WorldWideScience

Sample records for motor learning revealed

  1. 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...

  2. Novel behavioral indicator of explicit awareness reveals temporal course of frontoparietal neural network facilitation during motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Regan R; Gayle, Jordan O; Wheaton, Lewis A

    2017-01-01

    Deficits in sequential motor learning have been observed in many patient populations. Having an understanding of the individual neural progression associated with sequential learning in healthy individuals may provide valuable insights for effective interventions with these patients. Due to individual variability in motor skill acquisition, the temporal course of such learning will be vary, suggesting a need for a more individualized approach. Knowing when a subject becomes aware of movement patterns may provide a marker with which to identify each individual's learning time course. To avoid interfering with the incidental nature of discovery during learning, such an indicator requires an indirect, behaviorally-based approach. In Part I, our study aimed to identify a reliable behavioral indicator predictive of the presence of incidental explicit awareness in a sequential motor learning task. Part II, utilized the predictive indicator and EEG to provide neural validation of perceptual processing changes temporally correlated with the indicator. Results of Part I provide a reliable predictive indicator for the timing of explicit awareness development. Results from Part II demonstrates strong classification reliability, as well as a significant neural correlation with behavior for subjects developing awareness (EXP), not observed with subjects without awareness (NOEXP). Additionally, a temporal correlation of peak activation between neural regions was noted over frontoparietal regions, suggesting that the incidental discovery of motor patterns may involve a facilitative network during awareness development. The proposed indicator provides a tool in which to further examine potential impacts of awareness associated with incidental, or exploratory, motor learning, while the individual nature of the indicator provides a tool for monitoring progress in rehabilitative, exploratory motor learning paradigms.

  3. Modularity for Motor Control and Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Avella, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    How the central nervous system (CNS) overcomes the complexity of multi-joint and multi-muscle control and how it acquires or adapts motor skills are fundamental and open questions in neuroscience. A modular architecture may simplify control by embedding features of both the dynamic behavior of the musculoskeletal system and of the task into a small number of modules and by directly mapping task goals into module combination parameters. Several studies of the electromyographic (EMG) activity recorded from many muscles during the performance of different tasks have shown that motor commands are generated by the combination of a small number of muscle synergies, coordinated recruitment of groups of muscles with specific amplitude balances or activation waveforms, thus supporting a modular organization of motor control. Modularity may also help understanding motor learning. In a modular architecture, acquisition of a new motor skill or adaptation of an existing skill after a perturbation may occur at the level of modules or at the level of module combinations. As learning or adapting an existing skill through recombination of modules is likely faster than learning or adapting a skill by acquiring new modules, compatibility with the modules predicts learning difficulty. A recent study in which human subjects used myoelectric control to move a mass in a virtual environment has tested this prediction. By altering the mapping between recorded muscle activity and simulated force applied on the mass, as in a complex surgical rearrangement of the tendons, it has been possible to show that it is easier to adapt to a perturbation that is compatible with the muscle synergies used to generate hand force than to a similar but incompatible perturbation. This result provides direct support for a modular organization of motor control and motor learning.

  4. 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

  5. Motor skill learning: age and augmented feedback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijk, van Henk

    2006-01-01

    Learning motor skills is fundamental to human life. One of the most critical variables affecting motor learning, aside from practice itself, is augmented feedback (performance-related information). Although there is abundance of research on how young adults use augmented feedback to learn motor skil

  6. Reduced procedural motor learning in deaf individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justine eLévesque

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Studies in the deaf suggest that cross-modal neuroplastic changes may vary across modalities. Only a handful of studies have examined motor capacities in the profoundly deaf. These studies suggest the presence of deficits in manual dexterity and delays in movement production. As of yet, the ability to learn complex sequential motor patterns has not been explored in deaf populations. The aim of the present study was to investigate the procedural learning skills of deaf adults. A serial reaction-time task (SRTT was performed by 18 deaf subjects and 18 matched controls to investigate possible motor alteration subsequent to auditory deprivation. Deaf participants had various degrees of hearing loss. Half of the experimental group were early-deaf adults mostly using hearing aids, the remaining half were late-deaf adults using a cochlear implant. Participants carried out a repeating 12-item sequence of key presses along with random blocks containing no repeating sequence. Non-specific and sequence-specific learning was analyzed in relation to individual features related to the hearing loss. The results revealed significant differences between groups in sequence-specific learning, with deaf subjects being less efficient than controls in acquiring sequence-specific knowledge. We interpret the results in light of cross-modal plasticity and the auditory scaffolding hypothesis.

  7. 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

  8. Learning in a Simple Motor System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broussard, Dianne M.; Kassardjian, Charles D.

    2004-01-01

    Motor learning is a very basic, essential form of learning that appears to share common mechanisms across different motor systems. We evaluate and compare a few conceptual models for learning in a relatively simple neural system, the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) of vertebrates. We also compare the different animal models that have been used to…

  9. Dopamine Promotes Motor Cortex Plasticity and Motor Skill Learning via PLC Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia-Seraina; Pekanovic, Ana; Atiemo, Clement Osei; Marshall, John; Luft, Andreas Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area, the major midbrain nucleus projecting to the motor cortex, play a key role in motor skill learning and motor cortex synaptic plasticity. Dopamine D1 and D2 receptor antagonists exert parallel effects in the motor system: they impair motor skill learning and reduce long-term potentiation. Traditionally, D1 and D2 receptor modulate adenylyl cyclase activity and cyclic adenosine monophosphate accumulation in opposite directions via different G-proteins and bidirectionally modulate protein kinase A (PKA), leading to distinct physiological and behavioral effects. Here we show that D1 and D2 receptor activity influences motor skill acquisition and long term synaptic potentiation via phospholipase C (PLC) activation in rat primary motor cortex. Learning a new forelimb reaching task is severely impaired in the presence of PLC, but not PKA-inhibitor. Similarly, long term potentiation in motor cortex, a mechanism involved in motor skill learning, is reduced when PLC is inhibited but remains unaffected by the PKA inhibitor. Skill learning deficits and reduced synaptic plasticity caused by dopamine antagonists are prevented by co-administration of a PLC agonist. These results provide evidence for a role of intracellular PLC signaling in motor skill learning and associated cortical synaptic plasticity, challenging the traditional view of bidirectional modulation of PKA by D1 and D2 receptors. These findings reveal a novel and important action of dopamine in motor cortex that might be a future target for selective therapeutic interventions to support learning and recovery of movement resulting from injury and disease.

  10. Dopamine Promotes Motor Cortex Plasticity and Motor Skill Learning via PLC Activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mengia-Seraina Rioult-Pedotti

    Full Text Available Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area, the major midbrain nucleus projecting to the motor cortex, play a key role in motor skill learning and motor cortex synaptic plasticity. Dopamine D1 and D2 receptor antagonists exert parallel effects in the motor system: they impair motor skill learning and reduce long-term potentiation. Traditionally, D1 and D2 receptor modulate adenylyl cyclase activity and cyclic adenosine monophosphate accumulation in opposite directions via different G-proteins and bidirectionally modulate protein kinase A (PKA, leading to distinct physiological and behavioral effects. Here we show that D1 and D2 receptor activity influences motor skill acquisition and long term synaptic potentiation via phospholipase C (PLC activation in rat primary motor cortex. Learning a new forelimb reaching task is severely impaired in the presence of PLC, but not PKA-inhibitor. Similarly, long term potentiation in motor cortex, a mechanism involved in motor skill learning, is reduced when PLC is inhibited but remains unaffected by the PKA inhibitor. Skill learning deficits and reduced synaptic plasticity caused by dopamine antagonists are prevented by co-administration of a PLC agonist. These results provide evidence for a role of intracellular PLC signaling in motor skill learning and associated cortical synaptic plasticity, challenging the traditional view of bidirectional modulation of PKA by D1 and D2 receptors. These findings reveal a novel and important action of dopamine in motor cortex that might be a future target for selective therapeutic interventions to support learning and recovery of movement resulting from injury and disease.

  11. 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.

  12. Upregulation of cortico-cerebellar functional connectivity after motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehrkanoon, Saeid; Boonstra, Tjeerd W; Breakspear, Michael; Hinder, Mark; Summers, Jeffery J

    2016-03-01

    Interactions between the cerebellum and primary motor cortex are crucial for the acquisition of new motor skills. Recent neuroimaging studies indicate that learning motor skills is associated with subsequent modulation of resting-state functional connectivity in the cerebellar and cerebral cortices. The neuronal processes underlying the motor-learning-induced plasticity are not well understood. Here, we investigate changes in functional connectivity in source-reconstructed electroencephalography (EEG) following the performance of a single session of a dynamic force task in twenty young adults. Source activity was reconstructed in 112 regions of interest (ROIs) and the functional connectivity between all ROIs was estimated using the imaginary part of coherence. Significant changes in resting-state connectivity were assessed using partial least squares (PLS). We found that subjects adapted their motor performance during the training session and showed improved accuracy but with slower movement times. A number of connections were significantly upregulated after motor training, principally involving connections within the cerebellum and between the cerebellum and motor cortex. Increased connectivity was confined to specific frequency ranges in the mu- and beta-bands. Post hoc analysis of the phase spectra of these cerebellar and cortico-cerebellar connections revealed an increased phase lag between motor cortical and cerebellar activity following motor practice. These findings show a reorganization of intrinsic cortico-cerebellar connectivity related to motor adaptation and demonstrate the potential of EEG connectivity analysis in source space to reveal the neuronal processes that underpin neural plasticity.

  13. Motor cortical plasticity induced by motor learning through mental practice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eAvanzino

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Several investigations suggest that actual and mental actions trigger similar neural substrates. Motor learning via physical practice results in long-term potentiation (LTP-like plasticity processes, namely potentiation of M1 and a temporary occlusion of additional LTP-like plasticity. However, whether this neuroplasticity process contributes to improve motor performance through mental practice remains to be determined. Here, we tested skill learning-dependent changes in primary motor cortex (M1 excitability and plasticity by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation in subjects trained to physically execute or mentally perform a sequence of finger opposition movements. Before and after physical practice and motor-imagery practice, M1 excitability was evaluated by measuring the input-output (IO curve of motor evoked potentials. M1 long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD-like plasticity was assessed with paired-associative stimulation (PAS of the median nerve and motor cortex using an interstimulus interval of 25 ms (PAS25 or 10 ms (PAS10, respectively. We found that even if after both practice sessions subjects significantly improved their movement speed, M1 excitability and plasticity were differentially influenced by the two practice sessions. First, we observed an increase in the slope of IO curve after physical but not after motor-imagery practice. Second, there was a reversal of the PAS25 effect from LTP-like plasticity to LTD-like plasticity following physical and motor-imagery practice. Third, LTD-like plasticity (PAS10 protocol increased after physical practice, whilst it was occluded after motor-imagery practice. In conclusion, we demonstrated that motor-imagery practice lead to the development of neuroplasticity, as it affected the PAS25- and PAS10- induced plasticity in M1. These results, expanding the current knowledge on how motor-imagery training shapes M1 plasticity, might have a potential impact in

  14. Neurofeedback facilitation of implicit motor learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ros, T.; Munneke, M.A.M; Parkinson, L.A.; Gruzelier, J.H.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Mu rhythm desynchronisation via EEG-neurofeedback (NFB) has been previously been shown to induce durable motor-cortical disinhibition for at least 20 min. It was hypothesised that the presentation of a novel procedural learning task immediately after this NFB protocol would boost motor p

  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...... Stimulation. Prior work has demonstrated such a change to very different extents with and without causally linking it to the improvements in motor performance. Objectives The aim of this PhD project has been to explore the relation between changes in CSE and motor performance over the time course of learning...... 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...

  16. 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...... Stimulation. Prior work has demonstrated such a change to very different extents with and without causally linking it to the improvements in motor performance. Objectives The aim of this PhD project has been to explore the relation between changes in CSE and motor performance over the time course of learning...... 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Interactive effect of acute pain and motor learning acquisition on sensorimotor integration and motor learning outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dancey, Erin; Murphy, Bernadette; Andrew, Danielle; Yielder, Paul

    2016-11-01

    Previous work has demonstrated differential changes in early somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) when motor learning acquisition occurred in the presence of acute pain; however, the learning task was insufficiently complex to determine how these underlying neurophysiological differences impacted learning acquisition and retention. To address this limitation, we have utilized a complex motor task in conjunction with SEPs. Two groups of 12 participants (n = 24) were randomly assigned to either a capsaicin (capsaicin cream) or a control (inert lotion) group. SEP amplitudes were collected at baseline, after application, and after motor learning acquisition. Participants performed a motor acquisition task followed by a pain-free retention task within 24-48 h. After motor learning acquisition, the amplitude of the N20 SEP peak significantly increased (P learning acquisition for both groups. The P25 SEP peak decreased significantly (P learning acquisition (P learning acquisition (P learning acquisition (P learning in the presence of capsaicin provides support for the enhancement of motor learning while in acute pain. In addition, the changes in SEP peak amplitudes suggest that early SEP changes reflect neurophysiological alterations accompanying both motor learning and mild acute pain. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  19. Motor learning with fading and growing haptic guidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Herbert; Lüttgen, Jenna

    2014-07-01

    Haptic guidance has been shown to have both facilitatory and interfering effects on motor learning. Interfering effects have been hypothesized to result from the particular dynamic environment, which supports a passive role of the learner, and they should be attenuated by fading guidance. Facilitatory effects, in particular for dynamic movement characteristics, have been hypothesized to result from the high-quality information provided by haptic demonstration. If haptic demonstration provides particularly precise information about target movements, the motor system's need for such information should more likely increase in the course of motor learning, in which case growing guidance should be more beneficial for learning. We contrasted fading and growing guidance in the course of learning a spatio-temporal motor pattern. To stimulate an active role of the learner, practice trials consisted of three phases, a visual demonstration of the target movement, a guided reproduction, and a reproduction without haptic guidance. Performance was assessed in terms of variable duration errors, relative-timing errors, variable path-length errors, and shape errors. Motor learning with growing and fading guidance turned out to be largely equivalent, so that the notion of an increasing optimal precision of haptic demonstrations, which matches a demand of increasingly precise information on the target movement, found no support. Duration errors declined only with fading, but not with growing guidance. Relative timing revealed a benefit of immediately preceding haptic demonstration, but learning was not different between the two practice protocols. This contrast between absolute and relative timing adds to other evidence according to which acquisition of these two aspects of motor timing involves different learning mechanisms. Whereas relative timing gained from immediately preceding haptic demonstration, but revealed no practice-related improvement in the presence of haptic guidance

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

    OpenAIRE

    Alfred Oliver Effenberg; Ursula eFehse; Gerd eSchmitz; Bjoern eKrueger; Heinz eMechling

    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 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. Behavio...

  1. 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

  2. Robotic neurorehabilitation: a computational motor learning perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krakauer John W

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Conventional neurorehabilitation appears to have little impact on impairment over and above that of spontaneous biological recovery. Robotic neurorehabilitation has the potential for a greater impact on impairment due to easy deployment, its applicability across of a wide range of motor impairment, its high measurement reliability, and the capacity to deliver high dosage and high intensity training protocols. We first describe current knowledge of the natural history of arm recovery after stroke and of outcome prediction in individual patients. Rehabilitation strategies and outcome measures for impairment versus function are compared. The topics of dosage, intensity, and time of rehabilitation are then discussed. Robots are particularly suitable for both rigorous testing and application of motor learning principles to neurorehabilitation. Computational motor control and learning principles derived from studies in healthy subjects are introduced in the context of robotic neurorehabilitation. Particular attention is paid to the idea of context, task generalization and training schedule. The assumptions that underlie the choice of both movement trajectory programmed into the robot and the degree of active participation required by subjects are examined. We consider rehabilitation as a general learning problem, and examine it from the perspective of theoretical learning frameworks such as supervised and unsupervised learning. We discuss the limitations of current robotic neurorehabilitation paradigms and suggest new research directions from the perspective of computational motor learning.

  3. Speech motor learning in profoundly deaf adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasir, Sazzad M; Ostry, David J

    2008-10-01

    Speech production, like other sensorimotor behaviors, relies on multiple sensory inputs--audition, proprioceptive inputs from muscle spindles and cutaneous inputs from mechanoreceptors in the skin and soft tissues of the vocal tract. However, the capacity for intelligible speech by deaf speakers suggests that somatosensory input alone may contribute to speech motor control and perhaps even to speech learning. We assessed speech motor learning in cochlear implant recipients who were tested with their implants turned off. A robotic device was used to alter somatosensory feedback by displacing the jaw during speech. We found that implant subjects progressively adapted to the mechanical perturbation with training. Moreover, the corrections that we observed were for movement deviations that were exceedingly small, on the order of millimeters, indicating that speakers have precise somatosensory expectations. Speech motor learning is substantially dependent on somatosensory input.

  4. Transformation of Cortex-wide Emergent Properties during Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makino, Hiroshi; Ren, Chi; Liu, Haixin; Kim, An Na; Kondapaneni, Neehar; Liu, Xin; Kuzum, Duygu; Komiyama, Takaki

    2017-05-17

    Learning involves a transformation of brain-wide operation dynamics. However, our understanding of learning-related changes in macroscopic dynamics is limited. Here, we monitored cortex-wide activity of the mouse brain using wide-field calcium imaging while the mouse learned a motor task over weeks. Over learning, the sequential activity across cortical modules became temporally more compressed, and its trial-by-trial variability decreased. Moreover, a new flow of activity emerged during learning, originating from premotor cortex (M2), and M2 became predictive of the activity of many other modules. Inactivation experiments showed that M2 is critical for the post-learning dynamics in the cortex-wide activity. Furthermore, two-photon calcium imaging revealed that M2 ensemble activity also showed earlier activity onset and reduced variability with learning, which was accompanied by changes in the activity-movement relationship. These results reveal newly emergent properties of macroscopic cortical dynamics during motor learning and highlight the importance of M2 in controlling learned movements. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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 i

  6. 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.

  7. Neural Mechanisms underlying Motor Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H.J. Boele (Henk-Jan)

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Learning new things is pleasant. Moreover, learning is crucial for our survival. In contrast to trees and plants, members of the animal kingdom, including us humans, can move freely in a constantly changing world. Therefore, all forms of animal life need the capacity to

  8. The role of strategies in motor learning

    OpenAIRE

    Taylor, Jordan A.; Ivry, Richard B.

    2012-01-01

    There has been renewed interest in the role of strategies in sensorimotor learning. The combination of new behavioral methods and computational methods has begun to unravel the interaction between processes related to strategic control and processes related to motor adaptation. These processes may operate on very different error signals. Strategy learning is sensitive to goal-based performance error. In contrast, adaptation is sensitive to prediction errors between the desired and actual cons...

  9. 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…

  10. Motor learning cannot explain stuttering adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatagiri, Horabail S; Nataraja, Nuggehalli P; Deepthi, M

    2013-08-01

    When persons who stutter (PWS) read a text repeatedly, there is a progressive reduction in stutter frequency over the course of three to five readings. Recently, this phenomenon has been attributed by some researchers to motor learning-the acquisition of relatively permanent motor skills that facilitate fluency through practice in producing words. The current study tested this explanation. 23 PWS read prose passages five times in succession. The number of 'new' and 'old' stutters during repeated readings (words stuttered in the current reading but spoken fluently in the previous reading and words stuttered also in the previous reading) were analyzed. If motor learning facilitated fluency during repeated readings in PWS, words read fluently in a reading should not be stuttered in a later reading in significant numbers. Contrary to this prediction, there was no statistical difference in the number of new words stuttered across five readings. A plausible alternative explanation, which requires further study to verify, is offered.

  11. Motor learning in ACL injury prevention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benjaminse, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Motor learning in ACL injury prevention
Anne Benjaminse

The physical and psychosocial consequences of an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury are large, for example limitations in daily life, reduction of sports participation, development of osteoarthritis in the knee and increased risk for re-r

  12. Motor learning in ACL injury prevention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benjaminse, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Motor learning in ACL injury prevention
Anne Benjaminse

The physical and psychosocial consequences of an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury are large, for example limitations in daily life, reduction of sports participation, development of osteoarthritis in the knee and increased risk for

  13. 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…

  14. Using noise to shape motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorp, Elias B; Kording, Konrad P; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando A

    2017-02-01

    Each of our movements is selected from any number of alternative movements. Some studies have shown evidence that the central nervous system (CNS) chooses to make the specific movements that are least affected by motor noise. Previous results showing that the CNS has a natural tendency to minimize the effects of noise make the direct prediction that if the relationship between movements and noise were to change, the specific movements people learn to make would also change in a predictable manner. Indeed, this has been shown for well-practiced movements such as reaching. Here, we artificially manipulated the relationship between movements and visuomotor noise by adding noise to a motor task in a novel redundant geometry such that there arose a single control policy that minimized the noise. This allowed us to see whether, for a novel motor task, people could learn the specific control policy that minimized noise or would need to employ other compensation strategies to overcome the added noise. As predicted, subjects were able to learn movements that were biased toward the specific ones that minimized the noise, suggesting not only that the CNS can learn to minimize the effects of noise in a novel motor task but also that artificial visuomotor noise can be a useful tool for teaching people to make specific movements. Using noise as a teaching signal promises to be useful for rehabilitative therapies and movement training with human-machine interfaces.

  15. Influence of aerobic exercise training on the neural correlates of motor learning in Parkinson's disease individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Duchesne, MA

    2016-01-01

    Conclusion: Our results reveal, for the first time, that exercise training produces functional changes in known motor learning related brain structures that are consistent with improved behavioural performance observed in PD patients. As such, AET can be a valuable non-pharmacological intervention to promote, not only physical fitness in early PD, but also better motor learning capacity useful in day-to-day activities through increased plasticity in motor related structures.

  16. 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.

  17. Motor learning without doing: trial-by-trial improvement in motor performance during mental training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentili, Rodolphe; Han, Cheol E; Schweighofer, Nicolas; Papaxanthis, Charalambos

    2010-08-01

    Although there is converging experimental and clinical evidences suggesting that mental training with motor imagery can improve motor performance, it is unclear how humans can learn movements through mental training despite the lack of sensory feedback from the body and the environment. In a first experiment, we measured the trial-by-trial decrease in durations of executed movements (physical training group) and mentally simulated movements (motor-imagery training group), by means of training on a multiple-target arm-pointing task requiring high accuracy and speed. Movement durations were significantly lower in posttest compared with pretest after both physical and motor-imagery training. Although both the posttraining performance and the rate of learning were smaller in motor-imagery training group than in physical training group, the change in movement duration and the asymptotic movement duration after a hypothetical large number of trials were identical. The two control groups (eye-movement training and rest groups) did not show change in movement duration. In the second experiment, additional kinematic analyses revealed that arm movements were straighter and faster both immediately and 24 h after physical and motor-imagery training. No such improvements were observed in the eye-movement training group. Our results suggest that the brain uses state estimation, provided by internal forward model predictions, to improve motor performance during mental training. Furthermore, our results suggest that mental practice can, at least in young healthy subjects and if given after a short bout of physical practice, be successfully substituted to physical practice to improve motor performance.

  18. Enhanced Muscle Afferent Signals during Motor Learning in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitriou, Michael

    2016-04-25

    Much has been revealed concerning human motor learning at the behavioral level [1, 2], but less is known about changes in the involved neural circuits and signals. By examining muscle spindle responses during a classic visuomotor adaptation task [3-6] performed by fully alert humans, I found substantial modulation of sensory afferent signals as a function of adaptation state. Specifically, spindle control was independent of concurrent muscle activity but was specific to movement direction (representing muscle lengthening versus shortening) and to different stages of learning. Increased spindle afferent responses to muscle stretch occurring early during learning reflected individual error size and were negatively related to subsequent antagonist activity (i.e., 60-80 ms thereafter). Relative increases in tonic afferent output early during learning were predictive of the subjects' adaptation rate. I also found that independent spindle control during sensory realignment (the "washout" stage) induced afferent signal "linearization" with respect to muscle length (i.e., signals were more tuned to hand position). The results demonstrate for the first time that motor learning also involves independent and state-related modulation of sensory mechanoreceptor signals. The current findings suggest that adaptive motor performance also relies on the independent control of sensors, not just of muscles. I propose that the "γ" motor system innervating spindles acts to facilitate the acquisition and extraction of task-relevant information at the early stages of sensorimotor adaptation. This designates a more active and targeted role for the human proprioceptive system during motor learning.

  19. Monkey steering responses reveal rapid visual-motor feedback.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth W Egger

    Full Text Available The neural mechanisms underlying primate locomotion are largely unknown. While behavioral and theoretical work has provided a number of ideas of how navigation is controlled, progress will require direct physiolgical tests of the underlying mechanisms. In turn, this will require development of appropriate animal models. We trained three monkeys to track a moving visual target in a simple virtual environment, using a joystick to control their direction. The monkeys learned to quickly and accurately turn to the target, and their steering behavior was quite stereotyped and reliable. Monkeys typically responded to abrupt steps of target direction with a biphasic steering movement, exhibiting modest but transient overshoot. Response latencies averaged approximately 300 ms, and monkeys were typically back on target after about 1 s. We also exploited the variability of responses about the mean to explore the time-course of correlation between target direction and steering response. This analysis revealed a broad peak of correlation spanning approximately 400 ms in the recent past, during which steering errors provoke a compensatory response. This suggests a continuous, visual-motor loop controls steering behavior, even during the epoch surrounding transient inputs. Many results from the human literature also suggest that steering is controlled by such a closed loop. The similarity of our results to those in humans suggests the monkey is a very good animal model for human visually guided steering.

  20. Daytime naps improve motor imagery learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debarnot, Ursula; Castellani, Eleonora; Valenza, Gaetano; Sebastiani, Laura; Guillot, Aymeric

    2011-12-01

    Sleep is known to contribute to motor memory consolidation. Recent studies have provided evidence that a night of sleep plays a similar functional role following motor imagery (MI), while the simple passage of time does not result in performance gains. Here, we examined the benefits of a daytime nap on motor memory consolidation after MI practice. Participants were trained by MI on an explicitly known sequence of finger movements at 11:00. Half of the participants were then subjected (at 14:00) to either a short nap (10 min of stage 2 sleep) or a long nap (60-90 min, including slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep). We also collected data from both quiet and active rest control groups. All participants remained in the lab until being retested at 16:00. The data revealed that a daytime nap after imagery practice improved motor performance and, therefore, facilitated motor memory consolidation, as compared with spending a similar time interval in the wake state. Interestingly, the results revealed that both short and long naps resulted in similar delayed performance gains. The data might also suggest that the presence of slow wave and rapid eye movement sleep does not provide additional benefits for the sleep-dependent motor skill consolidation following MI practice.

  1. Motor Learning and the Cerebellum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Zeeuw, Chris I; Ten Brinke, Michiel M

    2015-01-01

    Although our ability to store semantic declarative information can nowadays be readily surpassed by that of simple personal computers, our ability to learn and express procedural memories still outperforms that of supercomputers controlling the most advanced robots. To a large extent, our procedural

  2. Modification of motor cortex excitability during muscle relaxation in motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugawara, Kenichi; Tanabe, Shigeo; Suzuki, Tomotaka; Saitoh, Kei; Higashi, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    We postulated that gradual muscle relaxation during motor learning would dynamically change activity in the primary motor cortex (M1) and modify short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI). Thus, we compared changes in M1 excitability both pre and post motor learning during gradual muscle relaxation. Thirteen healthy participants were asked to gradually relax their muscles from an isometric right wrist extension (30% maximum voluntary contraction; MVC) using a tracking task for motor learning. Single or paired transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied at either 20% or 80% of the downward force output during muscle release from 30% MVC, and we compared the effects of motor learning immediately after the 1st and 10th blocks. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) from the extensor and flexor carpi radialis (ECR and FCR) were then measured and compared to evaluate their relationship before and after motor learning. In both muscles and each downward force output, motor cortex excitability during muscle relaxation was significantly increased following motor learning. In the ECR, the SICI in the 10th block was significantly increased during the 80% waveform decline compared to the SICI in the 1st block. In the FCR, the SICI also exhibited a greater inhibitory effect when muscle relaxation was terminated following motor learning. During motor training, acquisition of the ability to control muscle relaxation increased the SICI in both the ECR and FCR during motor termination. This finding aids in our understanding of the cortical mechanisms that underlie muscle relaxation during motor learning.

  3. Cross-limb Interference during motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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......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...

  4. Predicting explorative motor learning using decision-making and motor noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galea, Joseph M.

    2017-01-01

    A fundamental problem faced by humans is learning to select motor actions based on noisy sensory information and incomplete knowledge of the world. Recently, a number of authors have asked whether this type of motor learning problem might be very similar to a range of higher-level decision-making problems. If so, participant behaviour on a high-level decision-making task could be predictive of their performance during a motor learning task. To investigate this question, we studied performance during an explorative motor learning task and a decision-making task which had a similar underlying structure with the exception that it was not subject to motor (execution) noise. We also collected an independent measurement of each participant’s level of motor noise. Our analysis showed that explorative motor learning and decision-making could be modelled as the (approximately) optimal solution to a Partially Observable Markov Decision Process bounded by noisy neural information processing. The model was able to predict participant performance in motor learning by using parameters estimated from the decision-making task and the separate motor noise measurement. This suggests that explorative motor learning can be formalised as a sequential decision-making process that is adjusted for motor noise, and raises interesting questions regarding the neural origin of explorative motor learning. PMID:28437451

  5. 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…

  6. 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

    2016-03-21

    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.

  7. Electroencephalographic identifiers of motor adaptation learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özdenizci, Ozan; Yalçın, Mustafa; Erdoğan, Ahmetcan; Patoğlu, Volkan; Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz; Çetin, Müjdat

    2017-08-01

    Objective. Recent brain-computer interface (BCI) assisted stroke rehabilitation protocols tend to focus on sensorimotor activity of the brain. Relying on evidence claiming that a variety of brain rhythms beyond sensorimotor areas are related to the extent of motor deficits, we propose to identify neural correlates of motor learning beyond sensorimotor areas spatially and spectrally for further use in novel BCI-assisted neurorehabilitation settings. Approach. Electroencephalographic (EEG) data were recorded from healthy subjects participating in a physical force-field adaptation task involving reaching movements through a robotic handle. EEG activity recorded during rest prior to the experiment and during pre-trial movement preparation was used as features to predict motor adaptation learning performance across subjects. Main results. Subjects learned to perform straight movements under the force-field at different adaptation rates. Both resting-state and pre-trial EEG features were predictive of individual adaptation rates with relevance of a broad network of beta activity. Beyond sensorimotor regions, a parieto-occipital cortical component observed across subjects was involved strongly in predictions and a fronto-parietal cortical component showed significant decrease in pre-trial beta-powers for users with higher adaptation rates and increase in pre-trial beta-powers for users with lower adaptation rates. Significance. Including sensorimotor areas, a large-scale network of beta activity is presented as predictive of motor learning. Strength of resting-state parieto-occipital beta activity or pre-trial fronto-parietal beta activity can be considered in BCI-assisted stroke rehabilitation protocols with neurofeedback training or volitional control of neural activity for brain-robot interfaces to induce plasticity.

  8. The Neural Basis for Learning of Simple Motor Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisberger, Stephen G.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) which is used to investigate the neural basis for motor learning in monkeys. Suggests organizing principles that may apply in forms of motor learning as a result of similarities among VOR and other motor systems. (Author/RT)

  9. Learning style consistency across cognitive and motor settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, C A

    1995-12-01

    23 athletes were asked to complete the Learning Styles Inventory first focusing on classroom learning, then on learning in their sport. Analysis indicated that learning styles shift across cognitive and motor settings. As a result, to ensure the validity of the results, giving respondents a particular focus when taking the inventory may be necessary. The development of an instrument designed strictly for motor skills might be helpful to assess successfully learners' profiles for motor skill acquisition.

  10. The dissociable effects of punishment and reward on motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galea, Joseph M; Mallia, Elizabeth; Rothwell, John; Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2015-04-01

    A common assumption regarding error-based motor learning (motor adaptation) in humans is that its underlying mechanism is automatic and insensitive to reward- or punishment-based feedback. Contrary to this hypothesis, we show in a double dissociation that the two have independent effects on the learning and retention components of motor adaptation. Negative feedback, whether graded or binary, accelerated learning. While it was not necessary for the negative feedback to be coupled to monetary loss, it had to be clearly related to the actual performance on the preceding movement. Positive feedback did not speed up learning, but it increased retention of the motor memory when performance feedback was withdrawn. These findings reinforce the view that independent mechanisms underpin learning and retention in motor adaptation, reject the assumption that motor adaptation is independent of motivational feedback, and raise new questions regarding the neural basis of negative and positive motivational feedback in motor learning.

  11. An Application of Motor Evoked Potential (MEP) Method to Analyzing Human Motor Learning

    OpenAIRE

    志村, 邦義; 矢作, 晋; 笠井,達哉

    1996-01-01

    Until recently, drastic approach of motor learning in intact humans was not possible. The introduction of noninvasive techniques to stimulate the motor cortex in the present review permitted the testing and investigation of cortical motor outflow related to mechanisms in human motor learning. Human mapping studies, previously performed only during surgical procedures on patients with neurological disorders, can now be done with minimal discomfort. In the present brief review, therefore, we ha...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 sequence had either to be executed, imagined, or withheld. To establish learning effects, the experiment was divided into a practice phase and a test phase. In the latter phase, we compared mean response times and accuracy during the execution of unfamiliar sequences, familiar imagined sequences, and familiar executed sequences. The electroencephalogram was measured in the practice phase to compare activity between motor imagery, motor execution, and a control condition in which responses should be withheld. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and event-related lateralizations (ERLs) showed strong similarities above cortical motor areas on trials requiring motor imagery and motor execution, while a major difference was found with trials on which the response sequence should be withheld. Behavioral results from the test phase showed that response times and accuracy improved after physical and mental practice relative to unfamiliar sequences (so-called sequence-specific learning effects), although the effect of motor learning by motor imagery was smaller than the effect of physical practice. These findings confirm that motor imagery also resembles motor execution in the case of a fine hand motor skill.

  13. Optimal Schedules in Multitask Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jeong Yoon; Oh, Youngmin; Kim, Sung Shin; Scheidt, Robert A; Schweighofer, Nicolas

    2016-04-01

    Although scheduling multiple tasks in motor learning to maximize long-term retention of performance is of great practical importance in sports training and motor rehabilitation after brain injury, it is unclear how to do so. We propose here a novel theoretical approach that uses optimal control theory and computational models of motor adaptation to determine schedules that maximize long-term retention predictively. Using Pontryagin's maximum principle, we derived a control law that determines the trial-by-trial task choice that maximizes overall delayed retention for all tasks, as predicted by the state-space model. Simulations of a single session of adaptation with two tasks show that when task interference is high, there exists a threshold in relative task difficulty below which the alternating schedule is optimal. Only for large differences in task difficulties do optimal schedules assign more trials to the harder task. However, over the parameter range tested, alternating schedules yield long-term retention performance that is only slightly inferior to performance given by the true optimal schedules. Our results thus predict that in a large number of learning situations wherein tasks interfere, intermixing tasks with an equal number of trials is an effective strategy in enhancing long-term retention.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    During daily life we are constantly bombarded by sensory input providing information on the state of our body and the surrounding world. Although we do not consciously perceive all sensory inputs, these may nevertheless have consequences for our future behavior (e.g. Goodale and Milner...... was on the screen during learning. Despite of this, there was a significantly larger learning effect in the subliminal 13-26 ms group compared to the subliminal 0 ms group. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that in addition to supraliminal feedback, subliminal feedback, which was not consciously perceived...... 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....

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...... ballistic rate of force development (RFD) throughout a series of 40 trials. Following each trial subjects were provided visual augmented feedback on their performance in the form of dots presented on a monitor. The y-axis amplitude of the dots represented the obtained RFD. Participants were individually...... received supraliminal as compared to subliminal feedback. In the 0 ms feedback group motor performance increased only slightly indicating an important role of augmented feedback in learning the ballistic task. In the two groups who received subliminal feedback none of the subjects were able to tell what...

  18. 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

  19. Music-supported motor training after stroke reveals no superiority of synchronisation in group therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Floris Tijmen Van Vugt

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Background. Music-supported therapy has been shown to be an effective tool for rehabilitation of motor deficits after stroke. A unique feature of music performance is that it is inherently social: music can be played together in synchrony.Aim. The present study explored the potential of synchronised music playing during therapy, asking whether synchronised playing could improve fine motor rehabilitation and mood.Method. Twenty-eight patients in neurological early rehabilitation after stroke with no previous musical background were included. Patients learned to play simple finger exercises and familiar children’s songs on the piano for ten sessions of half an hour. Patients first received three individual therapy sessions and then continued in pairs. The patient pairs were divided into two groups. Patients in one group played synchronously (together group whereas the patients in the other group played one after the other (in-turn group. To assess fine motor skill recovery the patients performed standard clinical tests such as the nine-hole-pegboard test (9HPT and index finger-tapping speed and regularity, and metronome-paced finger tapping. Patients' mood was established using the Profile of Mood States (POMS.Results. Both groups showed improvements in fine motor control. In metronome-paced finger tapping, patients in both groups improved significantly. Mood tests revealed reductions in depression and fatigue in both groups. During therapy, patients in the in-turn group rated their partner as more sympathetic than the together-group in a visual-analogue scale.Conclusions. Our results suggest that music-supported stroke rehabilitation can improve fine motor control and mood not only individually but also in patient pairs. Patients who were playing in turn rather than simultaneously tended to reveal greater improvement in fine motor skill. We speculate that patients in the former group may benefit from the opportunity to learn from observation.

