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Sample records for active motor learning

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  2. Active learning: learning a motor skill without a coach.

    PubMed

    Huang, Vincent S; Shadmehr, Reza; Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2008-08-01

    When we learn a new skill (e.g., golf) without a coach, we are "active learners": we have to choose the specific components of the task on which to train (e.g., iron, driver, putter, etc.). What guides our selection of the training sequence? How do choices that people make compare with choices made by machine learning algorithms that attempt to optimize performance? We asked subjects to learn the novel dynamics of a robotic tool while moving it in four directions. They were instructed to choose their practice directions to maximize their performance in subsequent tests. We found that their choices were strongly influenced by motor errors: subjects tended to immediately repeat an action if that action had produced a large error. This strategy was correlated with better performance on test trials. However, even when participants performed perfectly on a movement, they did not avoid repeating that movement. The probability of repeating an action did not drop below chance even when no errors were observed. This behavior led to suboptimal performance. It also violated a strong prediction of current machine learning algorithms, which solve the active learning problem by choosing a training sequence that will maximally reduce the learner's uncertainty about the task. While we show that these algorithms do not provide an adequate description of human behavior, our results suggest ways to improve human motor learning by helping people choose an optimal training sequence.

  3. Enhanced multisensory integration and motor reactivation after active motor learning of audiovisual associations.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

    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 perception and recognition of associations among multiple senses has not been investigated. Twenty participants were included in an fMRI study that explored the impact of active motor learning on subsequent processing of unisensory and multisensory stimuli. Participants were exposed to visuo-motor associations between novel objects and novel sounds either through self-generated actions on the objects or by observing an experimenter produce the actions. Immediately after exposure, accuracy, RT, and BOLD fMRI measures were collected with unisensory and multisensory stimuli in associative perception and recognition tasks. Response times during audiovisual associative and unisensory recognition were enhanced by active learning, as was accuracy during audiovisual associative recognition. The difference in motor cortex activation between old and new associations was greater for the active than the passive group. Furthermore, functional connectivity between visual and motor cortices was stronger after active learning than passive learning. Active learning also led to greater activation of the fusiform gyrus during subsequent unisensory visual perception. Finally, brain regions implicated in audiovisual integration (e.g., STS) showed greater multisensory gain after active learning than after passive learning. Overall, the results show that active motor learning modulates the processing of multisensory associations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-21

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

  5. Emergence of reproducible spatiotemporal activity during motor learning.

    PubMed

    Peters, Andrew J; Chen, Simon X; Komiyama, Takaki

    2014-06-12

    The motor cortex is capable of reliably driving complex movements yet exhibits considerable plasticity during motor learning. These observations suggest that the fundamental relationship between motor cortex activity and movement may not be fixed but is instead shaped by learning; however, to what extent and how motor learning shapes this relationship are not fully understood. Here we addressed this issue by using in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to monitor the activity of the same population of hundreds of layer 2/3 neurons while mice learned a forelimb lever-press task over two weeks. Excitatory and inhibitory neurons were identified by transgenic labelling. Inhibitory neuron activity was relatively stable and balanced local excitatory neuron activity on a movement-by-movement basis, whereas excitatory neuron activity showed higher dynamism during the initial phase of learning. The dynamics of excitatory neurons during the initial phase involved the expansion of the movement-related population which explored various activity patterns even during similar movements. This was followed by a refinement into a smaller population exhibiting reproducible spatiotemporal sequences of activity. This pattern of activity associated with the learned movement was unique to expert animals and not observed during similar movements made during the naive phase, and the relationship between neuronal activity and individual movements became more consistent with learning. These changes in population activity coincided with a transient increase in dendritic spine turnover in these neurons. Our results indicate that a novel and reproducible activity-movement relationship develops as a result of motor learning, and we speculate that synaptic plasticity within the motor cortex underlies the emergence of reproducible spatiotemporal activity patterns for learned movements. These results underscore the profound influence of learning on the way that the cortex produces movements.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Hemispheric asymmetry of ipsilateral motor cortex activation in motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Tomotaka; Higashi, Toshio; Takagi, Mineko; Sugawara, Kenichi

    2013-09-11

    In this study, we investigated how ipsilateral motor cortex (M1) activation during unimanual hand movements and hemispheric asymmetry changed after motor skill learning. Eleven right-handed participants preformed a two-ball-rotation motor task with the right and the left hand, separately, in all experimental sessions. Before and after exercise sessions, the degree of ipsilateral M1 activation during brief execution of the motor task was measured as changes in the size of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) of the thenar and the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the nontask hand using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Before exercise, MEPs of the nontask hand were significantly facilitated on both sides during the motor task. After exercise, facilitation of MEPs of the nontask hand during the motor task was significantly reduced for the right hand (thenar: P=0.014, first dorsal interosseous: P=0.022) but not for the left hand. We conclude that ipsilateral M1 activation, associated with a complex motor task, is first symmetrical in both hemispheres. However, on exercise, ipsilateral activation is reduced only in left M1, indicating a stronger learning-dependent modification of motor networks within the left hemisphere.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  9. Subthreshold activation of the superior colliculus drives saccade motor learning.

    PubMed

    Soetedjo, Robijanto; Fuchs, Albert F; Kojima, Yoshiko

    2009-12-02

    How the brain learns and maintains accurate precision movements is currently unknown. At times throughout life, rapid gaze shifts (saccades) become inaccurate, but the brain makes gradual adjustments so they again stop on target. Previously, we showed that complex spikes (CSs) in Purkinje cells of the oculomotor cerebellum report the direction and amplitude by which saccades are in error. Anatomical studies indicate that this error signal could originate in the superior colliculus (SC). Here, we deliver subthreshold electrical stimulation of the SC after the saccade lands to signal an apparent error. The size of saccades in the same direction as the simulated error gradually increase; those in the opposite direction decrease. The electrically adapted saccades endure after stimulation is discontinued, exhibit an adaptation field, can undergo changes in direction, and depend on error timing. These electrically induced adaptations were virtually identical with those produced by the visually induced adaptations that we report here for comparable visual errors in the same monkeys. Therefore, our experiments reveal that an additional role for the SC in the generation of saccades is to provide a vector error signal that drives dysmetric saccades to adapt. Moreover, the characteristics of the electrically induced adaptation reflect those of error-related CS activity in the oculomotor cerebellum, suggesting that CS activity serves as the learning signal. We speculate that CS activity may serve as the error signal that drives other kinds of motor learning as well.

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

    PubMed

    Butler, Andrew J; James, Karin Harman

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  12. Cerebral Activation During Initial Motor Learning Forecasts Subsequent Sleep-Facilitated Memory Consolidation in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    King, Bradley R; Saucier, Philippe; Albouy, Genevieve; Fogel, Stuart M; Rumpf, Jost-Julian; Klann, Juliane; Buccino, Giovanni; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Classen, Joseph; Karni, Avi; Doyon, Julien

    2016-01-21

    Older adults exhibit deficits in motor memory consolidation; however, little is known about the cerebral correlates of this impairment. We thus employed fMRI to investigate the neural substrates underlying motor sequence memory consolidation, and the modulatory influence of post-learning sleep, in healthy older adults. Participants were trained on a motor sequence and retested following an 8-h interval including wake or diurnal sleep as well as a 22-h interval including a night of sleep. Results demonstrated that a post-learning nap improved offline consolidation across same- and next-day retests. This enhanced consolidation was reflected by increased activity in the putamen and the medial temporal lobe, including the hippocampus, regions that have previously been implicated in sleep-dependent neural plasticity in young adults. Moreover, for the first time in older adults, the neural substrates subserving initial motor learning, including the putamen, cerebellum, and parietal cortex, were shown to forecast subsequent consolidation depending on whether a post-learning nap was afforded. Specifically, sufficient activation in a motor-related network appears to be necessary to trigger sleep-facilitated consolidation in older adults. Our findings not only demonstrate that post-learning sleep can enhance motor memory consolidation in older adults, but also provide the system-level neural correlates of this beneficial effect.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. The effect of cerebellar transplantation and enforced physical activity on motor skills and spatial learning in adult Lurcher mutant mice.

    PubMed

    Cendelín, Jan; Korelusová, Ivana; Vozeh, Frantisek

    2009-03-01

    Lurcher mutant mice represent a model of olivocerebellar degeneration. They are used to investigate cerebellar functions, consequences of cerebellar degeneration and methods of therapy influencing them. The aim of the work was to assess the effect of foetal cerebellar graft transplantation, repeated enforced physical activity and the combination of both these types of treatment on motor skills, spontaneous motor activity and spatial learning ability in adult B6CBA Lurcher mice. Foetal cerebellar grafts were applied into the cerebellum of Lurchers in the form of solid tissue pieces. Enforced motor activity was realised through rotarod training. Motor functions were examined using bar, ladder and rotarod tests. Spatial learning was tested in the Morris water maze. Spontaneous motor activity in the open field was observed. The presence of the graft was examined histologically. Enforced physical activity led to moderate improvement of some motor skills and to a significant amelioration of spatial learning ability in Lurchers. The transplantation of cerebellar tissue did not influence motor functions significantly but led to an improvement of spatial learning ability. Mutual advancement of the effects of both types of treatment was not observed. Spontaneous motor activity was influenced neither by physical activity nor by the transplantation. Physical activity did not influence the graft survival and development. Because nerve sprouting and cell migration from the graft to the host cerebellum was poor, the functional effects of the graft should be explained with regard to its trophic influence rather than with any involvement of the grafted cells into neural circuitries.

  16. Motor skill learning enhances the expression of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein in the rat cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dean-Chuan; Lin, Yu-Yi; Chen, Tsan-Ju; Lin, Hwai-Ting

    2014-11-01

    Motor skill learning is essential for environmental adaptations during everyday life. It has been shown that the cerebellum plays an important role in both the adaptation of eye movements and the motor skill learning. However, the neuronal substrates responsible for consolidation of complex motor skills rather than simple reflexes are still uncertain. Because the induction of immediate-early genes activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) and zinc finger binding protein clone 268 (Zif268) has been regarded as a marker for recent neuronal activity, therefore, in the present study, a rat paradigm of motor skill learning was used to investigate the protein expression of Arc and zif268 in the cerebellum after motor skill learning. Rats were trained to traverse the runway apparatus for 5 days. Protein samples were collected from the cerebellar cortices 1 hour after the training on days 1, 3, and 5, and analyzed by western blotting. The results showed that the expression of Arc, but not zif268, was significantly increased in the cerebellum following motor skill learning. These findings suggest that motor skill learning induces Arc expression in the cerebellum, which may play a role in acquiring complex motor skills.

  17. Learning in the Rodent Motor Cortex.

    PubMed

    Peters, Andrew J; Liu, Haixin; Komiyama, Takaki

    2017-03-31

    The motor cortex is far from a stable conduit for motor commands and instead undergoes significant changes during learning. An understanding of motor cortex plasticity has been advanced greatly using rodents as experimental animals. Two major focuses of this research have been on the connectivity and activity of the motor cortex. The motor cortex exhibits structural changes in response to learning, and substantial evidence has implicated the local formation and maintenance of new synapses as crucial substrates of motor learning. This synaptic reorganization translates into changes in spiking activity, which appear to result in a modification and refinement of the relationship between motor cortical activity and movement. This review presents the progress that has been made using rodents to establish the motor cortex as an adaptive structure that supports motor learning. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Neuroscience Volume 40 is July 8, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  18. LTD, RP, and Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Hirano, Tomoo; Yamazaki, Yoshito; Nakamura, Yoji

    2016-02-01

    Long-term depression (LTD) at excitatory synapses between parallel fibers and a Purkinje cell has been regarded as a critical cellular mechanism for motor learning. However, it was demonstrated that normal motor learning occurs under LTD suppression, suggesting that cerebellar plasticity mechanisms other than LTD also contribute to motor learning. One candidate for such plasticity is rebound potentiation (RP), which is long-term potentiation at inhibitory synapses between a stellate cell and a Purkinje cell. Both LTD and RP are induced by the increase in postsynaptic Ca(2+) concentration, and work to suppress the activity of a Purkinje cell. Thus, LTD and RP might work synergistically, and one might compensate defects of the other. RP induction is dependent on the interaction between GABAA receptor and GABAA receptor binding protein (GABARAP). Transgenic mice expressing a peptide which inhibits binding of GABARAP and GABAA receptor only in Purkinje cells show defects in both RP and adaptation of vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), a motor learning paradigm. However, another example of motor learning, adaptation of optokinetic response (OKR), is normal in the transgenic mice. Both VOR and OKR are reflex eye movements suppressing the slip of visual image on the retina during head movement. Previously, we reported that delphilin knockout mice show facilitated LTD induction and enhanced OKR adaptation, but we recently found that VOR adaptation was not enhanced in the knockout mice. These results together suggest that animals might use LTD and RP differently depending on motor learning tasks.

  19. Motor sequence learning in the elderly: differential activity patterns as a function of hand modality.

    PubMed

    Eudave, Luis; Aznárez-Sanado, Maite; Luis, Elkin O; Martínez, Martín; Fernández-Seara, María A; Pastor, María A

    2016-07-21

    Previous research on motor sequence learning (MSL) in the elderly has focused mainly on unilateral tasks, even though bilateral coordination might be impaired in this age group. In this fMRI study, 28 right-handed elderly subjects were recruited. The paradigm consisted of a Novel and a simple Control sequence executed with the right (R), left (L) and both hands (B). Behavioral performance (Accuracy[AC], Inter-tap Interval[ITI]) and associated brain activity were assessed during early learning. Behavioral performance in the Novel task was similar between unilateral conditions whereas in the bimanual condition more errors and slower motor execution were observed. Brain activity increases during learning showed differences between Conditions: R showed increased activity in pre-SMA, basal ganglia and left hippocampus while B showed activity increments mainly in posterior parietal cortex and cerebellum. L did not show any activity modulation during learning. Performance correlates for AC (related to spatial success) and ITI (related to accurate timing) shared a cortico-basal-cerebellar network. However, it was found that the ITI regressor presented additional significant correlations with activity in SMA and basal ganglia in R. The AC regressor showed additional significant correlations with activity in more extended thalamic and cerebellar areas in B. The present findings suggest that, behaviorally, the spatial and temporal components of MSL are impaired in elderly subjects when using both hands. Additionally, differential brain activity patterns were found across hand modalities. The results obtained reveal the existence of a highly specialized network in the dominant hand and identify areas specifically involved in bimanual coordination.

  20. Stage 2 Sleep EEG Sigma Activity and Motor Learning in Childhood ADHD: A Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Saletin, Jared M; Coon, William G; Carskadon, Mary A

    2017-01-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with deficits in motor learning and sleep. In healthy adults, overnight improvements in motor skills are associated with sleep spindle activity in the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG). This association is poorly characterized in children, particularly in pediatric ADHD. Polysomnographic sleep was monitored in 7 children with ADHD and 14 typically developing controls. All children were trained on a validated motor sequence task (MST) in the evening with retesting the following morning. Analyses focused on MST precision (speed-accuracy trade-off). NREM Stage 2 sleep EEG power spectral analyses focused on spindle-frequency EEG activity in the sigma (12-15 Hz) band. The ADHD group demonstrated a selective decrease in power within the sigma band. Evening MST precision was lower in ADHD, yet no difference in performance was observed following sleep. Moreover, ADHD status moderated the association between slow sleep spindle activity (12-13.5 Hz) and overnight improvement; spindle-frequency EEG activity was positively associated with performance improvements in children with ADHD but not in controls. These data highlight the importance of sleep in supporting next-day behavior in ADHD while indicating that differences in sleep neurophysiology may contribute to deficits in this population.

  1. Self-controlled feedback facilitates motor learning in both high and low activity individuals.

    PubMed

    Fairbrother, Jeffrey T; Laughlin, David D; Nguyen, Timothy V

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if high and low activity individuals differed in terms of the effects of self-controlled feedback on the performance and learning of a movement skill. The task consisted of a blindfolded beanbag toss using the non-preferred arm. Participants were pre-screened according to their physical activity level using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. An equal number of high activity (HA) and low activity (LA) participants were assigned to self-control (SC) and yoked (YK) feedback conditions, creating four groups: Self-Control-High Activity; Self-Control-Low Activity; Yoked-High Activity; and Yoked-Low Activity. SC condition participants were provided feedback whenever they requested it, while YK condition participants received feedback according to a schedule created by their SC counterpart. Results indicated that the SC condition was more accurate than the YK condition during acquisition and transfer phases, and the HA condition was more accurate than the LA condition during all phases of the experiment. A post-training questionnaire indicated that participants in the SC condition asked for feedback mostly after what they perceived to be "good" trials; those in the YK condition indicated that they would have preferred to receive feedback after "good" trials. This study provided further support for the advantages of self-controlled feedback when learning motor skills, additionally showing benefits for both active and less active individuals. The results suggested that the provision of self-controlled feedback to less active learners may be a potential avenue to teaching motor skills necessary to engage in greater amounts of physical activity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-15

    Aging impairs the activation of muscle; however, it remains unclear whether it contributes to deficits in motor learning in older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine whether altered activation of antagonistic muscles in older adults during practice inhibits their ability to transfer a motor task ipsilaterally. Twenty young (25.1 ± 3.9 yr; 10 men, 10 women) and twenty older adults (71.5 ± 4.8 yr; 10 men, 10 women) participated. Half of the subjects practiced 100 trials of a rapid goal-directed task with ankle dorsiflexion and were tested 1 day later with elbow flexion (transfer). The rest did not perform any ankle practice and only performed the task with elbow flexion. The goal-directed task consisted of rapid movement (180 ms) to match a spatiotemporal target. For each limb, we recorded the EMG burst activity of the primary agonist and antagonist muscles. The rate of improvement during task acquisition (practice) was similar for young and older adults (P > 0.3). In contrast, only young adults were able to transfer the task to the upper limb. Specifically, young adults who practiced ankle dorsiflexion exhibited ∼30% (P < 0.05) lower movement error and ∼60% (P < 0.05) lower antagonist EMG burst activity compared with older adults who received equal practice and young adults who did not receive any ankle dorsiflexion practice. These results provide novel evidence that the deficient motor learning in older adults may be related to a differential activation of the antagonist muscle, which compromises their ability to acquire the task during practice.

  3. Stages of motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Luft, Andreas R; Buitrago, Manuel M

    2005-12-01

    Successful learning of a motor skill requires repetitive training. Once the skill is mastered, it can be remembered for a long period of time. The durable memory makes motor skill learning an interesting paradigm for the study of learning and memory mechanisms. To gain better understanding, one scientific approach is to dissect the process into stages and to study these as well as their interactions. This article covers the growing evidence that motor skill learning advances through stages, in which different storage mechanisms predominate. The acquisition phase is characterized by fast (within session) and slow learning (between sessions). For a short period following the initial training sessions, the skill is labile to interference by other skills and by protein synthesis inhibition, indicating that consolidation processes occur during rest periods between training sessions. During training as well as rest periods, activation in different brain regions changes dynamically. Evidence for stages in motor skill learning is provided by experiments using behavioral, electrophysiological, functional imaging, and cellular/molecular methods.

