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Sample records for motor sequence learning

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

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    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.

  2. Motor Speech Sequence Learning in Adults Who Stutter

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    Mahsa Aghazamani

    2018-04-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-02-15

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

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

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    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…

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

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    Whitfield, Jason A.; Goberman, Alexander M.

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    Ayala Bloch

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

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

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    Silke Lissek

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

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

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

    2013-11-01

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

  18. Implicit Learning of a Finger Motor Sequence by Patients with Cerebral Palsy After Neurofeedback.

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    Alves-Pinto, Ana; Turova, Varvara; Blumenstein, Tobias; Hantuschke, Conny; Lampe, Renée

    2017-03-01

    Facilitation of implicit learning of a hand motor sequence after a single session of neurofeedback training of alpha power recorded from the motor cortex has been shown in healthy individuals (Ros et al., Biological Psychology 95:54-58, 2014). This facilitation effect could be potentially applied to improve the outcome of rehabilitation in patients with impaired hand motor function. In the current study a group of ten patients diagnosed with cerebral palsy trained reduction of alpha power derived from brain activity recorded from right and left motor areas. Training was distributed in three periods of 8 min each. In between, participants performed a serial reaction time task with their non-dominant hand, to a total of five runs. A similar procedure was repeated a week or more later but this time training was based on simulated brain activity. Reaction times pooled across participants decreased on each successive run faster after neurofeedback training than after the simulation training. Also recorded were two 3-min baseline conditions, once with the eyes open, another with the eyes closed, at the beginning and end of the experimental session. No significant changes in alpha power with neurofeedback or with simulation training were obtained and no correlation with the reductions in reaction time could be established. Contributions for this are discussed.

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

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

    2014-04-30

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

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

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

    2017-01-05

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

  1. Magnifying visual target information and the role of eye movements in motor sequence learning.

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    Massing, Matthias; Blandin, Yannick; Panzer, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    An experiment investigated the influence of eye movements on learning a simple motor sequence task when the visual display was magnified. The task was to reproduce a 1300 ms spatial-temporal pattern of elbow flexions and extensions. The spatial-temporal pattern was displayed in front of the participants. Participants were randomly assigned to four groups differing on eye movements (free to use their eyes/instructed to fixate) and the visual display (small/magnified). All participants had to perform a pre-test, an acquisition phase, a delayed retention test, and a transfer test. The results indicated that participants in each practice condition increased their performance during acquisition. The participants who were permitted to use their eyes in the magnified visual display outperformed those who were instructed to fixate on the magnified visual display. When a small visual display was used, the instruction to fixate induced no performance decrements compared to participants who were permitted to use their eyes during acquisition. The findings demonstrated that a spatial-temporal pattern can be learned without eye movements, but being permitting to use eye movements facilitates the response production when the visual angle is increased. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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    Quan Wang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available 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

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Improved motor sequence retention by motionless listening.

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    Lahav, Amir; Katz, Tal; Chess, Roxanne; Saltzman, Elliot

    2013-05-01

    This study examined the effect of listening to a newly learned musical piece on subsequent motor retention of the piece. Thirty-six non-musicians were trained to play an unfamiliar melody on a piano keyboard. Next, they were randomly assigned to participate in three follow-up listening sessions over 1 week. Subjects who, during their listening sessions, listened to the same initial piece showed significant improvements in motor memory and retention of the piece despite the absence of physical practice. These improvements included increased pitch accuracy, time accuracy, and dynamic intensity of key pressing. Similar improvements, though to a lesser degree, were observed in subjects who, during their listening sessions, were distracted by another task. Control subjects, who after learning the piece had listened to nonmusical sounds, showed impaired motoric retention of the piece at 1 week from the initial acquisition day. These results imply that motor sequences can be established in motor memory without direct access to motor-related information. In addition, the study revealed that the listening-induced improvements did not generalize to the learning of a new musical piece composed of the same notes as the initial piece learned, limiting the effects to musical motor sequences that are already part of the individual's motor repertoire.

  5. Neuroplasticity & Motor Learning

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    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...

  6. Beta band transcranial alternating (tACS and direct current stimulation (tDCS applied after initial learning facilitate retrieval of a motor sequence

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    Vanessa eKrause

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The primary motor cortex (M1 contributes to the acquisition and early consolidation of a motor sequence. Although the relevance of M1 excitability for motor learning has been supported, the significance of M1 oscillations remains an open issue. This study aims at investigating to what extent retrieval of a newly learned motor sequence can be differentially affected by motor-cortical transcranial alternating (tACS and direct current stimulation (tDCS. Alpha (10 Hz, beta (20 Hz or sham tACS was applied in 36 right-handers. Anodal or cathodal tDCS was applied in 30 right-handers. Participants learned an eight-digit serial reaction time task (SRTT; sequential vs. random with the right hand. Stimulation was applied to the left M1 after SRTT acquisition at rest for ten minutes. Reaction times were analyzed at baseline, end of acquisition, retrieval immediately after stimulation and reacquisition after eight further sequence repetitions.Reaction times during retrieval were significantly faster following 20 Hz tACS as compared to 10 Hz and sham tACS indicating a facilitation of early consolidation. TDCS yielded faster reaction times, too, independent of polarity. No significant differences between 20 Hz tACS and tDCS effects on retrieval were found suggesting that 20 Hz effects might be associated with altered motor-cortical excitability. Based on the behavioural modulation yielded by tACS and tDCS one might speculate that altered motor-cortical beta oscillations support early motor consolidation possibly associated with neuroplastic reorganization.

  7. On the Specificity of Sequential Congruency Effects in Implicit Learning of Motor and Perceptual Sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, Maria C.; Jimenez, Luis; Milliken, Bruce; Lupianez, Juan

    2013-01-01

    Individuals experience less interference from conflicting information following events that contain conflicting information. Recently, Jimenez, Lupianez, and Vaquero (2009) demonstrated that such adaptations to conflict occur even when the source of conflict arises from implicit knowledge of sequences. There is accumulating evidence that momentary…

  8. Explicit Pre-Training Instruction Does Not Improve Implicit Perceptual-Motor Sequence Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Daniel J.; Reber, Paul J.

    2013-01-01

    Memory systems theory argues for separate neural systems supporting implicit and explicit memory in the human brain. Neuropsychological studies support this dissociation, but empirical studies of cognitively healthy participants generally observe that both kinds of memory are acquired to at least some extent, even in implicit learning tasks. A key…

  9. Multimodal sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemény, Ferenc; Meier, Beat

    2016-02-01

    While sequence learning research models complex phenomena, previous studies have mostly focused on unimodal sequences. The goal of the current experiment is to put implicit sequence learning into a multimodal context: to test whether it can operate across different modalities. We used the Task Sequence Learning paradigm to test whether sequence learning varies across modalities, and whether participants are able to learn multimodal sequences. Our results show that implicit sequence learning is very similar regardless of the source modality. However, the presence of correlated task and response sequences was required for learning to take place. The experiment provides new evidence for implicit sequence learning of abstract conceptual representations. In general, the results suggest that correlated sequences are necessary for implicit sequence learning to occur. Moreover, they show that elements from different modalities can be automatically integrated into one unitary multimodal sequence. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Explicit pre-training instruction does not improve implicit perceptual-motor sequence learning

    OpenAIRE

    Sanchez, Daniel J.; Reber, Paul J.

    2012-01-01

    Memory systems theory argues for separate neural systems supporting implicit and explicit memory in the human brain. Neuropsychological studies support this dissociation, but empirical studies of cognitively healthy participants generally observe that both kinds of memory are acquired to at least some extent, even in implicit learning tasks. A key question is whether this observation reflects parallel intact memory systems or an integrated representation of memory in healthy participants. Lea...

  11. Implicit motor sequence learning in schizophrenia and in old age: reduced performance only in the third session

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelis, Claudia; de Picker, Livia J.; de Boer, Peter; Dumont, Glenn; Coppens, Violette; Morsel, Anne; Janssens, Luc; Timmers, Maarten; Sabbe, Bernard G. C.; Morrens, Manuel; Hulstijn, Wouter

    2016-01-01

    Although there still is conflicting evidence whether schizophrenia is a neurodegenerative disease, cognitive changes in schizophrenia resemble those observed during normal aging. In contrast to extensively demonstrated deficits in explicit learning, it remains unclear whether implicit sequence

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied to the left premotor cortex (PMC) stabilizes a newly learned motor sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Focke, Jan; Kemmet, Sylvia; Krause, Vanessa; Keitel, Ariane; Pollok, Bettina

    2017-01-01

    While the primary motor cortex (M1) is involved in the acquisition the premotor cortex (PMC) has been related to over-night consolidation of a newly learned motor skill. The present study aims at investigating the possible contribution of the left PMC for the stabilization of a motor sequence immediately after acquisition as determined by susceptibility to interference. Thirty six healthy volunteers received anodal, cathodal and sham transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the left PMC either immediately prior to or during training on a serial reaction time task (SRTT) with the right hand. TDCS was applied for 10min, respectively. Reaction times were measured prior to training (t1), at the end of training (t2), and after presentation of an interfering random pattern (t3). Beyond interference from learning, the random pattern served as control condition in order to estimate general effects of tDCS on reaction times. TDCS applied during SRTT training did not result in any significant effects neither on acquisition nor on susceptibility to interference. In contrast to this, tDCS prior to SRTT training yielded an unspecific facilitation of reaction times at t2 independent of tDCS polarity. At t3, reduced susceptibility to interference was found following cathodal stimulation. The results suggest the involvement of the PMC in early consolidation and reveal a piece of evidence for the hypothesis that behavioral tDCS effects vary with the activation state of the stimulated area. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-05

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

  17. Multiple systems for motor skill learning

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, Dav; Ivry, Richard B.

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Daytime sleep enhances consolidation of the spatial but not motoric representation of motor sequence memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geneviève Albouy

    Full Text Available Motor sequence learning is known to rely on more than a single process. As the skill develops with practice, two different representations of the sequence are formed: a goal representation built under spatial allocentric coordinates and a movement representation mediated through egocentric motor coordinates. This study aimed to explore the influence of daytime sleep (nap on consolidation of these two representations. Through the manipulation of an explicit finger sequence learning task and a transfer protocol, we show that both allocentric (spatial and egocentric (motor representations of the sequence can be isolated after initial training. Our results also demonstrate that nap favors the emergence of offline gains in performance for the allocentric, but not the egocentric representation, even after accounting for fatigue effects. Furthermore, sleep-dependent gains in performance observed for the allocentric representation are correlated with spindle density during non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep of the post-training nap. In contrast, performance on the egocentric representation is only maintained, but not improved, regardless of the sleep/wake condition. These results suggest that motor sequence memory acquisition and consolidation involve distinct mechanisms that rely on sleep (and specifically, spindle or simple passage of time, depending respectively on whether the sequence is performed under allocentric or egocentric coordinates.

  19. 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

  20. Is sequence awareness mandatory for perceptual sequence learning: An assessment using a pure perceptual sequence learning design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deroost, Natacha; Coomans, Daphné

    2018-02-01

    We examined the role of sequence awareness in a pure perceptual sequence learning design. Participants had to react to the target's colour that changed according to a perceptual sequence. By varying the mapping of the target's colour onto the response keys, motor responses changed randomly. The effect of sequence awareness on perceptual sequence learning was determined by manipulating the learning instructions (explicit versus implicit) and assessing the amount of sequence awareness after the experiment. In the explicit instruction condition (n = 15), participants were instructed to intentionally search for the colour sequence, whereas in the implicit instruction condition (n = 15), they were left uninformed about the sequenced nature of the task. Sequence awareness after the sequence learning task was tested by means of a questionnaire and the process-dissociation-procedure. The results showed that the instruction manipulation had no effect on the amount of perceptual sequence learning. Based on their report to have actively applied their sequence knowledge during the experiment, participants were subsequently regrouped in a sequence strategy group (n = 14, of which 4 participants from the implicit instruction condition and 10 participants from the explicit instruction condition) and a no-sequence strategy group (n = 16, of which 11 participants from the implicit instruction condition and 5 participants from the explicit instruction condition). Only participants of the sequence strategy group showed reliable perceptual sequence learning and sequence awareness. These results indicate that perceptual sequence learning depends upon the continuous employment of strategic cognitive control processes on sequence knowledge. Sequence awareness is suggested to be a necessary but not sufficient condition for perceptual learning to take place. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Motor Skill Learning in Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabbard, Carl P.

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

  3. Multiple systems for motor skill learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Dav; Ivry, Richard B

    2010-07-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Implicit sequence learning in people with Parkinson’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine R Gamble

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Implicit sequence learning involves learning about dependencies in sequences of events without intent to learn or awareness of what has been learned. Sequence learning is related to striatal dopamine levels, striatal activation, and integrity of white matter connections. People with Parkinson’s disease (PD have degeneration of dopamine-producing neurons, leading to dopamine deficiency and therefore striatal deficits, and they have difficulties with sequencing, including complex language comprehension and postural stability. Most research on implicit sequence learning in PD has used motor-based tasks. However, because PD presents with motor deficits, it is difficult to assess whether learning itself is impaired in these tasks. The present study used an implicit sequence learning task with a reduced motor component, the Triplets Learning Task (TLT. People with PD and age- and education-matched healthy older adults completed three sessions (each consisting of 10 blocks of 50 trials of the TLT. Results revealed that the PD group was able to learn the sequence, however, when learning was examined using a Half Blocks analysis (Nemeth et al., 2013, which compared learning in the 1st 25/50 trials of all blocks to that in the 2nd 25/50 trials, the PD group showed significantly less learning than Controls in the 2nd Half Blocks, but not in the 1st. Nemeth et al. hypothesized that the 1st Half Blocks involve recall and reactivation of the sequence learned, thus reflecting hippocampal-dependent learning, while the 2nd Half Blocks involve proceduralized behavior of learned sequences, reflecting striatal-based learning. The present results suggest that the PD group had intact hippocampal-dependent implicit sequence learning, but impaired striatal-dependent learning. Thus, sequencing deficits in PD are likely due to striatal impairments, but other brain systems, such as the hippocampus, may be able to partially compensate for striatal decline to improve

  7. Movement Sonification: Audiovisual benefits on motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weber Andreas

    2011-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Context-dependent motor skill: perceptual processing in memory-based sequence production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruitenberg, M.F.L.; Abrahamse, E.L.; de Kleine, Elian; Verwey, Willem B.

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that motor sequencing skill can benefit from the reinstatement of the learning context—even with respect to features that are formally not required for appropriate task performance. The present study explored whether such context-dependence develops when sequence

  10. 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.

  11. Motor Skill Learning and Corticospinal Excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Lasse

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

  12. COGNITIVE FATIGUE FACILITATES PROCEDURAL SEQUENCE LEARNING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo eBorragán

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Enhanced procedural learning has been evidenced in conditions where cognitive control is diminished, including hypnosis, disruption of prefrontal activity and non-optimal time of the day. Another condition depleting the availability of controlled resources is cognitive fatigue. We tested the hypothesis that cognitive fatigue, eventually leading to diminished cognitive control, facilitates procedural sequence learning. In a two-day experiment, twenty-three young healthy adults were administered a serial reaction time task (SRTT following the induction of high or low levels of cognitive fatigue, in a counterbalanced order. Cognitive fatigue was induced using the Time load Dual-back (TloadDback paradigm, a dual working memory task that allows tailoring cognitive load levels to the individual's optimal performance capacity. In line with our hypothesis, reaction times in the SRTT were faster in the high- than in the low-level fatigue condition, and performance improvement showed more of a benefit from the sequential components than from motor. Altogether, our results suggest a paradoxical, facilitating impact of cognitive fatigue on procedural motor sequence learning. We propose that facilitated learning in the high-level fatigue condition stems from a reduction in the cognitive resources devoted to cognitive control processes that normally oppose automatic procedural acquisition mechanisms.

  13. Cross-limb Interference during motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Speed Control of Multiphase Cage Induction Motors Incorporating Supply Sequence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drozdowski Piotr

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The subject of this paper is the control possibility of the multiphase cage induction motors having number of phases greater than 3. These motors have additional properties for speed control that distinguish them from the standard 3 phase motors: operation at various sequences of supplying voltages due to the inverter control and possible operation with few open-circuited phases. For each supply sequence different no load speeds at the same frequency can be obtained. This feature extends the motor application for miscellaneous drive demands including vector or scalar control. This depends mainly on the type of the stator winding for a given number of phases, since the principle of motor operation is based on co-operation of higher harmonics of magnetic field. Examples of operation are presented for a 9-phase motor, though general approach has been discussed. This motor was fed by a voltage source inverter at field oriented control with forced currents. The mathematical model of the motor was reduced to the form incorporating all most important physical features and appropriate for the control law formulation. The operation was illustrated for various supply sequences for “healthy” motor and for the motor operating at one phase broken. The obtained results have shown that parasitic influence of harmonic fields interaction has negligible influence on motor operation with respect to the useful coupling for properly designed stator winding.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  16. Generation of novel motor sequences: the neural correlates of musical improvisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkowitz, Aaron L; Ansari, Daniel

    2008-06-01

    While some motor behavior is instinctive and stereotyped or learned and re-executed, much action is a spontaneous response to a novel set of environmental conditions. The neural correlates of both pre-learned and cued motor sequences have been previously studied, but novel motor behavior has thus far not been examined through brain imaging. In this paper, we report a study of musical improvisation in trained pianists with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), using improvisation as a case study of novel action generation. We demonstrate that both rhythmic (temporal) and melodic (ordinal) motor sequence creation modulate activity in a network of brain regions comprised of the dorsal premotor cortex, the rostral cingulate zone of the anterior cingulate cortex, and the inferior frontal gyrus. These findings are consistent with a role for the dorsal premotor cortex in movement coordination, the rostral cingulate zone in voluntary selection, and the inferior frontal gyrus in sequence generation. Thus, the invention of novel motor sequences in musical improvisation recruits a network of brain regions coordinated to generate possible sequences, select among them, and execute the decided-upon sequence.

  17. cTBS disruption of the supplementary motor area perturbs cortical sequence representation but not behavioural performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solopchuk, Oleg; Alamia, Andrea; Dricot, Laurence; Duque, Julie; Zénon, Alexandre

    2017-12-01

    Neuroimaging studies have repeatedly emphasized the role of the supplementary motor area (SMA) in motor sequence learning, but interferential approaches have led to inconsistent findings. Here, we aimed to test the role of the SMA in motor skill learning by combining interferential and neuroimaging techniques. Sixteen subjects were trained on simple finger movement sequences for 4 days. Afterwards, they underwent two neuroimaging sessions, in which they executed both trained and novel sequences. Prior to entering the scanner, the subjects received inhibitory transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the SMA or a control site. Using multivariate fMRI analysis, we confirmed that motor training enhances the neural representation of motor sequences in the SMA, in accordance with previous findings. However, although SMA inhibition altered sequence representation (i.e. between-sequence decoding accuracy) in this area, behavioural performance remained unimpaired. Our findings question the causal link between the neuroimaging correlate of elementary motor sequence representation in the SMA and sequence generation, calling for a more thorough investigation of the role of this region in performance of learned motor sequences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Neural correlates of skill acquisition: decreased cortical activity during a serial interception sequence learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobel, Eric W; Parrish, Todd B; Reber, Paul J

    2011-10-15

    Learning of complex motor skills requires learning of component movements as well as the sequential structure of their order and timing. Using a Serial Interception Sequence Learning (SISL) task, participants learned a sequence of precisely timed interception responses through training with a repeating sequence. Following initial implicit learning of the repeating sequence, functional MRI data were collected during performance of that known sequence and compared with activity evoked during novel sequences of actions, novel timing patterns, or both. Reduced activity was observed during the practiced sequence in a distributed bilateral network including extrastriate occipital, parietal, and premotor cortical regions. These reductions in evoked activity likely reflect improved efficiency in visuospatial processing, spatio-motor integration, motor planning, and motor execution for the trained sequence, which is likely supported by nondeclarative skill learning. In addition, the practiced sequence evoked increased activity in the left ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex, while the posterior cingulate was more active during periods of better performance. Many prior studies of perceptual-motor skill learning have found increased activity in motor areas of the frontal cortex (e.g., motor and premotor cortex, SMA) and striatal areas (e.g., the putamen). The change in activity observed here (i.e., decreased activity across a cortical network) may reflect skill learning that is predominantly expressed through more accurate performance rather than decreased reaction time. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  1. Melodic Priming of Motor Sequence Performance: The Role of the Dorsal Premotor Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Anke Stephan

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to determine whether exposure to specific auditory sequences leads to the induction of new motor memories and to investigate the role of the dorsal premotor cortex (dPMC in this crossmodal learning process. Fifty-two young healthy non-musicians were familiarized with the sound to key-press mapping on a computer keyboard and tested on their baseline motor performance. Each participant received subsequently either continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS or sham stimulation over the dPMC and was then asked to remember a 12-note melody without moving. For half of the participants, the contour of the melody memorized was congruent to a subsequently performed, but never practiced, finger movement sequence (Congruent group. For the other half, the melody memorized was incongruent to the subsequent finger movement sequence (Incongruent group. Hearing a congruent melody led to significantly faster performance of a motor sequence immediately thereafter compared to hearing an incongruent melody. In addition, cTBS speeded up motor performance in both groups, possibly by relieving motor consolidation from interference by the declarative melody memorization task. Our findings substantiate recent evidence that exposure to a movement-related tone sequence can induce specific, crossmodal encoding of a movement sequence representation. They further suggest that cTBS over the dPMC may enhance early offline procedural motor skill consolidation in cognitive states where motor consolidation would normally be disturbed by concurrent declarative memory processes. These findings may contribute to a better understanding of auditory-motor system interactions and have implications for the development of new motor rehabilitation approaches using sound and non-invasive brain stimulation as neuromodulatory tools.