  20. Motor learning in children with neurofibromatosis type I

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.C. Krab (Lianne); A. de Goede-Bolder (Arja); F.J. Aarsen (Femke); H.A. Moll (Henriëtte); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); Y. Elgersma (Ype); J.N. van der Geest (Jos)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractThe aim of this study was to quantify the frequently observed problems in motor control in Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) using three tasks on motor performance and motor learning. A group of 70 children with NF1 was compared to age-matched controls. As expected, NF1 children showed

  1. Motor learning in children with neurofibromatosis type I

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.C. Krab (Lianne); A. de Goede-Bolder (Arja); F.J. Aarsen (Femke); H.A. Moll (Henriëtte); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); Y. Elgersma (Ype); J.N. van der Geest (Jos)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractThe aim of this study was to quantify the frequently observed problems in motor control in Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) using three tasks on motor performance and motor learning. A group of 70 children with NF1 was compared to age-matched controls. As expected, NF1 children showed subs

  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. [Procedural learning and anxiolytic effects: electroencephalographic, motor and attentional measures].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portella, Claudio Elidio; Silva, Julio Guilherme; Bastos, Victor Hugo; Machado, Dionis; Cunha, Marlo; Cagy, Maurício; Basile, Luis; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2006-06-01

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate attentional, motor and electroencephalographic (EEG) parameters during a procedural task when subjects have ingested 6 mg of bromazepam. The sample consisted of 26 healthy subjects, male or female, between 19 and 36 years of age. The control (placebo) and experimental (bromazepam 6 mg) groups were submitted to a typewriting task in a randomized, double-blind design. The findings did not show significant differences in attentional and motor measures between groups. Coherence measures (qEEG) were evaluated between scalp regions, in theta, alpha and beta bands. A first analysis revealed a main effect for condition (Anova 2-way--condition versus blocks). A second Anova 2-way (condition versus scalp regions) showed a main effect for both factors. The coherence measure was not a sensitive tool at demonstrating differences between cortical areas as a function of procedural learning.

  4. Electrifying the motor engram: effects of tDCS on motor learning and control

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Xivry, Jean-Jacques Orban; Shadmehr, Reza

    2014-01-01

    Learning to control our movements accompanies neuroplasticity of motor areas of the brain. The mechanisms of neuroplasticity are diverse and produce what is referred to as the motor engram, i.e. the neural trace of the motor memory. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) alters the neural and behavioral correlates of motor learning, but its precise influence on the motor engram is unknown. In this review, we summarize the effects of tDCS on neural activity and suggest a few key principles: 1) firing rates are increased by anodal polarization and decreased by cathodal polarization, 2) anodal polarization strengthens newly formed associations, and 3) polarization modulates the memory of new/preferred firing patterns. With these principles in mind, we review the effects of tDCS on motor control, motor learning, and clinical applications. The increased spontaneous and evoked firing rates may account for the modulation of dexterity in non-learning tasks by tDCS. The facilitation of new association may account for the effect of tDCS on learning in sequence tasks while the ability of tDCS to strengthen memories of new firing patterns may underlie the effect of tDCS on consolidation of skills. We then describe the mechanisms of neuroplasticity of motor cortical areas and how they might be influenced by tDCS. We end with current challenges for the fields of brain stimulation and motor learning. PMID:25200178

  5. Functional Plasticity in Somatosensory Cortex Supports Motor Learning by Observing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Heather R; Cashaback, Joshua G A; Gribble, Paul L

    2016-04-04

    An influential idea in neuroscience is that the sensory-motor system is activated when observing the actions of others [1, 2]. This idea has recently been extended to motor learning, in which observation results in sensory-motor plasticity and behavioral changes in both motor and somatosensory domains [3-9]. However, it is unclear how the brain maps visual information onto motor circuits for learning. Here we test the idea that the somatosensory system, and specifically primary somatosensory cortex (S1), plays a role in motor learning by observing. In experiment 1, we applied stimulation to the median nerve to occupy the somatosensory system with unrelated inputs while participants observed a tutor learning to reach in a force field. Stimulation disrupted motor learning by observing in a limb-specific manner. Stimulation delivered to the right arm (the same arm used by the tutor) disrupted learning, whereas left arm stimulation did not. This is consistent with the idea that a somatosensory representation of the observed effector must be available during observation for learning to occur. In experiment 2, we assessed S1 cortical processing before and after observation by measuring somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) associated with median nerve stimulation. SEP amplitudes increased only for participants who observed learning. Moreover, SEPs increased more for participants who exhibited greater motor learning following observation. Taken together, these findings support the idea that motor learning by observing relies on functional plasticity in S1. We propose that visual signals about the movements of others are mapped onto motor circuits for learning via the somatosensory system.

  6. Auditory-perceptual learning improves speech motor adaptation in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiller, Douglas M; Rochon, Marie-Lyne

    2014-08-01

    Auditory feedback plays an important role in children's speech development by providing the child with information about speech outcomes that is used to learn and fine-tune speech motor plans. The use of auditory feedback in speech motor learning has been extensively studied in adults by examining oral motor responses to manipulations of auditory feedback during speech production. Children are also capable of adapting speech motor patterns to perceived changes in auditory feedback; however, it is not known whether their capacity for motor learning is limited by immature auditory-perceptual abilities. Here, the link between speech perceptual ability and the capacity for motor learning was explored in two groups of 5- to 7-year-old children who underwent a period of auditory perceptual training followed by tests of speech motor adaptation to altered auditory feedback. One group received perceptual training on a speech acoustic property relevant to the motor task while a control group received perceptual training on an irrelevant speech contrast. Learned perceptual improvements led to an enhancement in speech motor adaptation (proportional to the perceptual change) only for the experimental group. The results indicate that children's ability to perceive relevant speech acoustic properties has a direct influence on their capacity for sensory-based speech motor adaptation.

  7. Expecting to teach enhances motor learning and information processing during practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daou, Marcos; Lohse, Keith R; Miller, Matthew W

    2016-10-01

    Recent research has revealed that having learners study and practice a motor skill with the expectation of having to teach it enhances motor learning. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unknown. We attempted to replicate this effect and elucidate the mechanisms underlying it. Thus, participants studied golf putting instructions and practiced putting either with the expectation of having to teach another participant how to putt or the expectation of being tested on their putting. During this acquisition phase, participants' motivation, anxiety, and information processing (the duration they took preparing each putt) were indexed as possible mechanisms underlying a motor learning effect. One day and seven days after the acquisition phase, learning was assessed by testing all participants on their golf putting. Results revealed that expecting to teach enhanced motor learning, replicating the original finding. Moreover, expecting to teach increased the duration participants took preparing each putt, which was correlated with superior motor learning. Thus, results suggest expecting to teach enhances motor learning by increasing information processing during practice.

  8. Reinforcement learning of motor skills with policy gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Jan; Schaal, Stefan

    2008-05-01

    Autonomous learning is one of the hallmarks of human and animal behavior, and understanding the principles of learning will be crucial in order to achieve true autonomy in advanced machines like humanoid robots. In this paper, we examine learning of complex motor skills with human-like limbs. While supervised learning can offer useful tools for bootstrapping behavior, e.g., by learning from demonstration, it is only reinforcement learning that offers a general approach to the final trial-and-error improvement that is needed by each individual acquiring a skill. Neither neurobiological nor machine learning studies have, so far, offered compelling results on how reinforcement learning can be scaled to the high-dimensional continuous state and action spaces of humans or humanoids. Here, we combine two recent research developments on learning motor control in order to achieve this scaling. First, we interpret the idea of modular motor control by means of motor primitives as a suitable way to generate parameterized control policies for reinforcement learning. Second, we combine motor primitives with the theory of stochastic policy gradient learning, which currently seems to be the only feasible framework for reinforcement learning for humanoids. We evaluate different policy gradient methods with a focus on their applicability to parameterized motor primitives. We compare these algorithms in the context of motor primitive learning, and show that our most modern algorithm, the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic outperforms previous algorithms by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of this reinforcement learning method in the application of learning to hit a baseball with an anthropomorphic robot arm.

  9. Frequent external focus feedback enhances motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele eWulf

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study examined the hypothesis that feedback inducing an external focus of attention enhances motor learning if it is provided frequently (i.e., 100% rather than less frequently. Children (10-12 year olds practiced a soccer throw-in task and were provided feedback about movement form. The feedback statements, provided either after every (100% or every third (33% practice trial, were similar in content but induced either an internal focus (body-movement related or external focus (movement-effect related. The results demonstrated that learning of the movement form was enhanced by external-focus feedback after every trial (100% relative to external-focus feedback after every third trial (33% or internal-focus feedback (100%, 33%, as demonstrated by immediate and delayed transfer tests without feedback. There was no difference between the two internal-focus feedback groups. These findings indicate that the attentional focus induced by feedback is an important factor in determining the effectiveness of different feedback frequencies. We argue that the informational properties of feedback cannot sufficiently account for these and related findings, and suggest that the attentional role of feedback be given greater consideration in future studies.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    learned a ballistic ankle plantarflexion task. Interference was observed following subsequent learning of a precision tracking task with the same movement direction and agonist muscles, but not by learning involving the opposite movement and antagonist muscles or by voluntary agonist contractions that did...

  11. 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.

  12. Optimization of a motor learning attention-directing strategy based on an individual's motor imagery ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurada, Takeshi; Hirai, Masahiro; Watanabe, Eiju

    2016-01-01

    Motor learning performance has been shown to be affected by various cognitive factors such as the focus of attention and motor imagery ability. Most previous studies on motor learning have shown that directing the attention of participants externally, such as on the outcome of an assigned body movement, can be more effective than directing their attention internally, such as on body movement itself. However, to the best of our knowledge, no findings have been reported on the effect of the focus of attention selected according to the motor imagery ability of an individual on motor learning performance. We measured individual motor imagery ability assessed by the Movement Imagery Questionnaire and classified the participants into kinesthetic-dominant (n = 12) and visual-dominant (n = 8) groups based on the questionnaire score. Subsequently, the participants performed a motor learning task such as tracing a trajectory using visuomotor rotation. When the participants were required to direct their attention internally, the after-effects of the learning task in the kinesthetic-dominant group were significantly greater than those in the visual-dominant group. Conversely, when the participants were required to direct their attention externally, the after-effects of the visual-dominant group were significantly greater than those of the kinesthetic-dominant group. Furthermore, we found a significant positive correlation between the size of after-effects and the modality-dominance of motor imagery. These results suggest that a suitable attention strategy based on the intrinsic motor imagery ability of an individual can improve performance during motor learning tasks.

  13. Applying Serious Games to Motor Learning in Sport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiemeyer, Josef; Schneider, Philipp

    2012-01-01

    Considering the wide use of Serious Games in application fields like cognitive learning, health education and rehabilitation and the recent developments of sensor and interface technology it is surprising that applications to motor learning in sport are rare. The aim of this study is to examine whether a specific learning effect can be elicited by…

  14. 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

    2008-01-01

    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 equi

  15. Different motor learning effects on excitability changes of motor cortex in muscle contraction state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugawara, Kenichi; Tanabe, Shigeo; Suzuki, Tomotaka; Higashi, Toshio

    2013-09-01

    We aimed to investigate whether motor learning induces different excitability changes in the human motor cortex (M1) between two different muscle contraction states (before voluntary contraction [static] or during voluntary contraction [dynamic]). For the same, using motor evoked potentials (MEPs) obtained by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), we compared excitability changes during these two states after pinch-grip motor skill learning. The participants performed a force output tracking task by pinch grip on a computer screen. TMS was applied prior to the pinch grip (static) and after initiation of voluntary contraction (dynamic). MEPs of the following muscles were recorded: first dorsal interosseous (FDI), thenar muscle (Thenar), flexor carpi radialis (FCR), and extensor carpi radialis (ECR) muscles. During both the states, motor skill training led to significant improvement of motor performance. During the static state, MEPs of the FDI muscle were significantly facilitated after motor learning; however, during the dynamic state, MEPs of the FDI, Thenar, and FCR muscles were significantly decreased. Based on the results of this study, we concluded that excitability changes in the human M1 are differentially influenced during different voluntary contraction states (static and dynamic) after motor learning.

  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

    2008-01-01

    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 equi

  17. 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,…

  18. Lost for emotion words: what motor and limbic brain activity reveals about autism and semantic theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moseley, Rachel L; Shtyrov, Yury; Mohr, Bettina; Lombardo, Michael V; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view 'emotion actions' as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed.

  19. Motor Learning and Movement Performance: Older versus Younger Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Ehsani, Fatemeh; Abdollahi, Iraj; Mohseni Bandpei, Mohammad Ali; Zahiri, Nahid; Jaberzadeh, Shapour

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Motor skills play an important role during life span, and older adults need to learn or relearn these skills. The purpose of this study was to investigate how aging affects induction of improved movement performance by motor training. Methods: Serial Reaction Time Test (SRTT) was used to assess movement performance during 8 blocks of motor training. Participants were tested in two separate dates, 48 hours apart. First session included 8 blocks of training (blocks 1–8) and second...

  20. Observation learning of a motor task: who and when?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Proteau, Luc

    2013-08-01

    Observation contributes to motor learning. It was recently demonstrated that the observation of both a novice and an expert model (mixed observation) resulted in better learning of a complex spatiotemporal task than the observation of either a novice or an expert model. In experiment 1, we aimed to determine whether mixed observation better promotes learning due to the information that can be gained from two models who exhibit different skill levels or simply because multiple models, regardless of their level of expertise, better promote learning than would a single model. The results revealed that the observation of both an expert and a novice model resulted in better short-term retention than the observation of either two novice or two expert models. In experiment 2, we wanted to determine whether these benefits would last longer if physical practice trials were interspersed with observation. Mixed and (to some extent) expert observations resulted in better long-term retention than observation of a novice model. We suggest that alternating mixed/expert observation with physical practice trials makes one's error more salient than when all observation trials are completed before one first starts performing the experimental task, which increases activation of the action observation network.

  1. 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…

  2. Impaired Visuo-Motor Sequence Learning in Developmental Coordination Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gheysen, Freja; Van Waelvelde, Hilde; Fias, Wim

    2011-01-01

    The defining feature of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is the marked impairment in the development of motor coordination (DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Association, 2000). In the current study, we focused on one core aspect of motor coordination: learning to correctly sequence movements. We investigated the procedural, visuo-motor…

  3. 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…

  4. Primary Motor Cortex Involvement in Initial Learning during Visuomotor Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riek, Stephan; Hinder, Mark R.; Carson, Richard G.

    2012-01-01

    Human motor behaviour is continually modified on the basis of errors between desired and actual movement outcomes. It is emerging that the role played by the primary motor cortex (M1) in this process is contingent upon a variety of factors, including the nature of the task being performed, and the stage of learning. Here we used repetitive TMS to…

  5. Self-controlled practice benefits motor learning in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessa, Helena Thofehrn; Chiviacowsky, Suzete

    2015-04-01

    Providing learners with the chance to choose over certain aspects of practice has been consistently shown to facilitate the acquisition of motor skills in several populations. However, studies investigating the effects of providing autonomy support during the learning process of older adults remain scarce. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of self-controlled amount of practice on the learning of a sequential motor task in older adults. Participants in the self-control group were able to choose when to stop practicing a speed cup stacking task, while the number of practice trials for a yoked group was pre-determined, mirroring the self-control group. The opportunity to choose when stop practicing facilitated motor performance and learning compared to the yoked condition. The findings suggest that letting older adult learners choose the amount of practice, supporting their autonomy needs, has a positive influence on motor learning.

  6. 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.

  7. Graph network analysis of immediate motor-learning induced changes in resting state BOLD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saber eSami

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have demonstrated that following learning tasks, changes in the resting state activity of the brain shape regional connections in functionally specific circuits. Here we expand on these findings by comparing changes induced in the resting state immediately following four motor tasks. Two groups of participants performed a visuo-motor joystick task with one group adapting to a transformed relationship between joystick and cursor. Two other groups were trained in either explicit or implicit procedural sequence learning. Resting state BOLD data were collected immediately before and after the tasks. We then used graph theory-based approaches that include statistical measures of functional integration and segregation to characterise changes in biologically plausible brain connectivity networks within each group. Our results demonstrate that motor learning reorganizes resting brain networks with an increase in local information transfer, as indicated by local efficiency measures that affect the brain's small world network architecture. This was particularly apparent when comparing two distinct forms of explicit motor learning: procedural learning and the joystick learning task. Both groups showed notable increases in local efficiency. However changes in local efficiency in the inferior frontal and cerebellar regions also distinguishes between the two learning tasks. Additional graph analytic measures on the "non-learning" visuo-motor performance task revealed reversed topological patterns in comparison with the three learning tasks. These findings underscore the utility of graph-based network analysis as a novel means to compare both regional and global changes in functional brain connectivity in the resting state following motor learning tasks.

  8. Diffusion tensor MRI tractography reveals increased fractional anisotropy (FA) in arcuate fasciculus following music-cued motor training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Emma; Schaefer, Rebecca S; Bastin, Mark E; Roberts, Neil; Overy, Katie

    2017-08-01

    Auditory cues are frequently used to support movement learning and rehabilitation, but the neural basis of this behavioural effect is not yet clear. We investigated the microstructural neuroplasticity effects of adding musical cues to a motor learning task. We hypothesised that music-cued, left-handed motor training would increase fractional anisotropy (FA) in the contralateral arcuate fasciculus, a fibre tract connecting auditory, pre-motor and motor regions. Thirty right-handed participants were assigned to a motor learning condition either with (Music Group) or without (Control Group) musical cues. Participants completed 20minutes of training three times per week over four weeks. Diffusion tensor MRI and probabilistic neighbourhood tractography identified FA, axial (AD) and radial (RD) diffusivity before and after training. Results revealed that FA increased significantly in the right arcuate fasciculus of the Music group only, as hypothesised, with trends for AD to increase and RD to decrease, a pattern of results consistent with activity-dependent increases in myelination. No significant changes were found in the left ipsilateral arcuate fasciculus of either group. This is the first evidence that adding musical cues to movement learning can induce rapid microstructural change in white matter pathways in adults, with potential implications for therapeutic clinical practice. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. A balanced motor primitive framework can simultaneously explain motor learning in unimanual and bimanual movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takiyama, Ken; Sakai, Yutaka

    2017-02-01

    Certain theoretical frameworks have successfully explained motor learning in either unimanual or bimanual movements. However, no single theoretical framework can comprehensively explain motor learning in both types of movement because the relationship between these two types of movement remains unclear. Although our recent model of a balanced motor primitive framework attempted to simultaneously explain motor learning in unimanual and bimanual movements, this model focused only on a limited subset of bimanual movements and therefore did not elucidate the relationships between unimanual movements and various bimanual movements. Here, we extend the balanced motor primitive framework to simultaneously explain motor learning in unimanual and various bimanual movements as well as the transfer of learning effects between unimanual and various bimanual movements; these phenomena can be simultaneously explained if the mean activity of each primitive for various unimanual movements is balanced with the corresponding mean activity for various bimanual movements. Using this balanced condition, we can reproduce the results of prior behavioral and neurophysiological experiments. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the balanced condition can be implemented in a simple neural network model.

  10. Optimizing motivation and attention for motor performance and learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewthwaite, Rebecca; Wulf, Gabriele

    2017-08-01

    We review three lines of recent research at an intersection of motor learning and sport psychology as they relate to motor skill acquisition: enhanced expectancies, autonomy support, and external attentional focus. Findings within these lines of research have been integrated into a new theory, the OPTIMAL (Optimizing Performance through Intrinsic Motivation and Attention for Learning) theory (i.e., OPTIMAL theory, Wulf and Lewthwaite, 2016), and have been applied in motor skill acquisition and performance. Implications range from more effective skill development in children and novice performers to athletes and performers in many fields, including clinical rehabilitation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Feedback delays eliminate auditory-motor learning in speech production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Max, Ludo; Maffett, Derek G

    2015-03-30

    Neurologically healthy individuals use sensory feedback to alter future movements by updating internal models of the effector system and environment. For example, when visual feedback about limb movements or auditory feedback about speech movements is experimentally perturbed, the planning of subsequent movements is adjusted - i.e., sensorimotor adaptation occurs. A separate line of studies has demonstrated that experimentally delaying the sensory consequences of limb movements causes the sensory input to be attributed to external sources rather than to one's own actions. Yet similar feedback delays have remarkably little effect on visuo-motor adaptation (although the rate of learning varies, the amount of adaptation is only moderately affected with delays of 100-200ms, and adaptation still occurs even with a delay as long as 5000ms). Thus, limb motor learning remains largely intact even in conditions where error assignment favors external factors. Here, we show a fundamentally different result for sensorimotor control of speech articulation: auditory-motor adaptation to formant-shifted feedback is completely eliminated with delays of 100ms or more. Thus, for speech motor learning, real-time auditory feedback is critical. This novel finding informs theoretical models of human motor control in general and speech motor control in particular, and it has direct implications for the application of motor learning principles in the habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals with various sensorimotor speech disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Opposing effects of dopamine antagonism in a motor sequence task - tiapride increases cortical excitability and impairs motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke eLissek

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The dopaminergic system is involved in learning and participates in the modulation of cortical excitability (CE. CE has been suggested as a marker of learning and use-dependent plasticity. However, results from separate studies on either motor CE or motor learning challenge this notion, suggesting opposing effects of dopaminergic modulation upon these parameters: while agonists decrease and antagonists increase CE, motor learning is enhanced by agonists and disturbed by antagonists. To examine whether this discrepancy persists when complex motor learning and motor CE are measured in the same experimental setup, we investigated the effects of dopaminergic (DA antagonism upon both parameters and upon task-associated brain activation. Our results demonstrate that DA-antagonism has opposing effects upon motor CE and motor sequence learning. Tiapride did not alter baseline CE, but increased CE post training of a complex motor sequence while simultaneously impairing motor learning. Moreover, tiapride reduced activation in several brain regions associated with motor sequence performance, i.e. dorsolateral PFC, supplementary motor area, Broca's area, cingulate and caudate body. Blood-oxygenation-level-dependent ( BOLD intensity in anterior cingulate and caudate body, but not CE, correlated with performance across groups. In summary, our results do not support a concept of CE as a general marker of motor learning, since they demonstrate that a straightforward relation of increased CE and higher learning success does not apply to all instances of motor learning. At least for complex motor tasks that recruit a network of brain regions outside motor cortex, CE in primary motor cortex is probably no central determinant for learning success.

  14. Perspectives on learning styles in motor and sport skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuelscher, Ian Tobias; Ball, Kevin; Macmahon, Clare

    2012-01-01

    We present the perspective that while coaches and instructors commonly adapt learning styles to maximize training outcomes, there has been little to no empirical support for the efficacy of this practice. Learning styles is a learner's preferred mode (e.g., visual, verbal) of taking in and processing new information. Although it is a relevant topic for the learning of motor and sport skills, few studies have used an appropriate methodology to test the effectiveness of learning style-based instruction. We highlight the need for a learning style assessment tool specific to motor skills and call for a test of the learning style hypothesis, the claim that learners will benefit from instruction that is tailored to their individual learning style. To this end, we suggest methodological guidelines.

  15. Motor Learning and Control Foundations of Kinesiology: Defining the Academic Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischman, Mark G.

    2007-01-01

    This paper outlines the kinesiological foundations of the motor behavior subdisciplines of motor learning and motor control. After defining the components of motor behavior, the paper addresses the undergraduate major and core knowledge by examining several classic textbooks in motor learning and control, as well as a number of contemporary…

  16. Motor Learning and Control Foundations of Kinesiology: Defining the Academic Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischman, Mark G.

    2007-01-01

    This paper outlines the kinesiological foundations of the motor behavior subdisciplines of motor learning and motor control. After defining the components of motor behavior, the paper addresses the undergraduate major and core knowledge by examining several classic textbooks in motor learning and control, as well as a number of contemporary…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendt, Lisa Katharina; Reuter, Iris; Müller, Hermann

    2011-01-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. Skill acquisition of manual wheelchair propulsion: initial motor learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vegter, R.J.K.; Lamoth, C.J.; Veeger, H.E.J.; De Groot, S.; Van der Woude, L.H.V.

    2011-01-01

    Changes in propulsion technique due to motor learning might account for a higher mechanical efficiency (ME, the ratio of internal power over external power). The changes in ME and propulsion technique were studied in a learning experiment, three times a week for eight minutes, with nine able-bodied

  1. Skill acquisition of manual wheelchair propulsion: initial motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HEJ VEEGER Dirkjan

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Changes in propulsion technique due to motor learning might account for a higher mechanical efficiency (ME, the ratio of internal power over external power. The changes in ME and propulsion technique were studied in a learning experiment, three times a week for eight minutes, with nine able-bodied subjects, simulating early rehabilitation. Instrumented wheels measured three-dimensional forces and torques on the handrim. During practice peak torques were reduced, work per cycle increased, while push frequency decreased, at a stable power output and speed of the treadmill. Over the three weeks of practice propulsion technique kept changing in combination with an increase of ME. Results suggest skill acquisition because of motor learning. The rise in ME seems logically related to propulsion technique, but is not yet fully understood. More insight in motor learning and skill acquisition will contribute to understanding and optimizing rehabilitation strategies in the light of wheelchair provision in early rehabilitation.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Toward an Interdisciplinary Perspective: A Review of Adult Learning Frameworks and Theoretical Models of Motor Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roessger, Kevin M.

    2012-01-01

    Researchers have yet to agree on an approach that supports how adults best learn novel motor skills in formal educational contexts. The literature fails to adequately discuss adult motor learning from the standpoint of adult education. Instead, the subject is addressed by other disciplines. This review attempts to integrate perspectives across…

  5. Superior non-specific motor learning in the blind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin-Parent, Florence; de Beaumont, Louis; Théoret, Hugo; Lepage, Jean-Francois

    2017-07-20

    It is well established that blindness induces changes in cerebral function and structure, namely affecting the somatomotor regions. However, the behavioural significance of these changes on the motor system, and on motor learning in particular, remains elusive. In this study, we used a modified version of the serial reaction time task (SRTT) with auditory cues to assess sequence specific and non-specific motor learning in blind adults and sighted controls, and compare them with sighted controls performing the classic visual SRTT. Our results show that the auditory SRTT faithfully replicates the typical learning pattern obtained with the visual SRTT. On the auditory SRTT, blind individuals consistently showed faster reaction times than sighted controls, being at par with sighted individuals performing the visual SRTT. On the other hand, blind participants displayed a particular pattern of motor learning in comparison to both sighted groups; while controls improved prominently on sequence specific learning, blind individuals displayed comparable performance on both specific and non-specific learning, markedly outperforming the control groups on non-specific learning. These results show that blindness, in addition to causing long-term changes in cortical organisation, can also influence dynamic neuroplastic mechanisms in systems beyond those typically associated with compensatory sensory processing.

  6. Expression of NR2B in cerebellar granule cells specifically facilitates effect of motor training on motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Jianwei; Nakajima, Akira; Janssen, William G M; Bindokas, Vytautas P; Xiong, Xiaoli; Morrison, John H; Brorson, James R; Tang, Ya-Ping

    2008-02-27

    It is believed that gene/environment interaction (GEI) plays a pivotal role in the development of motor skills, which are acquired via practicing or motor training. However, the underlying molecular/neuronal mechanisms are still unclear. Here, we reported that the expression of NR2B, a subunit of NMDA receptors, in cerebellar granule cells specifically enhanced the effect of voluntary motor training on motor learning in the mouse. Moreover, this effect was characterized as motor learning-specific and developmental stage-dependent, because neither emotional/spatial memory was affected nor was the enhanced motor learning observed when the motor training was conducted starting at the age of 3 months old in these transgenic mice. These results indicate that changes in the expression of gene(s) that are involved in regulating synaptic plasticity in cerebellar granule cells may constitute a molecular basis for the cerebellum to be involved in the GEI by facilitating motor skill learning.

  7. Expression of NR2B in cerebellar granule cells specifically facilitates effect of motor training on motor learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianwei Jiao

    Full Text Available It is believed that gene/environment interaction (GEI plays a pivotal role in the development of motor skills, which are acquired via practicing or motor training. However, the underlying molecular/neuronal mechanisms are still unclear. Here, we reported that the expression of NR2B, a subunit of NMDA receptors, in cerebellar granule cells specifically enhanced the effect of voluntary motor training on motor learning in the mouse. Moreover, this effect was characterized as motor learning-specific and developmental stage-dependent, because neither emotional/spatial memory was affected nor was the enhanced motor learning observed when the motor training was conducted starting at the age of 3 months old in these transgenic mice. These results indicate that changes in the expression of gene(s that are involved in regulating synaptic plasticity in cerebellar granule cells may constitute a molecular basis for the cerebellum to be involved in the GEI by facilitating motor skill learning.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Acute administration of interleukin-1beta disrupts motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Susan J; Hartle, Kelly D; Ivanco, Tammy L

    2007-12-01

    Proinflammatory cytokines have been shown to disrupt the normal transfer of short-term memory to long-term storage sites. Previous research has focused predominantly on the effect of cytokines on hippocampus-mediated spatial learning. To further understand the effects of cytokines on learning and memory, the authors evaluated the effects of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) on a motor learning task. Male Long-Evans rats were rewarded with food pellets after they traversed a runway. The runway was either flat (control condition) or had up-ended dowels (motor learning condition). Subjects traversed the flat runway or dowel task for 5 days, 10 trials per day, and were treated with either saline or with 4 microg/kg IL-1beta immediately after training on the first 2 days. Rats in the motor learning task treated with IL-1beta were consistently slower at traversing the runway. IL-1beta did not impair performance in the control condition; rats in the flat condition performed similarly regardless of whether they were treated with saline or IL-1beta. These data are the first evidence demonstrating IL-1beta can disrupt performance in a motor learning task.

  11. 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.

  12. Foxp2 mutations impair auditory-motor association learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Simone; Fisher, Simon E; Ehret, Günter

    2012-01-01

    Heterozygous mutations of the human FOXP2 transcription factor gene cause the best-described examples of monogenic speech and language disorders. Acquisition of proficient spoken language involves auditory-guided vocal learning, a specialized form of sensory-motor association learning. The impact of etiological Foxp2 mutations on learning of auditory-motor associations in mammals has not been determined yet. Here, we directly assess this type of learning using a newly developed conditioned avoidance paradigm in a shuttle-box for mice. We show striking deficits in mice heterozygous for either of two different Foxp2 mutations previously implicated in human speech disorders. Both mutations cause delays in acquiring new motor skills. The magnitude of impairments in association learning, however, depends on the nature of the mutation. Mice with a missense mutation in the DNA-binding domain are able to learn, but at a much slower rate than wild type animals, while mice carrying an early nonsense mutation learn very little. These results are consistent with expression of Foxp2 in distributed circuits of the cortex, striatum and cerebellum that are known to play key roles in acquisition of motor skills and sensory-motor association learning, and suggest differing in vivo effects for distinct variants of the Foxp2 protein. Given the importance of such networks for the acquisition of human spoken language, and the fact that similar mutations in human FOXP2 cause problems with speech development, this work opens up a new perspective on the use of mouse models for understanding pathways underlying speech and language disorders.

  13. Foxp2 mutations impair auditory-motor association learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Kurt

    Full Text Available Heterozygous mutations of the human FOXP2 transcription factor gene cause the best-described examples of monogenic speech and language disorders. Acquisition of proficient spoken language involves auditory-guided vocal learning, a specialized form of sensory-motor association learning. The impact of etiological Foxp2 mutations on learning of auditory-motor associations in mammals has not been determined yet. Here, we directly assess this type of learning using a newly developed conditioned avoidance paradigm in a shuttle-box for mice. We show striking deficits in mice heterozygous for either of two different Foxp2 mutations previously implicated in human speech disorders. Both mutations cause delays in acquiring new motor skills. The magnitude of impairments in association learning, however, depends on the nature of the mutation. Mice with a missense mutation in the DNA-binding domain are able to learn, but at a much slower rate than wild type animals, while mice carrying an early nonsense mutation learn very little. These results are consistent with expression of Foxp2 in distributed circuits of the cortex, striatum and cerebellum that are known to play key roles in acquisition of motor skills and sensory-motor association learning, and suggest differing in vivo effects for distinct variants of the Foxp2 protein. Given the importance of such networks for the acquisition of human spoken language, and the fact that similar mutations in human FOXP2 cause problems with speech development, this work opens up a new perspective on the use of mouse models for understanding pathways underlying speech and language disorders.

  14. 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

  15. 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

    2014-01-15

    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 H2(15)O 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.

  16. Representational Similarity Analysis Reveals Heterogeneous Networks Supporting Speech Motor Control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zheng, Zane; Cusack, Rhodri; Johnsrude, Ingrid

    The everyday act of speaking involves the complex processes of speech motor control. One important feature of such control is regulation of articulation when auditory concomitants of speech do not correspond to the intended motor gesture. While theoretical accounts of speech monitoring posit...... is supported by a complex neural network that is involved in linguistic, motoric and sensory processing. With the aid of novel real-time acoustic analyses and representational similarity analyses of fMRI signals, our data show functionally differentiated networks underlying auditory feedback control of speech....... multiple functional components required for detection of errors in speech planning (e.g., Levelt, 1983), neuroimaging studies generally indicate either single brain regions sensitive to speech production errors, or small, discrete networks. Here we demonstrate that the complex system controlling speech...

  17. Imitation learning of motor primitives and language bootstrapping in robots

    CERN Document Server

    Cederborg, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Imitation learning in robots, also called programing by demonstration, has made important advances in recent years, allowing humans to teach context dependant motor skills/tasks to robots. We propose to extend the usual contexts investigated to also include acoustic linguistic expressions that might denote a given motor skill, and thus we target joint learning of the motor skills and their potential acoustic linguistic name. In addition to this, a modification of a class of existing algorithms within the imitation learning framework is made so that they can handle the unlabeled demonstration of several tasks/motor primitives without having to inform the imitator of what task is being demonstrated or what the number of tasks are, which is a necessity for language learning, i.e; if one wants to teach naturally an open number of new motor skills together with their acoustic names. Finally, a mechanism for detecting whether or not linguistic input is relevant to the task is also proposed, and our architecture als...

  18. Sleep and motor learning: implications for physical rehabilitation after stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christel eGudberg

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Sleep is essential for healthy brain function and plasticity underlying learning and memory. In the context of physical impairment such as following a stroke, sleep may be particularly important for supporting critical recovery of motor function through similar processes of reorganisation in the brain. Despite a link between stroke and poor sleep, current approaches to rehabilitative care often neglect the importance of sleep in clinical assessment and treatment. This review assimilates current evidence on the role of sleep in motor learning, with a focus on the implications for physical rehabilitation after stroke. We further outline practical considerations for integrating sleep assessment as a vital part of clinical care.

  19. Direct and crossed effects of somatosensory electrical stimulation on motor learning and neuronal plasticity in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldman, M. P.; Zijdewind, I.; Solnik, S.; Maffiuletti, N. A.; Berghuis, K. M. M.; Javet, M.; Negyesi, J.; Hortobagyi, T.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Sensory input can modify voluntary motor function. We examined whether somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) added to motor practice (MP) could augment motor learning, interlimb transfer, and whether physiological changes in neuronal excitability underlie these changes. Methods Particip

  20. 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

    2017-02-01

    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 it having multiple functions. Moreover, we discuss how its distinctive characteristics (e.g., low firing rates, synchronization, and variable complex spike waveforms) make it more or less suitable for one or the other of these functions, and why having multiple functions 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 that it has the potential to act in both the motor learning and motor control functions of the cerebellum.

  1. Learning and transfer in motor-respiratory coordination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessler, Eric E; Amazeen, Polemnia G

    2014-02-01

    Motor-respiratory coordination occurs naturally during exercise, but the number of coordination patterns performed between movement and breathing is limited. We investigated whether participants could acquire novel ratios (either 5:2 or 5:3). To examine complex temporal relationships between movement and breathing, we used lagged return plots that were produced by graphing relative phase against relative phase after a time delay. By the end of practice, participants performed 5:2 consistently and performed 5:3 using more stable ratios (3:2 and 2:1). Lagged return plots revealed that 5:3 learners harnessed the stable inphase and antiphase patterns to stabilize the required ratio. That strategy resulted in the performance of smaller-integer ratios in the production of 5:3 but not 5:2. Despite those differences, there was positive transfer to unpracticed ratios that was similar in both learning conditions. The time series analysis of lagged return plots revealed differences in ratio performance at transfer. Ratios whose component frequencies were farther apart, like 7:2, were performed consistently, while ratios whose component frequencies were more similar, like 5:4, elicited attraction to inphase and antiphase. The implication is that participants can combine more stable chunks of rhythmic behavior to produce more complex ratios. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Practice and nap schedules modulate children's motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jie; Guo, Wei; Yan, Jin H; Liu, Guanmin; Jia, Fujun

    2016-01-01

    Night- or day-time sleep enhances motor skill acquisition. However, prominent issues remained about the circadian (time-of-day) and homeostatic (time since last sleep) effects of sleep on developmental motor learning. Therefore, we examined the effects of nap schedules and nap-test-intervals (NTIs) on the learning of finger tapping sequences on computer keyboards. Children aged 6-7, 8-9, and 10-11 years explicitly acquired the short and long tapping orders that share the same movement strings (4-2-3-1-4, 4-2-3-1-4-2-3-1-4). Following a constant 8- or 10-hr post-learning period in one of the four NTIs (2, 4, 5, 7 hr), children in the morning napping groups, the afternoon napping groups, or the waking group performed the original long sequence in retention test (4-2-3-1-4-2-3-1-4) and the mirrored-order sequence in transfer test (1-3-2-4-1-3-2-4-1). Age and treatment differences in the movement time (MT, ms) and sequence accuracy (SA, %) were compared during skill learning and in retrieval tests. Results suggest that practice or nap affects MT and SA in a greater extent for the younger learners than for the older learners. The circadian effects might not change nap-based skill learning. Importantly, the longer NTIs resulted in superior retention performance than the shorter ones, suggesting that children require a relatively longer post-nap period to form motor memory. Finally, nap-based motor learning was more marked in skill retention than in skill transfer. Brain development may play an important role in motor learning. Our discussion centers on memory consolidation and its relevance for skill acquisition from early to late childhood.