  4. Neural co-activation as a yardstick of implicit motor learning and the propensity for conscious control of movement.

    PubMed

    Zhu, F F; Poolton, J M; Wilson, M R; Maxwell, J P; Masters, R S W

    2011-04-01

    Two studies examined EEG co-activation (coherence) between the verbal-analytical (T3) and motor planning (Fz) regions during a golf putting task. In Study 1, participants with a strong propensity to consciously monitor and control their movements, determined psychometrically by high scores on a movement specific Reinvestment Scale, displayed more alpha2 T3-Fz co-activation than participants with a weak propensity. In Study 2, participants who practiced a golf putting task implicitly (via an errorless learning protocol) displayed less alpha2 T3-Fz co-activation than those who practiced explicitly (by errorful learning). In addition, explicit but not implicit motor learners displayed more T3-Fz co-activation during golf putting under pressure, implying that verbal-analytical processing of putting movements increased under pressure. These findings provide neuropsychological evidence that supports claims that implicit motor learning can be used to limit movement specific reinvestment.

  5. Neural substrates of contextual interference during motor learning support a model of active preparation.

    PubMed

    Cross, Emily S; Schmitt, Paul J; Grafton, Scott T

    2007-11-01

    When individuals acquire new skills, initial performance is typically better and tasks are judged to be easier when the tasks are segregated and practiced by block, compared to when different tasks are randomly intermixed in practice. However, subsequent skill retention is better for a randomly practiced group, an effect known as contextual interference (CI). The present study examined the neural substrates of CI using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Individuals learned a set of three 4-element sequences with the left hand according to a block or random practice schedule. Behavioral retest for skill retention confirmed the presence of a typical CI effect with the random group outperforming the block group. Using a go/no-go fMRI paradigm, sequence preparation during the premovement study period was separated from movement execution. Imaging data for the two groups were compared for the first 1/3 and final 1/3 of training trials. Toward the end of training, behavioral performance between the two groups was similar, although the random group would later display a performance advantage on retention testing. During study time, the random group showed greater activity in sensorimotor and premotor regions compared to the block group. These areas are associated with motor preparation, sequencing, and response selection. This pattern of recruitment is consistent with the hypothesis that CI benefits in a sequencing task are due to improved capacity to actively prepare motor responses.

  6. Sensory change following motor learning.

    PubMed

    Mattar, Andrew A G; Nasir, Sazzad M; Darainy, Mohammad; Ostry, David J

    2011-01-01

    Here we describe two studies linking perceptual change with motor learning. In the first, we document persistent changes in somatosensory perception that occur following force field learning. Subjects learned to control a robotic device that applied forces to the hand during arm movements. This led to a change in the sensed position of the limb that lasted at least 24 h. Control experiments revealed that the sensory change depended on motor learning. In the second study, we describe changes in the perception of speech sounds that occur following speech motor learning. Subjects adapted control of speech movements to compensate for loads applied to the jaw by a robot. Perception of speech sounds was measured before and after motor learning. Adapted subjects showed a consistent shift in perception. In contrast, no consistent shift was seen in control subjects and subjects that did not adapt to the load. These studies suggest that motor learning changes both sensory and motor function.

  7. EXEL; Experience for Children in Learning. Parent-Directed Activities to Develop: Oral Expression, Visual Discrimination, Auditory Discrimination, Motor Coordination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrmann, Polly; Millman, Joan

    The activities collected in this handbook are planned for parents to use with their children in a learning experience. They can also be used in the classroom. Sections contain games designed to develop visual discrimination, auditory discrimination, motor coordination and oral expression. An objective is given for each game, and directions for…

  8. Children Move to Learn: A Guide to Planning Gross Motor Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kline, Judy

    This guide for persons working with young children with gross motor delays is designed to be used in the assessment of gross motor abilities, the detection and identification of delays and the planning and implementation of appropriate Individual Activity Plans (IAP) for correcting the delays. Observation guidelines in the form of questions (Can…

  9. Prospective errors determine motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Takiyama, Ken; Hirashima, Masaya; Nozaki, Daichi

    2015-01-01

    Diverse features of motor learning have been reported by numerous studies, but no single theoretical framework concurrently accounts for these features. Here, we propose a model for motor learning to explain these features in a unified way by extending a motor primitive framework. The model assumes that the recruitment pattern of motor primitives is determined by the predicted movement error of an upcoming movement (prospective error). To validate this idea, we perform a behavioural experiment to examine the model’s novel prediction: after experiencing an environment in which the movement error is more easily predictable, subsequent motor learning should become faster. The experimental results support our prediction, suggesting that the prospective error might be encoded in the motor primitives. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this model has a strong explanatory power to reproduce a wide variety of motor-learning-related phenomena that have been separately explained by different computational models. PMID:25635628

  10. Motor imagery facilitates force field learning.

    PubMed

    Anwar, Muhammad Nabeel; Tomi, Naoki; Ito, Koji

    2011-06-13

    Humans have the ability to produce an internal reproduction of a specific motor action without any overt motor output. Recent findings show that the processes underlying motor imagery are similar to those active during motor execution and both share common neural substrates. This suggests that the imagery of motor movements might play an important role in acquiring new motor skills. In this study we used haptic robot in conjunction with motor imagery technique to improve learning in a robot-based adaptation task. Two groups of subjects performed reaching movements with or without motor imagery in a velocity-dependent and position-dependent mixed force field. The groups performed movements with motor imagery produced higher after effects and decreased muscle co-contraction with respect to no-motor imagery group. These results showed a positive influence of motor imagery on acquiring new motor skill and suggest that motor learning can be facilitated by mental practice and could be used to increase the rate of adaptation.

  11. Temporal structure of motor variability is dynamically regulated and predicts motor learning ability.

    PubMed

    Wu, Howard G; Miyamoto, Yohsuke R; Gonzalez Castro, Luis Nicolas; Ölveczky, Bence P; Smith, Maurice A

    2014-02-01

    Individual differences in motor learning ability are widely acknowledged, yet little is known about the factors that underlie them. Here we explore whether movement-to-movement variability in motor output, a ubiquitous if often unwanted characteristic of motor performance, predicts motor learning ability. Surprisingly, we found that higher levels of task-relevant motor variability predicted faster learning both across individuals and across tasks in two different paradigms, one relying on reward-based learning to shape specific arm movement trajectories and the other relying on error-based learning to adapt movements in novel physical environments. We proceeded to show that training can reshape the temporal structure of motor variability, aligning it with the trained task to improve learning. These results provide experimental support for the importance of action exploration, a key idea from reinforcement learning theory, showing that motor variability facilitates motor learning in humans and that our nervous systems actively regulate it to improve learning.

  12. Temporal structure of motor variability is dynamically regulated and predicts motor learning ability

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Howard G; Miyamoto, Yohsuke R; Castro, Luis Nicolas Gonzalez; Ölveczky, Bence P; Smith, Maurice A

    2015-01-01

    Individual differences in motor learning ability are widely acknowledged, yet little is known about the factors that underlie them. Here we explore whether movement-to-movement variability in motor output, a ubiquitous if often unwanted characteristic of motor performance, predicts motor learning ability. Surprisingly, we found that higher levels of task-relevant motor variability predicted faster learning both across individuals and across tasks in two different paradigms, one relying on reward-based learning to shape specific arm movement trajectories and the other relying on error-based learning to adapt movements in novel physical environments. We proceeded to show that training can reshape the temporal structure of motor variability, aligning it with the trained task to improve learning. These results provide experimental support for the importance of action exploration, a key idea from reinforcement learning theory, showing that motor variability facilitates motor learning in humans and that our nervous systems actively regulate it to improve learning. PMID:24413700

  13. A positive association between active lifestyle and hemispheric lateralization for motor control and learning in older adults.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinsung; D'Amato, Arthur; Bambrough, Jennifer; Swartz, Ann M; Miller, Nora E

    2016-11-01

    Physical activity (PA) is well known to have general health benefits for older adults, but it is unclear whether it can also positively affect brain function involved in motor control and learning. We have previously shown that interlimb transfer of visuomotor adaptation occurs asymmetrically in young adults, while that occurs symmetrically in older adults, which suggests that the lateralized function of each hemisphere during motor tasks is diminished with aging. Here, we investigated the association between the level of PA and hemispheric motor lateralization by comparing the pattern of interlimb transfer following visuomotor adaptation between physically active and inactive older adults. Subjects were divided into two groups based on their PA level (active, inactive). They were further divided into two groups, such that a half of the subjects in each group adapted to a 30° rotation during targeted reaching movements with the left arm first, then with the right arm; and the other half with the right arm first, then with the left arm. Results indicated asymmetrical transfer (from left to right only) in the active subjects, whereas symmetrical transfer (from left to right, and vice versa) was observed in the inactive subjects. These findings suggest that older adults who maintain active lifestyle have a central nervous system that is more intact in terms of its lateralized motor function as compared with those who are inactive.

  14. Sensory plasticity in human motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Ostry, David J; Gribble, Paul L

    2015-01-01

    Summary There is accumulating evidence from behavioural, neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies that the acquisition of motor skills involves both perceptual and motor learning. Perceptual learning alters movements, motor learning and motor networks of the brain. Motor learning changes perceptual function and the brain’s sensory circuits. Here we review studies of both human limb movement and speech which indicate that plasticity in sensory and motor systems is reciprocally linked. Taken together, this points to an approach to motor learning in which perceptual learning and sensory plasticity play a fundamental role. PMID:26774345

  15. Sensory Plasticity in Human Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Ostry, David J; Gribble, Paul L

    2016-02-01

    There is accumulating evidence from behavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging studies that the acquisition of motor skills involves both perceptual and motor learning. Perceptual learning alters movements, motor learning, and motor networks of the brain. Motor learning changes perceptual function and the sensory circuits of the brain. Here, we review studies of both human limb movement and speech that indicate that plasticity in sensory and motor systems is reciprocally linked. Taken together, this points to an approach to motor learning in which perceptual learning and sensory plasticity have a fundamental role.

  16. The neural correlates of learned motor acuity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Juemin; Caffo, Brian; Mazzoni, Pietro; Krakauer, John W.

    2014-01-01

    We recently defined a component of motor skill learning as “motor acuity,” quantified as a shift in the speed-accuracy trade-off function for a task. These shifts are primarily driven by reductions in movement variability. To determine the neural correlates of improvement in motor acuity, we devised a motor task compatible with magnetic resonance brain imaging that required subjects to make finely controlled wrist movements under visual guidance. Subjects were imaged on day 1 and day 5 while they performed this task and were trained outside the scanner on intervening days 2, 3, and 4. The potential confound of performance changes between days 1 and 5 was avoided by constraining movement time to a fixed duration. After training, subjects showed a marked increase in success rate and a reduction in trial-by-trial variability for the trained task but not for an untrained control task, without changes in mean trajectory. The decrease in variability for the trained task was associated with increased activation in contralateral primary motor and premotor cortical areas and in ipsilateral cerebellum. A global nonlocalizing multivariate analysis confirmed that learning was associated with increased overall brain activation. We suggest that motor acuity is acquired through increases in the number of neurons recruited in contralateral motor cortical areas and in ipsilateral cerebellum, which could reflect increased signal-to-noise ratio in motor output and improved state estimation for feedback corrections, respectively. PMID:24848466

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Cued Reactivation of Motor Learning during Sleep Leads to Overnight Changes in Functional Brain Activity and Connectivity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Sleep plays a role in memory consolidation. This is demonstrated by improved performance and neural plasticity underlying that improvement after sleep. Targeted memory reactivation (TMR) allows the manipulation of sleep-dependent consolidation through intentionally biasing the replay of specific memories in sleep, but the underlying neural basis of these altered memories remains unclear. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show a change in the neural representation of a motor memory after targeted reactivation in slow-wave sleep (SWS). Participants learned two serial reaction time task (SRTT) sequences associated with different auditory tones (high or low pitch). During subsequent SWS, one sequence was reactivated by replaying the associated tones. Participants were retested on both sequences the following day during fMRI. As predicted, they showed faster reaction times for the cued sequence after targeted memory reactivation. Furthermore, increased activity in bilateral caudate nucleus and hippocampus for the cued relative to uncued sequence was associated with time in SWS, while increased cerebellar and cortical motor activity was related to time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Functional connectivity between the caudate nucleus and hippocampus was also increased after targeted memory reactivation. These findings suggest that the offline performance gains associated with memory reactivation are supported by altered functional activity in key cognitive and motor networks, and that this consolidation is differentially mediated by both REM sleep and SWS.

  19. Active versus Passive Training of a Complex Bimanual Task: Is Prescriptive Proprioceptive Information Sufficient for Inducing Motor Learning?

    PubMed Central

    Beets, Iseult A. M.; Macé, Marc; Meesen, Raf L. J.; Cuypers, Koen; Levin, Oron; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2012-01-01

    Perceptual processes play an important role in motor learning. While it is evident that visual information greatly contributes to learning new movements, much less is known about provision of prescriptive proprioceptive information. Here, we investigated whether passive (proprioceptively-based) movement training was comparable to active training for learning a new bimanual task. Three groups practiced a bimanual coordination pattern with a 1∶2 frequency ratio and a 90° phase offset between both wrists with Lissajous feedback over the course of four days: 1) passive training; 2) active training; 3) no training (control). Retention findings revealed that passive as compared to active training resulted in equally successful acquisition of the frequency ratio but active training was more effective for acquisition of the new relative phasing between the limbs in the presence of augmented visual feedback. However, when this feedback was removed, performance of the new relative phase deteriorated in both groups whereas the frequency ratio was better preserved. The superiority of active over passive training in the presence of augmented feedback is hypothesized to result from active involvement in processes of error detection/correction and planning. PMID:22666379

  20. Beam sensorimotor learning and habituation to motor activity in lurcher mutant mice.

    PubMed

    Lalonde, R; Joyal, C C; Thifault, S

    1996-01-01

    Lurcher mutant mice lose cerebellar granule cells and Purkinje cells. The mutants were compared to normal mice in a beam-walking task. Normal mice were placed on a slippery bridge while lurchers, because of their severe ataxia, were placed on a bridge with the same diameter, but enveloped with surgical tape to improve traction. The performance of both groups improved with repeated trials. In an activity box, lurcher mutants were as active as normal mice, showed normal intrasession habituation, and emerged from a toy object as easily as normal mice. These results indicate that the cerebellar damage in lurchers does not prevent the acquisition of a motor skill task requiring balance in an immobile apparatus. Ataxia was not accompanied by hypoactivity, inhibition or disturbances in intrasession habituation.

  1. Neural activity in the dorsal medial superior temporal area of monkeys represents retinal error during adaptive motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Takemura, Aya; Ofuji, Tomoyo; Miura, Kenichiro; Kawano, Kenji

    2017-01-01

    To adapt to variable environments, humans regulate their behavior by modulating gains in sensory-to-motor processing. In this study, we measured a simple eye movement, the ocular following response (OFR), in monkeys to study the neuronal basis of adaptive motor learning in the visuomotor processing stream. The medial superior temporal (MST) area of the cerebral cortex is a critical site for contextual gain modulation of the OFR. However, the role of MST neurons in adaptive gain modulation of the OFR remains unknown. We adopted a velocity step-down sequence paradigm that was designed to promote adaptive gain modulation of the OFR to investigate the role of the dorsal MST (MSTd) in adaptive motor learning. In the initial learning stage, we observed a reduction in the OFR but no significant change in the “open-loop” responses for the majority of the MSTd neurons. However, in the late learning stage, some MSTd neurons exhibited significantly enhanced “closed-loop” responses in association with increases in retinal error velocity. These results indicate that the MSTd area primarily encodes visual motion, suggesting that MSTd neurons function upstream of the motor learning site to provide sensory signals to the downstream structures involved in adaptive motor learning. PMID:28102342

  2. Motor sequence learning and motor adaptation in primary cervical dystonia.

    PubMed

    Katschnig-Winter, Petra; Schwingenschuh, Petra; Davare, Marco; Sadnicka, Anna; Schmidt, Reinhold; Rothwell, John C; Bhatia, Kailash P; Edwards, Mark J

    2014-06-01

    Motor sequence learning and motor adaptation rely on overlapping circuits predominantly involving the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Given the importance of these brain regions to the pathophysiology of primary dystonia, and the previous finding of abnormal motor sequence learning in DYT1 gene carriers, we explored motor sequence learning and motor adaptation in patients with primary cervical dystonia. We recruited 12 patients with cervical dystonia and 11 healthy controls matched for age. Subjects used a joystick to move a cursor from a central starting point to radial targets as fast and accurately as possible. Using this device, we recorded baseline motor performance, motor sequence learning and a visuomotor adaptation task. Patients with cervical dystonia had a significantly higher peak velocity than controls. Baseline performance with random target presentation was otherwise normal. Patients and controls had similar levels of motor sequence learning and motor adaptation. Our patients had significantly higher peak velocity compared to controls, with similar movement times, implying a different performance strategy. The preservation of motor sequence learning in cervical dystonia patients contrasts with the previously observed deficit seen in patients with DYT1 gene mutations, supporting the hypothesis of differing pathophysiology in different forms of primary dystonia. Normal motor adaptation is an interesting finding. With our paradigm we did not find evidence that the previously documented cerebellar abnormalities in cervical dystonia have a behavioral correlate, and thus could be compensatory or reflect "contamination" rather than being directly pathological.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Multiple dynamic representations in the motor cortex during sensorimotor learning.

    PubMed

    Huber, D; Gutnisky, D A; Peron, S; O'Connor, D H; Wiegert, J S; Tian, L; Oertner, T G; Looger, L L; Svoboda, K

    2012-04-25

    The mechanisms linking sensation and action during learning are poorly understood. Layer 2/3 neurons in the motor cortex might participate in sensorimotor integration and learning; they receive input from sensory cortex and excite deep layer neurons, which control movement. Here we imaged activity in the same set of layer 2/3 neurons in the motor cortex over weeks, while mice learned to detect objects with their whiskers and report detection with licking. Spatially intermingled neurons represented sensory (touch) and motor behaviours (whisker movements and licking). With learning, the population-level representation of task-related licking strengthened. In trained mice, population-level representations were redundant and stable, despite dynamism of single-neuron representations. The activity of a subpopulation of neurons was consistent with touch driving licking behaviour. Our results suggest that ensembles of motor cortex neurons couple sensory input to multiple, related motor programs during learning.

  5. Motor Learning in Childhood Education: Curricular, Compensatory, Cognitive.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Humphrey, James H.

    Noting that unilateral definitions of motor learning as separate from ideational learning are inadequate, this book identifies and explores certain branches of specific aspects of motor learning. The book is divided into three parts, dealing with curricular motor learning, compensatory motor learning, and cognitive motor learning. Part I is…

  6. Learning in a Simple Motor System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Broussard, Dianne M.; Kassardjian, Charles D.

    2004-01-01

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

  7. The neural correlates of speech motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Segawa, Jennifer A; Tourville, Jason A; Beal, Deryk S; Guenther, Frank H

    2015-04-01

    Speech is perhaps the most sophisticated example of a species-wide movement capability in the animal kingdom, requiring split-second sequencing of approximately 100 muscles in the respiratory, laryngeal, and oral movement systems. Despite the unique role speech plays in human interaction and the debilitating impact of its disruption, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying speech motor learning. Here, we studied the behavioral and neural correlates of learning new speech motor sequences. Participants repeatedly produced novel, meaningless syllables comprising illegal consonant clusters (e.g., GVAZF) over 2 days of practice. Following practice, participants produced the sequences with fewer errors and shorter durations, indicative of motor learning. Using fMRI, we compared brain activity during production of the learned illegal sequences and novel illegal sequences. Greater activity was noted during production of novel sequences in brain regions linked to non-speech motor sequence learning, including the BG and pre-SMA. Activity during novel sequence production was also greater in brain regions associated with learning and maintaining speech motor programs, including lateral premotor cortex, frontal operculum, and posterior superior temporal cortex. Measures of learning success correlated positively with activity in left frontal operculum and white matter integrity under left posterior superior temporal sulcus. These findings indicate speech motor sequence learning relies not only on brain areas involved generally in motor sequencing learning but also those associated with feedback-based speech motor learning. Furthermore, learning success is modulated by the integrity of structural connectivity between these motor and sensory brain regions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-04

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

  9. Activities to Develop Your Students' Motor Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eastman, Mary Kay; Safran, Joan S.