  2. Music as a mnemonic to learn gesture sequences in normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease

    OpenAIRE

    Aline eMoussard; Emmanuel eBigand; Emmanuel eBigand; Isabelle ePeretz; Isabelle ePeretz; Isabelle ePeretz; Sylvie eBelleville; Sylvie eBelleville

    2014-01-01

    Strong links between music and motor functions suggest that music could represent an interesting aid for motor learning. The present study aims for the first time to test the potential of music to assist in the learning of sequences of gestures in normal and pathological aging. Participants with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and healthy older adults (Controls) learned sequences of meaningless gestures that were either accompanied by music or a metronome. We also manipulated the learning proce...

  3. Music as a Mnemonic to Learn Gesture Sequences in Normal Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel; Belleville, Sylvie; Peretz, Isabelle

    2014-01-01

    Strong links between music and motor functions suggest that music could represent an interesting aid for motor learning. The present study aims for the first time to test the potential of music to assist in the learning of sequences of gestures in normal and pathological aging. Participants with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and healthy older adults (controls) learned sequences of meaningless gestures that were either accompanied by music or a metronome. We also manipulated the learning proce...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boraczynski Tomasz

    2011-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. Modulation of motor excitability by metricality of tone sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cameron, David; Stewart, Lauren; Pearce, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    amplitude. These results demonstrate that the pure metrical structure of an auditory rhythm presented as generic parametrically varied tone sequences can influence motor excitability but that the picture may be more complex for real recordings of musical pieces. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all...

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Locomotor sequence learning in visually guided walking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choi, Julia T; Jensen, Peter; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2016-01-01

    walking. In addition, we determined how age (i.e., healthy young adults vs. children) and biomechanical factors (i.e., walking speed) affected the rate and magnitude of locomotor sequence learning. The results showed that healthy young adults (age 24 ± 5 years, N = 20) could learn a specific sequence...... of step lengths over 300 training steps. Younger children (age 6-10 years, N = 8) have lower baseline performance, but their magnitude and rate of sequence learning was the same compared to older children (11-16 years, N = 10) and healthy adults. In addition, learning capacity may be more limited...... to modify step length from one trial to the next. Our sequence learning paradigm is derived from the serial reaction-time (SRT) task that has been used in upper limb studies. Both random and ordered sequences of step lengths were used to measure sequence-specific and sequence non-specific learning during...

  14. Cross-limb interference during motor learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt Lauber

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

  15. Effector-independent motor sequence representations exist in extrinsic and intrinsic reference frames.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiestler, Tobias; Waters-Metenier, Sheena; Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2014-04-02

    Many daily activities rely on the ability to produce meaningful sequences of movements. Motor sequences can be learned in an effector-specific fashion (such that benefits of training are restricted to the trained hand) or an effector-independent manner (meaning that learning also facilitates performance with the untrained hand). Effector-independent knowledge can be represented in extrinsic/world-centered or in intrinsic/body-centered coordinates. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and multivoxel pattern analysis to determine the distribution of intrinsic and extrinsic finger sequence representations across the human neocortex. Participants practiced four sequences with one hand for 4 d, and then performed these sequences during fMRI with both left and right hand. Between hands, these sequences were equivalent in extrinsic or intrinsic space, or were unrelated. In dorsal premotor cortex (PMd), we found that sequence-specific activity patterns correlated higher for extrinsic than for unrelated pairs, providing evidence for an extrinsic sequence representation. In contrast, primary sensory and motor cortices showed effector-independent representations in intrinsic space, with considerable overlap of the two reference frames in caudal PMd. These results suggest that effector-independent representations exist not only in world-centered, but also in body-centered coordinates, and that PMd may be involved in transforming sequential knowledge between the two. Moreover, although effector-independent sequence representations were found bilaterally, they were stronger in the hemisphere contralateral to the trained hand. This indicates that intermanual transfer relies on motor memories that are laid down during training in both hemispheres, but preferentially draws upon sequential knowledge represented in the trained hemisphere.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. Temperature dependency in motor skill learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  2. Structural Correlates of Skilled Performance on a Motor Sequence Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Steele

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The brain regions functionally engaged in motor sequence performance are well established, but the structural characteristics of these regions and the fibre pathways involved have been less well studied. In addition, relatively few studies have combined multiple magnetic resonance imaging (MRI and behavioural performance measures in the same sample. Therefore, the current study used diffusion tensor imaging, probabilistic tractography, and voxel-based morphometry to determine the structural correlates of skilled motor performance. Further, we compared these findings with fMRI results in the same sample. We correlated final performance and rate of improvement measures on a temporal motor sequence task with skeletonised fractional anisotropy (FA and whole brain grey matter (GM volume. Final synchronisation performance was negatively correlated with FA in white matter underlying bilateral sensorimotor cortex – an effect that was mediated by a positive correlation with radial diffusivity. Multi-fibre tractography indicated that this region contained crossing fibres from the corticospinal tract and superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF. The identified SLF pathway linked parietal and auditory cortical regions that have been shown to be functionally engaged in this task. Thus, we hypothesise that enhanced synchronisation performance on this task may be related to greater fibre integrity of the SLF. Rate of improvement on synchronisation was positively correlated with GM volume in cerebellar lobules HVI and V – regions that showed training-related decreases in activity in the same sample. Taken together, our results link individual differences in brain structure and function to motor sequence performance on the same task. Further, our study illustrates the utility of using multiple MR measures and analysis techniques to specify the interpretation of structural findings.

  3. 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.

  4. Spike-Based Bayesian-Hebbian Learning of Temporal Sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tully, Philip J; Lindén, Henrik; Hennig, Matthias H

    2016-01-01

    Many cognitive and motor functions are enabled by the temporal representation and processing of stimuli, but it remains an open issue how neocortical microcircuits can reliably encode and replay such sequences of information. To better understand this, a modular attractor memory network is proposed...... in which meta-stable sequential attractor transitions are learned through changes to synaptic weights and intrinsic excitabilities via the spike-based Bayesian Confidence Propagation Neural Network (BCPNN) learning rule. We find that the formation of distributed memories, embodied by increased periods...

  5. Memory and learning with rapid audiovisual sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Arielle S.; Sekuler, Robert

    2015-01-01

    We examined short-term memory for sequences of visual stimuli embedded in varying multisensory contexts. In two experiments, subjects judged the structure of the visual sequences while disregarding concurrent, but task-irrelevant auditory sequences. Stimuli were eight-item sequences in which varying luminances and frequencies were presented concurrently and rapidly (at 8 Hz). Subjects judged whether the final four items in a visual sequence identically replicated the first four items. Luminances and frequencies in each sequence were either perceptually correlated (Congruent) or were unrelated to one another (Incongruent). Experiment 1 showed that, despite encouragement to ignore the auditory stream, subjects' categorization of visual sequences was strongly influenced by the accompanying auditory sequences. Moreover, this influence tracked the similarity between a stimulus's separate audio and visual sequences, demonstrating that task-irrelevant auditory sequences underwent a considerable degree of processing. Using a variant of Hebb's repetition design, Experiment 2 compared musically trained subjects and subjects who had little or no musical training on the same task as used in Experiment 1. Test sequences included some that intermittently and randomly recurred, which produced better performance than sequences that were generated anew for each trial. The auditory component of a recurring audiovisual sequence influenced musically trained subjects more than it did other subjects. This result demonstrates that stimulus-selective, task-irrelevant learning of sequences can occur even when such learning is an incidental by-product of the task being performed. PMID:26575193

  6. Memory and learning with rapid audiovisual sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Arielle S; Sekuler, Robert

    2015-01-01

    We examined short-term memory for sequences of visual stimuli embedded in varying multisensory contexts. In two experiments, subjects judged the structure of the visual sequences while disregarding concurrent, but task-irrelevant auditory sequences. Stimuli were eight-item sequences in which varying luminances and frequencies were presented concurrently and rapidly (at 8 Hz). Subjects judged whether the final four items in a visual sequence identically replicated the first four items. Luminances and frequencies in each sequence were either perceptually correlated (Congruent) or were unrelated to one another (Incongruent). Experiment 1 showed that, despite encouragement to ignore the auditory stream, subjects' categorization of visual sequences was strongly influenced by the accompanying auditory sequences. Moreover, this influence tracked the similarity between a stimulus's separate audio and visual sequences, demonstrating that task-irrelevant auditory sequences underwent a considerable degree of processing. Using a variant of Hebb's repetition design, Experiment 2 compared musically trained subjects and subjects who had little or no musical training on the same task as used in Experiment 1. Test sequences included some that intermittently and randomly recurred, which produced better performance than sequences that were generated anew for each trial. The auditory component of a recurring audiovisual sequence influenced musically trained subjects more than it did other subjects. This result demonstrates that stimulus-selective, task-irrelevant learning of sequences can occur even when such learning is an incidental by-product of the task being performed.

  7. Towards Machine Learning of Motor Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Jan; Schaal, Stefan; Schölkopf, Bernhard

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llinás, Rodolfo R

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Heather R; Gribble, Paul L

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  11. Context-dependent motor skill: perceptual processing in memory-based sequence production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruitenberg, Marit F L; Abrahamse, Elger L; De Kleine, Elian; Verwey, Willem B

    2012-10-01

    Previous studies have shown that motor sequencing skill can benefit from the reinstatement of the learning context-even with respect to features that are formally not required for appropriate task performance. The present study explored whether such context-dependence develops when sequence execution is fully memory-based-and thus no longer assisted by stimulus-response translations. Specifically, we aimed to distinguish between preparation and execution processes. Participants performed two keying sequences in a go/no-go version of the discrete sequence production task in which the context consisted of the color in which the target keys of a particular sequence were displayed. In a subsequent test phase, these colors either were the same as during practice, were reversed for the two sequences or were novel. Results showed that, irrespective of the amount of practice, performance across all key presses in the reversed context condition was impaired relative to performance in the same and novel contexts. This suggests that the online preparation and/or execution of single key presses of the sequence is context-dependent. We propose that a cognitive processor is responsible both for these online processes and for advance sequence preparation and that combined findings from the current and previous studies build toward the notion that the cognitive processor is highly sensitive to changes in context across the various roles that it performs.

  12. [Memory transfer in cerebellar motor learning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagao, Soichi

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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,…

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Janine; Fritsch, Brita

    2011-12-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Spike-Based Bayesian-Hebbian Learning of Temporal Sequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip J Tully

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Many cognitive and motor functions are enabled by the temporal representation and processing of stimuli, but it remains an open issue how neocortical microcircuits can reliably encode and replay such sequences of information. To better understand this, a modular attractor memory network is proposed in which meta-stable sequential attractor transitions are learned through changes to synaptic weights and intrinsic excitabilities via the spike-based Bayesian Confidence Propagation Neural Network (BCPNN learning rule. We find that the formation of distributed memories, embodied by increased periods of firing in pools of excitatory neurons, together with asymmetrical associations between these distinct network states, can be acquired through plasticity. The model's feasibility is demonstrated using simulations of adaptive exponential integrate-and-fire model neurons (AdEx. We show that the learning and speed of sequence replay depends on a confluence of biophysically relevant parameters including stimulus duration, level of background noise, ratio of synaptic currents, and strengths of short-term depression and adaptation. Moreover, sequence elements are shown to flexibly participate multiple times in the sequence, suggesting that spiking attractor networks of this type can support an efficient combinatorial code. The model provides a principled approach towards understanding how multiple interacting plasticity mechanisms can coordinate hetero-associative learning in unison.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Jin H

    2017-08-01

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

  1. Cued memory reactivation during slow-wave sleep promotes explicit knowledge of a motor sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousins, James N; El-Deredy, Wael; Parkes, Laura M; Hennies, Nora; Lewis, Penelope A

    2014-11-26

    Memories are gradually consolidated after initial encoding, and this can sometimes lead to a transition from implicit to explicit knowledge. The exact physiological processes underlying this reorganization remain unclear. Here, we used a serial reaction time task to determine whether targeted memory reactivation (TMR) of specific memory traces during slow-wave sleep promotes the emergence of explicit knowledge. Human participants learned two 12-item sequences of button presses (A and B). These differed in both cue order and in the auditory tones associated with each of the four fingers (one sequence had four higher-pitched tones). Subsequent overnight sleep was monitored, and the tones associated with one learned sequence were replayed during slow-wave sleep. After waking, participants demonstrated greater explicit knowledge (p = 0.005) and more improved procedural skill (p = 0.04) for the cued sequence relative to the uncued sequence. Furthermore, fast spindles (13.5-15 Hz) at task-related motor regions predicted overnight enhancement in procedural skill (r = 0.71, p = 0.01). Auditory cues had no effect on post-sleep memory performance in a control group who received TMR before sleep. These findings suggest that TMR during sleep can alter memory representations and promote the emergence of explicit knowledge, supporting the notion that reactivation during sleep is a key mechanism in this process. Copyright © 2014 Cousins et al.

  2. Attentional load and implicit sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanks, David R; Rowland, Lee A; Ranger, Mandeep S

    2005-06-01

    A widely employed conceptualization of implicit learning hypothesizes that it makes minimal demands on attentional resources. This conjecture was investigated by comparing learning under single-task and dual-task conditions in the sequential reaction time (SRT) task. Participants learned probabilistic sequences, with dual-task participants additionally having to perform a counting task using stimuli that were targets in the SRT display. Both groups were then tested for sequence knowledge under single-task (Experiments 1 and 2) or dual-task (Experiment 3) conditions. Participants also completed a free generation task (Experiments 2 and 3) under inclusion or exclusion conditions to determine if sequence knowledge was conscious or unconscious in terms of its access to intentional control. The experiments revealed that the secondary task impaired sequence learning and that sequence knowledge was consciously accessible. These findings disconfirm both the notion that implicit learning is able to proceed normally under conditions of divided attention, and that the acquired knowledge is inaccessible to consciousness. A unitary framework for conceptualizing implicit and explicit learning is proposed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izawa, Jun; Shadmehr, Reza

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  6. Alpha-gamma phase amplitude coupling subserves information transfer during perceptual sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzvi, Elinor; Bauhaus, Leon J; Kessler, Till U; Liebrand, Matthias; Wöstmann, Malte; Krämer, Ulrike M

    2018-03-01

    Cross-frequency coupling is suggested to serve transfer of information between wide-spread neuronal assemblies and has been shown to underlie many cognitive functions including learning and memory. In previous work, we found that alpha (8-13 Hz) - gamma (30-48 Hz) phase amplitude coupling (αγPAC) is decreased during sequence learning in bilateral frontal cortex and right parietal cortex. We interpreted this to reflect decreased demands for visuo-motor mapping once the sequence has been encoded. In the present study, we put this hypothesis to the test by adding a "simple" condition to the standard serial reaction time task (SRTT) with minimal needs for visuo-motor mapping. The standard SRTT in our paradigm entailed a perceptual sequence allowing for implicit learning of a sequence of colors with randomly assigned motor responses. Sequence learning in this case was thus not associated with reduced demands for visuo-motor mapping. Analysis of oscillatory power revealed a learning-related alpha decrease pointing to a stronger recruitment of occipito-parietal areas when encoding the perceptual sequence. Replicating our previous findings but in contrast to our hypothesis, αγPAC was decreased in sequence compared to random trials over right frontal and parietal cortex. It also tended to be smaller compared to trials requiring a simple motor sequence. We additionally analyzed αγPAC in resting-state data of a separate cohort. PAC in electrodes over right parietal cortex was significantly stronger compared to sequence trials and tended to be higher compared to simple and random trials of the SRTT data. We suggest that αγPAC in right parietal cortex reflects a "default-mode" brain state, which gets perturbed to allow for encoding of visual regularities into memory. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus Blischke

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  12. Unilateral implicit motor learning deficit in developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Hong-Yan, Bi

    2011-02-01

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

  13. 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,…

  14. Sequence-specific procedural learning deficits in children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Hsinjen Julie; Bishop, Dorothy V M

    2014-05-01

    This study tested the procedural deficit hypothesis of specific language impairment (SLI) by comparing children's performance in two motor procedural learning tasks and an implicit verbal sequence learning task. Participants were 7- to 11-year-old children with SLI (n = 48), typically developing age-matched children (n = 20) and younger typically developing children matched for receptive grammar (n = 28). In a serial reaction time task, the children with SLI performed at the same level as the grammar-matched children, but poorer than age-matched controls in learning motor sequences. When tested with a motor procedural learning task that did not involve learning sequential relationships between discrete elements (i.e. pursuit rotor), the children with SLI performed comparably with age-matched children and better than younger grammar-matched controls. In addition, poor implicit learning of word sequences in a verbal memory task (the Hebb effect) was found in the children with SLI. Together, these findings suggest that SLI might be characterized by deficits in learning sequence-specific information, rather than generally weak procedural learning. © 2014 The Authors. Developmental Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Improving sequence segmentation learning by predicting trigrams

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bosch, A.; Daelemans, W.; Dagan, I.; Gildea, D.

    2005-01-01

    Symbolic machine-learning classifiers are known to suffer from near-sightedness when performing sequence segmentation (chunking) tasks in natural language processing: without special architectural additions they are oblivious of the decisions they made earlier when making new ones. We introduce a

  16. Evaluation of motor development in children with learning disabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josiane Medina-Papst

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. Procedural learning in Tourette syndrome, ADHD, and comorbid Tourette-ADHD: Evidence from a probabilistic sequence learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takács, Ádám; Shilon, Yuval; Janacsek, Karolina; Kóbor, Andrea; Tremblay, Antoine; Németh, Dezső; Ullman, Michael T

    2017-10-01

    Procedural memory, which is rooted in the basal ganglia, plays an important role in the implicit learning of motor and cognitive skills. Few studies have examined procedural learning in either Tourette syndrome (TS) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), despite basal ganglia abnormalities in both of these neurodevelopmental disorders. We aimed to assess procedural learning in children with TS (n=13), ADHD (n=22), and comorbid TS-ADHD (n=20), as well as in typically developing children (n=21). Procedural learning was measured with a well-studied implicit probabilistic sequence learning task, the alternating serial reaction time task. All four groups showed evidence of sequence learning, and moreover did not differ from each other in sequence learning. This result, from the first study to examine procedural memory across TS, ADHD and comorbid TS-ADHD, is consistent with previous findings of intact procedural learning of sequences in both TS and ADHD. In contrast, some studies have found impaired procedural learning of non-sequential probabilistic categories in TS. This suggests that sequence learning may be spared in TS and ADHD, while at least some other forms of learning in procedural memory are impaired, at least in TS. Our findings indicate that disorders associated with basal ganglia abnormalities do not necessarily show procedural learning deficits, and provide a possible path for more effective diagnostic tools, and educational and training programs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Learning sequences on the subject of energy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    The ten learning sequences follow on one another. Each picks on a particular aspect from the energy field. The subject notebooks are self-contained and can therefore be used independently. Apart from actual data and energy-related information, the information for the teacher contains: - proposals for teaching - suggestions for further activities - sample solutions for the pupil's sheets - references to the literature and media. The worksheets for the pupils are different; it should be possible to use the learning sequences in all classes of secondary school stage 1. The multicoloured foils for projectors should motivate, on the one hand, and on the other hand should help to check the results of learning. (orig./HP) [de

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  1. Differentiating Visual from Response Sequencing during Long-term Skill Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Brighid; Beukema, Patrick; Verstynen, Timothy

    2017-01-01

    The dual-system model of sequence learning posits that during early learning there is an advantage for encoding sequences in sensory frames; however, it remains unclear whether this advantage extends to long-term consolidation. Using the serial RT task, we set out to distinguish the dynamics of learning sequential orders of visual cues from learning sequential responses. On each day, most participants learned a new mapping between a set of symbolic cues and responses made with one of four fingers, after which they were exposed to trial blocks of either randomly ordered cues or deterministic ordered cues (12-item sequence). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups (n = 15 per group): Visual sequences (same sequence of visual cues across training days), Response sequences (same order of key presses across training days), Combined (same serial order of cues and responses on all training days), and a Control group (a novel sequence each training day). Across 5 days of training, sequence-specific measures of response speed and accuracy improved faster in the Visual group than any of the other three groups, despite no group differences in explicit awareness of the sequence. The two groups that were exposed to the same visual sequence across days showed a marginal improvement in response binding that was not found in the other groups. These results indicate that there is an advantage, in terms of rate of consolidation across multiple days of training, for learning sequences of actions in a sensory representational space, rather than as motoric representations.