  3. Stimulation of the human motor cortex alters generalization patterns of motor learning

    OpenAIRE

    Orban de Xivry, Jean-Jacques; Marko, Mollie K; Pekny, Sarah E.; Pastor, Damien; Izawa, Jun; Celnik, Pablo; Shadmehr, Reza

    2011-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that the generalization patterns that accompany learning carry the signatures of the neural systems that are engaged in that learning. Reach adaptation in force fields has generalization patterns that suggest primary engagement of a neural system that encodes movements in the intrinsic coordinates of joints and muscles, and lesser engagement of a neural system that encodes movements in the extrinsic coordinates of the task. Among the cortical motor areas, the intrinsi...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    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...... the consolidation of increased performance of a different previously trained task involving the same movement direction and muscle group, whereas training of other muscles had no effect. This emphasizes the role of specific sensory error signals in the acquisition of new motor skills and illustrates the functional......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...

  6. Role of motor cortex NMDA receptors in learning-dependent synaptic plasticity of behaving mice

    OpenAIRE

    Mazahir T Hasan; Hernández-González, Samuel; Dogbevia, Godwin; Treviño, Mario; Bertocchi, Ilaria; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M.

    2013-01-01

    The primary motor cortex has an important role in the precise execution of learned motor responses. During motor learning, synaptic efficacy between sensory and primary motor cortical neurons is enhanced, possibly involving long-term potentiation and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-specific glutamate receptor function. To investigate whether NMDA receptor in the primary motor cortex can act as a coincidence detector for activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength and associative learning, her...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Striatal and hippocampal involvement in motor sequence chunking depends on the learning strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lungu, Ovidiu; Monchi, Oury; Albouy, Geneviève; Jubault, Thomas; Ballarin, Emanuelle; Burnod, Yves; Doyon, Julien

    2014-01-01

    Motor sequences can be learned using an incremental approach by starting with a few elements and then adding more as training evolves (e.g., learning a piano piece); conversely, one can use a global approach and practice the whole sequence in every training session (e.g., shifting gears in an automobile). Yet, the neural correlates associated with such learning strategies in motor sequence learning remain largely unexplored to date. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the cerebral activity of individuals executing the same 8-element sequence after they completed a 4-days training regimen (2 sessions each day) following either a global or incremental strategy. A network comprised of striatal and fronto-parietal regions was engaged significantly regardless of the learning strategy, whereas the global training regimen led to additional cerebellar and temporal lobe recruitment. Analysis of chunking/grouping of sequence elements revealed a common prefrontal network in both conditions during the chunk initiation phase, whereas execution of chunk cores led to higher mediotemporal activity (involving the hippocampus) after global than incremental training. The novelty of our results relate to the recruitment of mediotemporal regions conditional of the learning strategy. Thus, the present findings may have clinical implications suggesting that the ability of patients with lesions to the medial temporal lobe to learn and consolidate new motor sequences may benefit from using an incremental strategy.

  9. Striatal and hippocampal involvement in motor sequence chunking depends on the learning strategy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ovidiu Lungu

    Full Text Available Motor sequences can be learned using an incremental approach by starting with a few elements and then adding more as training evolves (e.g., learning a piano piece; conversely, one can use a global approach and practice the whole sequence in every training session (e.g., shifting gears in an automobile. Yet, the neural correlates associated with such learning strategies in motor sequence learning remain largely unexplored to date. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the cerebral activity of individuals executing the same 8-element sequence after they completed a 4-days training regimen (2 sessions each day following either a global or incremental strategy. A network comprised of striatal and fronto-parietal regions was engaged significantly regardless of the learning strategy, whereas the global training regimen led to additional cerebellar and temporal lobe recruitment. Analysis of chunking/grouping of sequence elements revealed a common prefrontal network in both conditions during the chunk initiation phase, whereas execution of chunk cores led to higher mediotemporal activity (involving the hippocampus after global than incremental training. The novelty of our results relate to the recruitment of mediotemporal regions conditional of the learning strategy. Thus, the present findings may have clinical implications suggesting that the ability of patients with lesions to the medial temporal lobe to learn and consolidate new motor sequences may benefit from using an incremental strategy.

  10. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Janssen, A.J.W.M.; Steenbergen, Bert; 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Janssen, A.J.W.M.; Steenbergen, Bert; 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 n

  13. 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 n

  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. 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…

  16. Motor Skill Learning in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bo, Jin; Lee, Chi-Mei

    2013-01-01

    Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) are characterized as having motor difficulties and learning impairment that may last well into adolescence and adulthood. Although behavioral deficits have been identified in many domains such as visuo-spatial processing, kinesthetic perception, and cross-modal sensory integration, recent…

  17. Human hyolaryngeal movements show adaptive motor learning during swallowing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humbert, Ianessa A; Christopherson, Heather; Lokhande, Akshay; German, Rebecca; Gonzalez-Fernandez, Marlis; Celnik, Pablo

    2013-06-01

    The hyoid bone and larynx elevate to protect the airway during swallowing. However, it is unknown whether hyolaryngeal movements during swallowing can adjust and adapt to predict the presence of a persistent perturbation in a feed-forward manner (adaptive motor learning). We investigated adaptive motor learning in nine healthy adults. Electrical stimulation was administered to the anterior neck to reduce hyolaryngeal elevation, requiring more strength to swallow during the perturbation period of this study. We assessed peak hyoid bone and laryngeal movements using videofluoroscopy across thirty-five 5-ml water swallows. Evidence of adaptive motor learning of hyolaryngeal movements was found when (1) participants showed systematic gradual increases in elevation against the force of electrical stimulation and (2) hyolaryngeal elevation overshot the baseline (preperturbation) range of motion, showing behavioral aftereffects, when the perturbation was unexpectedly removed. Hyolaryngeal kinematics demonstrates adaptive, error-reducing movements in the presence of changing and unexpected demands. This is significant because individuals with dysphagia often aspirate due to disordered hyolaryngeal movements. Thus, if rapid motor learning is accessible during swallowing in healthy adults, patients may be taught to predict the presence of perturbations and reduce errors in swallowing before they occur.

  18. Reevaluating the Role of LTD in Cerebellar Motor Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Schonewille (Martijn); Z. Gao (Zhenyu); H.J. Boele (Henk-Jan); M.F. Vinueza Veloz (Maria); W.E. Amerika; A. Šimek (Antonia); M.T.G. Jeu (Marcel); J. Steinberg (Jordan); K. Takamiya (Kogo); F.E. Hoebeek (Freek); D. Linden (David); R. Huganir (Richard); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractLong-term depression at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses (PF-PC LTD) has been proposed to be required for cerebellar motor learning. To date, tests of this hypothesis have sought to interfere with receptors (mGluR1) and enzymes (PKC, PKG, or αCamKII) necessary for induction of PF-PC

  19. An adaptive process model of motor learning: insights for the teaching of motor skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tani, Go; Corrêa, Umberto Cesar; Basso, Luciano; Benda, Rodolfo Novellino; Ugrinowitsch, Herbert; Choshi, Koji

    2014-01-01

    This article presents an outline of a non-equilibrium model, in which motor learning is explained as a continuous process of stabilization and adaptation. The article also shows how propositions derived from this model have been tested, and discusses possible practical implications of some supporting evidence to the teaching of motor skills. The stabilization refers to a process of functional stabilization that is achieved through negative feedback mechanisms. Initially, inconsistent and incorrect responses are gradually reduced, leading to a spatial-temporal patterning of the action. The adaptation is one in which new skills are formed from the reorganization of those already acquired through the flexibility of the system, reorganization of the skill structure, or self-organization. In order to provide learners with competency for adaptation, teachers should (a) guide students to learn motor skills taking into account that the stabilization of performance is just a transitory state that must be dismantled to achieve higher levels of complexity; (b) be clear which parts (micro) compose the skills and how they interact in order to form the whole (macro); (c) manipulate the skills in terms of their temporal, spatial, and/or spatiotemporal dimensions; (d) organize practice initially in a constant way, and then in a varied regimen (random) when the motor skills involve requirements of time and force; and, inversely for motor skills with spatial demands; and (e), provide a moderate frequency of feedback.

  20. Robot assistance of motor learning: A neuro-cognitive perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Herbert; Lüttgen, Jenna

    2015-09-01

    The last several years have seen a number of approaches to robot assistance of motor learning. Experimental studies have produced a range of findings from beneficial effects through null-effects to detrimental effects of robot assistance. In this review we seek an answer to the question under which conditions which outcomes should be expected. For this purpose we derive tentative predictions based on a classification of learning tasks in terms of the products of learning, the mechanisms involved, and the modulation of these mechanisms by robot assistance. Consistent with these predictions, the learning of dynamic features of trajectories is facilitated and the learning of kinematic and dynamic transformations is impeded by robotic guidance, whereas the learning of dynamic transformations can profit from robot assistance with error-amplifying forces. Deviating from the predictions, learning of spatial features of trajectories is impeded by haptic guidance, but can be facilitated by divergent force fields. The deviations point to the existence of additional effects of robot assistance beyond the modulation of learning mechanisms, e.g., the induction of a passive role of the motor system during practice with haptic guidance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

    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) learned to perform three short melodies on a piano keyboard in a pure audio-motor training condition (vision of their own fingers was occluded). Initial learning times ranged from 17 to 120 min (mean ± SD: 62 ± 29 min). Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was used to derive the fractional anisotropy (FA), an index of white matter microstructural arrangement. A correlation analysis revealed that higher FA values were associated with faster learning of piano melodies. These effects were observed in the bilateral corticospinal tracts, bundles of axons relevant for the execution of voluntary movements, and the right superior longitudinal fasciculus, a tract important for audio-motor transformations. These results suggest that the speed with which novel complex audio-motor skills can be acquired may be determined by variability in structural properties of white matter fiber tracts connecting brain areas functionally relevant for audio-motor learning. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Cross-limb Interference during motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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...... 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...

  3. Proprioception in motor learning: lessons from a deafferented subject.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousif, N; Cole, J; Rothwell, J; Diedrichsen, J

    2015-08-01

    Proprioceptive information arises from a variety of channels, including muscle, tendon, and skin afferents. It tells us where our static limbs are in space and how they are moving. It remains unclear however, how these proprioceptive modes contribute to motor learning. Here, we studied a subject (IW) who has lost large myelinated fibres below the neck and found that he was strongly impaired in sensing the static position of his upper limbs, when passively moved to an unseen location. When making reaching movements however, his ability to discriminate in which direction the trajectory had been diverted was unimpaired. This dissociation allowed us to test the involvement of static and dynamic proprioception in motor learning. We found that IW showed a preserved ability to adapt to force fields when visual feedback was present. He was even sensitive to the exact form of the force perturbation, responding appropriately to a velocity- or position-dependent force after a single perturbation. The ability to adapt to force fields was also preserved when visual feedback about the lateral perturbation of the hand was withdrawn. In this experiment, however, he did not exhibit a form of use-dependent learning, which was evident in the control participants as a drift of the intended direction of the reaching movement in the perturbed direction. This suggests that this form of learning may depend on static position sense at the end of the movement. Our results indicate that dynamic and static proprioception play dissociable roles in motor learning.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Learning to associate novel words with motor actions: language-induced motor activity following short training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fargier, Raphaël; Paulignan, Yves; Boulenger, Véronique; Monaghan, Padraic; Reboul, Anne; Nazir, Tatjana A

    2012-07-01

    Action words referring to face, arm or leg actions activate areas along the motor strip that also control the planning and execution of the actions specified by the words. This electroencephalogram (EEG) study aimed to test the learning profile of this language-induced motor activity. Participants were trained to associate novel verbal stimuli to videos of object-oriented hand and arm movements or animated visual images on two consecutive days. Each training session was preceded and followed by a test-session with isolated videos and verbal stimuli. We measured motor-related brain activity (reflected by a desynchronization in the μ frequency bands; 8-12 Hz range) localized at centro-parietal and fronto-central electrodes. We compared activity from viewing the videos to activity resulting from processing the language stimuli only. At centro-parietal electrodes, stable action-related μ suppression was observed during viewing of videos in each test-session of the two days. For processing of verbal stimuli associated with motor actions, a similar pattern of activity was evident only in the second test-session of Day 1. Over the fronto-central regions, μ suppression was observed in the second test-session of Day 2 for the videos and in the second test-session of Day 1 for the verbal stimuli. Whereas the centro-parietal μ suppression can be attributed to motor events actually experienced during training, the fronto-central μ suppression seems to serve as a convergence zone that mediates underspecified motor information. Consequently, sensory-motor reactivations through which concepts are comprehended seem to differ in neural dynamics from those implicated in their acquisition. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.

  8. Somatic and Reinforcement-Based Plasticity in the Initial Stages of Human Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidarta, Ananda; Vahdat, Shahabeddin; Bernardi, Nicolò F; Ostry, David J

    2016-11-16

    As one learns to dance or play tennis, the desired somatosensory state is typically unknown. Trial and error is important as motor behavior is shaped by successful and unsuccessful movements. As an experimental model, we designed a task in which human participants make reaching movements to a hidden target and receive positive reinforcement when successful. We identified somatic and reinforcement-based sources of plasticity on the basis of changes in functional connectivity using resting-state fMRI before and after learning. The neuroimaging data revealed reinforcement-related changes in both motor and somatosensory brain areas in which a strengthening of connectivity was related to the amount of positive reinforcement during learning. Areas of prefrontal cortex were similarly altered in relation to reinforcement, with connectivity between sensorimotor areas of putamen and the reward-related ventromedial prefrontal cortex strengthened in relation to the amount of successful feedback received. In other analyses, we assessed connectivity related to changes in movement direction between trials, a type of variability that presumably reflects exploratory strategies during learning. We found that connectivity in a network linking motor and somatosensory cortices increased with trial-to-trial changes in direction. Connectivity varied as well with the change in movement direction following incorrect movements. Here the changes were observed in a somatic memory and decision making network involving ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and second somatosensory cortex. Our results point to the idea that the initial stages of motor learning are not wholly motor but rather involve plasticity in somatic and prefrontal networks related both to reward and exploration.

  9. 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

  10. Effects of Dispositional Mindfulness on the Self-Controlled Learning of a Novel Motor Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kee, Ying Hwa; Liu, Yeou-Teh

    2011-01-01

    Current literature suggests that mindful learning is beneficial to learning but its links with motor learning is seldom examined. In the present study, we examine the effects of learners' mindfulness disposition on the self-controlled learning of a novel motor task. Thirty-two participants undertook five practice sessions, in addition to a pre-,…

  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. 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.

  13. Active learning of novel sound-producing objects: motor reactivation and enhancement of visuo-motor connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Andrew J; James, Karin Harman

    2013-02-01

    Our experience with the world commonly involves physical interaction with objects enabling us to learn associations between multisensory information perceived during an event and our actions that create an event. The interplay among active interactions during learning and multisensory integration of object properties is not well understood. To better understand how action might enhance multisensory associative recognition, we investigated the interplay among motor and perceptual systems after active learning. Fifteen participants were included in an fMRI study during which they learned visuo-auditory-motor associations between novel objects and the sounds they produce, either through self-generated actions on the objects (active learning) or by observing an experimenter produce the actions (passive learning). Immediately after learning, behavioral and BOLD fMRI measures were collected while perceiving the objects used during unisensory and multisensory training in associative perception and recognition tasks. Active learning was faster and led to more accurate recognition of audiovisual associations than passive learning. Functional ROI analyses showed that in motor, somatosensory, and cerebellar regions there was greater activation during both the perception and recognition of actively learned associations. Finally, functional connectivity between visual- and motor-related processing regions was enhanced during the presentation of actively learned audiovisual associations. Overall, the results of the current study clarify and extend our own previous work [Butler, A. J., James, T. W., & Harman James, K. Enhanced multisensory integration and motor reactivation after active motor learning of audiovisual associations. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 3515-3528, 2011] by providing several novel findings and highlighting the task-based nature of motor reactivation and retrieval after active learning.

  14. Motor-circuit communication matrix from spinal cord to brainstem neurons revealed by developmental origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivetta, Chiara; Esposito, Maria Soledad; Sigrist, Markus; Arber, Silvia

    2014-01-30

    Accurate motor-task execution relies on continuous comparison of planned and performed actions. Motor-output pathways establish internal circuit collaterals for this purpose. Here we focus on motor collateral organization between spinal cord and upstream neurons in the brainstem. We used a newly developed mouse genetic tool intersectionally with viruses to uncover the connectivity rules of these ascending pathways by capturing the transient expression of neuronal subpopulation determinants. We reveal a widespread and diverse network of spinal dual-axon neurons, with coincident input to forelimb motor neurons and the lateral reticular nucleus (LRN) in the brainstem. Spinal information to the LRN is not segregated by motor pool or neurotransmitter identity. Instead, it is organized according to the developmental domain origin of the progenitor cells. Thus, excerpts of most spinal information destined for action are relayed to supraspinal centers through exquisitely organized ascending connectivity modules, enabling precise communication between command and execution centers of movement.

  15. 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....

  16. 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...

  17. Implicit Motor Learning in Patients with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease: Differences in Learning Abilities?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tilborg, I.A.D.A. van; Hulstijn, W.

    2012-01-01

    Experimental studies show intact implicit motor learning in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) but the results for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are inconclusive. This study tests implicit sequence learning in AD and PD patients, and healthy controls, using the classical Serial Reaction

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balslev, Daniela; Nielsen, Finn Å; Futiger, 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-time se...... 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...

  19. Motor learning and cross-limb transfer rely upon distinct neural adaptation processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stöckel, Tino; Carroll, Timothy J; Summers, Jeffery J; Hinder, Mark R

    2016-08-01

    Performance benefits conferred in the untrained limb after unilateral motor practice are termed cross-limb transfer. Although the effect is robust, the neural mechanisms remain incompletely understood. In this study we used noninvasive brain stimulation to reveal that the neural adaptations that mediate motor learning in the trained limb are distinct from those that underlie cross-limb transfer to the opposite limb. Thirty-six participants practiced a ballistic motor task with their right index finger (150 trials), followed by intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) applied to the trained (contralateral) primary motor cortex (cM1 group), the untrained (ipsilateral) M1 (iM1 group), or the vertex (sham group). After stimulation, another 150 training trials were undertaken. Motor performance and corticospinal excitability were assessed before motor training, pre- and post-iTBS, and after the second training bout. For all groups, training significantly increased performance and excitability of the trained hand, and performance, but not excitability, of the untrained hand, indicating transfer at the level of task performance. The typical facilitatory effect of iTBS on MEPs was reversed for cM1, suggesting homeostatic metaplasticity, and prior performance gains in the trained hand were degraded, suggesting that iTBS interfered with learning. In stark contrast, iM1 iTBS facilitated both performance and excitability for the untrained hand. Importantly, the effects of cM1 and iM1 iTBS on behavior were exclusive to the hand contralateral to stimulation, suggesting that adaptations within the untrained M1 contribute to cross-limb transfer. However, the neural processes that mediate learning in the trained hemisphere vs. transfer in the untrained hemisphere appear distinct.

  20. Practice Schedule and the Learning of Motor Skills in Children and Adults: Teaching Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zipp, Genevieve Pinto; Gentile, A. M.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding how motor skills are learned influences how one teaches effective motor skill attainment. Educators must ask, "Does repetitive practice of the same task make for better performance or does contextual variability (random practice) offer some benefit when learning motor skills?" Studies on the effects of Contextual Interference may…

  1. 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.

  2. How transcranial direct current stimulation can modulate implicit motor sequence learning and consolidation: A brief review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branislav eSavic

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this review is to investigate how transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS can modulate implicit motor sequence learning and consolidation. So far, most of the studies have focused on the modulating effect of tDCS for explicit motor learning. Here, we focus explicitly on implicit motor sequence learning and consolidation in order to improve our understanding about the potential of tDCS to affect this kind of unconscious learning. Specifically, we concentrate on studies with the serial reaction time task (SRTT, the classical paradigm for measuring implicit motor sequence learning. The influence of tDCS has been investigated for the primary motor cortex, the premotor cortex, the prefrontal cortex, and the cerebellum. The results indicate that tDCS above the primary motor cortex gives raise to the most consistent modulating effects for both implicit motor sequence learning and consolidation.

  3. Explicit and implicit motor learning in children with unilateral cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kamp, John; Steenbergen, Bert; Masters, Rich S W

    2017-07-30

    The current study aimed to investigate the capacity for explicit and implicit learning in children with unilateral cerebral palsy. Children with left and right unilateral cerebral palsy and typically developing children shuffled disks toward a target. A prism-adaptation design was implemented, consisting of pre-exposure, prism exposure, and post-exposure phases. Half of the participants were instructed about the function of the prism glasses, while the other half were not. For each trial, the distance between the target and the shuffled disk was determined. Explicit learning was indicated by the rate of adaptation during the prism exposure phase, whereas implicit learning was indicated by the magnitude of the negative after-effect at the start of the post-exposure phase. Results No significant effects were revealed between typically developing participants and participants with unilateral cerebral palsy. Comparison of participants with left and right unilateral cerebral palsy demonstrated that participants with right unilateral cerebral palsy had a significantly lower rate of adaptation than participants with left unilateral cerebral palsy, but only when no instructions were provided. The magnitude of the negative after-effects did not differ significantly between participants with right and left unilateral cerebral palsy. The capacity for explicit motor learning is reduced among individuals with right unilateral cerebral palsy when accumulation of declarative knowledge is unguided (i.e., discovery learning). In contrast, the capacity for implicit learning appears to remain intact among individuals with left as well as right unilateral cerebral palsy. Implications for rehabilitation Implicit motor learning interventions are recommended for individuals with cerebral palsy, particularly for individuals with right unilateral cerebral palsy Explicit motor learning interventions for individual with cerebral palsy - if used - best consist of singular verbal instruction.

  4. Neuromodulatory effect of bromazepam on motor learning: an electroencephalographic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Marlo; Machado, Dionis; Bastos, Victor H; Ferreira, Camila; Cagy, Maurício; Basile, Luis; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2006-10-23

    To investigate the effects of bromazepam on motor performance and electroencephalographic activity (qEEG) in healthy subjects, during the process of learning a typewriting task, with a focused attention demand. A randomized double-blind model was used to allocate subjects in one of the following conditions: placebo (n=13), bromazepam 3 mg (n=13) or bromazepam 6 mg (n=13). Forty minutes after treatment administration, subjects were submitted to the motor task. EEG activity was recorded simultaneously. The analyzed variables were: number of errors and execution time, which were extracted from each block of the typewriting task, and mean relative power values in the beta band (13-35 Hz), extracted from the qEEG. A significantly lower number of typing errors was observed in both bromazepam conditions (Br 3 mg and Br 6 mg) when compared to the placebo. There was no difference between the two bromazepam conditions. For the execution time variable, a better performance was observed in the Br 3 mg condition, but with no statistical significance. The highest degree of cortical activation during the task was observed in Br 3 mg and Br 6 mg when compared to placebo. The medication's anxiolytic effect intensifies the attentional focus over predictable events occurring in reduced perceptual fields. The qEEG's accentuated response in pre-motor and primary motor areas suggests a greater effort directed to the most relevant aspects of the task. In short, the doses employed (3 and 6 mg) seem to enhance the learning of motor tasks that involve focused attention, such as typewriting.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Rebecca M. C. Spencer; Pace-Schott, Edward F.

    2013-01-01

    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 c...

  6. Differential Training Facilitates Early Consolidation in Motor Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henz, Diana; Schöllhorn, Wolfgang I.

    2016-01-01

    Current research demonstrates increased learning rates in differential 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 19 electrodes according to the 10–20 system before and immediately after each 20-min 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.

  7. Prespeech motor learning in a neural network using reinforcement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warlaumont, Anne S; Westermann, Gert; Buder, Eugene H; Oller, D Kimbrough

    2013-02-01

    Vocal motor development in infancy provides a crucial foundation for language development. Some significant early accomplishments include learning to control the process of phonation (the production of sound at the larynx) and learning to produce the sounds of one's language. Previous work has shown that social reinforcement shapes the kinds of vocalizations infants produce. We present a neural network model that provides an account of how vocal learning may be guided by reinforcement. The model consists of a self-organizing map that outputs to muscles of a realistic vocalization synthesizer. Vocalizations are spontaneously produced by the network. If a vocalization meets certain acoustic criteria, it is reinforced, and the weights are updated to make similar muscle activations increasingly likely to recur. We ran simulations of the model under various reinforcement criteria and tested the types of vocalizations it produced after learning in the different conditions. When reinforcement was contingent on the production of phonated (i.e. voiced) sounds, the network's post-learning productions were almost always phonated, whereas when reinforcement was not contingent on phonation, the network's post-learning productions were almost always not phonated. When reinforcement was contingent on both phonation and proximity to English vowels as opposed to Korean vowels, the model's post-learning productions were more likely to resemble the English vowels and vice versa.

  8. The differential consolidation of perceptual and motor learning in skill acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallgató, Emese; Győri-Dani, Dóra; Pekár, Judit; Janacsek, Karolina; Nemeth, Dezso

    2013-04-01

    Implicit skill learning is an unconscious way of learning which underlies not only motor but also cognitive and social skills. This form of learning is based on both motor and perceptual information. Although many studies have investigated the perceptual and motor components of "online" skill learning, the effect of consolidation on perceptual and motor characteristics of skill learning has not been studied to our knowledge. In our research we used a sequence learning task to determine if consolidation had the same or different effect on the perceptual and the motor components of skill acquisition. We introduced a 12-h (including or not including sleep) and a 24-h (diurnal control) delay between the learning and the testing phase with AM-PM, PM-AM, AM-AM and PM-PM groups, in order to examine whether the offline period had differential effects on perceptual and motor learning. Although both perceptual and motor learning were significant in the testing phase, results showed that motor knowledge transfers more effectively than perceptual knowledge during the offline period, irrespective of whether sleep occurred or not and whether there was a 12- or 24-h delay period between the learning and the testing phase. These results have important implications for the debate concerning perceptual/motor learning and the role of sleep in skill acquisition.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Moreno-Murcia, Francisco Javier; Ordoño, Eva. M

    2015-01-01

    .... 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Cerebellum: links between development, developmental disorders and motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manto, Mario U; Jissendi, Patrice

    2012-01-01

    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 remodeling are being unraveled. 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, 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 signaling between granule cells and Purkinje neurons. The expression profile of 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 developments and learning deficiencies. Pathways playing a critical role in cerebellar development are likely to become therapeutical targets for several neurodevelopmental disorders.

  12. Cerebellum: links between development, developmental disorders and motor learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manto, Mario U.; Jissendi, Patrice

    2012-01-01

    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 remodeling are being unraveled. 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, 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 signaling between granule cells and Purkinje neurons. The expression profile of 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 developments and learning deficiencies. Pathways playing a critical role in cerebellar development are likely to become therapeutical targets for several neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:22291620

  13. Cerebellar LTD vs. motor learning-lessons learned from studying GluD2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2013-11-01

    Synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression (LTD), is believed to underlie learning and memory processes in vivo. The cerebellum is an ideal brain region to obtain definitive proof for this hypothesis. The current belief is that the acquisition of motor learning is stored by LTD at the parallel fiber (PF)-Purkinje cell synapse in the cerebellar cortex. Recently, however, several lines of mutant mice that display normal motor learning in the absence of cerebellar LTD have been reported. A similar dichotomy between synaptic plasticity at the circuitry level and learning at the behavioral level has also been reported in the hippocampus. One possible explanation for this dichotomy is that compensatory pathways at the molecular and circuitry levels play an important role in mice that have been genetically modified for their entire lives. Mice that are genetically modified to be deficient in or to express mutant versions of the δ2 glutamate receptor (GluD2) serve as an interesting model due to the predominant expression of GluD2 at PF-Purkinje cell synapses. Furthermore, two major functions of GluD2-PF synapse formation and LTD induction-can be mechanistically dissociated so that the role of LTD in motor learning can be investigated in the absence of morphological abnormalities caused by altered synapse formation. Therefore, genetic manipulations of GluD2 will help to clarify the relationship between LTD and motor learning in the cerebellum.

  14. Inter-Individual Differences in the Initial 80 Minutes of Motor Learning of Handrim Wheelchair Propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vegter, Riemer J. K.; Lamoth, Claudine J.; de Groot, Sonja; Veeger, Dirkjan H. E. J.; van der Woude, Lucas H. V.

    2014-01-01

    Handrim wheelchair propulsion is a cyclic skill that needs to be learned during rehabilitation. Yet it is unclear how inter-individual differences in motor learning impact wheelchair propulsion practice. Therefore we studied how early-identified motor learning styles in novice able-bodied participan

  15. Inter-Individual Differences in the Initial 80 Minutes of Motor Learning of Handrim Wheelchair Propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vegter, Riemer J. K.; Lamoth, Claudine J.; de Groot, Sonja; Veeger, Dirkjan H. E. J.; van der Woude, Lucas H. V.

    2014-01-01

    Handrim wheelchair propulsion is a cyclic skill that needs to be learned during rehabilitation. Yet it is unclear how inter-individual differences in motor learning impact wheelchair propulsion practice. Therefore we studied how early-identified motor learning styles in novice able-bodied

  16. 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. PMID:27598310

  17. 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.

  18. Different Effects of Implicit and Explicit Motor Sequence Learning on Latency of Motor Evoked Potential Evoked by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on the Primary Motor Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Masato; Kubota, Shinji; Koizume, Yoshiki; Tanaka, Shinya; Funase, Kozo

    2017-01-01

    Motor training induces plastic changes in the primary motor cortex (M1). However, it is unclear whether and how the latency of motor-evoked potentials (MEP) and MEP amplitude are affected by implicit and/or explicit motor learning. Here, we investigated the changes in M1 excitability and MEP latency induced by implicit and explicit motor learning. The subjects performed a serial reaction time task (SRTT) with their five fingers. In this task, visual cues were lit up sequentially along with a predetermined order. Through training, the subjects learned the order of sequence implicitly and explicitly. Before and after the SRTT, we recorded MEP at 25 stimulation points around the hot spot for the flexor pollicis brevis (FPB) muscle. Although no changes in MEP amplitude were observed in either session, we found increases in MEP latency and changes in histogram of MEP latency after implicit learning. Our results suggest that reorganization across the motor cortices occurs during the acquisition of implicit knowledge. In contrast, acquisition of explicit knowledge does not appear to induce the reorganization based on the measures we recorded. The fact that the above mentioned increases in MEP latency occurred without any alterations in MEP amplitude suggests that learning has different effects on different physiological signals. In conclusion, our results propose that analyzing a combination of some indices of M1 excitability, such as MEP amplitude and MEP latency, is encouraged in order to understand plasticity across motor cortices. PMID:28101014

  19. Online feedback enhances early consolidation of motor sequence learning and reverses recall deficit from transcranial stimulation of motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Leonora; Steel, Adam; Mooshagian, Eric; Zimmermann, Trelawny; Keisler, Aysha; Lewis, Jeffrey D; Wassermann, Eric M

    2015-10-01

    Feedback and monetary reward can enhance motor skill learning, suggesting reward system involvement. Continuous theta burst (cTBS) transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the primary motor area (M1) disrupts processing, reduces excitability and impairs motor learning. To see whether feedback and reward can overcome the learning impairment associated with M1 cTBS, we delivered real or sham stimulation to two groups of participants before they performed a motor sequence learning task with and without feedback. Participants were trained on two intermixed sequences, one occurring 85% of the time (the "probable" sequence) and the other 15% of the time (the "improbable" sequence). We measured sequence learning as the difference in reaction time (RT) and error rate between probable and improbable trials (RT and error difference scores). Participants were also tested for sequence recall with the same indices of learning 60 min after cTBS. Real stimulation impaired initial sequence learning and sequence knowledge recall as measured by error difference scores and impaired sequence knowledge recall as measured by RT difference score. Relative to non-feedback learning, the introduction of feedback during sequence learning improved subsequent sequence knowledge recall indexed by RT difference score, in both real and sham stimulation groups and feedback reversed the RT difference score based sequence knowledge recall impairment from real cTBS that we observed in the non-feedback learning condition. Only the real cTBS group in the non-feedback condition showed no evidence of explicit sequence knowledge when tested at the end of the study. Feedback improves recall of implicit and explicit motor sequence knowledge and can protect sequence knowledge against the effect of M1 inhibition. Adding feedback and monetary reward/punishment to motor skill learning may help overcome retention impairments or accelerate training in clinical and other settings. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Motor and perceptual sequence learning: different time course of parallel processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirnberger, Georg; Novak-Knollmueller, Judith

    2013-07-10

    The aim was to determine the extent and time course of motor and perceptual learning in a procedural learning task, and the relation of these two processes. Because environmental constraints modulate the relative impact of different learning mechanisms, we chose a simple learning task similar to real-life exercise. Thirty-four healthy individuals performed a visuomotor serial reaction time task. Learning blocks with high stimulus-response compatibility were practiced repeatedly; in between these, participants performed test blocks with the same or a different (mirror-inverted, or new) stimulus sequence and/or with the same or a different (mirror-inverted) stimulus-response allocation. This design allowed us to measure the progress of motor learning and perceptual learning independently. Results showed that in the learning blocks, a steady reduction of the reaction times indicated that - as expected - participants improved their skills continuously. Analysis of the test blocks indicated that both motor learning and perceptual learning were significant. The two mechanisms were correlated (r=0.62, Pperceptual learning was more stable but slower. In conclusion, in a simple visuomotor learning task, participants can learn the motor sequence and the stimulus sequence in parallel. The positive correlation of motor and perceptual learning suggests that the two mechanisms act in synergy and are not alternative opposing strategies. The impact of these two learning mechanisms changes over time: motor learning sets in later and becomes relevant only in the course of training.

  1. Sleep modulates word-pair learning but not motor sequence learning in healthy older adults

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson, Jessica K.; Baran, Bengi; Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Richard B. Ivry; Rebecca M. C. Spencer

    2012-01-01

    Sleep benefits memory across a range of tasks for young adults. However, remarkably little is known of the role of sleep on memory for healthy older adults. We used two tasks, one assaying motor skill learning and the other assaying non-motor/declarative learning, to examine off-line changes in performance in young (20–34 yrs), middle-aged (35–50 yrs), and older (51–70 yrs) adults without disordered sleep. During an initial session, conducted either in the morning or evening, participants lea...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Sleep modulates word-pair learning but not motor sequence learning in healthy older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Jessica K; Baran, Bengi; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Ivry, Richard B; Spencer, Rebecca M C

    2012-05-01

    Sleep benefits memory across a range of tasks for young adults. However, remarkably little is known of the role of sleep on memory for healthy older adults. We used 2 tasks, 1 assaying motor skill learning and the other assaying nonmotor/declarative learning, to examine off-line changes in performance in young (20-34 years), middle-aged (35-50 years), and older (51-70 years) adults without disordered sleep. During an initial session, conducted either in the morning or evening, participants learned a motor sequence and a list of word pairs. Memory tests were given twice, 12 and 24 hours after training, allowing us to analyze off-line consolidation after a break that included sleep or normal wake. Sleep-dependent performance changes were reduced in older adults on the motor sequence learning task. In contrast, sleep-dependent performance changes were similar for all 3 age groups on the word pair learning task. Age-related changes in sleep or networks activated during encoding or during sleep may contribute to age-related declines in motor sequence consolidation. Interestingly, these changes do not affect declarative memory.

  4. Motor learning in individuals with autism spectrum disorder: activation in superior parietal lobule related to learning and repetitive behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travers, Brittany G; Kana, Rajesh K; Klinger, Laura G; Klein, Christopher L; Klinger, Mark R

    2015-02-01

    Motor-linked implicit learning is the learning of a sequence of movements without conscious awareness. Although motor symptoms are frequently reported in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), recent behavioral studies have suggested that motor-linked implicit learning may be intact in ASD. The serial reaction time (SRT) task is one of the most common measures of motor-linked implicit learning. The present study used a 3T functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner to examine the behavioral and neural correlates of real-time motor sequence learning in adolescents and adults with ASD (n = 15) compared with age- and intelligence quotient-matched individuals with typical development (n = 15) during an SRT task. Behavioral results suggested less robust motor sequence learning in individuals with ASD. Group differences in brain activation suggested that individuals with ASD, relative to individuals with typical development, showed decreased activation in the right superior parietal lobule (SPL) and right precuneus (Brodmann areas 5 and 7, and extending into the intraparietal sulcus) during learning. Activation in these areas (and in areas such as the right putamen and right supramarginal gyrus) was found to be significantly related to behavioral learning in this task. Additionally, individuals with ASD who had more severe repetitive behavior/restricted interest symptoms demonstrated greater decreased activation in these regions during motor learning. In conjunction, these results suggest that the SPL may play an important role in motor learning and repetitive behavior in individuals with ASD.