    1986-01-01

    Instructions and illustrations support this discussion of learning activities designed to remediate deficiences and build skills in balance and/or motor skills for mildly handicapped students who may not have access to physical therapy or adaptive physical education. Appropriate for both regular and special classes, activities include arm…

  10. The Association Between Effective Dose of Magnesium and Mild Compulsive Exercise on Spatial Learning, Memory, and Motor Activity of Adult Male Rats.

    PubMed

    Hajizade Ghonsulakandi, Shahnaz; Sheikh, Mahmuod; Dehghan Shasaltaneh, Marzieh; Chopani, Samira; Naghdi, Nasser

    2017-01-25

    One of the most important survival mechanisms is learning and memory processes. To emphasize the role of physical exercises and magnesium (Mg) in improvement of cognitive performance, we planned to investigate the effect of Mg and mild compulsive exercise on spatial learning and memory of adult male rats. Accordingly, we divided male Wistar rats into four groups: (I) control, (II) Mg treatment, (III) exercise, and (IV) Mg-exercise in the different dosages of Mg (0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 mmol/kbw) were injected in the form of gavage during 1 week. Also, 1-week mild running on treadmill was used for exercise treatment. The Morris water maze (MWM) test and open field tool were used to evaluate spatial learning, memory, and motor activity, respectively. Our results clearly showed that 1 mmol/kbw Mg was applied as an effective dosage. Strikingly, 1-week mild exercise on treadmill had no significant effect on spatial motor activity, learning, and memory. Feeding 1 mmol/kbw Mg for a week showed a significant difference in learning and exploration stages. Compared to control animals, these results reveal exercise and Mg simultaneously had effect on learning and reminding. As a consequence, although mild exercise had no effect on motor activity and memory, Mg intake improved spatial learning, memory, and locomotor activity. The Mg feeding could be a promising supplemental treatment in the neurodegenerative disease. It is worthwhile to mention consumption of Mg leads to enhancement of memory, so animals find the hidden platform with the highest velocity.

  11. Motor Development: A Guide for Learning Assistance Classes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, Rose B.; Slansky, Nancy

    This guide was prepared to include motor development activities that supplement the regular physical education curriculum; it was written primarily for teachers of children with learning problems, but may also offer ideas to any teacher wishing to broaden the motor development experiences in the regular physical education program. The guide is…

  12. Brain aerobic glycolysis and motor adaptation learning

    PubMed Central

    Shannon, Benjamin J.; Vaishnavi, Sanjeev Neil; Vlassenko, Andrei G.; Shimony, Joshua S.; Rutlin, Jerrel; Raichle, Marcus E.

    2016-01-01

    Ten percent to 15% of glucose used by the brain is metabolized nonoxidatively despite adequate tissue oxygenation, a process termed aerobic glycolysis (AG). Because of the known role of glycolysis in biosynthesis, we tested whether learning-induced synaptic plasticity would lead to regionally appropriate, learning-dependent changes in AG. Functional MRI (fMRI) before, during, and after performance of a visual–motor adaptation task demonstrated that left Brodmann area 44 (BA44) played a key role in adaptation, with learning-related changes to activity during the task and altered resting-state, functional connectivity after the task. PET scans before and after task performance indicated a sustained increase in AG in left BA 44 accompanied by decreased oxygen consumption. Intersubject variability in behavioral adaptation rate correlated strongly with changes in AG in this region, as well as functional connectivity, which is consistent with a role for AG in synaptic plasticity. PMID:27217563

  13. Changes in regional activity are accompanied with changes in inter-regional connectivity during 4 weeks motor learning.

    PubMed

    Ma, Liangsuo; Wang, Binquan; Narayana, Shalini; Hazeltine, Eliot; Chen, Xiying; Robin, Donald A; Fox, Peter T; Xiong, Jinhu

    2010-03-08

    Structural equation modeling (SEM) and fMRI were used to test whether changes in the regional activity are accompanied by changes in the inter-regional connectivity as motor practice progresses. Ten healthy subjects were trained to perform finger movement task daily for 4 weeks. Three sessions of fMRI images were acquired within 4 weeks. The changes in inter-regional connectivity were evaluated by measuring the effective connectivity between the primary motor area (M1), supplementary motor area (SMA), dorsal premotor cortex (PMd), basal ganglia (BG), cerebellum (CB), and posterior ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (pVLPFC). The regional activities in M1 and SMA increased from pre-training to week 2 and decreased from week 2 to week 4. The inter-regional connectivity generally increased in strength (with SEM path coefficients becoming more positive or negative) as practice progressed. The increases in the strength of the inter-regional connectivity may reflect long-term reorganization of the skilled motor network. We suggest that the performance gain was achieved by dynamically tuning the inter-regional connectivity in the motor network.

  14. Sleep does not enhance motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Rickard, Timothy C; Cai, Denise J; Rieth, Cory A; Jones, Jason; Ard, M Colin

    2008-07-01

    Improvements in motor sequence performance have been observed after a delay involving sleep. This finding has been taken as evidence for an active sleep consolidation process that enhances subsequent performance. In a review of this literature, however, the authors observed 4 aspects of data analyses and experimental design that could lead to improved performance on the test in the absence of any sleep consolidation: (a) masking of learning effects in the averaged data, (b) masking of reactive inhibition effects in the averaged training data, (c) time-of-day and time-since-sleep confounds, and (d) a gradual buildup of fatigue over the course of massed (i.e., concentrated) training. In 2 experiments the authors show that when these factors are controlled for, or when their effects are substantially reduced, the sleep enhancement effect is eliminated. Whereas sleep may play a role in protection from forgetting of motor skills, it does not result in performance enhancement.

  15. Computational approaches to motor learning by imitation.

    PubMed Central

    Schaal, Stefan; Ijspeert, Auke; Billard, Aude

    2003-01-01

    Movement imitation requires a complex set of mechanisms that map an observed movement of a teacher onto one's own movement apparatus. Relevant problems include movement recognition, pose estimation, pose tracking, body correspondence, coordinate transformation from external to egocentric space, matching of observed against previously learned movement, resolution of redundant degrees-of-freedom that are unconstrained by the observation, suitable movement representations for imitation, modularization of motor control, etc. All of these topics by themselves are active research problems in computational and neurobiological sciences, such that their combination into a complete imitation system remains a daunting undertaking-indeed, one could argue that we need to understand the complete perception-action loop. As a strategy to untangle the complexity of imitation, this paper will examine imitation purely from a computational point of view, i.e. we will review statistical and mathematical approaches that have been suggested for tackling parts of the imitation problem, and discuss their merits, disadvantages and underlying principles. Given the focus on action recognition of other contributions in this special issue, this paper will primarily emphasize the motor side of imitation, assuming that a perceptual system has already identified important features of a demonstrated movement and created their corresponding spatial information. Based on the formalization of motor control in terms of control policies and their associated performance criteria, useful taxonomies of imitation learning can be generated that clarify different approaches and future research directions. PMID:12689379

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. Motor Development and Learning Difficulties. Part Two.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Eyck, J. W. L.

    1980-01-01

    Part Two of the article focuses on the development of manual motor skills in learning disabled children. After a discussion of test methods, the author considers aspects of a medical examination, including a general exam, a neurological exam, an electroencephalogram, and a diagnostic test of hand/motor skill development. (For Part One, see EC 123…

  18. Age-independent and age-related deficits in visuospatial learning, sleep-wake states, thermoregulation and motor activity in PDAPP mice.

    PubMed

    Huitrón-Reséndiz, Salvador; Sánchez-Alavez, Manuel; Gallegos, Roger; Berg, Greta; Crawford, Elena; Giacchino, Jeannie L; Games, Dora; Henriksen, Steven J; Criado, José R

    2002-02-22

    Recent studies demonstrated that mice overexpressing the human mutant beta-amyloid precursor protein (hbetaAPP; PDAPP mice) show age-independent and age-related deficits in spatial learning. We used behavioral and electrophysiological techniques to determine in young and aged PDAPP mice whether deficits in spatial learning also involve alterations in sleep-wake states, thermoregulation and motor activity. Consistent with earlier studies, young PDAPP mice exhibited selective age-independent deficits using spatial, but not random and serial strategies in the circular maze. Aged PDAPP mice exhibited deficits using all search strategies. The core body temperature (Tb) in young and aged PDAPP mice was significantly lower than in age-matched non-transgenic (non-Tg) littermates. During the dark period, the motor activity (LMA) was significantly increased in young PDAPP mice, but not in aged PDAPP mice. During the light period, young PDAPP mice showed a reduction in the generation of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. In contrast, aged PDAPP mice exhibited a reduction in the amount of time spent in W and an increase in SWS during the light period. Aged PDAPP mice also showed an increase in the amount of time spent in W and a reduction in REM sleep during the dark period. Our findings support previous reports indicating deficits in spatial learning in young and aged PDAPP mice. These data also suggest that PDAPP mice exhibit age-independent and age-related deficits in neural mechanisms regulating visuospatial learning, the total amount and the circadian distribution of sleep-wake states, thermoregulation and motor activity.

  19. Can the structure of motor variability predict learning rate?

    PubMed

    Barbado Murillo, David; Caballero Sánchez, Carla; Moreside, Janice; Vera-García, Francisco J; Moreno, Francisco J

    2017-03-01

    Recent studies show that motor variability is actively regulated as an exploration tool to promote learning in reward-based tasks. However, its role in learning processes during error-based tasks, when a reduction of the motor variability is required to achieve good performance, is still unclear. In this study, we hypothesized that error-based learning not only depends on exploration but also on the individuals' ability to measure and predict the motor error. Previous studies identified a less auto-correlated motor variability as a higher ability to perform motion adjustments. Two experiments investigated the relationship between motor learning and variability, analyzing the long-range autocorrelation of the center of pressure fluctuations through the α score of a Detrended Fluctuation Analysis in balance tasks. In Experiment 1, we assessed the relationship between variability and learning rate using a standing balance task. Based on the results of this experiment, and to maximize learning, we performed a second experiment with a more difficult sitting balance task and increased practice. The learning rate of the 2 groups with similar balance performances but different α scores was compared. Individuals with a lower α score showed a higher learning rate. Because the α scores reveal how the motor output changes over time, instead of the magnitude of those changes, the higher learning rate is mainly linked to the higher error sensitivity rather than the exploration strategies. The results of this study highlight the relevance of the structure of output motor variability as a predictor of learning rate in error-based tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record

  20. Roles of Knowledge in Motor Learning.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-02-02

    Roles of Knowledge in Motor Learning by Christopher Granger Atkeson A.B., Harvard College (1981) S.M., Harvard University (1981) Submitted to the...Chairman, Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences 11 31 j 1 E =Emil Roles of Knowledge in Motor Learning by Christopher Granger Atkeson Submitted to the...independent pape-s. The price of trying to write a thesis whose chapters are publishable is some repetition and seeming multiplicity of goals. 1.2.2

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

    PubMed

    Takiyama, Ken; Sakai, Yutaka

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Motor learning through the combination of primitives.

    PubMed Central

    Mussa-Ivaldi, F A; Bizzi, E

    2000-01-01

    In this paper we discuss a new perspective on how the central nervous system (CNS) represents and solves some of the most fundamental computational problems of motor control. In particular, we consider the task of transforming a planned limb movement into an adequate set of motor commands. To carry out this task the CNS must solve a complex inverse dynamic problem. This problem involves the transformation from a desired motion to the forces that are needed to drive the limb. The inverse dynamic problem is a hard computational challenge because of the need to coordinate multiple limb segments and because of the continuous changes in the mechanical properties of the limbs and of the environment with which they come in contact. A number of studies of motor learning have provided support for the idea that the CNS creates, updates and exploits internal representations of limb dynamics in order to deal with the complexity of inverse dynamics. Here we discuss how such internal representations are likely to be built by combining the modular primitives in the spinal cord as well as other building blocks found in higher brain structures. Experimental studies on spinalized frogs and rats have led to the conclusion that the premotor circuits within the spinal cord are organized into a set of discrete modules. Each module, when activated, induces a specific force field and the simultaneous activation of multiple modules leads to the vectorial combination of the corresponding fields. We regard these force fields as computational primitives that are used by the CNS for generating a rich grammar of motor behaviours. PMID:11205339

  4. Activities for a Perceptual Motor Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brinning, Dorothy; And Others

    Perceptual motor activities for physically handicapped children are presented in the areas of fine and gross motor skills. Also detailed are activities to develop body image, visual motor skills, and tactile and auditory perception. (JD)

  5. Data on amyloid precursor protein accumulation, spontaneous physical activity, and motor learning after traumatic brain injury in the triple-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer׳s disease.

    PubMed

    Kishimoto, Yasushi; Shishido, Hajime; Sawanishi, Mayumi; Toyota, Yasunori; Ueno, Masaki; Kubota, Takashi; Kirino, Yutaka; Tamiya, Takashi; Kawai, Nobuyuki

    2016-12-01

    This data article contains supporting information regarding the research article entitled "Traumatic brain injury accelerates amyloid-β deposition and impairs spatial learning in the triple-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer׳s disease" (H. Shishido, Y. Kishimoto, N. Kawai, Y. Toyota, M. Ueno, T. Kubota, Y. Kirino, T. Tamiya, 2016) [1]. Triple-transgenic (3×Tg)-Alzheimer׳s disease (AD) model mice exhibited significantly poorer spatial learning than sham-treated 3×Tg-AD mice 28 days after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Correspondingly, amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition within the hippocampus was significantly greater in 3×Tg-AD mice 28 days after TBI. However, data regarding the short-term and long-term influences of TBI on amyloid precursor protein (APP) accumulation in AD model mice remain limited. Furthermore, there is little data showing whether physical activity and motor learning are affected by TBI in AD model mice. Here, we provide immunocytochemistry data confirming that TBI induces significant increases in APP accumulation in 3×Tg-AD mice at both 7 days and 28 days after TBI. Furthermore, 3×Tg-AD model mice exhibit a reduced ability to acquire conditioned responses (CRs) during delay eyeblink conditioning compared to sham-treated 3×Tg-AD model mice 28 days after TBI. However, physical activity and motor performance are not significantly changed in TBI-treated 3×Tg-AD model mice.

  6. Learning Activities for the Young Handicapped Child.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Don; And Others

    Presented is a collection of learning activities for the young handicapped child covering 295 individual learning objectives in six areas of development: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social skills, self help skills, cognitive skills, and language skills. Provided for each learning activity are the teaching objective, teaching procedures,…

  7. Motor Activity Improves Temporal Expectancy

    PubMed Central

    Fautrelle, Lilian; Mareschal, Denis; French, Robert; Addyman, Caspar; Thomas, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Certain brain areas involved in interval timing are also important in motor activity. This raises the possibility that motor activity might influence interval timing. To test this hypothesis, we assessed interval timing in healthy adults following different types of training. The pre- and post-training tasks consisted of a button press in response to the presentation of a rhythmic visual stimulus. Alterations in temporal expectancy were evaluated by measuring response times. Training consisted of responding to the visual presentation of regularly appearing stimuli by either: (1) pointing with a whole-body movement, (2) pointing only with the arm, (3) imagining pointing with a whole-body movement, (4) simply watching the stimulus presentation, (5) pointing with a whole-body movement in response to a target that appeared at irregular intervals (6) reading a newspaper. Participants performing a motor activity in response to the regular target showed significant improvements in judgment times compared to individuals with no associated motor activity. Individuals who only imagined pointing with a whole-body movement also showed significant improvements. No improvements were observed in the group that trained with a motor response to an irregular stimulus, hence eliminating the explanation that the improved temporal expectations of the other motor training groups was purely due to an improved motor capacity to press the response button. All groups performed a secondary task equally well, hence indicating that our results could not simply be attributed to differences in attention between the groups. Our results show that motor activity, even when it does not play a causal or corrective role, can lead to improved interval timing judgments. PMID:25806813

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

    PubMed Central

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Szarkiewicz, Sylwia; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaśkowski, Wojciech; van der Lubbe, Rob

    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 motor imagery trials. Additionally, learning effects were compared between participants with an explicit motor imagery instruction and a control group. A Go/NoGo discrete sequence production (DSP) task was employed, wherein a five-stimulus sequence presented on each trial indicated the required sequence of finger movements after a Go signal. In the case of a NoGo signal, participants either had to imagine carrying out the response sequence (the motor imagery group), or the response sequence had to be withheld (the control group). Two practice days were followed by a final test day on which all sequences had to be executed. Learning effects were assessed by computing response times (RTs) and the percentages of correct responses (PCs). The electroencephalogram (EEG ) was additionally measured on this test day to examine whether motor preparation and the involvement of visual short term memory (VST M) depended on the amount of physical/mental practice. Accuracy data indicated strong learning effects. However, a substantial amount of physical practice was required to reach an optimal speed. EEG results suggest the involvement of VST M for sequences that had less or no physical practice in both groups. The absence of differences between the motor imagery and the control group underlines the possibility that motor preparation may actually resemble motor imagery. PMID:28154614

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

    PubMed

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Szarkiewicz, Sylwia; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaśkowski, Wojciech; van der Lubbe, Rob

    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 motor imagery trials. Additionally, learning effects were compared between participants with an explicit motor imagery instruction and a control group. A Go/NoGo discrete sequence production (DSP) task was employed, wherein a five-stimulus sequence presented on each trial indicated the required sequence of finger movements after a Go signal. In the case of a NoGo signal, participants either had to imagine carrying out the response sequence (the motor imagery group), or the response sequence had to be withheld (the control group). Two practice days were followed by a final test day on which all sequences had to be executed. Learning effects were assessed by computing response times (RTs) and the percentages of correct responses (PCs). The electroencephalogram (EEG ) was additionally measured on this test day to examine whether motor preparation and the involvement of visual short term memory (VST M) depended on the amount of physical/mental practice. Accuracy data indicated strong learning effects. However, a substantial amount of physical practice was required to reach an optimal speed. EEG results suggest the involvement of VST M for sequences that had less or no physical practice in both groups. The absence of differences between the motor imagery and the control group underlines the possibility that motor preparation may actually resemble motor imagery.

  10. Deficiency in Na,K-ATPase alpha isoform genes alters spatial learning, motor activity, and anxiety in mice.

    PubMed

    Moseley, Amy E; Williams, Michael T; Schaefer, Tori L; Bohanan, Cynthia S; Neumann, Jon C; Behbehani, Michael M; Vorhees, Charles V; Lingrel, Jerry B

    2007-01-17

    Several disorders have been associated with mutations in Na,K-ATPase alpha isoforms (rapid-onset dystonia parkinsonism, familial hemiplegic migraine type-2), as well as reduction in Na,K-ATPase content (depression and Alzheimer's disease), thereby raising the issue of whether haploinsufficiency or altered enzymatic function contribute to disease etiology. Three isoforms are expressed in the brain: the alpha1 isoform is found in many cell types, the alpha2 isoform is predominantly expressed in astrocytes, and the alpha3 isoform is exclusively expressed in neurons. Here we show that mice heterozygous for the alpha2 isoform display increased anxiety-related behavior, reduced locomotor activity, and impaired spatial learning in the Morris water maze. Mice heterozygous for the alpha3 isoform displayed spatial learning and memory deficits unrelated to differences in cued learning in the Morris maze, increased locomotor activity, an increased locomotor response to methamphetamine, and a 40% reduction in hippocampal NMDA receptor expression. In contrast, heterozygous alpha1 isoform mice showed increased locomotor response to methamphetamine and increased basal and stimulated corticosterone in plasma. The learning and memory deficits observed in the alpha2 and alpha3 heterozygous mice reveal the Na,K-ATPase to be an important factor in the functioning of pathways associated with spatial learning. The neurobehavioral changes seen in heterozygous mice suggest that these mouse models may be useful in future investigations of the associated human CNS disorders.

