0.04) and FMM 2.14 ± 0.72 correct answers (p = 0.008). These effects were not observed in low math-performers. The effects were partly

  12. Variability and practice load in motor learning. [Variabilidad y carga de práctica en el aprendizaje motor].

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Javier Moreno

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have pointed out the convenience of taking the characteristics of the skill to be learned and the intrinsic characteristics of the learners into account when designing practice tasks. Nevertheless, few studies have manipulated the amount of variable practice. The ability to adapt, as an inherent feature of biological systems, can be an adequate framework to explain and predict motor learning processes. This paper is based on adaption processes explained under the theory of allostasis and the general adaption syndrome and shares the background of the Dynamic Systems Theory, to propose the concept of practice load as a useful tool to quantify variability of practice in motor learning. From this standpoint, the conditions of variable practice are reviewed to be a stimulus in an adequate magnitude and direction to take the learner to a higher level of performance and hence to optimize motor learning. Resumen Muchos autores han recomendado la conveniencia de ajustar los niveles de práctica variable teniendo en cuenta las características de la tarea y la variabilidad intrínseca que muestra el aprendiz en la ejecución de la habilidad. Sin embargo, no son numerosos los trabajos que han manipulado varios niveles de cantidad de variabilidad al practicar. La capacidad de adaptación, como rasgo de los sistemas biológicos puede resultar un marco adecuado para afrontar esta cuestión. En este trabajo, apoyado en los procesos de adaptación explicados bajo las teorías de alostasis y el síndrome general de adaptación (GAS, y bajo presupuestos compartidos por la Teoría General de Sistemas Dinámicos, propondrá el concepto de carga de práctica como una herramienta para cuantificar la práctica en el aprendizaje motor. Bajo esta perspectiva se revisan las condiciones en las que la práctica en variabilidad debe modularse, para suponer una estimulación que facilite al aprendiz una adaptación a un nivel de rendimiento superior y con

  13. Neurotoxicity induced by alkyl nitrites: Impairment in learning/memory and motor coordination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Hye Jin; Kim, Yun Ji; Jeon, Seo Young; Kim, Young-Hoon; Shin, Jisoon; Yun, Jaesuk; Han, Kyoungmoon; Park, Hye-Kyung; Kim, Hyung Soo

    2016-04-21

    Although alkyl nitrites are used as recreational drugs, there is only little research data regarding their effects on the central nervous system including their neurotoxicity. This study investigated the neurotoxicity of three representative alkyl nitrites (isobutyl nitrite, isoamyl nitrite, and butyl nitrite), and whether it affected learning/memory function and motor coordination in rodents. Morris water maze test was performed in mice after administrating the mice with varying doses of the substances in two different injection schedules of memory acquisition and memory retention. A rota-rod test was then performed in rats. All tested alkyl nitrites lowered the rodents' capacity for learning and memory, as assessed by both the acquisition and retention tests. The results of the rota-rod test showed that isobutyl nitrite in particular impaired motor coordination in chronically treated rats. The mice chronically injected with isoamyl nitrite also showed impaired function, while butyl nitrite had no significant effect. The results of the water maze test suggest that alkyl nitrites may impair learning and memory. Additionally, isoamyl nitrite affected the rodents' motor coordination ability. Collectively, our findings suggest that alkyl nitrites may induce neurotoxicity, especially on the aspect of learning and memory function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Acoustic noise improves motor learning in spontaneously hypertensive rats, a rat model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Söderlund, Göran B W; Eckernäs, Daniel; Holmblad, Olof; Bergquist, Filip

    2015-03-01

    The spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rat model of ADHD displays impaired motor learning. We used this characteristic to study if the recently described acoustic noise benefit in learning in children with ADHD is also observed in the SH rat model. SH rats and a Wistar control strain were trained in skilled reach and rotarod running under either ambient noise or in 75 dBA white noise. In other animals the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on motor learning was assessed with the same paradigms. To determine if acoustic noise influenced spontaneous motor activity, the effect of acoustic noise was also determined in the open field activity paradigm. We confirm impaired motor learning in the SH rat compared to Wistar SCA controls. Acoustic noise restored motor learning in SH rats learning the Montoya reach test and the rotarod test, but had no influence on learning in Wistar rats. Noise had no effect on open field activity in SH rats, but increased corner time in Wistar. MPH completely restored rotarod learning and performance but did not improve skilled reach in the SH rat. It is suggested that the acoustic noise benefit previously reported in children with ADHD is shared by the SH rat model of ADHD, and the effect is in the same range as that of stimulant treatment. Acoustic noise may be useful as a non-pharmacological alternative to stimulant medication in the treatment of ADHD. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Steady and dynamic states analysis of induction motor: FEA approach

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper deals with the steady and dynamic states analysis of induction motor using finite element analysis (FEA) approach. The motor has aluminum rotor bars and is designed for direct-on-line operation at 50 Hz. A study of the losses occurring in the motor performed at operating frequency of 50Hz showed that stator ...

  16. Motor learning in healthy humans is associated to gray matter changes: a tensor-based morphometry study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippi, Massimo; Ceccarelli, Antonia; Pagani, Elisabetta; Gatti, Roberto; Rossi, Alice; Stefanelli, Laura; Falini, Andrea; Comi, Giancarlo; Rocca, Maria Assunta

    2010-04-15

    We used tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to: 1) map gray matter (GM) volume changes associated with motor learning in young healthy individuals; 2) evaluate if GM changes persist three months after cessation of motor training; and 3) assess whether the use of different schemes of motor training during the learning phase could lead to volume modifications of specific GM structures. From 31 healthy subjects, motor functional assessment and brain 3D T1-weighted sequence were obtained: before motor training (time 0), at the end of training (two weeks) (time 2), and three months later (time 3). Fifteen subjects (group A) were trained with goal-directed motor sequences, and 16 (group B) with non purposeful motor actions of the right hand. At time 1 vs. time 0, the whole sample of subjects had GM volume increase in regions of the temporo-occipital lobes, inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and middle frontal gyrus, while at time 2 vs. time 1, an increased GM volume in the middle temporal gyrus was seen. At time 1 vs. time 0, compared to group B, group A had a GM volume increase of the hippocampi, while the opposite comparison showed greater GM volume increase in the IPL and insula in group B vs. group A. Motor learning results in structural GM changes of different brain areas which are part of specific neuronal networks and tend to persist after training is stopped. The scheme applied during the learning phase influences the pattern of such structural changes.

  17. Motor learning in healthy humans is associated to gray matter changes: a tensor-based morphometry study.

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    Massimo Filippi

    Full Text Available We used tensor-based morphometry (TBM to: 1 map gray matter (GM volume changes associated with motor learning in young healthy individuals; 2 evaluate if GM changes persist three months after cessation of motor training; and 3 assess whether the use of different schemes of motor training during the learning phase could lead to volume modifications of specific GM structures. From 31 healthy subjects, motor functional assessment and brain 3D T1-weighted sequence were obtained: before motor training (time 0, at the end of training (two weeks (time 2, and three months later (time 3. Fifteen subjects (group A were trained with goal-directed motor sequences, and 16 (group B with non purposeful motor actions of the right hand. At time 1 vs. time 0, the whole sample of subjects had GM volume increase in regions of the temporo-occipital lobes, inferior parietal lobule (IPL and middle frontal gyrus, while at time 2 vs. time 1, an increased GM volume in the middle temporal gyrus was seen. At time 1 vs. time 0, compared to group B, group A had a GM volume increase of the hippocampi, while the opposite comparison showed greater GM volume increase in the IPL and insula in group B vs. group A. Motor learning results in structural GM changes of different brain areas which are part of specific neuronal networks and tend to persist after training is stopped. The scheme applied during the learning phase influences the pattern of such structural changes.

  18. Working Memory Capacity Limits Motor Learning When Implementing Multiple Instructions

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    Tim Buszard

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Although it is generally accepted that certain practice conditions can place large demands on working memory (WM when performing and learning a motor skill, the influence that WM capacity has on the acquisition of motor skills remains unsubstantiated. This study examined the role of WM capacity in a motor skill practice context that promoted WM involvement through the provision of explicit instructions. A cohort of 90 children aged 8 to 10 years were assessed on measures of WM capacity and attention. Children who scored in the lowest and highest thirds on the WM tasks were allocated to lower WM capacity (n = 24 and higher WM capacity (n = 24 groups, respectively. The remaining 42 participants did not participate in the motor task. The motor task required children to practice basketball shooting for 240 trials in blocks of 20 shots, with pre- and post-tests occurring before and after the intervention. A retention test was administered 1 week after the post-test. Prior to every practice block, children were provided with five explicit instructions that were specific to the technique of shooting a basketball. Results revealed that the higher WM capacity group displayed consistent improvements from pre- to post-test and through to the retention test, while the opposite effect occurred in the lower WM capacity group. This implies that the explicit instructions had a negative influence on learning by the lower WM capacity children. Results are discussed in relation to strategy selection for dealing with instructions and the role of attention control.

  19. Motor learning and modulation of prefrontal cortex: an fNIRS assessment

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    Ono, Yumie; Noah, Jack Adam; Zhang, Xian; Nomoto, Yasunori; Suzuki, Tatsuya; Shimada, Sotaro; Tachibana, Atsumichi; Bronner, Shaw; Hirsch, Joy

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Prefrontal hemodynamic responses are observed during performance of motor tasks. Using a dance video game (DVG), a complex motor task that requires temporally accurate footsteps with given visual and auditory cues, we investigated whether 20 h of DVG training modified hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal cortex in six healthy young adults. Approach. Fronto-temporal activity during actual DVG play was measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) pre- and post-training. To evaluate the training-induced changes in the time-courses of fNIRS signals, we employed a regression analysis using the task-specific template fNIRS signals that were generated from alternate well-trained and/or novice DVG players. The HRF was also separately incorporated as a template to construct an alternate regression model. Change in coefficients for template functions at pre- and post- training were determined and compared among different models. Main results. Training significantly increased the motor performance using the number of temporally accurate steps in the DVG as criteria. The mean oxygenated hemoglobin (ΔoxyHb) waveform changed from an activation above baseline pattern to that of a below baseline pattern. Participants showed significantly decreased coefficients for regressors of the ΔoxyHb response of novice players and HRF. The model using ΔoxyHb responses from both well-trained and novice players of DVG as templates showed the best fit for the ΔoxyHb responses of the participants at both pre- and post-training when analyzed with Akaike information criteria. Significance. These results suggest that the coefficients for the template ΔoxyHb responses of the novice players are sensitive indicators of motor learning during the initial stage of training and thus clinically useful to determine the improvement in motor performance when patients are engaged in a specific rehabilitation program.

  20. Reliability of the Motor Learning Strategy Rating Instrument for Children and Youth with Acquired Brain Injury

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    Kamath, Trishna; Pfeifer, Megan; Banerjee-Guenette, Priyanka; Hunter, Theresa; Ito, Julia; Salbach, Nancy M.; Wright, Virginia; Levac, Danielle

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To evaluate reliability and feasibility of the Motor Learning Strategy Rating Instrument (MLSRI) in children with acquired brain injury (ABI). The MLSRI quantifies the extent to which motor learning strategies (MLS) are used within physiotherapy (PT) interventions. Methods: PT sessions conducted by ABI team physiotherapists with a…

  1. No association of the BDNF val66met polymorphism with implicit associative vocabulary and motor learning.

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    Nils Freundlieb

    Full Text Available Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF has been suggested to play a major role in plasticity, neurogenesis and learning in the adult brain. The BDNF gene contains a common val66met polymorphism associated with decreased activity-dependent excretion of BDNF and a potential influence on behaviour, more specifically, on motor learning. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of the BDNF val66met polymorphism on short-term implicit associative learning and whether its influence is cognitive domain-specific (motor vs. language. A sample of 38 young healthy participants was genotyped, screened for background and neuropsychological differences, and tested with two associative implicit learning paradigms in two different cognitive domains, i.e., motor and vocabulary learning. Subjects performed the serial reaction time task (SRTT to determine implicit motor learning and a recently established associative vocabulary learning task (AVL for implicit learning of action and object words. To determine the influence of the BDNF polymorphism on domain-specific implicit learning, behavioural improvements in the two tasks were compared between val/val (n = 22 and met carriers (val/met: n = 15 and met/met: n = 1. There was no evidence for an impact of the BDNF val66met polymorphism on the behavioural outcome in implicit short-term learning paradigms in young healthy subjects. Whether this polymorphism plays a relevant role in long-term training paradigms or in subjects with impaired neuronal plasticity or reduced learning capacity, such as aged individuals, demented patients or patients with brain lesions, has to be determined in future studies.

  2. The Effects of Differential Learning and Traditional Learning Trainings on Technical Development of Football Players

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    Bozkurt, Sinan

    2018-01-01

    There are several different methods of learning motor skills, like traditional (linear) and differential (nonlinear) learning training. The traditional motor learning approach proposes that learners improve a skill just by repeating it. According to the teaching principles, exercises are selected along continua from easy to hard and from simple to…

  3. The Relationship between Gross Motor Skills and Academic Achievement in Children with Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westendorp, Marieke; Hartman, Esther; Houwen, Suzanne; Smith, Joanne; Visscher, Chris

    2011-01-01

    The present study compared the gross motor skills of 7- to 12-year-old children with learning disabilities (n = 104) with those of age-matched typically developing children (n = 104) using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Additionally, the specific relationships between subsets of gross motor skills and academic performance in reading,…

  4. Low-Back Pain Patients Learn to Adapt Motor Behavior with Adverse Secondary Consequences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dieën, Jaap H.; Flor, Herta; Hodges, Paul W.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT: We hypothesize that changes in motor behavior in individuals with low-back pain are adaptations aimed at minimizing the real or perceived risk of further pain. Through reinforcement learning, pain and subsequent adaptions result in less dynamic motor behavior, leading to increased loading

  5. Emotional Learning Based Intelligent Controllers for Rotor Flux Oriented Control of Induction Motor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdollahi, Rohollah; Farhangi, Reza; Yarahmadi, Ali

    2014-08-01

    This paper presents design and evaluation of a novel approach based on emotional learning to improve the speed control system of rotor flux oriented control of induction motor. The controller includes a neuro-fuzzy system with speed error and its derivative as inputs. A fuzzy critic evaluates the present situation, and provides the emotional signal (stress). The controller modifies its characteristics so that the critics stress is reduced. The comparative simulation results show that the proposed controller is more robust and hence found to be a suitable replacement of the conventional PI controller for the high performance industrial drive applications.

  6. A neural network-based exploratory learning and motor planning system for co-robots

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    Byron V Galbraith

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Collaborative robots, or co-robots, are semi-autonomous robotic agents designed to work alongside humans in shared workspaces. To be effective, co-robots require the ability to respond and adapt to dynamic scenarios encountered in natural environments. One way to achieve this is through exploratory learning, or learning by doing, an unsupervised method in which co-robots are able to build an internal model for motor planning and coordination based on real-time sensory inputs. In this paper, we present an adaptive neural network-based system for co-robot control that employs exploratory learning to achieve the coordinated motor planning needed to navigate toward, reach for, and grasp distant objects. To validate this system we used the 11-degrees-of-freedom RoPro Calliope mobile robot. Through motor babbling of its wheels and arm, the Calliope learned how to relate visual and proprioceptive information to achieve hand-eye-body coordination. By continually evaluating sensory inputs and externally provided goal directives, the Calliope was then able to autonomously select the appropriate wheel and joint velocities needed to perform its assigned task, such as following a moving target or retrieving an indicated object.

  7. A neural network-based exploratory learning and motor planning system for co-robots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbraith, Byron V; Guenther, Frank H; Versace, Massimiliano

    2015-01-01

    Collaborative robots, or co-robots, are semi-autonomous robotic agents designed to work alongside humans in shared workspaces. To be effective, co-robots require the ability to respond and adapt to dynamic scenarios encountered in natural environments. One way to achieve this is through exploratory learning, or "learning by doing," an unsupervised method in which co-robots are able to build an internal model for motor planning and coordination based on real-time sensory inputs. In this paper, we present an adaptive neural network-based system for co-robot control that employs exploratory learning to achieve the coordinated motor planning needed to navigate toward, reach for, and grasp distant objects. To validate this system we used the 11-degrees-of-freedom RoPro Calliope mobile robot. Through motor babbling of its wheels and arm, the Calliope learned how to relate visual and proprioceptive information to achieve hand-eye-body coordination. By continually evaluating sensory inputs and externally provided goal directives, the Calliope was then able to autonomously select the appropriate wheel and joint velocities needed to perform its assigned task, such as following a moving target or retrieving an indicated object.

  8. Discovery learning with SAVI approach in geometry learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahara, R.; Mardiyana; Saputro, D. R. S.

    2018-05-01

    Geometry is one branch of mathematics that an important role in learning mathematics in the schools. This research aims to find out about Discovery Learning with SAVI approach to achievement of learning geometry. This research was conducted at Junior High School in Surakarta city. Research data were obtained through test and questionnaire. Furthermore, the data was analyzed by using two-way Anova. The results showed that Discovery Learning with SAVI approach gives a positive influence on mathematics learning achievement. Discovery Learning with SAVI approach provides better mathematics learning outcomes than direct learning. In addition, students with high self-efficacy categories have better mathematics learning achievement than those with moderate and low self-efficacy categories, while student with moderate self-efficacy categories are better mathematics learning achievers than students with low self-efficacy categories. There is an interaction between Discovery Learning with SAVI approach and self-efficacy toward student's mathematics learning achievement. Therefore, Discovery Learning with SAVI approach can improve mathematics learning achievement.

  9. Age-related changes in consolidation of perceptual and muscle-based learning of motor skills

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    Rebecca M. C. Spencer

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Improvements in motor sequence learning come about via goal-based learning of the sequence of visual stimuli and muscle-based learning of the sequence of movement responses. In young adults, consolidation of goal-based learning is observed after intervals of sleep but not following wake, whereas consolidation of muscle-based learning is greater following intervals with wake compared to sleep. While the benefit of sleep on motor sequence learning has been shown to decline with age, how sleep contributes to consolidation of goal-based versus muscle-based learning in older adults has not been disentangled. We trained young (n=62 and older (n=50 adults on a motor sequence learning task and re-tested learning following 12 hr intervals containing overnight sleep or daytime wake. To probe consolidation of goal-based learning of the sequence, half of the participants were re-tested in a configuration in which the stimulus sequence was the same but, due to a shift in stimulus-response mapping, the movement response sequence differed. To probe consolidation of muscle-based learning, the remaining participants were tested in a configuration in which the stimulus sequence was novel, but now the sequence of movements used for responding was unchanged. In young adults, there was a significant condition (goal-based v. muscle-based learning by interval (sleep v. wake interaction, F(1,58=6.58, p=.013: Goal-based learning tended to be greater following sleep compared to wake, t(29=1.47, p=.072. Conversely, muscle-based learning was greater following wake than sleep, t(29=2.11, p=.021. Unlike young adults, this interaction was not significant in older adults, F(1,46=.04, p=.84, nor was there a main effect of interval, F(1,46=1.14, p=.29. Thus, older adults do not preferentially consolidate sequence learning over wake or sleep.

  10. Endurance exercise as an endogenous neuro-enhancement strategy to facilitate motor learning

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    Marco eTaubert

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Endurance exercise improves cardiovascular and musculoskeletal function and may also increase the information processing capacities of the brain. Animal and human research from the past decade demonstrated widespread exercise effects on brain structure and function at the systems-, cellular- and molecular level of brain organization. These neurobiological mechanisms may explain the well-established positive influence of exercise on performance in various behavioural domains but also its contribution to improved skill learning and neuroplasticity. With respect to the latter, only few empirical and theoretical studies are available to date. The aim of this review is (i to summarize the existing neurobiological and behavioural evidence arguing for endurance exercise-induced improvements in motor learning and (ii to develop hypotheses about the mechanistic link between exercise and improved learning. We identify major knowledge gaps that need to be addressed by future research projects to advance our understanding of how exercise should be organized to optimize motor learning.

  11. Stages in learning motor synergies: a view based on the equilibrium-point hypothesis.

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    Latash, Mark L

    2010-10-01

    This review describes a novel view on stages in motor learning based on recent developments of the notion of synergies, the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis, and the equilibrium-point hypothesis (referent configuration) that allow to merge these notions into a single scheme of motor control. The principle of abundance and the principle of minimal final action form the foundation for analyses of natural motor actions performed by redundant sets of elements. Two main stages of motor learning are introduced corresponding to (1) discovery and strengthening of motor synergies stabilizing salient performance variable(s) and (2) their weakening when other aspects of motor performance are optimized. The first stage may be viewed as consisting of two steps, the elaboration of an adequate referent configuration trajectory and the elaboration of multi-joint (multi-muscle) synergies stabilizing the referent configuration trajectory. Both steps are expected to lead to more variance in the space of elemental variables that is compatible with a desired time profile of the salient performance variable ("good variability"). Adjusting control to other aspects of performance during the second stage (for example, esthetics, energy expenditure, time, fatigue, etc.) may lead to a drop in the "good variability". Experimental support for the suggested scheme is reviewed. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Using Video Game Telemetry Data to Research Motor Chunking, Action Latencies, and Complex Cognitive-Motor Skill Learning.

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    Thompson, Joseph J; McColeman, C M; Stepanova, Ekaterina R; Blair, Mark R

    2017-04-01

    Many theories of complex cognitive-motor skill learning are built on the notion that basic cognitive processes group actions into easy-to-perform sequences. The present work examines predictions derived from laboratory-based studies of motor chunking and motor preparation using data collected from the real-time strategy video game StarCraft 2. We examined 996,163 action sequences in the telemetry data of 3,317 players across seven levels of skill. As predicted, the latency to the first action (thought to be the beginning of a chunked sequence) is delayed relative to the other actions in the group. Other predictions, inspired by the memory drum theory of Henry and Rogers, received only weak support. Copyright © 2017 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  13. How do we learn to "kill" in volleyball?: The role of working memory capacity and expertise in volleyball motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisagno, Elisa; Morra, Sergio

    2018-03-01

    This study examines young volleyball players' learning of increasingly complex attack gestures. The main purpose of the study was to examine the predictive role of a cognitive variable, working memory capacity (or "M capacity"), in the acquisition and development of motor skills in a structured sport. Pascual-Leone's theory of constructive operators (TCO) was used as a framework; it defines working memory capacity as the maximum number of schemes that can be simultaneously activated by attentional resources. The role of expertise in motor learning was also considered. The expertise of each athlete was assessed in terms of years of practice and number of training sessions per week. The participants were 120 volleyball players, aged between 6 and 26 years, who performed both working memory tests and practical tests of volleyball involving the execution of the "third touch" by means of technical gestures of varying difficulty. We proposed a task analysis of these different gestures framed within the TCO. The results pointed to a very clear dissociation. On the one hand, M capacity was the best predictor of correct motor performance, and a specific capacity threshold was found for learning each attack gesture. On the other hand, experience was the key for the precision of the athletic gestures. This evidence could underline the existence of two different cognitive mechanisms in motor learning. The first one, relying on attentional resources, is required to learn a gesture. The second one, based on repeated experience, leads to its automatization. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. The Effects of Collectivism-Individualism on the Cooperative Learning of Motor Skill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yi; Sun, Yan; Strobel, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    This study examined how cultural background (collectivism vs. individualism) affects motor skill learning in a dyadic cooperative learning environment. The research context of this study was Nintendo™ Wii Tennis. Twenty college students from a Midwestern university participated in the study, among whom half were from an individualistic culture…

  15. An investigation of fMRI time series stationarity during motor sequence learning foot tapping tasks.

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    Muhei-aldin, Othman; VanSwearingen, Jessie; Karim, Helmet; Huppert, Theodore; Sparto, Patrick J; Erickson, Kirk I; Sejdić, Ervin

    2014-04-30

    Understanding complex brain networks using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is of great interest to clinical and scientific communities. To utilize advanced analysis methods such as graph theory for these investigations, the stationarity of fMRI time series needs to be understood as it has important implications on the choice of appropriate approaches for the analysis of complex brain networks. In this paper, we investigated the stationarity of fMRI time series acquired from twelve healthy participants while they performed a motor (foot tapping sequence) learning task. Since prior studies have documented that learning is associated with systematic changes in brain activation, a sequence learning task is an optimal paradigm to assess the degree of non-stationarity in fMRI time-series in clinically relevant brain areas. We predicted that brain regions involved in a "learning network" would demonstrate non-stationarity and may violate assumptions associated with some advanced analysis approaches. Six blocks of learning, and six control blocks of a foot tapping sequence were performed in a fixed order. The reverse arrangement test was utilized to investigate the time series stationarity. Our analysis showed some non-stationary signals with a time varying first moment as a major source of non-stationarity. We also demonstrated a decreased number of non-stationarities in the third block as a result of priming and repetition. Most of the current literature does not examine stationarity prior to processing. The implication of our findings is that future investigations analyzing complex brain networks should utilize approaches robust to non-stationarities, as graph-theoretical approaches can be sensitive to non-stationarities present in data. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. A Model for the Transfer of Perceptual-Motor Skill Learning in Human Behaviors

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    Rosalie, Simon M.; Muller, Sean

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a preliminary model that outlines the mechanisms underlying the transfer of perceptual-motor skill learning in sport and everyday tasks. Perceptual-motor behavior is motivated by performance demands and evolves over time to increase the probability of success through adaptation. Performance demands at the time of an event…

  17. The contribution of nocturnal sleep to the consolidation of motor skill learning in healthy ageing and Parkinson's disease.

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    Terpening, Zoe; Naismith, Sharon; Melehan, Kerri; Gittins, Catherine; Bolitho, Sam; Lewis, Simon J G

    2013-08-01

    The benefits of sleep for the consolidation of procedural motor skills are less robust in older adults, although the precise reasons for this remain unclear. To date, even less is known about these processes in older adults with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those which impact on motor functioning. While sleep disturbance and motor symptoms are frequent disabling features of Parkinson's disease, no known studies have directly probed sleep-dependent memory consolidation for motor skill learning in Parkinson's disease. Forty patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (age = 63.7 years ± 7.7; disease duration 4.1 years ± 4.4) completed a motor skill learning task pre- and post-sleep and were compared to 20 age- and sex-matched controls recruited from the community. Polysomnography was undertaken during the post-training night and measures of sleep architecture were derived. Parkinson's disease patients did not demonstrate any apparent deficits in within-session learning and overnight stabilization compared to controls, with both groups failing to demonstrate offline improvements in performance (i.e. memory consolidation). In controls, longer duration in slow wave sleep was associated with improved next-day session learning (P = 0.007). However, in Parkinson's disease, no relationships between sleep parameters and learning measures were found. Slow wave sleep microarchitecture and the use of dopaminergic medications may contribute to impaired sleep-dependent multi-session acquisition of motor skill learning in Parkinson's disease. © 2013 European Sleep Research Society.

  18. Sleep parameters, functional status and time post-stroke are associated with off-line motor skill learning in people with chronic stroke

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    Catherine eSiengsukon

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Mounting evidence demonstrates that individuals with stroke benefit from sleep to enhance learning of a motor task. While stage NREM2 sleep and REM sleep have been associated with off-line motor skill learning in neurologically-intact individuals, it remains unknown which sleep parameters or specific sleep stages are associated with off-line motor skill learning in individuals with stroke. Methods: Twenty individuals with chronic stroke (> 6 months following stroke and 10 neurologically slept for three consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory with polysomnography. Participants practiced a tracking task the morning before the third night and underwent a retention test the morning following the third night. Off-line learning on the tracking task was assessed. Pearson’s correlations assessed for associations between the magnitude of off-line learning and sleep variables, age, upper extremity motor function, stroke severity, depression and time since stroke occurrence.Results: Individuals with stroke performed with significantly less error on the tracking task following a night of sleep (p=.006 while the control participants did not (p=.816. Increased sleep efficiency (r= -.285, less time spent in stage NREM3 sleep (r=.260, and more time spent in stage REM sleep (r= -.266 was weakly-to-moderately associated with increased magnitude of off-line motor learning. Furthermore, higher upper-extremity motor function (r = -.400, lower stroke severity (r = .360, and less time since stroke occurrence (r=.311 were moderately associated with increased magnitude of off-line motor learning. Conclusion: This study is the first study to provide insight into which sleep stages and individual characteristics may be associated with off-line learning in people with stroke. Future work should continue to understand which factors or combination of factors promote off-line motor learning in people with neurologic injury to best promote motor recovery in

  19. The study of demonstration in motor learning: state of the art, challenges, and perspectives. DOI: 10.5007/1980-0037.2011v13n5p392

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    Suzete Chiviacowsky

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to review the literature regarding demonstration as an important information source for the acquisition of motor skills. State of the art, main research challenges and some research perspectives are presented. Different theoretical bases have been used for the investigation of demonstration. The first is Bandura’s social learning theory, in which proposals of how the observed information is processed by the learner are presented. Recent studies have tried to identify the nature of the observed information based on two theoretical models: motor and action approaches. Research findings based on Bandura’s theory show that, during the process of observational learning, factors such as characteristics of the model, learner, demonstration, and motor skill differently affect the sub-processes related to the formation of the guide of action. On the other hand, studies investigating the nature of the information have shown advances in both theoretical approaches, but at a slower pace. For further developments to occur, we suggest a methodological exchange between the two theoretical approaches and investigations in which the learner has greater control over the request and use of demonstration.