  2. Music as a mnemonic to learn gesture sequences in normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline eMoussard

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Strong links between music and motor functions suggest that music could represent an interesting aid for motor learning. The present study aims for the first time to test the potential of music to assist in the learning of sequences of gestures in normal and pathological aging. Participants with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD and healthy older adults (Controls learned sequences of meaningless gestures that were either accompanied by music or a metronome. We also manipulated the learning procedure such that participants had to imitate the gestures to-be-memorized in synchrony with the experimenter or after the experimenter during encoding. Results show different patterns of performance for the two groups. Overall, musical accompaniment had no impact on the Controls' performance, but improved those of AD participants. Conversely, synchronization of gestures during learning helped Controls but seemed to interfere with retention in AD. We discuss these findings regarding their relevance for a better understanding of auditory-motor memory, and we propose recommendations to maximize the mnemonic effect of music for motor sequence learning for dementia care.

  3. Music as a Mnemonic to Learn Gesture Sequences in Normal Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel; Belleville, Sylvie; Peretz, Isabelle

    2014-01-01

    Strong links between music and motor functions suggest that music could represent an interesting aid for motor learning. The present study aims for the first time to test the potential of music to assist in the learning of sequences of gestures in normal and pathological aging. Participants with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and healthy older adults (controls) learned sequences of meaningless gestures that were either accompanied by music or a metronome. We also manipulated the learning procedure such that participants had to imitate the gestures to-be-memorized in synchrony with the experimenter or after the experimenter during encoding. Results show different patterns of performance for the two groups. Overall, musical accompaniment had no impact on the controls’ performance but improved those of AD participants. Conversely, synchronization of gestures during learning helped controls but seemed to interfere with retention in AD. We discuss these findings regarding their relevance for a better understanding of auditory–motor memory, and we propose recommendations to maximize the mnemonic effect of music for motor sequence learning for dementia care. PMID:24860476

  4. Music as a mnemonic to learn gesture sequences in normal aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moussard, Aline; Bigand, Emmanuel; Belleville, Sylvie; Peretz, Isabelle

    2014-01-01

    Strong links between music and motor functions suggest that music could represent an interesting aid for motor learning. The present study aims for the first time to test the potential of music to assist in the learning of sequences of gestures in normal and pathological aging. Participants with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and healthy older adults (controls) learned sequences of meaningless gestures that were either accompanied by music or a metronome. We also manipulated the learning procedure such that participants had to imitate the gestures to-be-memorized in synchrony with the experimenter or after the experimenter during encoding. Results show different patterns of performance for the two groups. Overall, musical accompaniment had no impact on the controls' performance but improved those of AD participants. Conversely, synchronization of gestures during learning helped controls but seemed to interfere with retention in AD. We discuss these findings regarding their relevance for a better understanding of auditory-motor memory, and we propose recommendations to maximize the mnemonic effect of music for motor sequence learning for dementia care.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Motor contingency learning and infants with Spina Bifida.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Filippi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Sequence learning in differentially activated dendrites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Bjørn Gilbert

    2003-01-01

    . It is proposed that the neural machinery required in such a learning/retrieval mechanism could involve the NMDA receptor, in conjunction with the ability of dendrites to maintain differentially activated regions. In particular, it is suggested that such a parcellation of the dendrite allows the neuron......Differentially activated areas of a dendrite permit the existence of zones with distinct rates of synaptic modification, and such areas can be individually accessed using a reference signal which localizes synaptic plasticity and memory trace retrieval to certain subregions of the dendrite...... to participate in multiple sequences, which can be learned without suffering from the 'wash-out' of synaptic efficacy associated with superimposition of training patterns. This is a biologically plausible solution to the stability-plasticity dilemma of learning in neural networks....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens Bo; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper

    2010-01-01

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

  14. An Evolutionary Machine Learning Framework for Big Data Sequence Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamath, Uday Krishna

    2014-01-01

    Sequence classification is an important problem in many real-world applications. Unlike other machine learning data, there are no "explicit" features or signals in sequence data that can help traditional machine learning algorithms learn and predict from the data. Sequence data exhibits inter-relationships in the elements that are…

  15. 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...

  16. Learning multiple variable-speed sequences in striatum via cortical tutoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, James M; Escola, G Sean

    2017-05-08

    Sparse, sequential patterns of neural activity have been observed in numerous brain areas during timekeeping and motor sequence tasks. Inspired by such observations, we construct a model of the striatum, an all-inhibitory circuit where sequential activity patterns are prominent, addressing the following key challenges: (i) obtaining control over temporal rescaling of the sequence speed, with the ability to generalize to new speeds; (ii) facilitating flexible expression of distinct sequences via selective activation, concatenation, and recycling of specific subsequences; and (iii) enabling the biologically plausible learning of sequences, consistent with the decoupling of learning and execution suggested by lesion studies showing that cortical circuits are necessary for learning, but that subcortical circuits are sufficient to drive learned behaviors. The same mechanisms that we describe can also be applied to circuits with both excitatory and inhibitory populations, and hence may underlie general features of sequential neural activity pattern generation in the brain.

  17. Can listening to sound sequences facilitate movement? The potential for motor rehabilitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bodak, Rebeka; Stewart, Lauren; Stephan, Marianne

    examining the impact of auditory exposure on the formation of new motor memories in healthy nonmusicians. Following an audiomotor mapping session, participants will be asked to listen to and memorise sequence A or sequence B in a sound-only task. Employing a congruent/incongruent crossover design......, participants’ motor performance will be tested using visuospatial stimuli to cue key presses, either to the congruent sequence they heard, or to the incongruent unfamiliar sequence. It is predicted that the congruent group will perform faster than the incongruent group. The findings of this study have...

  18. Is Motor Learning Mediated by tDCS Intensity?

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-12

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Roles of Knowledge in Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-02-02

    arm dynamics, previous single trajectory learning algorithms, and much of traditional adaptive control. Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Emilio Bizzi Eugene...and Lim, S.K., 1984, *Joint torque measurement of a direct-drive arm,’ Proc. 23rd Con!. Decision ad Control, Las Vegas , Dec. 12-14, pp. 1332-1337...Dynamic Systems By Learning: A New Control Theory For Servomechanisms of Mechatronics Systems." Proc. 23rd IEEE CDC, Las Vegas , Nevada Arimoto, S., S

  9. Continuous Online Sequence Learning with an Unsupervised Neural Network Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Yuwei; Ahmad, Subutar; Hawkins, Jeff

    2016-09-14

    The ability to recognize and predict temporal sequences of sensory inputs is vital for survival in natural environments. Based on many known properties of cortical neurons, hierarchical temporal memory (HTM) sequence memory recently has been proposed as a theoretical framework for sequence learning in the cortex. In this letter, we analyze properties of HTM sequence memory and apply it to sequence learning and prediction problems with streaming data. We show the model is able to continuously learn a large number of variableorder temporal sequences using an unsupervised Hebbian-like learning rule. The sparse temporal codes formed by the model can robustly handle branching temporal sequences by maintaining multiple predictions until there is sufficient disambiguating evidence. We compare the HTM sequence memory with other sequence learning algorithms, including statistical methods: autoregressive integrated moving average; feedforward neural networks-time delay neural network and online sequential extreme learning machine; and recurrent neural networks-long short-term memory and echo-state networks on sequence prediction problems with both artificial and real-world data. The HTM model achieves comparable accuracy to other state-of-the-art algorithms. The model also exhibits properties that are critical for sequence learning, including continuous online learning, the ability to handle multiple predictions and branching sequences with high-order statistics, robustness to sensor noise and fault tolerance, and good performance without task-specific hyperparameter tuning. Therefore, the HTM sequence memory not only advances our understanding of how the brain may solve the sequence learning problem but is also applicable to real-world sequence learning problems from continuous data streams.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Who Learns More? Cultural Differences in Implicit Sequence Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Qiufang; Dienes, Zoltan; Shang, Junchen; Fu, Xiaolan

    2013-01-01

    Background It is well documented that East Asians differ from Westerners in conscious perception and attention. However, few studies have explored cultural differences in unconscious processes such as implicit learning. Methodology/Principal Findings The global-local Navon letters were adopted in the serial reaction time (SRT) task, during which Chinese and British participants were instructed to respond to global or local letters, to investigate whether culture influences what people acquire in implicit sequence learning. Our results showed that from the beginning British expressed a greater local bias in perception than Chinese, confirming a cultural difference in perception. Further, over extended exposure, the Chinese learned the target regularity better than the British when the targets were global, indicating a global advantage for Chinese in implicit learning. Moreover, Chinese participants acquired greater unconscious knowledge of an irrelevant regularity than British participants, indicating that the Chinese were more sensitive to contextual regularities than the British. Conclusions/Significance The results suggest that cultural biases can profoundly influence both what people consciously perceive and unconsciously learn. PMID:23940773

  12. Interference effects in learning similar sequences of discrete movements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koedijker, J.M.; Oudejans, R.R.D.; Beek, P.J.

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments were conducted to examine proactive and retroactive interference effects in learning two similar sequences of discrete movements. In each experiment, the participants in the experimental group practiced two movement sequences on consecutive days (1 on each day, order

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhavin R Sheth

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

  15. Motor Learning as Young Gymnast’s Talent Indicator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra di Cagno

    2014-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Aurel Hosp

    2013-10-01

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

  19. Visuospatial working memory training facilitates visually-aided explicit sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, John S Y; Wu, Qiaofeng; Liang, Danxia; Yan, Jin H

    2015-10-01

    Finger sequence learning requires visuospatial working memory (WM). However, the dynamics between age, WM training, and motor skill acquisition are unclear. Therefore, we examined how visuospatial WM training improves finger movement sequential accuracy in younger (n=26, 21.1±1.37years) and older adults (n=22, 70.6±4.01years). After performing a finger sequence learning exercise and numerical and spatial WM tasks, participants in each age group were randomly assigned to either the experimental (EX) or control (CO) groups. For one hour daily over a 10-day period, the EX group practiced an adaptive n-back spatial task while those in the CO group practiced a non-adaptive version. As a result of WM practice, the EX participants increased their accuracy in the spatial n-back tasks, while accuracy remained unimproved in the numerical n-back tasks. In all groups, reaction times (RT) became shorter in most numerical and spatial n-back tasks. The learners in the EX group - but not in the CO group - showed improvements in their retention of finger sequences. The findings support our hypothesis that computerized visuospatial WM training improves finger sequence learning both in younger and in older adults. We discuss the theoretical implications and clinical relevance of this research for motor learning and functional rehabilitation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Hertler

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Formulaic Sequences and the Implications for Second Language Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Qi

    2016-01-01

    The present paper is a review of literature in relation to formulaic sequences and the implications for second language learning. The formulaic sequence is a significant part of our language, and plays an essential role in both first and second language learning. The paper first introduces the definition, classifications, and major features of…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.…

  5. 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...

  6. 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....

  7. Serial postural and motor assessment of Fetal Akinesia Deformation Sequence (FADS)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Donker, M.E.; Eijckelhof, B.H.; Tan, G.M.; de Vries, J.I.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Fetal Akinesia Deformation Sequence (FADS) is a rare, in most cases autosomal recessive, disorder. Its heterogeneous origin results in variable onset and expression of motor and postural anomalies. DNA-diagnostic possibilities are limited, thus prenatal diagnosis is chiefly dependent on

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  9. Synchrony and motor mimicking in chimpanzee observational learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-13

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

  10. Synchrony and motor mimicking in chimpanzee observational learning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Observational learning of new movement sequences is reflected in fronto-parietal coherence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurjen van der Helden

    Full Text Available Mankind is unique in her ability for observational learning, i.e. the transmission of acquired knowledge and behavioral repertoire through observation of others' actions. In the present study we used electrophysiological measures to investigate brain mechanisms of observational learning. Analysis investigated the possible functional coupling between occipital (alpha and motor (mu rhythms operating in the 10 Hz frequency range for translating "seeing" into "doing". Subjects observed movement sequences consisting of six consecutive left or right hand button presses directed at one of two target-buttons for subsequent imitation. Each movement sequence was presented four times, intervened by short pause intervals for sequence rehearsal. During a control task subjects observed the same movement sequences without a requirement for subsequent reproduction. Although both alpha and mu rhythms desynchronized during the imitation task relative to the control task, modulations in alpha and mu power were found to be largely independent from each other over time, arguing against a functional coupling of alpha and mu generators during observational learning. This independence was furthermore reflected in the absence of coherence between occipital and motor electrodes overlaying alpha and mu generators. Instead, coherence analysis revealed a pair of symmetric fronto-parietal networks, one over the left and one over the right hemisphere, reflecting stronger coherence during observation of movements than during pauses. Individual differences in fronto-parietal coherence were furthermore found to predict imitation accuracy. The properties of these networks, i.e. their fronto-parietal distribution, their ipsilateral organization and their sensitivity to the observation of movements, match closely with the known properties of the mirror neuron system (MNS as studied in the macaque brain. These results indicate a functional dissociation between higher order areas for

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Kleynen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Patrice L.; Keshner, Emily A.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim Buszard

    2017-08-01

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

  17. Interaction between hippocampal and striatal systems predicts subsequent consolidation of motor sequence memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geneviève Albouy

    Full Text Available The development of fast and reproducible motor behavior is a crucial human capacity. The aim of the present study was to address the relationship between the implementation of consistent behavior during initial training on a sequential motor task (the Finger Tapping Task and subsequent sleep-dependent motor sequence memory consolidation, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI and total sleep deprivation protocol. Our behavioral results indicated significant offline gains in performance speed after sleep whereas performance was only stabilized, but not enhanced, after sleep deprivation. At the cerebral level, we previously showed that responses in the caudate nucleus increase, in parallel to a decrease in its functional connectivity with frontal areas, as performance became more consistent. Here, the strength of the competitive interaction, assessed through functional connectivity analyses, between the caudate nucleus and hippocampo-frontal areas during initial training, predicted delayed gains in performance at retest in sleepers but not in sleep-deprived subjects. Moreover, during retest, responses increased in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex in sleepers whereas in sleep-deprived subjects, responses increased in the putamen and cingulate cortex. Our results suggest that the strength of the competitive interplay between the striatum and the hippocampus, participating in the implementation of consistent motor behavior during initial training, conditions subsequent motor sequence memory consolidation. The latter process appears to be supported by a reorganisation of cerebral activity in hippocampo-neocortical networks after sleep.

  18. Differencial training facilitates early consolidation in motor learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Henz

    2016-10-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. [Neuronal activity of monkey dorso-lateral premotor cortex during tasks of figure recognition guided motor sequence vs memorized spatial motor sequence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y C; Huang, F D; Chen, N H; Shou, J Y; Wu, L

    1998-04-01

    In the last 2-3 decades the role of the premotor cortex (PM) of monkey in memorized spatial sequential (MSS) movements has been amply investigated. However, it is as yet not known whether PM participates in the movement sequence behaviour guided by recognition of visual figures (i.e. the figure-recognition sequence, FRS). In the present work three monkeys were trained to perform both FRS and MSS tasks. Postmortem examination showed that 202 cells were in the dorso-lateral premotor cortex. Among 111 cells recorded during the two tasks, more than 50% changed their activity during the cue periods in either task. During the response period, the ratios of cells with changes of firing rate in both FRS and MSS were high and roughly equal to each other, while during the image period, the proportion in the FRS (83.7%) was significantly higher than that in the MSS (66.7%). Comparison of neuronal activities during same motor sequence of two different tasks showed that during the image periods PM neuronal activities were more closely related to the FRS task, while during the cue periods no difference could be found. Analysis of cell responses showed that the neurons with longer latency were much more in MSS than in FRS in either cue or image period. The present results indicate that the premotor cortex participates in FRS motor sequence as well as in MSS and suggest that the dorso-lateral PM represents another subarea in function shared by both FRS and MSS tasks. However, in view of the differences of PM neuronal responses in cue or image periods of FRS and MSS tasks, it seems likely that neural networks involved in FRS and MSS tasks are different.

  2. 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.

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

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    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

  4. Impacts of visuomotor sequence learning methods on speed and accuracy: Starting over from the beginning or from the point of error.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kanji; Watanabe, Katsumi

    2016-02-01

    The present study examined whether sequence learning led to more accurate and shorter performance time if people who are learning a sequence start over from the beginning when they make an error (i.e., practice the whole sequence) or only from the point of error (i.e., practice a part of the sequence). We used a visuomotor sequence learning paradigm with a trial-and-error procedure. In Experiment 1, we found fewer errors, and shorter performance time for those who restarted their performance from the beginning of the sequence as compared to those who restarted from the point at which an error occurred, indicating better learning of spatial and motor representations of the sequence. This might be because the learned elements were repeated when the next performance started over from the beginning. In subsequent experiments, we increased the occasions for the repetitions of learned elements by modulating the number of fresh start points in the sequence after errors. The results showed that fewer fresh start points were likely to lead to fewer errors and shorter performance time, indicating that the repetitions of learned elements enabled participants to develop stronger spatial and motor representations of the sequence. Thus, a single or two fresh start points in the sequence (i.e., starting over only from the beginning or from the beginning or midpoint of the sequence after errors) is likely to lead to more accurate and faster performance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2016-03-01

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

  6. Learning of Sensory Sequences in Cerebellar Patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frings, Markus; Boenisch, Raoul; Gerwig, Marcus; Diener, Hans-Christoph; Timmann, Dagmar

    2004-01-01

    A possible role of the cerebellum in detecting and recognizing event sequences has been proposed. The present study sought to determine whether patients with cerebellar lesions are impaired in the acquisition and discrimination of sequences of sensory stimuli of different modalities. A group of 26 cerebellar patients and 26 controls matched for…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, X; Shimansky, Y; He, Jiping

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  9. Swarm-based Sequencing Recommendations in E-learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van den Berg, Bert; Tattersall, Colin; Janssen, José; Brouns, Francis; Kurvers, Hub; Koper, Rob

    2005-01-01

    Van den Berg, B., Tattersall, C., Janssen, J., Brouns, F., Kurvers, H., & Koper, R. (2006). Swarm-based Sequencing Recommendations in E-learning. International Journal of Computer Science & Applications, III(III), 1-11.

  10. Decrease in gamma-band activity tracks sequence learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madhavan, Radhika; Millman, Daniel; Tang, Hanlin; Crone, Nathan E.; Lenz, Fredrick A.; Tierney, Travis S.; Madsen, Joseph R.; Kreiman, Gabriel; Anderson, William S.