  11. Motor Learning Enhances Use-Dependent Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Mawase, Firas; Uehara, Shintaro; Bastian, Amy J; Celnik, Pablo

    2017-03-08

    Motor behaviors are shaped not only by current sensory signals but also by the history of recent experiences. For instance, repeated movements toward a particular target bias the subsequent movements toward that target direction. This process, called use-dependent plasticity (UDP), is considered a basic and goal-independent way of forming motor memories. Most studies consider movement history as the critical component that leads to UDP (Classen et al., 1998; Verstynen and Sabes, 2011). However, the effects of learning (i.e., improved performance) on UDP during movement repetition have not been investigated. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation in two experiments to assess plasticity changes occurring in the primary motor cortex after individuals repeated reinforced and nonreinforced actions. The first experiment assessed whether learning a skill task modulates UDP. We found that a group that successfully learned the skill task showed greater UDP than a group that did not accumulate learning, but made comparable repeated actions. The second experiment aimed to understand the role of reinforcement learning in UDP while controlling for reward magnitude and action kinematics. We found that providing subjects with a binary reward without visual feedback of the cursor led to increased UDP effects. Subjects in the group that received comparable reward not associated with their actions maintained the previously induced UDP. Our findings illustrate how reinforcing consistent actions strengthens use-dependent memories and provide insight into operant mechanisms that modulate plastic changes in the motor cortex.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Performing consistent motor actions induces use-dependent plastic changes in the motor cortex. This plasticity reflects one of the basic forms of human motor learning. Past studies assumed that this form of learning is exclusively affected by repetition of actions. However, here we showed that success-based reinforcement signals could

  12. Speech motor learning in profoundly deaf adults.

    PubMed

    Nasir, Sazzad M; Ostry, David J

    2008-10-01

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

  13. Cognitive processing and motor skill learning in motor-handicapped teenagers: effects of learning method.

    PubMed

    Deviterne, Dominique; Gauchard, Gerome C; Lavisse, Dominique; Perrin, Philippe P

    2007-12-01

    This study aimed to assess the efficiency of a motor skill learning method intended to promote learning course personalization through an increase in cognitive processing deployment in motor-handicapped persons. Thirty-three secondary school students volunteered to participate in an archery motor skill learning session, 11 motor-handicapped (MH(1)) and 11 able-bodied (AB) teenagers following a standard learning method, and 11 motor-handicapped teenagers following a cognitive enriched learning method (MH(2)) based on the use of an individually written and illustrated document. The results showed that MH(1) displayed lower performances than AB, both in terms of the mental representations of the movements expected and performed and of efficiency of the movement. On the other hand, MH(2) performances were higher than MH(1) for all these parameters, and similar to those of AB at the end of the learning session. Personalization of the learning course allowed optimization of the learning potential in motor-handicapped teenagers to resolve the difficulties inherent to their handicap.

  14. Probability detection mechanisms and motor learning.

    PubMed

    Lungu, O V; Wächter, T; Liu, T; Willingham, D T; Ashe, J

    2004-11-01

    The automatic detection of patterns or regularities in the environment is central to certain forms of motor learning, which are largely procedural and implicit. The rules underlying the detection and use of probabilistic information in the perceptual-motor domain are largely unknown. We conducted two experiments involving a motor learning task with direct and crossed mapping of motor responses in which probabilities were present at the stimulus set level, the response set level, and at the level of stimulus-response (S-R) mapping. We manipulated only one level at a time, while controlling for the other two. The results show that probabilities were detected only when present at the S-R mapping and motor levels, but not at the perceptual one (experiment 1), unless the perceptual features have a dimensional overlap with the S-R mapping rule (experiment 2). The effects of probability detection were mostly facilitatory at the S-R mapping, both facilitatory and inhibitory at the perceptual level, and predominantly inhibitory at the response-set level. The facilitatory effects were based on learning the absolute frequencies first and transitional probabilities later (for the S-R mapping rule) or both types of information at the same time (for perceptual level), whereas the inhibitory effects were based on learning first the transitional probabilities. Our data suggest that both absolute frequencies and transitional probabilities are used in motor learning, but in different temporal orders, according to the probabilistic properties of the environment. The results support the idea that separate neural circuits may be involved in detecting absolute frequencies as compared to transitional probabilities.

  15. Gating of neural error signals during motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Kimpo, Rhea R; Rinaldi, Jacob M; Kim, Christina K; Payne, Hannah L; Raymond, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

    Cerebellar climbing fiber activity encodes performance errors during many motor learning tasks, but the role of these error signals in learning has been controversial. We compared two motor learning paradigms that elicited equally robust putative error signals in the same climbing fibers: learned increases and decreases in the gain of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). During VOR-increase training, climbing fiber activity on one trial predicted changes in cerebellar output on the next trial, and optogenetic activation of climbing fibers to mimic their encoding of performance errors was sufficient to implant a motor memory. In contrast, during VOR-decrease training, there was no trial-by-trial correlation between climbing fiber activity and changes in cerebellar output, and climbing fiber activation did not induce VOR-decrease learning. Our data suggest that the ability of climbing fibers to induce plasticity can be dynamically gated in vivo, even under conditions where climbing fibers are robustly activated by performance errors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02076.001 PMID:24755290

  16. Motor learning with fading and growing haptic guidance.

    PubMed

    Heuer, Herbert; Lüttgen, Jenna

    2014-07-01

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

  17. Robotics, motor learning, and neurologic recovery.

    PubMed

    Reinkensmeyer, David J; Emken, Jeremy L; Cramer, Steven C

    2004-01-01

    Robotic devices are helping shed light on human motor control in health and injury. By using robots to apply novel force fields to the arm, investigators are gaining insight into how the nervous system models its external dynamic environment. The nervous system builds internal models gradually by experience and uses them in combination with impedance and feedback control strategies. Internal models are robust to environmental and neural noise, generalized across space, implemented in multiple brain regions, and developed in childhood. Robots are also being used to assist in repetitive movement practice following neurologic injury, providing insight into movement recovery. Robots can haptically assess sensorimotor performance, administer training, quantify amount of training, and improve motor recovery. In addition to providing insight into motor control, robotic paradigms may eventually enhance motor learning and rehabilitation beyond the levels possible with conventional training techniques.

  18. Motor learning cannot explain stuttering adaptation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  19. Using noise to shape motor learning.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  20. Structure of plasticity in human sensory and motor networks due to perceptual learning.

    PubMed

    Vahdat, Shahabeddin; Darainy, Mohammad; Ostry, David J

    2014-02-12

    As we begin to acquire a new motor skill, we face the dual challenge of determining and refining the somatosensory goals of our movements and establishing the best motor commands to achieve our ends. The two typically proceed in parallel, and accordingly it is unclear how much of skill acquisition is a reflection of changes in sensory systems and how much reflects changes in the brain's motor areas. Here we have intentionally separated perceptual and motor learning in time so that we can assess functional changes to human sensory and motor networks as a result of perceptual learning. Our subjects underwent fMRI scans of the resting brain before and after a somatosensory discrimination task. We identified changes in functional connectivity that were due to the effects of perceptual learning on movement. For this purpose, we used a neural model of the transmission of sensory signals from perceptual decision making through to motor action. We used this model in combination with a partial correlation technique to parcel out those changes in connectivity observed in motor systems that could be attributed to activity in sensory brain regions. We found that, after removing effects that are linearly correlated with somatosensory activity, perceptual learning results in changes to frontal motor areas that are related to the effects of this training on motor behavior and learning. This suggests that perceptual learning produces changes to frontal motor areas of the brain and may thus contribute directly to motor learning.

  1. Remote limb ischemic conditioning enhances motor learning in healthy humans.

    PubMed

    Cherry-Allen, Kendra M; Gidday, Jeff M; Lee, Jin-Moo; Hershey, Tamara; Lang, Catherine E

    2015-06-01

    Brief bouts of sublethal ischemia have been shown to protect exposed tissue (ischemic conditioning) and tissues at remote sites (remote ischemic conditioning) against subsequent ischemic challenges. Given that the mechanisms of this protective phenomenon are multifactorial and epigenetic, we postulated that remote limb ischemic conditioning (RLIC) might enhance mechanisms responsible for neural plasticity, and thereby facilitate learning. Specifically, we hypothesized that conditioning of the nervous system with RLIC, achieved through brief repetitive limb ischemia prior to training, would facilitate the neurophysiological processes of learning, thus making training more effective and more long-lasting. Eighteen healthy adults participated in this study; nine were randomly allocated to RLIC and nine to sham conditioning. All subjects underwent seven consecutive weekday sessions and 2-wk and 4-wk follow-up sessions. We found that RLIC resulted in significantly greater motor learning and longer retention of motor performance gains in healthy adults. Changes in motor performance do not appear to be due to a generalized increase in muscle activation or muscle strength and were not associated with changes in serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentration. Of note, RLIC did not enhance cognitive learning on a hippocampus-dependent task. While future research is needed to establish optimal conditioning and training parameters, this inexpensive, clinically feasible paradigm might ultimately be implemented to enhance motor learning in individuals undergoing neuromuscular rehabilitation for brain injury and other pathological conditions.

  2. Remote limb ischemic conditioning enhances motor learning in healthy humans

    PubMed Central

    Cherry-Allen, Kendra M.; Gidday, Jeff M.; Lee, Jin-Moo; Hershey, Tamara

    2015-01-01

    Brief bouts of sublethal ischemia have been shown to protect exposed tissue (ischemic conditioning) and tissues at remote sites (remote ischemic conditioning) against subsequent ischemic challenges. Given that the mechanisms of this protective phenomenon are multifactorial and epigenetic, we postulated that remote limb ischemic conditioning (RLIC) might enhance mechanisms responsible for neural plasticity, and thereby facilitate learning. Specifically, we hypothesized that conditioning of the nervous system with RLIC, achieved through brief repetitive limb ischemia prior to training, would facilitate the neurophysiological processes of learning, thus making training more effective and more long-lasting. Eighteen healthy adults participated in this study; nine were randomly allocated to RLIC and nine to sham conditioning. All subjects underwent seven consecutive weekday sessions and 2-wk and 4-wk follow-up sessions. We found that RLIC resulted in significantly greater motor learning and longer retention of motor performance gains in healthy adults. Changes in motor performance do not appear to be due to a generalized increase in muscle activation or muscle strength and were not associated with changes in serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentration. Of note, RLIC did not enhance cognitive learning on a hippocampus-dependent task. While future research is needed to establish optimal conditioning and training parameters, this inexpensive, clinically feasible paradigm might ultimately be implemented to enhance motor learning in individuals undergoing neuromuscular rehabilitation for brain injury and other pathological conditions. PMID:25867743

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. 40 CFR 798.6200 - Motor activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 32 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Motor activity. 798.6200 Section 798... (CONTINUED) HEALTH EFFECTS TESTING GUIDELINES Neurotoxicity § 798.6200 Motor activity. (a) Purpose—(1... the effects of administration of the substance on motor activity is useful when neurotoxicity...

  5. Neuronal correlates of motor performance and motor learning in the primary motor cortex of monkeys adapting to an external force field.

    PubMed

    Li, C S; Padoa-Schioppa, C; Bizzi, E

    2001-05-01

    The primary motor cortex (M1) is known to control motor performance. Recent findings have also implicated M1 in motor learning, as neurons in this area show learning-related plasticity. In the present study, we analyzed the neuronal activity recorded in M1 in a force field adaptation task. Our goal was to investigate the neuronal reorganization across behavioral epochs (before, during, and after adaptation). Here we report two main findings. First, memory cells were present in two classes. With respect to the changes of preferred direction (Pd), these two classes complemented each other after readaptation. Second, for the entire neuronal population, the shift of Pd matched the shift observed for muscles. These results provide a framework whereby the activity of distinct neuronal subpopulations combines to subserve both functions of motor performance and motor learning.

  6. Developmental contributions to motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Savion-Lemieux, Tal; Bailey, Jennifer A; Penhune, Virginia B

    2009-05-01

    Little is known about how children acquire new motor sequences. In particular, it is not clear if the same learning progression observed in adults is also present in childhood nor whether motor skills are acquired in a similar fashion across development. In the present study we used the multi-finger sequencing task (MFST), a variant of the serial reaction time (SRT) task, to study motor sequence learning, across two consecutive days, in three cross-sectional samples of children aged 6, 8, and 10 years, and a control sample of adults. In the MFST, participants reproduced 10-element sequences of key presses on an electronic keyboard, using four fingers of the right hand. Each block of practice included 10 intermixed trials of a Repeated (REP) sequence and four trials of Random (RAN) sequences. Performance was assessed by examining changes in accuracy, a component of the task that requires the association of the visual stimulus with the motor response, and response synchronization, a component that requires fine-grained sensorimotor integration and timing. Additionally, participants completed Recognition and Recall tests, to assess explicit knowledge of the repeated sequence. Overall, results showed a developmental progression in motor sequence learning within and across days of practice. Interestingly, the two behavioral measures showed different developmental trajectories. For accuracy, differences were greatest for the two youngest groups early in learning, and these groups also showed the greatest rate of improvement. However, by the end of Day 2, only the 6-year-olds still lagged behind all other groups. For response synchronization, all child groups differed from adults early in learning, but both child and adult groups showed similar rates of improvement across blocks of practice. By the end of Day 2, 10-year-olds reached adult levels of performance, whereas 6- and 8-year-olds did not. Taken together, the dissociation observed with our two behavioral measures

  7. Motor activity under weightless conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasyan, I. I.; Kopanev, V. I.; Cherepakhin, M. A.; Yuganov, Y. M.

    1975-01-01

    The material presented on the motor activity under weightless conditions (brief and long) leads to the conclusion that it is not significantly disrupted, if those being examined are secured at the workplaces. Some discoordination of movement, moderately expressed disruption of the precision of reproduction of assigned muscular forces, etc., were observed. Motor disorders decrease significantly in proportion to the length of stay under weightless conditions. This apparently takes place, as a consequence of formation of a new functional system, adequate to the conditions of weightlessness. Tests on intact and labyrinthectomized animals have demonstrated that signaling from the inner ear receptors is superfluous in weightlessness, since it promotes the onset of disruptions in the combined work of the position analyzers.

  8. The effect of haptic cues on motor and perceptual based implicit sequence learning

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dongwon; Johnson, Brandon J.; Gillespie, R. Brent; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2014-01-01

    We introduced haptic cues to the serial reaction time (SRT) sequence learning task alongside the standard visual cues to assess the relative contributions of visual and haptic stimuli to the formation of motor and perceptual memories. We used motorized keys to deliver brief pulse-like displacements to the resting fingers, expecting that the proximity and similarity of these cues to the subsequent response motor actions (finger-activated key-presses) would strengthen the motor memory trace in particular. We adopted the experimental protocol developed by Willingham (1999) to explore whether haptic cues contribute differently than visual cues to the balance of motor and perceptual learning. We found that sequence learning occurs with haptic stimuli as well as with visual stimuli and we found that irrespective of the stimuli (visual or haptic) the SRT task leads to a greater amount of motor learning than perceptual learning. PMID:24734013

  9. The effect of haptic cues on motor and perceptual based implicit sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dongwon; Johnson, Brandon J; Gillespie, R Brent; Seidler, Rachael D

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  12. Effects of dietary fats on learning, pain threshold, thermoregulation and motor activity in rats: interaction with the length of feeding period.

    PubMed

    Yehuda, S; Carasso, R L

    1987-02-01

    The effects of both a semisynthetic diet containing 20% fat from various sources (soybean oil, sunflower oil and lard) and a control diet on learning capacity, motor activity, pain threshold and thermoregulation were studied in rats which were fed on these diets for various lengths of feeding periods (1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks). Two weeks feeding period of soybean oil source induced an improvement in learning capacity, which was further enhanced by increasing the length of the feeding period. A 3-week feeding period was required to obtain an increase in the pain threshold, by which time the rats were also protected from d-amphetamine induced hypothermia. The analgesia induced by the diet is naloxone-dependent. None of the other diets, including the sunflower oil diet, which is richer in polyunsaturated fatty acids, differed from control diet. While the mode of action of this diet is still unknown, the effects of the soybean oil source diet cannot be attributed to nutritional factors such as changes in energy consumption or body weight.

  13. Daytime naps improve motor imagery learning.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  14. Emotion and reward are dissociable from error during motor learning.

    PubMed

    Festini, Sara B; Preston, Stephanie D; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A; Seidler, Rachael D

    2016-06-01

    Although emotion is known to reciprocally interact with cognitive and motor performance, contemporary theories of motor learning do not specifically consider how dynamic variations in a learner's affective state may influence motor performance during motor learning. Using a prism adaptation paradigm, we assessed emotion during motor learning on a trial-by-trial basis. We designed two dart-throwing experiments to dissociate motor performance and reward outcomes by giving participants maximum points for accurate throws and reduced points for throws that hit zones away from the target (i.e., "accidental points"). Experiment 1 dissociated motor performance from emotional responses and found that affective ratings tracked points earned more closely than error magnitude. Further, both reward and error uniquely contributed to motor learning, as indexed by the change in error from one trial to the next. Experiment 2 manipulated accidental point locations vertically, whereas prism displacement remained horizontal. Results demonstrated that reward could bias motor performance even when concurrent sensorimotor adaptation was taking place in a perpendicular direction. Thus, these experiments demonstrate that affective states were dissociable from error magnitude during motor learning and that affect more closely tracked points earned. Our findings further implicate reward as another factor, other than error, that contributes to motor learning, suggesting the importance of incorporating affective states into models of motor learning.

  15. Differential Training Facilitates Early Consolidation in Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Henz, Diana; Schöllhorn, Wolfgang I.

    2016-01-01

    Current research demonstrates increased learning rates in differential learning (DL) compared to repetitive training. To date, little is known on the underlying neurophysiological processes in DL that contribute to superior performance over repetitive practice. In the present study, we measured electroencephalographic (EEG) brain activation patterns after DL and repetitive badminton serve training. Twenty-four semi-professional badminton players performed badminton serves in a DL and repetitive training schedule in a within-subjects design. EEG activity was recorded from 19 electrodes according to the 10–20 system before and immediately after each 20-min exercise. Increased theta activity was obtained in contralateral parieto-occipital regions after DL. Further, increased posterior alpha activity was obtained in DL compared to repetitive training. Results indicate different underlying neuronal processes in DL and repetitive training with a higher involvement of parieto-occipital areas in DL. We argue that DL facilitates early consolidation in motor learning indicated by post-training increases in theta and alpha activity. Further, brain activation patterns indicate somatosensory working memory processes where attentional resources are allocated in processing of somatosensory information in DL. Reinforcing a somatosensory memory trace might explain increased motor learning rates in DL. Finally, this memory trace is more stable against interference from internal and external disturbances that afford executively controlled processing such as attentional processes. PMID:27818627

  16. Aging Affects Motor Learning but Not Savings at Transfer of Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seidler, Rachael D.