  5. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Lu Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  6. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Meng-Lu; Zang, Tong; Zhang, Chun-Li

    2016-01-05

    Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs) exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  7. Neural correlates of the age-related changes in motor sequence learning and motor adaptation in older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley R King

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available As the world’s population ages, a deeper understanding of the relationship between aging and motor learning will become increasingly relevant in basic research and applied settings. In this context, this review aims to address the effects of age on motor sequence learning (MSL and motor adaptation (MA with respect to behavioral, neurological and neuroimaging findings. Previous behavioral research investigating the influence of aging on motor learning has consistently reported the following results. First, the initial acquisition of motor sequences is not altered, except under conditions of increased task complexity. Second, older adults demonstrate deficits in motor sequence memory consolidation. And, third, although older adults demonstrate deficits during the exposure phase of MA paradigms, the aftereffects following removal of the sensorimotor perturbation are similar to young adults, suggesting that the adaptive ability of older adults is relatively intact. This paper will review the potential neural underpinnings of these behavioral results, with a particular emphasis on the influence of age-related dysfunctions in the cortico-striatal system on motor learning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Paola

    2008-01-01

    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 old) or "late" (362-371 days old) 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 animals ("early" and "late" trained groups) showed a significant Inter hemispheric decrease of neuronal density in the corresponding motor forelimb representation area of MI (cortical layers II-III). It is concluded that learning a skilled reaching task implies long lasting structural changes in restricted cortical regions of the motor cortex. The generation and persistence of these changes probably reflect a plastic reorganization for storing and retrieving motor skills. The plastic changes were also observed in the older rats, suggesting that motor cortex maintains its plastic capacity throughout the lifespan.

  9. AUTOMOTIVE DIESEL MAINTENANCE 2. UNIT XIX, LEARNING ABOUT CRANKING MOTORS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human Engineering Inst., Cleveland, OH.

    THIS MODULE OF A 25-MODULE COURSE IS DESIGNED TO DEVELOP AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE OPERATING PRINCIPLES OF CRANKING MOTORS USED ON DIESEL POWERED EQUIPMENT, TOPICS ARE (1) CRANKING MOTORS. (2) MOTOR PINCIPLES, (3) CRANKING MOTOR CIRCUITS, (4) TYPES OF CRANKING MOTOR DRIVES, AND (5) CRANKING MOTOR SOLENOID CIRCUITS. THE MODULE CONSISTS OF A…

  10. Dissociation of visual associative and motor learning in Drosophila at the flight simulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shunpeng; Li, Yan; Feng, Chunhua; Guo, Aike

    2003-08-29

    Ever since operant conditioning was studied experimentally, the relationship between associative learning and possible motor learning has become controversial. Although motor learning and its underlying neural substrates have been extensively studied in mammals, it is still poorly understood in invertebrates. The visual discriminative avoidance paradigm of Drosophila at the flight simulator has been widely used to study the flies' visual associative learning and related functions, but it has not been used to study the motor learning process. In this study, newly-designed data analysis was employed to examine the flies' solitary behavioural variable that was recorded at the flight simulator-yaw torque. Analysis was conducted to explore torque distributions of both wild-type and mutant flies in conditioning, with the following results: (1) Wild-type Canton-S flies had motor learning performance in conditioning, which was proved by modifications of the animal's behavioural mode in conditioning. (2) Repetition of training improved the motor learning performance of wild-type Canton-S flies. (3) Although mutant dunce(1) flies were defective in visual associative learning, they showed essentially normal motor learning performance in terms of yaw torque distribution in conditioning. Finally, we tentatively proposed that both visual associative learning and motor learning were involved in the visual operant conditioning of Drosophila at the flight simulator, that the two learning forms could be dissociated and they might have different neural bases.

  11. The Representation of Motor (Interaction, States of Action, and Learning: Three Perspectives on Motor Learning by Way of Imagery and Execution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Frank

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Learning in intelligent systems is a result of direct and indirect interaction with the environment. While humans can learn by way of different states of (interaction such as the execution or the imagery of an action, their unique potential to induce brain- and mind-related changes in the motor action system is still being debated. The systematic repetition of different states of action (e.g., physical and/or mental practice and their contribution to the learning of complex motor actions has traditionally been approached by way of performance improvements. More recently, approaches highlighting the role of action representation in the learning of complex motor actions have evolved and may provide additional insight into the learning process. In the present perspective paper, we build on brain-related findings and sketch recent research on learning by way of imagery and execution from a hierarchical, perceptual-cognitive approach to motor control and learning. These findings provide insights into the learning of intelligent systems from a perceptual-cognitive, representation-based perspective and as such add to our current understanding of action representation in memory and its changes with practice. Future research should build bridges between approaches in order to more thoroughly understand functional changes throughout the learning process and to facilitate motor learning, which may have particular importance for cognitive systems research in robotics, rehabilitation, and sports.

  12. The Effect of Haptic Cues on Motor and Perceptual Based Implicit Sequence Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongwon eKim

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available We introduced haptic cues to the serial reaction time (SRT sequence learning task alongside the standard visual cues to assess the relative contributions of haptic and visual stimuli to the formation of motor and perceptual memories. We used motorized keys to deliver brief pulse-like displacements to the resting fingers, expecting that the proximity and similarity of these cues to the subsequent response motor actions (finger activated key-presses would strengthen the motor memory trace in particular. We adopted the experimental protocol developed by Willingham in 1999 to explore whether haptic cues contribute differently than visual cues to the balance of motor and perceptual learning. We found that sequence learning occurs with haptic stimuli as with visual stimuli and we found that irrespective of the stimuli (visual or haptic the serial reaction time task leads to a greater amount of motor learning than perceptual learning.

  13. Perceptual-motor learning benefits from increased stress and anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hordacre, Brenton; Immink, Maarten A; Ridding, Michael C; Hillier, Susan

    2016-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to manipulate psychological stress and anxiety to investigate effects on ensuing perceptual-motor learning. Thirty-six participants attended two experimental sessions separated by 24h. In the first session, participants were randomized to either a mental arithmetic task known to increase stress and anxiety levels or a control condition and subsequently completed training on a speeded precision pinch task. Learning of the pinch task was assessed at the second session. Those exposed to the high stress-anxiety mental arithmetic task prior to training reported elevated levels of both stress and anxiety and demonstrated shorter movement times and improved retention of movement accuracy and movement variability. Response execution processes appear to benefit from elevated states of stress and anxiety immediately prior to training even when elicited by an unrelated task.

  14. 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......-time series. The optimal number of clusters was chosen using a cross-validated likelihood method, which highlights the clustering pattern that generalizes best over the subjects. Data were acquired with PET at different time points during practice of a visuomotor task. The results from cluster analysis show...... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balslev, Daniela; Nielsen, Finn Å; Futiger, 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......-time series. The optimal number of clusters was chosen using a cross-validated likelihood method, which highlights the clustering pattern that generalizes best over the subjects. Data were acquired with PET at different time points during practice of a visuomotor task. The results from cluster analysis show...... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balslev, Daniela; Nielsen, Finn Å; Futiger, 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......-time series. The optimal number of clusters was chosen using a cross-validated likelihood method, which highlights the clustering pattern that generalizes best over the subjects. Data were acquired with PET at different time points during practice of a visuomotor task. The results from cluster analysis show...... 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...

  17. Mixed observation favors motor learning through better estimation of the model's performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Proteau, Luc

    2014-10-01

    Observation contributes to motor learning. It was recently demonstrated that the observation of both a novice and an expert model (mixed observation) resulted in better learning of a complex spatio-temporal task than the observation of either a novice or an expert model alone. In the present study, we sought to determine whether the advantage of mixed observation resulted from the development of a better error detection mechanism. The results revealed that mixed observation resulted in a better estimation of the model's performance than that with other regimens of observation. The results also suggest that observational learning is improved when observation with knowledge of the results (KR) is followed by an observation phase without KR.

  18. [Electroencephalography measures in motor skill learning and effects of bromazepam].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, Victor Hugo; Machado, Dionis; Cunha, Marlo; Portella, Claudio Elidio; Cagy, Maurício; Furtado, Vernon; Piedade, Roberto; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2005-06-01

    Neuromodulators change brain's neural circuitry. Bromazepam is often been used in the pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders. Few papers links this anxiolytic to motor tasks. The purpose of this study was to examine motor and electrophysiological changes produced by administration of bromazepam in differents doses (3 and 6 mg). The sample consisted of 39 healthy individuals, of both sexes, between 20 and 30 years of age. The control (placebo) and experimental (bromazepam 3mg and bromazepam 6 mg) groups were submitted to a typewriting task, in a randomized, double-blind design. The results did not reveal differences on score and time of the attention test. In the comportamental analysis was noticed blocks as main effect to behavioral variables (time and mistakes in the task). Electrophysiological data showed significants interactions to: laterally/condition/moment; laterally/condition; laterally/moment; condition/moment; condition/site.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2012-09-01

    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 striatumMethods: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.

  1. Is Implicit Motor Learning Preserved after Stroke? A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kal, E.; Winters, M.; van der Kamp, J.; Houdijk, H.; Groet, E.; van Bennekom, C.; Scherder, E.

    2016-01-01

    Many stroke patients experience difficulty with performing dual-tasks. A promising intervention to target this issue is implicit motor learning, as it should enhance patients’ automaticity of movement. Yet, although it is often thought that implicit motor learning is preserved post-stroke, evidence for this claim has not been systematically analysed yet. Therefore, we systematically reviewed whether implicit motor learning is preserved post-stroke, and whether patients benefit more from implicit than from explicit motor learning. We comprehensively searched conventional (MEDLINE, Cochrane, Embase, PEDro, PsycINFO) and grey literature databases (BIOSIS, Web of Science, OpenGrey, British Library, trial registries) for relevant reports. Two independent reviewers screened reports, extracted data, and performed a risk of bias assessment. Overall, we included 20 out of the 2177 identified reports that allow for a succinct evaluation of implicit motor learning. Of these, only 1 study investigated learning on a relatively complex, whole-body (balance board) task. All 19 other studies concerned variants of the serial-reaction time paradigm, with most of these focusing on learning with the unaffected hand (N = 13) rather than the affected hand or both hands (both: N = 4). Four of the 20 studies compared explicit and implicit motor learning post-stroke. Meta-analyses suggest that patients with stroke can learn implicitly with their unaffected side (mean difference (MD) = 69 ms, 95% CI[45.1, 92.9], p < .00001), but not with their affected side (standardized MD = -.11, 95% CI[-.45, .25], p = .56). Finally, implicit motor learning seemed equally effective as explicit motor learning post-stroke (SMD = -.54, 95% CI[-1.37, .29], p = .20). However, overall, the high risk of bias, small samples, and limited clinical relevance of most studies make it impossible to draw reliable conclusions regarding the effect of implicit motor learning strategies post-stroke. High quality studies

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. Analogy learning and the performance of motor skills under pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Wing Kai; Maxwell, Jon P; Masters, Richard

    2009-06-01

    The efficacy of analogical instruction, relative to explicit instruction, for the acquisition of a complex motor skill and subsequent performance under pressure was investigated using a modified (seated) basketball shooting task. Differences in attentional resource allocation associated with analogy and explicit learning were also examined using probe reaction times (PRT). Access to task-relevant explicit (declarative) knowledge was assessed. The analogy and explicit learning groups performed equally well during learning and delayed retention tests. The explicit group experienced a drop in performance during a pressured transfer test, relative to their performance during a preceding retention test. However, the analogy group's performance was unaffected by the pressure manipulation. Results from PRTs suggested that both groups allocated equal amounts of attentional resources to the task throughout learning and test trials. Analogy learners had significantly less access to rules about the mechanics of their movements, relative to explicit learners. The results are interpreted in the context of Eysenck and Calvo's (1992) processing efficiency theory and Masters's (1992) theory of reinvestment.

  7. Effects of practice schedules on speech motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Andus W-K; Whitehill, Tara L; Ma, Estella P-M; Masters, Rich

    2013-10-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of various practice schedules on learning a novel speech task. Forty healthy Cantonese speakers were asked to learn to produce a Cantonese phrase with two target utterance durations (2500 and 3500 milliseconds). They were randomly assigned to one of four learning conditions, each completing a different practice schedule, namely Blocked only, Random only, Blocked-then-Random, and Random-then-Blocked. Two retention tests (one immediate and one delayed) and a transfer test were administered. The four groups of participants showed different patterns of learning, but achieved comparable levels of performance at the end of the acquisition phase. However, participants in the Blocked only condition were less able to differentiate the two target durations than those in the Random only condition during retention. Furthermore, participants who received both blocked and random practice were less adversely affected by the secondary task during the transfer test than those who received either blocked or random practice alone. These findings suggest that mixed practice schedules are more effective than either blocked or random practice, especially in transferring the acquired speech motor skills to a cognitively demanding situation. The results have clinical implications regarding optimal practice schedules for treatment intervention.

  8. Motor Imagery Classification based on Bilinear Sub-Manifold Learning of Symmetric Positive-Definite Matrices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Xiaofeng; Yu, Zhu Liang; Lu, Haiping; Gu, Zhenghui; Li, Yuanqing

    2016-07-07

    In motor imagery brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), the symmetric positive-definite (SPD) covariance matrices of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals carry important discriminative information. In this paper, we intend to classify motor imagery EEG signals by exploiting the fact that the space of SPD matrices endowed with Riemannian distance is a highdimensional Riemannian manifold. To alleviate the overfitting and heavy computation problems associated with conventional classification methods on high-dimensional manifold, we propose a framework for intrinsic sub-manifold learning from a high-dimensional Riemannian manifold. Considering a special case of SPD space, a simple yet efficient bilinear sub-manifold learning (BSML) algorithm is derived to learn the intrinsic submanifold by identifying a bilinear mapping that maximizes the preservation of the local geometry and global structure of the original manifold. Two BSML-based classification algorithms are further proposed to classify the data on a learned intrinsic sub-manifold. Experimental evaluation of the classification of EEG revealed that the BSML method extracts the intrinsic submanifold approximately 5 faster and with higher classification accuracy compared with competing algorithms. The BSML also exhibited strong robustness against a small training dataset, which often occurs in BCI studies.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 spac...

  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. Group learning: revealing an unseen organizational phenomenon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pimentel, Ricardo; Noguira, Eloy Eros da Silva; Elkjær, Bente

    The article presents a study that aims at the apprehension of the group learning in a top management team composed by teachers in a Brazilian Waldorf school whose management is collective. After deciding to extend the school, they had problems recruiting teachers who were already trained based on...

  13. 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…

  14. Anti-Malaria Drug Mefloquine Induces Motor Learning Deficits in Humans

    OpenAIRE

    Essen, Thomas A. van; van der Giessen, Ruben S.; Koekkoek, S K E; Frans van der Werf; Chris I De Zeeuw; van Genderen, Perry J. J.; David Overbosch; Marcel T G De Jeu

    2010-01-01

    Mefloquine (a marketed anti-malaria drug) prophylaxis has a high risk of causing adverse events. Interestingly, animal studies have shown that mefloquine imposes a major deficit in motor learning skills by affecting the connexin 36 gap junctions of the inferior olive. We were therefore interested in assessing whether mefloquine might induce similar effects in humans. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mefloquine on olivary-related motor performance and motor learning ...

  15. 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

    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......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...

  16. Error-related negativity in the skilled brain of pianists reveals motor simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Cozzi, Matteo; Orlandi, Andrea; Carminati, Manuel

    2017-03-27

    Evidences have been provided of a crucial role of multimodal audio-visuomotor processing in subserving the musical ability. In this paper we investigated whether musical audiovisual stimulation might trigger the activation of motor information in the brain of professional pianists, due to the presence of permanent gestures/sound associations. At this aim EEG was recorded in 24 pianists and naive participants engaged in the detection of rare targets while watching hundreds of video clips showing a pair of hands in the act of playing, along with a compatible or incompatible piano soundtrack. Hands size and apparent distance allowed self-ownership and agency illusions, and therefore motor simulation. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and relative source reconstruction showed the presence of an Error-related negativity (ERN) to incongruent trials at anterior frontal scalp sites, only in pianists, with no difference in naïve participants. ERN was mostly explained by an anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) source. Other sources included "hands" IT regions, the superior temporal gyrus (STG) involved in conjoined auditory and visuomotor processing, SMA and cerebellum (representing and controlling motor subroutines), and regions involved in body parts representation (somatosensory cortex, uncus, cuneus and precuneus). The findings demonstrate that instrument-specific audiovisual stimulation is able to trigger error shooting and correction neural responses via motor resonance and mirroring, being a possible aid in learning and rehabilitation. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. On No-KR tests in motor learning, retention and transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Daniel M; Newell, Karl M

    2007-02-01

    In this paper we examine the role of no-knowledge of results (KR) tests in motor learning, retention and transfer. A distinction is drawn between studies of KR and studies of other issues in motor learning that use a No-KR test. Arguments are presented against the currently received position that a No-KR test is an essential protocol to examine motor learning, although a No-KR test is most relevant in the few contexts where the outcome information is not naturally available. Perspectives are provided on the limited though proper role of No-KR tests in motor learning, retention and transfer and these are illustrated through experimental examples. It is proposed that the current restrictive interpretation of KR as only augmented outcome information is narrowing not only the context of KR research but also the study of motor learning in general.

  18. The involvement of the left motor cortex in learning of a novel action word lexicon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liuzzi, Gianpiero; Freundlieb, Nils; Ridder, Volker; Hoppe, Julia; Heise, Kirstin; Zimerman, Maximo; Dobel, Christian; Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Gerloff, Christian; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Hummel, Friedhelm C

    2010-10-12

    Current theoretical positions assume that action-related word meanings are established by functional connections between perisylvian language areas and the motor cortex (MC) according to Hebb's associative learning principle. To test this assumption, we probed the functional relevance of the left MC for learning of a novel action word vocabulary by disturbing neural plasticity in the MC with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). In combination with tDCS, subjects learned a novel vocabulary of 76 concrete, body-related actions by means of an associative learning paradigm. Compared with a control condition with "sham" stimulation, cathodal tDCS reduced success rates in vocabulary acquisition, as shown by tests of novel action word translation into the native language. The analysis of learning behavior revealed a specific effect of cathodal tDCS on the ability to associatively couple actions with novel words. In contrast, we did not find these effects in control experiments, when tDCS was applied to the prefrontal cortex or when subjects learned object-related words. The present study lends direct evidence to the proposition that the left MC is causally involved in the acquisition of novel action-related words. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Perceptual and motor learning underlies human stick-balancing skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kwee-Yum; O'Dwyer, Nicholas; Halaki, Mark; Smith, Richard

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the acquisition of skill in balancing a stick (52 cm, 34 g) on the fingertip in nine participants using three-dimensional motion analysis. After 3.5 h of practice over 6 wk, the participants could more consistently balance the stick for longer durations with greatly reduced magnitude and speed of stick and finger movements. Irrespective of level of skill, the balanced stick behaved like a normal noninverted pendulum oscillating under greater-than-gravity torque with simple harmonic motion about a virtual pivot located at the radius of gyration above the center of mass. The control input parameter was the magnitude ratio between the torque applied on the stick by the participant and the torque due to gravity. The participants utilized only a narrow range of this parameter, which did not change with practice, to rotate the stick like a linear mass-spring system. With increased skill, the stick therefore maintained the same period of oscillation but showed marked reductions in magnitude of both oscillation and horizontal translation. Better balancing was associated with 1) more accurate visual localization of the stick and proprioceptive localization of the finger and 2) reduced cross-coupling errors between finger and stick movements in orthogonal directions; i.e., finger movements in the anteroposterior plane became less coupled with stick tip movements in the mediolateral plane, and vice versa. Development of this fine motor skill therefore depended on perceptual and motor learning to provide improved estimation of sensorimotor state and precision of motor commands to an unchanging internal model of the rotational dynamics.

  20. Proactive and retroactive transfer of middle age adults in a sequential motor learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verneau, Marion; van der Kamp, John; Savelsbergh, Geert J P; de Looze, Michiel P

    2015-03-01

    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 (18-30 years) and middle-aged adults (50-65 years) practiced to build two products that consisted of the same six components but which had to be assembled in a partly different order. Assembly accuracy and movement time during tests, which were performed before and after the practice sessions, were compared to determine proactive and retroactive transfer. The results showed proactive facilitation (i.e., benefits from having learned the first product on learning the second one) in terms of an overall shortening of movement time in both age-groups. In addition, only the middle-aged adults were found to show sequence-specific proactive facilitation, in which the shortening of movement time was limited to components that had the same the order in the two products. Most likely, however, the sequence-specific transfer was an epiphenomenon of the comparatively low rate of learning among the middle-aged adults. The results, however, did reveal genuine differences between the groups for retroactive transfer (i.e., effects from learning the second product on performance of the first). Middle-aged adults tended to show more pronounced retroactive interference in terms of a general decrease in accuracy, while younger adults showed sequence-specific retroactive facilitation (i.e., shortening of movement times for components that had the same order in the two products), but only when they were fully accurate. Together this suggests that in the learning of sequential motor tasks the effects of age are more marked for retroactive transfer than for proactive transfer. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Dynamical movement primitives: learning attractor models for motor behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ijspeert, Auke Jan; Nakanishi, Jun; Hoffmann, Heiko; Pastor, Peter; Schaal, Stefan

    2013-02-01

    Nonlinear dynamical systems have been used in many disciplines to model complex behaviors, including biological motor control, robotics, perception, economics, traffic prediction, and neuroscience. While often the unexpected emergent behavior of nonlinear systems is the focus of investigations, it is of equal importance to create goal-directed behavior (e.g., stable locomotion from a system of coupled oscillators under perceptual guidance). Modeling goal-directed behavior with nonlinear systems is, however, rather difficult due to the parameter sensitivity of these systems, their complex phase transitions in response to subtle parameter changes, and the difficulty of analyzing and predicting their long-term behavior; intuition and time-consuming parameter tuning play a major role. This letter presents and reviews dynamical movement primitives, a line of research for modeling attractor behaviors of autonomous nonlinear dynamical systems with the help of statistical learning techniques. The essence of our approach is to start with a simple dynamical system, such as a set of linear differential equations, and transform those into a weakly nonlinear system with prescribed attractor dynamics by means of a learnable autonomous forcing term. Both point attractors and limit cycle attractors of almost arbitrary complexity can be generated. We explain the design principle of our approach and evaluate its properties in several example applications in motor control and robotics.

  2. The influence of visual motion on motor learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danziger, Zachary; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando A.

    2012-01-01

    How does visual perception shape the way we coordinate movements? Recent studies suggest that the brain organizes movements based on minimizing reaching errors in the presence of motor and sensory noise. We present an alternative hypothesis in which movement trajectories also result from acquired knowledge about the geometrical properties of the object that the brain is controlling. To test this hypothesis we asked human subjects to control a simulated kinematic linkage by continuous finger motion, a completely novel experience. This paradigm removed all biases arising from influences of limb dynamics and past experience. Subjects were exposed to two different types of visual feedback; some saw the entire simulated linkage and others saw only the moving extremity. Consistent with our hypothesis, subjects learned to move the simulated linkage along geodesic lines corresponding to the geometrical structure of the observed motion. Thus, optimizing final accuracy is not the unique determinant of trajectory formation. PMID:22815501

  3. 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-e...... 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....... feedback of their own TPT performance, Group 3: control group performed the TPT without any conditioning. There was no overall difference between groups but TPT performance increased over time. A significant group x time interaction indicated that the self-observation group performed significantly better...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Preserved motor learning after stroke is related to the degree of proprioceptive deficit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyd Lara A

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most motor learning theories posit that proprioceptive sensation serves an important role in acquiring and performing movement patterns. However, we recently demonstrated that experimental disruption of proprioception peripherally altered motor performance but not motor learning in humans. Little work has considered humans with central nervous system damage. The purpose of the present study was to specifically consider the relationship between proprioception and motor learning at the level of the central nervous system in humans. Methods Individuals with chronic (> 6mo stroke and similarly aged healthy participants performed a continuous tracking task with an embedded repeating segment over two days and returned on a third day for retention testing. A limb-position matching task was used to quantify proprioception. Results Individuals with chronic stroke demonstrated the ability to learn to track a repeating segment; however, the magnitude of behavioral change associated with repeated segment-specific learning was directly related to the integrity of central proprioceptive processing as indexed by our limb-position matching task. Conclusion These results support the importance of central sensory processing for motor learning. The confirmation of central sensory processing dependent motor learning in humans is discussed in the context of our prior report of preserved motor learning when sensation is disrupted peripherally.

  7. Effective reinforcement learning following cerebellar damage requires a balance between exploration and motor noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Therrien, Amanda S; Wolpert, Daniel M; Bastian, Amy J

    2016-01-01

    Reinforcement and error-based processes are essential for motor learning, with the cerebellum thought to be required only for the error-based mechanism. Here we examined learning and retention of a reaching skill under both processes. Control subjects learned similarly from reinforcement and error-based feedback, but showed much better retention under reinforcement. To apply reinforcement to cerebellar patients, we developed a closed-loop reinforcement schedule in which task difficulty was controlled based on recent performance. This schedule produced substantial learning in cerebellar patients and controls. Cerebellar patients varied in their learning under reinforcement but fully retained what was learned. In contrast, they showed complete lack of retention in error-based learning. We developed a mechanistic model of the reinforcement task and found that learning depended on a balance between exploration variability and motor noise. While the cerebellar and control groups had similar exploration variability, the patients had greater motor noise and hence learned less. Our results suggest that cerebellar damage indirectly impairs reinforcement learning by increasing motor noise, but does not interfere with the reinforcement mechanism itself. Therefore, reinforcement can be used to learn and retain novel skills, but optimal reinforcement learning requires a balance between exploration variability and motor noise.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah Nadine Meissner; Ariane eKeitel; Martin eSüdmeyer; Bettina ePollok

    2016-01-01

    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...

  9. Implicit Motor Sequence Learning and Working Memory Performance Changes Across the Adult Life Span

    OpenAIRE

    Meissner, Sarah Nadine; Keitel, Ariane; Südmeyer, Martin; Pollok, Bettina

    2016-01-01

    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 o...

  10. Changes in cerebello-motor connectivity during procedural learning by actual execution and observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torriero, Sara; Oliveri, Massimiliano; Koch, Giacomo; Lo Gerfo, Emanuele; Salerno, Silvia; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Caltagirone, Carlo; Petrosini, Laura

    2011-02-01

    The cerebellum is involved in motor learning of new procedures both during actual execution of a motor task and during observational training. These processes are thought to depend on the activity of a neural network that involves the lateral cerebellum and primary motor cortex (M1). In this study, we used a twin-coil TMS technique to investigate whether execution and observation of a visuomotor procedural learning task is related to modulation of cerebello-motor connectivity. We observed that, at rest, a magnetic conditioning pulse applied over the lateral cerebellum reduced the motor-evoked potentials obtained by stimulating the contralateral M1, indicating activation of a cerebello-motor connection. Furthermore, during procedural learning, cerebellar stimulation resulted in selective facilitation, not inhibition, of contralateral M1 excitability. The effects were evident when motor learning was obtained by actual execution of the task or by observation, but they disappeared if procedural learning had already been acquired by previous observational training. These results indicate that changes in cerebello-motor connectivity occur in relation to specific phases of procedural learning, demonstrating a complex pattern of excitatory and inhibitory drives modulated across time.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Motor learning in children with spina bifida: intact learning and performance on a ballistic task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, Maureen; Jewell, Derryn; Edelstein, Kim; Brandt, Michael E; Hetherington, Ross; Blaser, Susan E; Fletcher, Jack M

    2006-09-01

    Learning and performance on a ballistic task were investigated in children with spina bifida meningomyelocele (SBM), with either upper level spinal lesions (n = 21) or lower level spinal lesions (n = 81), and in typically developing controls (n = 35). Participants completed three phases (20 trials each) of an elbow goniometer task that required a ballistic arm movement to move a cursor to one of two target positions on a screen, including (1) an initial learning phase, (2) an adaptation phase with a gain change such that recalibration of the ballistic arm movement was required, and (3) a learning reactivation phase under the original gain condition. Initial error rate, asymptotic error rate, and learning rate did not differ significantly between the SBM and control groups. Relative to controls, the SBM group had reduced volumes in the cerebellar hemispheres and pericallosal gray matter (the region including the basal ganglia), although only the pericallosal gray matter was significantly correlated with motor adaptation. Congenital cerebellar dysmorphology is associated with preserved motor skill learning on voluntary, nonreflexive tasks in children with SBM, in whom the relative roles of the cerebellum and basal ganglia may differ from those in the adult brain.

  14. Implicit motor sequence learning in children with learning disabilities: deficits limited to a subgroup with low perceptual organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overvelde, Anneloes; Hulstijn, Wouter

    2012-01-01

    This study tested whether deficiencies in implicit motor sequence learning occurred exclusively in a subgroup of children with learning disabilities (LD). An experimental motor sequence task showed that LD children with low Perceptual Organization did not learn the sequence through implicit training, whereas they improved considerably after a few explicit test trials. In contrast, children with low Freedom From Distractibility (or sequencing) experienced the same benefit from implicit training as the control children. These results suggest that training motor skills (e.g., writing) should be adapted to suit the visuospatial abilities of a child with LD.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Francisco Javier Moreno; Eva M. Ordoño

    2015-01-01

    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 al...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Francisco Javier Moreno; Eva M. Ordoño

    2015-01-01

    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 al...

  17. Atomic snapshots of an RNA packaging motor reveal conformational changes linking ATP hydrolysis to RNA translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancini, Erika J; Kainov, Denis E; Grimes, Jonathan M; Tuma, Roman; Bamford, Dennis H; Stuart, David I

    2004-09-17

    Many viruses package their genome into preformed capsids using packaging motors powered by the hydrolysis of ATP. The hexameric ATPase P4 of dsRNA bacteriophage phi12, located at the vertices of the icosahedral capsid, is such a packaging motor. We have captured crystallographic structures of P4 for all the key points along the catalytic pathway, including apo, substrate analog bound, and product bound. Substrate and product binding have been observed as both binary complexes and ternary complexes with divalent cations. These structures reveal large movements of the putative RNA binding loop, which are coupled with nucleotide binding and hydrolysis, indicating how ATP hydrolysis drives RNA translocation through cooperative conformational changes. Two distinct conformations of bound nucleotide triphosphate suggest how hydrolysis is activated by RNA binding. This provides a model for chemomechanical coupling for a prototype of the large family of hexameric helicases and oligonucleotide translocating enzymes.

  18. Motor skill learning in the middle-aged: limited development of motor chunks and explicit sequence knowledge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verwey, W.B.; Abrahamse, E.L.; Ruitenberg, M.F.L.; Jiménez, L.; Kleine, de E.

    2011-01-01

    The present study examined whether middle-aged participants, like young adults, learn movement patterns by preparing and executing integrated sequence representations (i.e., motor chunks) that eliminate the need for external guidance of individual movements. Twenty-four middle-aged participants (age

  19. 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

    -line gains in motor skill learning after practice in children, young, and older adults. Subjects performed a ballistic task (A) followed by an accuracy-tracking task (B) designed to disrupt the consolidation of A. Retention tests of A were performed immediately and 24 hours after B. Older adults showed...

  20. Learning redundant motor tasks with and without overlapping dimensions: facilitation and interference effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranganathan, Rajiv; Wieser, Jon; Mosier, Kristine M; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando A; Scheidt, Robert A

    2014-06-11

    Prior learning of a motor skill creates motor memories that can facilitate or interfere with learning of new, but related, motor skills. One hypothesis of motor learning posits that for a sensorimotor task with redundant degrees of freedom, the nervous system learns the geometric structure of the task and improves performance by selectively operating within that task space. We tested this hypothesis by examining if transfer of learning between two tasks depends on shared dimensionality between their respective task spaces. Human participants wore a data glove and learned to manipulate a computer cursor by moving their fingers. Separate groups of participants learned two tasks: a prior task that was unique to each group and a criterion task that was common to all groups. We manipulated the mapping between finger motions and cursor positions in the prior task to define task spaces that either shared or did not share the task space dimensions (x-y axes) of the criterion task. We found that if the prior task shared task dimensions with the criterion task, there was an initial facilitation in criterion task performance. However, if the prior task did not share task dimensions with the criterion task, there was prolonged interference in learning the criterion task due to participants finding inefficient task solutions. These results show that the nervous system learns the task space through practice, and that the degree of shared task space dimensionality influences the extent to which prior experience transfers to subsequent learning of related motor skills.

  1. The long-term structural plasticity of cerebellar parallel fiber axons and its modulation by motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo, Jennifer; Cheng, Shao-Ying; Ko, Kwang Woo; Jones, Theresa A; Nishiyama, Hiroshi

    2013-05-08

    Presynaptic axonal varicosities, like postsynaptic spines, are dynamically added and eliminated even in mature neuronal circuitry. To study the role of this axonal structural plasticity in behavioral learning, we performed two-photon in vivo imaging of cerebellar parallel fibers (PFs) in adult mice. PFs make excitatory synapses on Purkinje cells (PCs) in the cerebellar cortex, and long-term potentiation and depression at PF-PC synapses are thought to play crucial roles in cerebellar-dependent learning. Time-lapse vital imaging of PFs revealed that, under a control condition (no behavioral training), ∼10% of PF varicosities appeared and disappeared over a period of 2 weeks without changing the total number of varicosities. The fraction of dynamic PF varicosities significantly diminished during training on an acrobatic motor skill learning task, largely because of reduced addition of new varicosities. Thus, this form of motor learning was associated with greater structural stability of PFs and a slight decrease in the total number of varicosities. Together with prior findings that the number of PF-PC synapses increases during similar training, our results suggest that acrobatic motor skill learning involves a reduction of some PF inputs and a strengthening of others, probably via the conversion of some preexisting PF varicosities into multisynaptic terminals.

  2. Blockade of NMDA receptors 2A subunit in the dorsal striatum impairs the learning of a complex motor skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemay-Clermont, Julie; Robitaille, Christine; Auberson, Yves P; Bureau, Geneviève; Cyr, Michel

    2011-10-01

    Accumulating evidence proposes that the striatum, known to control voluntary movement, may also play a role in learning and memory. Striatum learning is thought to require long-lasting reorganization of striatal circuits and changes in the strength of synaptic connections during the memorization of a complex motor task. Whether the ionotropic glutamate receptor N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDAR) contributes to the molecular mechanisms of these memory processes is still unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of striatal NMDAR and its subunit composition during the learning of the accelerating rotarod task in mice. To this end, we injected directly into the dorsal striatum of mice, via chronically implanted cannula, the NMDAR channel blocker MK-801 as well as the NR2A and NR2B subunit-selective antagonists NVP-AAM077 and Ro 25-6981, respectively, before rotarod training. There was no effect in the motor performances of mice treated with 1.0 μg/side of MK-801, 0.1 μg/side of NVP-AAM077, or 5 and 10 μg/side of Ro 25-6981. In contrast, injections of 2.5 and 5 μg/side of MK-801 or 0.5 and 1 μg/side of NVP-AAM077 impaired motor learning at Day 3 and 8. Interestingly, treatments with MK-801 and NVP-AAM077 did not alter the general motor capacities of mice as revealed by the stepping, wire suspension, and pole tests. Our study demonstrates that the NMDAR of the dorsal striatum contributes to motor learning, especially during the slow acquisition phase, and that NR2A subunits play a critical role in this process.

  3. Fluency adaptation in speakers with Parkinson disease: a motor learning perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Jason A; Delong, Catharine; Goberman, Alexander M; Blomgren, Michael

    2017-06-30

    Fluency adaptation is characterised by a reduction in stuttering-like behaviours over successive readings of the same speech material and is an effect that is typically observed in developmental stuttering. Prominent theories suggest that short-term motor learning associated with practice explain, in part, fluency adaptation. The current investigation examined the fluency adaptation effect in a group of speakers with Parkinson disease (PD) who exhibited stuttering-like disfluencies. Individuals with PD (n = 21) and neurologically healthy controls (n = 19) read a passage five times. Per cent syllables stuttered was measured and calculated for each reading passage. Participants in the PD group exhibited significantly more stuttering-like disfluencies than control speakers. Twelve individuals in the PD group exhibited at least three per cent syllable stuttered on at least one reading. Statistical trends revealed that the subgroup of individuals with PD who stuttered exhibited a significant reduction in stuttering moments over the five successive readings. A significant fluency adaptation effect was observed for the group of speakers with PD who exhibited stuttering-like disfluencies. Results of the current study are discussed within the framework of the motor learning hypothesis of fluency adaptation.

  4. Plastic changes in hand proprioception following force-field motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goble, Daniel J; Anguera, Joaquin A

    2010-09-01

    Motor neurophysiologists are placing greater emphasis on sensory feedback processing than ever before. In line with this shift, a recent article by Ostry and colleagues provided timely new evidence that force-field motor learning influences not only motor output, but also proprioceptive sense. In this Neuro Forum, the merits and limitations of Ostry and colleagues are explored in the context of recent work on proprioceptive function, including several recent studies from this journal.