    2015-01-01

    Learning novel sequences constitutes an example of declarative memory formation, involving conscious recall of temporal events. Performance in sequence learning tasks improves with repetition and involves forming temporal associations over scales of seconds to minutes. To further understand the neural circuits underlying declarative sequence learning over trials, we tracked changes in intracranial field potentials (IFPs) recorded from 1142 electrodes implanted throughout temporal and frontal cortical areas in 14 human subjects, while they learned the temporal-order of multiple sequences of images over trials through repeated recall. We observed an increase in power in the gamma frequency band (30–100 Hz) in the recall phase, particularly in areas within the temporal lobe including the parahippocampal gyrus. The degree of this gamma power enhancement decreased over trials with improved sequence recall. Modulation of gamma power was directly correlated with the improvement in recall performance. When presenting new sequences, gamma power was reset to high values and decreased again after learning. These observations suggest that signals in the gamma frequency band may play a more prominent role during the early steps of the learning process rather than during the maintenance of memory traces. PMID:25653598

  11. SOVEREIGN: An autonomous neural system for incrementally learning planned action sequences to navigate towards a rewarded goal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnadt, William; Grossberg, Stephen

    2008-06-01

    How do reactive and planned behaviors interact in real time? How are sequences of such behaviors released at appropriate times during autonomous navigation to realize valued goals? Controllers for both animals and mobile robots, or animats, need reactive mechanisms for exploration, and learned plans to reach goal objects once an environment becomes familiar. The SOVEREIGN (Self-Organizing, Vision, Expectation, Recognition, Emotion, Intelligent, Goal-oriented Navigation) animat model embodies these capabilities, and is tested in a 3D virtual reality environment. SOVEREIGN includes several interacting subsystems which model complementary properties of cortical What and Where processing streams and which clarify similarities between mechanisms for navigation and arm movement control. As the animat explores an environment, visual inputs are processed by networks that are sensitive to visual form and motion in the What and Where streams, respectively. Position-invariant and size-invariant recognition categories are learned by real-time incremental learning in the What stream. Estimates of target position relative to the animat are computed in the Where stream, and can activate approach movements toward the target. Motion cues from animat locomotion can elicit head-orienting movements to bring a new target into view. Approach and orienting movements are alternately performed during animat navigation. Cumulative estimates of each movement are derived from interacting proprioceptive and visual cues. Movement sequences are stored within a motor working memory. Sequences of visual categories are stored in a sensory working memory. These working memories trigger learning of sensory and motor sequence categories, or plans, which together control planned movements. Predictively effective chunk combinations are selectively enhanced via reinforcement learning when the animat is rewarded. Selected planning chunks effect a gradual transition from variable reactive exploratory

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takiyama, Ken

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken eTakiyama

    2015-02-01

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

  14. Amount of kinematic feedback affects learning of speech motor skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Kirrie J; Smith, Heather D; Paramatmuni, Divija; McCabe, Patricia; Theodoros, Deborah G; Murdoch, Bruce E

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of Performance (KP) feedback, such as biofeedback or kinematic feedback, is used to provide information on the nature and quality of movement responses for the purpose of guiding active learning or rehabilitation of motor skills. It has been proposed that KP feedback may interfere with long-term learning when provided throughout training. Here, twelve healthy English-speaking adults were trained to produce a trilled Russian [r] in words with KP kinematic feedback using electropalatography (EPG) and without KP (noKP). Five one-hour training sessions were provided over one week with testing pretraining and one day and one week posttraining. No group differences were found at pretraining or one day post training for production accuracy. A group by time interaction supported the hypothesis that providing kinematic feedback continually during skill acquisition interferes with retention.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Heather R; Gribble, Paul L

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Heather R.

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Learning predictive statistics from temporal sequences: Dynamics and strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Shen, Yuan; Tino, Peter; Welchman, Andrew E; Kourtzi, Zoe

    2017-10-01

    Human behavior is guided by our expectations about the future. Often, we make predictions by monitoring how event sequences unfold, even though such sequences may appear incomprehensible. Event structures in the natural environment typically vary in complexity, from simple repetition to complex probabilistic combinations. How do we learn these structures? Here we investigate the dynamics of structure learning by tracking human responses to temporal sequences that change in structure unbeknownst to the participants. Participants were asked to predict the upcoming item following a probabilistic sequence of symbols. Using a Markov process, we created a family of sequences, from simple frequency statistics (e.g., some symbols are more probable than others) to context-based statistics (e.g., symbol probability is contingent on preceding symbols). We demonstrate the dynamics with which individuals adapt to changes in the environment's statistics-that is, they extract the behaviorally relevant structures to make predictions about upcoming events. Further, we show that this structure learning relates to individual decision strategy; faster learning of complex structures relates to selection of the most probable outcome in a given context (maximizing) rather than matching of the exact sequence statistics. Our findings provide evidence for alternate routes to learning of behaviorally relevant statistics that facilitate our ability to predict future events in variable environments.

  2. Implicit sequence learning in deaf children with cochlear implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Christopher M; Pisoni, David B; Anaya, Esperanza M; Karpicke, Jennifer; Henning, Shirley C

    2011-01-01

    Deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) represent an intriguing opportunity to study neurocognitive plasticity and reorganization when sound is introduced following a period of auditory deprivation early in development. Although it is common to consider deafness as affecting hearing alone, it may be the case that auditory deprivation leads to more global changes in neurocognitive function. In this paper, we investigate implicit sequence learning abilities in deaf children with CIs using a novel task that measured learning through improvement to immediate serial recall for statistically consistent visual sequences. The results demonstrated two key findings. First, the deaf children with CIs showed disturbances in their visual sequence learning abilities relative to the typically developing normal-hearing children. Second, sequence learning was significantly correlated with a standardized measure of language outcome in the CI children. These findings suggest that a period of auditory deprivation has secondary effects related to general sequencing deficits, and that disturbances in sequence learning may at least partially explain why some deaf children still struggle with language following cochlear implantation. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  3. Learning of Grammar-Like Visual Sequences by Adults with and without Language-Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Jessica M.; Plante, Elena

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Two studies examined learning of grammar-like visual sequences to determine whether a general deficit in statistical learning characterizes this population. Furthermore, we tested the hypothesis that difficulty in sustaining attention during the learning task might account for differences in statistical learning. Method: In Study 1,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gzibovskis, Talis; Marnauza, Mara

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Cognitive Control Structures in the Imitation Learning of Spatial Sequences and Rhythms-An fMRI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakreida, Katrin; Higuchi, Satomi; Di Dio, Cinzia; Ziessler, Michael; Turgeon, Martine; Roberts, Neil; Vogt, Stefan

    2018-03-01

    Imitation learning involves the acquisition of novel motor patterns based on action observation (AO). We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the imitation learning of spatial sequences and rhythms during AO, motor imagery (MI), and imitative execution in nonmusicians and musicians. While both tasks engaged the fronto-parietal mirror circuit, the spatial sequence task recruited posterior parietal and dorsal premotor regions more strongly. The rhythm task involved an additional network for auditory working memory. This partial dissociation supports the concept of task-specific mirror mechanisms. Two regions of cognitive control were identified: 1) dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was found to be more strongly activated during MI of novel spatial sequences, which allowed us to extend the 2-level model of imitation learning by Buccino et al. (2004) to spatial sequences. 2) During imitative execution of both tasks, the posterior medial frontal cortex was robustly activated, along with the DLPFC, which suggests that both regions are involved in the cognitive control of imitation learning. The musicians' selective behavioral advantage for rhythm imitation was reflected cortically in enhanced sensory-motor processing during AO and by the absence of practice-related activation differences in DLPFC during rhythm execution. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. 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.

  9. 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,…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholson VP

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Enhanced learning of natural visual sequences in newborn chicks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Justin N; Prasad, Aditya; Goldman, Jason G; Wood, Samantha M W

    2016-07-01

    To what extent are newborn brains designed to operate over natural visual input? To address this question, we used a high-throughput controlled-rearing method to examine whether newborn chicks (Gallus gallus) show enhanced learning of natural visual sequences at the onset of vision. We took the same set of images and grouped them into either natural sequences (i.e., sequences showing different viewpoints of the same real-world object) or unnatural sequences (i.e., sequences showing different images of different real-world objects). When raised in virtual worlds containing natural sequences, newborn chicks developed the ability to recognize familiar images of objects. Conversely, when raised in virtual worlds containing unnatural sequences, newborn chicks' object recognition abilities were severely impaired. In fact, the majority of the chicks raised with the unnatural sequences failed to recognize familiar images of objects despite acquiring over 100 h of visual experience with those images. Thus, newborn chicks show enhanced learning of natural visual sequences at the onset of vision. These results indicate that newborn brains are designed to operate over natural visual input.

  16. Sequence specific motor performance gains after memory consolidation in children and adolescents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shoshi Dorfberger

    Full Text Available Memory consolidation for a trained sequence of finger opposition movements, in 9- and 12-year-old children, was recently found to be significantly less susceptible to interference by a subsequent training experience, compared to that of 17-year-olds. It was suggested that, in children, the experience of training on any sequence of finger movements may affect the performance of the sequence elements, component movements, rather than the sequence as a unit; the latter has been implicated in the learning of the task by adults. This hypothesis implied a possible childhood advantage in the ability to transfer the gains from a trained to the reversed, untrained, sequence of movements. Here we report the results of transfer tests undertaken to test this proposal in 9-, 12-, and 17-year-olds after training in the finger-to-thumb opposition sequence (FOS learning task. Our results show that the performance gains in the trained sequence partially transferred from the left, trained hand, to the untrained hand at 48-hours after a single training session in the three age-groups tested. However, there was very little transfer of the gains from the trained to the untrained, reversed, sequence performed by either hand. The results indicate sequence specific post-training gains in FOS performance, as opposed to a general improvement in performance of the individual, component, movements that comprised both the trained and untrained sequences. These results do not support the proposal that the reduced susceptibility to interference, in children before adolescence, reflects a difference in movement syntax representation after training.

  17. Sequence specific motor performance gains after memory consolidation in children and adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorfberger, Shoshi; Adi-Japha, Esther; Karni, Avi

    2012-01-01

    Memory consolidation for a trained sequence of finger opposition movements, in 9- and 12-year-old children, was recently found to be significantly less susceptible to interference by a subsequent training experience, compared to that of 17-year-olds. It was suggested that, in children, the experience of training on any sequence of finger movements may affect the performance of the sequence elements, component movements, rather than the sequence as a unit; the latter has been implicated in the learning of the task by adults. This hypothesis implied a possible childhood advantage in the ability to transfer the gains from a trained to the reversed, untrained, sequence of movements. Here we report the results of transfer tests undertaken to test this proposal in 9-, 12-, and 17-year-olds after training in the finger-to-thumb opposition sequence (FOS) learning task. Our results show that the performance gains in the trained sequence partially transferred from the left, trained hand, to the untrained hand at 48-hours after a single training session in the three age-groups tested. However, there was very little transfer of the gains from the trained to the untrained, reversed, sequence performed by either hand. The results indicate sequence specific post-training gains in FOS performance, as opposed to a general improvement in performance of the individual, component, movements that comprised both the trained and untrained sequences. These results do not support the proposal that the reduced susceptibility to interference, in children before adolescence, reflects a difference in movement syntax representation after training.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Supervised Learning for Detection of Duplicates in Genomic Sequence Databases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingyu Chen

    Full Text Available First identified as an issue in 1996, duplication in biological databases introduces redundancy and even leads to inconsistency when contradictory information appears. The amount of data makes purely manual de-duplication impractical, and existing automatic systems cannot detect duplicates as precisely as can experts. Supervised learning has the potential to address such problems by building automatic systems that learn from expert curation to detect duplicates precisely and efficiently. While machine learning is a mature approach in other duplicate detection contexts, it has seen only preliminary application in genomic sequence databases.We developed and evaluated a supervised duplicate detection method based on an expert curated dataset of duplicates, containing over one million pairs across five organisms derived from genomic sequence databases. We selected 22 features to represent distinct attributes of the database records, and developed a binary model and a multi-class model. Both models achieve promising performance; under cross-validation, the binary model had over 90% accuracy in each of the five organisms, while the multi-class model maintains high accuracy and is more robust in generalisation. We performed an ablation study to quantify the impact of different sequence record features, finding that features derived from meta-data, sequence identity, and alignment quality impact performance most strongly. The study demonstrates machine learning can be an effective additional tool for de-duplication of genomic sequence databases. All Data are available as described in the supplementary material.

  1. Supervised Learning for Detection of Duplicates in Genomic Sequence Databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qingyu; Zobel, Justin; Zhang, Xiuzhen; Verspoor, Karin

    2016-01-01

    First identified as an issue in 1996, duplication in biological databases introduces redundancy and even leads to inconsistency when contradictory information appears. The amount of data makes purely manual de-duplication impractical, and existing automatic systems cannot detect duplicates as precisely as can experts. Supervised learning has the potential to address such problems by building automatic systems that learn from expert curation to detect duplicates precisely and efficiently. While machine learning is a mature approach in other duplicate detection contexts, it has seen only preliminary application in genomic sequence databases. We developed and evaluated a supervised duplicate detection method based on an expert curated dataset of duplicates, containing over one million pairs across five organisms derived from genomic sequence databases. We selected 22 features to represent distinct attributes of the database records, and developed a binary model and a multi-class model. Both models achieve promising performance; under cross-validation, the binary model had over 90% accuracy in each of the five organisms, while the multi-class model maintains high accuracy and is more robust in generalisation. We performed an ablation study to quantify the impact of different sequence record features, finding that features derived from meta-data, sequence identity, and alignment quality impact performance most strongly. The study demonstrates machine learning can be an effective additional tool for de-duplication of genomic sequence databases. All Data are available as described in the supplementary material.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Takiyama, Ken

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantarero, Gabriela; Lloyd, Ashley; Celnik, Pablo

    2013-07-31

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

  8. 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...

  9. Learning about evolution from sequence data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dayarian, Adel; Shraiman, Boris

    2012-02-01

    Recent advances in sequencing and in laboratory evolution experiments have made possible to obtain quantitative data on genetic diversity of populations and on the dynamics of evolution. This dynamics is shaped by the interplay between selection acting on beneficial and deleterious mutations and recombination which reshuffles genotypes. Mounting evidence suggests that natural populations harbor extensive fitness diversity, yet most of the currently available tools for analyzing polymorphism data are based on the neutral theory. Our aim is to develop methods to analyze genomic data for populations in the presence of the above-mentioned factors. We consider different evolutionary regimes - Muller's ratchet, mutation-recombination-selection balance and positive adaption rate - and revisit a number of observables considered in the nearly-neutral theory of evolution. In particular, we examine the coalescent structure in the presence of recombination and calculate quantities such as the distribution of the coalescent times along the genome, the distribution of haplotype block sizes and the correlation between ancestors of different loci along the genome. In addition, we characterize the probability and time of fixation of mutations as a function of their fitness effect.

  10. Unified Deep Learning Architecture for Modeling Biology Sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hongjie; Cao, Chengyuan; Xia, Xiaoyan; Lu, Qiang

    2017-10-09

    Prediction of the spatial structure or function of biological macromolecules based on their sequence remains an important challenge in bioinformatics. When modeling biological sequences using traditional sequencing models, characteristics, such as long-range interactions between basic units, the complicated and variable output of labeled structures, and the variable length of biological sequences, usually lead to different solutions on a case-by-case basis. This study proposed the use of bidirectional recurrent neural networks based on long short-term memory or a gated recurrent unit to capture long-range interactions by designing the optional reshape operator to adapt to the diversity of the output labels and implementing a training algorithm to support the training of sequence models capable of processing variable-length sequences. Additionally, the merge and pooling operators enhanced the ability to capture short-range interactions between basic units of biological sequences. The proposed deep-learning model and its training algorithm might be capable of solving currently known biological sequence-modeling problems through the use of a unified framework. We validated our model on one of the most difficult biological sequence-modeling problems currently known, with our results indicating the ability of the model to obtain predictions of protein residue interactions that exceeded the accuracy of current popular approaches by 10% based on multiple benchmarks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  12. When syntax meets action: Brain potential evidence of overlapping between language and motor sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casado, Pilar; Martín-Loeches, Manuel; León, Inmaculada; Hernández-Gutiérrez, David; Espuny, Javier; Muñoz, Francisco; Jiménez-Ortega, Laura; Fondevila, Sabela; de Vega, Manuel

    2018-03-01

    This study aims to extend the embodied cognition approach to syntactic processing. The hypothesis is that the brain resources to plan and perform motor sequences are also involved in syntactic processing. To test this hypothesis, Event-Related brain Potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants read sentences with embedded relative clauses, judging for their acceptability (half of the sentences contained a subject-verb morphosyntactic disagreement). The sentences, previously divided into three segments, were self-administered segment-by-segment in two different sequential manners: linear or non-linear. Linear self-administration consisted of successively pressing three buttons with three consecutive fingers in the right hand, while non-linear self-administration implied the substitution of the finger in the middle position by the right foot. Our aim was to test whether syntactic processing could be affected by the manner the sentences were self-administered. Main results revealed that the ERPs LAN component vanished whereas the P600 component increased in response to incorrect verbs, for non-linear relative to linear self-administration. The LAN and P600 components reflect early and late syntactic processing, respectively. Our results convey evidence that language syntactic processing and performing non-linguistic motor sequences may share resources in the human brain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantak, Shailesh S; Winstein, Carolee J

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-06-01

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

  15. Coordinate Representations for Interference Reduction in Motor Learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang-Hoon Yeo

    Full Text Available When opposing force fields are presented alternately or randomly across trials for identical reaching movements, subjects learn neither force field, a behavior termed 'interference'. Studies have shown that a small difference in the endpoint posture of the limb reduces this interference. However, any difference in the limb's endpoint location typically changes the hand position, joint angles and the hand orientation making it ambiguous as to which of these changes underlies the ability to learn dynamics that normally interfere. Here we examine the extent to which each of these three possible coordinate systems--Cartesian hand position, shoulder and elbow joint angles, or hand orientation--underlies the reduction in interference. Subjects performed goal-directed reaching movements in five different limb configurations designed so that different pairs of these configurations involved a change in only one coordinate system. By specifically assigning clockwise and counter-clockwise force fields to the configurations we could create three different conditions in which the direction of the force field could only be uniquely distinguished in one of the three coordinate systems. We examined the ability to learn the two fields based on each of the coordinate systems. The largest reduction of interference was observed when the field direction was linked to the hand orientation with smaller reductions in the other two conditions. This result demonstrates that the strongest reduction in interference occurred with changes in the hand orientation, suggesting that hand orientation may have a privileged role in reducing motor interference for changes in the endpoint posture of the limb.