  20. Acquisition and improvement of human motor skills: Learning through observation and practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iba, Wayne

    1991-01-01

    Skilled movement is an integral part of the human existence. A better understanding of motor skills and their development is a prerequisite to the construction of truly flexible intelligent agents. We present MAEANDER, a computational model of human motor behavior, that uniformly addresses both the acquisition of skills through observation and the improvement of skills through practice. MAEANDER consists of a sensory-effector interface, a memory of movements, and a set of performance and learning mechanisms that let it recognize and generate motor skills. The system initially acquires such skills by observing movements performed by another agent and constructing a concept hierarchy. Given a stored motor skill in memory, MAEANDER will cause an effector to behave appropriately. All learning involves changing the hierarchical memory of skill concepts to more closely correspond to either observed experience or to desired behaviors. We evaluated MAEANDER empirically with respect to how well it acquires and improves both artificial movement types and handwritten script letters from the alphabet. We also evaluate MAEANDER as a psychological model by comparing its behavior to robust phenomena in humans and by considering the richness of the predictions it makes.

  1. Cluster analysis of activity-time series in motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balslev, Daniela; Nielsen, Finn Årup; Frutiger, Sally A.

    2002-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies of learning focus on brain areas where the activity changes as a function of time. To circumvent the difficult problem of model selection, we used a data-driven analytic tool, cluster analysis, which extracts representative temporal and spatial patterns from the voxel...... practice-related activity in a fronto-parieto-cerebellar network, in agreement with previous studies of motor learning. These voxels were separated from a group of voxels showing an unspecific time-effect and another group of voxels, whose activation was an artifact from smoothing. Hum. Brain Mapping 15...

  2. 5 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the ipsilesional sensory cortex enhances motor learning after stroke

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    Sonia M Brodie

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Sensory feedback is critical for motor learning, and thus to neurorehabilitation after stroke. Whether enhancing sensory feedback by applying excitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS over the ipsilesional primary sensory cortex (IL-S1 might enhance motor learning in chronic stroke has yet to be investigated. The present study investigated the effects of 5 Hz rTMS over IL-S1 paired with skilled motor practice on motor learning, hemiparetic cutaneous somatosensation, and motor function. Individuals with unilateral chronic stroke were pseudo-randomly divided into either Active or Sham 5 Hz rTMS groups (n=11/group. Following stimulation, both groups practiced a Serial Tracking Task (STT with the hemiparetic arm; this was repeated for 5 days. Performance on the STT was quantified by response time, peak velocity, and cumulative distance tracked at baseline, during the 5 days of practice, and at a no-rTMS retention test. Cutaneous somatosensation was measured using two-point discrimination. Standardized sensorimotor tests were performed to assess whether the effects might generalize to impact hemiparetic arm function. The active 5Hz rTMS + training group demonstrated significantly greater improvements in STT performance [response time (F1,286.04=13.016, p< 0.0005, peak velocity (F1,285.95=4.111, p=0.044, and cumulative distance (F1,285.92=4.076, p=0.044] and cutaneous somatosensation (F1,21.15=8.793, p=0.007 across all sessions compared to the sham rTMS + training group. Measures of upper extremity motor function were not significantly different for either group. Our preliminary results suggest that, when paired with motor practice, 5Hz rTMS over IL-S1 enhances motor learning related change in individuals with chronic stroke, potentially as a consequence of improved cutaneous somatosensation, however no improvement in general upper extremity function was observed.

  3. Force and complexity of tongue task training influences behavioral measures of motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kothari, Mohit; Svensson, Peter; Huo, Xueliang

    2012-01-01

    Relearning of motor skills is important in neurorehabilitation. We investigated the improvement of training success during simple tongue protrusion (two force levels) and a more complex tongue-training paradigm using the Tongue Drive System (TDS). We also compared subject-based reports of fun, pain...... training influences behavioral aspects of tongue motor learning....

  4. Occupational Therapy Interventions Effect on Visual-Motor Skills in Children with Learning Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Batoul Mandani

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Visual-motor skill is a part of visual perception which can integrate visual processing skills to fine movements. Visual-motor dysfunction is often to cause problems in copying and writing. The purpose of this study is investigation of occupational therapy interventions effect on the visual-motor skill in children with learning disorders. Materials & Methods: In this interventional and experimental study, 23 students with learning disorders (2nd, 3rd, 4th grade were selected and they were divided (through Randomized Block Method into two groups, 11 persons as intervention group and the others as the control group (12 people. Both groups were administered the “Test of Visual-Motor Skills- Revised” (TVMS-R. Then case group received occupational therapy interventions for 16 sessions and two groups were administered by TVMS-R again. Data was analyzed by using paired T-test and independent T-test. Results: Total mark of TVMS-R demonstrated statistically significant difference in visual-motor skills between case and control groups (P<0/001. This test has 8 categories. Total mark of 1, 3,4,6,8 categories demonstrated that occupational therapy had significant effect on visual analysis skills (P<0/005. Total mark of 2, 5, 7 categories demonstrated that occupational therapy had significant effect on visual-spatial skills (P<0/001. Conclusion: Occupational therapy interventions had significant effect on the visual-motor skills and its items (visual-spatial, visual analysis, visual-motor integration and eye fixation skills.

  5. Promoting Therapists' Use of Motor Learning Strategies within Virtual Reality-Based Stroke Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levac, Danielle E; Glegg, Stephanie M N; Sveistrup, Heidi; Colquhoun, Heather; Miller, Patricia; Finestone, Hillel; DePaul, Vincent; Harris, Jocelyn E; Velikonja, Diana

    2016-01-01

    Therapists use motor learning strategies (MLSs) to structure practice conditions within stroke rehabilitation. Virtual reality (VR)-based rehabilitation is an MLS-oriented stroke intervention, yet little support exists to assist therapists in integrating MLSs with VR system use. A pre-post design evaluated a knowledge translation (KT) intervention incorporating interactive e-learning and practice, in which 11 therapists learned how to integrate MLSs within VR-based therapy. Self-report and observer-rated outcome measures evaluated therapists' confidence, clinical reasoning and behaviour with respect to MLS use. A focus group captured therapists' perspectives on MLS use during VR-based therapy provision. The intervention improved self-reported confidence about MLS use as measured by confidence ratings (p behaviour change with respect to MLS use was noted (p = 0.092). Therapists favoured the strategy of transferring skills from VR to real-life tasks over employing a more comprehensive MLS approach. The KT intervention improved therapists' confidence but did not have an effect on clinical reasoning or behaviour with regard to MLS use during VR-based therapy.

  6. Implicit perceptual-motor skill learning in mild cognitive impairment and Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobel, Eric W; Blomeke, Kelsey; Zadikoff, Cindy; Simuni, Tanya; Weintraub, Sandra; Reber, Paul J

    2013-05-01

    Implicit skill learning is hypothesized to depend on nondeclarative memory that operates independent of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) memory system and instead depends on cortico striatal circuits between the basal ganglia and cortical areas supporting motor function and planning. Research with the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task suggests that patients with memory disorders due to MTL damage exhibit normal implicit sequence learning. However, reports of intact learning rely on observations of no group differences, leading to speculation as to whether implicit sequence learning is fully intact in these patients. Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) often exhibit impaired sequence learning, but this impairment is not universally observed. Implicit perceptual-motor sequence learning was examined using the Serial Interception Sequence Learning (SISL) task in patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI; n = 11) and patients with PD (n = 15). Sequence learning in SISL is resistant to explicit learning and individually adapted task difficulty controls for baseline performance differences. Patients with MCI exhibited robust sequence learning, equivalent to healthy older adults (n = 20), supporting the hypothesis that the MTL does not contribute to learning in this task. In contrast, the majority of patients with PD exhibited no sequence-specific learning in spite of matched overall task performance. Two patients with PD exhibited performance indicative of an explicit compensatory strategy suggesting that impaired implicit learning may lead to greater reliance on explicit memory in some individuals. The differences in learning between patient groups provides strong evidence in favor of implicit sequence learning depending solely on intact basal ganglia function with no contribution from the MTL memory system.

  7. Early Boost and Slow Consolidation in Motor Skill Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotermans, Christophe; Peigneux, Philippe; de Noordhout, Alain Maertens; Moonen, Gustave; Maquet, Pierre

    2006-01-01

    Motor skill learning is a dynamic process that continues covertly after training has ended and eventually leads to delayed increments in performance. Current theories suggest that this off-line improvement takes time and appears only after several hours. Here we show an early transient and short-lived boost in performance, emerging as early as…

  8. Cerebellar Plasticity and Motor Learning Deficits in a Copy Number Variation Mouse Model of Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piochon, Claire; Kloth, Alexander D; Grasselli, Giorgio; Titley, Heather K; Nakayama, Hisako; Hashimoto, Kouichi; Wan, Vivian; Simmons, Dana H; Eissa, Tahra; Nakatani, Jin; Cherskov, Adriana; Miyazaki, Taisuke; Watanabe, Masahiko; Takumi, Toru; Kano, Masanobu; Wang, Samuel S-H; Hansel, Christian

    2014-01-01

    A common feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the impairment of motor control and learning, occurring in a majority of children with autism, consistent with perturbation in cerebellar function. Here we report alterations in motor behavior and cerebellar synaptic plasticity in a mouse model (patDp/+) for the human 15q11-13 duplication, one of the most frequently observed genetic aberrations in autism. These mice show ASD-resembling social behavior deficits. We find that in patDp/+ mice delay eyeblink conditioning—a form of cerebellum-dependent motor learning—is impaired, and observe deregulation of a putative cellular mechanism for motor learning, long-term depression (LTD) at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses. Moreover, developmental elimination of surplus climbing fibers—a model for activity-dependent synaptic pruning—is impaired. These findings point to deficits in synaptic plasticity and pruning as potential causes for motor problems and abnormal circuit development in autism. PMID:25418414

  9. Reductive and Emergent Views on Motor Learning in Rehabilitation Practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dijk, Ludger; van der Sluis, Corry; Bongers, Raoul M.

    2017-01-01

    To allow different views on motor learning to inform rehabilitation research, the authors aimed to explicate a frequently missed yet fundamental difference in starting point of such views. By considering how rehabilitation in practice answers the question of what parts an activity consists of,

  10. Planning-related motor processes underlie mental practice and imitation learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bach, Patric; Allami, Bassem Khalaf; Tucker, Mike; Ellis, Rob

    2014-06-01

    It is still controversial whether mental practice-the internal rehearsal of movements to improve later performance-relies on processes engaged during physical motor performance and, if so, which processes these are. We report data from 5 experiments, in which participants mentally practiced complex rhythms with either feet or hands while using the same or different body parts to respond to unrelated sounds. We found that responses were impaired for those body parts that were concurrently used in mental practice, suggesting a binding of body-part-specific motor processes to action plans. This result was found when participants mentally trained to memorize the rhythms, to merely improve their performance, when mental practice and execution directly followed one another and when separated by a different task. Finally, it was found irrespective of whether participants practiced on the basis of a symbolic rhythm description and when they practiced by watching somebody perform the rhythms (imitation learning). The effect was eliminated only when the requirement for mental practice was eliminated from the task while keeping visual stimulation identical. These data link mental practice not to execution but planning related motor processes and reveal that these planning processes underlie both mental practice and imitation learning. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  11. Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Area Promotes Implicit Motor Learning in a Golf Putting Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Frank F; Yeung, Andrew Y; Poolton, Jamie M; Lee, Tatia M C; Leung, Gilberto K K; Masters, Rich S W

    2015-01-01

    Implicit motor learning is characterized by low dependence on working memory and stable performance despite stress, fatigue, or multi-tasking. However, current paradigms for implicit motor learning are based on behavioral interventions that are often task-specific and limited when applied in practice. To investigate whether cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) area during motor learning suppressed working memory activity and reduced explicit verbal-analytical involvement in movement control, thereby promoting implicit motor learning. Twenty-seven healthy individuals practiced a golf putting task during a Training Phase while receiving either real cathodal tDCS stimulation over the left DLPFC area or sham stimulation. Their performance was assessed during a Test phase on another day. Verbal working memory capacity was assessed before and after the Training Phase, and before the Test Phase. Compared to sham stimulation, real stimulation suppressed verbal working memory activity after the Training Phase, but enhanced golf putting performance during the Training Phase and the Test Phase, especially when participants were required to multi-task. Cathodal tDCS over the left DLPFC may foster implicit motor learning and performance in complex real-life motor tasks that occur during sports, surgery or motor rehabilitation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. An Adaptive Speed Control Approach for DC Shunt Motors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruben Tapia-Olvera

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available A B-spline neural networks-based adaptive control technique for angular speed reference trajectory tracking tasks with highly efficient performance for direct current shunt motors is proposed. A methodology for adaptive control and its proper training procedure are introduced. This algorithm sets the control signal without using a detailed mathematical model nor exact values of the parameters of the nonlinear dynamic system. The proposed robust adaptive tracking control scheme only requires measurements of the velocity output signal. Thus, real-time measurements or estimations of acceleration, current and disturbance signals are avoided. Experimental results confirm the efficient and robust performance of the proposed control approach for highly demanding motor operation conditions exposed to variable-speed reference trajectories and completely unknown load torque. Hence, laboratory experimental tests on a direct current shunt motor prove the viability of the proposed adaptive output feedback trajectory tracking control approach.

  13. Recent History of Effector Use Modulates Practice-Dependent Changes in Corticospinal Excitability but Not Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Sara J; Darling, Warren G; Cole, Kelly J

    2016-01-01

    The theory of homeostatic metaplasticity has significant implications for human motor cortical plasticity and motor learning. Previous work has shown that the extent of recent effector use before exogenously-induced plasticity can affect the direction, magnitude and variability of aftereffects. However, the impact of recent effector use on motor learning and practice-dependent plasticity is not known. We hypothesized that reducing effector use for 8 hours via hand/wrist immobilization would facilitate practice-dependent changes in corticospinal excitability and TMS-evoked thumb movement kinematics, while also promoting 24-hour retention of a ballistic motor skill. Subjects participated in a crossover study involving two conditions. During the immobilization condition, subjects wore a splint that restricted motion of the left hand and thumb for 8 hours. While wearing the splint, subjects were instructed to avoid using their left hand as much as possible. During the control condition, subjects did not wear a splint at any time nor were they instructed to avoid hand use. After either an 8 hour period of immobilization or normal hand use, we collected MEP and TMS-evoked thumb movement recruitment curves, and subjects practiced a ballistic motor skill involving rapid thumb extension. After motor practice, MEP and TMS-evoked thumb movement recruitment curves were re-tested. Retention of the motor skill was tested 30 minutes and 24 hours after motor practice. Reduced effector use did not impact pre-practice corticospinal excitability but did facilitate practice-dependent changes in corticospinal excitability, and this enhancement was specific to the trained muscle. In contrast, reducing effector use did not affect practice-dependent changes in TMS-evoked thumb movements nor did it promote acquisition or retention of the skill. Finally, we detected some associations between pre-practice excitability levels, plasticity effects and learning effects, but these did not reach

  14. Effect Of Variable Practice On The Motor Learning Process In Manual Wheelchair Propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leving, Marika T; Vegter, Riemer J K; de Groot, Sonja; van der Woude, Lucas H V

    Handrim wheelchair propulsion is a cyclic skill that needs to be learned during rehabilitation. It has been suggested that a higher intra-individual variability benefits the motor learning process of wheelchair propulsion. PURPOSE: The goal of the current study was to determine the effect of

  15. Impaired Retention of Motor Learning of Writing Skills in Patients with Parkinson's Disease with Freezing of Gait.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elke Heremans

    Full Text Available Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD and freezing of gait (FOG suffer from more impaired motor and cognitive functioning than their non-freezing counterparts. This underlies an even higher need for targeted rehabilitation programs in this group. However, so far it is unclear whether FOG affects the ability for consolidation and generalization of motor learning and thus the efficacy of rehabilitation.To investigate the hallmarks of motor learning in people with FOG compared to those without by comparing the effects of an intensive motor learning program to improve handwriting.Thirty five patients with PD, including 19 without and 16 with FOG received six weeks of handwriting training consisting of exercises provided on paper and on a touch-sensitive writing tablet. Writing training was based on single- and dual-task writing and was supported by means of visual target zones. To investigate automatization, generalization and retention of learning, writing performance was assessed before and after training in the presence and absence of cues and dual tasking and after a six-week retention period. Writing amplitude was measured as primary outcome measure and variability of writing and dual-task accuracy as secondary outcomes.Significant learning effects were present on all outcome measures in both groups, both for writing under single- and dual-task conditions. However, the gains in writing amplitude were not retained after a retention period of six weeks without training in the patient group without FOG. Furthermore, patients with FOG were highly dependent on the visual target zones, reflecting reduced generalization of learning in this group.Although short-term learning effects were present in both groups, generalization and retention of motor learning were specifically impaired in patients with PD and FOG. The results of this study underscore the importance of individualized rehabilitation protocols.

  16. Impaired Retention of Motor Learning of Writing Skills in Patients with Parkinson's Disease with Freezing of Gait.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heremans, Elke; Nackaerts, Evelien; Vervoort, Griet; Broeder, Sanne; Swinnen, Stephan P; Nieuwboer, Alice

    2016-01-01

    Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and freezing of gait (FOG) suffer from more impaired motor and cognitive functioning than their non-freezing counterparts. This underlies an even higher need for targeted rehabilitation programs in this group. However, so far it is unclear whether FOG affects the ability for consolidation and generalization of motor learning and thus the efficacy of rehabilitation. To investigate the hallmarks of motor learning in people with FOG compared to those without by comparing the effects of an intensive motor learning program to improve handwriting. Thirty five patients with PD, including 19 without and 16 with FOG received six weeks of handwriting training consisting of exercises provided on paper and on a touch-sensitive writing tablet. Writing training was based on single- and dual-task writing and was supported by means of visual target zones. To investigate automatization, generalization and retention of learning, writing performance was assessed before and after training in the presence and absence of cues and dual tasking and after a six-week retention period. Writing amplitude was measured as primary outcome measure and variability of writing and dual-task accuracy as secondary outcomes. Significant learning effects were present on all outcome measures in both groups, both for writing under single- and dual-task conditions. However, the gains in writing amplitude were not retained after a retention period of six weeks without training in the patient group without FOG. Furthermore, patients with FOG were highly dependent on the visual target zones, reflecting reduced generalization of learning in this group. Although short-term learning effects were present in both groups, generalization and retention of motor learning were specifically impaired in patients with PD and FOG. The results of this study underscore the importance of individualized rehabilitation protocols.

  17. White matter microstructure changes induced by motor skill learning utilizing a body machine interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xue; Casadio, Maura; Weber, Kenneth A; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando A; Parrish, Todd B

    2014-03-01

    The purpose of this study is to identify white matter microstructure changes following bilateral upper extremity motor skill training to increase our understanding of learning-induced structural plasticity and enhance clinical strategies in physical rehabilitation. Eleven healthy subjects performed two visuo-spatial motor training tasks over 9 sessions (2-3 sessions per week). Subjects controlled a cursor with bilateral simultaneous movements of the shoulders and upper arms using a body machine interface. Before the start and within 2days of the completion of training, whole brain diffusion tensor MR imaging data were acquired. Motor training increased fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the posterior and anterior limbs of the internal capsule, the corona radiata, and the body of the corpus callosum by 4.19% on average indicating white matter microstructure changes induced by activity-dependent modulation of axon number, axon diameter, or myelin thickness. These changes may underlie the functional reorganization associated with motor skill learning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Children with Motor Impairments Play a Kinect Learning Game: First Findings from a Pilot Case in an Authentic Classroom Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Symeon Retalis

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the first very positive findings from an empirical study about the effectiveness of the use of a Kinect learning game for children with gross motor skills problems and motor impairments. This game follows the principles of a newly presented approach, called Kinems, which advocates that special educators and therapists should use learning games that via embodied touchless interaction – thanks to the Microsoft Kinect camera- children with dyspraxia and other related disorders such as autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Attention Deficit Disorder, can improve related skills. Several Kinems games have been proposed (http://www.kinems.com. These games are innovative and are played with hand and body gestures. Kinems suggests that games should be highly configurable so that a teacher can modify the settings (e.g. difficult level, time settings, etc. for the individual needs of each child. Also, a teacher should have access to kinetic and learning analytics of the child’s interaction progress and achievements should be safely stored and vividly presented.

  19. Examining the Potential of Web-Based Multimedia to Support Complex Fine Motor Skill Learning: An Empirical Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papastergiou, Marina; Pollatou, Elisana; Theofylaktou, Ioannis; Karadimou, Konstantina

    2014-01-01

    Research on the utilization of the Web for complex fine motor skill learning that involves whole body movements is still scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the introduction of a multimedia web-based learning environment, which was targeted at a rhythmic gymnastics routine consisting of eight fine motor skills, into an…

  20. Motor learning in a complex balance task and associated neuroplasticity: a comparison between endurance athletes and nonathletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidel, Oliver; Carius, Daniel; Kenville, Rouven; Ragert, Patrick

    2017-09-01

    Studies suggested that motor expertise is associated with functional and structural brain alterations, which positively affect sensorimotor performance and learning capabilities. The purpose of the present study was to unravel differences in motor skill learning and associated functional neuroplasticity between endurance athletes (EA) and nonathletes (NA). For this purpose, participants had to perform a multimodal balance task (MBT) training on 2 sessions, which were separated by 1 wk. Before and after MBT training, a static balance task (SBT) had to be performed. MBT-induced functional neuroplasticity and neuromuscular alterations were assessed by means of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and electromyography (EMG) during SBT performance. We hypothesized that EA would showed superior initial SBT performance and stronger MBT-induced improvements in SBT learning rates compared with NA. On a cortical level, we hypothesized that MBT training would lead to differential learning-dependent functional changes in motor-related brain regions [such as primary motor cortex (M1)] during SBT performance. In fact, EA showed superior initial SBT performance, whereas learning rates did not differ between groups. On a cortical level, fNIRS recordings (time × group interaction) revealed a stronger MBT-induced decrease in left M1 and inferior parietal lobe (IPL) for deoxygenated hemoglobin in EA. Even more interesting, learning rates were correlated with fNIRS changes in right M1/IPL. On the basis of these findings, we provide novel evidence for superior MBT training-induced functional neuroplasticity in highly trained athletes. Future studies should investigate these effects in different sports disciplines to strengthen previous work on experience-dependent neuroplasticity. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Motor expertise is associated with functional/structural brain plasticity. How such neuroplastic reorganization translates into altered motor learning processes remains elusive. We

  1. Neurofeedback fMRI-mediated learning and consolidation of regional brain activation during motor imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Seung-Schik; Lee, Jong-Hwan; O’Leary, Heather; Panych, Lawrence P.; Jolesz, Ferenc A.

    2009-01-01

    We report the long-term effect of real-time functional MRI (rtfMRI) training on voluntary regulation of the level of activation from a hand motor area. During the performance of a motor imagery task of a right hand, blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal originating from a primary motor area was presented back to the subject in real-time. Demographically matched individuals also received the same procedure without valid feedback information. Followed by the initial rtfMRI sessions, both groups underwent two-week long, daily-practice of the task. Off-line data analysis revealed that the individuals in the experimental group were able to increase the level of BOLD signal from the regulatory target to a greater degree compared to the control group. Furthermore, the learned level of activation was maintained after the two-week period, with the recruitment of additional neural circuitries such as the hippocampus and the limbo-thalamo-cortical pathway. The activation obtained from the control group, in the absence of proper feedback, was indifferent across the training conditions. The level of BOLD activity from the target regulatory region was positively correlated with a self evaluative score within the experimental group, while the majority of control subjects had difficulty adopting a strategy to attain the desired level of functional regulation. Our results suggest that rtfMRI helped individuals learn how to increase region-specific cortical activity associated with a motor imagery task, and the level of increased activation in motor areas was consolidated after the two-week self-practice period, with the involvement of neural circuitries implicated in motor skill learning. PMID:19526048

  2. Visual-Motor Learning Using Haptic Devices: How Best to Train Surgeons?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Giles

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Laparoscopic surgery has revolutionised medicine but requires surgeons to learn new visual-motor mappings. The optimal method for training surgeons is unknown. For instance, it may be easier to learn planar movements when training is constrained to a plane, since this forces the surgeon to develop an appropriate perceptual-motor map. In contrast, allowing the surgeon to move without constraints could improve performance because this provides greater experience of the control dynamics of the device. In order to test between these alternatives, we created an experimental tool that connected a commercially available robotic arm with specialised software that presents visual stimuli and objectively records kinematics. Participants were given the task of generating a series of aiming movements to move a visual cursor to a series of targets. The actions required movement along a horizontal plane, whereas the visual display was a screen positioned perpendicular to this plane (ie, vertically. One group (n=8 received training where the force field constrained their movement to the correct plane of action, whilst a second group (n=8 trained without constraints. On test trials (after training the unconstrained group showed better performance, as indexed by reduced movement duration and reduced path length. These results show that participants who explored the entire action space had an advantage, which highlights the importance of experiencing the full dynamics of a control device and the action space when learning a new visual-motor mapping.

  3. Robot Competence Development by Constructive Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Q.; Lee, M. H.; Hinde, C. J.

    This paper presents a constructive learning approach for developing sensor-motor mapping in autonomous systems. The system’s adaptation to environment changes is discussed and three methods are proposed to deal with long term and short term changes. The proposed constructive learning allows autonomous systems to develop network topology and adjust network parameters. The approach is supported by findings from psychology and neuroscience especially during infants cognitive development at early stages. A growing radial basis function network is introduced as a computational substrate for sensory-motor mapping learning. Experiments are conducted on a robot eye/hand coordination testbed and results show the incremental development of sensory-motor mapping and its adaptation to changes such as in tool-use.

  4. Learning-induced Dependence of Neuronal Activity in Primary Motor Cortex on Motor Task Condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, X; Shimansky, Y; He, Jiping

    2005-01-01

    A brain-computer interface (BCI) system such as a cortically controlled robotic arm must have a capacity of adjusting its function to a specific environmental condition. We studied this capacity in non-human primates based on chronic multi-electrode recording from the primary motor cortex of a monkey during the animal's performance of a center-out 3D reaching task and adaptation to external force perturbations. The main condition-related feature of motor cortical activity observed before the onset of force perturbation was a phasic raise of activity immediately before the perturbation onset. This feature was observed during a series of perturbation trials, but were absent under no perturbations. After adaptation has been completed, it usually was taking the subject only one trial to recognize a change in the condition to switch the neuronal activity accordingly. These condition-dependent features of neuronal activity can be used by a BCI for recognizing a change in the environmental condition and making corresponding adjustments, which requires that the BCI-based control system possess such advanced properties of the neural motor control system as capacity to learn and adapt.

  5. Impact of online visual feedback on motor acquisition and retention when learning to reach in a force field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batcho, C S; Gagné, M; Bouyer, L J; Roy, J S; Mercier, C

    2016-11-19

    When subjects learn a novel motor task, several sources of feedback (proprioceptive, visual or auditory) contribute to the performance. Over the past few years, several studies have investigated the role of visual feedback in motor learning, yet evidence remains conflicting. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the role of online visual feedback (VFb) on the acquisition and retention stages of motor learning associated with training in a reaching task. Thirty healthy subjects made ballistic reaching movements with their dominant arm toward two targets, on 2 consecutive days using a robotized exoskeleton (KINARM). They were randomly assigned to a group with (VFb) or without (NoVFb) VFb of index position during movement. On day 1, the task was performed before (baseline) and during the application of a velocity-dependent resistive force field (adaptation). To assess retention, participants repeated the task with the force field on day 2. Motor learning was characterized by: (1) the final endpoint error (movement accuracy) and (2) the initial angle (iANG) of deviation (motor planning). Even though both groups showed motor adaptation, the NoVFb-group exhibited slower learning and higher final endpoint error than the VFb-group. In some condition, subjects trained without visual feedback used more curved initial trajectories to anticipate for the perturbation. This observation suggests that learning to reach targets in a velocity-dependent resistive force field is possible even when feedback is limited. However, the absence of VFb leads to different strategies that were only apparent when reaching toward the most challenging target. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. A Literature Review on Observational Learning for Medical Motor Skills and Anesthesia Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordovani, Ligia; Cordovani, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Motor skill practice is very important to improve performance of medical procedures and could be enhanced by observational practice. Observational learning could be particularly important in the medical field considering that patients' safety prevails over students' training. The mechanism of observational learning is based on the mirror neuron…

  7. Variable training does not lead to better motor learning compared to repetitive training in children with DCD when exposed to video games

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonney, E.; Jelsma, Lemke; Ferguson, F; Smits-Engelsman, B.C.M.