  5. Neural substrates underlying motor skill learning in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eLefebvre

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Motor skill learning is critical in post-stroke motor recovery, but little is known about its underlying neural substrates. Recently, using a new visuomotor skill learning paradigm involving a speed/accuracy trade-off in healthy individuals we identified three subpopulations based on their behavioral trajectories: fitters (in whom improvement in speed or accuracy coincided with deterioration in the other parameter, shifters (in whom speed and/or accuracy improved without degradation of the other parameter, and non-learners. We aimed to identify the neural substrates underlying the first stages of motor skill learning in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients and to determine whether specific neural substrates were recruited in shifters versus fitters. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, 23 patients learned the visuomotor skill with their paretic upper limb. In the whole-group analysis, correlation between activation and motor skill learning was restricted to the dorsal prefrontal cortex of the damaged hemisphere (DLPFCdamh: r=-0.82 and the dorsal premotor cortex (PMddamh: r=0.70; the correlations was much lesser (-0.160.25 in the other regions of interest. In a subgroup analysis, significant activation was restricted to bilateral posterior parietal cortices of the fitters and did not correlate with motor skill learning. Conversely, in shifters significant activation occurred in the primary sensorimotor cortexdamh and supplementary motor areadamh and in bilateral PMd where activation changes correlated significantly with motor skill learning (r=0.91. Finally, resting-state activity acquired before learning showed a higher functional connectivity in the salience network of shifters compared with fitters (qFDR<0.05. These data suggest a neuroplastic compensatory reorganization of brain activity underlying the first stages of motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients, with a key role of

  6. Reduced asymmetry in motor skill learning in left-handed compared to right-handed individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrath, Robert L; Kantak, Shailesh S

    2016-02-01

    Hemispheric specialization for motor control influences how individuals perform and adapt to goal-directed movements. In contrast to adaptation, motor skill learning involves a process wherein one learns to synthesize novel movement capabilities in absence of perturbation such that they are performed with greater accuracy, consistency and efficiency. Here, we investigated manual asymmetry in acquisition and retention of a complex motor skill that requires speed and accuracy for optimal performance in right-handed and left-handed individuals. We further determined if degree of handedness influences motor skill learning. Ten right-handed (RH) and 10 left-handed (LH) adults practiced two distinct motor skills with their dominant or nondominant arms during separate sessions two-four weeks apart. Learning was quantified by changes in the speed-accuracy tradeoff function measured at baseline and one-day retention. Manual asymmetry was evident in the RH group but not the LH group. RH group demonstrated significantly greater skill improvement for their dominant-right hand than their nondominant-left hand. In contrast, for the LH group, both dominant and nondominant hands demonstrated comparable learning. Less strongly-LH individuals (lower EHI scores) exhibited more learning of their dominant hand. These results suggest that while hemispheric specialization influences motor skill learning, these effects may be influenced by handedness.

  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. Motor agency: a new and highly sensitive measure to reveal agency disturbances in early psychosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélène Wilquin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Early diagnosis of young adults at risk of schizophrenia is essential for preventive approaches of the illness. Nevertheless, classic screening instruments are difficult to use because of the non-specific nature of the signs at this pre-onset phase of illness. The objective of the present contribution was to propose an innovating test that can probe the more specific symptom of psychosis, i.e., the sense of agency, which is defined as being the immediate experience of oneself as the cause of an action. More specifically, we tested whether motor agency is abnormal in early psychosis. METHODS: Thirty-two young symptomatic patients and their age-matched controls participated in the study. 15 of these patients were at ultra high-risk for developing psychosis (UHR, and 17 patients were suffering from first-episode psychosis (FEP. Patients' neurocognitive capacities were assessed through the use of seven neuropsychological tests. A motor agency task was also introduced to obtain an objective indicator of the degree of sense of agency, by contrasting force levels applied during other and self-produced collisions between a hand-held objet and a pendulum. RESULTS: As reported in the literature for adult controls, healthy adolescents used more efficient force levels in self than in other-imposed collisions. For both UHR and FEP patients, abnormally high levels of grip force were used for self-produced collisions, leading to an absence of difference between self and other. The normalized results revealed that motor agency differentiated patients from controls with a higher level of sensitivity than the more classic neuropsychological test battery. CONCLUSIONS: This study is in favour of the existence of an abnormal sense of agency early in the psychotic illness. Because it is quick and none verbal, motor agency may be a valuable tool to use in complement to classic interviews, especially when investigating complex ineffable experiences that are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  10. 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…

  11. Integrating Motor-Learning Concepts into Physical Education: Using Guided Discovery to Address NASPE Standard 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rukavina, Paul B.; Jeansonne, Jennifer J.

    2009-01-01

    K-12 students enter physical education with many naive conceptions or misconceptions of how motor skills are acquired. One goal of physical education is to teach concepts that will help students learn and perform motor skills, but many practitioners don't know how to provide experiences that will teach students to apply their knowledge…

  12. Creative Paradoxical Thinking and Its Implications for Teaching and Learning Motor Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, David

    2011-01-01

    A paradox is a statement or situation that involves two or more contradictory, mutually exclusive elements that operate at the same time. This article examines a number of findings in motor-learning and motor-control research and categorizes them into six paradoxes. Based on those research findings, the concept of creative paradoxical thinking is…

  13. CONTEXTUAL INTERFERENCE AND INTROVERSION/EXTRAVERSION IN MOTOR LEARNING.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meira, Cassio M; Fairbrother, Jeffrey T; Perez, Carlos R

    2015-10-01

    The Introversion/Extraversion dimension may interact with contextual interference, as random and blocked practice schedules imply distinct levels of variation. This study investigated the effect of different practice schedules in the acquisition of a motor skill in extraverts and introverts. Forty male undergraduate students (M = 24.3 yr., SD = 5.6) were classified as extraverts (n = 20) and introverts (n = 20) by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and allocated in one of two practice schedules with different levels of contextual interference: blocked (low contextual interference) and random (high contextual interference). Half of each group was assigned to a blocked practice schedule, and the other half was assigned to a random practice schedule. The design had two phases: acquisition and transfer (5 min. and 24 hr.). The participants learned variations of a sequential timing keypressing task. Each variation required the same sequence but different timing; three variations were used in acquisition, and one variation of intermediate length was used in transfer. Results for absolute error and overall timing error (root mean square error) indicated that the contextual interference effect was more pronounced for introverts. In addition, introverts who practiced according to the blocked schedule committed more errors during the 24-hr. transfer, suggesting that introverts did not appear to be challenged by a low contextual interference practice schedule.

  14. The interplay of prefrontal and sensorimotor cortices during inhibitory control of learned motor behavior

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wriessnegger, Selina C; Bauernfeind, Günther; Schweitzer, Kerstin; Kober, Silvia; Neuper, Christa; Müller-Putz, Gernot R

    2012-01-01

    In the present study inhibitory cortical mechanisms have been investigated during execution and inhibition of learned motor programs by means of multi-channel functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS...

  15. 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.

  16. Daytime sleep has no effect on the time course of motor sequence and visuomotor adaptation learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backhaus, Winifried; Braaß, Hanna; Renné, Thomas; Krüger, Christian; Gerloff, Christian; Hummel, Friedhelm C

    2016-05-01

    Sleep has previously been claimed to be essential for the continued learning processes of declarative information as well as procedural learning. This study was conducted to examine the importance of sleep, especially the effects of midday naps, on motor sequence and visuomotor adaptation learning. Thirty-five (27 females) healthy, young adults aged between 18 and 30years of age participated in the current study. Addressing potential differences in explicit sequence and motor adaptation learning participants were asked to learn both, a nine-element explicit sequence and a motor adaptation task, in a crossover fashion on two consecutive days. Both tasks were performed with their non-dominant left hand. Prior to learning, each participant was randomized to one of three interventions; (1) power nap: 10-20min sleep, (2) long nap: 50-80min sleep or (3) a 45-min wake-condition. Performance of the motor learning task took place prior to and after a midday rest period, as well as after a night of sleep. Both sleep conditions were dominated by Stage N2 sleep with embedded sleep spindles, which have been described to be associated with enhancement of motor performance. Significant performance changes were observed in both tasks across all interventions (sleep and wake) confirming that learning took place. In the present setup, the magnitude of motor learning was not sleep-dependent in young adults - no differences between the intervention groups (short nap, long nap, no nap) could be found. The effect of the following night of sleep was not influenced by the previous midday rest or sleep period. This finding may be related to the selectiveness of the human brain enhancing especially memory being thought of as important in the future. Previous findings on motor learning enhancing effects of sleep, especially of daytime sleep, are challenged.

  17. 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.

  18. A day awake attenuates motor learning-induced increases in corticomotor excitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toon T de Beukelaar

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The ‘synaptic homeostasis hypothesis’ proposes that the brain’s capacity to exhibit synaptic plasticity is reduced during the day but restores when sleeping. While this prediction has been confirmed for declarative memories, it is currently unknown whether it is also the case for motor memories. We quantified practice-induced changes in corticomotor excitability in response to repetitive motor sequence training as an indirect marker of synaptic plasticity in the primary motor cortex. Subjects either practiced a motor sequence in the morning and a new motor sequence in the evening, i.e. after a 12h period of wakefulness (wake group; or they practiced a sequence in the evening and a new sequence in the morning, i.e. after a 12h period including sleep (sleep group. In both wake and sleep groups motor training improved movement performance irrespective of the time of day. Learning a new sequence in the morning triggered a clear increase in corticomotor excitability suggesting that motor training triggered synaptic adaptation in the primary motor cortex that was absent when a new sequence was learned in the evening. Thus, the magnitude of the practice-induced increase in corticomotor excitability was significantly influenced by time of day while the magnitude of motor performance improvements were not. These results suggest that the motor cortex’s potential to efficiently adapt to the environment by quickly adjusting synaptic strength in an activity-dependent manner is higher in the morning than in the evening.

  19. 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.

  20. Correlation between discharge timings of pairs of motor units reveals the presence but not the proportion of common synaptic input to motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Falces, Javier; Negro, Francesco; Farina, Dario

    2017-01-18

    We investigated whether correlation measures derived from pairs of motor unit (MU) spike trains are reliable indicators of the degree of common synaptic input to motor neurons. Several 50-s isometric contractions of the biceps brachii muscle were performed at different target forces ranging from 10 to 30% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) relying on force feedback. 48 pairs of MUs were examined at various force levels. Motor unit synchrony was assessed by cross-correlation analysis using three indices: the output correlation as the peak of the cross-histogram (ρ), the number of synchronous spikes per second (CIS), and per trigger (E). Individual analysis of MU pairs revealed that ρ, CIS, and E were most often positively associated to discharge rate (87, 85, and 76% of the MU pairs, respectively) and negatively to inter-spike interval variability (69, 65, and 62% of the MU pairs, respectively). Moreover, the behaviour of synchronization indices with discharge rate (and inter-spike interval variability) varied greatly among the MU pairs. These results were consistent with theoretical predictions, which showed that the output correlation between pairs of spike trains depends on the statistics of the input current and motor neuron intrinsic properties that differ for different motor neuron pairs. In conclusion, the synchronization between MU firing trains is necessarily caused by the (functional) common input to motor neurons, but it is not possible to infer the degree of shared common input to a pair of motor neurons based on correlation measures of their output spike trains.

  1. Two different motor learning mechanisms contribute to learning reaching movements in a rotated visual environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Virginia Way Tong; Sanger, Terence David

    2014-01-01

    Practice of movement in virtual-reality and other artificially altered environments has been proposed as a method for rehabilitation following neurological injury and for training new skills in healthy humans.  For such training to be useful, there must be transfer of learning from the artificial environment to the performance of desired skills in the natural environment.  Therefore an important assumption of such methods is that practice in the altered environment engages the same learning and plasticity mechanisms that are required for skill performance in the natural environment.  We test the hypothesis that transfer of learning may fail because the learning and plasticity mechanism that adapts to the altered environment is different from the learning mechanism required for improvement of motor skill.  In this paper, we propose that a model that separates skill learning and environmental adaptation is necessary to explain the learning and aftereffects that are observed in virtual reality experiments.  In particular, we studied the condition where practice in the altered environment should lead to correct skill performance in the original environment. Our 2-mechanism model predicts that aftereffects will still be observed when returning to the original environment, indicating a lack of skill transfer from the artificial environment to the original environment. To illustrate the model prediction, we tested 10 healthy participants on the interaction between a simple overlearned motor skill (straight hand movements to targets in different directions) and an artificially altered visuomotor environment (rotation of visual feedback of the results of movement).  As predicted by the models, participants show adaptation to the altered environment and after-effects on return to the baseline environment even when practice in the altered environment should have led to correct skill performance.  The presence of aftereffect under all conditions that involved changes in

  2. Laterality effects in motor learning by mental practice in right-handers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentili, R J; Papaxanthis, C

    2015-06-25

    Converging evidences suggest that mental movement simulation and actual movement production share similar neurocognitive and learning processes. Although a large body of data is available in the literature regarding mental states involving the dominant arm, examinations for the nondominant arm are sparse. Does mental training, through motor-imagery practice, with the dominant arm or the nondominant arm is equally efficient for motor learning? In the current study, we investigated laterality effects in motor learning by motor-imagery practice. Four groups of right-hander adults mentally and physically performed as fast and accurately as possible (speed/accuracy trade-off paradigm) successive reaching movements with their dominant or nondominant arm (physical-training-dominant-arm, mental-training-dominant-arm, physical-training-nondominant-arm, and mental-training-nondominant-arm groups). Movement time was recorded and analyzed before, during, and after the training sessions. We found that physical and mental practice had a positive effect on the motor performance (i.e., decrease in movement time) of both arms through similar learning process (i.e., similar exponential learning curves). However, movement time reduction in the posttest session was significantly higher after physical practice than motor-imagery practice for both arms. More importantly, motor-imagery practice with the dominant arm resulted in larger and more robust improvements in movement speed compared to motor-imagery practice with the nondominant arm. No such improvements were observed in the control group. Our results suggest a superiority of the dominant arm in motor learning by mental practice. We discussed these findings from the perspective of the internal models theory.

  3. Non-supervised sensory-motor agents learning

    OpenAIRE

    Wazlawick, Raul Sidnei; Costa, Antonio Carlos da Rocha

    1996-01-01

    This text discusses a proposal for creation and destruction of neurons based on the sensory-motor activity. This model, called sensory-motor schema, is used to define a sensory-motor agent as a collection of activity schemata. The activity schema permits a useful distribution of neurons in a conceptual space,creating concepts based on action and sensation. Such approach is inspired in the theory of the Swiss psychologist and epistemologist Jean Piaget, and intends to make explicit the account...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Differential modulation of motor cortical plasticity and excitability in early and late phases of human motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenkranz, Karin; Kacar, Aleksandra; Rothwell, John C

    2007-10-31

    Different phases of motor skill learning appear to involve different physiological processes, with long-term potentiation (LTP) occurring at existing synapses in early and cortical reorganization involving synaptogenesis in later phases. Here, we test the evolution of skill learning-dependent changes in motor plasticity and excitability in six subjects trained to perform rapid thumb abductions over 5 d. Plasticity was examined using paired-associative stimulation (PAS) of the median nerve and motor cortex to induce LTP-like "PAS given with an interstimulus interval of 25 ms (PAS25)" or long-term depression (LTD)-like "PAS given with an interstimulus interval of 10 ms (PAS10)" plasticity. Excitability was tested by measuring recruitment of motor-evoked-potentials "input-output (IO) curve" and of short-latency intracortical inhibition (SICI curve), and sensorimotor organization (SMO). Task performance improved continuously over 5 d. After practice on day 1, the PAS25 effect reversed from facilitation to inhibition whereas the slope of the IO curve increased and the level of SICI decreased. These effects on IO curve and SICI were still present or even enhanced before the last practice on day 5, and were not changed by it. The effect of proprioceptive input from the trained muscle on SMO was also strengthened before practice on day 5. In contrast, PAS-induced plasticity was not influenced by motor practice on day 5, and had returned to prepractice values. The interference with PAS-induced plasticity suggests that the initial performance improvement relies on increasing the efficacy of existing synaptic connections. However, the long-lasting changes in the IO curve, SICI curve, and SMO suggest that continued practice enhances performance by changing Motor cortical organization. We hypothesize that new synaptic connections might have formed that allow LTP/LTD-susceptibility to be restored without reducing synaptic strength and performance skill.

  6. Cortical and vestibular stimulation reveal preserved descending motor pathways in individuals with motor-complete spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squair, Jordan W; Bjerkefors, Anna; Inglis, J Timothy; Lam, Tania; Carpenter, Mark G

    2016-07-18

    To use a combination of electrophysiological techniques to determine the extent of preserved muscle activity below the clinically-defined level of motor-complete spinal cord injury. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials were used to investigate whether there was any preserved muscle activity in trunk, hip and leg muscles of 16 individuals with motor-complete spinal cord injury (C4-T12) and 16 able-bodied matched controls. Most individuals (14/16) with motor-complete spinal cord injury were found to have transcranial magnetic stimulation evoked, and/or voluntary evoked muscle activity in muscles innervated below the clinically classified lesion level. In most cases voluntary muscle activation was accompanied by a present transcranial magnetic stimulation response. Furthermore, motor-evoked potentials to transcranial magnetic stimulation could be observed in muscles that could not be voluntarily activated. Vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials responses were also observed in a small number of subjects, indicating the potential preservation of other descending pathways. These results highlight the importance of using multiple electrophysiological techniques to assist in determining the potential preservation of muscle activity below the clinically-defined level of injury in individuals with a motor-complete spinal cord injury. These techniques may provide clinicians with more accurate information about the state of various motor pathways, and could offer a method to more accurately target rehabilitation.

  7. 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.

  8. Effect of a tDCS electrode montage on implicit motor sequence learning in healthy subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kang Eun

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that a combination of excitatory anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS to the contralateral motor cortex and inhibitory cathodal tDCS to the ipsilateral motor cortex of the motor performing hand (Bi-tDCS would elicit more implicit motor sequence learning than anodal tDCS applied to the contralateral motor cortex alone (Uni-tDCS. Methods Eleven healthy right-handed adults underwent a randomized crossover experiment of Uni-tDCS, Bi-tDCS, or sham stimulation. Subjects performed a 12-digit finger sequence serial reaction time task with the right hand at baseline (Pre, at immediately (Post 1, and 24 hours after stimulation (Post 2. The ratios of reaction times of predetermined repeating sequence versus random sequence were subjected to statistical analysis. Results The paired t test showed that reaction time ratios were significant decreased by all stimulation types at Post 1 versus Pre (P Conclusions No significant difference was found between Uni-tDCS and Bi-tDCS in terms of induced implicit motor sequence learning, but tDCS led to greater consolidation of the learned motor sequence than sham stimulation. These findings need to be tested in the context of stroke hand motor rehabilitation.

  9. The involvement of primary motor cortex in mental rotation revealed by transcranial magnetic stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Eisenegger, Christoph; Herwig, Uwe; Jäncke, Lutz

    2007-01-01

    We used single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation of the left primary hand motor cortex and motor evoked potentials of the contralateral right abductor pollicis brevis to probe motor cortex excitability during a standard mental rotation task. Based on previous findings we tested the following hypotheses. (i) Is the hand motor cortex activated more strongly during mental rotation than during reading aloud or reading silently? The latter tasks have been shown to increase motor cortex excit...

  10. A Motor Learning Oriented, Compliant and Mobile Gait Orthosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Calanca

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available People affected by Cerebral Palsy suffer from physical disabilities due to irreversible neural impairment since the very beginning of their life. Difficulties in motor control and coordination often relegate these patients to the use of a wheelchair and to the unavoidable upcoming of disuse syndromes. As pointed out in recent literature Damiano [7] physical exercise, especially in young ages, can have a deep impact on the patient health and quality of life. For training purposes is very important to keep an upright position, although in some severe cases this is not trivial. Many commercial mobile orthoses are designed to facilitate the standing, but not all the patients are able to deploy them. ARGO, the Active Reciprocated Gait Orthosis we developed, is a device that overcomes some of the limitations of these devices. It is an active device that is realized starting from a commercial reciprocated Gait Orthosis applying sensors and actuators to it. With ARGO we aim to develop a device for helping limbs in a non-coercive way accordingly to user’s intention. In this way patients can drive the orthosis by themselves, deploying augmented biofeedback over movements. In fact Cerebral Palsy patients usually have weak biofeedback mechanisms and consequently are hardly inclined to learn movements. To achieve this behavior ARGO deploys a torque planning algorithm and a force control system. Data collected from a single case of study shows benefits of the orthosis. We will show that our test patient reaches complete autonomous walking after few hour of training with prototype.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  13. New directions for understanding neural control in swallowing: the potential and promise of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humbert, Ianessa A; German, Rebecca Z

    2013-03-01

    Oropharyngeal swallowing is a complex sensorimotor phenomenon that has had decades of research dedicated to understanding it more thoroughly. However, the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for normal and disordered swallowing remain very vague. We consider this gap in knowledge the result of swallowing research that has been broad (identifying phenomena) but not deep (identifying what controls the phenomena). The goals of this review are to address the complexity of motor control of oropharyngeal swallowing and to review the principles of motor learning based on limb movements as a model system. We compare this literature on limb motor learning to what is known about oropharyngeal function as a first step toward suggesting the use of motor learning principles in swallowing research.

  14. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning are age dependent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berghuis, Kelly M. M.; De Rond, Veerle; Zijdewind, Inge; Koch, Giacomo; Veldman, Menno P.; Hortobagyi, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    There is controversy whether age-related neuroanatomical and neurophysiological changes in the central nervous system affect healthy old adults' abilities to acquire and retain motor skills. We examined the effects of age on motor skill acquisition and retention and potential underlying mechanisms b

  15. 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

    -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......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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Distinct motor impairments of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor knockout mice revealed by three types of motor behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toru eNakamura

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Both D1R and D2R knock out (KO mice of the major dopamine receptors show significant motor impairments. However, there are some discrepant reports, which may be due to the differences in genetic background and experimental procedures. In addition, only few studies directly compared the motor performance of D1R and D2R KO mice. In this paper, we examined the behavioral difference among N10 congenic D1R and D2R KO, and wild type (WT mice. First, we examined spontaneous motor activity in the home cage environment for consecutive five days. Second, we examined motor performance using the rota-rod task, a standard motor task in rodents. Third, we examined motor ability with the Step-Wheel task in which mice were trained to run in a motor-driven turning wheel adjusting their steps on foothold pegs to drink water. The results showed clear differences among the mice of three genotypes in three different types of behavior. In monitoring spontaneous motor activities, D1R and D2R KO mice showed higher and lower 24 h activities, respectively, than WT mice. In the rota-rod tasks, at a low speed, D1R KO mice showed poor performance but later improved, whereas D2R KO mice showed a good performance at early days without further improvement. When first subjected to a high speed task, the D2R KO mice showed poorer rota-rod performance at a low speed than the D1R KO mice. In the Step-Wheel task, across daily sessions, D2R KO mice increased the duration that mice run sufficiently close to the spout to drink water, and decreased time to touch the floor due to missing the peg steps and number of times the wheel was stopped, which performance was much better than that of D1R KO mice. These incongruent results between the two tasks for D1R and D2R KO mice may be due to the differences in the motivation for the rota-rod and Step-Wheel tasks, aversion- and reward-driven, respectively. The Step-Wheel system may become a useful tool for assessing the motor ability of WT

  18. Repeated Structural Imaging Reveals Nonlinear Progression of Experience-Dependent Volume Changes in Human Motor Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenger, Elisabeth; Kühn, Simone; Verrel, Julius; Mårtensson, Johan; Bodammer, Nils Christian; Lindenberger, Ulman; Lövdén, Martin

    2017-05-01

    Evidence for experience-dependent structural brain change in adult humans is accumulating. However, its time course is not well understood, as intervention studies typically consist of only 2 imaging sessions (before vs. after training). We acquired up to 18 structural magnetic resonance images over a 7-week period while 15 right-handed participants practiced left-hand writing and drawing. After 4 weeks, we observed increases in gray matter of both left and right primary motor cortices relative to a control group; 3 weeks later, these differences were no longer reliable. Time-series analyses revealed that gray matter in the primary motor cortices expanded during the first 4 weeks and then partially renormalized, in particular in the right hemisphere, despite continued practice and increasing task proficiency. Similar patterns of expansion followed by partial renormalization are also found in synaptogenesis, cortical map plasticity, and maturation, and may qualify as a general principle of structural plasticity. Research on human brain plasticity needs to encompass more than 2 measurement occasions to capture expansion and potential renormalization processes over time. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

    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) le

  1. Effects of variable practice on the motor learning outcomes in manual wheelchair propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    Background: Handrim wheelchair propulsion is a cyclic skill that needs to be learned during rehabilitation. It has been suggested that more variability in propulsion technique benefits the motor learning process of wheelchair propulsion. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of

  2. 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

  3. Consolidating behavioral and neurophysiologic findings to explain the influence of contextual interference during motor sequence learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wright, David; Verwey, Willem B.; Buchanen, John; Chen, Jing; Rhee, Joohyun; Immink, Maarten

    2016-01-01

    Motor sequence learning under high levels of contextual interference (CI) disrupts initial performance but supports delayed test and transfer performance when compared to learning under low CI. Integrating findings from early behavioral work and more recent experimental efforts that incorporated neu

  4. Self-Controlled Amount of Practice Benefits Learning of a Motor Skill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, Phillip G.; Fairbrother, Jeffrey T.; Barros, Joao A. C.

    2011-01-01

    Self-control over factors involving task-related information (e.g., feedback) can enhance motor learning. It is unknown if these benefits extend to manipulations that do not directly affect such information. The purpose of this study was to determine if self-control over the amount of practice would also facilitate learning. Participants learned…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardis, Marco; Casadio, Maura; Ranganathan, Rajiv

    2017-09-27

    Motor variability plays an important role in motor learning, although the exact mechanisms of how variability affects learning is 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). Here 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 towards 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 to 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. Copyright © 2017, Journal of Neurophysiology.

  6. 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…

  7. Effects of variable practice on the motor learning outcomes in manual wheelchair propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    Background: Handrim wheelchair propulsion is a cyclic skill that needs to be learned during rehabilitation. It has been suggested that more variability in propulsion technique benefits the motor learning process of wheelchair propulsion. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of va

  8. 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…

  9. 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

    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...

  10. 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.

  11. Enhancement in motor learning through genetic manipulation of the Lynx1 gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie M Miwa

    Full Text Available The cholinergic system is a neuromodulatory neurotransmitter system involved in a variety of brain processes, including learning and memory, attention, and motor processes, among others. The influence of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of the cholinergic system are moderated by lynx proteins, which are GPI-anchored membrane proteins forming tight associations with nicotinic receptors. Previous studies indicate lynx1 inhibits nicotinic receptor function and limits neuronal plasticity. We sought to investigate the mechanism of action of lynx1 on nicotinic receptor function, through the generation of lynx mouse models, expressing a soluble version of lynx and comparing results to the full length overexpression. Using rotarod as a test for motor learning, we found that expressing a secreted variant of lynx leads to motor learning enhancements whereas overexpression of full-length lynx had no effect. Further, adult lynx1KO mice demonstrated comparable motor learning enhancements as the soluble transgenic lines, whereas previously, aged lynx1KO mice showed performance augmentation only with nicotine treatment. From this we conclude the motor learning is more sensitive to loss of lynx function, and that the GPI anchor plays a role in the normal function of the lynx protein. In addition, our data suggests that the lynx gene plays a modulatory role in the brain during aging, and that a soluble version of lynx has potential as a tool for adjusting cholinergic-dependent plasticity and learning mechanisms in the brain.

  12. Impaired Motor Learning in a Disorder of the Inferior Olive: Is the Cerebellum Confused?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaikh, Aasef G; Wong, Aaron L; Optican, Lance M; Zee, David S

    2017-02-01

    An attractive hypothesis about how the brain learns to keep its motor commands accurate is centered on the idea that the cerebellar cortex associates error signals carried by climbing fibers with simultaneous activity in parallel fibers. Motor learning can be impaired if the error signals are not transmitted, are incorrect, or are misinterpreted by the cerebellar cortex. Learning might also be impaired if the brain is overwhelmed with a sustained barrage of meaningless information unrelated to simultaneously appearing error signals about incorrect performance. We test this concept in subjects with syndrome of oculopalatal tremor (OPT), a rare disease with spontaneous, irregular, roughly pendular oscillations of the eyes thought to reflect an abnormal, synchronous, spontaneous discharge to the cerebellum from the degenerating neurons in the inferior olive. We examined motor learning during a short-term, saccade adaptation paradigm in patients with OPT and found a unique pattern of disturbed adaptation, quite different from the abnormal adaption when the cerebellum is involved directly. Both fast (seconds) and slow (minutes) timescales of learning were impaired. We suggest that the spontaneous, continuous, synchronous output from the inferior olive prevents the cerebellum from receiving the error signals it needs for appropriate motor learning. The important message from this study is that impaired motor adaptation and resultant dysmetria is not the exclusive feature of cerebellar disorders, but it also highlights disorders of the inferior olive and its connections to the cerebellum.

  13. Executive Function Is Associated With Off-Line Motor Learning in People With Chronic Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Dughmi, Mayis; Al-Sharman, Alham; Stevens, Suzanne; Siengsukon, Catherine F

    2017-04-01

    Sleep has been shown to promote off-line motor learning in individuals following stroke. Executive function ability has been shown to be a predictor of participation in rehabilitation and motor recovery following stroke. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between executive function and off-line motor learning in individuals with chronic stroke compared with healthy control participants. Seventeen individuals with chronic stroke (>6 months poststroke) and 9 healthy adults were included in the study. Participants underwent 3 consecutive nights of polysomnography, practiced a continuous tracking task the morning of the third day, and underwent a retention test the morning after the third night. Participants underwent testing on 4 executive function tests after the continuous tracking task retention test. Participants with stroke showed a significant positive correlation between the off-line motor learning score and performance on the Trail-Making Test from Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (r = 0.652; P = 0.005), while the healthy control participants did not. Regression analysis showed that the Trail-Making Test-Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System is a significant predictor of off-line motor learning (P = 0.008). This is the first study to demonstrate that better performance on an executive function test of attention and set-shifting predicts a higher magnitude of off-line motor learning in individuals with chronic stroke. This emphasizes the need to consider attention and set-shifting abilities of individuals following stroke as these abilities are associated with motor learning. This in turn could affect learning of activities of daily living and impact functional recovery following stroke.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A166).

  14. Burdens of non-conformity: Motor execution reveals cognitive conflict during deliberate rule violations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfister, Roland; Wirth, Robert; Schwarz, Katharina A; Steinhauser, Marco; Kunde, Wilfried

    2016-02-01

    Rule compliance is pivotal for the regulation of social behavior. Still, humans deliberately violate rules at times - be it for personal reasons or for a higher good. Whereas previous research has studied the preconditions and consequences of rule violations, essentially nothing is known about the cognitive processes right at the moment a rule violation takes place. Here we show that merely labeling an action as rule violation induces substantial conflict between rule violation and compliance, as revealed by participants' bias towards rule-complying motor actions. Moreover, conflict that comes with violating a rule was much stronger than conflict that comes with following an alternative rule, even if both decisions result in the same observable behavior. These observations open a new theoretical perspective on rule violation behavior, shifting the focus toward the cognitive processes operating during the very act of rule violation.

  15. Nonvisual motor learning improves visual motion perception: evidence from violating the two-thirds power law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beets, I A M; Rösler, F; Fiehler, K

    2010-09-01

    Few studies have reported direct effects of motor learning on visual perception, especially when using novel movements for the motor system. Atypical motor behaviors that violate movement constraints provide an excellent opportunity to study action-to-perception transfer. In our study, we passively trained blindfolded participants on movements violating the 2/3 power law. Before and after motor training, participants performed a visual discrimination task in which they decided whether two consecutive movements were same or different. For motor training, we randomly assigned the participants to two motor training groups or a control group. The motor training group experienced either a weak or a strong elliptic velocity profile on a circular trajectory that matched one of the visual test stimuli. The control group was presented with linear trajectories unrelated to the viewed movements. After each training session, participants actively reproduced the movement to assess motor learning. The group trained on the strong elliptic velocity profile reproduced movements with increasing elliptic velocity profiles while circular geometry remained constant. Furthermore, both training groups improved in visual discrimination ability for the learned movement as well as for highly similar movements. Participants in the control group, however, did not show any improvements in the visual discrimination task nor did participants who did not acquire the trained movement. The present results provide evidence for a transfer from action to perception which generalizes to highly related movements and depends on the success of motor learning. Moreover, under specific conditions, it seems to be possible to acquire movements deviating from the 2/3 power law.

  16. Enhancing Motor Skill Learning With Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation - A concise review with applications to stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangeetha eMadhavan

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in the application of non-invasive brain stimulation to study brain-behavior relations in an effort to potentially increase the effectiveness of neuro-rehabilitation. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS, an emerging technique of non-invasive brain stimulation, has shown to produce beneficial neural effects in consequence with improvements in motor behavior. tDCS has gained popularity as it is economical, simple to use, portable and increases corticospinal excitability without producing any serious side effects. As tDCS has been increasingly investigated as an effective tool for various disorders, numerous improvements and developments have been proposed with respect to this technique. tDCS has been widely used to identify the functional relevance of particular brain regions in motor skill learning and also to facilitate activity in specific cortical areas involved in motor learning, in turn improving motor function. Understanding the interaction between tDCS and motor learning can lead to important implications for developing various rehabilitation approaches. This paper provides a brief overview of tDCS as a neuromodulatory technique and a comprehensive understanding of the interaction of tDCS with motor learning. The paper further briefly goes through the application of this priming technique in the stroke population.

  17. Effect of sensory experience on motor learning strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Shou-Han; Oetomo, Denny; Tan, Ying; Mareels, Iven; Burdet, Etienne

    2015-02-15

    It is well known that the central nervous system automatically reduces a mismatch in the visuomotor coordination. Can the underlying learning strategy be modified by environmental factors or a subject's learning experiences? To elucidate this matter, two groups of subjects learned to execute reaching arm movements in environments with task-irrelevant visual cues. However, one group had previous experience of learning these movements using task-relevant visual cues. The results demonstrate that the two groups used different learning strategies for the same visual environment and that the learning strategy was influenced by prior learning experience.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Tug of War in Motor Protein Ensembles Revealed with a Programmable DNA Origami Scaffold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derr, N. D.; Goodman, B. S.; Jungmann, R.; Leschziner, A. E.; Shih, W. M.; Reck-Peterson, S. L.

    2013-01-01

    Cytoplasmic dynein and kinesin-1 are opposite-polarity, microtubule-based motors that transport a wide variety of cargo in eukaryotic cells. Many cellular cargos demonstrate bi-directional movement due to the presence of ensembles of dynein and kinesin, but are ultimately sorted with spatial and temporal precision. To investigate the mechanisms that coordinate motor ensemble behavior, we built a programmable synthetic cargo using three-dimensional DNA origami to which varying numbers of DNA oligonucleotide-linked motors could be attached, allowing control of motor type, number, spacing, and orientation in vitro. In ensembles of 1–7 identical-polarity motors, motor number had minimal affect on directional velocity, while ensembles of opposite-polarity motors engaged in a tug of war resolvable by disengaging one motor species. PMID:23065903

  1. Learning piano melodies in visuo-motor or audio-motor training conditions and the neural correlates of their cross-modal transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Annerose; Bangert, Marc; Horbank, David; Hijmans, Brenda S; Wilkens, Katharina; Keller, Peter E; Keysers, Christian

    2012-11-01

    To investigate the cross-modal transfer of movement patterns necessary to perform melodies on the piano, 22 non-musicians learned to play short sequences on a piano keyboard by (1) merely listening and replaying (vision of own fingers occluded) or (2) merely observing silent finger movements and replaying (on a silent keyboard). After training, participants recognized with above chance accuracy (1) audio-motor learned sequences upon visual presentation (89±17%), and (2) visuo-motor learned sequences upon auditory presentation (77±22%). The recognition rates for visual presentation significantly exceeded those for auditory presentation (ppiano (motor-to-sound transformation). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Complex Motor Learning in Four-Year-Olds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leithwood, K. A.; Fowler, W.

    1971-01-01

    The effects of 4 months of gymnostic training upon complex and simple gross motor abilities and general cognitive and psychosocial functioning in 4-year-olds were compared with the effects of music training and no treatment. (WY)

  3. Delineating the cortico-striatal-cerebellar network in implicit motor sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzvi, Elinor; Münte, Thomas F; Krämer, Ulrike M

    2014-07-01

    Theoretical models and experimental evidence suggest that cortico-striatal-cerebellar networks play a crucial role in mediating motor sequence learning. However, how these different regions interact in order to mediate learning is less clear. In the present fMRI study, we used dynamic causal modeling to investigate effective connectivity within the cortico-striatal-cerebellar network while subjects performed a serial reaction time task. Using Bayesian model selection and family wise inference, we show that the cortico-cerebellar loop had higher model evidence than the cortico-striatal loop during motor learning. We observed significant negative modulatory effects on the connections from M1 to cerebellum bilaterally during learning. The results suggest that M1 causes the observed decrease in activity in the cerebellum as learning progresses. The current study stresses the significant role that the cerebellum plays in motor learning as previously suggested by fMRI studies in healthy subjects as well as behavioral studies in patients with cerebellar dysfunction. These results provide important insight into the neural mechanisms underlying motor learning.

  4. Motor-skill learning in older adults—a review of studies on age-related differences

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Voelcker-Rehage, Claudia

    2008-01-01

    .... The reviewed studies suggest that although motor performance tends to decline in old age, learning capabilities remain intact, and older adults are able to achieve considerable performance gains...