    2007-01-01

    Two important components of skill learning are the learning process itself (motor acquisition) and the ability to transfer what has been learned to new task variants (motor transfer). Many studies have documented age-related declines in the ability to learn new manual motor skills. In this study, I tested whether the degree of savings at transfer…

  17. The role of strategies in motor learning.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Jordan A; Ivry, Richard B

    2012-03-01

    There has been renewed interest in the role of strategies in sensorimotor learning. The combination of new behavioral methods and computational methods has begun to unravel the interaction between processes related to strategic control and processes related to motor adaptation. These processes may operate on very different error signals. Strategy learning is sensitive to goal-based performance error. In contrast, adaptation is sensitive to prediction errors between the desired and actual consequences of a planned movement. The former guides what the desired movement should be, whereas the latter guides how to implement the desired movement. Whereas traditional approaches have favored serial models in which an initial strategy-based phase gives way to more automatized forms of control, it now seems that strategic and adaptive processes operate with considerable independence throughout learning, although the relative weight given the two processes will shift with changes in performance. As such, skill acquisition involves the synergistic engagement of strategic and adaptive processes.

  18. Optimal Schedules in Multitask Motor Learning.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The primary motor cortex has an important role in the precise execution of learned motor responses. During motor learning, synaptic efficacy between sensory and primary motor cortical neurons is enhanced, possibly involving long-term potentiation and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-specific glutamate receptor function. To investigate whether NMDA receptor in the primary motor cortex can act as a coincidence detector for activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength and associative learning, here we generate mice with deletion of the Grin1 gene, encoding the essential NMDA receptor subunit 1 (GluN1), specifically in the primary motor cortex. The loss of NMDA receptor function impairs primary motor cortex long-term potentiation in vivo. Importantly, it impairs the synaptic efficacy between the primary somatosensory and primary motor cortices and significantly reduces classically conditioned eyeblink responses. Furthermore, compared with wild-type littermates, mice lacking NMDA receptors in the [corrected] primary motor cortex show slower learning in Skinner-box tasks. Thus, primary motor cortex NMDA receptors are necessary for activity-dependent synaptic strengthening and associative learning.

  20. Cognitive Neuroscience: The Neural Basis of Motor Learning by Observing.

    PubMed

    Lametti, Daniel R; Watkins, Kate E

    2016-04-04

    Somatosensory feedback from the limbs plays an essential role when we learn to make new movements. A recent study shows that motor learning can be accomplished purely through observation, and motor learning by observing also critically depends on the brain's somatosensory system.

  1. Sleep Does Not Enhance Motor Sequence Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rickard, Timothy C.; Cai, Denise J.; Rieth, Cory A.; Jones, Jason; Ard, M. Colin

    2008-01-01

    Improvements in motor sequence performance have been observed after a delay involving sleep. This finding has been taken as evidence for an active sleep consolidation process that enhances subsequent performance. In a review of this literature, however, the authors observed 4 aspects of data analyses and experimental design that could lead to…

  2. Subtype-specific plasticity of inhibitory circuits in motor cortex during motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Simon X.; Kim, An Na; Peters, Andrew J.; Komiyama, Takaki

    2015-01-01

    Motor skill learning induces long-lasting reorganization of dendritic spines, major sites of excitatory synapses, in the motor cortex. However, mechanisms that regulate these excitatory synaptic changes remain poorly understood. Here using in vivo two-photon imaging in awake mice, we found that learning-induced spine reorganization of L2/3 excitatory neurons occurs in the distal branches of their apical dendrites in L1 but not in the perisomatic dendrites. This compartment-specific spine reorganization coincided with subtype-specific plasticity of local inhibitory circuits. Somatostatin-expressing inhibitory neurons (SOM-INs) that mainly inhibit distal dendrites of excitatory neurons showed a decrease in axonal boutons immediately after the training begins, whereas parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons (PV-INs) that mainly inhibit perisomatic regions of excitatory neurons exhibited a gradual increase in the axonal boutons during training. Optogenetic enhancement and suppression of SOM-IN activity during training destabilized and hyper-stabilized spines, respectively, and both manipulations impaired the learning of stereotyped movements. Our results identify SOM inhibition of distal dendrites as a key regulator of learning-related changes in excitatory synapses and the acquisition of motor skills. PMID:26098758

  3. The Dynamic Association between Motor Skill Development and Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stodden, David F.; Goodway, Jacqueline D.

    2007-01-01

    Although significant attention has been given to promoting physical activity among children, little attention has been given to the developmental process of how children learn to move or to the changing role that motor skill development plays in children's physical activity levels as they grow. In order to successfully address the obesity…

  4. Reduced Motor Cortex Activity during Movement Preparation following a Period of Motor Skill Practice

    PubMed Central

    Wright, David J.; Holmes, Paul; Di Russo, Francesco; Loporto, Michela; Smith, Dave

    2012-01-01

    Experts in a skill produce movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) of smaller amplitude and later onset than novices. This may indicate that, following long-term training, experts require less effort to plan motor skill performance. However, no longitudinal evidence exists to support this claim. To address this, EEG was used to study the effect of motor skill training on cortical activity related to motor planning. Ten non-musicians took part in a 5-week training study learning to play guitar. At week 1, the MRCP was recorded from motor areas whilst participants played the G Major scale. Following a period of practice of the scale, the MRCP was recorded again at week 5. Results showed that the amplitude of the later pre-movement components were smaller at week 5 compared to week 1. This may indicate that, following training, less activity at motor cortex sites is involved in motor skill preparation. This supports claims for a more efficient motor preparation following motor skill training. PMID:23251647

  5. Does sleep promote motor learning? Implications for physical rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Siengsukon, Catherine F; Boyd, Lara A

    2009-04-01

    Sleep following motor skill practice has repeatedly been demonstrated to enhance motor skill learning off-line (continued overnight improvements in motor skill that are not associated with additional physical practice) for young people who are healthy. Mounting evidence suggests that older people who are healthy fail to demonstrate sleep-dependent off-line motor learning. However, little is known regarding the influence of sleep on motor skill enhancement following damage to the brain. Emerging evidence suggests that individuals with brain damage, particularly following stroke, do benefit from sleep to promote off-line motor skill learning. Because rehabilitation following stroke requires learning new, and re-learning old, motor skills, awareness that individuals with stroke benefit from a period of sleep following motor skill practice to enhance skill learning could affect physical therapist practice. The objective of this article is to present the evidence demonstrating sleep-dependent off-line motor learning in young people who are healthy and the variables that may influence this beneficial sleep-dependent skill enhancement. In young people who are healthy, these variables include the stages of memory formation, the type of memory, the type of instruction provided (implicit versus explicit learning), and the task utilized. The neural mechanisms thought to be associated with sleep-dependent off-line motor learning also are considered. Research examining whether older adults who are healthy show the same benefits of sleep as do younger adults is discussed. The data suggest that older adults who are healthy do not benefit from sleep to promote off-line skill enhancement. A possible explanation for the apparent lack of sleep-dependent off-line motor learning by older adults who are healthy is presented. Last, emerging evidence showing that individuals with chronic stroke demonstrate sleep-dependent off-line motor skill learning and some of the possible mechanisms

  6. Psychosocial Modulators of Motor Learning in Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Zemankova, Petra; Lungu, Ovidiu; Bares, Martin

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26973495

  7. Psychosocial Modulators of Motor Learning in Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Zemankova, Petra; Lungu, Ovidiu; Bares, Martin

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. [Memory transfer in cerebellar motor learning].

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Theta-burst stimulation over primary motor cortex degrades early motor learning.

    PubMed

    Iezzi, Ennio; Suppa, Antonio; Conte, Antonella; Agostino, Rocco; Nardella, Andrea; Berardelli, Alfredo

    2010-02-01

    Theta-burst stimulation (TBS) is currently used for inducing long-lasting changes in primary motor cortex (M1) excitability. More information is needed on how M1 is involved in early motor learning (practice-related improvement in motor performance, motor retention and motor consolidation). We investigated whether inhibitory continuous TBS (cTBS) is an effective experimental approach for modulating early motor learning of a simple finger movement in healthy humans. In a short task, 11 subjects practised 160 movements, and in a longer task also testing motor consolidation ten subjects practised 600 movements. During both experiments subjects randomly received real or sham cTBS over the left M1. Motor evoked potentials were tested at baseline and 7 min after cTBS. In the 160-movement experiment to test motor retention, 20 movements were repeated 30 min after motor practice ended. In the 600-movement experiment motor retention was assessed 15 and 30 min after motor practice ended, motor consolidation was tested by performing 20 movements 24 h after motor practice ended. Kinematic variables - movement amplitude, peak velocity and peak acceleration - were measured. cTBS significantly reduced the practice-related improvement in motor performance of finger movements in the experiment involving 160 movements and in the first part of the experiment involving 600 movements. After cTBS, peak velocity and peak acceleration of the 20 movements testing motor retention decreased whereas those testing motor consolidation remained unchanged. cTBS over M1 degrades practice-related improvement in motor performance and motor retention, but not motor consolidation of a voluntary finger movement.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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,…

  13. Test-potentiated learning of motor sequences.

    PubMed

    Tempel, Tobias; Kubik, Veit

    2017-03-01

    We investigated effects of retrieving body movements from memory on subsequent re-encoding of these movements (i.e., test-potentiated learning). In Experiment 1, participants first learned to perform 12 sequential finger movements as responses to letter stimuli. Eight of these movements then had to be recalled in response to their stimuli (initial test). Subsequently, learning trials were repeated for four of the previously to-be-retrieved movements as well as the previously not-to-be-retrieved movements. Restudy benefited from prior retrieval. In a final test, again requiring motoric recall in response to letter stimuli, performance was better for restudied items that were previously cued for retrieval as compared to items that had been restudied without prior retrieval. However, no such indirect testing benefit occurred when initial and final testing formats were incongruent, that is, when participants had to recall the stimuli in response to movements as cues at the final test. In Experiment 2, we replicated the finding of test-potentiated learning with a different design, manipulating initial-testing status between participants.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 critical in post-stroke motor recovery, but little is known about its underlying neural substrates. Recently, using a new visuomotor skill learning paradigm involving a speed/accuracy trade-off in healthy individuals we identified three subpopulations based on their behavioral trajectories: fitters (in whom improvement in speed or accuracy coincided with deterioration in the other parameter), shifters (in whom speed and/or accuracy improved without degradation of the other parameter), and non-learners. We aimed to identify the neural substrates underlying the first stages of motor skill learning in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients and to determine whether specific neural substrates were recruited in shifters versus fitters. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), 23 patients learned the visuomotor skill with their paretic upper limb. In the whole-group analysis, correlation between activation and motor skill learning was restricted to the dorsal prefrontal cortex of the damaged hemisphere (DLPFCdamh: r = −0.82) and the dorsal premotor cortex (PMddamh: r = 0.70); the correlations was much lesser (−0.16 < r > 0.25) in the other regions of interest. In a subgroup analysis, significant activation was restricted to bilateral posterior parietal cortices of the fitters and did not correlate with motor skill learning. Conversely, in shifters significant activation occurred in the primary sensorimotor cortexdamh and supplementary motor areadamh and in bilateral PMd where activation changes correlated significantly with motor skill learning (r = 0.91). Finally, resting-state activity acquired before learning showed a higher functional connectivity in the salience network of shifters compared with fitters (qFDR < 0.05). These data suggest a neuroplastic compensatory reorganization of brain activity underlying the first stages of motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients, with a key role

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Perceptual Motor Activities in the Home.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brinning, Dorothy; And Others

    Designed for parents, the guide offers instructions for home activities to supplement the school program for children with perceptual motor disturbances. An individual program sheet is provided; behavioral characteristics and the child's need for structure are explained. Activities detailed include motor planning, body image, fine motor…

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  19. Brains and Brawn: Complex Motor Activities to Maximize Cognitive Enhancement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreau, David

    2015-01-01

    The target articles in this special issue address the timely question of embodied cognition in the classroom, and in particular the potential of this approach to facilitate learning in children. The interest for motor activities within settings that typically give little space to nontraditional content is proof of a shift from a Cartesian…

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    Shiller, Douglas M; Rochon, Marie-Lyne

    2014-08-01

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

  2. Effects of differential interference with postnatal cerebellar neurogenesis on motor performance, activity level, and maze learning of rats: a developmental study.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, L J; Altman, J

    1979-02-01

    The region of the cerebellum was X-irradiated in infant rats with selected exposure schedules designed to produce animals in which the cerebellar cortex was (a) essentially normal except for agenesis of late forming granule cells with axons situated in the uppermost molecular layer (12--15X), (b) lacking in stellate cells, with a severe reduction in granule cells with axons in the upper molecular layer (8--15X), (c) morphologically disorganized but had only intermediate cell agenesis (4--5X), or (d) disorganized and devoid of practically all postnatally forming interneurons (4--15X). In the first two experiments young adults had to traverse rotating rods that differed in texture and types of obstacles. The 8--15X animals showed no deficits on any of the rods tested. The third study dealt with spontaneous motor performance in the open field at three ages. The 4--5X and 4--15X animals were hypoactive as infants and young adults; this was attributed to their motor deficits. The 8--15X and 12--15X animals were hyperactive in the open field as young adults. The fourth experiment examined intra- and/or intersession habituation. No group differences were found in habituation patterns. In the fifth experiment, using activity wheels, the 4--15X group was hypoactive, and the 8--15X and 12--15X groups were hyperactive as young adults. In the sixth experiment young adults were tested for learning performance in a multiple-unit water maze. The 4--15X group was deficient on single alternation; the 4--5X and 12--15X groups on double alternation. The seventh experiment shed some light on the single alternation deficit of the 4--15X group; only these animals failed to alternate spontaneously in a nonaversive situation. In conclusion, these behavioral results, combined with those of recent morphological investigations, suggest that the cerebellar cortex is hierarchically organized: The basal domain of Purkinje cells and the lower molecular layer are implicated in the coordination of

  3. The Statistical Determinants of the Speed of Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    He, Kang; Liang, You; Abdollahi, Farnaz; Fisher Bittmann, Moria; Kording, Konrad; Wei, Kunlin

    2016-01-01

    It has recently been suggested that movement variability directly increases the speed of motor learning. Here we use computational modeling of motor adaptation to show that variability can have a broad range of effects on learning, both negative and positive. Experimentally, we also find contributing and decelerating effects. Lastly, through a meta-analysis of published papers, we verify that across a wide range of experiments, movement variability has no statistical relation with learning rate. While motor learning is a complex process that can be modeled, further research is needed to understand the relative importance of the involved factors. PMID:27606808

  4. Reinforcement learning of motor skills with policy gradients.

    PubMed

    Peters, Jan; Schaal, Stefan

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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 < 0.001) with the skill retained 24 h later in MP and a 16 % improvement in AC. Corticospinal excitability at rest and during task did not change, but when measured during contraction at 20 % of maximal force, it strongly increased in MP and decreased in AC (interaction, p = 0.002). Intracortical inhibition at rest and during the task decreased and facilitation at rest increased in MP, but these metrics changed in the opposite direction in AC. These neuronal changes were especially profound at retention. Healthy old adults can 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.

  7. Aberrant supplementary motor complex and limbic activity during motor preparation in motor conversion disorder.

    PubMed

    Voon, Valerie; Brezing, Christina; Gallea, Cecile; Hallett, Mark

    2011-11-01

    Conversion disorder (CD) is characterized by unexplained neurological symptoms presumed related to psychological issues. The main hypotheses to explain conversion paralysis, characterized by a lack of movement, include impairments in either motor intention or disruption of motor execution, and further, that hyperactive self-monitoring, limbic processing or top-down regulation from higher order frontal regions may interfere with motor execution. We have recently shown that CD with positive abnormal or excessive motor symptoms was associated with greater amygdala activity to arousing stimuli along with greater functional connectivity between the amygdala and supplementary motor area. Here we studied patients with such symptoms focusing on motor initiation. Subjects performed either an internally or externally generated 2-button action selection task in a functional MRI study. Eleven CD patients without major depression and 11 age- and gender-matched normal volunteers were assessed. During both internally and externally generated movement, conversion disorder patients relative to normal volunteers had lower left supplementary motor area (SMA) (implicated in motor initiation) and higher right amygdala, left anterior insula, and bilateral posterior cingulate activity (implicated in assigning emotional salience). These findings were confirmed in a subgroup analysis of patients with tremor symptoms. During internally versus externally generated action in CD patients, the left SMA had lower functional connectivity with bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. We propose a theory in which previously mapped conversion motor representations may in an arousing context hijack the voluntary action selection system, which is both hypoactive and functionally disconnected from prefrontal top-down regulation.

  8. Are we ready for a natural history of motor learning?

    PubMed

    Shmuelof, Lior; Krakauer, John W

    2011-11-03

    Here we argue that general principles with regard to the contributions of the cerebellum, basal ganglia, and primary motor cortex to motor learning can begin to be inferred from explicit comparison across model systems and consideration of phylogeny. Both the cerebellum and the basal ganglia have highly conserved circuit architecture in vertebrates. The cerebellum has consistently been shown to be necessary for adaptation of eye and limb movements. The precise contribution of the basal ganglia to motor learning remains unclear but one consistent finding is that they are necessary for early acquisition of novel sequential actions. The primary motor cortex allows independent control of joints and construction of new movement synergies. We suggest that this capacity of the motor cortex implies that it is a necessary locus for motor skill learning, which we argue is the ability to execute selected actions with increasing speed and precision.

  9. Motor Activity and the Education of Retardates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cratty, Bryant J.

    Presented are chapters concerned with the relationship of motor activity to education. The topics discussed are research, movement and performance in infants and children, principles of teaching motor skills; arousal level and attention; scribbling, drawing, writing, strength, flexibility, endurance, and control of large muscles; music and rhythm;…

  10. Multimodal Connectivity of Motor Learning-Related Dorsal Premotor Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hardwick, Robert M.; Lesage, Elise; Eickhoff, Claudia R; Clos, Mareike; Fox, Peter; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2015-01-01

    The dorsal premotor cortex (dPMC) is a key region for motor learning and sensorimotor integration, yet we have limited understanding of its functional interactions with other regions. Previous work has started to examine functional connectivity in several brain areas using resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) and meta-analytical connectivity modelling (MACM). More recently, structural covariance (SC) has also been proposed as a technique that may also allow delineation of functional connectivity. Here we applied these three approaches to provide a comprehensive characterization of functional connectivity with a seed in the left dPMC that a previous meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies has identified as playing a key role in motor learning. Using data from two sources (the Rockland sample, containing resting state data and anatomical scans from 132 participants, and the BrainMap database, which contains peak activation foci from over 10,000 experiments), we conducted independent whole-brain functional connectivity mapping analyses of a dPMC seed. RSFC and MACM revealed similar connectivity maps spanning prefrontal, premotor and parietal regions, while the SC map identified more widespread frontal regions. Analyses indicated a relatively consistent pattern of functional connectivity between RSFC and MACM that was distinct from that identified by SC. Notably, results indicate the seed is functionally connected to areas involved in visuomotor control and executive functions, suggesting the dPMC acts as an interface between motor control and cognition. PMID:26282855

  11. Intestinal motor activity, endoluminal motion and transit.

    PubMed

    de Iorio, F; Malagelada, C; Azpiroz, F; Maluenda, M; Violanti, C; Igual, L; Vitrià, J; Malagelada, J-R

    2009-12-01

    A programme for evaluation of intestinal motility has been recently developed based on endoluminal image analysis using computer vision methodology and machine learning techniques. Our aim was to determine the effect of intestinal muscle inhibition on wall motion, dynamics of luminal content and transit in the small bowel. Fourteen healthy subjects ingested the endoscopic capsule (Pillcam, Given Imaging) in fasting conditions. Seven of them received glucagon (4.8 microg kg(-1) bolus followed by a 9.6 microg kg(-1) h(-1) infusion during 1 h) and in the other seven, fasting activity was recorded, as controls. This dose of glucagon has previously shown to inhibit both tonic and phasic intestinal motor activity. Endoluminal image and displacement was analyzed by means of a computer vision programme specifically developed for the evaluation of muscular activity (contractile and non-contractile patterns), intestinal contents, endoluminal motion and transit. Thirty-minute periods before, during and after glucagon infusion were analyzed and compared with equivalent periods in controls. No differences were found in the parameters measured during the baseline (pretest) periods when comparing glucagon and control experiments. During glucagon infusion, there was a significant reduction in contractile activity (0.2 +/- 0.1 vs 4.2 +/- 0.9 luminal closures per min, P < 0.05; 0.4 +/- 0.1 vs 3.4 +/- 1.2% of images with radial wrinkles, P < 0.05) and a significant reduction of endoluminal motion (82 +/- 9 vs 21 +/- 10% of static images, P < 0.05). Endoluminal image analysis, by means of computer vision and machine learning techniques, can reliably detect reduced intestinal muscle activity and motion.