    Background Little is known about the influence of practice schedules on motor learning and skills transfer in children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Understanding how practice schedules affect motor learning is necessary for motor skills development and rehabilitation.

  8. The impact of cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on learning fine-motor sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Renee E; Wu, Allan D; Samra, Jasmine K; Knowlton, Barbara J

    2017-01-05

    The cerebellum has been shown to be important for skill learning, including the learning of motor sequences. We investigated whether cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) would enhance learning of fine motor sequences. Because the ability to generalize or transfer to novel task variations or circumstances is a crucial goal of real world training, we also examined the effect of tDCS on performance of novel sequences after training. In Study 1, participants received either anodal, cathodal or sham stimulation while simultaneously practising three eight-element key press sequences in a non-repeating, interleaved order. Immediately after sequence practice with concurrent tDCS, a transfer session was given in which participants practised three interleaved novel sequences. No stimulation was given during transfer. An inhibitory effect of cathodal tDCS was found during practice, such that the rate of learning was slowed in comparison to the anodal and sham groups. In Study 2, participants received anodal or sham stimulation and a 24 h delay was added between the practice and transfer sessions to reduce mental fatigue. Although this consolidation period benefitted subsequent transfer for both tDCS groups, anodal tDCS enhanced transfer performance. Together, these studies demonstrate polarity-specific effects on fine motor sequence learning and generalization.This article is part of the themed issue 'New frontiers for statistical learning in the cognitive sciences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  9. Modified Delphi Investigation of Motor Development and Learning in Physical Education Teacher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Susan; Metcalf, Amanda; Bulger, Sean M.; Housner, Lynn D.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: As the scope of motor development and learning knowledge has successfully broadened over the years, there is an increased need to identify the content and learning experiences that are essential in preparing preservice physical educators. The purpose of this study was to generate expert consensus regarding the most critical motor…

  10. Speech Motor Sequence Learning: Acquisition and Retention in Parkinson Disease and Normal Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Jason A.; Goberman, Alexander M.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the current investigation was to examine speech motor sequence learning in neurologically healthy younger adults, neurologically healthy older adults, and individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) over a 2-day period. Method: A sequential nonword repetition task was used to examine learning over 2 days. Participants practiced a…

  11. The influence of errors during practice on motor learning in young individuals with cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Abswoude, Femke; Santos-Vieira, Beatriz; van der Kamp, John; Steenbergen, Bert

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of errors during practice on motor skill learning in young individuals with cerebral palsy (CP). Minimizing errors has been validated in typically developing children and children with intellectual disabilities as a method for implicit learning, because it reduces working memory involvement during learning. The present study assessed whether a practice protocol that aims at minimizing errors can induce implicit learning in young individuals with CP as well. Accordingly, we hypothesized that reducing errors during practice would lead to enhanced learning and a decrease in the dependency of performance on working memory. Young individuals with CP practiced an aiming task following either an error-minimizing (N=20) or an error-strewn (N=18) practice protocol. Aiming accuracy was assessed in pre-, post- and retention test. Dual task performance was assessed to establish dependency on working memory. The two practice protocols did not invoke different amounts or types of learning in the participants with CP. Yet, participants improved aiming accuracy and showed stable motor performance after learning, irrespective of the protocol they followed. Across groups the number of errors made during practice was related to the amount of learning, and the degree of conscious monitoring of the movement. Only participants with relatively good working memory capacity and a poor initial performance showed a rudimentary form of (most likely, explicit) learning. These new findings on the effect of the amount of practice errors on motor learning in children of CP are important for designing interventions for children and adolescents with CP. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Approaches toward learning in physiotherapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Keiller

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the approaches toward learning of undergraduate Physiotherapy students in a PBl module to enhance facilitation of learning at the Stellenbosch University, Division of Physiotherapy in South Africa. This quantitative, descriptive study utilized the revised Two-factor Study Process Questionnaire (r-SPQ-2f to evaluate the study cohorts’ approaches toward learning in the module. results of the data instruments were analysed statistically and discussed in a descriptive manner. There were a statistically significant greater number of students who adopted a deep approach toward learning at the commencement of the academic year. Students showed a trend toward an increase in their intrinsic interest in the learning material as the module progressed. Students in the Applied Physiotherapy module (ATP started to shift their focus from a surface learning approach to a deep learning approach. further research is needed to determine the long-term changes in approach toward learning and the possible determinants of these changes. This can be done in conjunction with the implementation of quality assurance mechanisms for learning material and earlier preparation of students for the change in the learning environment.

  13. Promoting Therapists? Use of Motor Learning Strategies within Virtual Reality-Based Stroke Rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Levac, Danielle E.; Glegg, Stephanie M. N.; Sveistrup, Heidi; Colquhoun, Heather; Miller, Patricia; Finestone, Hillel; DePaul, Vincent; Harris, Jocelyn E.; Velikonja, Diana

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Therapists use motor learning strategies (MLSs) to structure practice conditions within stroke rehabilitation. Virtual reality (VR)-based rehabilitation is an MLS-oriented stroke intervention, yet little support exists to assist therapists in integrating MLSs with VR system use. Method A pre-post design evaluated a knowledge translation (KT) intervention incorporating interactive e-learning and practice, in which 11 therapists learned how to integrate MLSs within VR-based therapy. Sel...

  14. Maximization of learning speed in the motor cortex due to neuronal redundancy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Takiyama

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Many redundancies play functional roles in motor control and motor learning. For example, kinematic and muscle redundancies contribute to stabilizing posture and impedance control, respectively. Another redundancy is the number of neurons themselves; there are overwhelmingly more neurons than muscles, and many combinations of neural activation can generate identical muscle activity. The functional roles of this neuronal redundancy remains unknown. Analysis of a redundant neural network model makes it possible to investigate these functional roles while varying the number of model neurons and holding constant the number of output units. Our analysis reveals that learning speed reaches its maximum value if and only if the model includes sufficient neuronal redundancy. This analytical result does not depend on whether the distribution of the preferred direction is uniform or a skewed bimodal, both of which have been reported in neurophysiological studies. Neuronal redundancy maximizes learning speed, even if the neural network model includes recurrent connections, a nonlinear activation function, or nonlinear muscle units. Furthermore, our results do not rely on the shape of the generalization function. The results of this study suggest that one of the functional roles of neuronal redundancy is to maximize learning speed.

  15. [Motor capacities involved in the psychomotor skills of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique: recommendations for the teaching-learning process].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyadahira, A M

    2001-12-01

    It is a bibliographic study about the identification of the motor capacities involved in the psychomotor skills of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which aims to obtain subsidies to the planning of the teaching-learning process of this skill. It was found that: the motor capacities involved in the psychomotor skill of the CPR technique are predominantly cognitive and motor, involving 9 perceptive-motor capacities and 8 physical proficiency capacities. The CPR technique is a psychomotor skill classified as open, done in series and categorized as a thin and global skill and the teaching-learning process of the CPR technique has an elevated degree of complexity.

  16. Motor Skill Learning Is Associated with Phase-Dependent Modifications in the Striatal cAMP/PKA/DARPP-32 Signaling Pathway in Rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Qian

    Full Text Available Abundant evidence points to a key role of dopamine in motor skill learning, although the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we used a skilled-reaching paradigm to first examine changes in the expression of the plasticity-related gene Arc to map activity in cortico-striatal circuitry during different phases of motor skill learning in young animals. In the early phase, Arc mRNA was significantly induced in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, cingulate cortex, primary motor cortex, and striatum. In the late phase, expression of Arc did not change in most regions, except in the mPFC and dorsal striatum. In the second series of experiments, we studied the learning-induced changes in the phosphorylation state of dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, 32k Da (DARPP-32. Western blot analysis of the phosphorylation state of DARPP-32 and its downstream target cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB in the striatum revealed that the early, but not late, phase of motor skill learning was associated with increased levels of phospho-Thr34-DARPP-32 and phospho-Ser133-CREB. Finally, we used the DARPP-32 knock-in mice with a point mutation in the Thr34 regulatory site (i.e., protein kinase A site to test the significance of this pathway in motor skill learning. In accordance with our hypothesis, inhibition of DARPP-32 activity at the Thr34 regulatory site strongly attenuated the motor learning rate and skilled reaching performance of mice. These findings suggest that the cAMP/PKA/DARPP-32 signaling pathway is critically involved in the acquisition of novel motor skills, and also demonstrate a dynamic shift in the contribution of cortico-striatal circuitry during different phases of motor skill learning.

  17. Learning tactile skills through curious exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo ePape

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available We present curiosity-driven, autonomous acquisition of tactile exploratory skills on a biomimetic robot finger equipped with an array of microelectromechanical touch sensors. Instead of building tailored algorithms for solving a specific tactile task, we employ a more general curiosity-driven reinforcement learning approach that autonomously learns a set of motor skills in absence of an explicit teacher signal. In this approach, the acquisition of skills is driven by the information content of the sensory input signals relative to a learner that aims at representing sensory inputs using fewer and fewer computational resources. We show that, from initially random exploration of its environment, the robotic system autonomously develops a small set of basic motor skills that lead to different kinds of tactile input. Next, the system learns how to exploit the learned motor skills to solve supervised texture classification tasks. Our approach demonstrates the feasibility of autonomous acquisition of tactile skills on physical robotic platforms through curiosity-driven reinforcement learning, overcomes typical difficulties of engineered solutions for active tactile exploration and underactuated control, and provides a basis for studying developmental learning through intrinsic motivation in robots.

  18. T & I--Electric Motors. Kit No. 621. Instructor's Manual and Student Learning Activity Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomar, William

    This instructor's manual and student learning activity guide comprise a kit for trade and industrial education (T & I) activities on electric motors. Purpose stated for the activities is to teach the student the four basic types of electric motors, the advantages and disadvantages of each, the types of jobs each can perform, and how to disassemble…

  19. Task Complexity Modulates Sleep-Related Offline Learning in Sequential Motor Skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Blischke

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Recently, a number of authors have advocated the introduction of gross motor tasks into research on sleep-related motor offline learning. Such tasks are often designed to be more complex than traditional key-pressing tasks. However, until now, little effort has been undertaken to scrutinize the role of task complexity in any systematic way. Therefore, the effect of task complexity on the consolidation of gross motor sequence memory was examined by our group in a series of three experiments. Criterion tasks always required participants to produce unrestrained arm movement sequences by successively fitting a small peg into target holes on a pegboard. The sequences always followed a certain spatial pattern in the horizontal plane. The targets were visualized prior to each transport movement on a computer screen. The tasks differed with respect to sequence length and structural complexity. In each experiment, half of the participants initially learned the task in the morning and were retested 12 h later following a wake retention interval. The other half of the subjects underwent practice in the evening and was retested 12 h later following a night of sleep. The dependent variables were the error rate and total sequence execution time (inverse to the sequence execution speed. Performance generally improved during acquisition. The error rate was always low and remained stable during retention. The sequence execution time significantly decreased again following sleep but not after waking when the sequence length was long and structural complexity was high. However, sleep-related offline improvements were absent when the sequence length was short or when subjects performed a highly regular movement pattern. It is assumed that the occurrence of sleep-related offline performance improvements in sequential motor tasks is associated with a sufficient amount of motor task complexity.

  20. The role of motor memory in action selection and procedural learning: insights from children with typical and atypical development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallet, Jessica; Albaret, Jean-Michel; Rivière, James

    2015-01-01

    Motor memory is the process by which humans can adopt both persistent and flexible motor behaviours. Persistence and flexibility can be assessed through the examination of the cooperation/competition between new and old motor routines in the motor memory repertoire. Two paradigms seem to be particularly relevant to examine this competition/cooperation. First, a manual search task for hidden objects, namely the C-not-B task, which allows examining how a motor routine may influence the selection of action in toddlers. The second paradigm is procedural learning, and more precisely the consolidation stage, which allows assessing how a previously learnt motor routine becomes resistant to subsequent programming or learning of a new - competitive - motor routine. The present article defends the idea that results of both paradigms give precious information to understand the evolution of motor routines in healthy children. Moreover, these findings echo some clinical observations in developmental neuropsychology, particularly in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Such studies suggest that the level of equilibrium between persistence and flexibility of motor routines is an index of the maturity of the motor system.

  1. A classical Master equation approach to modeling an artificial protein motor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuwada, Nathan J.; Blab, Gerhard A.; Linke, Heiner

    2010-01-01

    Inspired by biomolecular motors, as well as by theoretical concepts for chemically driven nanomotors, there is significant interest in constructing artificial molecular motors. One driving force is the opportunity to create well-controlled model systems that are simple enough to be modeled in detail. A remaining challenge is the fact that such models need to take into account processes on many different time scales. Here we describe use of a classical Master equation approach, integrated with input from Langevin and molecular dynamics modeling, to stochastically model an existing artificial molecular motor concept, the Tumbleweed, across many time scales. This enables us to study how interdependencies between motor processes, such as center-of-mass diffusion and track binding/unbinding, affect motor performance. Results from our model help guide the experimental realization of the proposed motor, and potentially lead to insights that apply to a wider class of molecular motors.

  2. Effects of Dispositional Ability Conceptions, Manipulated Learning Environments, and Intrinsic Motivation on Persistence and Performance: An Interaction Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Weidong; Lee, Amelia M.; Solmon, Melinda

    2008-01-01

    The present study used an interaction approach to investigate how individuals' dispositions about ability as incremental or fixed (entity), manipulated learning environments, and intrinsic motivation affect persistence and performance on a challenging, novel motor skill. Seventy-two female college students who were assigned to either an…

  3. Error amplification to promote motor learning and motivation in therapy robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirzad, Navid; Van der Loos, H F Machiel

    2012-01-01

    To study the effects of different feedback error amplification methods on a subject's upper-limb motor learning and affect during a point-to-point reaching exercise, we developed a real-time controller for a robotic manipulandum. The reaching environment was visually distorted by implementing a thirty degrees rotation between the coordinate systems of the robot's end-effector and the visual display. Feedback error amplification was provided to subjects as they trained to learn reaching within the visually rotated environment. Error amplification was provided either visually or through both haptic and visual means, each method with two different amplification gains. Subjects' performance (i.e., trajectory error) and self-reports to a questionnaire were used to study the speed and amount of adaptation promoted by each error amplification method and subjects' emotional changes. We found that providing haptic and visual feedback promotes faster adaptation to the distortion and increases subjects' satisfaction with the task, leading to a higher level of attentiveness during the exercise. This finding can be used to design a novel exercise regimen, where alternating between error amplification methods is used to both increase a subject's motor learning and maintain a minimum level of motivational engagement in the exercise. In future experiments, we will test whether such exercise methods will lead to a faster learning time and greater motivation to pursue a therapy exercise regimen.

  4. Deficit in implicit motor sequence learning among children and adolescents with spastic cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gofer-Levi, Moran; Silberg, Tamar; Brezner, Amichai; Vakil, Eli

    2013-11-01

    Skill learning (SL) is learning as a result of repeated exposure and practice, which encompasses independent explicit (response to instructions) and implicit (response to hidden regularities) processes. Little is known about the effects of developmental disorders, such as Cerebral Palsy (CP), on the ability to acquire new skills. We compared performance of CP and typically developing (TD) children and adolescents in completing the serial reaction time (SRT) task, which is a motor sequence learning task, and examined the impact of various factors on this performance as indicative of the ability to acquire motor skills. While both groups improved in performance, participants with CP were significantly slower than TD controls and did not learn the implicit sequence. Our results indicate that SL in children and adolescents with CP is qualitatively and quantitatively different than that of their peers. Understanding the unique aspects of SL in children and adolescents with CP might help plan appropriate and efficient interventions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Effects of Bilateral Electrolytic Lesions of the Dorsomedial Striatum on Motor Behavior and Instrumental Learning in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamphyle Abedi Mukutenga

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The dorsal striatum plays an important role in the control of motor activity and learning processes within the basal ganglia circuitry. Furthermore, recent works have suggested functional differentiation between subregions of the dorsal striatum Methods: The present study examined the effects of bilateral electrolytic lesions of the dorsomedial striatum on motor behavior and learning ability in rats using a series of behavioral tests. 20 male wistar rats were used in the experiment and behavioral assessment were conducted using open field test, rotarod test and 8-arm radial maze. Results: In the open field test, rats with bilateral electrolytic lesions of the dorsomedial striatum showed a normal motor function in the horizontal locomotor activity, while in rearing activity they displayed a statistically significant motor impairment when compared to sham operated group. In the rotarod test, a deficit in motor coordination and acquisition of skilled behavior was observed in rats with bilateral electrolytic lesions of the dorsomedial striatum compared to sham. However, radial maze performance revealed similar capacity in the acquisition of learning task between experimental groups. Discussion: Our results support the premise of the existence of functional dissociation between the dorsomedial and the dorsolateral regions of the dorsal striatum. In addition, our data suggest that the associative dorsomedial striatum may be as critical in striatum-based motor control.

  6. Reward and punishment enhance motor adaptation in stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quattrocchi, Graziella; Greenwood, Richard; Rothwell, John C; Galea, Joseph M; Bestmann, Sven

    2017-09-01

    The effects of motor learning, such as motor adaptation, in stroke rehabilitation are often transient, thus mandating approaches that enhance the amount of learning and retention. Previously, we showed in young individuals that reward and punishment feedback have dissociable effects on motor adaptation, with punishment improving adaptation and reward enhancing retention. If these findings were able to generalise to patients with stroke, they would provide a way to optimise motor learning in these patients. Therefore, we tested this in 45 patients with chronic stroke allocated in three groups. Patients performed reaching movements with their paretic arm with a robotic manipulandum. After training (day 1), day 2 involved adaptation to a novel force field. During the adaptation phase, patients received performance-based feedback according to the group they were allocated: reward, punishment or no feedback (neutral). On day 3, patients readapted to the force field but all groups now received neutral feedback. All patients adapted, with reward and punishment groups displaying greater adaptation and readaptation than the neutral group, irrespective of demographic, cognitive or functional differences. Remarkably, the reward and punishment groups adapted to similar degree as healthy controls. Finally, the reward group showed greater retention. This study provides, for the first time, evidence that reward and punishment can enhance motor adaptation in patients with stroke. Further research on reinforcement-based motor learning regimes is warranted to translate these promising results into clinical practice and improve motor rehabilitation outcomes in patients with stroke. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  7. A Belgian Approach to Learning Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Cheryl W.

    The paper reviews Belgian philosophy toward the education of learning disabled students and cites the differences between American behaviorally-oriented theory and Belgian emphasis on identifying the underlying causes of the disability. Academic methods observed in Belgium (including psychodrama and perceptual motor training) are discussed and are…

  8. Influence of visual observational conditions on tongue motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kothari, Mohit; Liu, Xuimei; Baad-Hansen, Lene

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the impact of visual observational conditions on performance during a standardized tongue-protrusion training (TPT) task and to evaluate subject-based reports of helpfulness, disturbance, pain, and fatigue due to the observational conditions on 0-10 numerical rating scales. Forty...... regarding the level of disturbance, pain or fatigue. Self-observation of tongue-training facilitated behavioral aspects of tongue motor learning compared with model-observation but not compared with control....

  9. Using virtual humans and computer animations to learn complex motor skills: a case study in karate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spanlang Bernhard

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Learning motor skills is a complex task involving a lot of cognitive issues. One of the main issues consists in retrieving the relevant information from the learning environment. In a traditional learning situation, a teacher gives oral explanations and performs actions to provide the learner with visual examples. Using virtual reality (VR as a tool for learning motor tasks is promising. However, it raises questions about the type of information this kind of environments can offer. In this paper, we propose to analyze the impact of virtual humans on the perception of the learners. As a case study, we propose to apply this research problem to karate gestures. The results of this study show no significant difference on the after training performance of learners confronted to three different learning environments (traditional group, video and VR.

  10. Stabilization of dendritic spine clusters and hyperactive Ras-MAPK signaling predict enhanced motor learning in an autistic savant mouse model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan Thomas Ash

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available That both prominent behavioral inflexibility and exceptional learning abilities are seen occasionally in autistic patients is a mystery. We hypothesize that these altered patterns of learning and memory can arise from a pathological imbalance between the stability and plasticity of internal neural representations. We evaluated this hypothesis in the mouse model of MECP2 duplication syndrome, which demonstrates enhanced motor learning, stereotyped behaviors, and social avoidance. Learning-associated structural plasticity was measured in the motor cortex of MECP2 duplication mice by 2-photon imaging (Fig. 1A. An increased stabilization rate of learning-associated dendritic spines was observed in mutants, and this correlated with rotarod performance. Analysis of the spatial distribution of stabilized spines revealed that the mutant’s increased spine stabilization was due to a specific increase in the stability of spines jointly formed in ~9-micron clusters. Clustered spine stabilization but not isolated spine stabilization predicted enhanced motor performance in MECP2 duplication mice (Fig. 1B. Biochemical assays of Ras-MAPK and mTOR pathway activation demonstrated profound hyperphosphorylation of MAPK in the motor cortex of MECP2 duplication mice with motor training (Fig. 1C. Taken together these data suggest that a pathological bias towards hyperstability of learning-associated dendritic spine clusters driven by hyperactive Ras-MAPK signaling could contribute to neurobehavioral phenotypes in this form of syndromic autism.

  11. Increased reward in ankle robotics training enhances motor control and cortical efficiency in stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Ronald N; Rietschel, Jeremy C; Roy, Anindo; Jung, Brian C; Diaz, Jason; Macko, Richard F; Forrester, Larry W

    2014-01-01

    Robotics is rapidly emerging as a viable approach to enhance motor recovery after disabling stroke. Current principles of cognitive motor learning recognize a positive relationship between reward and motor learning. Yet no prior studies have established explicitly whether reward improves the rate or efficacy of robotics-assisted rehabilitation or produces neurophysiologic adaptations associated with motor learning. We conducted a 3 wk, 9-session clinical pilot with 10 people with chronic hemiparetic stroke, randomly assigned to train with an impedance-controlled ankle robot (anklebot) under either high reward (HR) or low reward conditions. The 1 h training sessions entailed playing a seated video game by moving the paretic ankle to hit moving onscreen targets with the anklebot only providing assistance as needed. Assessments included paretic ankle motor control, learning curves, electroencephalograpy (EEG) coherence and spectral power during unassisted trials, and gait function. While both groups exhibited changes in EEG, the HR group had faster learning curves (p = 0.05), smoother movements (p motor learning for restoring mobility.

  12. Two chronic motor training paradigms differentially influe nce acute instrume ntal learning in spinally transected rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigbee, Allison J.; Crown, Eric D.; Ferguson, Adam R.; Roy, Roland R.; Tillakaratne, Niranjala J.K.; Grau, James W.; Edgerton, V. Reggie

    2008-01-01

    The effect of two chronic motor training paradigms on the ability of the lumbar spinal cord to perform an acute instrumental learning task was examined in neonatally (postnatal day 5; P5) spinal cord transected (i.e., spinal) rats. At ∼P30, rats began either unipedal hindlimb stand training (Stand-Tr; 20-25 min/day, 5 days/wk), or bipedal hindlimb step training (Step-Tr; 20 min/day; 5 days/wk) for 7 wks. Non-trained spinal rats (Non-Tr) served as controls. After 7 wks all groups were tested on the flexor-biased instrumental learning paradigm. We hypothesized that 1) Step-Tr rats would exhibit an increased capacity to learn the flexor-biased task relative to Non-Tr subjects, as locomotion involves repetitive training of the tibialis anterior (TA), the ankle flexor whose activation is important for successful instrumental learning, and 2) Stand-Tr rats would exhibit a deficit in acute motor learning, as unipedal training activates the ipsilateral ankle extensors, but not flexors. Results showed no differences in acute learning potential between Non-Tr and Step-Tr rats, while the Stand-Tr group showed a reduced capacity to learn the acute task. Further investigation of the Stand-Tr group showed that, while both the ipsilateral and contralateral hindlimbs were significantly impaired in their acute learning potential, the contralateral, untrained hindlimbs exhibited significantly greater learning deficits. These results suggest that different types of chronic peripheral input may have a significant impact on the ability to learn a novel motor task, and demonstrate the potential for experience-dependent plasticity in the spinal cord in the absence of supraspinal connectivity. PMID:17434606

  13. The advantage of flexible neuronal tunings in neural network models for motor learning

    OpenAIRE

    Marongelli, Ellisha N.; Thoroughman, Kurt A.

    2013-01-01

    Human motor adaptation to novel environments is often modeled by a basis function network that transforms desired movement properties into estimated forces. This network employs a layer of nodes that have fixed broad tunings that generalize across the input domain. Learning is achieved by updating the weights of these nodes in response to training experience. This conventional model is unable to account for rapid flexibility observed in human spatial generalization during motor adaptation. Ho...

  14. Motor-related signals in the auditory system for listening and learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David M; Mooney, Richard

    2015-08-01

    In the auditory system, corollary discharge signals are theorized to facilitate normal hearing and the learning of acoustic behaviors, including speech and music. Despite clear evidence of corollary discharge signals in the auditory cortex and their presumed importance for hearing and auditory-guided motor learning, the circuitry and function of corollary discharge signals in the auditory cortex are not well described. In this review, we focus on recent developments in the mouse and songbird that provide insights into the circuitry that transmits corollary discharge signals to the auditory system and the function of these signals in the context of hearing and vocal learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The effect of motor learning and fatigue on pre-activation of the lower extremity muscles during different jumps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamelska, Anna M; Kot, Bartosz

    2017-09-22

    The first step in identifying risk factors for injuries is to characterize the myoelectric activity of different muscles after ground contact, especially when fatigue is a limiting factor. This study aimed at: (a) recording the myoelectric activity of calf muscles after ground contact during different types of jumps and (b) investigating the effect of motor learning and fatigue on muscle pre-activation. Twenty four male students aged 24.3 ± 1.2 years old performed three different motor activities: (a) Jump from a box with counter landing (JCL) on 30x30 cm plate (b) Drop jump with bounce drop jump (BDJ) and (c) BDJ followed by a jump on 51-cm step. The surface EMG was used to examine the following muscles: m. tibialis anterior (TA), m. gastrocnemius medialis (GM), m. gastrocnemius lateralis (GL), and m. soleus (S). The measurements were taken during different jumps before and after motor learning and fatigue stimulus. There were significant differences in pre-activation for TA between JCL and BDJ followed by a jump under the influence of fatigue (p<0.05). The differences were observed also during BDJ between non-fatigued and fatigued conditions. There was a statistically significant difference for GL between BDJ pre- and post-movement motor learning and BDJ pre- and post-fatigue influence. Current results indicate that myoelectric activity of muscles during motor activities is different, and the effect of motor learning and fatigue was shown. Thus, it could be important in the injury prevention in sport.

  16. Delayed benefit of naps on motor learning in preschool children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desrochers, Phillip C; Kurdziel, Laura B F; Spencer, Rebecca M C

    2016-03-01

    Sleep benefits memory consolidation across a variety of domains in young adults. However, while declarative memories benefit from sleep in young children, such improvements are not consistently seen for procedural skill learning. Here we examined whether performance improvements on a procedural task, although not immediately observed, are evident after a longer delay when augmented by overnight sleep (24 h after learning). We trained 47 children, aged 33-71 months, on a serial reaction time task and, using a within-subject design, evaluated performance at three time points: immediately after learning, after a daytime nap (nap condition) or equivalent wake opportunity (wake condition), and 24 h after learning. Consistent with previous studies, performance improvements following the nap did not differ from performance improvements following an equivalent interval spent awake. However, significant benefits of the nap were found when performance was assessed 24 h after learning. This research demonstrates that motor skill learning is benefited by sleep, but that this benefit is only evident after an extended period of time.