  5. Selective impairments of motor sequence learning in multiple sclerosis patients with minimal disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tacchino, Andrea; Bove, Marco; Roccatagliata, Luca; Luigi Mancardi, Giovanni; Uccelli, Antonio; Bonzano, Laura

    2014-10-17

    Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) with severe sensorimotor and cognitive deficits show reduced ability in motor sequence learning. Conversely, in PwMS with minimal disability (EDSS≤2), showing only subtle neurological impairments and no particular deficits in everyday life activities, motor sequence learning has been poorly addressed. Here, we investigated whether PwMS with minimal disability already show a specific impairment in motor sequence learning and which component of this process can be first affected in MS. We implemented a serial reaction time task based on thumb-to-finger opposition movements in response to visual stimuli. Each session included 14 blocks of 120 stimuli presented randomly or in ten repetitions of a 12-item sequence. Random (R) and sequence (S) blocks were temporally alternated (R1, R2, S1/S5, R3, S6/S10, R4). Random blocks were designed to evaluate the motor component; sequence blocks, beside the motor component, allowed to discriminate the procedural performance. Twenty-two PwMS and 22 control healthy subjects were asked to perform the task under implicit or explicit instructions (11 subjects for each experimental condition). PwMS with minimal disability improved motor performance in random blocks reducing response time with practice with a trend similar to control subjects, suggesting that short-term learning of simple motor tasks is nearly preserved at this disease stage. Conversely, they found difficulties in sequence-specific learning in implicit and explicit condition, with more pronounced impairment in the implicit condition. These findings could suggest an involvement of different circuits in implicit and explicit sequence learning that could deteriorate at different disease stages.

  6. Transfer in motor sequence learning: effects of practice schedule and sequence context

    OpenAIRE

    Diana Margit Müssgens; Fredrik eUllén

    2015-01-01

    Transfer (i.e., the application of a learned skill in a novel context) is an important and desirable outcome of motor skill learning. While much research has been devoted to understanding transfer of explicit skills the mechanisms of skill transfer after incidental learning remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to 1) examine the effect of practice schedule on transfer and 2) investigate whether sequence-specific knowledge can transfer to an unfamiliar sequence context. We traine...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. The effect of sleep on motor learning in the aging and stroke population - a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backhaus, W; Kempe, S; Hummel, F C

    2015-01-01

    There is extensive evidence for positive effects of sleep on motor learning in young individuals; however, the effects of sleep on motor learning in people with stroke and in healthy older individuals are not well understood. The aim of this systematic review was to quantify the association between sleep and procedural memory performance - a marker for motor learning - in healthy older people and people with stroke. After searches in PubMed, Medline and Embase fourteen studies, including 44 subjects after stroke and 339 healthy older participants were included. Overall, sleep was found to enhance motor performance in people after stroke in comparison to an equivalent time of wakefulness. In addition, although evidence is limited, sleep only enhanced motor performance in people after stroke and not in age-matched healthy older adults. In older adults the effect of a sleep intervention did - in general - not differ from equivalent periods of wakefulness. Tasks with whole hand or whole body movements could show significant changes. The results suggest a delayed retention effect after longer breaks including sleep, hinting towards a changed learning strategy as a result of aging. Current evidence for sleep dependent learning in people after stroke is promising, however sparse.

  9. 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.

  10. Probing for hemispheric specialization for motor skill learning: a transcranial direct current stimulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schambra, Heidi M; Abe, Mitsunari; Luckenbaugh, David A; Reis, Janine; Krakauer, John W; Cohen, Leonardo G

    2011-08-01

    Convergent findings point to a left-sided specialization for the representation of learned actions in right-handed humans, but it is unknown whether analogous hemispheric specialization exists for motor skill learning. In the present study, we explored this question by comparing the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over either left or right motor cortex (M1) on motor skill learning in either hand, using a tDCS montage to better isolate stimulation to one hemisphere. Results were compared with those previously found with a montage more commonly used in the field. Six groups trained for three sessions on a visually guided sequential pinch force modulation task with their right or left hand and received right M1, left M1, or sham tDCS. A linear mixed-model analysis for motor skill showed a significant main effect for stimulation group (left M1, right M1, sham) but not for hand (right, left) or their interaction. Left M1 tDCS induced significantly greater skill learning than sham when hand data were combined, a result consistent not only with the hypothesized left hemisphere specialization for motor skill learning but also with possible increased left M1 responsiveness to tDCS. The unihemispheric montage effect size was one-half that of the more common montage, and subsequent power analysis indicated that 75 subjects per group would be needed to detect differences seen with only 12 subjects with the customary bihemispheric montage.

  11. The effect of early musical training on adult motor performance: evidence for a sensitive period in motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Donald; Savion-Lemieux, Tal; Penhune, Virginia B

    2007-01-01

    Developmental changes in the human brain coincide with and underlie changes in a wide range of motor and cognitive abilities. Neuroimaging studies have shown that musical training can result in structural and functional plasticity in the brains of musicians, and that this plasticity is greater for those who begin training early in life. However, previous studies have not controlled for differences between early-trained (ET) and late-trained (LT) musicians in the total number of years of musical training and experience. In the present experiment, we tested musicians who began training before and after the age of 7 on learning of a timed motor sequence task. The groups were matched for years of musical experience, years of formal training and hours of current practice. Results showed that ET musicians performed better than LT musicians, and that this performance advantage persisted after 5 days of practice. Performance differences were greatest for a measure of response synchronization, suggesting that early training has its greatest effect on neural systems involved in sensorimotor integration and timing. These findings support the idea that there may be a sensitive period in childhood where enriched motor training through musical practice results in long-lasting benefits for performance later in life. These results are also consistent with the results of studies showing structural changes in motor-related regions of the brain in musicians that are specifically related to training early in life.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Association of COMT val158met and DRD2 G>T genetic polymorphisms with individual differences in motor learning and performance in female young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noohi, Fatemeh; Boyden, Nate B; Kwak, Youngbin; Humfleet, Jennifer; Burke, David T; Müller, Martijn L T M; Bohnen, Nico I; Seidler, Rachael D

    2014-02-01

    Individuals learn new skills at different rates. Given the involvement of corticostriatal pathways in some types of learning, variations in dopaminergic transmission may contribute to these individual differences. Genetic polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme and dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) genes partially determine cortical and striatal dopamine availability, respectively. Individuals who are homozygous for the COMT methionine (met) allele show reduced cortical COMT enzymatic activity, resulting in increased dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex as opposed to individuals who are carriers of the valine (val) allele. DRD2 G-allele homozygotes benefit from a higher striatal dopamine level compared with T-allele carriers. We hypothesized that individuals who are homozygous for COMT met and DRD2 G alleles would show higher rates of motor learning. Seventy-two young healthy females (20 ± 1.9 yr) performed a sensorimotor adaptation task and a motor sequence learning task. A nonparametric mixed model ANOVA revealed that the COMT val-val group demonstrated poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the met-met group and showed a learning deficit in the visuomotor adaptation task compared with both met-met and val-met groups. The DRD2 TT group showed poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the GT group, but there was no difference between DRD2 genotype groups in adaptation rate. Although these results did not entirely come out as one might predict based on the known contribution of corticostriatal pathways to motor sequence learning, they support the role of genetic polymorphisms of COMT val158met (rs4680) and DRD2 G>T (rs 1076560) in explaining individual differences in motor performance and motor learning, dependent on task type.

  15. 5 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the ipsilesional sensory cortex enhances motor learning after stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Implications of different classes of sensorimotor disturbance for cerebellar-based motor learning models

    OpenAIRE

    Haith, Adrian; Vijayakumar, Sethu

    2009-01-01

    The exact role of the cerebellum in motor control and learning is not yet fully understood. The structure, connectivity and plasticity within cerebellar cortex has been extensively studied, but the patterns of connectivity and interaction with other brain structures, and the computational significance of these patterns, is less well known and a matter of debate. Two contrasting models of the role of the cerebellum in motor adaptation have previously been proposed. Most commonly, the cerebellu...

  17. Prognostic value of cortically induced motor evoked activity by TMS in chronic stroke: Caveats from a revealing single clinical case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amengual Julià L

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We report the case of a chronic stroke patient (62 months after injury showing total absence of motor activity evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS of spared regions of the left motor cortex, but near-to-complete recovery of motor abilities in the affected hand. Case presentation Multimodal investigations included detailed TMS based motor mapping, motor evoked potentials (MEP, and Cortical Silent period (CSP as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI of motor activity, MRI based lesion analysis and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI Tractography of corticospinal tract (CST. Anatomical analysis revealed a left hemisphere subinsular lesion interrupting the descending left CST at the level of the internal capsule. The absence of MEPs after intense TMS pulses to the ipsilesional M1, and the reversible suppression of ongoing electromyographic (EMG activity (indexed by CSP demonstrate a weak modulation of subcortical systems by the ipsilesional left frontal cortex, but an inability to induce efficient descending volleys from those cortical locations to right hand and forearm muscles. Functional MRI recordings under grasping and finger tapping patterns involving the affected hand showed slight signs of subcortical recruitment, as compared to the unaffected hand and hemisphere, as well as the expected cortical activations. Conclusions The potential sources of motor voluntary activity for the affected hand in absence of MEPs are discussed. We conclude that multimodal analysis may contribute to a more accurate prognosis of stroke patients.

  18. Prognostic Value of Cortically Induced Motor Evoked Activity by TMS in Chronic Stroke: Caveats from a Revealing Single Clinical Case

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Amengual, Julià L

    2012-06-08

    AbstractBackgroundWe report the case of a chronic stroke patient (62 months after injury) showing total absence of motor activity evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of spared regions of the left motor cortex, but near-to-complete recovery of motor abilities in the affected hand.Case presentationMultimodal investigations included detailed TMS based motor mapping, motor evoked potentials (MEP), and Cortical Silent period (CSP) as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of motor activity, MRI based lesion analysis and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Tractography of corticospinal tract (CST). Anatomical analysis revealed a left hemisphere subinsular lesion interrupting the descending left CST at the level of the internal capsule. The absence of MEPs after intense TMS pulses to the ipsilesional M1, and the reversible suppression of ongoing electromyographic (EMG) activity (indexed by CSP) demonstrate a weak modulation of subcortical systems by the ipsilesional left frontal cortex, but an inability to induce efficient descending volleys from those cortical locations to right hand and forearm muscles. Functional MRI recordings under grasping and finger tapping patterns involving the affected hand showed slight signs of subcortical recruitment, as compared to the unaffected hand and hemisphere, as well as the expected cortical activations.ConclusionsThe potential sources of motor voluntary activity for the affected hand in absence of MEPs are discussed. We conclude that multimodal analysis may contribute to a more accurate prognosis of stroke patients.

  19. Probabilistic motor sequence yields greater offline and less online learning than fixed sequence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue eDu

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 of the presence of a sequence. The sequence and instruction types were manipulated to emphasize either procedural (probabilistic sequence; no preliminary knowledge or declarative (fixed sequence; with preliminary knowledge memory that were found to either facilitate or inhibit offline learning. In the SRT task, there were six learning blocks with a two-minute 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 preliminary knowledge 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 preliminary knowledge, showed greater online learning than the other two groups who performed the probabilistic sequence. The groups who performed the probabilistic sequence, regardless of preliminary knowledge, 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

  20. Comparison of Learning Disabled Children's Performance on Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test and Beery's Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skeen, Judith A.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    A comparison was made of the performance of 30 learning-disabled students on the Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test and the Beery Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration. A significant correlation of -.72 was obtained. No significant difference was found in estimations of age equivalents. (Author)

  1. 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.

  2. Self-Directed Learning Readiness at General Motors Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beitler, Michael A.

    Although self-directed learning (SDL) has been promoted by businesses as being needed by managers, traditional business schools have not promoted this type of learning. In addition, some adult learners are not ready for SDL, and some subjects (such as accounting) are not suitable for SDL. The concept of self-directed learning readiness (SDLR) can…

  3. Practice with sleep makes perfect: sleep-dependent motor skill learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Matthew P; Brakefield, Tiffany; Morgan, Alexandra; Hobson, J Allan; Stickgold, Robert

    2002-07-01

    Improvement in motor skill performance is known to continue for at least 24 hr following training, yet the relative contributions of time spent awake and asleep are unknown. Here we provide evidence that a night of sleep results in a 20% increase in motor speed without loss of accuracy, while an equivalent period of time during wake provides no significant benefit. Furthermore, a significant correlation exists between the improved performance overnight and the amount of stage 2 NREM sleep, particularly late in the night. This finding of sleep-dependent motor skill improvement may have important implications for the efficient learning of all skilled actions in humans.

  4. Motor-Skill Learning in an Insect Inspired Neuro-Computational Control System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arena, Eleonora; Arena, Paolo; Strauss, Roland; Patané, Luca

    2017-01-01

    In nature, insects show impressive adaptation and learning capabilities. The proposed computational model takes inspiration from specific structures of the insect brain: after proposing key hypotheses on the direct involvement of the mushroom bodies (MBs) and on their neural organization, we developed a new architecture for motor learning to be applied in insect-like walking robots. The proposed model is a nonlinear control system based on spiking neurons. MBs are modeled as a nonlinear recurrent spiking neural network (SNN) with novel characteristics, able to memorize time evolutions of key parameters of the neural motor controller, so that existing motor primitives can be improved. The adopted control scheme enables the structure to efficiently cope with goal-oriented behavioral motor tasks. Here, a six-legged structure, showing a steady-state exponentially stable locomotion pattern, is exposed to the need of learning new motor skills: moving through the environment, the structure is able to modulate motor commands and implements an obstacle climbing procedure. Experimental results on a simulated hexapod robot are reported; they are obtained in a dynamic simulation environment and the robot mimicks the structures of Drosophila melanogaster. PMID:28337138

  5. Memories that last in old age: motor skill learning and memory preservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, C D; Walton, A; Loveland, A D; Umberger, G H; Kryscio, R J; Gash, D M

    2005-06-01

    Using an automated test panel, age-associated declines in learning, remembering and performing a novel visuomotor task were assessed in 497 normal adults ranging from 18 to 95 years old. As predicted, task performance times slowed with increasing age in the cross-sectional portion of the study. However in the subsequent longitudinal study, while motor learning was significantly slower in adults over 62 years old, motor memory was pristinely preserved in normal adults from 18 to 95 years old. When tested 2 years after the first training session and without intervening rehearsal, mean performance times were retained and continued to improve by 10% in young adults and 13% in aged adults, reflecting long lasting preservation of motor memories. While the maximum lifetime of an unpracticed, novel motor memory in humans is not known, the present study suggests that new motor memories can be retained for at least 2 years without rehearsal in normal aged adults. This age-resistant component of motor memory stands in contrast to the well-known decrements in other motor and cognitive processes with human aging.

  6. 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.

  7. Gross Motor Coincidence Timing by Children with Learning Difficulties and Children Matched on Mean Chronological and Mental Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacklin, Susan M.

    1987-01-01

    This study examines the learning of a gross motor coincidence timing task by children with learning difficulties, compared with that by children of average intelligence of an equivalent chronological age and mental age. Results are discussed. (Author/MT)

  8. Short-term motor learning of dynamic balance control in children with probable Developmental Coordination Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelsma, Dorothee; Ferguson, Gillian D; Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien C M; Geuze, Reint H

    2015-03-01

    To explore the differences in learning a dynamic balance task between children with and without probable Developmental Coordination Disorder (p-DCD) from different cultural backgrounds. Twenty-eight Dutch children with DCD (p-DCD-NL), a similar group of 17 South African children (p-DCD-SA) and 21 Dutch typically developing children (TD-NL) participated in the study. All children performed the Wii Fit protocol. The slope of the learning curve was used to estimate motor learning for each group. The protocol was repeated after six weeks. Level of motor skill was assessed with the Movement ABC-2. No significant difference in motor learning rate was found between p-DCD-NL and p-DCD-SA, but the learning rate of children with p-DCD was slower than the learning rate of TD children. Speed-accuracy trade off, as a way to improve performance by slowing down in the beginning was only seen in the TD children, indicating that TD children and p-DCD children used different strategies. Retention of the level of learned control of the game after six weeks was found in all three groups after six weeks. The learning slope was associated with the level of balance skill for all children. This study provides evidence that children with p-DCD have limitations in motor learning on a complex balance task. In addition, the data do not support the contention that learning in DCD differs depending on cultural background. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. A model of human motor sequence learning explains facilitation and interference effects based on spike-timing dependent plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Quan; Rothkopf, Constantin A; Triesch, Jochen

    2017-08-01

    The ability to learn sequential behaviors is a fundamental property of our brains. Yet a long stream of studies including recent experiments investigating motor sequence learning in adult human subjects have produced a number of puzzling and seemingly contradictory results. In particular, when subjects have to learn multiple action sequences, learning is sometimes impaired by proactive and retroactive interference effects. In other situations, however, learning is accelerated as reflected in facilitation and transfer effects. At present it is unclear what the underlying neural mechanism are that give rise to these diverse findings. Here we show that a recently developed recurrent neural network model readily reproduces this diverse set of findings. The self-organizing recurrent neural network (SORN) model is a network of recurrently connected threshold units that combines a simplified form of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) with homeostatic plasticity mechanisms ensuring network stability, namely intrinsic plasticity (IP) and synaptic normalization (SN). When trained on sequence learning tasks modeled after recent experiments we find that it reproduces the full range of interference, facilitation, and transfer effects. We show how these effects are rooted in the network's changing internal representation of the different sequences across learning and how they depend on an interaction of training schedule and task similarity. Furthermore, since learning in the model is based on fundamental neuronal plasticity mechanisms, the model reveals how these plasticity mechanisms are ultimately responsible for the network's sequence learning abilities. In particular, we find that all three plasticity mechanisms are essential for the network to learn effective internal models of the different training sequences. This ability to form effective internal models is also the basis for the observed interference and facilitation effects. This suggests that STDP, IP, and SN

  11. Prenatal Development of Interlimb Motor Learning in the Rat Fetus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Scott R.; Kleven, Gale A.; Brumley, Michele R.

    2008-01-01

    The role of sensory feedback in the early ontogeny of motor coordination remains a topic of speculation and debate. On E20 of gestation (the 20th day after conception, 2 days before birth), rat fetuses can alter interlimb coordination after a period of training with an interlimb yoke, which constrains limb movement and promotes synchronized,…

  12. Transfer of Movement Control in Motor Skill Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-04-01

    early features of the motor pattern in common, but with some critical difference later or (e g, a tennis vs badminton stroke), provides a sufflcijent...Experimental Psychology Human Perception and Performance.,- I Q. 812-832. K~err, R., & Booth, B. ( 1977). Skill1 accuisition in elementary school children

  13. Short-Term Motor Learning and Retention During Visually Guided Walking in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Kayla; Gunn, Shaila M; Vorobeychik, Galina; Marigold, Daniel S

    2017-07-01

    The ability to adapt, a form of short-term motor learning, and retain this adaptation, is essential for rehabilitation and for day-to-day living. Yet little research is available on this topic in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), particularly in relation to complex walking tasks. To determine the ability of PwMS to learn and retain a novel relationship between visual input and motor output-or visuomotor map-during visually guided walking. Nineteen PwMS and 17 healthy controls performed a precision walking task while adapting to prism lenses that altered the normal visuomotor map on 1 day, and again after a 1-week delay. The task required individuals to walk and step onto 2 targets without stopping. To quantify motor performance, we determined foot placement error relative to the targets. PwMS with mild disability and healthy controls attenuated foot placement error over repeated trials when exposed to the novel mapping and demonstrated a similar rate and magnitude of adaptation in the first learning session. Both groups equally retained the adaptation 1 week later, reflected by reduced foot placement error and a faster rate of error reduction in that session. PwMS can learn and retain a novel visuomotor mapping during a precision-based walking task. This suggests that PwMS with mild disability have the capacity for short-term motor learning and retention, indicating that neural plasticity is preserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Triple play: Additive contributions of enhanced expectancies, autonomy support, and external attentional focus to motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulf, Gabriele; Lewthwaite, Rebecca; Cardozo, Priscila; Chiviacowsky, Suzete

    2017-01-24

    In the OPTIMAL theory of motor learning [Wulf, G., & Lewthwaite, R. (2016). Optimizing performance through intrinsic motivation and attention for learning: The OPTIMAL theory of motor learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. doi:10.3758/s13423-015-0999-9], 3 factors are postulated to facilitate learning: enhanced expectancies (EE) for performance, autonomy support (AS), and an external focus (EF) of attention. In 3 recent studies, combinations 2 of these variables resulted in superior learning relative to the presence of only 1 variable, or none. We examined whether the combination of all 3 factors would enhance learning relative to combinations of 2 factors. Our design included EE-AS, EE-EF, AS-EF, and AS-EE-EF groups. Participants threw balls at a target with their non-dominant arm. In the EE conditions, they received positive social-comparative feedback. In the AS conditions, they were allowed to throw with their dominant arm on trial blocks chosen by them. In the EF conditions, participants were asked to focus on the target. On a delayed retention test, the AS-EE-EF group outperformed all other groups. The findings provide evidence that enhanced expectancies, autonomy support, and an external focus can contribute in an additive fashion to optimize motor learning.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Two ways to save a newly learned motor pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roemmich, Ryan T; Bastian, Amy J

    2015-06-01

    Savings, or faster relearning after initial learning, demonstrates humans' remarkable ability to retain learned movements amid changing environments. This is important within the context of locomotion, as the ability of the nervous system to "remember" how to walk in specific environments enables us to navigate changing terrains and progressively improve gait patterns with rehabilitation. Here, we used a split-belt treadmill to study precisely how people save newly learned walking patterns. In Experiment 1, we investigated savings by systematically varying the learning and unlearning environments. Savings was predominantly influenced by 1) previous exposure to similar abrupt changes in the environment and 2) the amount of exposure to the new environment. Relearning was fastest when these two factors coincided, and we did not observe savings after the environment was introduced gradually during initial learning. In Experiment 2, we then studied whether people store explicit information about different walking environments that mirrors savings of a new walking pattern. Like savings, we found that previous exposure to abrupt changes in the environment also drove the ability to recall a previously experienced walking environment accurately. Crucially, the information recalled was extrinsic information about the learning environment (i.e., treadmill speeds) and not intrinsic information about the walking pattern itself. We conclude that simply learning a new walking pattern is not enough for long-term savings; rather, savings of a learned walking pattern involves recall of the environment or extended training at the learned state.

  19. Improving Robot Motor Learning with Negatively Valenced Reinforcement Signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Guerrero, Nicolás; Lowe, Robert J; Wermter, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Both nociception and punishment signals have been used in robotics. However, the potential for using these negatively valenced types of reinforcement learning signals for robot learning has not been exploited in detail yet. Nociceptive signals are primarily used as triggers of preprogrammed action sequences. Punishment signals are typically disembodied, i.e., with no or little relation to the agent-intrinsic limitations, and they are often used to impose behavioral constraints. Here, we provide an alternative approach for nociceptive signals as drivers of learning rather than simple triggers of preprogrammed behavior. Explicitly, we use nociception to expand the state space while we use punishment as a negative reinforcement learning signal. We compare the performance-in terms of task error, the amount of perceived nociception, and length of learned action sequences-of different neural networks imbued with punishment-based reinforcement signals for inverse kinematic learning. We contrast the performance of a version of the neural network that receives nociceptive inputs to that without such a process. Furthermore, we provide evidence that nociception can improve learning-making the algorithm more robust against network initializations-as well as behavioral performance by reducing the task error, perceived nociception, and length of learned action sequences. Moreover, we provide evidence that punishment, at least as typically used within reinforcement learning applications, may be detrimental in all relevant metrics.

  20. 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…

  1. Motor Learning : An Analysis of 100 Trials of a Ski Slalom Game in Children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien C M; Jelsma, Lemke Dorothee; Ferguson, Gillian D; Geuze, Reint H

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: 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 determi

  2. 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.

  3. Influence of self-controlled feedback on learning a serial motor skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Soowoen; Ali, Asif; Kim, Wonchan; Kim, Jingu; Choi, Sungmook; Radlo, Steven J

    2015-04-01

    Self-controlled feedback on a variety of tasks are well established as effective means of facilitating motor skill learning. This study assessed the effects of self-controlled feedback on the performance of a serial motor skill. The task was to learn the sequence of 18 movements that make up the Taekwondo Poomsae Taegeuk first, which is the first beginner's practice form learned in this martial art. Twenty-four novice female participants (M age=27.2 yr., SD=1.8) were divided into two groups. All participants performed 16 trials in 4 blocks of the acquisition phase and 20 hr. later, 8 trials in 2 blocks of the retention phase. The self-controlled feedback group had significantly higher performance compared to the yoked-feedback group with regard to acquisition and retention. The results of this study may contribute to the literature regarding feedback by extending the usefulness of self-controlled feedback for learning a serial skill.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Interacting adaptive processes with different timescales underlie short-term motor learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurice A Smith

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Multiple processes may contribute to motor skill acquisition, but it is thought that many of these processes require sleep or the passage of long periods of time ranging from several hours to many days or weeks. Here we demonstrate that within a timescale of minutes, two distinct fast-acting processes drive motor adaptation. One process responds weakly to error but retains information well, whereas the other responds strongly but has poor retention. This two-state learning system makes the surprising prediction of spontaneous recovery (or adaptation rebound if error feedback is clamped at zero following an adaptation-extinction training episode. We used a novel paradigm to experimentally confirm this prediction in human motor learning of reaching, and we show that the interaction between the learning processes in this simple two-state system provides a unifying explanation for several different, apparently unrelated, phenomena in motor adaptation including savings, anterograde interference, spontaneous recovery, and rapid unlearning. Our results suggest that motor adaptation depends on at least two distinct neural systems that have different sensitivity to error and retain information at different rates.

  7. Direct current stimulation promotes BDNF-dependent synaptic plasticity: potential implications for motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsch, Brita; Reis, Janine; Martinowich, Keri; Schambra, Heidi M; Ji, Yuanyuan; Cohen, Leonardo G; Lu, Bai

    2010-04-29

    Despite its increasing use in experimental and clinical settings, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) remain unknown. Anodal tDCS applied to the human motor cortex (M1) improves motor skill learning. Here, we demonstrate in mouse M1 slices that DCS induces a long-lasting synaptic potentiation (DCS-LTP), which is polarity specific, NMDA receptor dependent, and requires coupling of DCS with repetitive low-frequency synaptic activation (LFS). Combined DCS and LFS enhance BDNF-secretion and TrkB activation, and DCS-LTP is absent in BDNF and TrkB mutant mice, suggesting that BDNF is a key mediator of this phenomenon. Moreover, the BDNF val66met polymorphism known to partially affect activity-dependent BDNF secretion impairs motor skill acquisition in humans and mice. Motor learning is enhanced by anodal tDCS, as long as activity-dependent BDNF secretion is in place. We propose that tDCS may improve motor skill learning through augmentation of synaptic plasticity that requires BDNF secretion and TrkB activation within M1.

  8. 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 its dominant design is still dormant. EV manufacturing companies have long taken numerous endeavors to promote EV in the niche markets by providing innovative business models. While most OEMs still take 'business as usual' approach for developing their EV production and offers, Tesla Motors, an EV entrepreneurial firm, stands out by providing disruptive innovation choices and s...

  9. The effect of local vs remote experimental pain on motor learning and sensorimotor integration using a complex typing task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dancey, Erin; Murphy, Bernadette A; Andrew, Danielle; Yielder, Paul

    2016-08-01

    Recent work demonstrated that capsaicin-induced acute pain improved motor learning performance; however, baseline accuracy was very high, making it impossible to discern the impact of acute pain on motor learning and retention. In addition, the effects of the spatial location of capsaicin application were not explored. Two experiments were conducted to determine the interactive effects of acute pain vs control (experiment 1) and local vs remote acute pain (experiment 2) on motor learning and sensorimotor processing. For both experiments, somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) amplitudes and motor learning acquisition and retention (accuracy and response time) data were collected at baseline, after application, and after motor learning. Experiment 1: N11 (P learning in both groups, whereas the N20 SEP peak increased in the control group (P group outperformed the control group in accuracy (P learning (P group after application of capsaicin cream (P learning in both groups (P group at retention (P learning (P learning, contributing to our understanding of how the location of pain impacts somatosensory processing and the associated motor learning.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Inter-individual differences in the initial 80 minutes of motor learning of handrim wheelchair propulsion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vegter, Riemer J K; Lamoth, Claudine J; de Groot, Sonja; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J; van der Woude, Lucas H V

    2014-01-01

    Handrim wheelchair propulsion is a cyclic skill that needs to be learned during rehabilitation. Yet it is unclear how inter-individual differences in motor learning impact wheelchair propulsion practice. Therefore we studied how early-identified motor learning styles in novice able-bodied participants impact the outcome of a low-intensity wheelchair-practice intervention. Over a 12-minute pre-test, 39 participants were split in two groups based on a relative 10% increase in mechanical efficiency. Following the pretest the participants continued one of four different low-intensity wheelchair practice interventions, yet all performed in the same trial-setup with a total 80-minute dose at 1.11 m/s at 0.20 W/kg. Instead of focusing on the effect of the different interventions, we focused on differences in motor learning between participants over the intervention. Twenty-six participants started the pretest with a lower mechanical efficiency and a less optimal propulsion technique, but showed a fast improvement during the first 12 minutes and this effect continued over the 80 minutes of practice. Eventually these initially fast improvers benefitted more from the given practice indicated by a better propulsion technique (like reduced frequency and increased stroke angle) and a higher mechanical efficiency. The initially fast improvers also had a higher intra-individual variability in the pre and posttest, which possibly relates to the increased motor learning of the initially fast improvers. Further exploration of the common characteristics of different types of learners will help to better tailor rehabilitation to the needs of wheelchair-dependent persons and improve our understanding of cyclic motor learning processes.

  13. mTOR signalling contributes to motor skill learning in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eBergeron

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR kinase is a critical regulator of mRNA translation and is suspected to be involved in various long lasting forms of synaptic and behavioural plasticity. However, its role in motor learning and control has never been examined. This study investigated, in mice, the implication of mTOR in the learning processes associated with the accelerating rotarod task. We first observed that the rotarod learning did not alter the levels of total mTOR in the striatum, hippocampus, cerebellum and anterior cortex of trained mice. However, it increased the levels of phosphorylated mTOR in the striatum and hippocampus exclusively during the first session of training; no change was observed at the second and third sessions. In order to further investigate the potential role of mTOR during motor skill learning, we performed systemic and intrastriatal inhibitions of mTOR using the pharmacological inhibitor rapamycin, as well as a genetic knockdown of striatal mTOR using intrastriatal infusion of mTOR siRNA. These three independent approaches were all associated with a significant reduction in rotarod performances that were reminiscent of impaired consolidation processes. Notably, these treatments did not affect the capacity of mice to execute the pole test, suggesting that mTOR activity was mainly controlling motor learning rather than motor abilities. Moreover, all treatments decreased the levels of phosphorylated 4EBP1 and P70S6K, two molecular downstream targets of mTORC1. Our findings demonstrate that striatal mTOR, via the phosphorylation of 4EBP1 and P70S6K, play an important role in the cellular and molecular processes involved in motor skill learning.

  14. mTOR signaling contributes to motor skill learning in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergeron, Yan; Chagniel, Laure; Bureau, Geneviève; Massicotte, Guy; Cyr, Michel

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase is a critical regulator of mRNA translation and is suspected to be involved in various long-lasting forms of synaptic and behavioral plasticity. However, its role in motor learning and control has never been examined. This study investigated, in mice, the implication of mTOR in the learning processes associated with the accelerating rotarod task. We first observed that the rotarod learning did not alter the levels of total mTOR in the striatum, hippocampus, cerebellum, and anterior cortex of trained mice. However, it increased the levels of phosphorylated mTOR in the striatum and hippocampus exclusively during the first session of training; no change was observed at the second and third sessions. In order to further investigate the potential role of mTOR during motor skill learning, we performed systemic and intrastriatal inhibitions of mTOR using the pharmacological inhibitor rapamycin, as well as a genetic knockdown of striatal mTOR using intrastriatal infusion of mTOR siRNA. These three independent approaches were all associated with a significant reduction in rotarod performances that were reminiscent of impaired consolidation processes. Notably, these treatments did not affect the capacity of mice to execute the pole test, suggesting that mTOR activity was mainly controlling motor learning rather than motor abilities. Moreover, all treatments decreased the levels of phosphorylated 4EBP1 and P70S6K, two molecular downstream targets of mTORC1. Our findings demonstrate that striatal mTOR kinase, via the phosphorylation of 4EBP1 and P70S6K, plays an important role in the cellular and molecular processes involved in motor skill learning.

  15. 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…

  16. Anti-malaria drug mefloquine induces motor learning deficits in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T.A. van Essen (T.); R.S. van der Giessen (Ruben Simon); S.K.E. Koekkoek (Bas); F. VanderWerf (Frans); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); P.J.J. van Genderen (Perry); D. Overbosch (David); M.T.G. de Jeu (Marcel)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractMefloquine (a marketed anti-malaria drug) prophylaxis has a high risk of causing adverse events. Interestingly, animal studies have shown that mefloquine imposes a major deficit in motor learning skills by affecting the connexin 36 gap junctions of the inferior olive. We were therefore i

  17. 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…

  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. The involvement of the left motor cortex in learning of a novel action word lexicon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liuzzi, Gianpiero; Freundlieb, Nils; Ridder, Volker; Hoppe, Julia; Heise, Kirstin; Zimerman, Maximo; Dobel, Christian; Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Gerloff, Christian; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Hummel, Friedhelm C

    2010-01-01

    Current theoretical positions assume that action-related word meanings are established by functional connections between perisylvian language areas and the motor cortex (MC) according to Hebb's associative learning principle. To test this assumption, we probed the functional relevance of the left MC

  20. 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 com

  1. Reversal of Motor Learning in the Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex in the Absence of Visual Input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Marlene R.; Meissner, Geoffrey W.; Schafer, Robert J.; Raymond, Jennifer L.

    2004-01-01

    Motor learning in the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and eyeblink conditioning use similar neural circuitry, and they may use similar cellular plasticity mechanisms. Classically conditioned eyeblink responses undergo extinction after prolonged exposure to the conditioned stimulus in the absence of the unconditioned stimulus. We investigated the…

  2. 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

    2014-01-01

    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

  3. 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 learnin

  4. Impact of conscious intent on chunking during motor learning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Song, Sunbin; Cohen, Leonardo

    2014-01-01

    ...." Such chunks are defined by the faster speed of performance of groups of movements. The purpose of this report is to determine how conscious intent to learn impacts chunking, an issue that remains unknown...

  5. RNA-Sequencing Analysis Reveals a Regulatory Role for Transcription Factor Fezf2 in the Mature Motor Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison J. Clare

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Forebrain embryonic zinc finger (Fezf2 encodes a transcription factor essential for the specification of layer 5 projection neurons (PNs in the developing cerebral cortex. As with many developmental transcription factors, Fezf2 continues to be expressed into adulthood, suggesting it remains crucial to the maintenance of neuronal phenotypes. Despite the continued expression, a function has yet to be explored for Fezf2 in the PNs of the developed cortex. Here, we investigated the role of Fezf2 in mature neurons, using lentiviral-mediated delivery of a shRNA to conditionally knockdown the expression of Fezf2 in the mouse primary motor cortex (M1. RNA-sequencing analysis of Fezf2-reduced M1 revealed significant changes to the transcriptome, identifying a regulatory role for Fezf2 in the mature M1. Kyoto Encyclopedia Genes and Genomes (KEGG pathway analyses of Fezf2-regulated genes indicated a role in neuronal signaling and plasticity, with significant enrichment of neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, cell adhesion molecules and calcium signaling pathways. Gene Ontology analysis supported a functional role for Fezf2-regulated genes in neuronal transmission and additionally indicated an importance in the regulation of behavior. Using the mammalian phenotype ontology database, we identified a significant overrepresentation of Fezf2-regulated genes associated with specific behavior phenotypes, including associative learning, social interaction, locomotor activation and hyperactivity. These roles were distinct from that of Fezf2-regulated genes identified in development, indicating a dynamic transition in Fezf2 function. Together our findings demonstrate a regulatory role for Fezf2 in the mature brain, with Fezf2-regulated genes having functional roles in sustaining normal neuronal and behavioral phenotypes. These results support the hypothesis that developmental transcription factors are important for maintaining neuron transcriptomes and that

  6. In Vivo Time-Resolved Microtomography Reveals the Mechanics of the Blowfly Flight Motor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokso, Rajmund; Wicklein, Martina; Müller, Tonya; Doube, Michael; Stampanoni, Marco; Krapp, Holger G.; Taylor, Graham K.