  12. Brain plasticity related to the consolidation of motor sequence learning and motor adaptation.

    PubMed

    Debas, Karen; Carrier, Julie; Orban, Pierre; Barakat, Marc; Lungu, Ovidiu; Vandewalle, Gilles; Hadj Tahar, Abdallah; Bellec, Pierre; Karni, Avi; Ungerleider, Leslie G; Benali, Habib; Doyon, Julien

    2010-10-12

    This study aimed to investigate, through functional MRI (fMRI), the neuronal substrates associated with the consolidation process of two motor skills: motor sequence learning (MSL) and motor adaptation (MA). Four groups of young healthy individuals were assigned to either (i) a night/sleep condition, in which they were scanned while practicing a finger sequence learning task or an eight-target adaptation pointing task in the evening (test) and were scanned again 12 h later in the morning (retest) or (ii) a day/awake condition, in which they were scanned on the MSL or the MA tasks in the morning and were rescanned 12 h later in the evening. As expected and consistent with the behavioral results, the functional data revealed increased test-retest changes of activity in the striatum for the night/sleep group compared with the day/awake group in the MSL task. By contrast, the results of the MA task did not show any difference in test-retest activity between the night/sleep and day/awake groups. When the two MA task groups were combined, however, increased test-retest activity was found in lobule VI of the cerebellar cortex. Together, these findings highlight the presence of both functional and structural dissociations reflecting the off-line consolidation processes of MSL and MA. They suggest that MSL consolidation is sleep dependent and reflected by a differential increase of neural activity within the corticostriatal system, whereas MA consolidation necessitates either a period of daytime or sleep and is associated with increased neuronal activity within the corticocerebellar system.

  13. Unique Contributions of Distinct Cholinergic Projections to Motor Cortical Plasticity and Learning

    PubMed Central

    Kulczycki, M.; Tuszynski, M.H.

    2010-01-01

    The cholinergic basal forebrain projects throughout the neocortex, exerting a critical role in modulating plasticity associated with normal learning. Cholinergic modulation of cortical plasticity could arise from 3 distinct mechanisms by 1) “direct” modulation via cholinergic inputs to regions undergoing plasticity, 2) “indirect” modulation via cholinergic projections to anterior, prefrontal attentional systems, or 3) modulating more global aspects of processing via distributed inputs throughout the cortex. To segregate these potential mechanisms, we investigated cholinergic-dependent reorganization of cortical motor representations in rats undergoing skilled motor learning. Behavioral and electrophysiological consequences of depleting cholinergic inputs to either motor cortex, prefrontal cortex, or globally, were compared. We find that local depletion of cholinergic afferents to motor cortex significantly disrupts map plasticity and skilled motor behavior, whereas prefrontal cholinergic depletion has no effect on these measures. Global cholinergic depletion perturbs map plasticity comparable with motor cortex depletions but results in significantly greater impairments in skilled motor acquisition. These findings indicate that local cholinergic activation within motor cortex, as opposed to indirect regulation of prefrontal systems, modulate cortical map plasticity and motor learning. More globally acting cholinergic mechanisms provide additional support for the acquisition of skilled motor behaviors, beyond those associated with cortical map reorganization. PMID:20181623

  14. Temporal dynamics of cerebellar and motor cortex physiological processes during motor skill learning

    PubMed Central

    Spampinato, D.; Celnik, P.

    2017-01-01

    Learning motor tasks involves distinct physiological processes in the cerebellum (CB) and primary motor cortex (M1). Previous studies have shown that motor learning results in at least two important neurophysiological changes: modulation of cerebellar output mediated in-part by long-term depression of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse and induction of long-term plasticity (LTP) in M1, leading to transient occlusion of additional LTP-like plasticity. However, little is known about the temporal dynamics of these two physiological mechanisms during motor skill learning. Here we use non-invasive brain stimulation to explore CB and M1 mechanisms during early and late motor skill learning in humans. We predicted that early skill acquisition would be proportional to cerebellar excitability (CBI) changes, whereas later stages of learning will result in M1 LTP-like plasticity modifications. We found that early, and not late into skill training, CBI changed. Whereas, occlusion of LTP-like plasticity over M1 occurred only during late, but not early training. These findings indicate a distinct temporal dissociation in the physiological role of the CB and M1 when learning a novel skill. Understanding the role and temporal dynamics of different brain regions during motor learning is critical to device optimal interventions to augment learning. PMID:28091578

  15. Learning Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tipton, Tom, Ed.

    1983-01-01

    Presents a flow chart for naming inorganic compounds. Although it is not necessary for students to memorize rules, preliminary skills needed before using the chart are outlined. Also presents an activity in which the mass of an imaginary atom is determined using lead shot, Petri dishes, and a platform balance. (JN)

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 40 CFR 798.6200 - Motor activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... systematically related to treatment. Among the variables which can affect motor activity are sound level, size and shape of the test cage, temperature, relative humidity, lighting conditions, odors, use of...

  18. 40 CFR 798.6200 - Motor activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... systematically related to treatment. Among the variables which can affect motor activity are sound level, size and shape of the test cage, temperature, relative humidity, lighting conditions, odors, use of...

  19. Applying Serious Games to Motor Learning in Sport

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiemeyer, Josef; Schneider, Philipp

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Modulation of proprioceptive integration in the motor cortex shapes human motor learning.

    PubMed

    Rosenkranz, Karin; Rothwell, John C

    2012-06-27

    Sensory and motor systems interact closely during movement performance. Furthermore, proprioceptive feedback from ongoing movements provides an important input for successful learning of a new motor skill. Here, we show in humans that attention to proprioceptive input during a purely sensory task can influence subsequent learning of a novel motor task. We applied low-amplitude vibration to the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle of eight healthy volunteers for 15 min while they discriminated either a small change in vibration frequency or the presence of a simultaneous weak cutaneous stimulus. Before and after the sensory attention tasks, we evaluated the following in separate experiments: (1) sensorimotor interaction in the motor cortex by testing the efficacy of proprioceptive input to reduce GABA(A)ergic intracortical inhibition using paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation, and (2) how well the same subjects learned a ballistic thumb abduction task using the APB muscle. Performance of the vibration discrimination task increased the interaction of proprioceptive input with motor cortex excitability in the APB muscle, whereas performance in the cutaneous discrimination task had the opposite effect. There was a significant correlation between the integration of proprioceptive input in the motor cortex and the motor learning gain: increasing the integration of proprioceptive input from the APB increased the rate of motor learning and reduced performance variability, while decreasing proprioceptive integration had opposite effects. These findings suggest that the sensory attention tasks transiently change how proprioceptive input is integrated into the motor cortex and that these sensory changes drive subsequent learning behavior in the human motor cortex.

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

    PubMed

    Sakurada, Takeshi; Hirai, Masahiro; Watanabe, Eiju

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Motor patterns during active electrosensory acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Volker; Geurten, Bart R. H.; Sanguinetti-Scheck, Juan I.; Gómez-Sena, Leonel; Engelmann, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    Motor patterns displayed during active electrosensory acquisition of information seem to be an essential part of a sensory strategy by which weakly electric fish actively generate and shape sensory flow. These active sensing strategies are expected to adaptively optimize ongoing behavior with respect to either motor efficiency or sensory information gained. The tight link between the motor domain and sensory perception in active electrolocation make weakly electric fish like Gnathonemus petersii an ideal system for studying sensory-motor interactions in the form of active sensing strategies. Analyzing the movements and electric signals of solitary fish during unrestrained exploration of objects in the dark, we here present the first formal quantification of motor patterns used by fish during electrolocation. Based on a cluster analysis of the kinematic values we categorized the basic units of motion. These were then analyzed for their associative grouping to identify and extract short coherent chains of behavior. This enabled the description of sensory behavior on different levels of complexity: from single movements, over short behaviors to more complex behavioral sequences during which the kinematics alter between different behaviors. We present detailed data for three classified patterns and provide evidence that these can be considered as motor components of active sensing strategies. In accordance with the idea of active sensing strategies, we found categorical motor patterns to be modified by the sensory context. In addition these motor patterns were linked with changes in the temporal sampling in form of differing electric organ discharge frequencies and differing spatial distributions. The ability to detect such strategies quantitatively will allow future research to investigate the impact of such behaviors on sensing. PMID:24904337

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sagari, Akira; Iso, Naoki; Moriuchi, Takefumi; Ogahara, Kakuya; Kitajima, Eiji; Tanaka, Koji; Tabira, Takayuki; Higashi, Toshio

    2015-01-01

    Introduction 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:26485534

  5. Sleep-Related Improvements in Motor Learning Following Mental Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Debarnot, Ursula; Creveaux, Thomas; Collet, Christian; Gemignani, Angelo; Massarelli, Raphael; Doyon, Julien; Guillot, Aymeric

    2009-01-01

    A wide range of experimental studies have provided evidence that a night of sleep may enhance motor performance following physical practice (PP), but little is known, however, about its effect after motor imagery (MI). Using an explicitly learned pointing task paradigm, thirty participants were assigned to one of three groups that differed in the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lessa, Helena Thofehrn; Chiviacowsky, Suzete

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Attention modulates adaptive motor learning in the 'broken escalator' paradigm.

    PubMed

    Patel, Mitesh; Kaski, Diego; Bronstein, Adolfo M

    2014-07-01

    The physical stumble caused by stepping onto a stationary (broken) escalator represents a locomotor aftereffect (LAE) that attests to a process of adaptive motor learning. Whether such learning is primarily explicit (requiring attention resources) or implicit (independent of attention) is unknown. To address this question, we diverted attention in the adaptation (MOVING) and aftereffect (AFTER) phases of the LAE by loading these phases with a secondary cognitive task (sequential naming of a vegetable, fruit and a colour). Thirty-six healthy adults were randomly assigned to 3 equally sized groups. They performed 5 trials stepping onto a stationary sled (BEFORE), 5 with the sled moving (MOVING) and 5 with the sled stationary again (AFTER). A 'Dual-Task-MOVING (DTM)' group performed the dual-task in the MOVING phase and the 'Dual-Task-AFTEREFFECT (DTAE)' group in the AFTER phase. The 'control' group performed no dual task. We recorded trunk displacement, gait velocity and gastrocnemius muscle EMG of the left (leading) leg. The DTM, but not the DTAE group, had larger trunk displacement during the MOVING phase, and a smaller trunk displacement aftereffect compared with controls. Gait velocity was unaffected by the secondary cognitive task in either group. Thus, adaptive locomotor learning involves explicit learning, whereas the expression of the aftereffect is automatic (implicit). During rehabilitation, patients should be actively encouraged to maintain maximal attention when learning new or challenging locomotor tasks.

  11. Learning with slight forgetting optimizes sensorimotor transformation in redundant motor systems.

    PubMed

    Hirashima, Masaya; Nozaki, Daichi

    2012-01-01

    Recent theoretical studies have proposed that the redundant motor system in humans achieves well-organized stereotypical movements by minimizing motor effort cost and motor error. However, it is unclear how this optimization process is implemented in the brain, presumably because conventional schemes have assumed a priori that the brain somehow constructs the optimal motor command, and largely ignored the underlying trial-by-trial learning process. In contrast, recent studies focusing on the trial-by-trial modification of motor commands based on error information suggested that forgetting (i.e., memory decay), which is usually considered as an inconvenient factor in motor learning, plays an important role in minimizing the motor effort cost. Here, we examine whether trial-by-trial error-feedback learning with slight forgetting could minimize the motor effort and error in a highly redundant neural network for sensorimotor transformation and whether it could predict the stereotypical activation patterns observed in primary motor cortex (M1) neurons. First, using a simple linear neural network model, we theoretically demonstrated that: 1) this algorithm consistently leads the neural network to converge at a unique optimal state; 2) the biomechanical properties of the musculoskeletal system necessarily determine the distribution of the preferred directions (PD; the direction in which the neuron is maximally active) of M1 neurons; and 3) the bias of the PDs is steadily formed during the minimization of the motor effort. Furthermore, using a non-linear network model with realistic musculoskeletal data, we demonstrated numerically that this algorithm could consistently reproduce the PD distribution observed in various motor tasks, including two-dimensional isometric torque production, two-dimensional reaching, and even three-dimensional reaching tasks. These results may suggest that slight forgetting in the sensorimotor transformation network is responsible for solving

  12. Motor contingency learning and infants with Spina Bifida.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Max, Ludo; Maffett, Derek G

    2015-03-30

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

  14. Sequence learning in pianists and nonpianists: an fMRI study of motor expertise.

    PubMed

    Landau, Susan M; D'esposito, Mark

    2006-09-01

    Previous studies of motor learning have proposed a distinction betweenfast and slow learning, but these mechanisms have rarely been examined simultaneously. We examined the influence of long-term motor expertise (slow learning) while pianists and nonpianists performed alternating epochs of sequenced and random keypresses in response to visual cues (fast learning) during functional neuroimaging. All of the participants demonstrated learning of the sequence as demonstrated by decreasing reaction times (RTs) on sequence trials relative to random trials throughout the session. Pianists also demonstrated faster RTs and superior sequence acquisition in comparison with nonpianists. Within-session decreases in bilateral sensorimotor and parietal activation were observed for both groups. Additionally, there was more extensive activation throughout the session for pianists in comparison with nonpianists across a network of primarily right-lateralized prefrontal, sensorimotor, and parietal regions. These findings provide evidence that different neural systems subserve slow and fast phases of learning.

  15. Active Learning Methods

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zayapragassarazan, Z.; Kumar, Santosh

    2012-01-01

    Present generation students are primarily active learners with varied learning experiences and lecture courses may not suit all their learning needs. Effective learning involves providing students with a sense of progress and control over their own learning. This requires creating a situation where learners have a chance to try out or test their…

  16. Perspectives on Learning Styles in Motor and Sport Skills

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    We present the perspective that while coaches and instructors commonly adapt learning styles to maximize training outcomes, there has been little to no empirical support for the efficacy of this practice. Learning styles is a learner’s preferred mode (e.g., visual, verbal) of taking in and processing new information. Although it is a relevant topic for the learning of motor and sport skills, few studies have used an appropriate methodology to test the effectiveness of learning style-based instruction. We highlight the need for a learning style assessment tool specific to motor skills and call for a test of the learning style hypothesis, the claim that learners will benefit from instruction that is tailored to their individual learning style. To this end, we suggest methodological guidelines. PMID:22416240

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. A Day Awake Attenuates Motor Learning-Induced Increases in Corticomotor Excitability

    PubMed Central

    de Beukelaar, Toon T.; Van Soom, Jago; Huber, Reto; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    The “synaptic homeostasis hypothesis” proposes that the brain’s capacity to exhibit synaptic plasticity is reduced during the day but restores when sleeping. While this prediction has been confirmed for declarative memories, it is currently unknown whether it is also the case for motor memories. We quantified practice-induced changes in corticomotor excitability in response to repetitive motor sequence training as an indirect marker of synaptic plasticity in the primary motor cortex (M1). Subjects either practiced a motor sequence in the morning and a new motor sequence in the evening, i.e., after a 12 h period of wakefulness (wake group); or they practiced a sequence in the evening and a new sequence in the morning, i.e., after a 12 h period including sleep (sleep group). In both wake and sleep groups motor training improved movement performance irrespective of the time of day. Learning a new sequence in the morning triggered a clear increase in corticomotor excitability suggesting that motor training triggered synaptic adaptation in the M1 that was absent when a new sequence was learned in the evening. Thus, the magnitude of the practice-induced increase in corticomotor excitability was significantly influenced by time of day while the magnitude of motor performance improvements were not. These results suggest that the motor cortex’s potential to efficiently adapt to the environment by quickly adjusting synaptic strength in an activity-dependent manner is higher in the morning than in the evening. PMID:27065837

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fischman, Mark G.

    2007-01-01

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

  1. The knockout of secretin in cerebellar Purkinje cells impairs mouse motor coordination and motor learning.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  2. Using Mobile Devices for Motor-Learning Laboratory Exercises

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  3. Electromyographic Study of Motor Learning for a Voice Production Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yiu, Edwin M.-L.; Verdolini, Katherine; Chow, Linda P. Y.

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: This study's broad objective was to examine the effectiveness of surface electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback for motor learning in the voice production domain. The specific objective was to examine whether concurrent or terminal biofeedback would facilitate learning for a relaxed laryngeal musculature task during spoken reading. Method:…

  4. Sleep-Dependent Learning and Motor-Skill Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuriyama, Kenichi; Stickgold, Robert; Walker, Matthew P.

    2004-01-01

    Learning of a procedural motor-skill task is known to progress through a series of unique memory stages. Performance initially improves during training, and continues to improve, without further rehearsal, across subsequent periods of sleep. Here, we investigate how this delayed sleep-dependent learning is affected when the task characteristics…

  5. Using Motor-Learning Theory to Design More Effective Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rukavina, Paul B.; Foxworth, K. Randell

    2009-01-01

    Choosing which teaching approach to use and when to use it is a complex decision, especially for preservice teachers learning to teach individuals with a variety of skill levels and abilities. One source of information that teachers can use to help select an approach is motor-learning theory. This article describes an early field experience in…

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

    PubMed

    Sami, S; Miall, R C

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Comparison of effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area in motor skill learning (randomized, cross over study).