  17. Transfer Effect of Speech-sound Learning on Auditory-motor Processing of Perceived Vocal Pitch Errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhaocong; Wong, Francis C K; Jones, Jeffery A; Li, Weifeng; Liu, Peng; Chen, Xi; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-08-17

    Speech perception and production are intimately linked. There is evidence that speech motor learning results in changes to auditory processing of speech. Whether speech motor control benefits from perceptual learning in speech, however, remains unclear. This event-related potential study investigated whether speech-sound learning can modulate the processing of feedback errors during vocal pitch regulation. Mandarin speakers were trained to perceive five Thai lexical tones while learning to associate pictures with spoken words over 5 days. Before and after training, participants produced sustained vowel sounds while they heard their vocal pitch feedback unexpectedly perturbed. As compared to the pre-training session, the magnitude of vocal compensation significantly decreased for the control group, but remained consistent for the trained group at the post-training session. However, the trained group had smaller and faster N1 responses to pitch perturbations and exhibited enhanced P2 responses that correlated significantly with their learning performance. These findings indicate that the cortical processing of vocal pitch regulation can be shaped by learning new speech-sound associations, suggesting that perceptual learning in speech can produce transfer effects to facilitating the neural mechanisms underlying the online monitoring of auditory feedback regarding vocal production.

  18. The role of motor memory in action selection and procedural learning: insights from children with typical and atypical development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Tallet

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Motor memory is the process by which humans can adopt both persistent and flexible motor behaviours. Persistence and flexibility can be assessed through the examination of the cooperation/competition between new and old motor routines in the motor memory repertoire. Two paradigms seem to be particularly relevant to examine this competition/cooperation. First, a manual search task for hidden objects, namely the C-not-B task, which allows examining how a motor routine may influence the selection of action in toddlers. The second paradigm is procedural learning, and more precisely the consolidation stage, which allows assessing how a previously learnt motor routine becomes resistant to subsequent programming or learning of a new – competitive – motor routine. The present article defends the idea that results of both paradigms give precious information to understand the evolution of motor routines in healthy children. Moreover, these findings echo some clinical observations in developmental neuropsychology, particularly in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Such studies suggest that the level of equilibrium between persistence and flexibility of motor routines is an index of the maturity of the motor system.

  19. Effect of Auditory Constraints on Motor Learning Depends on Stage of Recovery Post Stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viswanath eAluru

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In order to develop evidence-based rehabilitation protocols post stroke, one must first reconcile the vast heterogeneity in the post-stroke population and develop protocols to facilitate motor learning in the various subgroups. The main purpose of this study is to show that auditory constraints interact with the stage of recovery post stroke to influence motor learning. We characterized the stages of upper limb recovery using task-based kinematic measures in twenty subjects with chronic hemiparesis, and used a bimanual wrist extension task using a custom-made wrist trainer to facilitate learning of wrist extension in the paretic hand under four auditory conditions: 1 without auditory cueing; 2 to non-musical happy sounds; 3 to self-selected music; and 4 to a metronome beat set at a comfortable tempo. Two bimanual trials (15 s each were followed by one unimanual trial with the paretic hand over six cycles under each condition. Clinical metrics, wrist and arm kinematics and electromyographic activity were recorded. Hierarchical cluster analysis with the Mahalanobis metric based on baseline speed and extent of wrist movement stratified subjects into three distinct groups which reflected their stage of recovery: spastic paresis, spastic co-contraction, and minimal paresis. In spastic paresis, the metronome beat increased wrist extension, but also increased muscle co-activation across the wrist. In contrast, in spastic co-contraction, no auditory stimulation increased wrist extension and reduced co-activation. In minimal paresis, wrist extension did not improve under any condition. The results suggest that auditory task constraints interact with stage of recovery during motor learning after stroke, perhaps due to recruitment of distinct neural substrates over the course of recovery. The findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms of progression of motor recovery and lay the foundation for personalized treatment algorithms post stroke.

  20. Comparison of Auditory/Visual and Visual/Motor Practice on the Spelling Accuracy of Learning Disabled Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleman, Cheryl; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Compares auditory/visual practice to visual/motor practice in spelling with seven elementary school learning-disabled students enrolled in a resource room setting. Finds that the auditory/visual practice was superior to the visual/motor practice on the weekly spelling performance for all seven students. (MG)

  1. Novel approach based on microcontroller to online protection of induction motors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bayindir, Ramazan; Sefa, Ibrahim

    2007-01-01

    The study presents a combined protection approach for induction motors (IMs). To achieve this, the current, voltage, speed and temperature values of the IM were measured with sensors and processed automatically with the developed software in C. The processes were then inserted into a microcontroller. The experimental results have shown that the IM was protected against the possible problems encountered in online operation. The approach presented in this work provides flexibility, accuracy and reliability for smooth protection with the help of the combined protection approach. Moreover, the protection system can easily be applied to larger motors after small modifications in the software developed. It is also expected that the proposed system would provide faster and low cost protection

  2. The influence of errors during practice on motor learning in young individuals with cerebral palsy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abswoude, F. van; Santos-Vieira, B.; Kamp, J. van der; Steenbergen, B.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of errors during practice on motor skill learning in young individuals with cerebral palsy (CP). Minimizing errors has been validated in typically developing children and children with intellectual disabilities as a method for implicit learning,

  3. Learning stage-dependent effect of M1 disruption on value-based motor decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derosiere, Gerard; Vassiliadis, Pierre; Demaret, Sophie; Zénon, Alexandre; Duque, Julie

    2017-11-15

    The present study aimed at characterizing the impact of M1 disruption on the implementation of implicit value information in motor decisions, at both early stages (during reinforcement learning) and late stages (after consolidation) of action value encoding. Fifty subjects performed, over three consecutive days, a task that required them to select between two finger responses according to the color (instruction) and to the shape (implicit, undisclosed rule) of an imperative signal: considering the implicit rule in addition to the instruction allowed subjects to earn more money. We investigated the functional contribution of M1 to the implementation of the implicit rule in subjects' motor decisions. Continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) was applied over M1 either on Day 1 or on Day 3, producing a temporary lesion either during reinforcement learning (cTBS Learning group) or after consolidation of the implicit rule, during decision-making (cTBS Decision group), respectively. Interestingly, disrupting M1 activity on Day 1 improved the reliance on the implicit rule, plausibly because M1 cTBS increased dopamine release in the putamen in an indirect way. This finding corroborates the view that cTBS may affect activity in unstimulated areas, such as the basal ganglia. Notably, this effect was short-lasting; it did not persist overnight, suggesting that the functional integrity of M1 during learning is a prerequisite for the consolidation of implicit value information to occur. Besides, cTBS over M1 did not impact the use of the implicit rule when applied on Day 3, although it did so when applied on Day 2 in a recent study where the reliance on the implicit rule declined following cTBS (Derosiere et al., 2017). Overall, these findings indicate that the human M1 is functionally involved in the consolidation and implementation of implicit value information underlying motor decisions. However, M1 contribution seems to vanish as subjects become more experienced in using

  4. Prefrontal control of cerebellum-dependent associative motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hao; Yang, Li; Xu, Yan; Wu, Guang-yan; Yao, Juan; Zhang, Jun; Zhu, Zhi-ru; Hu, Zhi-an; Sui, Jian-feng; Hu, Bo

    2014-02-01

    Behavioral studies have demonstrated that both medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and cerebellum play critical roles in trace eyeblink conditioning. However, little is known regarding the mechanism by which the two brain regions interact. By use of electrical stimulation of the caudal mPFC as a conditioned stimulus, we show evidence that persistent outputs from the mPFC to cerebellum are necessary and sufficient for the acquisition and expression of a trace conditioned response (CR)-like response. Specifically, the persistent outputs of caudal mPFC are relayed to the cerebellum via the rostral part of lateral pontine nuclei. Moreover, interfering with persistent activity by blockade of the muscarinic Ach receptor in the caudal mPFC impairs the expression of learned trace CRs. These results suggest an important way for the caudal mPFC to interact with the cerebellum during associative motor learning.

  5. Does (Non-)Meaningful Sensori-Motor Engagement Promote Learning With Animated Physical Systems?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pouw, Wim T J L; Eielts, Charly; van Gog, Tamara; Zwaan, Rolf A.; Paas, Fred

    2016-01-01

    Previous research indicates that sensori-motor experience with physical systems can have a positive effect on learning. However, it is not clear whether this effect is caused by mere bodily engagement or the intrinsically meaningful information that such interaction affords in performing the

  6. Does provision of extrinsic feedback result in improved motor learning in the upper limb poststroke? A systematic review of the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramanian, Sandeep K; Massie, Crystal L; Malcolm, Matthew P; Levin, Mindy F

    2010-02-01

    Recovery of the upper limb (UL) after a stroke occurs well into the chronic stage. Stroke survivors can benefit from adaptive plasticity to improve UL movement through motor relearning. The provision of feedback has been shown to decrease the use of compensatory UL movement patterns. However, the effectiveness of feedback in improving UL motor recovery after a stroke has not yet been systematically reviewed. The objective of this review was to systematically examine the role of extrinsic feedback on implicit motor learning after stroke, focusing on UL movement and functional recovery. The authors retrieved 9 studies that examined the role of feedback on UL motor recovery. Of these, 6 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 1 was a single-subject design, 1 was a pre-post design, and 1 was a cohort study. The studies were rated on the basis of Sackett's levels of evidence and PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database) scores for RCTs. Levels of evidence were limited (level 2b) for UL motor learning of the less-affected extremity and strong (level 1a) for the more-affected extremity. The results suggest that people with stroke may be capable of using extrinsic feedback for implicit motor learning and improving UL motor recovery. Emergent questions regarding the advantages of using different media for feedback delivery and the optimal type and schedule of feedback to enhance motor learning in patient populations still need to be addressed.

  7. The Importance of Visual Feedback Design in BCIs; from Embodiment to Motor Imagery Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alimardani, Maryam; Nishio, Shuichi; Ishiguro, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) have been developed and implemented in many areas as a new communication channel between the human brain and external devices. Despite their rapid growth and broad popularity, the inaccurate performance and cost of user-training are yet the main issues that prevent their application out of the research and clinical environment. We previously introduced a BCI system for the control of a very humanlike android that could raise a sense of embodiment and agency in the operators only by imagining a movement (motor imagery) and watching the robot perform it. Also using the same setup, we further discovered that the positive bias of subjects' performance both increased their sensation of embodiment and improved their motor imagery skills in a short period. In this work, we studied the shared mechanism between the experience of embodiment and motor imagery. We compared the trend of motor imagery learning when two groups of subjects BCI-operated different looking robots, a very humanlike android's hands and a pair of metallic gripper. Although our experiments did not show a significant change of learning between the two groups immediately during one session, the android group revealed better motor imagery skills in the follow up session when both groups repeated the task using the non-humanlike gripper. This result shows that motor imagery skills learnt during the BCI-operation of humanlike hands are more robust to time and visual feedback changes. We discuss the role of embodiment and mirror neuron system in such outcome and propose the application of androids for efficient BCI training.

  8. The Importance of Visual Feedback Design in BCIs; from Embodiment to Motor Imagery Learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam Alimardani

    Full Text Available Brain computer interfaces (BCIs have been developed and implemented in many areas as a new communication channel between the human brain and external devices. Despite their rapid growth and broad popularity, the inaccurate performance and cost of user-training are yet the main issues that prevent their application out of the research and clinical environment. We previously introduced a BCI system for the control of a very humanlike android that could raise a sense of embodiment and agency in the operators only by imagining a movement (motor imagery and watching the robot perform it. Also using the same setup, we further discovered that the positive bias of subjects' performance both increased their sensation of embodiment and improved their motor imagery skills in a short period. In this work, we studied the shared mechanism between the experience of embodiment and motor imagery. We compared the trend of motor imagery learning when two groups of subjects BCI-operated different looking robots, a very humanlike android's hands and a pair of metallic gripper. Although our experiments did not show a significant change of learning between the two groups immediately during one session, the android group revealed better motor imagery skills in the follow up session when both groups repeated the task using the non-humanlike gripper. This result shows that motor imagery skills learnt during the BCI-operation of humanlike hands are more robust to time and visual feedback changes. We discuss the role of embodiment and mirror neuron system in such outcome and propose the application of androids for efficient BCI training.

  9. Resonant Cholinergic Dynamics in Cognitive and Motor Decision-Making: Attention, Category Learning, and Choice in Neocortex, Superior Colliculus, and Optic Tectum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossberg, Stephen; Palma, Jesse; Versace, Massimiliano

    2015-01-01

    Freely behaving organisms need to rapidly calibrate their perceptual, cognitive, and motor decisions based on continuously changing environmental conditions. These plastic changes include sharpening or broadening of cognitive and motor attention and learning to match the behavioral demands that are imposed by changing environmental statistics. This article proposes that a shared circuit design for such flexible decision-making is used in specific cognitive and motor circuits, and that both types of circuits use acetylcholine to modulate choice selectivity. Such task-sensitive control is proposed to control thalamocortical choice of the critical features that are cognitively attended and that are incorporated through learning into prototypes of visual recognition categories. A cholinergically-modulated process of vigilance control determines if a recognition category and its attended features are abstract (low vigilance) or concrete (high vigilance). Homologous neural mechanisms of cholinergic modulation are proposed to focus attention and learn a multimodal map within the deeper layers of superior colliculus. This map enables visual, auditory, and planned movement commands to compete for attention, leading to selection of a winning position that controls where the next saccadic eye movement will go. Such map learning may be viewed as a kind of attentive motor category learning. The article hereby explicates a link between attention, learning, and cholinergic modulation during decision making within both cognitive and motor systems. Homologs between the mammalian superior colliculus and the avian optic tectum lead to predictions about how multimodal map learning may occur in the mammalian and avian brain and how such learning may be modulated by acetycholine.

  10. Resonant cholinergic dynamics in cognitive and motor decision-making:Attention, category learning, and choice in neocortex, superior colliculus, and optic tectum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen eGrossberg

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Freely behaving organisms need to rapidly calibrate their perceptual, cognitive, and motor decisions based on continuously changing environmental conditions. These plastic changes include sharpening or broadening of cognitive and motor attention and learning to match the behavioral demands that are imposed by changing environmental statistics. This article proposes that a shared circuit design for such flexible decision-making is used in specific cognitive and motor circuits, and that both types of circuits use acetylcholine to modulate choice selectivity. Such task-sensitive control is proposed to control thalamocortical choice of the critical features that are cognitively attended and that are incorporated through learning into prototypes of visual recognition categories. A cholinergically-modulated process of vigilance control determines if a recognition category and its attended features are abstract (low vigilance or concrete (high vigilance. Homologous neural mechanisms of cholinergic modulation are proposed to focus attention and learn a multimodal map within the deeper layers of superior colliculus. This map enables visual, auditory, and planned movement commands to compete for attention, leading to selection of a winning position that controls where the next saccadic eye movement will go. Such map learning may be viewed as a kind of attentive motor category learning. The article hereby explicates a link between attention, learning, and cholinergic modulation during decision making within both cognitive and motor systems. Homologs between the mammalian superior colliculus and the avian optic tectum lead to predictions about how multimodal map learning may occur in the avian brain and how such learning may be modulated by acetycholine.

  11. Neurofeedback training of alpha-band coherence enhances motor performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mottaz, Anais; Solcà, Marco; Magnin, Cécile; Corbet, Tiffany; Schnider, Armin; Guggisberg, Adrian G

    2015-09-01

    Neurofeedback training of motor cortex activations with brain-computer interface systems can enhance recovery in stroke patients. Here we propose a new approach which trains resting-state functional connectivity associated with motor performance instead of activations related to movements. Ten healthy subjects and one stroke patient trained alpha-band coherence between their hand motor area and the rest of the brain using neurofeedback with source functional connectivity analysis and visual feedback. Seven out of ten healthy subjects were able to increase alpha-band coherence between the hand motor cortex and the rest of the brain in a single session. The patient with chronic stroke learned to enhance alpha-band coherence of his affected primary motor cortex in 7 neurofeedback sessions applied over one month. Coherence increased specifically in the targeted motor cortex and in alpha frequencies. This increase was associated with clinically meaningful and lasting improvement of motor function after stroke. These results provide proof of concept that neurofeedback training of alpha-band coherence is feasible and behaviorally useful. The study presents evidence for a role of alpha-band coherence in motor learning and may lead to new strategies for rehabilitation. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Dynamic neural networks based on-line identification and control of high performance motor drives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubaai, Ahmed; Kotaru, Raj

    1995-01-01

    In the automated and high-tech industries of the future, there wil be a need for high performance motor drives both in the low-power range and in the high-power range. To meet very straight demands of tracking and regulation in the two quadrants of operation, advanced control technologies are of a considerable interest and need to be developed. In response a dynamics learning control architecture is developed with simultaneous on-line identification and control. the feature of the proposed approach, to efficiently combine the dual task of system identification (learning) and adaptive control of nonlinear motor drives into a single operation is presented. This approach, therefore, not only adapts to uncertainties of the dynamic parameters of the motor drives but also learns about their inherent nonlinearities. In fact, most of the neural networks based adaptive control approaches in use have an identification phase entirely separate from the control phase. Because these approaches separate the identification and control modes, it is not possible to cope with dynamic changes in a controlled process. Extensive simulation studies have been conducted and good performance was observed. The robustness characteristics of neuro-controllers to perform efficiently in a noisy environment is also demonstrated. With this initial success, the principal investigator believes that the proposed approach with the suggested neural structure can be used successfully for the control of high performance motor drives. Two identification and control topologies based on the model reference adaptive control technique are used in this present analysis. No prior knowledge of load dynamics is assumed in either topology while the second topology also assumes no knowledge of the motor parameters.

  13. Gender differences in young children's interactions when learning fundamental motor skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, C

    1994-09-01

    The purpose of the study was to examine how young children interact in the context of learning fundamental motor skills. Twenty-nine preschool children were observed during a period of six consecutive months while they were participating in their daily motor skills program. Fieldwork research methodology was used and data were collected using participant observation techniques. During data analysis, emerging patterns were identified and cross-referenced against data collected from other sources (triangulation). Girls were found to interact in a cooperative, caring, and sharing manner. Boys were found to interact in a competitive, individualized, and egocentric manner. A cultural pattern of cooperative interaction among Asian children was found. In addition, both boys and girls tried to maintain their gender style of interaction when dealing with the opposite sex. This study reveals several aspects of the social environment that may need to be considered when teaching motor skills to young children.

  14. Bilinear Regularized Locality Preserving Learning on Riemannian Graph for Motor Imagery BCI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Xiaofeng; Yu, Zhu Liang; Gu, Zhenghui; Zhang, Jun; Cen, Ling; Li, Yuanqing

    2018-03-01

    In off-line training of motor imagery-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), to enhance the generalization performance of the learned classifier, the local information contained in test data could be used to improve the performance of motor imagery as well. Further considering that the covariance matrices of electroencephalogram (EEG) signal lie on Riemannian manifold, in this paper, we construct a Riemannian graph to incorporate the information of training and test data into processing. The adjacency and weight in Riemannian graph are determined by the geodesic distance of Riemannian manifold. Then, a new graph embedding algorithm, called bilinear regularized locality preserving (BRLP), is derived upon the Riemannian graph for addressing the problems of high dimensionality frequently arising in BCIs. With a proposed regularization term encoding prior information of EEG channels, the BRLP could obtain more robust performance. Finally, an efficient classification algorithm based on extreme learning machine is proposed to perform on the tangent space of learned embedding. Experimental evaluations on the BCI competition and in-house data sets reveal that the proposed algorithms could obtain significantly higher performance than many competition algorithms after using same filter process.

  15. Motor Learning in Lucid Dreams: Prevalence, Induction, and Effectiveness

    OpenAIRE

    Stumbrys, Tadas

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the present investigation was to explore the potentials for motor learning in a special state of consciousness – so called lucid dreams (dreams in which the dreamers are aware that they are dreaming): its prevalence among athletes, facilitating methods and effectiveness. The contents of this dissertation are structured in the following way. The first chapter introduces the concept of mental practice in sports, reviews the evidence for its effectiveness and presents main theorie...

  16. Impairment of Procedural Learning and Motor Intracortical Inhibition in Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Máximo Zimerman

    2015-10-01

    Interpretations: Collectively, the present results provide evidence that learning of a motor skill is impaired even in clinically intact NF1 patients based, at least partially, on a GABAergic-cortical dysfunctioning as suggested in previous animal work.

  17. A Novel Approach for Brushless DC Motors Characterization in Drones Based on Chaos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramon L. V. Medeiros

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available A novel technique named Signal Analysis based on Chaos using Density of Maxima (SAC-DM is presented to analyze Brushless Direct Current (BLDC motors behavior. These motors are vastly used in electric vehicles, especially in Drones. The proposed approach is compared with the traditional Fast-Fourier Transform (FFT and the experiments analyzing a BLDC motor of a drone demonstrates similar results but computationally simpler than that. The main contribution of this technique is the possibility to analyze signals in time domain, instead of the frequency domain. It is possible to identify working and faulty behavior with less computational resources than the traditional approach.

  18. A longitudinal study on gross motor development in children with learning disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westendorp, Marieke; Hartman, Esther; Houwen, Suzanne; Huijgen, Barbara C. H.; Smith, Joanne; Visscher, Chris

    This longitudinal study examined the development of gross motor skills, and sex-differences therein, in 7; to 11-years-old children with learning disorders (LD) and compared the results with typically developing children to determine the performance level of children with LD. In children with LD (n

  19. Linear hypergeneralization of learned dynamics across movement speeds reveals anisotropic, gain-encoding primitives for motor adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joiner, Wilsaan M; Ajayi, Obafunso; Sing, Gary C; Smith, Maurice A

    2011-01-01

    The ability to generalize learned motor actions to new contexts is a key feature of the motor system. For example, the ability to ride a bicycle or swing a racket is often first developed at lower speeds and later applied to faster velocities. A number of previous studies have examined the generalization of motor adaptation across movement directions and found that the learned adaptation decays in a pattern consistent with the existence of motor primitives that display narrow Gaussian tuning. However, few studies have examined the generalization of motor adaptation across movement speeds. Following adaptation to linear velocity-dependent dynamics during point-to-point reaching arm movements at one speed, we tested the ability of subjects to transfer this adaptation to short-duration higher-speed movements aimed at the same target. We found near-perfect linear extrapolation of the trained adaptation with respect to both the magnitude and the time course of the velocity profiles associated with the high-speed movements: a 69% increase in movement speed corresponded to a 74% extrapolation of the trained adaptation. The close match between the increase in movement speed and the corresponding increase in adaptation beyond what was trained indicates linear hypergeneralization. Computational modeling shows that this pattern of linear hypergeneralization across movement speeds is not compatible with previous models of adaptation in which motor primitives display isotropic Gaussian tuning of motor output around their preferred velocities. Instead, we show that this generalization pattern indicates that the primitives involved in the adaptation to viscous dynamics display anisotropic tuning in velocity space and encode the gain between motor output and motion state rather than motor output itself.

  20. Multisubject Learning for Common Spatial Patterns in Motor-Imagery BCI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dieter Devlaminck

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Motor-imagery-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs commonly use the common spatial pattern filter (CSP as preprocessing step before feature extraction and classification. The CSP method is a supervised algorithm and therefore needs subject-specific training data for calibration, which is very time consuming to collect. In order to reduce the amount of calibration data that is needed for a new subject, one can apply multitask (from now on called multisubject machine learning techniques to the preprocessing phase. Here, the goal of multisubject learning is to learn a spatial filter for a new subject based on its own data and that of other subjects. This paper outlines the details of the multitask CSP algorithm and shows results on two data sets. In certain subjects a clear improvement can be seen, especially when the number of training trials is relatively low.

  1. Measurement of functional task difficulty during motor learning: What level of difficulty corresponds to the optimal challenge point?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari

    2015-10-01

    The relationship between task difficulty and learning benefit was examined, as was the measurability of task difficulty. Participants were required to learn a postural control task on an unstable surface at one of four different task difficulty levels. Results from the retention test showed an inverted-U relationship between task difficulty during acquisition and motor learning. The second-highest level of task difficulty was the most effective for motor learning, while learning was delayed at the most and least difficult levels. Additionally, the results indicate that salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) are useful indices of task difficulty. Our findings suggested that instructors may be able to adjust task difficulty based on salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the NASA-TLX to enhance learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. In the business of learning : approaches to learning of undergraduate students in business

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, J.G.

    2010-01-01

    Three approaches to learning are distinguished in the learning literature: a surface, deep and strategic approach to learning. The surface approach to learning is characterized as undirected rote learning, motivated by a fear of failure. The deep approach to learning is characterized as interested

  3. A randomised controlled trial of sensory awareness training and additional motor practice for learning scalpel skills in podiatry students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Causby, Ryan S; McDonnell, Michelle N; Reed, Lloyd; Hillier, Susan L

    2016-12-05

    The process of using a scalpel, like all other motor activities, is dependent upon the successful integration of afferent (sensory), cognitive and efferent (motor) processes. During learning of these skills, even if motor practice is carefully monitored there is still an inherent risk involved. It is also possible that this strategy could reinforce high levels of anxiety experienced by the student and affect student self-efficacy, causing detrimental effects on motor learning. An alternative training strategy could be through targeting sensory rather than motor processes. Second year podiatry students who were about to commence learning scalpel skills were recruited. Participants were randomly allocated into sensory awareness training (Sensory), additional motor practice (Motor) or usual teaching only (Control) groups. Participants were then evaluated on psychological measures (Intrinsic Motivation Inventory) and dexterity measures (Purdue Pegboard, Grooved Pegboard Test and a grip-lift task). A total of 44 participants were included in the study. There were no baseline differences or significant differences between the three groups over time on the Perceived Competence, Effort/ Importance or Pressure/ Tension, psychological measures. All groups showed a significant increase in Perceived Competence over time (F 1,41  = 13.796, p = 0.001). Only one variable for the grip-lift task (Preload Duration for the non-dominant hand) showed a significant difference over time between the groups (F 2,41  = 3.280, p = 0.038), specifically, Motor and Control groups. The use of sensory awareness training, or additional motor practice did not provide a more effective alternative compared with usual teaching. Further research may be warranted using more engaged training, provision of supervision and greater participant numbers. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRN12616001428459 . Registered 13 th October 2016. Registered Retrospectively.

  4. Motor Learning: An Analysis of 100 Trials of a Ski Slalom Game in Children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien C M; Jelsma, Lemke Dorothee; Ferguson, Gillian D; Geuze, Reint H

    2015-01-01

    Although Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is often characterized as a skill acquisition deficit disorder, few studies have addressed the process of motor learning. This study examined learning of a novel motor task; the Wii Fit ski slalom game. The main objectives were to determine: 1) whether learning occurs over 100 trial runs of the game, 2) if the learning curve is different between children with and without DCD, 3) if learning is different in an easier or harder version of the task, 4) if learning transfers to other balance tasks. 17 children with DCD (6-10 years) and a matched control group of 17 typically developing (TD) children engaged in 20 minutes of gaming, twice a week for five weeks. Each training session comprised of alternating trial runs, with five runs at an easy level and five runs at a difficult level. Wii scores, which combine speed and accuracy per run, were recorded. Standardized balance tasks were used to measure transfer. Significant differences in initial performance were found between groups on the Wii score and balance tasks. Both groups improved their Wii score over the five weeks. Improvement in the easy and in the hard task did not differ between groups. Retention in the time between training sessions was not different between TD and DCD groups either. The DCD group improved significantly on all balance tasks. The findings in this study give a fairly coherent picture of the learning process over a medium time scale (5 weeks) in children novice to active computer games; they learn, retain and there is evidence of transfer to other balance tasks. The rate of motor learning is similar for those with and without DCD. Our results raise a number of questions about motor learning that need to be addressed in future research.