    2014-01-01

    Dipteran flies are amongst the smallest and most agile of flying animals. Their wings are driven indirectly by large power muscles, which cause cyclical deformations of the thorax that are amplified through the intricate wing hinge. Asymmetric flight manoeuvres are controlled by 13 pairs of steering muscles acting directly on the wing articulations. Collectively the steering muscles account for <3% of total flight muscle mass, raising the question of how they can modulate the vastly greater output of the power muscles during manoeuvres. Here we present the results of a synchrotron-based study performing micrometre-resolution, time-resolved microtomography on the 145 Hz wingbeat of blowflies. These data represent the first four-dimensional visualizations of an organism's internal movements on sub-millisecond and micrometre scales. This technique allows us to visualize and measure the three-dimensional movements of five of the largest steering muscles, and to place these in the context of the deforming thoracic mechanism that the muscles actuate. Our visualizations show that the steering muscles operate through a diverse range of nonlinear mechanisms, revealing several unexpected features that could not have been identified using any other technique. The tendons of some steering muscles buckle on every wingbeat to accommodate high amplitude movements of the wing hinge. Other steering muscles absorb kinetic energy from an oscillating control linkage, which rotates at low wingbeat amplitude but translates at high wingbeat amplitude. Kinetic energy is distributed differently in these two modes of oscillation, which may play a role in asymmetric power management during flight control. Structural flexibility is known to be important to the aerodynamic efficiency of insect wings, and to the function of their indirect power muscles. We show that it is integral also to the operation of the steering muscles, and so to the functional flexibility of the insect flight motor

  7. In vivo time-resolved microtomography reveals the mechanics of the blowfly flight motor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon M Walker

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Dipteran flies are amongst the smallest and most agile of flying animals. Their wings are driven indirectly by large power muscles, which cause cyclical deformations of the thorax that are amplified through the intricate wing hinge. Asymmetric flight manoeuvres are controlled by 13 pairs of steering muscles acting directly on the wing articulations. Collectively the steering muscles account for <3% of total flight muscle mass, raising the question of how they can modulate the vastly greater output of the power muscles during manoeuvres. Here we present the results of a synchrotron-based study performing micrometre-resolution, time-resolved microtomography on the 145 Hz wingbeat of blowflies. These data represent the first four-dimensional visualizations of an organism's internal movements on sub-millisecond and micrometre scales. This technique allows us to visualize and measure the three-dimensional movements of five of the largest steering muscles, and to place these in the context of the deforming thoracic mechanism that the muscles actuate. Our visualizations show that the steering muscles operate through a diverse range of nonlinear mechanisms, revealing several unexpected features that could not have been identified using any other technique. The tendons of some steering muscles buckle on every wingbeat to accommodate high amplitude movements of the wing hinge. Other steering muscles absorb kinetic energy from an oscillating control linkage, which rotates at low wingbeat amplitude but translates at high wingbeat amplitude. Kinetic energy is distributed differently in these two modes of oscillation, which may play a role in asymmetric power management during flight control. Structural flexibility is known to be important to the aerodynamic efficiency of insect wings, and to the function of their indirect power muscles. We show that it is integral also to the operation of the steering muscles, and so to the functional flexibility of the

  8. In vivo time-resolved microtomography reveals the mechanics of the blowfly flight motor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Simon M; Schwyn, Daniel A; Mokso, Rajmund; Wicklein, Martina; Müller, Tonya; Doube, Michael; Stampanoni, Marco; Krapp, Holger G; Taylor, Graham K

    2014-03-01

    Dipteran flies are amongst the smallest and most agile of flying animals. Their wings are driven indirectly by large power muscles, which cause cyclical deformations of the thorax that are amplified through the intricate wing hinge. Asymmetric flight manoeuvres are controlled by 13 pairs of steering muscles acting directly on the wing articulations. Collectively the steering muscles account for flight muscle mass, raising the question of how they can modulate the vastly greater output of the power muscles during manoeuvres. Here we present the results of a synchrotron-based study performing micrometre-resolution, time-resolved microtomography on the 145 Hz wingbeat of blowflies. These data represent the first four-dimensional visualizations of an organism's internal movements on sub-millisecond and micrometre scales. This technique allows us to visualize and measure the three-dimensional movements of five of the largest steering muscles, and to place these in the context of the deforming thoracic mechanism that the muscles actuate. Our visualizations show that the steering muscles operate through a diverse range of nonlinear mechanisms, revealing several unexpected features that could not have been identified using any other technique. The tendons of some steering muscles buckle on every wingbeat to accommodate high amplitude movements of the wing hinge. Other steering muscles absorb kinetic energy from an oscillating control linkage, which rotates at low wingbeat amplitude but translates at high wingbeat amplitude. Kinetic energy is distributed differently in these two modes of oscillation, which may play a role in asymmetric power management during flight control. Structural flexibility is known to be important to the aerodynamic efficiency of insect wings, and to the function of their indirect power muscles. We show that it is integral also to the operation of the steering muscles, and so to the functional flexibility of the insect flight motor.

  9. 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.

  10. Drosophila Mushroom Bodies Are Dispensable for Visual, Tactile, and Motor Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Reinhard; Wittig, Tobias; Liu, Li; Wustmann, Gerold; Eyding, Dirk; Heisenberg, Martin

    1998-01-01

    A total of 18 associative learning/memory tests have been applied to Drosophila melanogaster flies lacking mushroom bodies. Only in paradigms involving chemosensory cues as conditioned stimuli have flies been found to be compromised by a block in the mushroom body pathway. Among the learning tasks not requiring these structures are a case of motor learning (yaw torque/heat), a test of the fly’s spatial orientation in total darkness, conditioned courtship suppression by mated females, and nine different examples of visual learning. The latter used the reinforcers of heat, visual oscillations, mechanical shaking, or sucrose, and as conditioned stimuli, color, intensity contrast, as well as stationary and moving visual patterns. No forms of consolidated memory have been tested in mushroom body-less flies. With respect to short-term memory the mushroom bodies of Drosophila are specially required for chemosensory learning tasks, but not for associative learning and memory in general. PMID:10454381

  11. Fingers Phrase Music Differently: Trial-to-Trial Variability in Piano Scale Playing and Auditory Perception Reveal Motor Chunking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Vugt, Floris Tijmen; Jabusch, Hans-Christian; Altenmüller, Eckart

    2012-01-01

    We investigated how musical phrasing and motor sequencing interact to yield timing patterns in the conservatory students' playing piano scales. We propose a novel analysis method that compared the measured note onsets to an objectively regular scale fitted to the data. Subsequently, we segment the timing variability into (i) systematic deviations from objective evenness that are perhaps residuals of expressive timing or of perceptual biases and (ii) non-systematic deviations that can be interpreted as motor execution errors, perhaps due to noise in the nervous system. The former, systematic deviations reveal that the two-octave scales are played as a single musical phrase. The latter, trial-to-trial variabilities reveal that pianists' timing was less consistent at the boundaries between the octaves, providing evidence that the octave is represented as a single motor sequence. These effects cannot be explained by low-level properties of the motor task such as the thumb passage and also did not show up in simulated scales with temporal jitter. Intriguingly, this instability in motor production around the octave boundary is mirrored by an impairment in the detection of timing deviations at those positions, suggesting that chunks overlap between perception and action. We conclude that the octave boundary instability in the scale playing motor program provides behavioral evidence that our brain chunks musical sequences into octave units that do not coincide with musical phrases. Our results indicate that trial-to-trial variability is a novel and meaningful indicator of this chunking. The procedure can readily be extended to a variety of tasks to help understand how movements are divided into units and what processing occurs at their boundaries.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pace-Schott, Edward F; Spencer, Rebecca M C

    2013-01-01

    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 vs. muscle-based learning in older adults (OA) 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 h 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 vs. muscle-based learning) by interval (sleep vs. wake) interaction, F(1,58) = 6.58, p = 0.013: goal-based learning tended to be greater following sleep compared to wake, t(29) = 1.47, p = 0.072. Conversely, muscle-based learning was greater following wake than sleep, t(29) = 2.11, p = 0.021. Unlike young adults, this interaction was not significant in OA, F(1,46) = 0.04, p = 0.84, nor was there a main effect of interval, F(1,46) = 1.14, p = 0.29. Thus, OA do not preferentially consolidate sequence learning over wake or sleep.

  13. Age effects shrink when motor learning is predominantly supported by nondeclarative, automatic memory processes: evidence from golf putting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauvel, Guillaume; Maquestiaux, François; Hartley, Alan A; Joubert, Sven; Didierjean, André; Masters, Rich S W

    2012-01-01

    Can motor learning be equivalent in younger and older adults? To address this question, 48 younger (M = 23.5 years) and 48 older (M = 65.0 years) participants learned to perform a golf-putting task in two different motor learning situations: one that resulted in infrequent errors or one that resulted in frequent errors. The results demonstrated that infrequent-error learning predominantly relied on nondeclarative, automatic memory processes whereas frequent-error learning predominantly relied on declarative, effortful memory processes: After learning, infrequent-error learners verbalized fewer strategies than frequent-error learners; at transfer, a concurrent, attention-demanding secondary task (tone counting) left motor performance of infrequent-error learners unaffected but impaired that of frequent-error learners. The results showed age-equivalent motor performance in infrequent-error learning but age deficits in frequent-error learning. Motor performance of frequent-error learners required more attention with age, as evidenced by an age deficit on the attention-demanding secondary task. The disappearance of age effects when nondeclarative, automatic memory processes predominated suggests that these processes are preserved with age and are available even early in motor learning.

  14. Auditory-motor learning during speech production in 9-11-year-old children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas M Shiller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Hearing ability is essential for normal speech development, however the precise mechanisms linking auditory input and the improvement of speaking ability remain poorly understood. Auditory feedback during speech production is believed to play a critical role by providing the nervous system with information about speech outcomes that is used to learn and subsequently fine-tune speech motor output. Surprisingly, few studies have directly investigated such auditory-motor learning in the speech production of typically developing children. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study, we manipulated auditory feedback during speech production in a group of 9-11-year old children, as well as in adults. Following a period of speech practice under conditions of altered auditory feedback, compensatory changes in speech production and perception were examined. Consistent with prior studies, the adults exhibited compensatory changes in both their speech motor output and their perceptual representations of speech sound categories. The children exhibited compensatory changes in the motor domain, with a change in speech output that was similar in magnitude to that of the adults, however the children showed no reliable compensatory effect on their perceptual representations. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that 9-11-year-old children, whose speech motor and perceptual abilities are still not fully developed, are nonetheless capable of auditory-feedback-based sensorimotor adaptation, supporting a role for such learning processes in speech motor development. Auditory feedback may play a more limited role, however, in the fine-tuning of children's perceptual representations of speech sound categories.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panouillères, Muriel T N; Tofaris, George K; Brown, Peter; Jenkinson, Ned

    2016-01-01

    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 that underpin the

  17. Motor control: correcting errors and learning from mistakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miall, Chris

    2010-07-27

    How do we learn from errors during complex movement tasks with redundancy? A new study shows that ambiguous mistakes in bimanual movements are corrected by the non-dominant hand, and responsibility for the error is assumed to fall to the effector with a recent history of poor performance.

  18. New Angles on Motor and Sensory Coordination in Learning Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldey, Ellen S.

    1998-01-01

    Provides an overview of presentations that were included in the Medical Symposium at the 1998 Learning Disabilities Association conference. The symposium addressed vestibular control and eye movement, postural sway and balance, cerebellar dysfunction, the role of the frontal lobe, developmental coordination disorder, and sensory integration…

  19. Intact Procedural Motor Sequence Learning in Developmental Coordination Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lejeune, Caroline; Catale, Corinne; Willems, Sylvie; Meulemans, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to explore the possibility of a procedural learning deficit among children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). We tested 34 children aged 6-12 years with and without DCD using the serial reaction time task, in which the standard keyboard was replaced by a touch screen in order to minimize the impact…

  20. 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

    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 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...

  1. Cerebellar motor learning: when is cortical plasticity not enough?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Porrill

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Classical Marr-Albus theories of cerebellar learning employ only cortical sites of plasticity. However, tests of these theories using adaptive calibration of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR have indicated plasticity in both cerebellar cortex and the brainstem. To resolve this long-standing conflict, we attempted to identify the computational role of the brainstem site, by using an adaptive filter version of the cerebellar microcircuit to model VOR calibration for changes in the oculomotor plant. With only cortical plasticity, introducing a realistic delay in the retinal-slip error signal of 100 ms prevented learning at frequencies higher than 2.5 Hz, although the VOR itself is accurate up to at least 25 Hz. However, the introduction of an additional brainstem site of plasticity, driven by the correlation between cerebellar and vestibular inputs, overcame the 2.5 Hz limitation and allowed learning of accurate high-frequency gains. This "cortex-first" learning mechanism is consistent with a wide variety of evidence concerning the role of the flocculus in VOR calibration, and complements rather than replaces the previously proposed "brainstem-first" mechanism that operates when ocular tracking mechanisms are effective. These results (i describe a process whereby information originally learnt in one area of the brain (cerebellar cortex can be transferred and expressed in another (brainstem, and (ii indicate for the first time why a brainstem site of plasticity is actually required by Marr-Albus type models when high-frequency gains must be learned in the presence of error delay.

  2. Altered activation of the antagonist muscle during practice compromises motor learning in older adults

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Yen-Ting; Kwon, MinHyuk; Fox, Emily J.; Christou, Evangelos A.

    2014-01-01

    Aging impairs the activation of muscle; however, it remains unclear whether it contributes to deficits in motor learning in older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine whether altered activation of antagonistic muscles in older adults during practice inhibits their ability to transfer a motor task ipsilaterally. Twenty young (25.1 ± 3.9 yr; 10 men, 10 women) and twenty older adults (71.5 ± 4.8 yr; 10 men, 10 women) participated. Half of the subjects practiced 100 trials of a rapi...

  3. The Effect of an Acute Bout of Moderate-Intensity Aerobic Exercise on Motor Learning of a Continuous Tracking Task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J Snow

    Full Text Available There is evidence for beneficial effects of acute and long-term exercise interventions on several forms of memory, including procedural motor learning. In the present study we examined how performing a single bout of continuous moderate intensity aerobic exercise would impact motor skill acquisition and retention in young healthy adults, compared to a period of rest. We hypothesized that exercise would improve motor skill acquisition and retention, compared to motor practice alone.Sixteen healthy adults completed sessions of aerobic exercise or seated rest that were immediately followed by practice of a novel motor task (practice. Exercise consisted of 30 minutes of continuous cycling at 60% peak O2 uptake. Twenty-four hours after practice, we assessed motor learning with a no-exercise retention test (retention. We also quantified changes in offline motor memory consolidation, which occurred between practice and retention (offline. Tracking error was separated into indices of temporal precision and spatial accuracy.There were no differences between conditions in the timing of movements during practice (p = 0.066, at retention (p = 0.761, or offline (p = 0.966. However, the exercise condition enabled participants to maintain spatial accuracy during practice (p = 0.477; whereas, following rest performance diminished (p = 0.050. There were no significant differences between conditions at retention (p = 0.532 or offline (p = 0.246.An acute bout of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise facilitated the maintenance of motor performance during skill acquisition, but did not influence motor learning. Given past work showing that pairing high intensity exercise with skilled motor practice benefits learning, it seems plausible that intensity is a key modulator of the effects of acute aerobic exercise on changes in complex motor behavior. Further work is necessary to establish a dose-response relationship between aerobic exercise and motor learning.

  4. Mu rhythm desynchronization reveals motoric influences of hand action on object recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjay eKumar

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We examined the effect of hand grip on object recognition by studying the modulation of the mu rhythm when participants made object decisions to objects and non-objects shown with congruent or incongruent hand-grip actions. Despite the grip responses being irrelevant to the task, mu rhythm activity on the scalp over motor and pre-motor cortex was sensitive to the congruency of the hand grip – in particular the event related desynchronization of the mu rhythm was more pronounced for familiar objects grasped with an appropriate grip than for objects given an inappropriate grasp. Also the power of mu activity correlated with RTs to congruently gripped objects. The results suggest that familiar motor responses evoked by the appropriateness of a hand grip facilitate recognition responses to objects.

  5. 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.

  6. Classifying single-trial EEG during motor imagery by iterative spatio-spectral patterns learning (ISSPL).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wei; Gao, Xiaorong; Hong, Bo; Gao, Shangkai

    2008-06-01

    In most current motor-imagery-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), machine learning is carried out in two consecutive stages: feature extraction and feature classification. Feature extraction has focused on automatic learning of spatial filters, with little or no attention being paid to optimization of parameters for temporal filters that still require time-consuming, ad hoc manual tuning. In this paper, we present a new algorithm termed iterative spatio-spectral patterns learning (ISSPL) that employs statistical learning theory to perform automatic learning of spatio-spectral filters. In ISSPL, spectral filters and the classifier are simultaneously parameterized for optimization to achieve good generalization performance. A detailed derivation and theoretical analysis of ISSPL are given. Experimental results on two datasets show that the proposed algorithm can correctly identify the discriminative frequency bands, demonstrating the algorithm's superiority over contemporary approaches in classification performance.

  7. The 50s cliff: perceptuo-motor learning rates across the lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coats, Rachel O; Wilson, Andrew D; Snapp-Childs, Winona; Fath, Aaron J; Bingham, Geoffrey P

    2014-01-01

    We recently found that older adults show reduced learning rates when learning a new pattern of coordinated rhythmic movement. The purpose of this study was to extend that finding by examining the performance of all ages across the lifespan from the 20 s through to the 80 s to determine how learning rates change with age. We tested whether adults could learn to produce a novel coordinated rhythmic movement (90° relative phase) in a visually guided unimanual task. We determined learning rates to quantify changes in learning with age and to determine at what ages the changes occur. We found, as before, that learning rates of participants in their 70 s and 80 s were half those of participants in their 20 s. We also found a gradual slow decline in learning rate with age until approximately age 50, when there was a sudden drop to a reduced learning rate for the 60 though 80 year olds. We discuss possible causes for the "50 s cliff" in perceptuo-motor learning rates and suggest that age related deficits in perception of complex motions may be the key to understanding this result.

  8. The 50s cliff: perceptuo-motor learning rates across the lifespan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel O Coats

    Full Text Available We recently found that older adults show reduced learning rates when learning a new pattern of coordinated rhythmic movement. The purpose of this study was to extend that finding by examining the performance of all ages across the lifespan from the 20 s through to the 80 s to determine how learning rates change with age. We tested whether adults could learn to produce a novel coordinated rhythmic movement (90° relative phase in a visually guided unimanual task. We determined learning rates to quantify changes in learning with age and to determine at what ages the changes occur. We found, as before, that learning rates of participants in their 70 s and 80 s were half those of participants in their 20 s. We also found a gradual slow decline in learning rate with age until approximately age 50, when there was a sudden drop to a reduced learning rate for the 60 though 80 year olds. We discuss possible causes for the "50 s cliff" in perceptuo-motor learning rates and suggest that age related deficits in perception of complex motions may be the key to understanding this result.

  9. Motor cortical representation in two different strength training modalities revealed by transcranial magnetic stimulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Rune Refsgaard; Osuna-Florentz, Patrick; Stevenson, Andrew James Thomas

    2017-01-01

    were recruited and divided into two groups based on their training experience (explosive and non-explosive resistance trained). The participants had a minimum of two years of experience with either weightlifting (snatch and clean and jerk) or conventional resistance training. Transcranial magnetic...... stimulation was used for mapping motor cortical representations (MAP) of VL and BF in an active state (~5-10% of a squat). The stimulation intensity used was slightly above active motor threshold (~105%). Results The MAP area for VL was significantly larger for the explosively trained than for the resistance...

  10. 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.

  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 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Development of a skilled forelimb reach task in mice and the effects of C-8 projecting cortical spinal neuron ablation in motor learning by photothermal Au nanoparticles

    OpenAIRE

    Montenegro, Justin R.

    2015-01-01

    Motor learning is measured quantitatively through many behavioral tests. Behavioral models for motor learning observe skill acquisition and performance over a period of time within rodents. One such behavioral test is the skilled forelimb reach-to-grasp test. This skilled forelimb reach-to-grasp test has been extensively used to observe motor learning in behavioral studies and is an appropriate metric that can be used to asses experiments of the motor cortex. In this study, the skilled foreli...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. A new method for tracking of motor skill learning through practical application of Fitts' law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth-Beaumont, Jim; Nowicky, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    A novel upper limb motor skill measure, task productivity rate (TPR) was developed integrating speed and spatial error, delivered by a practical motor skill rehabilitation task (MSRT). This prototype task involved placement of 5 short pegs horizontally on a spatially configured rail array. The stability of TPR was tested on 18 healthy right-handed adults (10 women, 8 men, median age 29 years) in a prospective single-session quantitative within-subjects study design. Manipulations of movement rate 10% faster and slower relative to normative states did not significantly affect TPR, F(1.387, 25.009) = 2.465, p = .121. A significant linear association between completion time and error was highest during the normative state condition (Pearson's r = .455, p learning with possible changes in coregulation behavior underlying practice under different conditions. These findings extend Fitts' law theory to tracking of practical motor skill using a dexterity task, which could have potential clinical applications in rehabilitation.

  17. Consequences of comorbidity of developmental coordination disorders and learning disabilities for severity and pattern of perceptual-motor dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongmans, Marian J; Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien C M; Schoemaker, Marina M

    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 (ADHD) and learning disabilities (LD). This study examined the consequences of the comorbidity of DCD and LD for the severity and pattern of perceptual-motor dysfunction. Compared to children with DCD without LD, children with comorbid DCD and LD performed lower on a standardized assessment of perceptual-motor ability. Furthermore, it appeared that children with combined DCD and LD have particular difficulty performing manual dexterity and balance tasks but not ball-skill tasks. Implications for understanding the relationship between LD and perceptual-motor problems are discussed. We conclude that the comorbidity of DCD and LD not only affects the severity of perceptual-motor dysfunction but also is associated with a distinctive pattern of perceptual-motor dysfunction.

  18. Conservative nature of oestradiol signalling pathways in the brain lobes of octopus vulgaris involved in reproduction, learning and motor coordination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lisa, E; Paolucci, M; Di Cosmo, A

    2012-02-01

    Oestradiol plays crucial roles in the mammalian brain by modulating reproductive behaviour, neural plasticity and pain perception. The cephalopod Octopus vulgaris is considered, along with its relatives, to be the most behaviourally advanced invertebrate, although the neurophysiological basis of its behaviours, including pain perception, remain largely unknown. In the present study, using a combination of molecular and imaging techniques, we found that oestradiol up-regulated O. vulgaris gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (Oct-GnRH) and O. vulgaris oestrogen receptor (Oct-ER) mRNA levels in the olfactory lobes; in turn, Oct-ER mRNA was regulated by NMDA in lobes involved in learning and motor coordination. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis revealed that oestradiol binds Oct-ER causing conformational modifications and nuclear translocation consistent with the classical genomic mechanism of the oestrogen receptor. Moreover, oestradiol triggered a calcium influx and cyclic AMP response element binding protein phosphorylation via membrane receptors, providing evidence for a rapid nongenomic action of oestradiol in O. vulgaris. In the present study, we demonstrate, for the first time, the physiological role of oestradiol in the brain lobes of O. vulgaris involved in reproduction, learning and motor coordination.

  19. Age-related differences in practice-dependent resting-state functional connectivity related to motor sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

    Decreased neural plasticity is observed with healthy ageing in the primary sensorimotor (SM1) cortex thought to participate in motor learning and memory consolidation processes. In the present magnetoencephalography study, the post-training reorganization of resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) and its relation with motor learning and early consolidation in 14 young (19-30 years) and 14 old (66-70 years) healthy participants were investigated. At the behavioral level, participants were trained on a motor sequence learning task then retested 20-30 min later for transient offline gains in performance. Using a sensorimotor seed-based approach, rsFC relying on beta band power envelope correlation was estimated immediately before and 10 min after the learning episode. Post-training changes in rsFC (from before to after learning) were correlated with motor learning performance and with the offline improvement in performance within the hour after learning. Young and old participants exhibited differential patterns of sensorimotor-related rsFC, bearing specific relationships with motor learning and consolidation. Our findings suggest that rsFC changes following learning reflect the offline processing of the new motor skill and contribute to the early memory consolidation within the hour after learning. Furthermore, differences in post-training changes in rsFC between young and old participants support the hypothesis that ageing modulates the neural circuits underlying the learning of a new motor skill and the early subsequent consolidation stages. Hum Brain Mapp 38:923-937, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Transcranial direct current stimulation facilitates motor learning post-stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Nyeonju; Summers, Jeffery J; Cauraugh, James H

    2016-04-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an attractive protocol for stroke motor recovery. The current systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the effects of tDCS on motor learning post-stroke. Specifically, we determined long-term learning effects by examining motor improvements from baseline to at least 5 days after tDCS intervention and motor practise. 17 studies reported long-term retention testing (mean retention interval=43.8 days; SD=56.6 days) and qualified for inclusion in our meta-analysis. Assessing primary outcome measures for groups that received tDCS and motor practise versus sham control groups created 21 valid comparisons: (1) 16 clinical assessments and (2) 5 motor skill acquisition tests. A random effects model meta-analysis showed a significant overall effect size=0.59 (pstimulation protocols: anodal on the ipsilesional hemisphere, cathodal on the contralesional hemisphere, or bilateral; (2) recovery stage: subacute or chronic stroke; (3) stimulation timing: tDCS before or during motor practise; and (4) task-specific training or conventional rehabilitation protocols. This robust meta-analysis identified novel long-term motor learning effects with tDCS and motor practise post-stroke.

  3. 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

  4. Fine motor deficiencies in children with developmental coordination disorder and learning disabilities: an underlying open-loop control deficit.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits-Engelsman, B.C.M.; Wilson, P.H.; Westenberg, Y.; Duysens, J.E.J.

    2003-01-01

    Thirty-two children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and learning disabilities (LD) and their age-matched controls attending normal primary schools were investigated using kinematic movement analysis of fine-motor performance. Three hypotheses about the nature of the motor deficits obs

  5. Fine motor deficiencies in children with developmental coordination disorder and learning disabilities: An underlying open-loop control deficit

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits-Engelsman, B.C.M.; Wilson, P.H.; Westenberg, Y.; Duysens, J.E.J.

    2003-01-01

    Thirty-two children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and learning disabilities (LD) and their age-matched controls attending normal primary schools were investigated using kinematic movement analysis of fine-motor performance. Three hypotheses about the nature of the motor deficits obs

  6. 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)

  7. Consequences of Comorbidity of Developmental Coordination Disorders and Learning Disabilities for Severity and Pattern of Perceptual-Motor Dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongmans, Marian J.; Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien C. M.; Schoemaker, Marina M.

    2003-01-01

    This study examined consequences of the comorbidity of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and learning disability (LD) for the severity and pattern of perceptual-motor dysfunction. Compared to children with only DCD, those with DCD and LD had poorer perceptual-motor ability, with particular difficulty performing manual dexterity and balance…

  8. 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.

  9. Motor control and learning with lower-limb myoelectric control in amputees

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Advances in robotic technology have recently enabled the development of powered lower-limb prosthetic limbs. A major hurdle in developing commercially successful powered prostheses is the control interface. Myoelectric signals are one way for prosthetic users to provide feedforward volitional control of prosthesis mechanics. The goal of this study was to assess motor learning in people with lower-limb amputation using proportional myoelectric control from residual-limb muscles. We examined in...

  10. 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

  11. Selective breeding for endurance running capacity affects cognitive but not motor learning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wikgren, Jan; Mertikas, Georgios G; Raussi, Pekka; Tirkkonen, Riina; Äyräväinen, Laura; Pelto-Huikko, Markku; Koch, Lauren G; Britton, Steven L; Kainulainen, Heikki

    2012-05-15

    The ability to utilize oxygen has been shown to affect a wide variety of physiological factors often considered beneficial for survival. As the ability to learn can be seen as one of the core factors of survival in mammals, we studied whether selective breeding for endurance running, an indication of aerobic capacity, also has an effect on learning. Rats selectively bred over 23 generations for their ability to perform forced treadmill running were trained in an appetitively motivated discrimination-reversal classical conditioning task, an alternating T-maze task followed by a rule change (from a shift-win to stay-win rule) and motor learning task. In the discrimination-reversal and T-maze tasks, the high-capacity runner (HCR) rats outperformed the low-capacity runner (LCR) rats, most notably in the phases requiring flexible cognition. In the Rotarod (motor-learning) task, the HCR animals were overall more agile but learned at a similar rate with the LCR group as a function of training. We conclude that the intrinsic ability to utilize oxygen is associated especially with tasks requiring plasticity of the brain structures implicated in flexible cognition.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Musical Creativity "Revealed" in Brain Structure: Interplay between Motor, Default Mode, and Limbic Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashwiner, David M; Wertz, Christopher J; Flores, Ranee A; Jung, Rex E

    2016-02-18

    Creative behaviors are among the most complex that humans engage in, involving not only highly intricate, domain-specific knowledge and skill, but also domain-general processing styles and the affective drive to create. This study presents structural imaging data indicating that musically creative people (as indicated by self-report) have greater cortical surface area or volume in a) regions associated with domain-specific higher-cognitive motor activity and sound processing (dorsal premotor cortex, supplementary and pre-supplementary motor areas, and planum temporale), b) domain-general creative-ideation regions associated with the default mode network (dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, middle temporal gyrus, and temporal pole), and c) emotion-related regions (orbitofrontal cortex, temporal pole, and amygdala). These findings suggest that domain-specific musical expertise, default-mode cognitive processing style, and intensity of emotional experience might all coordinate to motivate and facilitate the drive to create music.

  15. Consequences of comorbidity of developmental coordination disorders and learning disabilities for severity and pattern of perceptual-motor dysfunction

    OpenAIRE

    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 (ADHD) and learning disabilities (LD). This study examined the consequences of the comorbidity of DCD and LD for the severity and pattern of perceptual-motor dysfunction. Compared to children with DC...

  16. 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

  17. Cerebellar encoding of multiple candidate error cues in the service of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Christine C; Ke, Michael C; Raymond, Jennifer L

    2014-07-23

    For learning to occur through trial and error, the nervous system must effectively detect and encode performance errors. To examine this process, we designed a set of oculomotor learning tasks with more than one visual object providing potential error cues, as would occur in a natural visual scene. A task-relevant visual target and a task-irrelevant visual background both influenced vestibulo-ocular reflex learning in rhesus monkeys. Thus, motor learning does not identify a single error cue based on behavioral relevance, but can be simultaneously influenced by more than one cue. Moreover, the relative weighting of the different cues could vary. If the speed of the visual target's motion on the retina was low (≪1°/s), background motion dominated learning, but if target speed was high, the effects of the background were suppressed. The target and background motion had similar, nonlinear effects on the putative neural instructive signals carried by cerebellar climbing fibers, but with a stronger influence of the background on the climbing fibers than on learning. In contrast, putative neural instructive signals carried by the simple spikes of Purkinje cells were influenced solely by the motion of the visual target. Because they are influenced by different cues during training, joint control of learning by the climbing fibers and Purkinje cells may expand the learning capacity of the cerebellar circuit. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/339880-11$15.00/0.

  18. Robot-assisted motor training: assistance decreases exploration during reinforcement learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sans-Muntadas, Albert; Duarte, Jaime E; Reinkensmeyer, David J

    2014-01-01

    Reinforcement learning (RL) is a form of motor learning that robotic therapy devices could potentially manipulate to promote neurorehabilitation. We developed a system that requires trainees to use RL to learn a predefined target movement. The system provides higher rewards for movements that are more similar to the target movement. We also developed a novel algorithm that rewards trainees of different abilities with comparable reward sizes. This algorithm measures a trainee's performance relative to their best performance, rather than relative to an absolute target performance, to determine reward. We hypothesized this algorithm would permit subjects who cannot normally achieve high reward levels to do so while still learning. In an experiment with 21 unimpaired human subjects, we found that all subjects quickly learned to make a first target movement with and without the reward equalization. However, artificially increasing reward decreased the subjects' tendency to engage in exploration and therefore slowed learning, particularly when we changed the target movement. An anti-slacking watchdog algorithm further slowed learning. These results suggest that robotic algorithms that assist trainees in achieving rewards or in preventing slacking might, over time, discourage the exploration needed for reinforcement learning.

  19. Motor Sequence Learning in Healthy Older Adults Is Not Necessarily Facilitated by Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)

    OpenAIRE

    Raw, RK; Allen, RJ; Mon-Williams, M; Wilkie, RM

    2016-01-01

    Background: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) can modulate neuronal activity, and improve performance of basic motor tasks. The possibility that tDCS could assist in rehabilitation (e.g., for paresis post-stroke) offers hope but the evidence base is incomplete, with some behavioural studies reporting no effect of tDCS on complex motor learning. Older adults who show age-related decline in movement and learning (skills which tDCS could potentially ...

  20. Beyond componentry: How principles of motor learning can enhance locomotor rehabilitation of individuals with lower limb loss—A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Sawers, CPO, PhD

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Relatively little attention has been given to the use of well-established motor learning strategies to enable individuals with lower limb loss to effectively and safely learn to walk with their prostheses in the home and community. Traditionally, such outcomes have been pursued by focusing on the design and function of a patient’s prosthesis, rather than on how he or she should learn to use it. The use of motor learning strategies may enhance physical rehabilitation outcomes among individuals with lower limb loss. This review explores these motor learning strategies and ways in which they can be applied to the physical rehabilitation of individuals with lower limb loss and highlights some of the challenges to their implementation, as well as unanswered research questions.

  1. Effect of biased feedback on motor imagery learning in BCI-teleoperation system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam eAlimardani

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Feedback design is an important issue in motor imagery BCI systems. Regardless, to date it has not been reported how feedback presentation can optimize co-adaptation between a human brain and such systems. This paper assesses the effect of realistic visual feedback on users’ BC performance and motor imagery skills. We previously developed a tele-operation system for a pair of humanlike robotic hands and showed that BCI control of such hands along with first-person perspective visual feedback of movements can arouse a sense of embodiment in the operators. In the first stage of this study, we found that the intensity of this ownership illusion was associated with feedback presentation and subjects’ performance during BCI motion control. In the second stage, we probed the effect of positive and negative feedback bias on subjects’ BCI performance and motor imagery skills. Although the subject specific classifier, which was set up at the beginning of experiment, detected no significant change in the subjects’ online performance, evaluation of brain activity patterns revealed that subjects’ self-regulation of motor imagery features improved due to a positive bias of feedback and a possible occurrence of ownership illusion. Our findings suggest that in general training protocols for BCIs, manipulation of feedback can play an important role in the optimization of subjects’ motor imagery skills.

  2. Interactions between visual and motor areas during the recognition of plausible actions as revealed by magnetoencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlidou, Anastasia; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2014-02-01

    Several studies have shown activation of the mirror neuron system (MNS), comprising the temporal, posterior parietal, and sensorimotor areas when observing plausible actions, but far less is known on how these cortical areas interact during the recognition of a plausible action. Here, we recorded neural activity with magnetoencephalography while subjects viewed point-light displays of biologically plausible and scrambled versions of actions. We were interested in modulations of oscillatory activity and, specifically, in coupling of oscillatory activity between visual and motor areas. Both plausible and scrambled actions elicited modulations of θ (5-7 Hz), α (7-13 Hz), β (13-35 Hz), and γ (55-100 Hz) power within visual and motor areas. When comparing between the two actions, we observed sequential and spatially distinct increases of γ (∼65 Hz), β (∼25 Hz), and α (∼11 Hz) power between 0.5 and 1.3 s in parieto-occipital, sensorimotor, and left temporal areas. In addition, significant clusters of γ (∼65 Hz) and α/β (∼15 Hz) power decrease were observed in right temporal and parieto-occipital areas between 1.3 and 2.0 s. We found β-power in sensorimotor areas to be positively correlated on a trial-by-trial basis with parieto-occipital γ and left temporal α-power for the plausible but not for the scrambled condition. These results provide new insights in the neuronal oscillatory activity of the areas involved in the recognition of plausible action movements and their interaction. The power correlations between specific areas underscore the importance of interactions between visual and motor areas of the MNS during the recognition of a plausible action.

  3. Modulation of gamma and theta spectral amplitude and phase synchronization is associated with the development of visuo-motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perfetti, Bernardo; Moisello, Clara; Landsness, Eric Carl; Kvint, Svetlana; Lanzafame, Simona; Onofrj, Marco; Di Rocco, Alessandro; Tononi, Giulio; Ghilardi, M Felice

    2011-10-12

    The formation of new motor memories, which is fundamental for efficient performance during adaptation to a visuo-motor rotation, occurs when accurate planning is achieved mostly with feedforward mechanisms. The dynamics of brain activity underlying the switch from feedback to feedforward control is still matter of debate. Based on the results of studies in declarative learning, it is likely that phase synchronization of low and high frequencies as well as their temporal modulation in power amplitude underlie the formation of new motor memories during visuo-motor adaptation. High-density EEG (256 electrodes) was recorded in 17 normal human subjects during adaptation to a visuo-motor rotation of 60° in four incremental steps of 15°. We found that initial learning is associated with enhancement of gamma power in a right parietal region during movement execution as well as gamma/theta phase coherence during movement planning. Late stages of learning are instead accompanied by an increase of theta power over that same right parietal region during movement planning, which is correlated with the degree of learning and retention. Altogether, these results suggest that the formation of new motor memories and, thus, the switch from feedback to feedforward control is associated with the modulation of gamma and theta spectral activities, with respect to their amplitude and phase, during movement planning and execution. Specifically, we propose that gamma/theta phase coupling plays a pivotal role in the integration of a new representation into motor memories.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaei Tabar, Yousef; Halici, Ugur

    2017-02-01

    Objective. 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. Approach. 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. Main results. 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. Significance. 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.

  6. 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

    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. 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. Results 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. Conclusion 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. PMID:27992492

  7. Children and Adults Both Learn Motor Sequences Quickly, But Do So Differently

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Yue; Valentini, Nadia C.; Kim, Min J.; Whitall, Jill; Clark, Jane E.