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong Kyun; Shin, Sung Hun

    2014-01-01

    Motor skills require quick visuomotor reaction time, fast movement time, and accurate performance. Primary motor cortex (M1) and supplementary motor area (SMA) are closely related in learning motor skills. Also, it is well known that high frequency repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on these sites has a facilitating effect. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of high frequency rTMS activation of these two brain sites on learning of motor skills. Twenty three normal volunteers participated. Subjects were randomly stimulated on either brain area, SMA or M1. The motor task required the learning of sequential finger movements, explicitly or implicitly. It consisted of pressing the keyboard sequentially with their right hand on seeing 7 digits on the monitor explicitly, and then tapping the 7 digits by memorization, implicitly. Subjects were instructed to hit the keyboard as fast and accurately as possible. Using Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), the keyboard pressing task was measured before and after high frequency rTMS for motor performance, which was measured by response time (RT), movement time, and accuracy (AC). A week later, the same task was repeated by cross-over study design. At this time, rTMS was applied on the other brain area. Two-way ANOVA was used to assess the carry over time effect and stimulation sites (M1 and SMA), as factors. Results indicated that no carry-over effect was observed. The AC and RT were not different between the two stimulating sites (M1 and SMA). But movement time was significantly decreased after rTMS on both SMA and M1. The amount of shortened movement time after rTMS on SMA was significantly increased as compared to the movement time after rTMS on M1 (p < 0.05), especially for implicit learning of motor tasks. The coefficient of variation was lower in implicit trial than in explicit trial. In conclusion, this finding indicated an important role of SMA compared to M1, in implicit motor

  8. Rapid production of new oligodendrocytes is required in the earliest stages of motor skill learning

    PubMed Central

    McKenzie, Ian A.; Sinclair-Wilson, Alexander; Wright, Jordan L.; Fudge, Alexander D.; Emery, Ben; Li, Huiliang; Richardson, William D

    2016-01-01

    Summary We identified a novel marker of newly-forming oligodendrocytes – the ecto-enzyme Enpp6 – and used this to track oligodendrocyte differentiation in adult mice as they learned a motor skill (running on a wheel with unevenly spaced rungs). Production of Enpp6 - expressing immature oligodendrocytes was accelerated within just 2.5 hours exposure to the complex wheel in subcortical white matter and within 4 hours in motor cortex. Conditional deletion of Myelin regulatory factor (Myrf) in oligodendrocyte precursors blocked formation of new Enpp6+ oligodendrocytes and impaired learning within the same ~2-3 hour time frame. This very early requirement for oligodendrocytes suggests a direct and active role in learning, closely linked to synaptic strengthening. Running performance of normal mice continued to improve over the following week accompanied by secondary waves of oligodendrocyte precursor proliferation and differentiation. We conclude that new oligodendrocytes contribute to both early and late stages of motor skill learning. PMID:27455109

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roessger, Kevin M.

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Functional networks in motor sequence learning: abnormal topographies in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, T; Ghilardi, M F; Mentis, M; Dhawan, V; Fukuda, M; Hacking, A; Moeller, J R; Ghez, C; Eidelberg, D

    2001-01-01

    We examined the neural circuitry underlying the explicit learning of motor sequences in normal subjects and patients with early stage Parkinson's disease (PD) using 15O-water (H2 15O) positron emission tomography (PET) and network analysis. All subjects were scanned while learning motor sequences in a task emphasizing explicit learning, and during a kinematically controlled motor execution reference task. Because different brain networks are thought to subserve target acquisition and retrieval during motor sequence learning, we used separate behavioral indices to quantify these aspects of learning during the PET experiments. In the normal cohort, network analysis of the PET data revealed a significant covariance pattern associated with acquisition performance. This topography was characterized by activations in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFdl), rostral supplementary motor area (preSMA), anterior cingulate cortex, and in the left caudate/putamen. A second independent covariance pattern was associated with retrieval performance. This topography was characterized by bilateral activations in the premotor cortex (PMC), and in the right precuneus and posterior parietal cortex. The normal learning-related topographies failed to predict acquisition performance in PD patients and predicted retrieval performance less accurately in the controls. A separate network analysis was performed to identify discrete learning-related topographies in the PD cohort. In PD patients, acquisition performance was associated with a covariance pattern characterized by activations in the left PFdl, ventral prefrontal, and rostral premotor regions, but not in the striatum. Retrieval performance in PD patients was associated with a covariance pattern characterized by activations in the right PFdl, and bilaterally in the PMC, posterior parietal cortex, and precuneus. These results suggest that in early stage PD sequence learning networks are associated with additional cortical

  11. Motor-reduced visual perceptual abilities and visual-motor integration abilities of Chinese learning children.

    PubMed

    Lai, Mun Yee; Leung, Frederick Koon Shing

    2012-10-01

    This study investigated the relationship between motor-reduced visual perceptual abilities and visual-motor integration abilities of Chinese learning children by employing the Developmental Test of Visual Perception (Hammill, Pearson, & Voress, 1993), in which both abilities are measured in a single test. A total of 72 native Chinese learners of age 5 participated in this study. The findings indicated that the Chinese learners scored much higher in the visual-motor integration tasks than in motor-reduced visual perceptual tasks. The results support the theory of autonomous systems of motor-reduced visual perception and visual-motor integration and query current beliefs about the prior development of the former to the latter for the Chinese learners. To account for the Chinese participants' superior performance in visual-motor integration tasks over motor-reduced visual perceptual tasks, the visual-spatial properties of Chinese characters, general handwriting theories, the motor control theory and the psychogeometric theory of Chinese character-writing are referred to. The significance of the findings is then discussed.

  12. Napping after complex motor learning enhances juggling performance.

    PubMed

    Morita, Yuko; Ogawa, Keiko; Uchida, Sunao

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined whether a nap after complex motor learning enhanced the following day's physical performance. Eighteen volunteers met the inclusion criteria and were assigned to either a nap (n=9; men=5; mean age=21.0±1.5) or no-nap group (n=9; men=5; mean age=21.9±0.3). Participants practiced juggling in the morning and were tested immediately afterwards. Participants of the nap group were given a 70-minute nap opportunity after juggling practice, while the no-nap group stayed awake. Juggling performance was then tested in the evening (retest-1) and the next morning (retest-2). Two-way analysis of variance (group: nap, no-nap×time: test, retest-1, retest-2) found there was a significant effect of test time and a significant group×time interaction. The juggling performance of both groups improved from test to retest-1, respectively. However, the juggling performance level of the nap group was higher than that of the no-nap group at the retest-1. As predicted, a nap promptly after learning motor skills was associated with subsequently improved performance. Moreover, the juggling performance of the nap group showed additional significant improvements in the retest-2. In the no-nap group, however, there were no significant improvements in the juggling performance after nocturnal sleep. These results demonstrate that the benefits of a nap following learning were further enhanced after nocturnal sleep. The present results may provide justification for introducing nap periods into daily athletic training as an active method to improve performance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  14. Plasticity of cortical inhibition in dystonia is impaired after motor learning and Paired-Associative Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Meunier, Sabine; Russmann, Heike; Shamim, Ejaz; Lamy, Jean-Charles; Hallett, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Summary Artificial induction of plasticity by paired associative stimulation (PAS) in healthy subjects (HV) demonstrates Hebbian-like plasticity in selected inhibitory networks as well as excitatory ones. In a group of 17 patients with focal hand dystonia and a group of 19 HV, we evaluated how PAS and the learning of a simple motor task influence the circuits supporting long interval intracortical inhibition (LICI, reflecting activity of GABAB interneurons) and long latency afferent inhibition (LAI, reflecting activity of somatosensory inputs to the motor cortex). In HV, PAS and motor learning induced LTP-like plasticity of excitatory networks and a lasting decrease of LAI and LICI in the motor representation of the targeted or trained muscle. The better the motor performance, the larger was the decrease of LAI. Although motor performance in the patient group was similar to that of the control group, LAI did not decrease during the motor learning as it did in the control group. In contrast, LICI was normally modulated. In patients the results after PAS did not match those obtained after motor learning: LAI was paradoxically increased and LICI did not exhibit any change. In the normal situation, decreased excitability in inhibitory circuits after induction of LTP-like plasticity may help to shape the cortical maps according to the new sensorimotor task. In patients, the abnormal or absent modulation of afferent and intracortical long-interval inhibition might indicate maladaptive plasticity that possibly contributes to the difficulty that they have to learn a new sensorimotor task.“ PMID:22429246

  15. Deep Breathing Practice Facilitates Retention of Newly Learned Motor Skills.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Goldy; Mutha, Pratik K

    2016-11-14

    Paced deep breathing practices, a core component of a number of meditation programs, have been shown to enhance a variety of cognitive functions. However, their effects on complex processes such as memory, and in particular, formation and retention of motor memories, remain unknown. Here we show that a 30-minute session of deep, alternate-nostril breathing remarkably enhances retention of a newly learned motor skill. Healthy humans learned to accurately trace a given path within a fixed time duration. Following learning, one group of subjects (n = 16) underwent the 30-minute breathing practice while another control group (n = 14) rested for the same duration. The breathing-practice group retained the motor skill strikingly better than controls, both immediately after the breathing session and also at 24 hours. These effects were confirmed in another group (n = 10) that rested for 30 minutes post-learning, but practiced breathing after their first retention test; these subjects showed significantly better retention at 24 hours but not 30 minutes. Our results thus uncover for the first time the remarkable facilitatory effects of simple breathing practices on complex functions such as motor memory, and have important implications for sports training and neuromotor rehabilitation in which better retention of learned motor skills is highly desirable.

  16. Motor force field learning influences visual processing of target motion.

    PubMed

    Brown, Liana E; Wilson, Elizabeth T; Goodale, Melvyn A; Gribble, Paul L

    2007-09-12

    There are reciprocal connections between visual and motor areas of the cerebral cortex. Although recent studies have provided intriguing new insights, in comparison with volume of research on the visual control of movement, relatively little is known about how movement influences vision. The motor system is perfectly suited to learn about environmental forces. Does environmental force information, learned by the motor system, influence visual processing? Here, we show that learning to compensate for a force applied to the hand influenced how participants predicted target motion for interception. Ss trained in one of three constant force fields by making reaching movements while holding a robotic manipulandum. The robot applied forces in a null [null force field (NFF)], leftward [leftward force field (LFF)], or [rightward force field (RFF)] direction. Training was followed immediately with an interception task. The target accelerated from left to right and Ss's task was to stab it. When viewing time was optimal for prediction, the RFF group initiated their responses earlier and hit more targets, and the LFF group initiated their responses later and hit fewer targets, than the NFF group. In follow-up experiments, we show that motor learning is necessary, and we rule out the possibility that explicit force direction information drives how Ss altered their predictions of visual motion. Environmental force information, acquired by motor learning, influenced how the motion of nearby visual targets was predicted.

  17. Deep Breathing Practice Facilitates Retention of Newly Learned Motor Skills

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Goldy; Mutha, Pratik K.

    2016-01-01

    Paced deep breathing practices, a core component of a number of meditation programs, have been shown to enhance a variety of cognitive functions. However, their effects on complex processes such as memory, and in particular, formation and retention of motor memories, remain unknown. Here we show that a 30-minute session of deep, alternate-nostril breathing remarkably enhances retention of a newly learned motor skill. Healthy humans learned to accurately trace a given path within a fixed time duration. Following learning, one group of subjects (n = 16) underwent the 30-minute breathing practice while another control group (n = 14) rested for the same duration. The breathing-practice group retained the motor skill strikingly better than controls, both immediately after the breathing session and also at 24 hours. These effects were confirmed in another group (n = 10) that rested for 30 minutes post-learning, but practiced breathing after their first retention test; these subjects showed significantly better retention at 24 hours but not 30 minutes. Our results thus uncover for the first time the remarkable facilitatory effects of simple breathing practices on complex functions such as motor memory, and have important implications for sports training and neuromotor rehabilitation in which better retention of learned motor skills is highly desirable. PMID:27841345

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  1. Foxp2 mutations impair auditory-motor association learning.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-25

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-15

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has shown promise as a treatment tool, with one FDA approved use. While TMS alone is able to up- (or down-) regulate a targeted neural system, we argue that TMS applied as an adjuvant is more effective for repetitive physical, behavioral and cognitive therapies, that is, therapies which are designed to alter the network properties of neural systems through Hebbian learning. We tested this hypothesis in the context of a slow motor learning paradigm. Healthy right-handed individuals were assigned to receive 5 Hz TMS (TMS group) or sham TMS (sham group) to the right primary motor cortex (M1) as they performed daily motor practice of a digit sequence task with their non-dominant hand for 4 weeks. Resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) was measured by H2(15)O PET at baseline and after 4 weeks of practice. Sequence performance was measured daily as the number of correct sequences performed, and modeled using a hyperbolic function. Sequence performance increased significantly at 4 weeks relative to baseline in both groups. The TMS group had a significant additional improvement in performance, specifically, in the rate of skill acquisition. In both groups, an improvement in sequence timing and transfer of skills to non-trained motor domains was also found. Compared to the sham group, the TMS group demonstrated increases in resting CBF specifically in regions known to mediate skill learning namely, the M1, cingulate cortex, putamen, hippocampus, and cerebellum. These results indicate that TMS applied concomitantly augments behavioral effects of motor practice, with corresponding neural plasticity in motor sequence learning network. These findings are the first demonstration of the behavioral and neural enhancing effects of TMS on slow motor practice and have direct application in neurorehabilitation where TMS could be applied in conjunction with physical therapy.

  5. Cortical Plasticity during Motor Learning and Recovery after Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Hosp, Jonas A.; Luft, Andreas R.

    2011-01-01

    The motor system has the ability to adapt to environmental constraints and injury to itself. This adaptation is often referred to as a form of plasticity allowing for livelong acquisition of new movements and for recovery after stroke. We are not sure whether learning and recovery work via same or similar neural mechanisms. But, all these processes require widespread changes within the matrix of the brain. Here, basic mechanisms of these adaptations on the level of cortical circuitry and networks are reviewed. We focus on the motor cortices because their role in learning and recovery has been investigated more thoroughly than other brain regions. PMID:22135758

  6. Sleep and Motor Learning: Implications for Physical Rehabilitation After Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Gudberg, Christel; Johansen-Berg, Heidi

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is essential for healthy brain function and plasticity underlying learning and memory. In the context of physical impairment such as following a stroke, sleep may be particularly important for supporting critical recovery of motor function through similar processes of reorganization in the brain. Despite a link between stroke and poor sleep, current approaches to rehabilitative care often neglect the importance of sleep in clinical assessment and treatment. This review assimilates current evidence on the role of sleep in motor learning, with a focus on the implications for physical rehabilitation after stroke. We further outline practical considerations for integrating sleep assessment as a vital part of clinical care. PMID:26635718

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-17

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

  8. Rehabilitation and motor learning through vibrotactile feedback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panchanathan, Roshan; Rosenthal, Jacob; McDaniel, Troy

    2014-05-01

    Group instruction is the most common delivery method of motor skill training given its cost and time effectiveness. This is also the case during rehabilitation where therapists divide their attention among several patients. Compared to dedicated one-on-one instruction, group instruction often suffers from reduced quality and quantity of instruction and feedback. Further, during rehabilitation programs, patients struggle outside of therapy sessions given the lack of instruction and feedback found only during clinic visits. We propose a wearable, low-cost motion sensing and actuation system capable of providing real-time vibrotactile feedback for trainer-defined goal movements and repetitions. The trainer inputs movement goals for the user, and adapts these values (joint angles, movement speeds) over time for continued progress. In this paper, we present a novel second generation design, and introduce a flexible vibrotactile strip to overcome construction challenges of these types of systems. The flexible display is constructed using commercial LED strips that have been modified by attaching pancake style vibration motors. The flexible display does not require external microcontrollers to enable or disable motors, and may allow these systems to be expanded to the whole body. We also summarize two previous studies that have assessed appropriate body sites and pattern designs for vibrotactile motor instructions and feedback signals.

  9. Visual learning by imitation with motor representations.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Manuel; Santos-Victor, José

    2005-06-01

    We propose a general architecture for action (mimicking) and program (gesture) level visual imitation. Action-level imitation involves two modules. The viewpoint Transformation (VPT) performs a "rotation" to align the demonstrator's body to that of the learner. The Visuo-Motor Map (VMM) maps this visual information to motor data. For program-level (gesture) imitation, there is an additional module that allows the system to recognize and generate its own interpretation of observed gestures to produce similar gestures/goals at a later stage. Besides the holistic approach to the problem, our approach differs from traditional work in i) the use of motor information for gesture recognition; ii) usage of context (e.g., object affordances) to focus the attention of the recognition system and reduce ambiguities, and iii) use iconic image representations for the hand, as opposed to fitting kinematic models to the video sequence. This approach is motivated by the finding of visuomotor neurons in the F5 area of the macaque brain that suggest that gesture recognition/imitation is performed in motor terms (mirror) and rely on the use of object affordances (canonical) to handle ambiguous actions. Our results show that this approach can outperform more conventional (e.g., pure visual) methods.

  10. The role of motor learning in spatial adaptation near a tool.

    PubMed

    Brown, Liana E; Doole, Robert; Malfait, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Some visual-tactile (bimodal) cells have visual receptive fields (vRFs) that overlap and extend moderately beyond the skin of the hand. Neurophysiological evidence suggests, however, that a vRF will grow to encompass a hand-held tool following active tool use but not after passive holding. Why does active tool use, and not passive holding, lead to spatial adaptation near a tool? We asked whether spatial adaptation could be the result of motor or visual experience with the tool, and we distinguished between these alternatives by isolating motor from visual experience with the tool. Participants learned to use a novel, weighted tool. The active training group received both motor and visual experience with the tool, the passive training group received visual experience with the tool, but no motor experience, and finally, a no-training control group received neither visual nor motor experience using the tool. After training, we used a cueing paradigm to measure how quickly participants detected targets, varying whether the tool was placed near or far from the target display. Only the active training group detected targets more quickly when the tool was placed near, rather than far, from the target display. This effect of tool location was not present for either the passive-training or control groups. These results suggest that motor learning influences how visual space around the tool is represented.

  11. Vibrissa motor cortex activity suppresses contralateral whisking behavior.

    PubMed

    Ebbesen, Christian Laut; Doron, Guy; Lenschow, Constanze; Brecht, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Anatomical, stimulation and lesion data implicate vibrissa motor cortex in whisker motor control. Work on motor cortex has focused on movement generation, but correlations between vibrissa motor cortex activity and whisking are weak. The exact role of vibrissa motor cortex remains unknown. We recorded vibrissa motor cortex neurons during various forms of vibrissal touch, which were invariably associated with whisker protraction and movement. Free whisking, object palpation and social touch all resulted in decreased cortical activity. To understand this activity decrease, we performed juxtacellular recordings, nanostimulation and in vivo whole-cell recordings. Social touch resulted in decreased spiking activity, decreased cell excitability and membrane hyperpolarization. Activation of vibrissa motor cortex by intracortical microstimulation elicited whisker retraction, as if to abort vibrissal touch. Various vibrissa motor cortex inactivation protocols resulted in contralateral protraction and increased whisker movements. These data collectively point to movement suppression as a prime function of vibrissa motor cortex activity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Active training paradigm for motor imagery BCI.

    PubMed

    Li, Junhua; Zhang, Liqing

    2012-06-01

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) allows the use of brain activities for people to directly communicate with the external world or to control external devices without participation of any peripheral nerves and muscles. Motor imagery is one of the most popular modes in the research field of brain-computer interface. Although motor imagery BCI has some advantages compared with other modes of BCI, such as asynchronization, it is necessary to require training sessions before using it. The performance of trained BCI system depends on the quality of training samples or the subject engagement. In order to improve training effect and decrease training time, we proposed a new paradigm where subjects participated in training more actively than in the traditional paradigm. In the traditional paradigm, a cue (to indicate what kind of motor imagery should be imagined during the current trial) is given to the subject at the beginning of a trial or during a trial, and this cue is also used as a label for this trial. It is usually assumed that labels for trials are accurate in the traditional paradigm, although subjects may not have performed the required or correct kind of motor imagery, and trials may thus be mislabeled. And then those mislabeled trials give rise to interference during model training. In our proposed paradigm, the subject is required to reconfirm the label and can correct the label when necessary. This active training paradigm may generate better training samples with fewer inconsistent labels because it overcomes mistakes when subject's motor imagination does not match the given cues. The experiments confirm that our proposed paradigm achieves better performance; the improvement is significant according to statistical analysis.