  5. Early motor learning changes in upper-limb dynamics and shoulder complex loading during handrim wheelchair propulsion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vegter, Riemer J K; Hartog, Johanneke; de Groot, Sonja; Lamoth, Claudine J; Bekker, Michel J; van der Scheer, Jan W; van der Woude, Lucas H V; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J

    2015-03-10

    To propel in an energy-efficient manner, handrim wheelchair users must learn to control the bimanually applied forces onto the rims, preserving both speed and direction of locomotion. Previous studies have found an increase in mechanical efficiency due to motor learning associated with changes in propulsion technique, but it is unclear in what way the propulsion technique impacts the load on the shoulder complex. The purpose of this study was to evaluate mechanical efficiency, propulsion technique and load on the shoulder complex during the initial stage of motor learning. 15 naive able-bodied participants received 12-minutes uninstructed wheelchair practice on a motor driven treadmill, consisting of three 4-minute blocks separated by two minutes rest. Practice was performed at a fixed belt speed (v = 1.1 m/s) and constant low-intensity power output (0.2 W/kg). Energy consumption, kinematics and kinetics of propulsion technique were continuously measured. The Delft Shoulder Model was used to calculate net joint moments, muscle activity and glenohumeral reaction force. With practice mechanical efficiency increased and propulsion technique changed, reflected by a reduced push frequency and increased work per push, performed over a larger contact angle, with more tangentially applied force and reduced power losses before and after each push. Contrary to our expectations, the above mentioned propulsion technique changes were found together with an increased load on the shoulder complex reflected by higher net moments, a higher total muscle power and higher peak and mean glenohumeral reaction forces. It appears that the early stages of motor learning in handrim wheelchair propulsion are indeed associated with improved technique and efficiency due to optimization of the kinematics and dynamics of the upper extremity. This process goes at the cost of an increased muscular effort and mechanical loading of the shoulder complex. This seems to be associated with an

  6. Visual-motor association learning in undergraduate students as a function of the autism-spectrum quotient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkington, Karisa B; Clements, Rebecca J; Landry, Oriane; Chouinard, Philippe A

    2015-10-01

    We examined how performance on an associative learning task changes in a sample of undergraduate students as a function of their autism-spectrum quotient (AQ) score. The participants, without any prior knowledge of the Japanese language, learned to associate hiragana characters with button responses. In the novel condition, 50 participants learned visual-motor associations without any prior exposure to the stimuli's visual attributes. In the familiar condition, a different set of 50 participants completed a session in which they first became familiar with the stimuli's visual appearance prior to completing the visual-motor association learning task. Participants with higher AQ scores had a clear advantage in the novel condition; the amount of training required reaching learning criterion correlated negatively with AQ. In contrast, participants with lower AQ scores had a clear advantage in the familiar condition; the amount of training required to reach learning criterion correlated positively with AQ. An examination of how each of the AQ subscales correlated with these learning patterns revealed that abilities in visual discrimination-which is known to depend on the visual ventral-stream system-may have afforded an advantage in the novel condition for the participants with the higher AQ scores, whereas abilities in attention switching-which are known to require mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex-may have afforded an advantage in the familiar condition for the participants with the lower AQ scores.

  7. Human-robot cooperative movement training: Learning a novel sensory motor transformation during walking with robotic assistance-as-needed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benitez Raul

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A prevailing paradigm of physical rehabilitation following neurologic injury is to "assist-as-needed" in completing desired movements. Several research groups are attempting to automate this principle with robotic movement training devices and patient cooperative algorithms that encourage voluntary participation. These attempts are currently not based on computational models of motor learning. Methods Here we assume that motor recovery from a neurologic injury can be modelled as a process of learning a novel sensory motor transformation, which allows us to study a simplified experimental protocol amenable to mathematical description. Specifically, we use a robotic force field paradigm to impose a virtual impairment on the left leg of unimpaired subjects walking on a treadmill. We then derive an "assist-as-needed" robotic training algorithm to help subjects overcome the virtual impairment and walk normally. The problem is posed as an optimization of performance error and robotic assistance. The optimal robotic movement trainer becomes an error-based controller with a forgetting factor that bounds kinematic errors while systematically reducing its assistance when those errors are small. As humans have a natural range of movement variability, we introduce an error weighting function that causes the robotic trainer to disregard this variability. Results We experimentally validated the controller with ten unimpaired subjects by demonstrating how it helped the subjects learn the novel sensory motor transformation necessary to counteract the virtual impairment, while also preventing them from experiencing large kinematic errors. The addition of the error weighting function allowed the robot assistance to fade to zero even though the subjects' movements were variable. We also show that in order to assist-as-needed, the robot must relax its assistance at a rate faster than that of the learning human. Conclusion The assist

  8. Human-robot cooperative movement training: learning a novel sensory motor transformation during walking with robotic assistance-as-needed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emken, Jeremy L; Benitez, Raul; Reinkensmeyer, David J

    2007-03-28

    A prevailing paradigm of physical rehabilitation following neurologic injury is to "assist-as-needed" in completing desired movements. Several research groups are attempting to automate this principle with robotic movement training devices and patient cooperative algorithms that encourage voluntary participation. These attempts are currently not based on computational models of motor learning. Here we assume that motor recovery from a neurologic injury can be modelled as a process of learning a novel sensory motor transformation, which allows us to study a simplified experimental protocol amenable to mathematical description. Specifically, we use a robotic force field paradigm to impose a virtual impairment on the left leg of unimpaired subjects walking on a treadmill. We then derive an "assist-as-needed" robotic training algorithm to help subjects overcome the virtual impairment and walk normally. The problem is posed as an optimization of performance error and robotic assistance. The optimal robotic movement trainer becomes an error-based controller with a forgetting factor that bounds kinematic errors while systematically reducing its assistance when those errors are small. As humans have a natural range of movement variability, we introduce an error weighting function that causes the robotic trainer to disregard this variability. We experimentally validated the controller with ten unimpaired subjects by demonstrating how it helped the subjects learn the novel sensory motor transformation necessary to counteract the virtual impairment, while also preventing them from experiencing large kinematic errors. The addition of the error weighting function allowed the robot assistance to fade to zero even though the subjects' movements were variable. We also show that in order to assist-as-needed, the robot must relax its assistance at a rate faster than that of the learning human. The assist-as-needed algorithm proposed here can limit error during the learning of a

  9. Impacts of autonomy-supportive versus controlling instructional language on motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooyman, Andrew; Wulf, Gabriele; Lewthwaite, Rebecca

    2014-08-01

    The authors examined the influence of autonomy-supportive (ASL), controlling (CL), and neutral instructional language (NL) on motor skill learning (cricket bowling action). Prior to and several times during the practice phase, participants watched the same video demonstration of the bowling action but with different voice-over instructions. The instructions were designed to provide the same technical information but to vary in terms of the degree of choice performers would perceive when executing the task. In addition to measurements of throwing accuracy (i.e., deviation from the target), perceived choice, self-efficacy, and positive and negative affect were assessed at the end of the practice phase and after a retention test without demonstrations and instructions on Day 2. ASL resulted in perceptions of greater choice, higher self-efficacy, and more positive affect during practice than CL, and enhanced learning as demonstrated by retention test performance. Thus, granting learners autonomy appeared to endow them with confidence in their ability, diminished needs for control of negative emotional responses, and created more positive affect, which may help consolidate motor memories. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. A Mirror Therapy-Based Action Observation Protocol to Improve Motor Learning After Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmsen, Wouter J; Bussmann, Johannes B J; Selles, Ruud W; Hurkmans, Henri L P; Ribbers, Gerard M

    2015-07-01

    Mirror therapy is a priming technique to improve motor function of the affected arm after stroke. To investigate whether a mirror therapy-based action observation (AO) protocol contributes to motor learning of the affected arm after stroke. A total of 37 participants in the chronic stage after stroke were randomly allocated to the AO or control observation (CO) group. Participants were instructed to perform an upper-arm reaching task as fast and as fluently as possible. All participants trained the upper-arm reaching task with their affected arm alternated with either AO or CO. Participants in the AO group observed mirrored video tapes of reaching movements performed by their unaffected arm, whereas participants in the CO group observed static photographs of landscapes. The experimental condition effect was investigated by evaluating the primary outcome measure: movement time (in seconds) of the reaching movement, measured by accelerometry. Movement time decreased significantly in both groups: 18.3% in the AO and 9.1% in the CO group. Decrease in movement time was significantly more in the AO compared with the CO group (mean difference = 0.14 s; 95% confidence interval = 0.02, 0.26; P = .026). The present study showed that a mirror therapy-based AO protocol contributes to motor learning after stroke. © The Author(s) 2014.

  11. Temporal course of gene expression during motor memory formation in primary motor cortex of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertler, B; Buitrago, M M; Luft, A R; Hosp, J A

    2016-12-01

    Motor learning is associated with plastic reorganization of neural networks in primary motor cortex (M1) that depends on changes in gene expression. Here, we investigate the temporal profile of these changes during motor memory formation in response to a skilled reaching task in rats. mRNA-levels were measured 1h, 7h and 24h after the end of a training session using microarray technique. To assure learning specificity, trained animals were compared to a control group. In response to motor learning, genes are sequentially regulated with high time-point specificity and a shift from initial suppression to later activation. The majority of regulated genes can be linked to learning-related plasticity. In the gene-expression cascade following motor learning, three different steps can be defined: (1) an initial suppression of genes influencing gene transcription. (2) Expression of genes that support translation of mRNA in defined compartments. (3) Expression of genes that immediately mediates plastic changes. Gene expression peaks after 24h - this is a much slower time-course when compared to hippocampus-dependent learning, where peaks of gene-expression can be observed 6-12h after training ended. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Enhanced motor learning with bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation: Impact of polarity or current flow direction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naros, Georgios; Geyer, Marc; Koch, Susanne; Mayr, Lena; Ellinger, Tabea; Grimm, Florian; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-04-01

    Bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) is superior to unilateral TDCS when targeting motor learning. This effect could be related to either the current flow direction or additive polarity-specific effects on each hemisphere. This sham-controlled randomized study included fifty right-handed healthy subjects in a parallel-group design who performed an exoskeleton-based motor task of the proximal left arm on three consecutive days. Prior to training, we applied either sham, right anodal (a-TDCS), left cathodal (c-TDCS), concurrent a-TDCS and c-TDCS with two independent current sources and return electrodes (double source (ds)-TDCS) or classical bilateral stimulation (bi-TDCS). Motor performance improved over time for both unilateral (a-TDCS, c-TDCS) and bilateral (bi-TDCS, ds-TDCS) TDCS montages. However, only the two bilateral paradigms led to an improvement of the final motor performance at the end of the training period as compared to the sham condition. There was no difference between the two bilateral stimulation conditions (bi-TDCS, ds-TDCS). Bilateral TDCS is more effective than unilateral stimulation due to its polarity-specific effects on each hemisphere rather than due to its current flow direction. This study is the first systematic evaluation of stimulation polarity and current flow direction of bi-hemispheric motor cortex TDCS on motor learning of proximal upper limb muscles. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Older adults learn less, but still reduce metabolic cost, during motor adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Helen J.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to learn new movements and dynamics is important for maintaining independence with advancing age. Age-related sensorimotor changes and increased muscle coactivation likely alter the trial-and-error-based process of adapting to new movement demands (motor adaptation). Here, we asked, to what extent is motor adaptation to novel dynamics maintained in older adults (≥65 yr)? We hypothesized that older adults would adapt to the novel dynamics less well than young adults. Because older adults often use muscle coactivation, we expected older adults to use greater muscle coactivation during motor adaptation than young adults. Nevertheless, we predicted that older adults would reduce muscle activity and metabolic cost with motor adaptation, similar to young adults. Seated older (n = 11, 73.8 ± 5.6 yr) and young (n = 15, 23.8 ± 4.7 yr) adults made targeted reaching movements while grasping a robotic arm. We measured their metabolic rate continuously via expired gas analysis. A force field was used to add novel dynamics. Older adults had greater movement deviations and compensated for just 65% of the novel dynamics compared with 84% in young adults. As expected, older adults used greater muscle coactivation than young adults. Last, older adults reduced muscle activity with motor adaptation and had consistent reductions in metabolic cost later during motor adaptation, similar to young adults. These results suggest that despite increased muscle coactivation, older adults can adapt to the novel dynamics, albeit less accurately. These results also suggest that reductions in metabolic cost may be a fundamental feature of motor adaptation. PMID:24133222

  14. Improved children's motor learning of the basketball free shooting pattern by associating subjective error estimation and extrinsic feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Leandro de Carvalho da; Pereira-Monfredini, Carla Ferro; Teixeira, Luis Augusto

    2017-09-01

    This study aimed at assessing the interaction between subjective error estimation and frequency of extrinsic feedback in the learning of the basketball free shooting pattern by children. 10- to 12-year olds were assigned to 1 of 4 groups combining subjective error estimation and relative frequency of extrinsic feedback (33% × 100%). Analysis of performance was based on quality of movement pattern. Analysis showed superior learning of the group combining error estimation and 100% feedback frequency, both groups receiving feedback on 33% of trials achieved intermediate results, and the group combining no requirement of error estimation and 100% feedback frequency had the poorest learning. Our results show the benefit of subjective error estimation in association with high frequency of extrinsic feedback in children's motor learning of a sport motor pattern.

  15. Effects of short-term training on behavioral learning and skill acquisition during intraoral fine motor task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kumar, Abhishek; Grigoriadis, Joannis; Trulsson, Mats

    2015-01-01

    Sensory information from the orofacial mechanoreceptors are used by the nervous system to optimize the positioning of food, determine the force levels, and force vectors involved in biting of food morsels. Moreover, practice resulting from repetition could be a key to learning and acquiring a motor...... movements. Thirty healthy volunteers were asked to intraorally manipulate and split a chocolate candy, into two equal halves. The participants performed three series (with ten 10 trials) of the task before and after a short-term (approximately 30min) training. The accuracy of the split and vertical jaw...... task induces behavior learning, skill acquisition and optimization of jaw movements in terms of better performance and reduction in the duration of jaw movements, during the task. The finding of the present study provides insights on into how humans learn oral motor behaviors or the kind of adaptation...

  16. Motor Learning of a Bimanual Task in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Ya-Ching; Gordon, Andrew M.

    2013-01-01

    Children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) have been shown to improve their motor performance with sufficient practice. However, little is known about how they learn goal-oriented tasks. In the current study, 21 children with unilateral CP (age 4-10 years old) and 21 age-matched typically developed children (TDC) practiced a simple bimanual…

  17. The 50s cliff: a decline in perceptuo-motor learning, not a deficit in visual motion perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jie; Huang, Shaochen; Zhang, Jiancheng; Zhu, Qin; Wilson, Andrew D; Snapp-Childs, Winona; Bingham, Geoffrey P

    2015-01-01

    Previously, we measured perceptuo-motor learning rates across the lifespan and found a sudden drop in learning rates between ages 50 and 60, called the "50s cliff." The task was a unimanual visual rhythmic coordination task in which participants used a joystick to oscillate one dot in a display in coordination with another dot oscillated by a computer. Participants learned to produce a coordination with a 90° relative phase relation between the dots. Learning rates for participants over 60 were half those of younger participants. Given existing evidence for visual motion perception deficits in people over 60 and the role of visual motion perception in the coordination task, it remained unclear whether the 50s cliff reflected onset of this deficit or a genuine decline in perceptuo-motor learning. The current work addressed this question. Two groups of 12 participants in each of four age ranges (20s, 50s, 60s, 70s) learned to perform a bimanual coordination of 90° relative phase. One group trained with only haptic information and the other group with both haptic and visual information about relative phase. Both groups were tested in both information conditions at baseline and post-test. If the 50s cliff was caused by an age dependent deficit in visual motion perception, then older participants in the visual group should have exhibited less learning than those in the haptic group, which should not exhibit the 50s cliff, and older participants in both groups should have performed less well when tested with visual information. Neither of these expectations was confirmed by the results, so we concluded that the 50s cliff reflects a genuine decline in perceptuo-motor learning with aging, not the onset of a deficit in visual motion perception.

  18. Acute exercise improves motor memory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skriver, Kasper Christen; Roig, Marc; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper

    2014-01-01

    We have recently shown that a single bout of acute cardiovascular exercise improves motor skill learning through an optimization of long-term motor memory. Here we expand this previous finding, to explore potential exercise-related biomarkers and their association with measures of motor memory...... practice whereas lactate correlated with better retention 1 hour as well as 24 hours and 7 days after practice. Thus, improvements in motor skill acquisition and retention induced by acute cardiovascular exercise are associated with increased concentrations of biomarkers involved in memory and learning...... processes. More mechanistic studies are required to elucidate the specific role of each biomarker in the formation of motor memory....

  19. cTBS disruption of the supplementary motor area perturbs cortical sequence representation but not behavioural performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solopchuk, Oleg; Alamia, Andrea; Dricot, Laurence; Duque, Julie; Zénon, Alexandre

    2017-12-01

    Neuroimaging studies have repeatedly emphasized the role of the supplementary motor area (SMA) in motor sequence learning, but interferential approaches have led to inconsistent findings. Here, we aimed to test the role of the SMA in motor skill learning by combining interferential and neuroimaging techniques. Sixteen subjects were trained on simple finger movement sequences for 4 days. Afterwards, they underwent two neuroimaging sessions, in which they executed both trained and novel sequences. Prior to entering the scanner, the subjects received inhibitory transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the SMA or a control site. Using multivariate fMRI analysis, we confirmed that motor training enhances the neural representation of motor sequences in the SMA, in accordance with previous findings. However, although SMA inhibition altered sequence representation (i.e. between-sequence decoding accuracy) in this area, behavioural performance remained unimpaired. Our findings question the causal link between the neuroimaging correlate of elementary motor sequence representation in the SMA and sequence generation, calling for a more thorough investigation of the role of this region in performance of learned motor sequences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. RBF Neural Network Approach for Identification and Control of DC Motors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EA Feilat

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a neural network approach for the identification and control of a separately excited direct (DC motor (SEDCM driving a centrifugal pump load is applied. In this application, two radial basis function neural networks (RBFNN are used: The first is a RBFNN identifier trained offline to emulate the dynamic performance of the DC motor-load system. The second is a RBFNN controller, which is trained to make the motor speed follow a selected reference signal. Two RBFNN control schemes are proposed using direct inverse and internal model control schemes. The performance of the RBFNN identifier and controller is investigated in terms of step response, sharp changes in speed trajectory, and sudden load change, as well as changes in motor parameters. The performance of RBFNN in system identification and control has been compared with the performance of the well-known back-propagation neural network (BPNN. The simulation results show that both of the BPNN and RBFNN controllers exhibit excellent dynamic response, adapt well to changes in speed trajectory and load connected to the motor, and adapt to the variations of motor parameters. Furthermore, the simulation results show that the step response of RBFNN internal model and direct inverse controllers are identical.

  1. Subcortical Contributions to Motor Speech: Phylogenetic, Developmental, Clinical.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, W; Ackermann, H

    2017-08-01

    Vocal learning is an exclusively human trait among primates. However, songbirds demonstrate behavioral features resembling human speech learning. Two circuits have a preeminent role in this human behavior; namely, the corticostriatal and the cerebrocerebellar motor loops. While the striatal contribution can be traced back to the avian anterior forebrain pathway (AFP), the sensorimotor adaptation functions of the cerebellum appear to be human specific in acoustic communication. This review contributes to an ongoing discussion on how birdsong translates into human speech. While earlier approaches were focused on higher linguistic functions, we place the motor aspects of speaking at center stage. Genetic data are brought together with clinical and developmental evidence to outline the role of cerebrocerebellar and corticostriatal interactions in human speech. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Generalization of motor learning depends on the history of prior action.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John W Krakauer

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Generalization of motor learning refers to our ability to apply what has been learned in one context to other contexts. When generalization is beneficial, it is termed transfer, and when it is detrimental, it is termed interference. Insight into the mechanism of generalization may be acquired from understanding why training transfers in some contexts but not others. However, identifying relevant contextual cues has proven surprisingly difficult, perhaps because the search has mainly been for cues that are explicit. We hypothesized instead that a relevant contextual cue is an implicit memory of action with a particular body part. To test this hypothesis we considered a task in which participants learned to control motion of a cursor under visuomotor rotation in two contexts: by moving their hand through motion of their shoulder and elbow, or through motion of their wrist. Use of these contextual cues led to three observations: First, in naive participants, learning in the wrist context was much faster than in the arm context. Second, generalization was asymmetric so that arm training benefited subsequent wrist training, but not vice versa. Third, in people who had prior wrist training, generalization from the arm to the wrist was blocked. That is, prior wrist training appeared to prevent both the interference and transfer that subsequent arm training should have caused. To explain the data, we posited that the learner collected statistics of contextual history: all upper arm movements also move the hand, but occasionally we move our hands without moving the upper arm. In a Bayesian framework, history of limb segment use strongly affects parameter uncertainty, which is a measure of the covariance of the contextual cues. This simple Bayesian prior dictated a generalization pattern that largely reproduced all three findings. For motor learning, generalization depends on context, which is determined by the statistics of how we have previously used

  3. Amount of kinematic feedback affects learning of speech motor skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Kirrie J; Smith, Heather D; Paramatmuni, Divija; McCabe, Patricia; Theodoros, Deborah G; Murdoch, Bruce E

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of Performance (KP) feedback, such as biofeedback or kinematic feedback, is used to provide information on the nature and quality of movement responses for the purpose of guiding active learning or rehabilitation of motor skills. It has been proposed that KP feedback may interfere with long-term learning when provided throughout training. Here, twelve healthy English-speaking adults were trained to produce a trilled Russian [r] in words with KP kinematic feedback using electropalatography (EPG) and without KP (noKP). Five one-hour training sessions were provided over one week with testing pretraining and one day and one week posttraining. No group differences were found at pretraining or one day post training for production accuracy. A group by time interaction supported the hypothesis that providing kinematic feedback continually during skill acquisition interferes with retention.

  4. Taurine Administration Recovers Motor and Learning Deficits in an Angelman Syndrome Mouse Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Guzzetti

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Angelman syndrome (AS, MIM 105830 is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 1:10–20,000 children. Patients show moderate to severe intellectual disability, ataxia and absence of speech. Studies on both post-mortem AS human brains and mouse models revealed dysfunctions in the extra synaptic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA receptors implicated in the pathogenesis. Taurine is a free intracellular sulfur-containing amino acid, abundant in brain, considered an inhibiting neurotransmitter with neuroprotective properties. As taurine acts as an agonist of GABA-A receptors, we aimed at investigating whether it might ameliorate AS symptoms. Since mice weaning, we orally administered 1 g/kg/day taurine in water to Ube3a-deficient mice. To test the improvement of motor and cognitive skills, Rotarod, Novel Object Recognition and Open Field tests were assayed at 7, 14, 21 and 30 weeks, while biochemical tests and amino acid dosages were carried out, respectively, by Western-blot and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC on frozen whole brains. Treatment of Ube3am−/p+ mice with taurine significantly improved motor and learning skills and restored the levels of the post-synaptic PSD-95 and pERK1/2-ERK1/2 ratio to wild type values. No side effects of taurine were observed. Our study indicates taurine administration as a potential therapy to ameliorate motor deficits and learning difficulties in AS.

  5. Study strategies and approaches to learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Hans Peter

    Process Questionnaire to identify their approach to learning. It was hypothesised that the students’ learning approach would depend more on the quality of the study work than on the quantity; that an active and reflective study strategy was required to obtain deep conceptual understanding. The result...... showed a weak correlation between the student’s main learning approach as defined by the ratio of the deep approach score to the surface approach score and the student’s study intensity as identified by the ratio of non-scheduled independent activities to scheduled teacher-controlled activities....... There was however a much stronger linear correlation (significant at the 0.01 level) between the deep-surface ratio and the total study load. The same result was observed when measuring other students’ study strategy and learning approach for a single course. The empirical basis is still too limited to draw...

  6. The Feldenkrais Method: A Dynamic Approach to Changing Motor Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Patricia A.; Ulrich, Beverly D.

    2001-01-01

    Describes the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education, noting parallels with a dynamic systems theory (DST) approach to motor behavior. Feldenkrais uses movement and perception to foster individualized improvement in function. DST explains that a human-environment system continually adapts to changing conditions and assembles behaviors…

  7. Does the acceptance of hybrid learning affect learning approaches in France?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco, Lionel Di; Venot, Alain; Gillois, Pierre

    2017-01-01

    Acceptance of a learning technology affects students' intention to use that technology, but the influence of the acceptance of a learning technology on learning approaches has not been investigated in the literature. A deep learning approach is important in the field of health, where links must be created between skills, knowledge, and habits. Our hypothesis was that acceptance of a hybrid learning model would affect students' way of learning. We analysed these concepts, and their correlations, in the context of a flipped classroom method using a local learning management system. In a sample of all students within a single year of study in the midwifery program (n= 38), we used 3 validated scales to evaluate these concepts (the Study Process Questionnaire, My Intellectual Work Tools, and the Hybrid E-Learning Acceptance Model: Learner Perceptions). Our sample had a positive acceptance of the learning model, but a neutral intention to use it. Students reported that they were distractible during distance learning. They presented a better mean score for the deep approach than for the superficial approach (Paffected by acceptance of a hybrid learning model, due to the flexibility of the tool. However, we identified problems in the students' time utilization, which explains their neutral intention to use the system.

  8. Mapping the dynamics of cortical neuroplasticity of skilled motor learning using micro X-ray fluorescence and histofluorescence imaging of zinc in the rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaverdashvili, Mariam; Paterson, Phyllis G.

    2017-01-01

    Synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence imaging (XFI) of zinc (Zn) has been recently implemented to understand the efficiency of various therapeutic interventions targeting post-stroke neuroprotection and neuroplasticity. However, it is uncertain if micro XFI can resolve neuroplasticity-induced changes. Thus, we explored if learning-associated behavioral changes would be accompanied by changes in cortical Zn concentration measured by XFI in healthy adult rats. Proficiency in a skilled reach-to-eat task during early and late stages of motor learning served as a functional measure of neuroplasticity. c-Fos protein and vesicular Zn expression were employed as indirect neuronal measures of brain plasticity. A total Zn map (20 × 20 × 30 μm3 resolution) generated by micro XFI failed to reflect increases in either c-Fos or vesicular Zn in the motor cortex contralateral to the trained forelimb or improved proficiency in the skilled reaching task. Remarkably, vesicular Zn increased in the late stage of motor learning along with a concurrent decrease in the number of c-fos-ip neurons relative to the early stage of motor learning. This inverse dynamics of c-fos and vesicular Zn level as the motor skill advances suggest that a qualitatively different neural population, comprised of fewer active but more efficiently connected neurons, supports a skilled action in the late versus early stage of motor learning. The lack of sensitivity of the XFI-generated Zn map to visualize the plasticity-associated changes in vesicular Zn suggests that the Zn level measured by micro XFI should not be used as a surrogate marker of neuroplasticity in response to the acquisition of skilled motor actions. Nanoscopic XFI could be explored in future as a means of imaging these subtle physiological changes. PMID:27840249

  9. Business Model Design: Lessons Learned from Tesla Motors

    OpenAIRE

    Chen , Yurong; Perez , Yannick

    2015-01-01

    International audience; Electric vehicle (EV) industry is still in the introduction stage in product life cycle, and dominant design remains unclear. EV companies, both incumbent from the car industry and new comers, have long taken numerous endeavors to promote EV in the niche market by providing innovative products and business models. While most carmakers still take 'business as usual' approach for developing their EV production and offers, Tesla Motors, an EV entrepreneurial firm, stands ...

  10. Non-motor and motor features in LRRK2 transgenic mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoë Bichler

    Full Text Available Non-motor symptoms are increasingly recognized as important features of Parkinson's disease (PD. LRRK2 mutations are common causes of familial and sporadic PD. Non-motor features have not been yet comprehensively evaluated in LRRK2 transgenic mouse models.Using a transgenic mouse model overexpressing the R1441G mutation of the human LRRK2 gene, we have investigated the longitudinal correlation between motor and non-motor symptoms and determined if specific non-motor phenotypes precede motor symptoms.We investigated the onset of motor and non-motor phenotypes on the LRRK2(R1441G BAC transgenic mice and their littermate controls from 4 to 21 month-old using a battery of behavioral tests. The transgenic mutant mice displayed mild hypokinesia in the open field from 16 months old, with gastrointestinal dysfunctions beginning at 6 months old. Non-motor features such as depression and anxiety-like behaviors, sensorial functions (pain sensitivity and olfaction, and learning and memory abilities in the passive avoidance test were similar in the transgenic animals compared to littermate controls.LRRK2(R1441G BAC transgenic mice displayed gastrointestinal dysfunction at an early stage but did not have abnormalities in fine behaviors, olfaction, pain sensitivity, mood disorders and learning and memory compared to non-transgenic littermate controls. The observations on olfaction and gastrointestinal dysfunction in this model validate findings in human carriers. These mice did recapitulate mild Parkinsonian motor features at late stages but compensatory mechanisms modulating the progression of PD in these models should be further evaluated.

  11. Not just petrol heads: men's learning in the communitythrough participation in motor sports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barry Golding

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the learning experienced through participation by men in twoquite different two motor sports organisations in Western Australia. It relies oninterview data from volunteers about what they do and what they learn as aconsequence of their participation in staging complex but safe, competitive, publicevents. The paper provides evidence of a deep well of learning and wide range of skillsproduced as a consequence of participation. This learning would rarely be recognisedas education or training, illustrating the need for caution when concluding that adulteducation is not taking place and learning outcomes are not being achieved other thanthrough courses where teaching occurs, or in contexts that are regarded as literary.What men skills men learnt, though significant as outcomes, were not the object of themotor sport activity, supporting Biesta's (2006 view that the amassing of knowledgeand skills can be achieved in other valuable ways aside from through education.