    2017-01-01

    Both children and adults can learn motor sequences quickly in one learning session, yet little is known about potential age-related processes that underlie this fast sequence acquisition. Here, we examined the progressive performance changes in a one-session modified serial reaction time task in 6- and 10-year-old children and adults. We found that rapid sequence learning, as reflected by reaction time (RT), was comparable between groups. The learning was expressed through two behavioral processes: online progressive changes in RT while the task was performed in a continuous manner and offline changes in RT that emerged following a short rest. These offline and online RT changes were age-related; learning in 6-year-olds was primarily reflected through the offline process. In contrast, learning in adults was reflected through the online process; and both online and offline processes occurred concurrently in 10-year-olds. Our results suggest that early rapid sequence learning has a developmental profile. Although the unifying mechanism underlying these two age-related processes is unclear, we discuss possible explanations that need to be systematically elucidated in future studies. PMID:28223958

  8. Sex-specific automatic responses to infant cries: TMS reveals greater excitability in females than males in motor evoked potentials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene eMessina

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuroimaging reveals that infant cries activate parts of the premotor cortical system. To validate this effect in a more direct way, we used event-related transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS. Here, we investigated the presence and the time course of modulation of motor cortex excitability in young adults who listened to infant cries. Specifically, we recorded motor evoked potentials (MEPs from the biceps brachii (BB and interosseus dorsalis primus (ID1 muscles as produced by TMS delivered from 0 to 250 ms from sound onset in six steps of 50 ms in 10 females and 10 males. We observed an excitatory modulation of MEPs at 100 ms from the onset of the infant cry specific to females and to the ID1 muscle. We regard this modulation as a response to natural cry sounds because it was delayed, attenuated to stimuli increasingly different from natural cry, and was absent in a separate group of females who listened to non-cry stimuli physically matched to natural infant cries. Furthermore, the 100-ms latency of this modulation is not compatible with a voluntary reaction to the stimulus but suggests an automatic, bottom-up audiomotor association. The brains of adult females appear to be tuned to respond to infant cries with automatic motor excitation. This effect may reflect the greater and longstanding burden on females in caregiving infants.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Altered activation of the antagonist muscle during practice compromises motor learning in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yen-Ting; Kwon, MinHyuk; Fox, Emily J; Christou, Evangelos A

    2014-08-15

    Aging impairs the activation of muscle; however, it remains unclear whether it contributes to deficits in motor learning in older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine whether altered activation of antagonistic muscles in older adults during practice inhibits their ability to transfer a motor task ipsilaterally. Twenty young (25.1 ± 3.9 yr; 10 men, 10 women) and twenty older adults (71.5 ± 4.8 yr; 10 men, 10 women) participated. Half of the subjects practiced 100 trials of a rapid goal-directed task with ankle dorsiflexion and were tested 1 day later with elbow flexion (transfer). The rest did not perform any ankle practice and only performed the task with elbow flexion. The goal-directed task consisted of rapid movement (180 ms) to match a spatiotemporal target. For each limb, we recorded the EMG burst activity of the primary agonist and antagonist muscles. The rate of improvement during task acquisition (practice) was similar for young and older adults (P > 0.3). In contrast, only young adults were able to transfer the task to the upper limb. Specifically, young adults who practiced ankle dorsiflexion exhibited ∼30% (P movement error and ∼60% (P adults who received equal practice and young adults who did not receive any ankle dorsiflexion practice. These results provide novel evidence that the deficient motor learning in older adults may be related to a differential activation of the antagonist muscle, which compromises their ability to acquire the task during practice.

  13. Heterogeneity in the developmental potential of motor neuron progenitors revealed by clonal analysis of single cells in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schieren Ira

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The differentiation of neural progenitors into distinct classes within the central nervous system occurs over an extended period during which cells become progressively restricted in their fates. In the developing spinal cord, Sonic Hedgehog (Shh controls neural fates in a concentration-dependent manner by establishing discrete ventral progenitor domains characterized by specific combinations of transcription factors. It is unclear whether motor neuron progenitors can maintain their identities when expanded in vitro and whether their developmental potentials are restricted when exposed to defined extracellular signals. Results We have generated mice expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein under the control of the Nkx6.1 promoter, enabling fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS, purification and culture of individual spinal progenitors at clonal density, and analysis of their progeny. We demonstrate that cells isolated after progenitor domains are established are heterogeneous with respect to maintaining their identity after in vitro expansion. Most Nkx6.1+ progenitors lose their ventral identity following several divisions in culture, whereas a small subset is able to maintain its identity. Thus, subtype-restricted progenitors from the Nkx6.1+ region are present in the ventral spinal cord, although at a lower frequency than expected. Clones that maintain a motor neuron identity assume a transcriptional profile characteristic of thoracic motor neurons, despite some having been isolated from non-thoracic regions initially. Exposure of progenitors to Bone Morphogenetic Protein-4 induces some dorsal cell type characteristics in their progeny, revealing that lineage-restricted progenitor subtypes are not fully committed to their fates. Conclusion These findings support a model whereby continuous Shh signaling is required to maintain the identity of ventral progenitors isolated from the spinal cord, including motor

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Differential effects of primary motor cortex and cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation on motor learning in healthy individuals: A randomized double-blind sham-controlled study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehsani, F; Bakhtiary, A H; Jaberzadeh, S; Talimkhani, A; Hajihasani, A

    2016-11-01

    The purpose of study was to compare the effect of primary motor cortex (M1) and cerebellar anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) on online and offline motor learning in healthy individuals. Fifty-nine healthy volunteers were randomly divided into three groups (n=20 in two experimental groups and n=19 in sham-control group). One experimental group received M1a-tDCSand another received cerebellar a-tDCS. The main outcome measure were response time (RT) and number of errors during serial response time test (SRTT) which were assessed prior, 35min and 48h after the interventions. Reduction of response time (RT) and error numbers at last block of the test compared to the first block was considered online learning. Comparison of assessments during retention tests was considered as short-term and long-term offline learning. Online RT reduction was not different among groups (P>0.05), while online error reduction was significantly greater in cerebellar a-tDCS than sham-control group (Plearning as compared to sham tDCS (Pgroup (Plearning and M1a-tDCS has more effect on short-term offline learning, both M1 and cerebellar a-tDCS can be used as a boosting technique for improvement of offline motor learning in healthy individuals. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. An eye-to-hand magnet effect reveals distinct spatial interference in motor planning and execution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Brian A; Cluff, Tyler; Lyons, James; Balasubramaniam, Ramesh

    2013-03-01

    An important question in oculomanual control is whether motor planning and execution modulate interference between motion of the eyes and hands. Here we investigated oculomanual interference using a novel paradigm that required saccadic eye movements and unimanual finger tapping. We examined finger trajectories for spatial interference caused by concurrent saccades. The first experiment used synchronous cues so that saccades and taps shared a common timekeeping goal. We found that finger trajectories showed bilateral interference where either finger was attracted in the direction of the accompanying saccade. The second experiment avoided interference due to shared planning resources by examining interference caused by reactive saccades. Here, we observed a lesser degree of execution-dependent coupling where the finger trajectory deviated only when reactive saccades were directed toward the hemifield of the responding hand. Our results show that distinct forms of eye-to-hand coupling emerge according to the demands of the task.

  18. Early motor learning changes in upper-limb dynamics and shoulder complex loading during handrim wheelchair propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vegter, R.J.K.; Hartog, J.; De Groot, S.; Lamoth, C.J.; Bekker, M.J.; Van der Scheer, J.W.; Van der Woude, L.H.V.; Veeger, H.E.J.

    2015-01-01

    Background 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 ch

  19. Early motor learning changes in upper-limb dynamics and shoulder complex loading during handrim wheelchair propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: 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 c

  20. Early motor learning changes in upper-limb dynamics and shoulder complex loading during handrim wheelchair propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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.

    2015-01-01

    Background: 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 c

  1. Unsupervised deep learning reveals prognostically relevant subtypes of glioblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Jonathan D; Cai, Chunhui; Lu, Xinghua

    2017-10-03

    One approach to improving the personalized treatment of cancer is to understand the cellular signaling transduction pathways that cause cancer at the level of the individual patient. In this study, we used unsupervised deep learning to learn the hierarchical structure within cancer gene expression data. Deep learning is a group of machine learning algorithms that use multiple layers of hidden units to capture hierarchically related, alternative representations of the input data. We hypothesize that this hierarchical structure learned by deep learning will be related to the cellular signaling system. Robust deep learning model selection identified a network architecture that is biologically plausible. Our model selection results indicated that the 1st hidden layer of our deep learning model should contain about 1300 hidden units to most effectively capture the covariance structure of the input data. This agrees with the estimated number of human transcription factors, which is approximately 1400. This result lends support to our hypothesis that the 1st hidden layer of a deep learning model trained on gene expression data may represent signals related to transcription factor activation. Using the 3rd hidden layer representation of each tumor as learned by our unsupervised deep learning model, we performed consensus clustering on all tumor samples-leading to the discovery of clusters of glioblastoma multiforme with differential survival. One of these clusters contained all of the glioblastoma samples with G-CIMP, a known methylation phenotype driven by the IDH1 mutation and associated with favorable prognosis, suggesting that the hidden units in the 3rd hidden layer representations captured a methylation signal without explicitly using methylation data as input. We also found differentially expressed genes and well-known mutations (NF1, IDH1, EGFR) that were uniquely correlated with each of these clusters. Exploring these unique genes and mutations will allow us to

  2. 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.

  3. Learning discriminative patterns for self-paced EEG-based motor imagery detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haihong eZhang

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Detecting motor imagery activities versus non-control in brain signals is the basis of self-paced brain-computer interfaces (BCIs, but also poses a considerable challenge to signal processing due to the complex and non-stationary characteristics of motor imagery as well as non-control. This paper presents a self-paced BCI based on a robust learning mechanism that extracts and selects spatio-spectral features for differentiating multiple EEG classes. It also employs a nonlinear regression and post-processing technique for predicting the time-series of class labels from the spatio-spectral features. The method was validated in the {BCI Competition IV} on {Dataset I} where it produced the lowest prediction error of class labels continuously. This report also presents and discusses analysis of the method using the competition data set.

  4. Sensorless speed control of switched reluctance motor using brain emotional learning based intelligent controller

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dehkordi, Behzad Mirzaeian, E-mail: mirzaeian@eng.ui.ac.i [Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Isfahan, Hezar-Jerib St., Postal code 8174673441, Isfahan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Parsapoor, Amir, E-mail: amirparsapoor@yahoo.co [Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Isfahan, Hezar-Jerib St., Postal code 8174673441, Isfahan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Moallem, Mehdi, E-mail: moallem@cc.iut.ac.i [Department of Electrical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Lucas, Caro, E-mail: lucas@ut.ac.i [Centre of Excellence for Control and Intelligent Processing, Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2011-01-15

    In this paper, a brain emotional learning based intelligent controller (BELBIC) is developed to control the switched reluctance motor (SRM) speed. Like other intelligent controllers, BELBIC is model free and is suitable to control nonlinear systems. Motor parameter changes, operating point changes, measurement noise, open circuit fault in one phase and asymmetric phases in SRM are also simulated to show the robustness and superior performance of BELBIC. To compare the BELBIC performance with other intelligent controllers, Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC) is developed. System responses with BELBIC and FLC are compared. Furthermore, by eliminating the position sensor, a method is introduced to estimate the rotor position. This method is based on Adaptive Neuro Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS). The estimator inputs are four phase flux linkages. Suggested rotor position estimator is simulated in different conditions. Simulation results confirm the accurate rotor position estimation in different loads and speeds.

  5. 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.

  6. Re-examining the effects of verbal instructional type on early stage motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobrownicki, Ray; MacPherson, Alan C; Coleman, Simon G S; Collins, Dave; Sproule, John

    2015-12-01

    The present study investigated the differential effects of analogy and explicit instructions on early stage motor learning and movement in a modified high jump task. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: analogy, explicit light (reduced informational load), or traditional explicit (large informational load). During the two-day learning phase, participants learned a novel high jump technique based on the 'scissors' style using the instructions for their respective conditions. For the single-day testing phase, participants completed both a retention test and task-relevant pressure test, the latter of which featured a rising high-jump-bar pressure manipulation. Although analogy learners demonstrated slightly more efficient technique and reported fewer technical rules on average, the differences between the conditions were not statistically significant. There were, however, significant differences in joint variability with respect to instructional type, as variability was lowest for the analogy condition during both the learning and testing phases, and as a function of block, as joint variability decreased for all conditions during the learning phase. Findings suggest that reducing the informational volume of explicit instructions may mitigate the deleterious effects on performance previously associated with explicit learning in the literature.

  7. The role of virtual reality in improving motor performance as revealed by EEG: a randomized clinical trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabrò, Rocco Salvatore; Naro, Antonino; Russo, Margherita; Leo, Antonino; De Luca, Rosaria; Balletta, Tina; Buda, Antonio; La Rosa, Gianluca; Bramanti, Alessia; Bramanti, Placido

    2017-06-07

    Many studies have demonstrated the usefulness of repetitive task practice by using robotic-assisted gait training (RAGT) devices, including Lokomat, for the treatment of lower limb paresis. Virtual reality (VR) has proved to be a valuable tool to improve neurorehabilitation training. The aim of our pilot randomized clinical trial was to understand the neurophysiological basis of motor function recovery induced by the association between RAGT (by using Lokomat device) and VR (an animated avatar in a 2D VR) by studying electroencephalographic (EEG) oscillations. Twenty-four patients suffering from a first unilateral ischemic stroke in the chronic phase were randomized into two groups. One group performed 40 sessions of Lokomat with VR (RAGT + VR), whereas the other group underwent Lokomat without VR (RAGT-VR). The outcomes (clinical, kinematic, and EEG) were measured before and after the robotic intervention. As compared to the RAGT-VR group, all the patients of the RAGT + VR group improved in the Rivermead Mobility Index and Tinetti Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment. Moreover, they showed stronger event-related spectral perturbations in the high-γ and β bands and larger fronto-central cortical activations in the affected hemisphere. The robotic-based rehabilitation combined with VR in patients with chronic hemiparesis induced an improvement in gait and balance. EEG data suggest that the use of VR may entrain several brain areas (probably encompassing the mirror neuron system) involved in motor planning and learning, thus leading to an enhanced motor performance. Retrospectively registered in Clinical Trials on 21-11-2016, n. NCT02971371 .

  8. Improved Discriminability of Spatiotemporal Neural Patterns in Rat Motor Cortical Areas as Directional Choice Learning Progresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongwei eMao

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Animals learn to choose a proper action among alternatives to improve their odds of success in food foraging and other activities critical for survival. Through trial-and-error, they learn correct associations between their choices and external stimuli. While a neural network that underlies such learning process has been identified at a high level, it is still unclear how individual neurons and a neural ensemble adapt as learning progresses. In this study, we monitored the activity of single units in the rat medial and lateral agranular (AGm and AGl, respectively areas as rats learned to make a left or right side lever press in response to a left or right side light cue. We noticed that rat movement parameters during the performance of the directional choice task quickly became stereotyped during the first 2-3 days or sessions. But learning the directional choice problem took weeks to occur. Accompanying rats’ behavioral performance adaptation, we observed neural modulation by directional choice in recorded single units. Our analysis shows that ensemble mean firing rates in the cue-on period did not change significantly as learning progressed, and the ensemble mean rate difference between left and right side choices did not show a clear trend of change either. However, the spatiotemporal firing patterns of the neural ensemble exhibited improved discriminability between the two directional choices through learning. These results suggest a spatiotemporal neural coding scheme in a motor cortical neural ensemble that may be responsible for and contributing to learning the directional choice task.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Modelling the learning of biomechanics and visual planning for decision-making of motor actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cos, Ignasi; Khamassi, Mehdi; Girard, Benoît

    2013-11-01

    Recent experiments showed that the bio-mechanical ease and end-point stability associated to reaching movements are predicted prior to movement onset, and that these factors exert a significant influence on the choice of movement. As an extension of these results, here we investigate whether the knowledge about biomechanical costs and their influence on decision-making are the result of an adaptation process taking place during each experimental session or whether this knowledge was learned at an earlier stage of development. Specifically, we analysed both the pattern of decision-making and its fluctuations during each session, of several human subjects making free choices between two reaching movements that varied in path distance (target relative distance), biomechanical cost, aiming accuracy and stopping requirement. Our main result shows that the effect of biomechanics is well established at the start of the session, and that, consequently, the learning of biomechanical costs in decision-making occurred at an earlier stage of development. As a means to characterise the dynamics of this learning process, we also developed a model-based reinforcement learning model, which generates a possible account of how biomechanics may be incorporated into the motor plan to select between reaching movements. Results obtained in simulation showed that, after some pre-training corresponding to a motor babbling phase, the model can reproduce the subjects' overall movement preferences. Although preliminary, this supports that the knowledge about biomechanical costs may have been learned in this manner, and supports the hypothesis that the fluctuations observed in the subjects' behaviour may adapt in a similar fashion. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naros, Georgios; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2015-01-01

    Neurofeedback training of Motor imagery (MI)-related brain-states with brain-computer/brain-machine interfaces (BCI/BMI) is currently being explored as an experimental intervention prior to standard physiotherapy to improve the motor outcome of stroke rehabilitation. The use of BCI/BMI technology increases the adherence to MI training more efficiently than interventions with sham or no feedback. Moreover, pilot studies suggest that such a priming intervention before physiotherapy might-like some brain stimulation techniques-increase the responsiveness of the brain to the subsequent physiotherapy, thereby improving the general clinical outcome. However, there is little evidence up to now that these BCI/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 BCI/BMI technology provides a valuable neurofeedback tool for rehabilitation but 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, e.g., α-band oscillations for differentiating MI from rest; (2) Selecting a BCI/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 difficulty level device; and (3) Adjusting the difficulty level in the course of the training period to account for the cognitive load and the learning experience of

  14. Learning motor control in the upright position: a mechanical engineering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Major, R E; Johnson, G R; Butler, P B

    2001-01-01

    Motor control problems that result from damage to the central nervous system can make it difficult to learn functional activities. Although several therapeutic approaches attempt to address such problems there is little evidence of their efficacy. Targeted Training is a new approach, based on a biomechanical analysis of the problem, which usually relies on specifically designed equipment. This paper describes the underlying theory, the development of functional specifications, the translation of these specifications into an engineering design and the clinical results of applying the equipment. The promotion of head and trunk control provides an example of the process.

  15. Dual-tDCS enhances online motor skill learning and long-term retention in chronic stroke patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie eLefebvre

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 randomised, 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 one week later. Results After sham dual-tDCS, eight patients showed worsening performance. In contrast, dual-tDCS enhanced the amount and speed of online motor skill learning compared to sham (p < 0.001 in all patients; this superiority was maintained throughout the hour following. The speed/accuracy trade-off was shifted more consistently after dual-tDCS (n=10 than after sham (n=3. More importantly, one week later, online enhancement under dual-tDCS had translated into superior long-term retention (+44% compared to sham (+4%. The improvement generalised 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 generalisation. The combination of motor skill learning and dual-tDCS is promising for improving post

  16. 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.

  17. Analytical reasoning task reveals limits of social learning in networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahwan, Iyad; Krasnoshtan, Dmytro; Shariff, Azim; Bonnefon, Jean-François

    2014-04-06

    Social learning-by observing and copying others-is a highly successful cultural mechanism for adaptation, outperforming individual information acquisition and experience. Here, we investigate social learning in the context of the uniquely human capacity for reflective, analytical reasoning. A hallmark of the human mind is its ability to engage analytical reasoning, and suppress false associative intuitions. Through a set of laboratory-based network experiments, we find that social learning fails to propagate this cognitive strategy. When people make false intuitive conclusions and are exposed to the analytic output of their peers, they recognize and adopt this correct output. But they fail to engage analytical reasoning in similar subsequent tasks. Thus, humans exhibit an 'unreflective copying bias', which limits their social learning to the output, rather than the process, of their peers' reasoning-even when doing so requires minimal effort and no technical skill. In contrast to much recent work on observation-based social learning, which emphasizes the propagation of successful behaviour through copying, our findings identify a limit on the power of social networks in situations that require analytical reasoning.

  18. Expressions of multiple neuronal dynamics during sensorimotor learning in the motor cortex of behaving monkeys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yael Mandelblat-Cerf

    Full Text Available Previous studies support the notion that sensorimotor learning involves multiple processes. We investigated the neuronal basis of these processes by recording single-unit activity in motor cortex of non-human primates (Macaca fascicularis, during adaptation to force-field perturbations. Perturbed trials (reaching to one direction were practiced along with unperturbed trials (to other directions. The number of perturbed trials relative to the unperturbed ones was either low or high, in two separate practice schedules. Unsurprisingly, practice under high-rate resulted in faster learning with more pronounced generalization, as compared to the low-rate practice. However, generalization and retention of behavioral and neuronal effects following practice in high-rate were less stable; namely, the faster learning was forgotten faster. We examined two subgroups of cells and showed that, during learning, the changes in firing-rate in one subgroup depended on the number of practiced trials, but not on time. In contrast, changes in the second subgroup depended on time and practice; the changes in firing-rate, following the same number of perturbed trials, were larger under high-rate than low-rate learning. After learning, the neuronal changes gradually decayed. In the first subgroup, the decay pace did not depend on the practice rate, whereas in the second subgroup, the decay pace was greater following high-rate practice. This group shows neuronal representation that mirrors the behavioral performance, evolving faster but also decaying faster at learning under high-rate, as compared to low-rate. The results suggest that the stability of a new learned skill and its neuronal representation are affected by the acquisition schedule.

  19. Potentiation of motor sub-networks for motor control but not working memory: Interaction of dACC and SMA revealed by resting-state directed functional connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diwadkar, Vaibhav A; Asemi, Avisa; Burgess, Ashley; Chowdury, Asadur; Bressler, Steven L

    2017-01-01

    The dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex (dACC) and the Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) are known to interact during motor coordination behavior. We previously discovered that the directional influences underlying this interaction in a visuo-motor coordination task are asymmetric, with the dACC→SMA influence being significantly greater than that in the reverse direction. To assess the specificity of this effect, here we undertook an analysis of the interaction between dACC and SMA in two distinct contexts. In addition to the motor coordination task, we also assessed these effects during a (n-back) working memory task. We applied directed functional connectivity analysis to these two task paradigms, and also to the rest condition of each paradigm, in which rest blocks were interspersed with task blocks. We report here that the previously known asymmetric interaction between dACC and SMA, with dACC→SMA dominating, was significantly larger in the motor coordination task than the memory task. Moreover the asymmetry between dACC and SMA was reversed during the rest condition of the motor coordination task, but not of the working memory task. In sum, the dACC→SMA influence was significantly greater in the motor task than the memory task condition, and the SMA→dACC influence was significantly greater in the motor rest than the memory rest condition. We interpret these results as suggesting that the potentiation of motor sub-networks during the motor rest condition supports the motor control of SMA by dACC during the active motor task condition.

  20. Potentiation of motor sub-networks for motor control but not working memory: Interaction of dACC and SMA revealed by resting-state directed functional connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diwadkar, Vaibhav A.; Asemi, Avisa; Burgess, Ashley; Chowdury, Asadur; Bressler, Steven L.

    2017-01-01

    The dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex (dACC) and the Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) are known to interact during motor coordination behavior. We previously discovered that the directional influences underlying this interaction in a visuo-motor coordination task are asymmetric, with the dACC→SMA influence being significantly greater than that in the reverse direction. To assess the specificity of this effect, here we undertook an analysis of the interaction between dACC and SMA in two distinct contexts. In addition to the motor coordination task, we also assessed these effects during a (n-back) working memory task. We applied directed functional connectivity analysis to these two task paradigms, and also to the rest condition of each paradigm, in which rest blocks were interspersed with task blocks. We report here that the previously known asymmetric interaction between dACC and SMA, with dACC→SMA dominating, was significantly larger in the motor coordination task than the memory task. Moreover the asymmetry between dACC and SMA was reversed during the rest condition of the motor coordination task, but not of the working memory task. In sum, the dACC→SMA influence was significantly greater in the motor task than the memory task condition, and the SMA→dACC influence was significantly greater in the motor rest than the memory rest condition. We interpret these results as suggesting that the potentiation of motor sub-networks during the motor rest condition supports the motor control of SMA by dACC during the active motor task condition. PMID:28278267

  1. Revealing Significant Learning Moments with Interactive Whiteboards in Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Catherine D.; McPherson, Richard; Sabeti, Farhad Mordy; Flynn, Tara

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify when and how the interactive whiteboard (IWB) functioned as a productive tool that impacted student learning in mathematics. Using video data, field notes, and interview transcripts from 1 school year in two optimal case study classrooms, we were able to examine the unique opportunities afforded by the size of…

  2. Fourier Series Learning Control for Torque Ripple Minimization in Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Espíndola-López

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available A new Fourier Series Learning Controller (FSLC for velocity control on a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM is proposed and implemented. An analysis of the error convergence for the FSLC is presented, and the update law for the Fourier series coefficients is specified. The field-oriented control method is used as a basic element to implement three different controllers for a PMSM. The performance of the FSLC is compared with two control methods, a classical PI (Proportional Integral controller and an artificial neural network controller. The periodic nature of torque ripple in PMSMs is considered as a periodic disturbance, which must be compensated by the controller. With the FSLC implementation, a substantial reduction of the velocity ripple is obtained. Furthermore, a higher speed of learning is achieved with the FSLC in comparison with the artificial neural network.

  3. Aging in Sensory and Motor Neurons Results in Learning Failure in Aplysia californica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Kempsell

    Full Text Available The physiological and molecular mechanisms of age-related memory loss are complicated by the complexity of vertebrate nervous systems. This study takes advantage of a simple neural model to investigate nervous system aging, focusing on changes in learning and memory in the form of behavioral sensitization in vivo and synaptic facilitation in vitro. The effect of aging on the tail withdrawal reflex (TWR was studied in Aplysia californica at maturity and late in the annual lifecycle. We found that short-term sensitization in TWR was absent in aged Aplysia. This implied that the neuronal machinery governing nonassociative learning was compromised during aging. Synaptic plasticity in the form of short-term facilitation between tail sensory and motor neurons decreased during aging whether the sensitizing stimulus was tail shock or the heterosynaptic modulator serotonin (5-HT. Together, these results suggest that the cellular mechanisms governing behavioral sensitization are compromised during aging, thereby nearly eliminating sensitization in aged Aplysia.

  4. Silencing the Majority of Cerebellar Granule Cells Uncovers Their Essential Role in Motor Learning and Consolidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Galliano

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Cerebellar granule cells (GCs account for more than half of all neurons in the CNS of vertebrates. Theoretical work has suggested that the abundance of GCs is advantageous for sparse coding during memory formation. Here, we minimized the output of the majority of GCs by selectively eliminating their CaV2.1 (P/Q-type Ca2+ channels, which mediate the bulk of their neurotransmitter release. This resulted in reduced GC output to Purkinje cells (PCs and stellate cells (SCs as well as in impaired long-term plasticity at GC-PC synapses. As a consequence modulation amplitude and regularity of simple spike (SS output were affected. Surprisingly, the overall motor performance was intact, whereas demanding motor learning and memory consolidation tasks were compromised. Our findings indicate that a minority of functionally intact GCs is sufficient for the maintenance of basic motor performance, whereas acquisition and stabilization of sophisticated memories require higher numbers of normal GCs controlling PC firing.

  5. 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 (F1,41 = 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 (F2,41 = 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.

  6. Extroversion-related differences in speed of premotor and motor processing as revealed by lateralized readiness potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, Jutta; Rammsayer, Thomas

    2008-03-01

    To further elucidate extroversion-related differences in speed of sensorimotor processing, the authors obtained behavioral and psychophysiological measures as participants (16 introverts and 16 extroverts) performed a visual go/no-go task. Although no extroversion-related differences in reaction time emerged, introverts showed faster premotor processing but slower central and peripheral motor processing--as indicated by latencies of the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) and electromyographic (EMG) data, respectively--than extroverts did. Additional regression analyses revealed that stimulus-locked LRP latency, response-locked LRP latency, and Nl EMG amplitude accounted for 40% of overall variability in individual extroversion scores. On the basis of the present results, the authors introduce a compensation hypothesis that accounts for the common failure of researchers to demonstrate extroversion-related differences in reaction time. The present results challenge J. Brebner and C. Cooper's (1985) model of extroversion in which stimulus analysis is not slower in introverts than in extroverts. However, the present findings support the assumption of faster motor processing in extroverts.

  7. Multiple brain networks underpinning word learning from fluent speech revealed by independent component analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Barroso, Diana; Ripollés, Pablo; Marco-Pallarés, Josep; Mohammadi, Bahram; Münte, Thomas F; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; de Diego-Balaguer, Ruth

    2015-04-15

    Although neuroimaging studies using standard subtraction-based analysis from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have suggested that frontal and temporal regions are involved in word learning from fluent speech, the possible contribution of different brain networks during this type of learning is still largely unknown. Indeed, univariate fMRI analyses cannot identify the full extent of distributed networks that are engaged by a complex task such as word learning. Here we used Independent Component Analysis (ICA) to characterize the different brain networks subserving word learning from an artificial language speech stream. Results were replicated in a second cohort of participants with a different linguistic background. Four spatially independent networks were associated with the task in both cohorts: (i) a dorsal Auditory-Premotor network; (ii) a dorsal Sensory-Motor network; (iii) a dorsal Fronto-Parietal network; and (iv) a ventral Fronto-Temporal network. The level of engagement of these networks varied through the learning period with only the dorsal Auditory-Premotor network being engaged across all blocks. In addition, the connectivity strength of this network in the second block of the learning phase correlated with the individual variability in word learning performance. These findings suggest that: (i) word learning relies on segregated connectivity patterns involving dorsal and ventral networks; and (ii) specifically, the dorsal auditory-premotor network connectivity strength is directly correlated with word learning performance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Why self-controlled feedback enhances motor learning: Answers from electroencephalography and indices of motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grand, Kirk F; Bruzi, Alessandro T; Dyke, Ford B; Godwin, Maurice M; Leiker, Amber M; Thompson, Andrew G; Buchanan, Taylor L; Miller, Matthew W

    2015-10-01

    It was tested whether learners who choose when to receive augmented feedback while practicing a motor skill exhibit enhanced augmented feedback processing and intrinsic motivation, along with superior learning, relative to learners who do not control their feedback. Accordingly, participants were assigned to either self-control (Self) or yoked groups and asked to practice a non-dominant arm beanbag toss. Self participants received augmented feedback at their discretion, whereas Yoked participants were given feedback schedules matched to Self counterparts. Participants' visual feedback was occluded, and when they received augmented feedback, their processing of it was indexed with the electroencephalography-derived feedback-related negativity (FRN). Participants self-reported intrinsic motivation via the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) after practice, and completed a retention and transfer test the next day to index learning. Results partially support the hypothesis. Specifically, Self participants reported higher IMI scores, exhibited larger FRNs, and demonstrated better accuracy on the transfer test, but not on the retention test, nor did they exhibit greater consistency on the retention or transfer tests. Additionally, post-hoc multiple regression analysis indicated FRN amplitude predicted transfer test accuracy (accounting for IMI score). Results suggest self-controlled feedback schedules enhance feedback processing, which enhances the transfer of a newly acquired motor skill.

  9. Effects of generic versus non-generic feedback on motor learning in children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzete Chiviacowsky

    Full Text Available Non-generic feedback refers to a specific event and implies that performance is malleable, while generic feedback implies that task performance reflects an inherent ability. The present study examined the influences of generic versus non-generic feedback on motor performance and learning in 10-year-old children. In the first experiment, using soccer ball kicking at a target as a task, providing participants with generic feedback resulted in worse performance than providing non-generic feedback, after both groups received negative feedback. The second experiment measured more permanent effects. Results of a retention test, performed one day after practicing a throwing task, showed that participants who received non-generic feedback during practice outperformed the generic feedback group, after receiving a negative feedback statement. The findings demonstrate the importance of the wording of feedback. Even though different positive feedback statements may not have an immediate influence on performance, they can affect performance, and presumably individuals' motivation, when performance is (purportedly poor. Feedback implying that performance is malleable, rather than due to an inherent ability, seems to have the potential to inoculate learners against setbacks--a situation frequently encountered in the context of motor performance and learning.

  10. 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.

  11. Semaphorin 6A knockout mice display abnormalities across ethologically-based topographies of exploration and in motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Håkansson, Kerstin; Runker, Annette E; O'Sullivan, Gerard J; Mitchell, Kevin J; Waddington, John L; O'Tuathaigh, Colm M P

    2017-02-22

    Semaphorins are secreted or membrane-bound proteins implicated in neurodevelopmental processes of axon guidance and cell migration. Exploratory behaviour and motor learning was examined ethologically in Semaphorin 6A (Sema6A) mutant mice. The ethogram of initial exploration in Sema6A knockout mice was characterised by increased rearing to wall with decreased sifting; over subsequent habituation, locomotion, sniffing and rearing to wall were increased, with reduced habituation of rearing seated. Rotarod analysis indicated delayed motor learning in Sema6A heterozygous mutants. Disruption to the axonal guidance and cell migration processes regulated by Sema6A is associated with topographically specific disruption to fundamental aspects of behaviour, namely the ethogram of initial exploration and subsequent habituation to the environment, and motor learning.

  12. Engaging cognitive circuits to promote motor recovery in degenerative disorders. exercise as a learning modality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakowec Michael W.

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Exercise and physical activity are fundamental components of a lifestyle essential in maintaining a healthy brain. This is primarily due to the fact that the adult brain maintains a high degree of plasticity and activity is essential for homeostasis throughout life. Plasticity is not lost even in the context of a neurodegenerative disorder, but could be maladaptive thus promoting disease onset and progression. A major breakthrough in treating brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease is to drive neuroplasticity in a direction to improve motor and cognitive dysfunction. The purpose of this short review is to present the evidence from our laboratories that supports neuroplasticity as a potential therapeutic target in treating brain disorders. We consider that the enhancement of motor recovery in both animal models of dopamine depletion and in patients with Parkinson’s disease is optimized when cognitive circuits are engaged; in other words, the brain is engaged in a learning modality. Therefore, we propose that to be effective in treating Parkinson’s disease, physical therapy must employ both skill-based exercise (to drive specific circuits and aerobic exercise (to drive the expression of molecules required to strengthen synaptic connections components to select those neuronal circuits, such as the corticostriatal pathway, necessary to restore proper motor and cognitive behaviors. In the wide spectrum of different forms of exercise, learning as the fundamental modality likely links interventions used to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease and may be necessary to drive beneficial neuroplasticity resulting in symptomatic improvement and possible disease modification.

  13. 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

  14. An agonist–antagonist cerebellar nuclear system controlling eyelid kinematics during motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raudel eSánchez-Campusano

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The presence of two antagonistic groups of deep cerebellar nuclei neurons has been reported as necessary for a proper dynamic control of learned motor responses. Most models of cerebellar function seem to ignore the biomechanical need for a double activation–deactivation system controlling eyelid kinematics, since most of them accept that, for closing the eyelid, only the activation of the orbicularis oculi muscle (via the red nucleus to the facial motor nucleus is necessary, without a simultaneous deactivation of levator palpebrae motoneurons (via unknown pathways projecting to the perioculomotor area. We have analyzed the kinetic neural commands of two antagonistic types of cerebellar posterior interpositus neuron (types A and B, the electromyographic activity of the orbicularis oculi muscle, and eyelid kinematic variables in alert behaving cats during classical eyeblink conditioning, using a delay paradigm. We addressed the hypothesis that the interpositus nucleus can be considered an agonist–antagonist system controlling eyelid kinematics during motor learning. To carry out a comparative study of the kinetic–kinematic relationships, we applied timing and dispersion pattern analyses. We concluded that, in accordance with a dominant role of cerebellar circuits for the facilitation of flexor responses, type A neurons fire during active eyelid downward displacements ─ i.e., during the active contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscle. In contrast, type B neurons present a high tonic rate when the eyelids are wide open, and stop firing during any active downward displacement of the upper eyelid. From a functional point of view, it could be suggested that type B neurons play a facilitative role for the antagonistic action of the levator palpebrae muscle. From an anatomical point of view, the possibility that cerebellar nuclear type B neurons project to the perioculomotor area ─ i.e., more or less directly onto levator palpebrae

  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

    Background 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. Objective 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID

  17. 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.

  18. Motor dysfunction in the tottering mouse is linked to cerebellar spontaneous low frequency oscillations revealed by flavoprotein autofluorescence optical imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Gang; Popa, Laurentiu S.; Wang, Xinming; Gao, Wangcai; Barnes, Justin; Hendrix, Claudia M.; Hess, Ellen J.; Ebner, Timothy J.

    2009-02-01

    Flavoprotein autofluorescence optical imaging is developing into a powerful research tool to study neural activity, particularly in vivo. In this study we used this imaging technique to investigate the neuronal mechanism underlying the episodic movement disorder that is characteristic of the tottering (tg) mouse, a model of episodic ataxia type 2. Both EA2 and the tg mouse are caused by mutations in the gene encoding Cav2.1 (P/Q-type) voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. These mutations result in a reduction in P/Q Ca2+ channel function. Both EA2 patients and tg mice have a characteristic phenotype consisting of transient motor attacks triggered by stress, caffeine or ethanol. The neural events underlying these episodes of dystonia are unknown. Flavoprotein autofluorescence optical imaging revealed spontaneous, transient, low frequency oscillations in the cerebellar cortex of the tg mouse. Lasting from 30 - 120 minutes, the oscillations originate in one area then spread to surrounding regions over 30 - 60 minutes. The oscillations are reduced by removing extracellular Ca2+ and blocking Cav 1.2/1.3 (L-type) Ca2+ channels. The oscillations are not affected by blocking AMPA receptors or by electrical stimulation of the parallel fiber - Purkinje cell circuit, suggesting the oscillations are generated intrinsically in the cerebellar cortex. Conversely, L-type Ca2+ agonists generate oscillations with similar properties. In the awake tg mouse, transcranial flavoprotein imaging revealed low frequency oscillations that are accentuated during caffeine induced attacks of dystonia. The oscillations increase during the attacks of dystonia and are coupled to oscillations in face and hindlimb EMG activity. These transient oscillations and the associated cerebellar dysfunction provide a novel mechanism by which an ion channel disorder results in episodic motor dysfunction.

  19. Motor Learning: An Analysis of 100 Trials of a Ski Slalom Game in Children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bouwien C M Smits-Engelsman

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. 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