  16. Neural Monkey: An Open-source Tool for Sequence Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helcl Jindřich

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we announce the development of Neural Monkey – an open-source neural machine translation (NMT and general sequence-to-sequence learning system built over the TensorFlow machine learning library. The system provides a high-level API tailored for fast prototyping of complex architectures with multiple sequence encoders and decoders. Models’ overall architecture is specified in easy-to-read configuration files. The long-term goal of the Neural Monkey project is to create and maintain a growing collection of implementations of recently proposed components or methods, and therefore it is designed to be easily extensible. Trained models can be deployed either for batch data processing or as a web service. In the presented paper, we describe the design of the system and introduce the reader to running experiments using Neural Monkey.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Real-time learning of predictive recognition categories that chunk sequences of items stored in working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen eGrossberg

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available How are sequences of events that are temporarily stored in a cognitive working memory unitized, or chunked, through learning? Such sequential learning is needed by the brain in order to enable language, spatial understanding, and motor skills to develop. In particular, how does the brain learn categories, or list chunks, that become selectively tuned to different temporal sequences of items in lists of variable length as they are stored in working memory, and how does this learning process occur in real time? The present article introduces a neural model that simulates learning of such list chunks. In this model, sequences of items are temporarily stored in an Item-and-Order, or competitive queuing, working memory before learning categorizes them using a categorization network, called a Masking Field, which is a self-similar, multiple-scale, recurrent on-center off-surround network that can weigh the evidence for variable-length sequences of items as they are stored in the working memory through time. A Masking Field hereby activates the learned list chunks that represent the most predictive item groupings at any time, while suppressing less predictive chunks. In a network with a given number of input items, all possible ordered sets of these item sequences, up to a fixed length, can be learned with unsupervised or supervised learning. The self-similar multiple-scale properties of Masking Fields interacting with an Item-and-Order working memory provide a natural explanation of George Miller's Magical Number Seven and Nelson Cowan's Magical Number Four. The article explains why linguistic, spatial, and action event sequences may all be stored by Item-and-Order working memories that obey similar design principles, and thus how the current results may apply across modalities. Item-and-Order properties may readily be extended to Item-Order-Rank working memories in which the same item can be stored in multiple list positions, or ranks, as in the list

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-24

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Learning and Recognition of a Non-conscious Sequence of Events in Human Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, Clive R; Andrews, Samantha K; Antoniades, Chrystalina A; Kennard, Christopher; Soto, David

    2016-03-21

    Human primary visual cortex (V1) has long been associated with learning simple low-level visual discriminations [1] and is classically considered outside of neural systems that support high-level cognitive behavior in contexts that differ from the original conditions of learning, such as recognition memory [2, 3]. Here, we used a novel fMRI-based dichoptic masking protocol-designed to induce activity in V1, without modulation from visual awareness-to test whether human V1 is implicated in human observers rapidly learning and then later (15-20 min) recognizing a non-conscious and complex (second-order) visuospatial sequence. Learning was associated with a change in V1 activity, as part of a temporo-occipital and basal ganglia network, which is at variance with the cortico-cerebellar network identified in prior studies of "implicit" sequence learning that involved motor responses and visible stimuli (e.g., [4]). Recognition memory was associated with V1 activity, as part of a temporo-occipital network involving the hippocampus, under conditions that were not imputable to mechanisms associated with conscious retrieval. Notably, the V1 responses during learning and recognition separately predicted non-conscious recognition memory, and functional coupling between V1 and the hippocampus was enhanced for old retrieval cues. The results provide a basis for novel hypotheses about the signals that can drive recognition memory, because these data (1) identify human V1 with a memory network that can code complex associative serial visuospatial information and support later non-conscious recognition memory-guided behavior (cf. [5]) and (2) align with mouse models of experience-dependent V1 plasticity in learning and memory [6]. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAOLA MORALES

    2008-12-01

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

  4. [Transposition errors during learning to reproduce a sequence by the right- and the left-hand movements: simulation of positional and movement coding].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liakhovetskiĭ, V A; Bobrova, E V; Skopin, G N

    2012-01-01

    Transposition errors during the reproduction of a hand movement sequence make it possible to receive important information on the internal representation of this sequence in the motor working memory. Analysis of such errors showed that learning to reproduce sequences of the left-hand movements improves the system of positional coding (coding ofpositions), while learning of the right-hand movements improves the system of vector coding (coding of movements). Learning of the right-hand movements after the left-hand performance involved the system of positional coding "imposed" by the left hand. Learning of the left-hand movements after the right-hand performance activated the system of vector coding. Transposition errors during learning to reproduce movement sequences can be explained by neural network using either vector coding or both vector and positional coding.

  5. Negative affect reduces performance in implicit sequence learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junchen Shang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It is well documented that positive rather than negative moods encourage integrative processing of conscious information. However, the extent to which implicit or unconscious learning can be influenced by affective states remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A Serial Reaction Time (SRT task with sequence structures requiring integration over past trials was adopted to examine the effect of affective states on implicit learning. Music was used to induce and maintain positive and negative affective states. The present study showed that participants in negative rather than positive states learned less of the regularity. Moreover, the knowledge was shown by a Bayesian analysis to be largely unconscious as participants were poor at recognizing the regularity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results demonstrated that negative rather than positive affect inhibited implicit learning of complex structures. Our findings help to understand the effects of affective states on unconscious or implicit processing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomar, William

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kothari, Mohit; Svensson, Peter; Huo, Xueliang

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  14. Impairment of Procedural Learning and Motor Intracortical Inhibition in Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Máximo Zimerman

    2015-10-01

    Interpretations: Collectively, the present results provide evidence that learning of a motor skill is impaired even in clinically intact NF1 patients based, at least partially, on a GABAergic-cortical dysfunctioning as suggested in previous animal work.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Kuei-Pin; Chen, Sufen

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Águida Foerster

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Censor, N

    2013-10-10

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

  20. A sequence identification measurement model to investigate the implicit learning of metrical temporal patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin G Schultz

    Full Text Available Implicit learning (IL occurs unconsciously and without intention. Perceptual fluency is the ease of processing elicited by previous exposure to a stimulus. It has been assumed that perceptual fluency is associated with IL. However, the role of perceptual fluency following IL has not been investigated in temporal pattern learning. Two experiments by Schultz, Stevens, Keller, and Tillmann demonstrated the IL of auditory temporal patterns using a serial reaction-time task and a generation task based on the process dissociation procedure. The generation task demonstrated that learning was implicit in both experiments via motor fluency, that is, the inability to suppress learned information. With the aim to disentangle conscious and unconscious processes, we analyze unreported recognition data associated with the Schultz et al. experiments using the sequence identification measurement model. The model assumes that perceptual fluency reflects unconscious processes and IL. For Experiment 1, the model indicated that conscious and unconscious processes contributed to recognition of temporal patterns, but that unconscious processes had a greater influence on recognition than conscious processes. In the model implementation of Experiment 2, there was equal contribution of conscious and unconscious processes in the recognition of temporal patterns. As Schultz et al. demonstrated IL in both experiments using a generation task, and the conditions reported here in Experiments 1 and 2 were identical, two explanations are offered for the discrepancy in model and behavioral results based on the two tasks: 1 perceptual fluency may not be necessary to infer IL, or 2 conscious control over implicitly learned information may vary as a function of perceptual fluency and motor fluency.

  1. Differences in learning volitional (manual and non-volitional (posture aspects of a complex motor skill in young adult dyslexic and skilled readers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itamar Sela

    Full Text Available The 'Cerebellar Deficit Theory' of developmental dyslexia proposes that a subtle developmental cerebellar dysfunction leads to deficits in attaining 'automatic' procedures and therefore manifests as subtle motor impairments (e.g., balance control, motor skill learning in addition to the reading and phonological difficulties. A more recent version of the theory suggests a core deficit in motor skill acquisition. This study was undertaken to compare the time-course and the nature of practice-related changes in volitional (manual and non-volitional (posture motor performance in dyslexic and typical readers while learning a new movement sequence. Seventeen dyslexic and 26 skilled young adult readers underwent a three-session training program in which they practiced a novel sequence of manual movements while standing in a quiet stance position. Both groups exhibited robust and well-retained gains in speed, with no loss of accuracy, on the volitional, manual, aspects of the task, with a time-course characteristic of procedural learning. However, the dyslexic readers exhibited a pervasive slowness in the initiation of volitional performance. In addition, while typical readers showed clear and well-retained task-related adaptation of the balance and posture control system, the dyslexic readers had significantly larger sway and variance of sway throughout the three sessions and were less efficient in adapting the posture control system to support the acquisition of the novel movement sequence. These results support the notion of a non-language-related deficit in developmental dyslexia, one related to the recruitment of motor systems for effective task performance rather than to a general motor learning disability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Learning Sequences of Actions in Collectives of Autonomous Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian K.; Wolpert, David H.; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    In this paper we focus on the problem of designing a collective of autonomous agents that individually learn sequences of actions such that the resultant sequence of joint actions achieves a predetermined global objective. We are particularly interested in instances of this problem where centralized control is either impossible or impractical. For single agent systems in similar domains, machine learning methods (e.g., reinforcement learners) have been successfully used. However, applying such solutions directly to multi-agent systems often proves problematic, as agents may work at cross-purposes, or have difficulty in evaluating their contribution to achievement of the global objective, or both. Accordingly, the crucial design step in multiagent systems centers on determining the private objectives of each agent so that as the agents strive for those objectives, the system reaches a good global solution. In this work we consider a version of this problem involving multiple autonomous agents in a grid world. We use concepts from collective intelligence to design goals for the agents that are 'aligned' with the global goal, and are 'learnable' in that agents can readily see how their behavior affects their utility. We show that reinforcement learning agents using those goals outperform both 'natural' extensions of single agent algorithms and global reinforcement, learning solutions based on 'team games'.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Semi-Supervised Learning for Classification of Protein Sequence Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian R. King

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Protein sequence data continue to become available at an exponential rate. Annotation of functional and structural attributes of these data lags far behind, with only a small fraction of the data understood and labeled by experimental methods. Classification methods that are based on semi-supervised learning can increase the overall accuracy of classifying partly labeled data in many domains, but very few methods exist that have shown their effect on protein sequence classification. We show how proven methods from text classification can be applied to protein sequence data, as we consider both existing and novel extensions to the basic methods, and demonstrate restrictions and differences that must be considered. We demonstrate comparative results against the transductive support vector machine, and show superior results on the most difficult classification problems. Our results show that large repositories of unlabeled protein sequence data can indeed be used to improve predictive performance, particularly in situations where there are fewer labeled protein sequences available, and/or the data are highly unbalanced in nature.

  10. 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.

  11. Learning of grammar-like visual sequences by adults with and without language-learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Jessica M; Plante, Elena

    2014-08-01

    Two studies examined learning of grammar-like visual sequences to determine whether a general deficit in statistical learning characterizes this population. Furthermore, we tested the hypothesis that difficulty in sustaining attention during the learning task might account for differences in statistical learning. In Study 1, adults with normal language (NL) or language-learning disability (LLD) were familiarized with the visual artificial grammar and then tested using items that conformed or deviated from the grammar. In Study 2, a 2nd sample of adults with NL and LLD were presented auditory word pairs with weak semantic associations (e.g., groom + clean) along with the visual learning task. Participants were instructed to attend to visual sequences and to ignore the auditory stimuli. Incidental encoding of these words would indicate reduced attention to the primary task. In Studies 1 and 2, both groups demonstrated learning and generalization of the artificial grammar. In Study 2, neither the NL nor the LLD group appeared to encode the words presented during the learning phase. The results argue against a general deficit in statistical learning for individuals with LLD and demonstrate that both NL and LLD learners can ignore extraneous auditory stimuli during visual learning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  13. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordovani, Ligia; Cordovani, Daniel

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Translating working memory into action: behavioral and neural evidence for using motor representations in encoding visuo-spatial sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langner, Robert; Sternkopf, Melanie A; Kellermann, Tanja S; Grefkes, Christian; Kurth, Florian; Schneider, Frank; Zilles, Karl; Eickhoff, Simon B

    2014-07-01

    The neurobiological organization of action-oriented working memory is not well understood. To elucidate the neural correlates of translating visuo-spatial stimulus sequences into delayed (memory-guided) sequential actions, we measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging while participants encoded sequences of four to seven dots appearing on fingers of a left or right schematic hand. After variable delays, sequences were to be reproduced with the corresponding fingers. Recall became less accurate with longer sequences and was initiated faster after long delays. Across both hands, encoding and recall activated bilateral prefrontal, premotor, superior and inferior parietal regions as well as the basal ganglia, whereas hand-specific activity was found (albeit to a lesser degree during encoding) in contralateral premotor, sensorimotor, and superior parietal cortex. Activation differences after long versus short delays were restricted to motor-related regions, indicating that rehearsal during long delays might have facilitated the conversion of the memorandum into concrete motor programs at recall. Furthermore, basal ganglia activity during encoding selectively predicted correct recall. Taken together, the results suggest that to-be-reproduced visuo-spatial sequences are encoded as prospective action representations (motor intentions), possibly in addition to retrospective sensory codes. Overall, our study supports and extends multi-component models of working memory, highlighting the notion that sensory input can be coded in multiple ways depending on what the memorandum is to be used for. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardis, Marco; Casadio, Maura; Ranganathan, Rajiv

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Detecting false positive sequence homology: a machine learning approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimoto, M Stanley; Suvorov, Anton; Jensen, Nicholas O; Clement, Mark J; Bybee, Seth M

    2016-02-24

    Accurate detection of homologous relationships of biological sequences (DNA or amino acid) amongst organisms is an important and often difficult task that is essential to various evolutionary studies, ranging from building phylogenies to predicting functional gene annotations. There are many existing heuristic tools, most commonly based on bidirectional BLAST searches that are used to identify homologous genes and combine them into two fundamentally distinct classes: orthologs and paralogs. Due to only using heuristic filtering based on significance score cutoffs and having no cluster post-processing tools available, these methods can often produce multiple clusters constituting unrelated (non-homologous) sequences. Therefore sequencing data extracted from incomplete genome/transcriptome assemblies originated from low coverage sequencing or produced by de novo processes without a reference genome are susceptible to high false positive rates of homology detection. In this paper we develop biologically informative features that can be extracted from multiple sequence alignments of putative homologous genes (orthologs and paralogs) and further utilized in context of guided experimentation to verify false positive outcomes. We demonstrate that our machine learning method trained on both known homology clusters obtained from OrthoDB and randomly generated sequence alignments (non-homologs), successfully determines apparent false positives inferred by heuristic algorithms especially among proteomes recovered from low-coverage RNA-seq data. Almost ~42 % and ~25 % of predicted putative homologies by InParanoid and HaMStR respectively were classified as false positives on experimental data set. Our process increases the quality of output from other clustering algorithms by providing a novel post-processing method that is both fast and efficient at removing low quality clusters of putative homologous genes recovered by heuristic-based approaches.

  5. 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.

  6. Lateralized implicit sequence learning in uni- and bi-manual conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Rémy; Pasquali, Antoine; Cleeremans, Axel; Peigneux, Philippe

    2013-02-01

    It has been proposed that the right hemisphere (RH) is better suited to acquire novel material whereas the left hemisphere (LH) is more able to process well-routinized information. Here, we ask whether this potential dissociation also manifests itself in an implicit learning task. Using a lateralized version of the serial reaction time task (SRT), we tested whether participants trained in a divided visual field condition primarily stimulating the RH would learn the implicit regularities embedded in sequential material faster than participants in a condition favoring LH processing. In the first study, half of participants were presented sequences in the left (vs. right) visual field, and had to respond using their ipsilateral hand (unimanual condition), hence making visuo-motor processing possible within the same hemisphere. Results showed successful implicit sequence learning, as indicated by increased reaction time for a transfer sequence in both hemispheric conditions and lack of conscious knowledge in a generation task. There was, however, no evidence of interhemispheric differences. In the second study, we hypothesized that a bimanual response version of the lateralized SRT, which requires interhemispheric communication and increases computational and cognitive processing loads, would favor RH-dependent visuospatial/attentional processes. In this bimanual condition, our results revealed a much higher transfer effect in the RH than in the LH condition, suggesting higher RH sensitivity to the processing of novel sequential material. This LH/RH difference was interpreted within the framework of the Novelty-Routinization model [Goldberg, E., & Costa, L. D. (1981). Hemisphere differences in the acquisition and use of descriptive systems. Brain and Language, 14(1), 144-173] and interhemispheric interactions in attentional processing [Banich, M. T. (1998). The missing link: the role of interhemispheric interaction in attentional processing. Brain and Cognition, 36

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Silva

    2011-01-01

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

  12. A teaching-learning sequence about weather map reading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandrikas, Achilleas; Stavrou, Dimitrios; Skordoulis, Constantine

    2017-07-01

    In this paper a teaching-learning sequence (TLS) introducing pre-service elementary teachers (PET) to weather map reading, with emphasis on wind assignment, is presented. The TLS includes activities about recognition of wind symbols, assignment of wind direction and wind speed on a weather map and identification of wind characteristics in a weather forecast. Sixty PET capabilities and difficulties in understanding weather maps were investigated, using inquiry-based learning activities. The results show that most PET became more capable of reading weather maps and assigning wind direction and speed on them. Our results also show that PET could be guided to understand meteorology concepts useful in everyday life and in teaching their future students.

  13. Modality and Perceptual-Motor Experience Influence the Detection of Temporal Deviations in Tap Dance Sequences

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    Mauro Murgia

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Accurate temporal information processing is critically important in many motor activities within disciplines such as dance, music, and sport. However, it is still unclear how temporal information related to biological motion is processed by expert and non-expert performers. It is well-known that the auditory modality dominates the visual modality in processing temporal information of simple stimuli, and that experts outperform non-experts in biological motion perception. In the present study, we combined these two areas of research; we investigated how experts and non-experts detected temporal deviations in tap dance sequences, in the auditory modality compared to the visual modality. We found that temporal deviations were better detected in the auditory modality compared to the visual modality, and by experts compared to non-experts. However, post hoc analyses indicated that these effects were mainly due to performances obtained by experts in the auditory modality. The results suggest that the experience advantage is not equally distributed across the modalities, and that tap dance experience enhances the effectiveness of the auditory modality but not the visual modality when processing temporal information. The present results and their potential implications are discussed in both temporal information processing and biological motion perception frameworks.

  14. Decoding sequence learning from single-trial intracranial EEG in humans.

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    Marzia De Lucia

    Full Text Available We propose and validate a multivariate classification algorithm for characterizing changes in human intracranial electroencephalographic data (iEEG after learning motor sequences. The algorithm is based on a Hidden Markov Model (HMM that captures spatio-temporal properties of the iEEG at the level of single trials. Continuous intracranial iEEG was acquired during two sessions (one before and one after a night of sleep in two patients with depth electrodes implanted in several brain areas. They performed a visuomotor sequence (serial reaction time task, SRTT using the fingers of their non-dominant hand. Our results show that the decoding algorithm correctly classified single iEEG trials from the trained sequence as belonging to either the initial training phase (day 1, before sleep or a later consolidated phase (day 2, after sleep, whereas it failed to do so for trials belonging to a control condition (pseudo-random sequence. Accurate single-trial classification was achieved by taking advantage of the distributed pattern of neural activity. However, across all the contacts the hippocampus contributed most significantly to the classification accuracy for both patients, and one fronto-striatal contact for one patient. Together, these human intracranial findings demonstrate that a multivariate decoding approach can detect learning-related changes at the level of single-trial iEEG. Because it allows an unbiased identification of brain sites contributing to a behavioral effect (or experimental condition at the level of single subject, this approach could be usefully applied to assess the neural correlates of other complex cognitive functions in patients implanted with multiple electrodes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shadmehr, Reza

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 5 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the ipsilesional sensory cortex enhances motor learning after stroke

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    Sonia M Brodie

    2014-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Marongelli, Ellisha N.; Thoroughman, Kurt A.

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Relationship between motor and cognitive learning abilities among ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Osama Abdelkarim

    2017-01-11

    Jan 11, 2017 ... the cognitive learning abilities (i.e. mathematical thinking, r = 0.62 and ...... exercise was efficient both in the promotion of learning English .... Ishigawara K, Ishizuka H. Effects of Brain Activation through Physical Exercise.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

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    Nils Freundlieb

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

  1. Temporal sequence learning in winner-take-all networks of spiking neurons demonstrated in a brain-based device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinstry, Jeffrey L; Edelman, Gerald M

    2013-01-01

    Animal behavior often involves a temporally ordered sequence of actions learned from experience. Here we describe simulations of interconnected networks of spiking neurons that learn to generate patterns of activity in correct temporal order. The simulation consists of large-scale networks of thousands of excitatory and inhibitory neurons that exhibit short-term synaptic plasticity and spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity. The neural architecture within each area is arranged to evoke winner-take-all (WTA) patterns of neural activity that persist for tens of milliseconds. In order to generate and switch between consecutive firing patterns in correct temporal order, a reentrant exchange of signals between these areas was necessary. To demonstrate the capacity of this arrangement, we used the simulation to train a brain-based device responding to visual input by autonomously generating temporal sequences of motor actions.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levac, Danielle E; Lu, Amy S

    2018-04-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spanlang Bernhard

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisagno, Elisa; Morra, Sergio

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richtsmeier, Peter T; Goffman, Lisa

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Evaluating and Redesigning Teaching Learning Sequences at the Introductory Physics Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guisasola, Jenaro; Zuza, Kristina; Ametller, Jaume; Gutierrez-Berraondo, José

    2017-01-01

    In this paper we put forward a proposal for the design and evaluation of teaching and learning sequences in upper secondary school and university. We will connect our proposal with relevant contributions on the design of teaching sequences, ground it on the design-based research methodology, and discuss how teaching and learning sequences designed…

  13. Psychologically Inspired Sensory-Motor Development in Early Robot Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.H. Lee

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available We present an implementation of a model of very early sensory-motor development, guided by results from developmental psychology. Behavioural acquisition and growth is demonstrated through constraint-lifting mechanisms initiated by global state variables. The results show how staged competence can be shaped by qualitative behaviour changes produced by anatomical, computational and maturational constraints.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattes, Josef

    2016-08-01

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

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-14

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

  20. 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.