  12. Linking Action Learning and Inter-Organisational Learning: The Learning Journey Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The article presents and illustrates the learning journey (LJ)--a new management development approach to inter-organisational learning based on observation, reflection and problem-solving. The LJ involves managers from different organisations and applies key concepts of action learning and systemic organisational development. Made up of…

  13. A longitudinal study on gross motor development in children with learning disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westendorp, Marieke; Hartman, Esther; Houwen, Suzanne; Huijgen, Barbara C H; Smith, Joanne; Visscher, Chris

    2014-02-01

    This longitudinal study examined the development of gross motor skills, and sex-differences therein, in 7- to 11-years-old children with learning disorders (LD) and compared the results with typically developing children to determine the performance level of children with LD. In children with LD (n=56; 39 boys, 17 girls), gross motor skills were assessed with the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and measured annually during a 3-year period. Motor scores of 253 typically developing children (125 boys, 112 girls) were collected for references values. The multilevel analyses showed that the ball skills of children with LD improved with age (p50). Boys had higher ball skill scores than girls (p=.002) and these differences were constant over time. Typically developing children outperformed the children with LD on the locomotor skills and ball skills at all ages, except the locomotor skills at age 7. Children with LD develop their ball skills later in the primary school-period compared to typically developing peers. However, 11 year-old children with LD had a lag in locomotor skills and ball skills of at least four and three years, respectively, compared to their peers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Improved motor sequence retention by motionless listening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahav, Amir; Katz, Tal; Chess, Roxanne; Saltzman, Elliot

    2013-05-01

    This study examined the effect of listening to a newly learned musical piece on subsequent motor retention of the piece. Thirty-six non-musicians were trained to play an unfamiliar melody on a piano keyboard. Next, they were randomly assigned to participate in three follow-up listening sessions over 1 week. Subjects who, during their listening sessions, listened to the same initial piece showed significant improvements in motor memory and retention of the piece despite the absence of physical practice. These improvements included increased pitch accuracy, time accuracy, and dynamic intensity of key pressing. Similar improvements, though to a lesser degree, were observed in subjects who, during their listening sessions, were distracted by another task. Control subjects, who after learning the piece had listened to nonmusical sounds, showed impaired motoric retention of the piece at 1 week from the initial acquisition day. These results imply that motor sequences can be established in motor memory without direct access to motor-related information. In addition, the study revealed that the listening-induced improvements did not generalize to the learning of a new musical piece composed of the same notes as the initial piece learned, limiting the effects to musical motor sequences that are already part of the individual's motor repertoire.

  15. Optimal speech motor control and token-to-token variability: a Bayesian modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patri, Jean-François; Diard, Julien; Perrier, Pascal

    2015-12-01

    The remarkable capacity of the speech motor system to adapt to various speech conditions is due to an excess of degrees of freedom, which enables producing similar acoustical properties with different sets of control strategies. To explain how the central nervous system selects one of the possible strategies, a common approach, in line with optimal motor control theories, is to model speech motor planning as the solution of an optimality problem based on cost functions. Despite the success of this approach, one of its drawbacks is the intrinsic contradiction between the concept of optimality and the observed experimental intra-speaker token-to-token variability. The present paper proposes an alternative approach by formulating feedforward optimal control in a probabilistic Bayesian modeling framework. This is illustrated by controlling a biomechanical model of the vocal tract for speech production and by comparing it with an existing optimal control model (GEPPETO). The essential elements of this optimal control model are presented first. From them the Bayesian model is constructed in a progressive way. Performance of the Bayesian model is evaluated based on computer simulations and compared to the optimal control model. This approach is shown to be appropriate for solving the speech planning problem while accounting for variability in a principled way.

  16. Differences in learning volitional (manual and non-volitional (posture aspects of a complex motor skill in young adult dyslexic and skilled readers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itamar Sela

    Full Text Available The 'Cerebellar Deficit Theory' of developmental dyslexia proposes that a subtle developmental cerebellar dysfunction leads to deficits in attaining 'automatic' procedures and therefore manifests as subtle motor impairments (e.g., balance control, motor skill learning in addition to the reading and phonological difficulties. A more recent version of the theory suggests a core deficit in motor skill acquisition. This study was undertaken to compare the time-course and the nature of practice-related changes in volitional (manual and non-volitional (posture motor performance in dyslexic and typical readers while learning a new movement sequence. Seventeen dyslexic and 26 skilled young adult readers underwent a three-session training program in which they practiced a novel sequence of manual movements while standing in a quiet stance position. Both groups exhibited robust and well-retained gains in speed, with no loss of accuracy, on the volitional, manual, aspects of the task, with a time-course characteristic of procedural learning. However, the dyslexic readers exhibited a pervasive slowness in the initiation of volitional performance. In addition, while typical readers showed clear and well-retained task-related adaptation of the balance and posture control system, the dyslexic readers had significantly larger sway and variance of sway throughout the three sessions and were less efficient in adapting the posture control system to support the acquisition of the novel movement sequence. These results support the notion of a non-language-related deficit in developmental dyslexia, one related to the recruitment of motor systems for effective task performance rather than to a general motor learning disability.

  17. To transfer or not to transfer? Kinematics and laterality quotient predict interlimb transfer of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefumat, Hannah Z; Vercher, Jean-Louis; Miall, R Chris; Cole, Jonathan; Buloup, Frank; Bringoux, Lionel; Bourdin, Christophe; Sarlegna, Fabrice R

    2015-11-01

    Humans can remarkably adapt their motor behavior to novel environmental conditions, yet it remains unclear which factors enable us to transfer what we have learned with one limb to the other. Here we tested the hypothesis that interlimb transfer of sensorimotor adaptation is determined by environmental conditions but also by individual characteristics. We specifically examined the adaptation of unconstrained reaching movements to a novel Coriolis, velocity-dependent force field. Right-handed subjects sat at the center of a rotating platform and performed forward reaching movements with the upper limb toward flashed visual targets in prerotation, per-rotation (i.e., adaptation), and postrotation tests. Here only the dominant arm was used during adaptation and interlimb transfer was assessed by comparing performance of the nondominant arm before and after dominant-arm adaptation. Vision and no-vision conditions did not significantly influence interlimb transfer of trajectory adaptation, which on average was significant but limited. We uncovered a substantial heterogeneity of interlimb transfer across subjects and found that interlimb transfer can be qualitatively and quantitatively predicted for each healthy young individual. A classifier showed that in our study, interlimb transfer could be predicted based on the subject's task performance, most notably motor variability during learning, and his or her laterality quotient. Positive correlations suggested that variability of motor performance and lateralization of arm movement control facilitate interlimb transfer. We further show that these individual characteristics can predict the presence and the magnitude of interlimb transfer of left-handers. Overall, this study suggests that individual characteristics shape the way the nervous system can generalize motor learning. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  18. Contextual Approach with Guided Discovery Learning and Brain Based Learning in Geometry Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kartikaningtyas, V.; Kusmayadi, T. A.; Riyadi

    2017-09-01

    The aim of this study was to combine the contextual approach with Guided Discovery Learning (GDL) and Brain Based Learning (BBL) in geometry learning of junior high school. Furthermore, this study analysed the effect of contextual approach with GDL and BBL in geometry learning. GDL-contextual and BBL-contextual was built from the steps of GDL and BBL that combined with the principles of contextual approach. To validate the models, it uses quasi experiment which used two experiment groups. The sample had been chosen by stratified cluster random sampling. The sample was 150 students of grade 8th in junior high school. The data were collected through the student’s mathematics achievement test that given after the treatment of each group. The data analysed by using one way ANOVA with different cell. The result shows that GDL-contextual has not different effect than BBL-contextual on mathematics achievement in geometry learning. It means both the two models could be used in mathematics learning as the innovative way in geometry learning.

  19. Beta band transcranial alternating (tACS and direct current stimulation (tDCS applied after initial learning facilitate retrieval of a motor sequence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa eKrause

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The primary motor cortex (M1 contributes to the acquisition and early consolidation of a motor sequence. Although the relevance of M1 excitability for motor learning has been supported, the significance of M1 oscillations remains an open issue. This study aims at investigating to what extent retrieval of a newly learned motor sequence can be differentially affected by motor-cortical transcranial alternating (tACS and direct current stimulation (tDCS. Alpha (10 Hz, beta (20 Hz or sham tACS was applied in 36 right-handers. Anodal or cathodal tDCS was applied in 30 right-handers. Participants learned an eight-digit serial reaction time task (SRTT; sequential vs. random with the right hand. Stimulation was applied to the left M1 after SRTT acquisition at rest for ten minutes. Reaction times were analyzed at baseline, end of acquisition, retrieval immediately after stimulation and reacquisition after eight further sequence repetitions.Reaction times during retrieval were significantly faster following 20 Hz tACS as compared to 10 Hz and sham tACS indicating a facilitation of early consolidation. TDCS yielded faster reaction times, too, independent of polarity. No significant differences between 20 Hz tACS and tDCS effects on retrieval were found suggesting that 20 Hz effects might be associated with altered motor-cortical excitability. Based on the behavioural modulation yielded by tACS and tDCS one might speculate that altered motor-cortical beta oscillations support early motor consolidation possibly associated with neuroplastic reorganization.

  20. The Applicability of Standard Error of Measurement and Minimal Detectable Change to Motor Learning Research-A Behavioral Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlan, Leonardo; Sterr, Annette

    2018-01-01

    Motor learning studies face the challenge of differentiating between real changes in performance and random measurement error. While the traditional p -value-based analyses of difference (e.g., t -tests, ANOVAs) provide information on the statistical significance of a reported change in performance scores, they do not inform as to the likely cause or origin of that change, that is, the contribution of both real modifications in performance and random measurement error to the reported change. One way of differentiating between real change and random measurement error is through the utilization of the statistics of standard error of measurement (SEM) and minimal detectable change (MDC). SEM is estimated from the standard deviation of a sample of scores at baseline and a test-retest reliability index of the measurement instrument or test employed. MDC, in turn, is estimated from SEM and a degree of confidence, usually 95%. The MDC value might be regarded as the minimum amount of change that needs to be observed for it to be considered a real change, or a change to which the contribution of real modifications in performance is likely to be greater than that of random measurement error. A computer-based motor task was designed to illustrate the applicability of SEM and MDC to motor learning research. Two studies were conducted with healthy participants. Study 1 assessed the test-retest reliability of the task and Study 2 consisted in a typical motor learning study, where participants practiced the task for five consecutive days. In Study 2, the data were analyzed with a traditional p -value-based analysis of difference (ANOVA) and also with SEM and MDC. The findings showed good test-retest reliability for the task and that the p -value-based analysis alone identified statistically significant improvements in performance over time even when the observed changes could in fact have been smaller than the MDC and thereby caused mostly by random measurement error, as opposed

  1. Learning styles and approaches to learning among medical undergraduates and postgraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samarakoon, Lasitha; Fernando, Tharanga; Rodrigo, Chaturaka

    2013-03-25

    The challenge of imparting a large amount of knowledge within a limited time period in a way it is retained, remembered and effectively interpreted by a student is considerable. This has resulted in crucial changes in the field of medical education, with a shift from didactic teacher centered and subject based teaching to the use of interactive, problem based, student centered learning. This study tested the hypothesis that learning styles (visual, auditory, read/write and kinesthetic) and approaches to learning (deep, strategic and superficial) differ among first and final year undergraduate medical students, and postgraduates medical trainees. We used self administered VARK and ASSIST questionnaires to assess the differences in learning styles and approaches to learning among medical undergraduates of the University of Colombo and postgraduate trainees of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, Colombo. A total of 147 participated: 73 (49.7%) first year students, 40 (27.2%) final year students and 34(23.1%) postgraduate students. The majority (69.9%) of first year students had multimodal learning styles. Among final year students, the majority (67.5%) had multimodal learning styles, and among postgraduates, the majority were unimodal (52.9%) learners.Among all three groups, the predominant approach to learning was strategic. Postgraduates had significant higher mean scores for deep and strategic approaches than first years or final years (p learning approaches suggest a positive shift towards deep and strategic learning in postgraduate students. However a similar difference was not observed in undergraduate students from first year to final year, suggesting that their curriculum may not have influenced learning methodology over a five year period.

  2. Toward a Social Approach to Learning in Community Service Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooks, Leda; Scharrer, Erica; Paredes, Mari Castaneda

    2004-01-01

    The authors describe a social approach to learning in community service learning that extends the contributions of three theoretical bodies of scholarship on learning: social constructionism, critical pedagogy, and community service learning. Building on the assumptions about learning described in each of these areas, engagement, identity, and…

  3. Approaches to Learning and Kolb's Learning Styles of Undergraduates with Better Grades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Patrícia; Teixeira-Dias, José Joaquim; Martinho, Mariana; Balasooriya, Chinthaka

    The purpose of this study is to investigate if the teaching, learning and assessment strategies conceived and implemented in a higher education chemistry course promote the development of conceptual understanding, as intended. Thus, our aim is to analyse the learning styles and the approaches to learning of chemistry undergraduates with better grades. The overall results show that the students with better grades possess the assimilator learning style, that is usually associated to the archetypal chemist. Moreover, the students with the highest grades revealed a conception of learning emphasising understanding. However, these students diverged both in their learning approaches and in their preferences for teaching strategies. The majority of students adopted a deep approach or a combination of a deep and a strategic approach, but half of them revealed their preference for teaching-centred strategies.

  4. Variable training does not lead to better motor learning compared to repetitive training in children with and without DCD when exposed to active video games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonney, Emmanuel; Jelsma, Dorothee; Ferguson, Gillian; Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien

    2017-03-01

    Little is known about the influence of practice schedules on motor learning and skills transfer in children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Understanding how practice schedules affect motor learning is necessary for motor skills development and rehabilitation. The study investigated whether active video games (exergames) training delivered under variable practice led to better learning and transfer than repetitive practice. 111 children aged 6-10 years (M=8.0, SD=1.0) with no active exergaming experience were randomized to receive exergames training delivered under variable (Variable Game Group (VGG), n=56) or repetitive practice schedule (Repetitive Game Group (RGG), n=55). Half the participants were identified as DCD using the DSM-5 criteria, while the rest were typically developing (TD), age-matched children. Both groups participated in two 20min sessions per week for 5 weeks. Both participant groups (TD and DCD) improved equally well on game performance. There was no significant difference in positive transfer to balance tasks between practice schedules (Repetitive and Variable) and participant groups (TD and DCD). Children with and without DCD learn balance skills quite well when exposed to exergames. Gains in learning and transfer are similar regardless of the form of practice schedule employed. This is the first paper to compare the effect of practice schedules on learning in children with DCD and those with typical development. No differences in motor learning were found between repetitive and variable practice schedules. When children with and without DCD spend the same amount of time on exergames, they do not show any differences in acquisition of motor skills. Transfer of motor skills is similar in children with and without DCD regardless of differences in practice schedules. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. REDUNDANT ELECTRIC MOTOR DRIVE CONTROL UNIT DESIGN USING AUTOMATA-BASED APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Yu. Yankin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Implementation of redundant unit for motor drive control based on programmable logic devices is discussed. Continuous redundancy method is used. As compared to segregated standby redundancy and whole system standby redundancy, such method provides preservation of all unit functions in case of redundancy and gives the possibility for continuous monitoring of major and redundant elements. Example of that unit is given. Electric motor drive control channel block diagram contains two control units – the major and redundant; it also contains four power supply units. Control units programming was carried out using automata-based approach. Electric motor drive control channel model was developed; it provides complex simulation of control state-machine and power converter. Through visibility and hierarchy of finite state machines debug time was shortened as compared to traditional programming. Control state-machine description using hardware description language is required for its synthesis with FPGA-devices vendor design software. This description was generated automatically by MATLAB software package. To verify results two prototype control units, two prototype power supply units, and device mock-up were developed and manufactured. Units were installed in the device mock-up. Prototype units were created in accordance with requirements claimed to deliverable hardware. Control channel simulation and tests results in the perfect state and during imitation of major element fault are presented. Automata-based approach made it possible to observe and debug control state-machine transitions during simulation of transient processes, occurring at imitation of faults. Results of this work can be used in development of fault tolerant electric motor drive control channels.

  6. Plastic changes to dendritic spines on layer V pyramidal neurons are involved in the rectifying role of the prefrontal cortex during the fast period of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Tapia, David; Martínez-Torres, Nestor I; Hernández-González, Marisela; Guevara, Miguel Angel; González-Burgos, Ignacio

    2016-02-01

    The prefrontal cortex participates in the rectification of information related to motor activity that favors motor learning. Dendritic spine plasticity is involved in the modifications of motor patterns that underlie both motor activity and motor learning. To study this association in more detail, adult male rats were trained over six days in an acrobatic motor learning paradigm and they were subjected to a behavioral evaluation on each day of training. Also, a Golgi-based morphological study was carried out to determine the spine density and the proportion of the different spine types. In the learning paradigm, the number of errors diminished as motor training progressed. Concomitantly, spine density increased on days 1 and 3 of training, particularly reflecting an increase in the proportion of thin (day 1), stubby (day 1) and branched (days 1, 2 and 5) spines. Conversely, mushroom spines were less prevalent than in the control rats on days 5 and 6, as were stubby spines on day 6, together suggesting that this plasticity might enhance motor learning. The increase in stubby spines on day 1 suggests a regulation of excitability related to the changes in synaptic input to the prefrontal cortex. The plasticity to thin spines observed during the first 3 days of training could be related to the active rectification induced by the information relayed to the prefrontal cortex -as the behavioral findings indeed showed-, which in turn could be linked to the lower proportion of mushroom and stubby spines seen in the last days of training. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. A Marketing Approach to Evaluation: Four Lessons for Evaluators from the Honda Motor Company.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangano, Michael F.

    1992-01-01

    Describes lessons evaluators can learn from the Honda Motor Company and how an evaluation office within the Department of Health and Human Services has applied these lessons. The lessons include (1) sound market research; (2) creating top-notch production capabilities; (3) building a better mousetrap; and (4) aggressive product selling. (SLD)

  8. Proactive and retroactive transfer of middle age adults in a sequential motor learning task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verneau, M.; Kamp, J. van der; Savelsbergh, G,J.; Looze, M.P. de

    2015-01-01

    We assessed the effects of aging in the transfer of motor learning in a sequential manual assembly task that is representative for real working conditions. On two different days, young (18-30years) and middle-aged adults (50-65years) practiced to build two products that consisted of the same six

  9. Motor learning interference is proportional to occlusion of LTP-like plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantarero, Gabriela; Tang, Byron; O'Malley, Rebecca; Salas, Rachel; Celnik, Pablo

    2013-03-13

    Learning interference occurs when learning something new causes forgetting of an older memory (retrograde interference) or when learning a new task disrupts learning of a second subsequent task (anterograde interference). This phenomenon, described in cognitive, sensory, and motor domains, limits our ability to learn multiple tasks in close succession. It has been suggested that the source of interference is competition of neural resources, although the neuronal mechanisms are unknown. Learning induces long-term potentiation (LTP), which can ultimately limit the ability to induce further LTP, a phenomenon known as occlusion. In humans we quantified the magnitude of occlusion of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation-induced increased excitability after learning a skill task as an index of the amount of LTP-like plasticity used. We found that retention of a newly acquired skill, as reflected by performance in the second day of practice, is proportional to the magnitude of occlusion. Moreover, the degree of behavioral interference was correlated with the magnitude of occlusion. Individuals with larger occlusion after learning the first skill were (1) more resilient to retrograde interference and (2) experienced larger anterograde interference when training a second task, as expressed by decreased performance of the learned skill in the second day of practice. This effect was not observed if sufficient time elapsed between training the two skills and LTP-like occlusion was not present. These findings suggest competition of LTP-like plasticity is a factor that limits the ability to remember multiple tasks trained in close succession.

  10. Effects of practice schedule and task specificity on the adaptive process of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, João Augusto de Camargo; Tani, Go; Corrêa, Umberto Cesar

    2017-10-01

    This study investigated the effects of practice schedule and task specificity based on the perspective of adaptive process of motor learning. For this purpose, tasks with temporal and force control learning requirements were manipulated in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Specifically, the task consisted of touching with the dominant hand the three sequential targets with specific movement time or force for each touch. Participants were children (N=120), both boys and girls, with an average age of 11.2years (SD=1.0). The design in both experiments involved four practice groups (constant, random, constant-random, and random-constant) and two phases (stabilisation and adaptation). The dependent variables included measures related to the task goal (accuracy and variability of error of the overall movement and force patterns) and movement pattern (macro- and microstructures). Results revealed a similar error of the overall patterns for all groups in both experiments and that they adapted themselves differently in terms of the macro- and microstructures of movement patterns. The study concludes that the effects of practice schedules on the adaptive process of motor learning were both general and specific to the task. That is, they were general to the task goal performance and specific regarding the movement pattern. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Mountain Plains Learning Experience Guide: Electric Motor Repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziller, T.

    This Electric Motor Repair Course is designed to provide the student with practical information for winding, repairing, and troubleshooting alternating current and direct current motors, and controllers. The course is comprised of eight units: (1) Electric Motor Fundamentals, (2) Rewinding, (3) Split-phase Induction Motors, (4) Capacitor Motors,…

  12. Transfer of Short-Term Motor Learning across the Lower Limbs as a Function of Task Conception and Practice Order

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockel, Tino; Wang, Jinsung

    2011-01-01

    Interlimb transfer of motor learning, indicating an improvement in performance with one limb following training with the other, often occurs asymmetrically (i.e., from non-dominant to dominant limb or vice versa, but not both). In the present study, we examined whether interlimb transfer of the same motor task could occur asymmetrically and in…

  13. Formation of model-free motor memories during motor adaptation depends on perturbation schedule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orban de Xivry, Jean-Jacques; Lefèvre, Philippe

    2015-04-01

    Motor adaptation to an external perturbation relies on several mechanisms such as model-based, model-free, strategic, or repetition-dependent learning. Depending on the experimental conditions, each of these mechanisms has more or less weight in the final adaptation state. Here we focused on the conditions that lead to the formation of a model-free motor memory (Huang VS, Haith AM, Mazzoni P, Krakauer JW. Neuron 70: 787-801, 2011), i.e., a memory that does not depend on an internal model or on the size or direction of the errors experienced during the learning. The formation of such model-free motor memory was hypothesized to depend on the schedule of the perturbation (Orban de Xivry JJ, Ahmadi-Pajouh MA, Harran MD, Salimpour Y, Shadmehr R. J Neurophysiol 109: 124-136, 2013). Here we built on this observation by directly testing the nature of the motor memory after abrupt or gradual introduction of a visuomotor rotation, in an experimental paradigm where the presence of model-free motor memory can be identified (Huang VS, Haith AM, Mazzoni P, Krakauer JW. Neuron 70: 787-801, 2011). We found that relearning was faster after abrupt than gradual perturbation, which suggests that model-free learning is reduced during gradual adaptation to a visuomotor rotation. In addition, the presence of savings after abrupt introduction of the perturbation but gradual extinction of the motor memory suggests that unexpected errors are necessary to induce a model-free motor memory. Overall, these data support the hypothesis that different perturbation schedules do not lead to a more or less stabilized motor memory but to distinct motor memories with different attributes and neural representations. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  14. Echoes on the motor network: how internal motor control structures afford sensory experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Jed D; Lum, Jarrad A G; Hohwy, Jakob; Enticott, Peter G

    2017-12-01

    Often, during daily experiences, hearing peers' actions can activate motor regions of the CNS. This activation is termed auditory-motor resonance (AMR) and is thought to represent an internal simulation of one's motor memories. Currently, AMR is demonstrated at the neuronal level in the Macaque and songbird, in conjunction with evidence on a systems level in humans. Here, we review evidence of AMR development from a motor control perspective. In the context of internal modelling, we consider data that demonstrates sensory-guided motor learning and action maintenance, particularly the notion of sensory comparison seen during songbird vocalisation. We suggest that these comparisons generate accurate sensory-to-motor inverse mappings. Furthermore, given reports of mapping decay after songbird learning, we highlight the proposal that the maintenance of these sensorimotor maps potentially explains why frontoparietal regions are activated upon hearing known sounds (i.e., AMR). In addition, we also recommend that activation of these types of internal models outside of action execution may provide an ecological advantage when encountering known stimuli in ambiguous conditions.

  15. Basal ganglia and beyond: The interplay between motor and cognitive aspects in Parkinson's disease rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrazzoli, Davide; Ortelli, Paola; Madeo, Graziella; Giladi, Nir; Petzinger, Giselle M; Frazzitta, Giuseppe

    2018-07-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by motor and cognitive dysfunctions, affecting the motor behaviour. We summarize evidence that the interplay between motor and cognitive approaches is crucial in PD rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is complementary to pharmacological therapy and effective in reducing the PD disturbances, probably acting by inducing neuroplastic effects. The motor behaviour results from a complex integration between cortical and subcortical areas, underlying the motor, cognitive and motivational aspects of movement. The close interplay amongst these areas makes possible to learn, control and express habitual-automatic actions, which are dysfunctional in PD. The physiopathology of PD could be considered the base for the development of effective rehabilitation treatments. As the volitional action control is spared in early-medium stages of disease, rehabilitative approaches engaging cognition permit to achieve motor benefits and appear to be the most effective for PD. We will point out data supporting the relevance of targeting both motor and cognitive aspects in PD rehabilitation. Finally, we will discuss the role of cognitive engagement in motor rehabilitation for PD. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Use of the challenge point framework to guide motor learning of stepping reactions for improved balance control in people with stroke: a case series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Courtney L; Boyd, Lara A; Hunt, Michael A; Garland, S Jayne

    2014-04-01

    Stepping reactions are important for walking balance and community-level mobility. Stepping reactions of people with stroke are characterized by slow reaction times, poor coordination of motor responses, and low amplitude of movements, which may contribute to their decreased ability to recover their balance when challenged. An important aspect of rehabilitation of mobility after stroke is optimizing the motor learning associated with retraining effective stepping reactions. The Challenge Point Framework (CPF) is a model that can be used to promote motor learning through manipulation of conditions of practice to modify task difficulty, that is, the interaction of the skill of the learner and the difficulty of the task to be learned. This case series illustrates how the retraining of multidirectional stepping reactions may be informed by the CPF to improve balance function in people with stroke. Four people (53-68 years of age) with chronic stroke (>1 year) and mild to moderate motor recovery received 4 weeks of multidirectional stepping reaction retraining. Important tenets of motor learning were optimized for each person during retraining in accordance with the CPF. Participants demonstrated improved community-level walking balance, as determined with the Community Balance and Mobility Scale. These improvements were evident 1 year later. Aspects of balance-related self-efficacy and movement kinematics also showed improvements during the course of the intervention. The application of CPF motor learning principles in the retraining of stepping reactions to improve community-level walking balance in people with chronic stroke appears to be promising. The CPF provides a plausible theoretical framework for the progression of functional task training in neurorehabilitation.

  17. Assessing Approaches to Learning in School Readiness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otilia C. Barbu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the psychometric properties of two assessments of children’s approaches to learning: the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA and a 13-item approaches to learning rating scale (AtL derived from the Arizona Early Learning Standards (AELS. First, we administered questionnaires to 1,145 randomly selected parents/guardians of first-time kindergarteners. Second, we employed confirmatory factor analysis (CFA with parceling for DECA to reduce errors due to item specificity and prevent convergence difficulties when simultaneously estimating DECA and AtL models. Results indicated an overlap of 55% to 72% variance between the domains of the two instruments and suggested that the new AtL instrument is an easily administered alternative to the DECA for measuring children’s approaches to learning. This is one of the first studies that investigated DECA’s approaches to learning dimension and explored the measurement properties of an instrument purposely derived from a state’s early learning guidelines.

  18. Enhancing performance expectancies through visual illusions facilitates motor learning in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahmani, Moslem; Wulf, Gabriele; Ghadiri, Farhad; Karimi, Saeed; Lewthwaite, Rebecca

    2017-10-01

    In a recent study by Chauvel, Wulf, and Maquestiaux (2015), golf putting performance was found to be affected by the Ebbinghaus illusion. Specifically, adult participants demonstrated more effective learning when they practiced with a hole that was surrounded by small circles, making it look larger, than when the hole was surrounded by large circles, making it look smaller. The present study examined whether this learning advantage would generalize to children who are assumed to be less sensitive to the visual illusion. Two groups of 10-year olds practiced putting golf balls from a distance of 2m, with perceived larger or smaller holes resulting from the visual illusion. Self-efficacy was increased in the group with the perceived larger hole. The latter group also demonstrated more accurate putting performance during practice. Importantly, learning (i.e., delayed retention performance without the illusion) was enhanced in the group that practiced with the perceived larger hole. The findings replicate previous results with adult learners and are in line with the notion that enhanced performance expectancies are key to optimal motor learning (Wulf & Lewthwaite, 2016). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Learners for life : student approaches to learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Artelt, Cordula; Baumert, Jürgen; Julius-McElvany, Nele; Peschar, Jules

    2003-01-01

    What are students like as learners as they approach the end of compulsory education? The answer matters greatly, not only because those with stronger approaches to learning get better results at school but also because young adults able to set learning goals and manage their own learning are much

  20. Approach to Computer Implementation of Mathematical Model of 3-Phase Induction Motor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pustovetov, M. Yu

    2018-03-01

    This article discusses the development of the computer model of an induction motor based on the mathematical model in a three-phase stator reference frame. It uses an approach that allows combining during preparation of the computer model dual methods: means of visual programming circuitry (in the form of electrical schematics) and logical one (in the form of block diagrams). The approach enables easy integration of the model of an induction motor as part of more complex models of electrical complexes and systems. The developed computer model gives the user access to the beginning and the end of a winding of each of the three phases of the stator and rotor. This property is particularly important when considering the asymmetric modes of operation or when powered by the special circuitry of semiconductor converters.

  1. Theobromine up-regulates cerebral brain-derived neurotrophic factor and facilitates motor learning in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneda, Mitsugu; Sugimoto, Naotoshi; Katakura, Masanori; Matsuzaki, Kentaro; Tanigami, Hayate; Yachie, Akihiro; Ohno-Shosaku, Takako; Shido, Osamu

    2017-01-01

    Theobromine, which is a caffeine derivative, is the primary methylxanthine produced by Theobroma cacao. Theobromine works as a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor to increase intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). cAMP activates the cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB), which is involved in a large variety of brain processes, including the induction of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF supports cell survival and neuronal functions, including learning and memory. Thus, cAMP/CREB/BDNF pathways play an important role in learning and memory. Here, we investigated whether orally administered theobromine could act as a PDE inhibitor centrally and affect cAMP/CREB/BDNF pathways and learning behavior in mice. The mice were divided into two groups. The control group (CN) was fed a normal diet, whereas the theobromine group (TB) was fed a diet supplemented with 0.05% theobromine for 30 days. We measured the levels of theobromine, phosphorylated vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (p-VASP), phosphorylated CREB (p-CREB), and BDNF in the brain. p-VASP was used as an index of cAMP increases. Moreover, we analyzed the performance of the mice on a three-lever motor learning task. Theobromine was detectable in the brains of TB mice. The brain levels of p-VASP, p-CREB, and BDNF were higher in the TB mice compared with those in the CN mice. In addition, the TB mice performed better on the three-lever task than the CN mice did. These results strongly suggested that orally administered theobromine acted as a PDE inhibitor in the brain, and it augmented the cAMP/CREB/BDNF pathways and motor learning in mice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Cooperative learning as an approach to pedagogy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolinske, T; Millis, B

    1999-01-01

    Lecture-based pedagogical approaches cannot adequately prepare students in professional and technical occupational therapy programs. Faculty members in other disciplines are turning to a well-known and well-researched teaching approach called cooperative learning, which is more carefully structured and defined than most other forms of small group learning. Cooperative learning includes several key principles: positive interdependence, individual responsibility, appropriate grouping, group maintenance, cooperative skills, and promotive (interaction) time. This article provides ideas for managing the classroom with cooperative learning activities and describes eight of them: Three-Step Interview, Roundtable, Think-Pair-Share, Structured Problem Solving, Send/Pass-a-Problem, Generic Question Stems, Double Entry Journal, and Dyadic Essay Confrontation. Each activity is applied to content embedded in professional and technical occupational therapy curricula. A cooperative learning approach to evaluating learning is also presented.

  3. The High Scope Approach To Early Learning

    OpenAIRE

    French, Geraldine

    2012-01-01

    Learning Objectives: After studying this chapter the reader should be able to: • Describe the historical origins, the longitudinal research, and the theoretical underpinnings of the HighScope approach. • Identify the teaching strategies adopted by HighScope educators. • Appreciate the curriculum content. • Understand the HighScope approach to the assessment of children’s learning. • Consider some criticisms of the HighScope research and approach to early learning. This ...

  4. Learned parametrized dynamic movement primitives with shared synergies for controlling robotic and musculoskeletal systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elmar eRückert

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A salient feature of human motor skill learning is the ability to exploitsimilarities across related tasks.In biological motor control, it has been hypothesized that muscle synergies,coherent activations of groups of muscles, allow for exploiting shared knowledge.Recent studies have shown that a rich set of complex motor skills can be generated bya combination of a small number of muscle synergies.In robotics, dynamic movement primitives are commonlyused for motor skill learning. This machine learning approach implements a stable attractor systemthat facilitates learning and it can be used in high-dimensional continuous spaces. However, it does not allow for reusing shared knowledge, i.e. for each task an individual set of parameters has to be learned.We propose a novel movement primitive representationthat employs parametrized basis functions, which combines the benefits of muscle synergiesand dynamic movement primitives. For each task asuperposition of synergies modulates a stable attractor system.This approach leads to a compact representation of multiple motor skills andat the same time enables efficient learning in high-dimensional continuous systems.The movement representation supports discrete and rhythmic movements andin particular includes the dynamic movement primitive approach as a special case.We demonstrate the feasibility of the movement representation in three multi-task learning simulated scenarios.First, the characteristics of the proposed representation are illustrated in a point-mass task.Second, in complex humanoid walking experiments,multiple walking patterns with different step heights are learned robustly and efficiently.Finally, in a multi-directional reaching task simulated with a musculoskeletal modelof the human arm, we show how the proposed movement primitives can be used tolearn appropriate muscle excitation patterns and to generalize effectively to new reaching skills.

  5. Abnormal nuclear envelope in the cerebellar Purkinje cells and impaired motor learning in DYT11 myoclonus-dystonia mouse models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoi, Fumiaki; Dang, Mai T; Yang, Guang; Li, Jindong; Doroodchi, Atbin; Zhou, Tong; Li, Yuqing

    2012-02-01

    Myoclonus-dystonia (M-D) is a movement disorder characterized by myoclonic jerks with dystonia. DYT11 M-D is caused by mutations in SGCE which codes for ɛ-sarcoglycan. SGCE is maternally imprinted and paternally expressed. Abnormal nuclear envelope has been reported in mouse models of DYT1 generalized torsion dystonia. However, it is not known whether similar alterations occur in DYT11 M-D. We developed a mouse model of DYT11 M-D using paternally inherited Sgce heterozygous knockout (Sgce KO) mice and reported that they had myoclonus and motor coordination and learning deficits in the beam-walking test. However, the specific brain regions that contribute to these phenotypes have not been identified. Since ɛ-sarcoglycan is highly expressed in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, here we examined the nuclear envelope in these cells using a transmission electron microscope and found that they are abnormal in Sgce KO mice. Our results put DYT11 M-D in a growing family of nuclear envelopathies. To analyze the effect of loss of ɛ-sarcoglycan function in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, we produced paternally inherited cerebellar Purkinje cell-specific Sgce conditional knockout (Sgce pKO) mice. Sgce pKO mice showed motor learning deficits, while they did not show abnormal nuclear envelope in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, robust motor deficits, or myoclonus. The results suggest that ɛ-sarcoglycan in the cerebellar Purkinje cells contributes to the motor learning, while loss of ɛ-sarcoglycan in other brain regions may contribute to nuclear envelope abnormality, myoclonus and motor coordination deficits. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Accounting Student's Learning Approaches And Impact On Academic Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Ismail, Suhaiza

    2009-01-01

    The objective of the study is threefold. Firstly, the study explores the learning approaches adopted by students in completing their Business Finance. Secondly, it examines the impact that learning approaches has on the student's academic performance. Finally, the study considers gender differences in the learning approaches adopted by students and in the relationship between learning approaches and academic performance. The Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) was used...

  7. An exact approach for studying cargo transport by an ensemble of molecular motors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Materassi, Donatello; Roychowdhury, Subhrajit; Hays, Thomas; Salapaka, Murti

    2013-01-01

    Intracellular transport is crucial for many cellular processes where a large fraction of the cargo is transferred by motor-proteins over a network of microtubules. Malfunctions in the transport mechanism underlie a number of medical maladies. Existing methods for studying how motor-proteins coordinate the transfer of a shared cargo over a microtubule are either analytical or are based on Monte-Carlo simulations. Approaches that yield analytical results, while providing unique insights into transport mechanism, make simplifying assumptions, where a detailed characterization of important transport modalities is difficult to reach. On the other hand, Monte-Carlo based simulations can incorporate detailed characteristics of the transport mechanism; however, the quality of the results depend on the number and quality of simulation runs used in arriving at results. Here, for example, it is difficult to simulate and study rare-events that can trigger abnormalities in transport. In this article, a semi-analytical methodology that determines the probability distribution function of motor-protein behavior in an exact manner is developed. The method utilizes a finite-dimensional projection of the underlying infinite-dimensional Markov model, which retains the Markov property, and enables the detailed and exact determination of motor configurations, from which meaningful inferences on transport characteristics of the original model can be derived. Under this novel probabilistic approach new insights about the mechanisms of action of these proteins are found, suggesting hypothesis about their behavior and driving the design and realization of new experiments. The advantages provided in accuracy and efficiency make it possible to detect rare events in the motor protein dynamics, that could otherwise pass undetected using standard simulation methods. In this respect, the model has allowed to provide a possible explanation for possible mechanisms under which motor proteins could

  8. Brain computer interface learning for systems based on electrocorticography and intracortical microelectrode arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiremath, Shivayogi V; Chen, Weidong; Wang, Wei; Foldes, Stephen; Yang, Ying; Tyler-Kabara, Elizabeth C; Collinger, Jennifer L; Boninger, Michael L

    2015-01-01

    A brain-computer interface (BCI) system transforms neural activity into control signals for external devices in real time. A BCI user needs to learn to generate specific cortical activity patterns to control external devices effectively. We call this process BCI learning, and it often requires significant effort and time. Therefore, it is important to study this process and develop novel and efficient approaches to accelerate BCI learning. This article reviews major approaches that have been used for BCI learning, including computer-assisted learning, co-adaptive learning, operant conditioning, and sensory feedback. We focus on BCIs based on electrocorticography and intracortical microelectrode arrays for restoring motor function. This article also explores the possibility of brain modulation techniques in promoting BCI learning, such as electrical cortical stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and optogenetics. Furthermore, as proposed by recent BCI studies, we suggest that BCI learning is in many ways analogous to motor and cognitive skill learning, and therefore skill learning should be a useful metaphor to model BCI learning.

  9. The Effect of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation on Learning Fine Motor Skills: A Preliminary Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Reza Shahabi Kaseb

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Preparation of neuromuscular system prior to performing motor skills affects the learning of motor skills. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF on limb coordination and accuracy in dart throwing skill. Methods: Thirty two male students were randomly selected as study sample. Based on the pretest scores, the participants were divided into three groups: experimental (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, first control (without warm-up, and second control (specific warm-up. During the acquisition phase, the participants first performed the preparation training related to their own group, then all groups performed the exercise program of dart throwing consisting of 6 blocks of 9 trials in 4 training sessions. Finally, 20 days following the last exercise session, the subjects took the retention and transfer tests. Results: The results of one-way ANOVA test for coordination variable in acquisition test showed no significant difference between the groups, while there was a statistically significant difference between groups regarding coordination variable in retention and transfer tests. Furthermore, the results of one-way ANOVA for the accuracy variable in acquisition and retention tests showed no statistically significant difference between the three groups, while there was a statistically significant difference between groups for accuracy variable in transfer test. Conclusion: It seems that proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, as a preparation method before performance, can enhance the efficacy of training to better learn the coordination pattern of fine motor skills.

  10. Active Affordance Learning in Continuous State and Action Spaces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, C.; Hindriks, K.V.; Babuska, R.

    2014-01-01

    Learning object affordances and manipulation skills is essential for developing cognitive service robots. We propose an active affordance learning approach in continuous state and action spaces without manual discretization of states or exploratory motor primitives. During exploration in the action

  11. Relations between blended learning possibilities and teachers' approaches to blended learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stenalt, Maria Hvid; Nielsen, Tobias Alsted; Bager-Elsborg, Anna

    Higher Education has embraced blended learning as a way of enhancing quality in teaching and helping students to learn. This presentation addresses relations between blended learning possiblities presented to teachers in a teacher training project and teachers’ approaches to blended learning. We...... suggest that in order to identify the level of impact of integrating technologies in teaching and learning, we need to understand the factors influencing approaches to design of courses for blended contexts. Participants in the teacher training project come from the Department of Law at Aarhus University......: • Optain locally-embedded knowledge about blended learning • Develop opportunities for law students to receive (more) feedback • Comply with strategic aims The results so far suggest that teachers provide a disciplinary perspective on the key dimensions of blended learning, which influences...

  12. Motor imagery: Lessons learned in movement science might be applicable for spaceflight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otmar eBock

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Before participating in a space mission, astronauts undergo parabolic-flight and underwater training to facilitate their subsequent adaptation to weightlessness. Unfortunately, similar training methods can’t be used to prepare re-adaptation to planetary gravity. Here, we propose a quick, simple and inexpensive approach that could be used to prepare astronauts both for the absence and for the renewed presence of gravity. This approach is based on motor imagery (MI, a process in which actions are produced in working memory without any overt output. Training protocols based on MI have repeatedly been shown to modify brain circuitry and to improve motor performance in healthy young adults, healthy seniors and stroke victims, and are routinely used to optimize performance of elite athletes. We propose to use similar protocols preflight, to prepare for weightlessness, and late inflight, to prepare for landing.

  13. Motor imagery: lessons learned in movement science might be applicable for spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Otmar; Schott, Nadja; Papaxanthis, Charalambos

    2015-01-01

    Before participating in a space mission, astronauts undergo parabolic-flight and underwater training to facilitate their subsequent adaptation to weightlessness. Unfortunately, similar training methods can’t be used to prepare re-adaptation to planetary gravity. Here, we propose a quick, simple and inexpensive approach that could be used to prepare astronauts both for the absence and for the renewed presence of gravity. This approach is based on motor imagery (MI), a process in which actions are produced in working memory without any overt output. Training protocols based on MI have repeatedly been shown to modify brain circuitry and to improve motor performance in healthy young adults, healthy seniors and stroke victims, and are routinely used to optimize performance of elite athletes. We propose to use similar protocols preflight, to prepare for weightlessness, and late inflight, to prepare for landing. PMID:26042004

  14. Coordinate Representations for Interference Reduction in Motor Learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang-Hoon Yeo

    Full Text Available When opposing force fields are presented alternately or randomly across trials for identical reaching movements, subjects learn neither force field, a behavior termed 'interference'. Studies have shown that a small difference in the endpoint posture of the limb reduces this interference. However, any difference in the limb's endpoint location typically changes the hand position, joint angles and the hand orientation making it ambiguous as to which of these changes underlies the ability to learn dynamics that normally interfere. Here we examine the extent to which each of these three possible coordinate systems--Cartesian hand position, shoulder and elbow joint angles, or hand orientation--underlies the reduction in interference. Subjects performed goal-directed reaching movements in five different limb configurations designed so that different pairs of these configurations involved a change in only one coordinate system. By specifically assigning clockwise and counter-clockwise force fields to the configurations we could create three different conditions in which the direction of the force field could only be uniquely distinguished in one of the three coordinate systems. We examined the ability to learn the two fields based on each of the coordinate systems. The largest reduction of interference was observed when the field direction was linked to the hand orientation with smaller reductions in the other two conditions. This result demonstrates that the strongest reduction in interference occurred with changes in the hand orientation, suggesting that hand orientation may have a privileged role in reducing motor interference for changes in the endpoint posture of the limb.

  15. Learning Process Questionnaire Manual. Student Approaches to Learning and Studying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggs, John B.

    This manual describes the theory behind the Learning Process Questionnaire (LPQ) used in Australia and defines what the subscale and scale scores mean. The LPQ is a 36-item self-report questionnaire that yields scores on three basic motives for learning and three learning strategies, and on the approaches to learning that are formed by these…

  16. Bridging computational approaches to speech production: The semantic–lexical–auditory–motor model (SLAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickok, Gregory

    2017-01-01

    Speech production is studied from both psycholinguistic and motor-control perspectives, with little interaction between the approaches. We assessed the explanatory value of integrating psycholinguistic and motor-control concepts for theories of speech production. By augmenting a popular psycholinguistic model of lexical retrieval with a motor-control-inspired architecture, we created a new computational model to explain speech errors in the context of aphasia. Comparing the model fits to picture-naming data from 255 aphasic patients, we found that our new model improves fits for a theoretically predictable subtype of aphasia: conduction. We discovered that the improved fits for this group were a result of strong auditory-lexical feedback activation, combined with weaker auditory-motor feedforward activation, leading to increased competition from phonologically related neighbors during lexical selection. We discuss the implications of our findings with respect to other extant models of lexical retrieval. PMID:26223468

  17. Kinespell: Kinesthetic Learning Activity and Assessment in a Digital Game-Based Learning Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cariaga, Ada Angeli; Salvador, Jay Andrae; Solamo, Ma. Rowena; Feria, Rommel

    Various approaches in learning are commonly classified into visual, auditory and kinesthetic (VAK) learning styles. One way of addressing the VAK learning styles is through game-based learning which motivates learners pursue knowledge holistically. The paper presents Kinespell, an unconventional method of learning through digital game-based learning. Kinespell is geared towards enhancing not only the learner’s spelling abilities but also the motor skills through utilizing wireless controllers. It monitors player’s performance through integrated assessment scheme. Results show that Kinespell may accommodate the VAK learning styles and is a promising alternative to established methods in learning and assessing students’ performance in Spelling.

  18. ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING APPROACHES IN IMPROVING LEARNING OUTCOMES IN ACID-BASE SUBJECT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachmat Sahputra

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning in the understanding of acid-base chemistry in schools needs to be improved so research to determine differences in learning outcomes between students taught using environmental approaches and methods lectures in class XI SMA on acid-base subject needs to be done. In this study, using a quasi-experimental method using a data collection tool achievement test essay form. The test statistic results of the post-test learning has been obtained Asymp value. Sig (2-tailed 0,026 that showed the differences between students' learning outcomes with a control experimental class with effect size of 0.63 or much influence difference with the percentage 23.57% which indicated that the learning environment approach can improve learning outcomes of high school students.

  19. Evoked prior learning experience and approach to learning as predictors of academic achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigwell, Keith; Ashwin, Paul; Millan, Elena S

    2013-09-01

    In separate studies and research from different perspectives, five factors are found to be among those related to higher quality outcomes of student learning (academic achievement). Those factors are higher self-efficacy, deeper approaches to learning, higher quality teaching, students' perceptions that their workload is appropriate, and greater learning motivation. University learning improvement strategies have been built on these research results. To investigate how students' evoked prior experience, perceptions of their learning environment, and their approaches to learning collectively contribute to academic achievement. This is the first study to investigate motivation and self-efficacy in the same educational context as conceptions of learning, approaches to learning and perceptions of the learning environment. Undergraduate students (773) from the full range of disciplines were part of a group of over 2,300 students who volunteered to complete a survey of their learning experience. On completing their degrees 6 and 18 months later, their academic achievement was matched with their learning experience survey data. A 77-item questionnaire was used to gather students' self-report of their evoked prior experience (self-efficacy, learning motivation, and conceptions of learning), perceptions of learning context (teaching quality and appropriate workload), and approaches to learning (deep and surface). Academic achievement was measured using the English honours degree classification system. Analyses were conducted using correlational and multi-variable (structural equation modelling) methods. The results from the correlation methods confirmed those found in numerous earlier studies. The results from the multi-variable analyses indicated that surface approach to learning was the strongest predictor of academic achievement, with self-efficacy and motivation also found to be directly related. In contrast to the correlation results, a deep approach to learning was

  20. Machine learning an artificial intelligence approach

    CERN Document Server

    Banerjee, R; Bradshaw, Gary; Carbonell, Jaime Guillermo; Mitchell, Tom Michael; Michalski, Ryszard Spencer

    1983-01-01

    Machine Learning: An Artificial Intelligence Approach contains tutorial overviews and research papers representative of trends in the area of machine learning as viewed from an artificial intelligence perspective. The book is organized into six parts. Part I provides an overview of machine learning and explains why machines should learn. Part II covers important issues affecting the design of learning programs-particularly programs that learn from examples. It also describes inductive learning systems. Part III deals with learning by analogy, by experimentation, and from experience. Parts IV a

  1. A Janus-Faced Approach to Learning. A Critical Discussion of Habermas' Pragmatic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Italia, Salvatore

    2017-01-01

    A realist approach to learning is what I propose here. This is based on a non-epistemic dimension whose presence is a necessary assumption for a concept of learning of a life-world as complementary to learning within a life-world. I develop my approach in opposition to Jürgen Habermas' pragmatic approach, which seems to lack of something from a…

  2. Deep learning for hybrid EEG-fNIRS brain–computer interface: application to motor imagery classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarelli, Antonio Maria; Croce, Pierpaolo; Merla, Arcangelo; Zappasodi, Filippo

    2018-06-01

    Objective. Brain–computer interface (BCI) refers to procedures that link the central nervous system to a device. BCI was historically performed using electroencephalography (EEG). In the last years, encouraging results were obtained by combining EEG with other neuroimaging technologies, such as functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). A crucial step of BCI is brain state classification from recorded signal features. Deep artificial neural networks (DNNs) recently reached unprecedented complex classification outcomes. These performances were achieved through increased computational power, efficient learning algorithms, valuable activation functions, and restricted or back-fed neurons connections. By expecting significant overall BCI performances, we investigated the capabilities of combining EEG and fNIRS recordings with state-of-the-art deep learning procedures. Approach. We performed a guided left and right hand motor imagery task on 15 subjects with a fixed classification response time of 1 s and overall experiment length of 10 min. Left versus right classification accuracy of a DNN in the multi-modal recording modality was estimated and it was compared to standalone EEG and fNIRS and other classifiers. Main results. At a group level we obtained significant increase in performance when considering multi-modal recordings and DNN classifier with synergistic effect. Significance. BCI performances can be significantly improved by employing multi-modal recordings that provide electrical and hemodynamic brain activity information, in combination with advanced non-linear deep learning classification procedures.

  3. Recent machine learning advancements in sensor-based mobility analysis: Deep learning for Parkinson's disease assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eskofier, Bjoern M; Lee, Sunghoon I; Daneault, Jean-Francois; Golabchi, Fatemeh N; Ferreira-Carvalho, Gabriela; Vergara-Diaz, Gloria; Sapienza, Stefano; Costante, Gianluca; Klucken, Jochen; Kautz, Thomas; Bonato, Paolo

    2016-08-01

    The development of wearable sensors has opened the door for long-term assessment of movement disorders. However, there is still a need for developing methods suitable to monitor motor symptoms in and outside the clinic. The purpose of this paper was to investigate deep learning as a method for this monitoring. Deep learning recently broke records in speech and image classification, but it has not been fully investigated as a potential approach to analyze wearable sensor data. We collected data from ten patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease using inertial measurement units. Several motor tasks were expert-labeled and used for classification. We specifically focused on the detection of bradykinesia. For this, we compared standard machine learning pipelines with deep learning based on convolutional neural networks. Our results showed that deep learning outperformed other state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms by at least 4.6 % in terms of classification rate. We contribute a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of deep learning for sensor-based movement assessment and conclude that deep learning is a promising method for this field.

  4. A virtual trainer concept for robot-assisted human motor learning in rowing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baumgartner L.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Keeping the attention level and observing multiple physiological and biomechanical variables at the same time at high precision is very challenging for human trainers. Concurrent augmented feedback, which is suggested to enhance motor learning in complex motor tasks, can also hardly be provided by a human trainer. Thus, in this paper, a concept for a virtual trainer is presented that may overcome the limits of a human trainer. The intended virtual trainer will be implemented in a CAVE providing auditory, visual and haptic cues. As a first application, the virtual trainer will be used in a realistic scenario for sweep rowing. To provide individual feedback to each rower, the virtual trainer quantifies errors and provides concurrent auditory, visual, and haptic feedback. The concurrent feedback will be adapted according to the actual performance, individual maximal rowing velocity, and the athlete’s individual perception.

  5. Relationship Between Non-invasive Brain Stimulation-induced Plasticity and Capacity for Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Alonso, Virginia; Cheeran, Binith; Fernández-del-Olmo, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Cortical plasticity plays a key role in motor learning (ML). Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) paradigms have been used to modulate plasticity in the human motor cortex in order to facilitate ML. However, little is known about the relationship between NIBS-induced plasticity over M1 and ML capacity. NIBS-induced MEP changes are related to ML capacity. 56 subjects participated in three NIBS (paired associative stimulation, anodal transcranial direct current stimulation and intermittent theta-burst stimulation), and in three lab-based ML task (serial reaction time, visuomotor adaptation and sequential visual isometric pinch task) sessions. After clustering the patterns of response to the different NIBS protocols, we compared the ML variables between the different patterns found. We used regression analysis to explore further the relationship between ML capacity and summary measures of the MEPs change. We ran correlations with the "responders" group only. We found no differences in ML variables between clusters. Greater response to NIBS protocols may be predictive of poor performance within certain blocks of the VAT. "Responders" to AtDCS and to iTBS showed significantly faster reaction times than "non-responders." However, the physiological significance of these results is uncertain. MEP changes induced in M1 by PAS, AtDCS and iTBS appear to have little, if any, association with the ML capacity tested with the SRTT, the VAT and the SVIPT. However, cortical excitability changes induced in M1 by AtDCS and iTBS may be related to reaction time and retention of newly acquired skills in certain motor learning tasks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Dialogical, Enquiry and Participatory Approaches to Learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hurford, Donna; Rowley, Chris

    2018-01-01

    Dialogical enquiry and participatory approaches This chapter is concerned with approaches to leading children into active participation and enquiry, through involvement in their own learning, both at Key Stages 1 and 2. The terms ‘enquiry’, ‘learning’ and ‘active participation’ are closely related....... We link these approaches to dialogue and discussion because these aspects of learning are often dealt with separately in the literature and yet clearly they are a form of enquiry and participatory learning. We draw upon a range of literature and research in order to justify these approaches and we...... Years (REPEY) Project (Siraj-Blatchford et al. 2002). This project found that the most effective strategies and techniques for promoting learning in the early years involved adult–child interactions in which the adult responds to the child’s understanding of a subject or activity, the child responds...

  7. Heutagogy: An alternative practice based learning approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhoyrub, John; Hurley, John; Neilson, Gavin R; Ramsay, Mike; Smith, Margaret

    2010-11-01

    Education has explored and utilised multiple approaches in attempts to enhance the learning and teaching opportunities available to adult learners. Traditional pedagogy has been both directly and indirectly affected by andragogy and transformational learning, consequently widening our understandings and approaches toward view teaching and learning. Within the context of nurse education, a major challenge has been to effectively apply these educational approaches to the complex, unpredictable and challenging environment of practice based learning. While not offered as a panacea to such challenges, heutagogy is offered in this discussion paper as an emerging and potentially highly congruent educational framework to place around practice based learning. Being an emergent theory its known conceptual underpinnings and possible applications to nurse education need to be explored and theoretically applied. Through placing the adult learner at the foreground of grasping learning opportunities as they unpredictability emerge from a sometimes chaotic environment, heutagogy can be argued as offering the potential to minimise many of the well published difficulties of coordinating practice with faculty teaching and learning. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. IMPACT OF MENTAL SKILLS ON MOTOR LEARNING IN MOROCCAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

    OpenAIRE

    A. Eloirdi; A. Arfaoui; A.O.T. Ahami

    2016-01-01

    The issue of motor learning and underlying factors are widely debated. This work has a double aim, to bring out the profile of mental skills and to evaluate their correlation with performance in sport and physical education in Moroccan secondary school students. The study was based on a sample of 202 Moroccan students. We used the test Mental Skills Assessment Tool (OMSAT-3) to assess mental skills. According to the results, the OMSAT-3 displayed a very satisfactory internal consistency, ...