  1. A multigenerational family study of oral and hand motor sequencing ability provides evidence for a familial speech sound disorder subtype

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Beate; Raskind, Wendy H.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate phenotypic expressions of speech sound disorder (SSD) in multigenerational families with evidence of familial forms of SSD. Method Members of five multigenerational families (N = 36) produced rapid sequences of monosyllables and disyllables and tapped computer keys with repetitive and alternating movements. Results Measures of repetitive and alternating motor speed were correlated within and between the two motor systems. Repetitive and alternating motor speeds increased in children and decreased in adults as a function of age. In two families with children who had severe speech deficits consistent with disrupted praxis, slowed alternating, but not repetitive, oral movements characterized most of the affected children and adults with a history of SSD, and slowed alternating hand movements were seen in some of the biologically related participants as well. Conclusion Results are consistent with a familial motor-based SSD subtype with incomplete penetrance, motivating new clinical questions about motor-based intervention not only in the oral but also the limb system. PMID:21909176

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. Business Model Design: Lessons Learned from Tesla Motors

    OpenAIRE

    Chen , Yurong; Perez , Yannick

    2015-01-01

    International audience; Electric vehicle (EV) industry is still in the introduction stage in product life cycle, and dominant design remains unclear. EV companies, both incumbent from the car industry and new comers, have long taken numerous endeavors to promote EV in the niche market by providing innovative products and business models. While most carmakers still take 'business as usual' approach for developing their EV production and offers, Tesla Motors, an EV entrepreneurial firm, stands ...

  7. Configural Response Learning: The Acquisition of a Nonpredictive Motor Skill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazeltine, Eliot; Aparicio, Paul; Weinstein, Andrea; Ivry, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the representational nature of configural response learning using a task that required simultaneous keypresses with 2 or 3 fingers, similar to the production of chords on the piano. If the benefits of learning are related to the retrieval of individual stimulus-response mappings, performance should depend on the frequencies of…

  8. Enhanced motor learning with bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation: Impact of polarity or current flow direction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naros, Georgios; Geyer, Marc; Koch, Susanne; Mayr, Lena; Ellinger, Tabea; Grimm, Florian; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-04-01

    Bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) is superior to unilateral TDCS when targeting motor learning. This effect could be related to either the current flow direction or additive polarity-specific effects on each hemisphere. This sham-controlled randomized study included fifty right-handed healthy subjects in a parallel-group design who performed an exoskeleton-based motor task of the proximal left arm on three consecutive days. Prior to training, we applied either sham, right anodal (a-TDCS), left cathodal (c-TDCS), concurrent a-TDCS and c-TDCS with two independent current sources and return electrodes (double source (ds)-TDCS) or classical bilateral stimulation (bi-TDCS). Motor performance improved over time for both unilateral (a-TDCS, c-TDCS) and bilateral (bi-TDCS, ds-TDCS) TDCS montages. However, only the two bilateral paradigms led to an improvement of the final motor performance at the end of the training period as compared to the sham condition. There was no difference between the two bilateral stimulation conditions (bi-TDCS, ds-TDCS). Bilateral TDCS is more effective than unilateral stimulation due to its polarity-specific effects on each hemisphere rather than due to its current flow direction. This study is the first systematic evaluation of stimulation polarity and current flow direction of bi-hemispheric motor cortex TDCS on motor learning of proximal upper limb muscles. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  12. Infants learn better from left to right: a directional bias in infants' sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulf, Hermann; de Hevia, Maria Dolores; Gariboldi, Valeria; Macchi Cassia, Viola

    2017-05-26

    A wealth of studies show that human adults map ordered information onto a directional spatial continuum. We asked whether mapping ordinal information into a directional space constitutes an early predisposition, already functional prior to the acquisition of symbolic knowledge and language. While it is known that preverbal infants represent numerical order along a left-to-right spatial continuum, no studies have investigated yet whether infants, like adults, organize any kind of ordinal information onto a directional space. We investigated whether 7-month-olds' ability to learn high-order rule-like patterns from visual sequences of geometric shapes was affected by the spatial orientation of the sequences (left-to-right vs. right-to-left). Results showed that infants readily learn rule-like patterns when visual sequences were presented from left to right, but not when presented from right to left. This result provides evidence that spatial orientation critically determines preverbal infants' ability to perceive and learn ordered information in visual sequences, opening to the idea that a left-to-right spatially organized mental representation of ordered dimensions might be rooted in biologically-determined constraints on human brain development.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Motor Learning of a Bimanual Task in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Ya-Ching; Gordon, Andrew M.

    2013-01-01

    Children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) have been shown to improve their motor performance with sufficient practice. However, little is known about how they learn goal-oriented tasks. In the current study, 21 children with unilateral CP (age 4-10 years old) and 21 age-matched typically developed children (TDC) practiced a simple bimanual…

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Ford Motor Company - Learning from the Automotive Industry

    OpenAIRE

    Haas-Kotzegger, Ursula; Schlegelmilch, Bodo B.; Ambos, Björn

    2013-01-01

    This case study discusses the challenges faced by Ford Motor Company, one of the world's biggest car manufactures. In 2007, after Ford reported one of the worst losses in the company's history, the firm is in the middle of a restructuring process. The "Way Forward Initiative", started by Bill Ford should bring the company back into the fast lane. The case offers background information on the company and its different divisions. It provides the reader with data on the core markets of Ford wi...

  3. Initial uncertainty impacts statistical learning in sound sequence processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Juanita; Provost, Alexander; Whitson, Lisa; Mullens, Daniel

    2016-11-01

    This paper features two studies confirming a lasting impact of first learning on how subsequent experience is weighted in early relevance-filtering processes. In both studies participants were exposed to sequences of sound that contained a regular pattern on two different timescales. Regular patterning in sound is readily detected by the auditory system and used to form "prediction models" that define the most likely properties of sound to be encountered in a given context. The presence and strength of these prediction models is inferred from changes in automatically elicited components of auditory evoked potentials. Both studies employed sound sequences that contained both a local and longer-term pattern. The local pattern was defined by a regular repeating pure tone occasionally interrupted by a rare deviating tone (p=0.125) that was physically different (a 30msvs. 60ms duration difference in one condition and a 1000Hz vs. 1500Hz frequency difference in the other). The longer-term pattern was defined by the rate at which the two tones alternated probabilities (i.e., the tone that was first rare became common and the tone that was first common became rare). There was no task related to the tones and participants were asked to ignore them while focussing attention on a movie with subtitles. Auditory-evoked potentials revealed long lasting modulatory influences based on whether the tone was initially encountered as rare and unpredictable or common and predictable. The results are interpreted as evidence that probability (or indeed predictability) assigns a differential information-value to the two tones that in turn affects the extent to which prediction models are updated and imposed. These effects are exposed for both common and rare occurrences of the tones. The studies contribute to a body of work that reveals that probabilistic information is not faithfully represented in these early evoked potentials and instead exposes that predictability (or conversely

  4. Student learning and understanding of sequence stratigraphic principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Juan Sebastian

    Research in geoscience education addressing students' conceptions of geological subjects has concentrated in topics such as geological time, plate tectonics, and problem solving in the field, mostly in K-12 and entry level college scenarios. Science education research addressing learning of sedimentary systems in advance undergraduates is rather limited. Therefore, this dissertation contributed to filling that research gap and explored students' narratives when explaining geological processes associated with the interaction between sediment deposition and sea level fluctuations. The purpose of the present study was to identify the common conceptions and alternative conceptions held by students when learning the basics of the sub discipline known as sequence stratigraphy - which concepts students were familiar and easily identified, and which ones they had more difficulty with. In addition, we mapped the cognitive models that underlie those conceptions by analyzing students' gestures and conceptual metaphors used in their explanations. This research also investigated the interaction between geoscientific visual displays and student gesturing in a specific learning context. In this research, an in-depth assessment of 27 students' ideas of the basic principles of sequence stratigraphy was completed. Participants were enrolled in advanced undergraduate stratigraphy courses at three research-intensive universities in Midwest U.S. Data collection methods included semi-structured interviews, spatial visualization tests, and lab assignments. Results indicated that students poorly integrated temporal and spatial scales in their sequence stratigraphic models, and that many alternative conceptions were more deeply rooted than others, especially those related to eustasy and base level. In order to better understand the depth of these conceptions, we aligned the analysis of gesture with the theory of conceptual metaphor to recognize the use of mental models known as image

  5. Learning to breathe? Feedforward regulation of the inspiratory motor drive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaman, Jonas; Van den Bergh, Omer; Fannes, Stien; Van Diest, Ilse

    2014-09-15

    Claims have been made that breathing is in part controlled by feedforward regulation. In a classical conditioning paradigm, we investigated anticipatory increases in the inspiratory motor drive as measured by inspiratory occlusion pressure (P100). In an acquisition phase, an experimental group (N=13) received a low-intensity resistive load (5 cmH2O/l/s) for three consecutive inspirations as Conditioned Stimulus (CS), preceding a load of a stronger intensity (20 cmH2O/l/s) for three subsequent inspirations as unconditioned stimulus (US). The control group (N=11) received the low-intensity load for six consecutive inspirations. In a post-acquisition phase both groups received the low-intensity load for six consecutive inspirations. Responses to the CS-load only differed between groups during the first acquisition trials and a strong increase in P100 during the US-loads was observed, which habituated across the experiment. Our results suggest that the disruption caused by adding low to moderate resistive loads to three consecutive inspirations results in a short-lasting anticipatory increase in inspiratory motor drive. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  8. Active Learning to Develop Motor Skills and Teamwork

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Lorena Aristizabal-Almanza

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This action-research project was conducted to determine how the use of principles of active learning, specifically collaboration, had an effect on psychomotor performance and achievement in teamwork. The research setting included 20 students of first grade from a private school located in Bogota, Colombia. The students were selected through not randomized sampling based on criteria. The methodological process included observation, interviews, and a scale based on standardized tests to measure skills; the latter was applied before and after the intervention. Data analysis was performed using a triangulation of qualitative data, and through comparative analysis of the initial and final student profile for quantitative inputs. The results showed that, after the intervention with collaborative techniques based on action learning, students achieved a positive variation in their performance. Being part of a team positively affected the achievement of the objectives. Systematical reflection on their practices fostered their capacity to identify strengths and weaknesses to build knowledge in interaction with others. Knowledge construction was nurtured based in their previous experiences. Students showed more accountability and self-directed learning behaviors, according to their age. Overall the experience showed the importance of research and innovation in the classroom in order to provide meaningful data, so teachers and researchers can engage in providing learning experiences based in active learning.

  9. First-order and higher order sequence learning in specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Gillian M; Lum, Jarrad A G

    2017-02-01

    A core claim of the procedural deficit hypothesis of specific language impairment (SLI) is that the disorder is associated with poor implicit sequence learning. This study investigated whether implicit sequence learning problems in SLI are present for first-order conditional (FOC) and higher order conditional (HOC) sequences. Twenty-five children with SLI and 27 age-matched, nonlanguage-impaired children completed 2 serial reaction time tasks. On 1 version, the sequence to be implicitly learnt comprised a FOC sequence and on the other a HOC sequence. Results showed that the SLI group learned the HOC sequence (η p ² = .285, p = .005) but not the FOC sequence (η p ² = .099, p = .118). The control group learned both sequences (FOC η p ² = .497, HOC η p 2= .465, ps < .001). The SLI group's difficulty learning the FOC sequence is consistent with the procedural deficit hypothesis. However, the study provides new evidence that multiple mechanisms may underpin the learning of FOC and HOC sequences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David M; Mooney, Richard

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyadahira, A M

    2001-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Batoul Mandani

    2007-07-01

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

  16. Abnormal development of sensory-motor, visual temporal and parahippocampal cortex in children with learning disabilities and borderline intellectual functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca eBaglio

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Borderline intellectual functioning (BIF is a condition characterized by an intelligence quotient (IQ between 70 and 85. BIF children present with cognitive, motor, social and adaptive limitations that result in learning disabilities and are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders later in life. Aim of this study was to investigate brain morphometry and its relation to IQ level in borderline intellectual functioning children.Thirteen children with BIF and 14 age- and sex-matched typically developing children were enrolled. All children underwent a full IQ assessment (WISC-III scale and a Magnetic Resonance (MR examination including conventional sequences to assess brain structural abnormalities and high resolution 3D images for voxel based morphometry (VBM analysis. To investigate to what extent the group influenced gray matter volumes, both univariate and multivariate generalized linear model analysis of variance were used, and the varimax factor analysis was used to explore variable correlations and clusters among subjects. Results showed that BIF children, compared to controls have increased regional gray matter volume in bilateral sensori-motor and right posterior temporal cortices and decreased gray matter volume in right parahippocampal gyrus. Gray matter volumes were highly correlated with IQ indices.Our is a case study of a group of BIF children showing that BIF is associated with abnormal cortical development in brain areas that have a pivotal role in motor, learning and behavioral processes. Our findings, although allowing for little generalization to general population, contributes to the very limited knowledge in this field. Future longitudinal MR studies will be useful in verifying whether cortical features can be modified over time even in association with rehabilitative intervention.

  17. Team-based learning to improve learning outcomes in a therapeutics course sequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleske, Barry E; Remington, Tami L; Wells, Trisha D; Dorsch, Michael P; Guthrie, Sally K; Stumpf, Janice L; Alaniz, Marissa C; Ellingrod, Vicki L; Tingen, Jeffrey M

    2014-02-12

    To compare the effectiveness of team-based learning (TBL) to that of traditional lectures on learning outcomes in a therapeutics course sequence. A revised TBL curriculum was implemented in a therapeutic course sequence. Multiple choice and essay questions identical to those used to test third-year students (P3) taught using a traditional lecture format were administered to the second-year pharmacy students (P2) taught using the new TBL format. One hundred thirty-one multiple-choice questions were evaluated; 79 tested recall of knowledge and 52 tested higher level, application of knowledge. For the recall questions, students taught through traditional lectures scored significantly higher compared to the TBL students (88%±12% vs. 82%±16%, p=0.01). For the questions assessing application of knowledge, no differences were seen between teaching pedagogies (81%±16% vs. 77%±20%, p=0.24). Scores on essay questions and the number of students who achieved 100% were also similar between groups. Transition to a TBL format from a traditional lecture-based pedagogy allowed P2 students to perform at a similar level as students with an additional year of pharmacy education on application of knowledge type questions. However, P3 students outperformed P2 students regarding recall type questions and overall. Further assessment of long-term learning outcomes is needed to determine if TBL produces more persistent learning and improved application in clinical settings.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muriel T N Panouillères

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeven, F Martijn; Newell, Karl M

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Íbis Ariana Peña de Moraes

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-21

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Perceived ambiguity as a barrier to intentions to learn genome sequencing results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taber, Jennifer M; Klein, William M P; Ferrer, Rebecca A; Han, Paul K J; Lewis, Katie L; Biesecker, Leslie G; Biesecker, Barbara B

    2015-10-01

    Many variants that could be returned from genome sequencing may be perceived as ambiguous-lacking reliability, credibility, or adequacy. Little is known about how perceived ambiguity influences thoughts about sequencing results. Participants (n = 494) in an NIH genome sequencing study completed a baseline survey before sequencing results were available. We examined how perceived ambiguity regarding sequencing results and individual differences in medical ambiguity aversion and tolerance for uncertainty were associated with cognitions and intentions concerning sequencing results. Perceiving sequencing results as more ambiguous was associated with less favorable cognitions about results and lower intentions to learn and share results. Among participants low in tolerance for uncertainty or optimism, greater perceived ambiguity was associated with lower intentions to learn results for non-medically actionable diseases; medical ambiguity aversion did not moderate any associations. Results are consistent with the phenomenon of "ambiguity aversion" and may influence whether people learn and communicate genomic information.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, C

    1994-09-01

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

  10. Relations between segmental and motor variability in prosodically complex nonword sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goffman, Lisa; Gerken, Louann; Lucchesi, Julie

    2007-04-01

    To assess how prosodic prominence and hierarchical foot structure influence segmental and articulatory aspects of speech production, specifically segmental accuracy and variability, and oral movement trajectory variability. Thirty individuals participated: 10 young adults, 10 children who are normally developing, and 10 children diagnosed with specific language impairment. Segmental error and segmental variability and movement trajectory variability were compared in low and high prosodic prominence conditions (i.e., strong and weak syllables) and in different prosodic foot structures. Between-participants findings were that both groups of children showed more segmental error and segmental variability and more movement trajectory variability than did adults. A similar within-participant pattern of results was observed for all 3 groups. Prosodic prominence influenced both segmental and motor levels of analysis, with weak syllables produced less accurately and with more lip and jaw movement trajectory variability than strong syllables. However, hierarchical foot structure affected segmental but not motor measures of speech production accuracy and variability. Motor and segmental variables were not consistently aligned. This pattern of results has clinical implications because inferences about motor variability may not directly follow from observations of segmental variability.

  11. Resolving Interference between Body Movements: Retrieval-Induced Forgetting of Motor Sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tempel, Tobias; Frings, Christian

    2013-01-01

    When body movements are stored in memory in an organized manner, linked to a common retrieval cue like the effector with which to execute the movement, interference may arise as soon as one initiates the execution of a specific body movement in the presence of the retrieval cue because related motor programs also are activated. We investigated the…

  12. 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.

  13. Early boost and slow consolidation in motor skill learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

    Motorskill 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 5-30 min after training but no longer observed 4 h later. This early boost is predictive of the performance achieved 48 h later, suggesting its functional relevance for memory processes.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam Alimardani

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Identifying Learning Behaviors by Contextualizing Differential Sequence Mining with Action Features and Performance Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnebrew, John S.; Biswas, Gautam

    2012-01-01

    Our learning-by-teaching environment, Betty's Brain, captures a wealth of data on students' learning interactions as they teach a virtual agent. This paper extends an exploratory data mining methodology for assessing and comparing students' learning behaviors from these interaction traces. The core algorithm employs sequence mining techniques to…

  1. A Contextualized, Differential Sequence Mining Method to Derive Students' Learning Behavior Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnebrew, John S.; Loretz, Kirk M.; Biswas, Gautam

    2013-01-01

    Computer-based learning environments can produce a wealth of data on student learning interactions. This paper presents an exploratory data mining methodology for assessing and comparing students' learning behaviors from these interaction traces. The core algorithm employs a novel combination of sequence mining techniques to identify deferentially…

  2. Implicit Sequence Learning and Contextual Cueing Do Not Compete for Central Cognitive Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, Luis; Vazquez, Gustavo A.

    2011-01-01

    Sequence learning and contextual cueing explore different forms of implicit learning, arising from practice with a structured serial task, or with a search task with informative contexts. We assess whether these two learning effects arise simultaneously when both remain implicit. Experiments 1 and 2 confirm that a cueing effect can be observed…

  3. Sequenced Integration and the Identification of a Problem-Solving Approach through a Learning Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cormas, Peter C.

    2016-01-01

    Preservice teachers (N = 27) in two sections of a sequenced, methodological and process integrated mathematics/science course solved a levers problem with three similar learning processes and a problem-solving approach, and identified a problem-solving approach through one different learning process. Similar learning processes used included:…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Motor learning interference is proportional to occlusion of LTP-like plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantarero, Gabriela; Tang, Byron; O'Malley, Rebecca; Salas, Rachel; Celnik, Pablo

    2013-03-13

    Learning interference occurs when learning something new causes forgetting of an older memory (retrograde interference) or when learning a new task disrupts learning of a second subsequent task (anterograde interference). This phenomenon, described in cognitive, sensory, and motor domains, limits our ability to learn multiple tasks in close succession. It has been suggested that the source of interference is competition of neural resources, although the neuronal mechanisms are unknown. Learning induces long-term potentiation (LTP), which can ultimately limit the ability to induce further LTP, a phenomenon known as occlusion. In humans we quantified the magnitude of occlusion of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation-induced increased excitability after learning a skill task as an index of the amount of LTP-like plasticity used. We found that retention of a newly acquired skill, as reflected by performance in the second day of practice, is proportional to the magnitude of occlusion. Moreover, the degree of behavioral interference was correlated with the magnitude of occlusion. Individuals with larger occlusion after learning the first skill were (1) more resilient to retrograde interference and (2) experienced larger anterograde interference when training a second task, as expressed by decreased performance of the learned skill in the second day of practice. This effect was not observed if sufficient time elapsed between training the two skills and LTP-like occlusion was not present. These findings suggest competition of LTP-like plasticity is a factor that limits the ability to remember multiple tasks trained in close succession.