  9. The effects of formalized and trained non-reciprocal peer teaching on psychosocial, behavioral, pedagogical, and motor learning outcomes in physical education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter R Whipp

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Peer teaching is recognized as a powerful instructional method; however, there is a paucity of studies that have evaluated the outcomes experienced by peer-teachers and their student recipients in the context of trained, non-reciprocal, high school physical education. Accordingly, the effectiveness of a formalized and trained non-reciprocal peer teaching (T-PT program upon psychosocial, behavioral, pedagogical and student learning outcomes within high school physical education classes was investigated. Students from eight intact classes (106 males, 94 females, Mage = 12.46, SD = 0.59 were randomly assigned to either a T-PT intervention group (taught by a volunteer peer-teacher who was trained in line with a tactical games approach or untrained group (U-PT; where volunteer peer-teachers received no formal training, but did receive guidance on the game concepts to teach. Data were collected over 10 lessons in a 5-week soccer unit. Mixed-model ANOVAs/MANOVAs revealed that, in comparison to U-PT, the T-PT program significantly enhanced in-game performance actions and academic learning time among student recipients. Those in the T-PT also provided greater levels of feedback and structured learning time, as well as reporting more positive feelings about peer teaching and fewer perceived barriers to accessing learning outcomes. These findings show that non-reciprocal peer-teachers who receive formalized support through training and tactical games approach-based teaching resources can enhance behavioral, pedagogical, and motor performance outcomes in physical education.

  10. The effects of formalized and trained non-reciprocal peer teaching on psychosocial, behavioral, pedagogical, and motor learning outcomes in physical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whipp, Peter R; Jackson, Ben; Dimmock, James A; Soh, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Peer teaching is recognized as a powerful instructional method; however, there is a paucity of studies that have evaluated the outcomes experienced by peer-teachers and their student recipients in the context of trained, non-reciprocal, high school physical education (PE). Accordingly, the effectiveness of a formalized and trained non-reciprocal peer teaching (T-PT) program upon psychosocial, behavioral, pedagogical, and student learning outcomes within high school PE classes was investigated. Students from eight intact classes (106 males, 94 females, Mage = 12.46, SD = 0.59) were randomly assigned to either a T-PT intervention group (taught by a volunteer peer-teacher who was trained in line with a tactical games approach) or untrained group (U-PT; where volunteer peer-teachers received no formal training, but did receive guidance on the game concepts to teach). Data were collected over 10 lessons in a 5-week soccer unit. Mixed-model ANOVAs/MANOVAs revealed that, in comparison to U-PT, the T-PT program significantly enhanced in-game performance actions and academic learning time among student recipients. Those in the T-PT also provided greater levels of feedback and structured learning time, as well as reporting more positive feelings about peer teaching and fewer perceived barriers to accessing learning outcomes. These findings show that non-reciprocal peer-teachers who receive formalized support through training and tactical games approach-based teaching resources can enhance behavioral, pedagogical, and motor performance outcomes in PE.

  11. Perceptual-motor regulation in locomotor pointing while approaching a curb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andel, Steven van; Cole, Michael H; Pepping, Gert-Jan

    2018-02-01

    Locomotor pointing is a task that has been the focus of research in the context of sport (e.g. long jumping and cricket) as well as normal walking. Collectively, these studies have produced a broad understanding of locomotor pointing, but generalizability has been limited to laboratory type tasks and/or tasks with high spatial demands. The current study aimed to generalize previous findings in locomotor pointing to the common daily task of approaching and stepping on to a curb. Sixteen people completed 33 repetitions of a task that required them to walk up to and step onto a curb. Information about their foot placement was collected using a combination of measures derived from a pressure-sensitive walkway and video data. Variables related to perceptual-motor regulation were analyzed on an inter-trial, intra-step and inter-step level. Similar to previous studies, analysis of the foot placements showed that, variability in foot placement decreased as the participants drew closer to the curb. Regulation seemed to be initiated earlier in this study compared to previous studies, as shown by a decreasing variability in foot placement as early as eight steps before reaching the curb. Furthermore, it was shown that when walking up to the curb, most people regulated their walk in a way so as to achieve minimal variability in the foot placement on top of the curb, rather than a placement in front of the curb. Combined, these results showed a strong perceptual-motor coupling in the task of approaching and stepping up a curb, rendering this task a suitable test for perceptual-motor regulation in walking. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. A psychology based approach for longitudinal development in cognitive robotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James eLaw

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A major challenge in robotics is the ability to learn, from novel experiences, new behaviour that is useful for achieving new goals and skills. Autonomous systems must be able to learn solely through the environment, thus ruling out a priori task knowledge, tuning, extensive training, or other forms of pre-programming. Learning must also be cumulative and incremental, as complex skills are built on top of primitive skills. Additionally, it must be driven by intrinsic motivation because formative experience is gained through autonomous activity, even in the absence of extrinsic goals or tasks. This paper presents an approach to these issues through robotic implementations inspired by the learning behaviour of human infants. We describe an approach to developmental learning and present results from a demonstration of longitudinal development on an iCub humanoid robot. The results cover the rapid emergence of staged behaviour, the role of constraints in development, the effect of bootstrapping between stages, and the use of a schema memory of experiential fragments in learning new skills. The context is a longitudinalexperiment in which the robot advanced from uncontrolled motor babbling to skilled hand/eyeintegrated reaching and basic manipulation of objects. This approach offers promise for furtherfast and effective sensory-motor learning techniques for robotic learning.

  13. Self-Control of Task Difficulty During Early Practice Promotes Motor Skill Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Boutin, Arnaud; Thon, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to determine whether the effect of self-control of task difficulty on motor learning is a function of the period of self-control administration. In a complex anticipation-coincidence task that required participants to intercept 3 targets with a virtual racquet, the task difficulty was either self-controlled or imposed to the participants in the two phases of the acquisition session. First, the results confirmed the beneficial effects of self-control over fully prescribed conditions. Second, the authors also demonstrated that a partial self-control of task difficulty better promotes learning than does a complete self-controlled procedure. Overall, the results revealed that these benefits are increased when this choice is allowed during early practice. The findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and applied perspectives.

  14. A Self-Synthesis Approach to Perceptual Learning for Multisensory Fusion in Robotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axenie, Cristian; Richter, Christoph; Conradt, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    Biological and technical systems operate in a rich multimodal environment. Due to the diversity of incoming sensory streams a system perceives and the variety of motor capabilities a system exhibits there is no single representation and no singular unambiguous interpretation of such a complex scene. In this work we propose a novel sensory processing architecture, inspired by the distributed macro-architecture of the mammalian cortex. The underlying computation is performed by a network of computational maps, each representing a different sensory quantity. All the different sensory streams enter the system through multiple parallel channels. The system autonomously associates and combines them into a coherent representation, given incoming observations. These processes are adaptive and involve learning. The proposed framework introduces mechanisms for self-creation and learning of the functional relations between the computational maps, encoding sensorimotor streams, directly from the data. Its intrinsic scalability, parallelisation, and automatic adaptation to unforeseen sensory perturbations make our approach a promising candidate for robust multisensory fusion in robotic systems. We demonstrate this by applying our model to a 3D motion estimation on a quadrotor. PMID:27775621

  15. A Self-Synthesis Approach to Perceptual Learning for Multisensory Fusion in Robotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian Axenie

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological and technical systems operate in a rich multimodal environment. Due to the diversity of incoming sensory streams a system perceives and the variety of motor capabilities a system exhibits there is no single representation and no singular unambiguous interpretation of such a complex scene. In this work we propose a novel sensory processing architecture, inspired by the distributed macro-architecture of the mammalian cortex. The underlying computation is performed by a network of computational maps, each representing a different sensory quantity. All the different sensory streams enter the system through multiple parallel channels. The system autonomously associates and combines them into a coherent representation, given incoming observations. These processes are adaptive and involve learning. The proposed framework introduces mechanisms for self-creation and learning of the functional relations between the computational maps, encoding sensorimotor streams, directly from the data. Its intrinsic scalability, parallelisation, and automatic adaptation to unforeseen sensory perturbations make our approach a promising candidate for robust multisensory fusion in robotic systems. We demonstrate this by applying our model to a 3D motion estimation on a quadrotor.

  16. E-Learning Systems, Environments and Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Isaias, P.; Spector, J.M.; Ifenthaler, D.; Sampson, D.G.

    2015-01-01

    The volume consists of twenty-five chapters selected from among peer-reviewed papers presented at the CELDA (Cognition and Exploratory Learning in the Digital Age) 2013 Conference held in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, in October 2013 and also from world class scholars in e-learning systems, environments and approaches. The following sub-topics are included: Exploratory Learning Technologies (Part I), e-Learning social web design (Part II), Learner communities through e-Learning implementations (Par...

  17. Recontextualizing Dance Skills: Overcoming Impediments to Motor Learning and Expressivity in Ballet Dancers

    OpenAIRE

    Karin, Janet

    2016-01-01

    The process of transmitting ballet’s complex technique to young dancers can interfere with the innate processes that give rise to efficient, expressive and harmonious movement. With the intention of identifying possible solutions, this article draws on research across the fields of neurology, psychology, motor learning, and education, and considers their relevance to ballet as an art form, a technique, and a training methodology. The integration of dancers’ technique and expressivity is a cor...

  18. Effects of microwave exposure on motor learning and GluR2 phosphorylation in rabbit cerebellum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Yong; Wang Denggao; Zhang Guangbin; Zhou Wen; Yang Xuesen

    2007-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effects of microwave exposure on motor learning and Glutamate receptor 2(GluR2) phosphorylation in rat cerebellum. Methods: The rabbits were trained for seven days to form eye-blink conditioning, and then divided randomly into control and microwave exposure group (at hours 0,3,24 and 72 subgroups after exposure, respectively). The rabbits were accepted 90 mW/cm 2 microwave exposure for 30 minutes, and the rectal temperature were detected immediately after exposure and specific absorption rate (SAR) value were calculated. Eye-blink conditioning were detected immediately after exposure, and cerebellar GluR2 protein and GluR2 phosphorylation were detected with Western blotting. Results: Rectal temperature of rabbits were increased by 3.02 degree C after exposure, and SAR value was 8.74 W/kg. The eye-blink conditioning decreased significantly after exposure, and cerebellar GluR2 protein expression had no significant alteration but phosphorylation reduced significantly after exposure. Conclusions: 90 mW/cm 2 microwave exposure has injurious effects on cerebellar GluR2 phosphorylation and motor learning. (authors)

  19. A shared resource between declarative memory and motor memory

    OpenAIRE

    Keisler, Aysha; Shadmehr, Reza

    2010-01-01

    The neural systems that support motor adaptation in humans are thought to be distinct from those that support the declarative system. Yet, during motor adaptation changes in motor commands are supported by a fast adaptive process that has important properties (rapid learning, fast decay) that are usually associated with the declarative system. The fast process can be contrasted to a slow adaptive process that also supports motor memory, but learns gradually and shows resistance to forgetting....

  20. Linking Individual Learning Styles to Approach-Avoidance Motivational Traits and Computational Aspects of Reinforcement Learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristoffer Carl Aberg

    Full Text Available Learning how to gain rewards (approach learning and avoid punishments (avoidance learning is fundamental for everyday life. While individual differences in approach and avoidance learning styles have been related to genetics and aging, the contribution of personality factors, such as traits, remains undetermined. Moreover, little is known about the computational mechanisms mediating differences in learning styles. Here, we used a probabilistic selection task with positive and negative feedbacks, in combination with computational modelling, to show that individuals displaying better approach (vs. avoidance learning scored higher on measures of approach (vs. avoidance trait motivation, but, paradoxically, also displayed reduced learning speed following positive (vs. negative outcomes. These data suggest that learning different types of information depend on associated reward values and internal motivational drives, possibly determined by personality traits.

  1. Linking Individual Learning Styles to Approach-Avoidance Motivational Traits and Computational Aspects of Reinforcement Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carl Aberg, Kristoffer; Doell, Kimberly C.; Schwartz, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Learning how to gain rewards (approach learning) and avoid punishments (avoidance learning) is fundamental for everyday life. While individual differences in approach and avoidance learning styles have been related to genetics and aging, the contribution of personality factors, such as traits, remains undetermined. Moreover, little is known about the computational mechanisms mediating differences in learning styles. Here, we used a probabilistic selection task with positive and negative feedbacks, in combination with computational modelling, to show that individuals displaying better approach (vs. avoidance) learning scored higher on measures of approach (vs. avoidance) trait motivation, but, paradoxically, also displayed reduced learning speed following positive (vs. negative) outcomes. These data suggest that learning different types of information depend on associated reward values and internal motivational drives, possibly determined by personality traits. PMID:27851807

  2. Error Sonification of a Complex Motor Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riener Robert

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Visual information is mainly used to master complex motor tasks. Thus, additional information providing augmented feedback should be displayed in other modalities than vision, e.g. hearing. The present work evaluated the potential of error sonification to enhance learning of a rowing-type motor task. In contrast to a control group receiving self-controlled terminal feedback, the experimental group could not significantly reduce spatial errors. Thus, motor learning was not enhanced by error sonification, although during the training the participant could benefit from it. It seems that the motor task was too slow, resulting in immediate corrections of the movement rather than in an internal representation of the general characteristics of the motor task. Therefore, further studies should elaborate the impact of error sonification when general characteristics of the motor tasks are already known.

  3. A Game-Based Virtualized Reality Approach for Simultaneous Rehabilitation of Motor Skill and Confidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alasdair G. Thin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Virtualized reality games offer highly interactive and engaging user experience and therefore game-based approaches (GBVR may have significant potential to enhance clinical rehabilitation practice as traditional therapeutic exercises are often repetitive and boring, reducing patient compliance. The aim of this study was to investigate if a rehabilitation training programme using GBVR could simultaneously improve both motor skill (MS and confidence (CON, as they are both important determinants of daily living and physical and social functioning. The study was performed using a nondominant hand motor deficit model in nonambidextrous healthy young adults, whereby dominant and nondominant arms acted as control and intervention conditions, respectively. GBVR training was performed using a commercially available tennis-based game. CON and MS were assessed by having each subject perform a comparable real-world motor task (RWMT before and after training. Baseline CON and MS for performing the RWMT were significantly lower for the nondominant hand and improved after GBVR training, whereas there were no changes in the dominant (control arm. These results demonstrate that by using a GBVR approach to address a MS deficit in a real-world task, improvements in both MS and CON can be facilitated and such approaches may help increase patient compliance.

  4. The Association Between Effective Dose of Magnesium and Mild Compulsive Exercise on Spatial Learning, Memory, and Motor Activity of Adult Male Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajizade Ghonsulakandi, Shahnaz; Sheikh, Mahmuod; Dehghan Shasaltaneh, Marzieh; Chopani, Samira; Naghdi, Nasser

    2017-08-01

    One of the most important survival mechanisms is learning and memory processes. To emphasize the role of physical exercises and magnesium (Mg) in improvement of cognitive performance, we planned to investigate the effect of Mg and mild compulsive exercise on spatial learning and memory of adult male rats. Accordingly, we divided male Wistar rats into four groups: (I) control, (II) Mg treatment, (III) exercise, and (IV) Mg-exercise in the different dosages of Mg (0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 mmol/kbw) were injected in the form of gavage during 1 week. Also, 1-week mild running on treadmill was used for exercise treatment. The Morris water maze (MWM) test and open field tool were used to evaluate spatial learning, memory, and motor activity, respectively. Our results clearly showed that 1 mmol/kbw Mg was applied as an effective dosage. Strikingly, 1-week mild exercise on treadmill had no significant effect on spatial motor activity, learning, and memory. Feeding 1 mmol/kbw Mg for a week showed a significant difference in learning and exploration stages. Compared to control animals, these results reveal exercise and Mg simultaneously had effect on learning and reminding. As a consequence, although mild exercise had no effect on motor activity and memory, Mg intake improved spatial learning, memory, and locomotor activity. The Mg feeding could be a promising supplemental treatment in the neurodegenerative disease. It is worthwhile to mention consumption of Mg leads to enhancement of memory, so animals find the hidden platform with the highest velocity.

  5. Differentiating children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, learning disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders by means of their motor behavior characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efstratopoulou, Maria; Janssen, Rianne; Simons, Johan

    2012-01-01

    The study was designed to investigate the discriminant validity of the Motor Behavior Checklist (MBC) for distinguishing four group of children independently classified with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, (ADHD; N=22), Conduct Disorder (CD; N=17), Learning Disabilities (LD; N=24) and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD; N=20). Physical education teachers used the MBC for children to rate their pupils based on their motor related behaviors. A multivariate analysis revealed significant differences among the groups on different problem scales. The results indicated that the MBC for children may be effective in discriminating children with similar disruptive behaviors (e.g., ADHD, CD) and autistic disorders, based on their motor behavior characteristics, but not children with Learning Disabilities (LD), when used by physical education teachers in school settings. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Investigative Primary Science: A Problem-Based Learning Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etherington, Matthew B.

    2011-01-01

    This study reports on the success of using a problem-based learning approach (PBL) as a pedagogical mode of learning open inquiry science within a traditional four-year undergraduate elementary teacher education program. In 2010, a problem-based learning approach to teaching primary science replaced the traditional content driven syllabus. During…

  7. Not all choices are created equal: Task-relevant choices enhance motor learning compared to task-irrelevant choices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Michael J; Ste-Marie, Diane M

    2017-12-01

    Lewthwaite et al. (2015) reported that the learning benefits of exercising choice (i.e., their self-controlled condition) are not restricted to task-relevant features (e.g., feedback). They found that choosing one's golf ball color (Exp. 1) or choosing which of two tasks to perform at a later time plus which of two artworks to hang (Exp. 2) resulted in better retention than did being denied these same choices (i.e., yoked condition). The researchers concluded that the learning benefits derived from choice, whether irrelevant or relevant to the to-be-learned task, are predominantly motivational because choice is intrinsically rewarding and satisfies basic psychological needs. However, the absence of a group that made task-relevant choices and the lack of psychological measures significantly weakened their conclusions. Here, we investigated how task-relevant and task-irrelevant choices affect motor-skill learning. Participants practiced a spatiotemporal motor task in either a task-relevant group (choice over feedback schedule), a task-irrelevant group (choice over the color of an arm-wrap plus game selection), or a no-choice group. The results showed significantly greater learning in the task-relevant group than in both the task-irrelevant and no-choice groups, who did not differ significantly. Critically, these learning differences were not attributed to differences in perceptions of competence or autonomy, but instead to superior error-estimation abilities. These results challenge the perspective that motivational influences are the root cause of self-controlled learning advantages. Instead, the findings add to the growing evidence highlighting that the informational value gained from task-relevant choices makes a greater relative contribution to these advantages than motivational influences do.

  8. ACCOUNTING STUDENT’S LEARNING APPROACHES AND IMPACT ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suhaiza Ismail

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the study is threefold. Firstly, the study explores the learning approaches adopted by students in completing their Business Finance. Secondly, it examines the impact that learning approaches has on the student’s academic performance. Finally, the study considers gender differences in the learning approaches adopted by students and in the relationship between learning approaches and academic performance. The Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST was used to assess the approaches to learning adopted by students whilst the students final examination result was considered in examining the performance of the students. The results indicate that majority of the accounting students, both male andfemale groups prefer to use the deep approach in studying Business Finance. The findings also reveal that there were significant relationships between learning approaches and academic performance with positive direction appears for deep and strategic approaches whilst negative relationship reveals for surface approach.

  9. ACCOUNTING STUDENT’S LEARNING APPROACHES AND IMPACT ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

    OpenAIRE

    Suhaiza Ismail

    2009-01-01

    The objective of the study is threefold. Firstly, the study explores the learning approaches adopted by students in completing their Business Finance. Secondly, it examines the impact that learning approaches has on the student’s academic performance. Finally, the study considers gender differences in the learning approaches adopted by students and in the relationship between learning approaches and academic performance. The Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) was used...

  10. Brain Computer Interface Learning for Systems Based on Electrocorticography and Intracortical Microelectrode Arrays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shivayogi V Hiremath

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A brain-computer interface (BCI system transforms neural activity into control signals for external devices in real time. A BCI user needs to learn to generate specific cortical activity patterns to control external devices effectively. We call this process BCI learning, and it often requires significant effort and time. Therefore, it is important to study this process and develop novel and efficient approaches to accelerate BCI learning. This article reviews major approaches that have been used for BCI learning, including computer-assisted learning, co-adaptive learning, operant conditioning, and sensory feedback. We focus on BCIs based on electrocorticography and intracortical microelectrode arrays for restoring motor function. This article also explores the possibility of brain modulation techniques in promoting BCI learning, such as electrical cortical stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and optogenetics. Furthermore, as proposed by recent BCI studies, we suggest that BCI learning is in many ways analogous to motor and cognitive skill learning, and therefore skill learning should be a useful metaphor to model BCI learning.

  11. Virtual reality rehabilitation from social cognitive and motor learning theoretical perspectives in stroke population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imam, Bita; Jarus, Tal

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. To identify the virtual reality (VR) interventions used for the lower extremity rehabilitation in stroke population and to explain their underlying training mechanisms using Social Cognitive (SCT) and Motor Learning (MLT) theoretical frameworks. Methods. Medline, Embase, Cinahl, and Cochrane databases were searched up to July 11, 2013. Randomized controlled trials that included a VR intervention for lower extremity rehabilitation in stroke population were included. The Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale was used to assess the quality of the included studies. The underlying training mechanisms involved in each VR intervention were explained according to the principles of SCT (vicarious learning, performance accomplishment, and verbal persuasion) and MLT (focus of attention, order and predictability of practice, augmented feedback, and feedback fading). Results. Eleven studies were included. PEDro scores varied from 3 to 7/10. All studies but one showed significant improvement in outcomes in favour of the VR group (P learning through providing a task-oriented and graduated learning under a variable and unpredictable practice.

  12. Motor Decline in Clinically Presymptomatic Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 2 Gene Carriers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velázquez-Perez, Luis; Díaz, Rosalinda; Pérez-González, Ruth; Canales, Nalia; Rodríguez-Labrada, Roberto; Medrano, Jacquelín; Sánchez, Gilberto; Almaguer-Mederos, Luis; Torres, Cira; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan

    2009-01-01

    Background Motor deficits are a critical component of the clinical characteristics of patients with spinocerebellar ataxia type 2. However, there is no current information on the preclinical manifestation of those motor deficits in presymptomatic gene carriers. To further understand and characterize the onset of the clinical manifestation in this disease, we tested presymptomatic spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 gene carriers, and volunteers, in a task that evaluates their motor performance and their motor learning capabilities. Methods and Findings 28 presymptomatic spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 gene carriers and an equal number of control volunteers matched for age and gender participated in the study. Both groups were tested in a prism adaptation task known to be sensible to both motor performance and visuomotor learning deficits. Our results clearly show that although motor learning capabilities are intact, motor performance deficits are present even years before the clinical manifestation of the disease start. Conclusions The results show a clear deficit in motor performance that can be detected years before the clinical onset of the disease. This motor performance deficit appears before any motor learning or clinical manifestations of the disease. These observations identify the performance coefficient as an objective and quantitative physiological biomarker that could be useful to assess the efficiency of different therapeutic agents. PMID:19401771

  13. The scientific learning approach using multimedia-based maze game to improve learning outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setiawan, Wawan; Hafitriani, Sarah; Prabawa, Harsa Wara

    2016-02-01

    The objective of curriculum 2013 is to improve the quality of education in Indonesia, which leads to improving the quality of learning. The scientific approach and supported empowerment media is one approach as massaged of curriculum 2013. This research aims to design a labyrinth game based multimedia and apply in the scientific learning approach. This study was conducted in one of the Vocational School in Subjects of Computer Network on 2 (two) classes of experimental and control. The method used Mix Method Research (MMR) which combines qualitative in multimedia design, and quantitative in the study of learning impact. The results of a survey showed that the general of vocational students like of network topology material (68%), like multimedia (74%), and in particular, like interactive multimedia games and flash (84%). Multimediabased maze game developed good eligibility based on media and material aspects of each value 840% and 82%. Student learning outcomes as a result of using a scientific approach to learning with a multimediabased labyrinth game increase with an average of gain index about (58%) and higher than conventional multimedia with index average gain of 0.41 (41%). Based on these results the scientific approach to learning by using multimediabased labyrinth game can improve the quality of learning and increase understanding of students. Multimedia of learning based labyrinth game, which developed, got a positive response from the students with a good qualification level (75%).

  14. Mirror symmetric bimanual movement priming can increase corticomotor excitability and enhance motor learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winston D Byblow

    Full Text Available Repetitive mirror symmetric bilateral upper limb may be a suitable priming technique for upper limb rehabilitation after stroke. Here we demonstrate neurophysiological and behavioural after-effects in healthy participants after priming with 20 minutes of repetitive active-passive bimanual wrist flexion and extension in a mirror symmetric pattern with respect to the body midline (MIR compared to an control priming condition with alternating flexion-extension (ALT. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS indicated that corticomotor excitability (CME of the passive hemisphere remained elevated compared to baseline for at least 30 minutes after MIR but not ALT, evidenced by an increase in the size of motor evoked potentials in ECR and FCR. Short and long-latency intracortical inhibition (SICI, LICI, short afferent inhibition (SAI and interhemispheric inhibition (IHI were also examined using pairs of stimuli. LICI differed between patterns, with less LICI after MIR compared with ALT, and an effect of pattern on IHI, with reduced IHI in passive FCR 15 minutes after MIR compared with ALT and baseline. There was no effect of pattern on SAI or FCR H-reflex. Similarly, SICI remained unchanged after 20 minutes of MIR. We then had participants complete a timed manual dexterity motor learning task with the passive hand during, immediately after, and 24 hours after MIR or control priming. The rate of task completion was faster with MIR priming compared to control conditions. Finally, ECR and FCR MEPs were examined within a pre-movement facilitation paradigm of wrist extension before and after MIR. ECR, but not FCR, MEPs were consistently facilitated before and after MIR, demonstrating no degradation of selective muscle activation. In summary, mirror symmetric active-passive bimanual movement increases CME and can enhance motor learning without degradation of muscle selectivity. These findings rationalise the use of mirror symmetric bimanual movement as a

  15. A developmental approach of imitation to study the emergence of mirror neurons in a sensory-motor controller

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaussier Philippe

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons have often been considered as the explanation of how primates can imitate. In this paper, we show that a simple neural network architecture that learns visuo-motor associations can be enough to let low level imitation emerge without a priori mirror neurons. Adding sequence learning mechanisms and action inhibition allows to perform deferred imitation of gestures demonstrated visually or by body manipulation. With the building of a cognitive map giving the capability of learning plans, we can study in our model the emergence of both low level and high level resonances highlighted by Rizzolatti et al.

  16. Consequences of comorbidity of developmental coordination disorders and learning disabilities for severity and pattern of perceptual-motor dysfunction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongmans, MJ; Smits-Engelsman, BCM; Schoemaker, MM

    2003-01-01

    Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) have difficulty learning and performing age-appropriate perceptual-motor skills in the absence of diagnosable neurological disorders. Descriptive studies have shown that comorbidity of DCD exists with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

  17. A dynamical systems approach to motor development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamm, K; Thelen, E; Jensen, J L

    1990-12-01

    The study of motor development has long influenced the clinical practice of physical therapy. We first review the contributions and deficiencies of two traditional maturational and reflex-based models of motor development. Second, we describe basic principles of kinematic and kinetic analyses of movement and show how we have applied these techniques to understand infant stepping and kicking. Third, we propose a theory of motor development based on a dynamical systems perspective that is consistent with our infant studies. Finally, we explore the implications of the model for physical therapists.

  18. A Learning Object Approach To Evidence based learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zabin Visram

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the philosophy, development and framework of the body of elements formulated to provide an approach to evidence-based learning sustained by Learning Objects and web based technology Due to the demands for continuous improvement in the delivery of healthcare and in the continuous endeavour to improve the quality of life, there is a continuous need for practitioner's to update their knowledge by accomplishing accredited courses. The rapid advances in medical science has meant increasingly, there is a desperate need to adopt wireless schemes, whereby bespoke courses can be developed to help practitioners keep up with expanding knowledge base. Evidently, without current best evidence, practice risks becoming rapidly out of date, to the detriment of the patient. There is a need to provide a tactical, operational and effective environment, which allows professional to update their education, and complete specialised training, just-in-time, in their own time and location. Following this demand in the marketplace the information engineering group, in combination with several medical and dental schools, set out to develop and design a conceptual framework which form the basis of pioneering research, which at last, enables practitioner's to adopt a philosophy of life long learning. The body and structure of this framework is subsumed under the term Object oriented approach to Evidence Based learning, Just-in-time, via Internet sustained by Reusable Learning Objects (The OEBJIRLO Progression. The technical pillars which permit this concept of life long learning are pivoted by the foundations of object oriented technology, Learning objects, Just-in-time education, Data Mining, intelligent Agent technology, Flash interconnectivity and remote wireless technology, which allow practitioners to update their professional skills, complete specialised training which leads to accredited qualifications. This paper sets out to develop and

  19. Economic Gardening through Entrepreneurship Education: A Service-Learning Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desplaces, David E.; Wergeles, Fred; McGuigan, Patrick

    2009-01-01

    This article outlines the implementation of a service-learning approach in an entrepreneurship programme using an "economic gardening" strategy. Economic Gardening through Service-L