  7. 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)

  8. Transfer of Short-Term Motor Learning across the Lower Limbs as a Function of Task Conception and Practice Order

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockel, Tino; Wang, Jinsung

    2011-01-01

    Interlimb transfer of motor learning, indicating an improvement in performance with one limb following training with the other, often occurs asymmetrically (i.e., from non-dominant to dominant limb or vice versa, but not both). In the present study, we examined whether interlimb transfer of the same motor task could occur asymmetrically and in…

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viswanath eAluru

    2014-06-01

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

  11. IMPACT OF MENTAL SKILLS ON MOTOR LEARNING IN MOROCCAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

    OpenAIRE

    A. Eloirdi; A. Arfaoui; A.O.T. Ahami

    2016-01-01

    The issue of motor learning and underlying factors are widely debated. This work has a double aim, to bring out the profile of mental skills and to evaluate their correlation with performance in sport and physical education in Moroccan secondary school students. The study was based on a sample of 202 Moroccan students. We used the test Mental Skills Assessment Tool (OMSAT-3) to assess mental skills. According to the results, the OMSAT-3 displayed a very satisfactory internal consistency, ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bédard, Patrick; Sanes, Jerome N

    2011-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Janet eKarin; Janet eKarin; Janet eKarin

    2016-01-01

    The process of transmitting ballet’s complex technique to young dancers can interfere with the innate processes that give rise to efficient, expressive and harmonious movement. With the intention of identifying possible solutions, this article draws on research across the fields of neurology, psychology, motor learning, and education, and considers their relevance to ballet as an art form, a technique, and a training methodology. The integration of dancers’ technique and expressivity is a cor...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Karin, Janet

    2016-01-01

    The process of transmitting ballet’s complex technique to young dancers can interfere with the innate processes that give rise to efficient, expressive and harmonious movement. With the intention of identifying possible solutions, this article draws on research across the fields of neurology, psychology, motor learning, and education, and considers their relevance to ballet as an art form, a technique, and a training methodology. The integration of dancers’ technique and expressivity is a cor...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karin, Janet

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karin, Janet

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Sangster Jokić

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  5. To transfer or not to transfer? Kinematics and laterality quotient predict interlimb transfer of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefumat, Hannah Z; Vercher, Jean-Louis; Miall, R Chris; Cole, Jonathan; Buloup, Frank; Bringoux, Lionel; Bourdin, Christophe; Sarlegna, Fabrice R

    2015-11-01

    Humans can remarkably adapt their motor behavior to novel environmental conditions, yet it remains unclear which factors enable us to transfer what we have learned with one limb to the other. Here we tested the hypothesis that interlimb transfer of sensorimotor adaptation is determined by environmental conditions but also by individual characteristics. We specifically examined the adaptation of unconstrained reaching movements to a novel Coriolis, velocity-dependent force field. Right-handed subjects sat at the center of a rotating platform and performed forward reaching movements with the upper limb toward flashed visual targets in prerotation, per-rotation (i.e., adaptation), and postrotation tests. Here only the dominant arm was used during adaptation and interlimb transfer was assessed by comparing performance of the nondominant arm before and after dominant-arm adaptation. Vision and no-vision conditions did not significantly influence interlimb transfer of trajectory adaptation, which on average was significant but limited. We uncovered a substantial heterogeneity of interlimb transfer across subjects and found that interlimb transfer can be qualitatively and quantitatively predicted for each healthy young individual. A classifier showed that in our study, interlimb transfer could be predicted based on the subject's task performance, most notably motor variability during learning, and his or her laterality quotient. Positive correlations suggested that variability of motor performance and lateralization of arm movement control facilitate interlimb transfer. We further show that these individual characteristics can predict the presence and the magnitude of interlimb transfer of left-handers. Overall, this study suggests that individual characteristics shape the way the nervous system can generalize motor learning. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

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

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    Danielle E Levac

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabar, Yousef Rezaei; Halici, Ugur

    2017-02-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. What can we learn about lyssavirus genomes using 454 sequencing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höper, Dirk; Finke, Stefan; Freuling, Conrad M; Hoffmann, Bernd; Beer, Martin

    2012-01-01

    The main task of the individual project number four"Whole genome sequencing, virus-host adaptation, and molecular epidemiological analyses of lyssaviruses "within the network" Lyssaviruses--a potential re-emerging public health threat" is to provide high quality complete genome sequences from lyssaviruses. These sequences are analysed in-depth with regard to the diversity of the viral populations as to both quasi-species and so-called defective interfering RNAs. Moreover, the sequence data will facilitate further epidemiological analyses, will provide insight into the evolution of lyssaviruses and will be the basis for the design of novel nucleic acid based diagnostics. The first results presented here indicate that not only high quality full-length lyssavirus genome sequences can be generated, but indeed efficient analysis of the viral population gets feasible.

  11. A longitudinal study on gross motor development in children with learning disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westendorp, Marieke; Hartman, Esther; Houwen, Suzanne; Huijgen, Barbara C H; Smith, Joanne; Visscher, Chris

    2014-02-01

    This longitudinal study examined the development of gross motor skills, and sex-differences therein, in 7- to 11-years-old children with learning disorders (LD) and compared the results with typically developing children to determine the performance level of children with LD. In children with LD (n=56; 39 boys, 17 girls), gross motor skills were assessed with the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and measured annually during a 3-year period. Motor scores of 253 typically developing children (125 boys, 112 girls) were collected for references values. The multilevel analyses showed that the ball skills of children with LD improved with age (p50). Boys had higher ball skill scores than girls (p=.002) and these differences were constant over time. Typically developing children outperformed the children with LD on the locomotor skills and ball skills at all ages, except the locomotor skills at age 7. Children with LD develop their ball skills later in the primary school-period compared to typically developing peers. However, 11 year-old children with LD had a lag in locomotor skills and ball skills of at least four and three years, respectively, compared to their peers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. The Effect of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation on Learning Fine Motor Skills: A Preliminary Study

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    Mohammad Reza Shahabi Kaseb

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Preparation of neuromuscular system prior to performing motor skills affects the learning of motor skills. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF on limb coordination and accuracy in dart throwing skill. Methods: Thirty two male students were randomly selected as study sample. Based on the pretest scores, the participants were divided into three groups: experimental (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, first control (without warm-up, and second control (specific warm-up. During the acquisition phase, the participants first performed the preparation training related to their own group, then all groups performed the exercise program of dart throwing consisting of 6 blocks of 9 trials in 4 training sessions. Finally, 20 days following the last exercise session, the subjects took the retention and transfer tests. Results: The results of one-way ANOVA test for coordination variable in acquisition test showed no significant difference between the groups, while there was a statistically significant difference between groups regarding coordination variable in retention and transfer tests. Furthermore, the results of one-way ANOVA for the accuracy variable in acquisition and retention tests showed no statistically significant difference between the three groups, while there was a statistically significant difference between groups for accuracy variable in transfer test. Conclusion: It seems that proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, as a preparation method before performance, can enhance the efficacy of training to better learn the coordination pattern of fine motor skills.

  15. Taurine Administration Recovers Motor and Learning Deficits in an Angelman Syndrome Mouse Model

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    Sara Guzzetti

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Angelman syndrome (AS, MIM 105830 is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 1:10–20,000 children. Patients show moderate to severe intellectual disability, ataxia and absence of speech. Studies on both post-mortem AS human brains and mouse models revealed dysfunctions in the extra synaptic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA receptors implicated in the pathogenesis. Taurine is a free intracellular sulfur-containing amino acid, abundant in brain, considered an inhibiting neurotransmitter with neuroprotective properties. As taurine acts as an agonist of GABA-A receptors, we aimed at investigating whether it might ameliorate AS symptoms. Since mice weaning, we orally administered 1 g/kg/day taurine in water to Ube3a-deficient mice. To test the improvement of motor and cognitive skills, Rotarod, Novel Object Recognition and Open Field tests were assayed at 7, 14, 21 and 30 weeks, while biochemical tests and amino acid dosages were carried out, respectively, by Western-blot and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC on frozen whole brains. Treatment of Ube3am−/p+ mice with taurine significantly improved motor and learning skills and restored the levels of the post-synaptic PSD-95 and pERK1/2-ERK1/2 ratio to wild type values. No side effects of taurine were observed. Our study indicates taurine administration as a potential therapy to ameliorate motor deficits and learning difficulties in AS.

  16. 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.

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

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    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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia Lopez-Alonso

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Synchronized tapping facilitates learning sound sequences as indexed by the P300.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamiyama, Keiko S; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine whether and how single finger tapping in synchrony with sound sequences contributed to the auditory processing of them. The participants learned two unfamiliar sound sequences via different methods. In the tapping condition, they learned an auditory sequence while they tapped in synchrony with each sound onset. In the no tapping condition, they learned another sequence while they kept pressing a key until the sequence ended. After these learning sessions, we presented the two melodies again and recorded event-related potentials (ERPs). During the ERP recordings, 10% of the tones within each melody deviated from the original tones. An analysis of the grand average ERPs showed that deviant stimuli elicited a significant P300 in the tapping but not in the no-tapping condition. In addition, the significance of the P300 effect in the tapping condition increased as the participants showed highly synchronized tapping behavior during the learning sessions. These results indicated that single finger tapping promoted the conscious detection and evaluation of deviants within the learned sequences. The effect was related to individuals' musical ability to coordinate their finger movements along with external auditory events.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dehkordi, Behzad Mirzaeian; Parsapoor, Amir; Moallem, Mehdi; Lucas, Caro

    2011-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. A virtual trainer concept for robot-assisted human motor learning in rowing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baumgartner L.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Keeping the attention level and observing multiple physiological and biomechanical variables at the same time at high precision is very challenging for human trainers. Concurrent augmented feedback, which is suggested to enhance motor learning in complex motor tasks, can also hardly be provided by a human trainer. Thus, in this paper, a concept for a virtual trainer is presented that may overcome the limits of a human trainer. The intended virtual trainer will be implemented in a CAVE providing auditory, visual and haptic cues. As a first application, the virtual trainer will be used in a realistic scenario for sweep rowing. To provide individual feedback to each rower, the virtual trainer quantifies errors and provides concurrent auditory, visual, and haptic feedback. The concurrent feedback will be adapted according to the actual performance, individual maximal rowing velocity, and the athlete’s individual perception.

  5. 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. A Teaching Sequence for Learning the Concept of Chemical Equilibrium in Secondary School Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghirardi, Marco; Marchetti, Fabio; Pettinari, Claudio; Regis, Alberto; Roletto, Ezio

    2014-01-01

    A novel didactic sequence is proposed for the teaching of chemical equilibrium. This teaching sequence takes into account the historical and epistemological evolution of the concept, the alternative conceptions and learning difficulties highlighted by teaching science and research in education, and the need to focus on both the students'…

  7. Self-Control of Haptic Assistance for Motor Learning: Influences of Frequency and Opinion of Utility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Camille K.; Tseung, Victrine; Carnahan, Heather

    2017-01-01

    Studies of self-controlled practice have shown benefits when learners controlled feedback schedule, use of assistive devices and task difficulty, with benefits attributed to information processing and motivational advantages of self-control. Although haptic assistance serves as feedback, aids task performance and modifies task difficulty, researchers have yet to explore whether self-control over haptic assistance could be beneficial for learning. We explored whether self-control of haptic assistance would be beneficial for learning a tracing task. Self-controlled participants selected practice blocks on which they would receive haptic assistance, while participants in a yoked group received haptic assistance on blocks determined by a matched self-controlled participant. We inferred learning from performance on retention tests without haptic assistance. From qualitative analysis of open-ended questions related to rationales for/experiences of the haptic assistance that was chosen/provided, themes emerged regarding participants’ views of the utility of haptic assistance for performance and learning. Results showed that learning was directly impacted by the frequency of haptic assistance for self-controlled participants only and view of haptic assistance. Furthermore, self-controlled participants’ views were significantly associated with their requested haptic assistance frequency. We discuss these findings as further support for the beneficial role of self-controlled practice for motor learning. PMID:29255438

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of practice schedule and task specificity on the adaptive process of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, João Augusto de Camargo; Tani, Go; Corrêa, Umberto Cesar

    2017-10-01

    This study investigated the effects of practice schedule and task specificity based on the perspective of adaptive process of motor learning. For this purpose, tasks with temporal and force control learning requirements were manipulated in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Specifically, the task consisted of touching with the dominant hand the three sequential targets with specific movement time or force for each touch. Participants were children (N=120), both boys and girls, with an average age of 11.2years (SD=1.0). The design in both experiments involved four practice groups (constant, random, constant-random, and random-constant) and two phases (stabilisation and adaptation). The dependent variables included measures related to the task goal (accuracy and variability of error of the overall movement and force patterns) and movement pattern (macro- and microstructures). Results revealed a similar error of the overall patterns for all groups in both experiments and that they adapted themselves differently in terms of the macro- and microstructures of movement patterns. The study concludes that the effects of practice schedules on the adaptive process of motor learning were both general and specific to the task. That is, they were general to the task goal performance and specific regarding the movement pattern. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Xiaofeng; Yu, Zhu Liang; Gu, Zhenghui; Zhang, Jun; Cen, Ling; Li, Yuanqing

    2018-03-01

    In off-line training of motor imagery-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), to enhance the generalization performance of the learned classifier, the local information contained in test data could be used to improve the performance of motor imagery as well. Further considering that the covariance matrices of electroencephalogram (EEG) signal lie on Riemannian manifold, in this paper, we construct a Riemannian graph to incorporate the information of training and test data into processing. The adjacency and weight in Riemannian graph are determined by the geodesic distance of Riemannian manifold. Then, a new graph embedding algorithm, called bilinear regularized locality preserving (BRLP), is derived upon the Riemannian graph for addressing the problems of high dimensionality frequently arising in BCIs. With a proposed regularization term encoding prior information of EEG channels, the BRLP could obtain more robust performance. Finally, an efficient classification algorithm based on extreme learning machine is proposed to perform on the tangent space of learned embedding. Experimental evaluations on the BCI competition and in-house data sets reveal that the proposed algorithms could obtain significantly higher performance than many competition algorithms after using same filter process.

  12. The effect of cognitive aging on implicit sequence learning and dual tasking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen eVandenbossche

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the influence of attentional demands on sequence-specific learning by means of the serial reaction time (SRT task (Nissen & Bullemer, 1987 in young (age 18-25 and aged (age 55-75 adults. Participants had to respond as fast as possible to a stimulus presented in one of four horizontal locations by pressing a key corresponding to the spatial position of the stimulus. During the training phase sequential blocks were accompanied by (1 no secondary task (single, (2 a secondary tone counting task (dual tone, or (3 a secondary shape counting task (dual shape. Both secondary tasks were administered to investigate whether low and high interference tasks interact with implicit learning and age. The testing phase, under baseline single condition, was implemented to assess differences in sequence-specific learning between young and aged adults. Results indicate that (1 aged subjects show less sequence learning compared to young adults, (2 young participants show similar implicit learning effects under both single and dual task conditions when we account for explicit awareness, and (3 aged adults demonstrate reduced learning when the primary task is accompanied with a secondary task, even when explicit awareness is included as a covariate in the analysis. These findings point to implicit learning deficits under dual task conditions that can be related to cognitive aging, demonstrating the need for sufficient cognitive resources while performing a sequence learning task.

  13. Robotic set-up to quantify hand-eye behavior in motor execution and learning of children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casellato, Claudia; Gandolla, Marta; Crippa, Alessandro; Pedrocchi, Alessandra

    2017-07-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a multifaceted neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a persistence of social and communication impairment, and restricted and repetitive behaviors. However, motor disorders have also been described, but not objectively assessed. Most studies showed inefficient eye-hand coordination and motor learning in children with ASD; in other experiments, mechanisms of acquisition of internal models in self-generated movements appeared to be normal in autism. In this framework, we have developed a robotic protocol, recording gaze and hand data during upper limb tasks, in which a haptic pen-like handle is moved along specific trajectories displayed on the screen. The protocol includes trials of reaching under a perturbing force field and catching moving targets, with or without visual availability of the whole path. We acquired 16 typically-developing scholar-age children and one child with ASD as a case study. Speed-accuracy tradeoff, motor performance, and gaze-hand spatial coordination have been evaluated. Compared to typically developing peers, in the force field sequence, the child with ASD showed an intact but delayed learning, and more variable gazehand patterns. In the catching trials, he showed less efficient movements, but an intact capability of exploiting the available a-priori plan. The proposed protocol represents a powerful tool, easily tunable, for quantitative (longitudinal) assessment, and for subject-tailored training in ASD.

  14. Theobromine up-regulates cerebral brain-derived neurotrophic factor and facilitates motor learning in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneda, Mitsugu; Sugimoto, Naotoshi; Katakura, Masanori; Matsuzaki, Kentaro; Tanigami, Hayate; Yachie, Akihiro; Ohno-Shosaku, Takako; Shido, Osamu

    2017-01-01

    Theobromine, which is a caffeine derivative, is the primary methylxanthine produced by Theobroma cacao. Theobromine works as a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor to increase intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). cAMP activates the cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB), which is involved in a large variety of brain processes, including the induction of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF supports cell survival and neuronal functions, including learning and memory. Thus, cAMP/CREB/BDNF pathways play an important role in learning and memory. Here, we investigated whether orally administered theobromine could act as a PDE inhibitor centrally and affect cAMP/CREB/BDNF pathways and learning behavior in mice. The mice were divided into two groups. The control group (CN) was fed a normal diet, whereas the theobromine group (TB) was fed a diet supplemented with 0.05% theobromine for 30 days. We measured the levels of theobromine, phosphorylated vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (p-VASP), phosphorylated CREB (p-CREB), and BDNF in the brain. p-VASP was used as an index of cAMP increases. Moreover, we analyzed the performance of the mice on a three-lever motor learning task. Theobromine was detectable in the brains of TB mice. The brain levels of p-VASP, p-CREB, and BDNF were higher in the TB mice compared with those in the CN mice. In addition, the TB mice performed better on the three-lever task than the CN mice did. These results strongly suggested that orally administered theobromine acted as a PDE inhibitor in the brain, and it augmented the cAMP/CREB/BDNF pathways and motor learning in mice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Generalization of motor learning depends on the history of prior action.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John W Krakauer

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Generalization of motor learning refers to our ability to apply what has been learned in one context to other contexts. When generalization is beneficial, it is termed transfer, and when it is detrimental, it is termed interference. Insight into the mechanism of generalization may be acquired from understanding why training transfers in some contexts but not others. However, identifying relevant contextual cues has proven surprisingly difficult, perhaps because the search has mainly been for cues that are explicit. We hypothesized instead that a relevant contextual cue is an implicit memory of action with a particular body part. To test this hypothesis we considered a task in which participants learned to control motion of a cursor under visuomotor rotation in two contexts: by moving their hand through motion of their shoulder and elbow, or through motion of their wrist. Use of these contextual cues led to three observations: First, in naive participants, learning in the wrist context was much faster than in the arm context. Second, generalization was asymmetric so that arm training benefited subsequent wrist training, but not vice versa. Third, in people who had prior wrist training, generalization from the arm to the wrist was blocked. That is, prior wrist training appeared to prevent both the interference and transfer that subsequent arm training should have caused. To explain the data, we posited that the learner collected statistics of contextual history: all upper arm movements also move the hand, but occasionally we move our hands without moving the upper arm. In a Bayesian framework, history of limb segment use strongly affects parameter uncertainty, which is a measure of the covariance of the contextual cues. This simple Bayesian prior dictated a generalization pattern that largely reproduced all three findings. For motor learning, generalization depends on context, which is determined by the statistics of how we have previously used

  16. Predicting effects of noncoding variants with deep learning-based sequence model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jian; Troyanskaya, Olga G

    2015-10-01

    Identifying functional effects of noncoding variants is a major challenge in human genetics. To predict the noncoding-variant effects de novo from sequence, we developed a deep learning-based algorithmic framework, DeepSEA (http://deepsea.princeton.edu/), that directly learns a regulatory sequence code from large-scale chromatin-profiling data, enabling prediction of chromatin effects of sequence alterations with single-nucleotide sensitivity. We further used this capability to improve prioritization of functional variants including expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) and disease-associated variants.

  17. Measurement of functional task difficulty during motor learning: What level of difficulty corresponds to the optimal challenge point?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari

    2015-10-01

    The relationship between task difficulty and learning benefit was examined, as was the measurability of task difficulty. Participants were required to learn a postural control task on an unstable surface at one of four different task difficulty levels. Results from the retention test showed an inverted-U relationship between task difficulty during acquisition and motor learning. The second-highest level of task difficulty was the most effective for motor learning, while learning was delayed at the most and least difficult levels. Additionally, the results indicate that salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) are useful indices of task difficulty. Our findings suggested that instructors may be able to adjust task difficulty based on salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the NASA-TLX to enhance learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-15

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Association of Amine-Receptor DNA Sequence Variants with Associative Learning in the Honeybee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagisz, Malgorzata; Mercer, Alison R; de Mouzon, Charlotte; Santos, Luana L S; Nakagawa, Shinichi

    2016-03-01

    Octopamine- and dopamine-based neuromodulatory systems play a critical role in learning and learning-related behaviour in insects. To further our understanding of these systems and resulting phenotypes, we quantified DNA sequence variations at six loci coding octopamine-and dopamine-receptors and their association with aversive and appetitive learning traits in a population of honeybees. We identified 79 polymorphic sequence markers (mostly SNPs and a few insertions/deletions) located within or close to six candidate genes. Intriguingly, we found that levels of sequence variation in the protein-coding regions studied were low, indicating that sequence variation in the coding regions of receptor genes critical to learning and memory is strongly selected against. Non-coding and upstream regions of the same genes, however, were less conserved and sequence variations in these regions were weakly associated with between-individual differences in learning-related traits. While these associations do not directly imply a specific molecular mechanism, they suggest that the cross-talk between dopamine and octopamine signalling pathways may influence olfactory learning and memory in the honeybee.

  3. Statistical learning of music- and language-like sequences and tolerance for spectral shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daikoku, Tatsuya; Yatomi, Yutaka; Yumoto, Masato

    2015-02-01

    In our previous study (Daikoku, Yatomi, & Yumoto, 2014), we demonstrated that the N1m response could be a marker for the statistical learning process of pitch sequence, in which each tone was ordered by a Markov stochastic model. The aim of the present study was to investigate how the statistical learning of music- and language-like auditory sequences is reflected in the N1m responses based on the assumption that both language and music share domain generality. By using vowel sounds generated by a formant synthesizer, we devised music- and language-like auditory sequences in which higher-ordered transitional rules were embedded according to a Markov stochastic model by controlling fundamental (F0) and/or formant frequencies (F1-F2). In each sequence, F0 and/or F1-F2 were spectrally shifted in the last one-third of the tone sequence. Neuromagnetic responses to the tone sequences were recorded from 14 right-handed normal volunteers. In the music- and language-like sequences with pitch change, the N1m responses to the tones that appeared with higher transitional probability were significantly decreased compared with the responses to the tones that appeared with lower transitional probability within the first two-thirds of each sequence. Moreover, the amplitude difference was even retained within the last one-third of the sequence after the spectral shifts. However, in the language-like sequence without pitch change, no significant difference could be detected. The pitch change may facilitate the statistical learning in language and music. Statistically acquired knowledge may be appropriated to process altered auditory sequences with spectral shifts. The relative processing of spectral sequences may be a domain-general auditory mechanism that is innate to humans. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. BWR severe accident sequence analyses at ORNL - some lessons learned

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hodge, S.A.

    1983-01-01

    Boiling water reactor severe accident sequence studies are being carried out using Browns Ferry Unit 1 as the model plant. Four accident studies were completed, resulting in recommendations for improvements in system design, emergency procedures, and operator training. Computer code improvements were an important by-product

  5. Discriminating Microbial Species Using Protein Sequence Properties and Machine Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shahib, Ali Al-; Gilbert, David; Breitling, Rainer

    2007-01-01

    Much work has been done to identify species-specific proteins in sequenced genomes and hence to determine their function. We assumed that such proteins have specific physico-chemical properties that will discriminate them from proteins in other species. In this paper, we examine the validity of this

  6. Visual Perceptual Echo Reflects Learning of Regularities in Rapid Luminance Sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Acer Y-C; Schwartzman, David J; VanRullen, Rufin; Kanai, Ryota; Seth, Anil K

    2017-08-30

    A novel neural signature of active visual processing has recently been described in the form of the "perceptual echo", in which the cross-correlation between a sequence of randomly fluctuating luminance values and occipital electrophysiological signals exhibits a long-lasting periodic (∼100 ms cycle) reverberation of the input stimulus (VanRullen and Macdonald, 2012). As yet, however, the mechanisms underlying the perceptual echo and its function remain unknown. Reasoning that natural visual signals often contain temporally predictable, though nonperiodic features, we hypothesized that the perceptual echo may reflect a periodic process associated with regularity learning. To test this hypothesis, we presented subjects with successive repetitions of a rapid nonperiodic luminance sequence, and examined the effects on the perceptual echo, finding that echo amplitude linearly increased with the number of presentations of a given luminance sequence. These data suggest that the perceptual echo reflects a neural signature of regularity learning.Furthermore, when a set of repeated sequences was followed by a sequence with inverted luminance polarities, the echo amplitude decreased to the same level evoked by a novel stimulus sequence. Crucially, when the original stimulus sequence was re-presented, the echo amplitude returned to a level consistent with the number of presentations of this sequence, indicating that the visual system retained sequence-specific information, for many seconds, even in the presence of intervening visual input. Altogether, our results reveal a previously undiscovered regularity learning mechanism within the human visual system, reflected by the perceptual echo. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT How the brain encodes and learns fast-changing but nonperiodic visual input remains unknown, even though such visual input characterizes natural scenes. We investigated whether the phenomenon of "perceptual echo" might index such learning. The perceptual echo is a

  7. Dynamic mesolimbic dopamine signaling during action sequence learning and expectation violation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Anne L.; Greenfield, Venuz Y.; Bye, Jeffrey K.; Linker, Kay E.; Wang, Alice S.; Wassum, Kate M.

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged mesolimbic dopamine concentration changes have been detected during spatial navigation, but little is known about the conditions that engender this signaling profile or how it develops with learning. To address this, we monitored dopamine concentration changes in the nucleus accumbens core of rats throughout acquisition and performance of an instrumental action sequence task. Prolonged dopamine concentration changes were detected that ramped up as rats executed each action sequence and declined after earned reward collection. With learning, dopamine concentration began to rise increasingly earlier in the execution of the sequence and ultimately backpropagated away from stereotyped sequence actions, becoming only transiently elevated by the most distal and unexpected reward predictor. Action sequence-related dopamine signaling was reactivated in well-trained rats if they became disengaged in the task and in response to an unexpected change in the value, but not identity of the earned reward. Throughout training and test, dopamine signaling correlated with sequence performance. These results suggest that action sequences can engender a prolonged mode of dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens core and that such signaling relates to elements of the motivation underlying sequence execution and is dynamic with learning, overtraining and violations in reward expectation. PMID:26869075

  8. Nonlinear Synchronization for Automatic Learning of 3D Pose Variability in Human Motion Sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mozerov M

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A dense matching algorithm that solves the problem of synchronizing prerecorded human motion sequences, which show different speeds and accelerations, is proposed. The approach is based on minimization of MRF energy and solves the problem by using Dynamic Programming. Additionally, an optimal sequence is automatically selected from the input dataset to be a time-scale pattern for all other sequences. The paper utilizes an action specific model which automatically learns the variability of 3D human postures observed in a set of training sequences. The model is trained using the public CMU motion capture dataset for the walking action, and a mean walking performance is automatically learnt. Additionally, statistics about the observed variability of the postures and motion direction are also computed at each time step. The synchronized motion sequences are used to learn a model of human motion for action recognition and full-body tracking purposes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellisha N Marongelli

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Human motor adaptation to novel environments is often modeled by a basis function network that transforms desired movement properties into estimated forces. This network employs a layer of nodes that have fixed broad tunings that generalize across the input domain. Learning is achieved by updating the weights of these nodes in response to training experience. This conventional model is unable to account for rapid flexibility observed in human spatial generalization during motor adaptation. However, added plasticity in the breadths of the basis function tunings can achieve this flexibility, and several neurophysiological experiments have revealed flexibility in tunings of sensorimotor neurons. We found a model, Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR, which uniquely possesses the structure of a basis function network in which both the weights and tuning widths of the nodes are updated incrementally during adaptation. We presented this LWPR model with training functions of different spatial complexities and monitored incremental updates to receptive field sizes. An inverse pattern of dependence of receptive field adaptation on experienced error became evident, underlying both a relationship between generalization and complexity, and a unique behavior in which generalization always narrows after a sudden switch in environmental complexity. These results implicate a model with a flexible structure, like LWPR, as a viable alternative model for human motor adaptation that can account for previously observed plasticity in spatial generalization. This theory can be tested by using the behaviors observed in our experiments as novel hypotheses in human studies.

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

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    Marongelli, Ellisha N.; Thoroughman, Kurt A.

    2013-01-01

    Human motor adaptation to novel environments is often modeled by a basis function network that transforms desired movement properties into estimated forces. This network employs a layer of nodes that have fixed broad tunings that generalize across the input domain. Learning is achieved by updating the weights of these nodes in response to training experience. This conventional model is unable to account for rapid flexibility observed in human spatial generalization during motor adaptation. However, added plasticity in the widths of the basis function tunings can achieve this flexibility, and several neurophysiological experiments have revealed flexibility in tunings of sensorimotor neurons. We found a model, Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR), which uniquely possesses the structure of a basis function network in which both the weights and tuning widths of the nodes are updated incrementally during adaptation. We presented this LWPR model with training functions of different spatial complexities and monitored incremental updates to receptive field widths. An inverse pattern of dependence of receptive field adaptation on experienced error became evident, underlying both a relationship between generalization and complexity, and a unique behavior in which generalization always narrows after a sudden switch in environmental complexity. These results implicate a model that is flexible in both basis function widths and weights, like LWPR, as a viable alternative model for human motor adaptation that can account for previously observed plasticity in spatial generalization. This theory can be tested by using the behaviors observed in our experiments as novel hypotheses in human studies. PMID:23888141

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

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    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.

  12. Self-Control of Task Difficulty During Early Practice Promotes Motor Skill Learning.

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    Andrieux, Mathieu; Boutin, Arnaud; Thon, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to determine whether the effect of self-control of task difficulty on motor learning is a function of the period of self-control administration. In a complex anticipation-coincidence task that required participants to intercept 3 targets with a virtual racquet, the task difficulty was either self-controlled or imposed to the participants in the two phases of the acquisition session. First, the results confirmed the beneficial effects of self-control over fully prescribed conditions. Second, the authors also demonstrated that a partial self-control of task difficulty better promotes learning than does a complete self-controlled procedure. Overall, the results revealed that these benefits are increased when this choice is allowed during early practice. The findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and applied perspectives.

  13. A randomised controlled trial of sensory awareness training and additional motor practice for learning scalpel skills in podiatry students.

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    Causby, Ryan S; McDonnell, Michelle N; Reed, Lloyd; Hillier, Susan L

    2016-12-05

    The process of using a scalpel, like all other motor activities, is dependent upon the successful integration of afferent (sensory), cognitive and efferent (motor) processes. During learning of these skills, even if motor practice is carefully monitored there is still an inherent risk involved. It is also possible that this strategy could reinforce high levels of anxiety experienced by the student and affect student self-efficacy, causing detrimental effects on motor learning. An alternative training strategy could be through targeting sensory rather than motor processes. Second year podiatry students who were about to commence learning scalpel skills were recruited. Participants were randomly allocated into sensory awareness training (Sensory), additional motor practice (Motor) or usual teaching only (Control) groups. Participants were then evaluated on psychological measures (Intrinsic Motivation Inventory) and dexterity measures (Purdue Pegboard, Grooved Pegboard Test and a grip-lift task). A total of 44 participants were included in the study. There were no baseline differences or significant differences between the three groups over time on the Perceived Competence, Effort/ Importance or Pressure/ Tension, psychological measures. All groups showed a significant increase in Perceived Competence over time (F 1,41  = 13.796, p = 0.001). Only one variable for the grip-lift task (Preload Duration for the non-dominant hand) showed a significant difference over time between the groups (F 2,41  = 3.280, p = 0.038), specifically, Motor and Control groups. The use of sensory awareness training, or additional motor practice did not provide a more effective alternative compared with usual teaching. Further research may be warranted using more engaged training, provision of supervision and greater participant numbers. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRN12616001428459 . Registered 13 th October 2016. Registered Retrospectively.

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

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    Pamphyle Abedi Mukutenga

    2012-08-01

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

  15. Effects of Motor Learning on Clinical Isokinetic Test Performance in Knee Osteoarthritis Patients

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    José Messias Rodrigues-da-Silva

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To analyze the effects of motor learning on knee extension-flexion isokinetic performance in knee osteoarthritis patients. METHODS: One hundred and thirty-six middle-aged and older sedentary individuals (111 women, 64.3±9.9 years with knee osteoarthritis (130 patients with bilateral and who had never performed isokinetic testing underwent two bilateral knee extension-flexion (concentric-concentric isokinetic evaluations (5 repetitions at 60°/sec. The tests were first performed on the dominant leg with 2 min of recovery between test, and following a standardized warm-up that included 3 submaximal isokinetic repetitions. The same procedure was repeated on the non-dominant leg. The peak torque, peak torque adjusted for the body weight, total work, coefficient of variation and agonist/antagonist ratio were compared between tests. RESULTS: Patients showed significant improvements in test 2 compared to test 1, including higher levels of peak torque, peak torque adjusted for body weight and total work, as well as lower coefficients of variation. The agonist/antagonist relationship did not significantly change between tests. No significant differences were found between the right and left legs for all variables. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that performing two tests with a short recovery (2 min between them could be used to reduce motor learning effects on clinical isokinetic testing of the knee joint in knee osteoarthritis patients.

  16. Impacts of autonomy-supportive versus controlling instructional language on motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooyman, Andrew; Wulf, Gabriele; Lewthwaite, Rebecca

    2014-08-01

    The authors examined the influence of autonomy-supportive (ASL), controlling (CL), and neutral instructional language (NL) on motor skill learning (cricket bowling action). Prior to and several times during the practice phase, participants watched the same video demonstration of the bowling action but with different voice-over instructions. The instructions were designed to provide the same technical information but to vary in terms of the degree of choice performers would perceive when executing the task. In addition to measurements of throwing accuracy (i.e., deviation from the target), perceived choice, self-efficacy, and positive and negative affect were assessed at the end of the practice phase and after a retention test without demonstrations and instructions on Day 2. ASL resulted in perceptions of greater choice, higher self-efficacy, and more positive affect during practice than CL, and enhanced learning as demonstrated by retention test performance. Thus, granting learners autonomy appeared to endow them with confidence in their ability, diminished needs for control of negative emotional responses, and created more positive affect, which may help consolidate motor memories. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Effects of microwave exposure on motor learning and GluR2 phosphorylation in rabbit cerebellum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Yong; Wang Denggao; Zhang Guangbin; Zhou Wen; Yang Xuesen

    2007-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effects of microwave exposure on motor learning and Glutamate receptor 2(GluR2) phosphorylation in rat cerebellum. Methods: The rabbits were trained for seven days to form eye-blink conditioning, and then divided randomly into control and microwave exposure group (at hours 0,3,24 and 72 subgroups after exposure, respectively). The rabbits were accepted 90 mW/cm 2 microwave exposure for 30 minutes, and the rectal temperature were detected immediately after exposure and specific absorption rate (SAR) value were calculated. Eye-blink conditioning were detected immediately after exposure, and cerebellar GluR2 protein and GluR2 phosphorylation were detected with Western blotting. Results: Rectal temperature of rabbits were increased by 3.02 degree C after exposure, and SAR value was 8.74 W/kg. The eye-blink conditioning decreased significantly after exposure, and cerebellar GluR2 protein expression had no significant alteration but phosphorylation reduced significantly after exposure. Conclusions: 90 mW/cm 2 microwave exposure has injurious effects on cerebellar GluR2 phosphorylation and motor learning. (authors)

  18. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Domain-specific and domain-general constraints on word and sequence learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archibald, Lisa M D; Joanisse, Marc F

    2013-02-01

    The relative influences of language-related and memory-related constraints on the learning of novel words and sequences were examined by comparing individual differences in performance of children with and without specific deficits in either language or working memory. Children recalled lists of words in a Hebbian learning protocol in which occasional lists repeated, yielding improved recall over the course of the task on the repeated lists. The task involved presentation of pictures of common nouns followed immediately by equivalent presentations of the spoken names. The same participants also completed a paired-associate learning task involving word-picture and nonword-picture pairs. Hebbian learning was observed for all groups. Domain-general working memory constrained immediate recall, whereas language abilities impacted recall in the auditory modality only. In addition, working memory constrained paired-associate learning generally, whereas language abilities disproportionately impacted novel word learning. Overall, all of the learning tasks were highly correlated with domain-general working memory. The learning of nonwords was additionally related to general intelligence, phonological short-term memory, language abilities, and implicit learning. The results suggest that distinct associations between language- and memory-related mechanisms support learning of familiar and unfamiliar phonological forms and sequences.

  20. Mirror symmetric bimanual movement priming can increase corticomotor excitability and enhance motor learning.

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    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

  1. Relationship Between Non-invasive Brain Stimulation-induced Plasticity and Capacity for Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Alonso, Virginia; Cheeran, Binith; Fernández-del-Olmo, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    Cortical plasticity plays a key role in motor learning (ML). Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) paradigms have been used to modulate plasticity in the human motor cortex in order to facilitate ML. However, little is known about the relationship between NIBS-induced plasticity over M1 and ML capacity. NIBS-induced MEP changes are related to ML capacity. 56 subjects participated in three NIBS (paired associative stimulation, anodal transcranial direct current stimulation and intermittent theta-burst stimulation), and in three lab-based ML task (serial reaction time, visuomotor adaptation and sequential visual isometric pinch task) sessions. After clustering the patterns of response to the different NIBS protocols, we compared the ML variables between the different patterns found. We used regression analysis to explore further the relationship between ML capacity and summary measures of the MEPs change. We ran correlations with the "responders" group only. We found no differences in ML variables between clusters. Greater response to NIBS protocols may be predictive of poor performance within certain blocks of the VAT. "Responders" to AtDCS and to iTBS showed significantly faster reaction times than "non-responders." However, the physiological significance of these results is uncertain. MEP changes induced in M1 by PAS, AtDCS and iTBS appear to have little, if any, association with the ML capacity tested with the SRTT, the VAT and the SVIPT. However, cortical excitability changes induced in M1 by AtDCS and iTBS may be related to reaction time and retention of newly acquired skills in certain motor learning tasks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. No effects of transcranial DLPFC stimulation on implicit task sequence learning and consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savic, Branislav; Cazzoli, Dario; Müri, René; Meier, Beat

    2017-08-29

    Neurostimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) can modulate performance in cognitive tasks. In a recent study, however, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the DLPFC did not affect implicit task sequence learning and consolidation in a paradigm that involved bimanual responses. Because bimanual performance increases the coupling between homologous cortical areas of the hemispheres and left and right DLPFC were stimulated separately the null findings may have been due to the bimanual setup. The aim of the present study was to test the effect of neuro-stimulation on sequence learning in a uni-manual setup. For this purpose two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, the DLPFC was stimulated with tDCS. In Experiment 2 the DLPFC was stimulated with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In both experiments, consolidation was measured 24 hours later. The results showed that sequence learning was present in all conditions and sessions, but it was not influenced by stimulation. Likewise, consolidation of sequence learning was robust across sessions, but it was not influenced by stimulation. These results replicate and extend previous findings. They indicate that established tDCS and TMS protocols on the DLPFC do not influence implicit task sequence learning and consolidation.

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

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    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 c