  14. The Roles of the Olivocerebellar Pathway in Motor Learning and Motor Control. A Consensus Paper.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  15. Meeting Learning Challenges: Working with Children Who Have Motor Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenspan, Stanley I.

    2005-01-01

    Problems with large-motor coordination is motor planning and sequencing. This is the ability to carry out actions that require five or six steps. For example, many children can take off their coats, hang them in their cubbies, walk back to a table, sit at the table, and get ready for an activity. A child with coordination problems is likely to…

  16. Somatosensory Contribution to Motor Learning Due to Facial Skin Deformation

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Takayuki

    2010-01-01

    Motor learning is dependent on kinesthetic information that is obtained both from cutaneous afferents and from muscle receptors. In human arm movement, information from these two kinds of afferents is largely correlated. The facial skin offers a unique situation in which there are plentiful cutaneous afferents and essentially no muscle receptors and, accordingly, experimental manipulations involving the facial skin may be used to assess the possible role of cutaneous afferents in motor learning. We focus here on the information for motor learning provided by the deformation of the facial skin and the motion of the lips in the context of speech. We used a robotic device to slightly stretch the facial skin lateral to the side of the mouth in the period immediately preceding movement. We found that facial skin stretch increased lip protrusion in a progressive manner over the course of a series of training trials. The learning was manifest in a changed pattern of lip movement, when measured after learning in the absence of load. The newly acquired motor plan generalized partially to another speech task that involved a lip movement of different amplitude. Control tests indicated that the primary source of the observed adaptation was sensory input from cutaneous afferents. The progressive increase in lip protrusion over the course of training fits with the basic idea that change in sensory input is attributed to motor performance error. Sensory input, which in the present study precedes the target movement, is credited to the target-related motion, even though the skin stretch is released prior to movement initiation. This supports the idea that the nervous system generates motor commands on the assumption that sensory input and kinematic error are in register. PMID:20592121

  17. Motor Learning in Childhood Reveals Distinct Mechanisms for Memory Retention and Re-Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

    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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Motor imagery muscle contraction strength influences spinal motor neuron excitability and cardiac sympathetic nerve activity.

    PubMed

    Bunno, Yoshibumi; Suzuki, Toshiaki; Iwatsuki, Hiroyasu

    2015-12-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in spinal motor neuron excitability and autonomic nervous system activity during motor imagery of isometric thenar muscle activity at 10% and 50% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). [Methods] The F-waves and low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio were recorded at rest, during motor imagery, and post-trial. For motor imagery trials, subjects were instructed to imagine thenar muscle activity at 10% and 50% MVC while holding the sensor of a pinch meter for 5 min. [Results] The F-waves and LF/HF ratio during motor imagery at 50% MVC were significantly increased compared with those at rest, whereas those during motor imagery at 10% MVC were not significantly different from those at rest. The relative values of the F/M amplitude ratio during motor imagery at 50% MVC were significantly higher than those at 10% MVC. The relative values of persistence and the LF/HF ratio during motor imagery were similar during motor imagery at the two muscle contraction strengths. [Conclusion] Motor imagery can increase the spinal motor neuron excitability and cardiac sympathetic nerve activity. Motor imagery at 50% MVC may be more effective than motor imagery at 10% MVC.

  20. Motor Skill Learning in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bo, Jin; Lee, Chi-Mei

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Motor Learning: The FoxP2 Puzzle Piece

    PubMed Central

    Teramitsu, Ikuko; White, Stephanie A.

    2009-01-01

    Mutation of the DNA-binding region of the FOXP2 protein causes an inherited language disorder. A recent study provides the first data on mice with this mutation, which exhibit deficits in motor-skill learning and abnormal properties of neural circuits that contribute to these skills. PMID:18430631

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  3. Motor learning of mice lacking cerebellar Purkinje cells

    PubMed Central

    Porras-García, M. Elena; Ruiz, Rocío; Pérez-Villegas, Eva M.; Armengol, José Á.

    2013-01-01

    The cerebellum plays a key role in the acquisition and execution of motor tasks whose physiological foundations were postulated on Purkinje cells' long-term depression (LTD). Numerous research efforts have been focused on understanding the cerebellum as a site of learning and/or memory storage. However, the controversy on which part of the cerebellum participates in motor learning, and how the process takes place, remains unsolved. In fact, it has been suggested that cerebellar cortex, deep cerebellar nuclei, and/or their combination with some brain structures other than the cerebellum are responsible for motor learning. Different experimental approaches have been used to tackle this question (cerebellar lesions, pharmacological agonist and/or antagonist of cerebellar neurotransmitters, virus tract tracings, etc.). One of these approaches is the study of spontaneous mutations affecting the cerebellar cortex and depriving it of its main input–output organizer (i.e., the Purkinje cell). In this review, we discuss the results obtained in our laboratory in motor learning of both Lurcher (Lc/+) and tambaleante (tbl/tbl) mice as models of Purkinje-cell-devoid cerebellum. PMID:23630472

  4. Motor learning of mice lacking cerebellar Purkinje cells.

    PubMed

    Porras-García, M Elena; Ruiz, Rocío; Pérez-Villegas, Eva M; Armengol, José Á

    2013-01-01

    The cerebellum plays a key role in the acquisition and execution of motor tasks whose physiological foundations were postulated on Purkinje cells' long-term depression (LTD). Numerous research efforts have been focused on understanding the cerebellum as a site of learning and/or memory storage. However, the controversy on which part of the cerebellum participates in motor learning, and how the process takes place, remains unsolved. In fact, it has been suggested that cerebellar cortex, deep cerebellar nuclei, and/or their combination with some brain structures other than the cerebellum are responsible for motor learning. Different experimental approaches have been used to tackle this question (cerebellar lesions, pharmacological agonist and/or antagonist of cerebellar neurotransmitters, virus tract tracings, etc.). One of these approaches is the study of spontaneous mutations affecting the cerebellar cortex and depriving it of its main input-output organizer (i.e., the Purkinje cell). In this review, we discuss the results obtained in our laboratory in motor learning of both Lurcher (Lc/+) and tambaleante (tbl/tbl) mice as models of Purkinje-cell-devoid cerebellum.

  5. Early Boost and Slow Consolidation in Motor Skill Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  6. Random motor unit activation by electrostimulation.

    PubMed

    Jubeau, M; Gondin, J; Martin, A; Sartorio, A; Maffiuletti, N A

    2007-11-01

    Whether the involvement of motor units is different between surface neuromuscular electrostimulation and voluntary activation remains an unresolved issue. The aim of this pilot study was to verify if motor unit activation during electrostimulation is nonselective/random (i.e., without obvious sequencing related to fibre type), as recently suggested by Gregory and Bickel [6]. Sixteen healthy men randomly performed submaximal isometric contractions (10-s duration) of the quadriceps femoris muscle at 20, 40 and 60 % of maximal voluntary torque under both stimulated and voluntary conditions. During the contractions, paired stimuli were delivered to the femoral nerve (twitch interpolation technique) and the characteristics of the superimposed doublet were compared between the two conditions. For each torque level, time-to-peak torque was significantly longer (p range = 0.05 - 0.0002) during electrostimulation compared to voluntary contractions. Moreover, time-to-peak torque during voluntary trials decreased significantly when increasing the torque level from 20 to 60 % of maximal voluntary torque (p range = 0.03 - 0.0001), whereas it was unchanged during electrostimulation. In conclusion, over-the-muscle electrostimulation would neither result in motor unit recruitment according to Henneman's size principle nor would it result in a reversal in voluntary recruitment order. During electrostimulation, muscle fibres are activated without obvious sequencing related to fibre type.

  7. Thalamocortical Projections onto Behaviorally Relevant Neurons Exhibit Plasticity during Adult Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Biane, Jeremy S; Takashima, Yoshio; Scanziani, Massimo; Conner, James M; Tuszynski, Mark H

    2016-03-16

    Layer 5 neurons of the neocortex receive direct and relatively strong input from the thalamus. However, the intralaminar distribution of these inputs and their capacity for plasticity in adult animals are largely unknown. In slices of the primary motor cortex (M1), we simultaneously recorded from pairs of corticospinal neurons associated with control of distinct motor outputs: distal forelimb versus proximal forelimb. Activation of ChR2-expressing thalamocortical afferents in M1 before motor learning produced equivalent responses in monosynaptic excitation of neurons controlling the distal and proximal forelimb, suggesting balanced thalamic input at baseline. Following skilled grasp training, however, thalamocortical input shifted to bias activation of corticospinal neurons associated with control of the distal forelimb. This increase was associated with a cell-specific increase in mEPSC amplitude but not presynaptic release probability. These findings demonstrate distinct and highly segregated plasticity of thalamocortical projections during adult learning.

  8. Individual Differences in Learning a Novel Discrete Motor Task

    PubMed Central

    Golenia, Laura; Schoemaker, Marina M.; Mouton, Leonora J.; Bongers, Raoul M.

    2014-01-01

    Many motor learning studies focus on average performance while it is known from everyday life experience that humans differ in their way of learning new motor tasks. This study emphasises the importance of recognizing individual differences in motor learning. We studied individual tool grasping profiles of individuals who learned to pick up objects with a novel tool, a pair of pliers. The pair of pliers was attached to the thumb and the index finger so that the tip of the thumb and the tip of the index finger were displaced to the beaks of the pair of pliers. The grasp component was manipulated by varying the location of the hinge of the pair of pliers, which resulted in different relations between beak opening and closing and finger opening and closing. The Wider Beak group had the hinge at 7 cm, the Same Beak group had the hinge at 10 cm (i.e., in the middle), and the Smaller Beak group had the hinge at 13 cm from the digits. Each group consisted of ten right-handed participants who picked up an object with one of the pairs of pliers 200 times on two subsequent days. Hand opening, plateau phase, hand closing, grasping time and maximum aperture were analyzed. To characterize individual changes over practice time, a log function was fitted on these dependent variables and the ratio of improvement was determined. Results showed that at the beginning stage of tool use learning the characteristic grasping profile consisted of three phases; hand opening, plateau phase and hand closing. Over practicing individual participants differed in the number of phases that changed, the amount of change in a phase and/or the direction of change. Moreover, with different pliers different learning paths were found. The importance of recognizing individual differences in motor learning is discussed. PMID:25386708

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

    PubMed

    Heuer, Herbert; Lüttgen, Jenna

    2015-09-01

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

  10. Specialized Motor-Driven dusp1 Expression in the Song Systems of Multiple Lineages of Vocal Learning Birds

    PubMed Central

    Horita, Haruhito; Kobayashi, Masahiko; Liu, Wan-chun; Oka, Kotaro; Jarvis, Erich D.; Wada, Kazuhiro

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22876306

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  12. A motor learning perspective for optimizing intervention intensity.

    PubMed

    Manes, Jordan; Robin, Donald A

    2012-10-01

    Baker (2012) has addressed the critical issue of optimizing intervention intensity in the field of speech-language pathology. While this provides a useful framework from which to examine treatment intensities across a variety of approaches, it does little to inform how certain factors (e.g., feedback frequency, practice schedules) might be manipulated to optimize learning in ways that are effective and efficient. Evidence from the speech and non-speech motor learning literature suggests that the optimal intensities for utilizing practice and feedback are dependent on interactive factors such as task variability, target complexity, and therapeutic goals. In light of the complex interactions of treatment factors, it is proposed that the principles of motor learning be used as a guide to develop precise, interactive models that describe the optimal treatment conditions for specific approaches to intervention in speech-language pathology.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Functional neuroanatomy associated with the expression of distinct movement kinematics in motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Orban, P; Peigneux, P; Lungu, O; Debas, K; Barakat, M; Bellec, P; Benali, H; Maquet, P; Doyon, J

    2011-04-14

    A broad range of motor skills, such as speech and writing, evolves with the ability to articulate elementary motor movements into novel sequences that come to be performed smoothly through practice. Neuroimaging studies in humans have demonstrated the involvement of the cerebello-cortical and striato-cortical motor loops in the course of motor sequence learning. Nonetheless, the nature of the improvement and brain mechanisms underlying different parameters of movement kinematics are not yet fully ascertained. We aimed at dissociating the cerebral substrates related to the increase in performance on two kinematic indices: velocity, that is the speed with which each single movement in the sequence is produced, and transitions, that is the duration of the gap between these individual movements. In this event-related fMRI experiment, participants practiced an eight-element sequence of finger presses on a keypad which allowed to record those kinematic movement parameters. Velocity was associated with activations in the ipsilateral spinocerebellum (lobules 4-5, 8 and medial lobule 6) and in the contralateral primary motor cortex. Transitions were associated with increased activity in the neocerebellum (lobules 6 bilaterally and lobule 4-5 ipsilaterally), as well as with activations within the right and left putamen and a broader bilateral network of motor cortical areas. These findings indicate that, rather than being the product of a single mechanism, the general improvement in motor performance associated with early motor sequence learning arises from at least two distinct kinematic processes, whose behavioral expressions are supported by partially overlapping and segregated brain networks.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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 <1 min of accumulated stimulation. These learned changes were consolidated over >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.

  16. Brain activation patterns of motor imagery reflect plastic changes associated with intensive shooting training.

    PubMed

    Baeck, Jong-Su; Kim, Yang-Tae; Seo, Jee-Hye; Ryeom, Hun-Kyu; Lee, Jongmin; Choi, Sung-Mook; Woo, Minjung; Kim, Woojong; Kim, Jin Gu; Chang, Yongmin

    2012-09-01

    Evidence from previous studies has suggested that motor imagery and motor action engage overlapping brain systems. As a result of this observation that motor imagery can activate brain regions associated with actual motor movement, motor imagery is expected to enhance motor skill performance and become an underlying principle for physical training in sports and physical rehabilitation. However, few studies have examined the effects of physical training on motor imagery in beginners. Also, differences in neural networks related to motor imagery before and after training have seldom been studied. In the current study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the question of whether motor imagery can reflect plastic changes of neural correlates associated with intensive training. In fact, motor imagery was used in this study as a tool to assess the brain areas involved in shooting and involved in learning of shooting. We discovered that use of motor imagery resulted in recruitment of widely distributed common cortical areas, which were suggested to play a role in generation and maintenance of mental images before and after 90 h of shooting training. In addition to these common areas, brain activation before and after 90 h of shooting practice showed regionally distinct patterns of activity change in subcortical motor areas. That is, basal ganglia showed increased activity after 90 h of shooting practice, suggesting the occurrence of plastic change in association with gains in performance and reinforcement learning. Therefore, our results suggest that, in order to reach a level of expertise, the brain would change through initial reinforcement of preexistent connections during the training period and then use more focused neural correlates through formation of new connections.

  17. Pupil Diameter May Reflect Motor Control and Learning.

    PubMed

    White, Olivier; French, Robert M

    2017-01-01

    Non-luminance-mediated changes in pupil diameter have been used since the first studies by Darwin in 1872 as indicators of clinical, cognitive, and arousal states. However, the relation between processes involved in motor control and changes in pupil diameter remains largely unknown. Twenty participants attempted to compensate random walks of a cursor with a computer mouse to restrain its trajectory within a target circle while the authors recorded their pupil diameters. Two conditions allowed the authors to experimentally manipulate the motor and cognitive components of the task. First, the step size of the cursor's random walk was either large or small leading to 2 task difficulties (difficult or easy). Second, they instructed participants to imagine controlling the cursor by moving the mouse, but without actually moving it (task modality: imagined movement or real movement condition). Task difficulty and modality allowed the authors to show that pupil diameters reflect processes involved in motor control and in the processing of feedback, respectively. Furthermore, the authors also demonstrate that motor learning can be quantified by pupil size. This noninvasive approach provides a promising method for investigating not only motor control, but also motor imagery, a research field of growing importance in sports and rehabilitation.

  18. Effects of a B-vitamin-deficient diet on exploratory activity, motor coordination, and spatial learning in young adult Balb/c mice.

    PubMed

    Lalonde, R; Barraud, H; Ravey, J; Guéant, J-L; Bronowicki, J-P; Strazielle, C

    2008-01-10

    Elevated homocysteine levels resulting from vitamin B deficiencies have been hypothesized to contribute to functional decline. To investigate the effects of elevated serum homocysteine on neurobehavioral performances, young adult Balb/c mice consumed a vitamin-B-deficient diet or a control diet under free-feeding and pair-fed conditions. The B-deficient diet decreased body weight and food intake but increased water ingestion. Relative to either control group, vitamin-B-deficient mice were more active in the open field and in enclosed arms of the elevated plus-maze. However, vitamin-B-deficient mice were not impaired on sensorimotor coordination and spatial learning tests, swimming to a visible platform even faster than either control group. The main effect of this diet restriction was hyperactivity with no change in anxiety, coordination, and memory. It remains to be determined whether severer deficits are demonstrable in older mice.

  19. Technology Learning Activities I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Technology Education Association, Reston, VA.

    This guide contains 30 technology learning activities. Activities may contain all or some of the following: an introduction, objectives, materials and equipment, challenges, limitations, notes and investigations, resources and references used, and evaluation ideas. Activity titles are: (1) Occupations in Construction Technology; (2) Designing a…

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. Inducible ablation of dopamine D2 receptors in adult mice impairs locomotion, motor skill learning and leads to severe parkinsonism.

    PubMed

    Bello, E P; Casas-Cordero, R; Galiñanes, G L; Casey, E; Belluscio, M A; Rodríguez, V; Noaín, D; Murer, M G; Rubinstein, M

    2017-04-01

    Motor execution and planning are tightly regulated by dopamine D1 and D2 receptors present in basal ganglia circuits. Although stimulation of D1 receptors is known to enhance motor function, the global effect of D2 receptor (D2R) stimulation or blockade remains highly controversial, with studies showing increasing, decreasing or no changes in motor activity. Moreover, pharmacological and genetic attempts to block or eliminate D2R have led to controversial results that questioned the importance of D2R in motor function. In this study, we generated an inducible Drd2 null-allele mouse strain that circumvented developmental compensations found in constitutive Drd2(-/-) mice and allowed us to directly evaluate the participation of D2R in spontaneous locomotor activity and motor learning. We have found that loss of D2R during adulthood causes severe motor impairments, including hypolocomotion, deficits in motor coordination, impaired learning of new motor routines and spontaneous catatonia. Moreover, severe motor impairment, resting tremor and abnormal gait and posture, phenotypes reminiscent of Parkinson's disease, were evident when the mutation was induced in aged mice. Altogether, the conditional Drd2 knockout model studied here revealed the overall fundamental contribution of D2R in motor functions and explains some of the side effects elicited by D2R blockers when used in neurological and psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Tourette's syndrome, dementia, alcohol-induced delusions and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  3. Sleep to learn after stroke: implicit and explicit off-line motor learning.

    PubMed

    Siengsukon, Catherine F; Boyd, Lara A

    2009-02-13

    After stroke, many individuals experience persistent motor impairments as well as altered patterns of sleep. Therefore, examining the role of sleep in motor skill learning following stroke is a critical issue. Other learning variables, such as type of instruction, may interact with sleep to influence sleep-dependent motor learning. Forty individuals with stroke and 40 control participants practiced a continuous motor tracking task and then either slept (sleep condition) or stayed awake (no-sleep condition) between practice and retention testing. Half were provided explicit information regarding the presence of a repeating sequence (explicit condition), while the other half were not (implicit condition). After stroke, individuals demonstrated sleep-dependent off-line motor learning of both the implicit and explicit version of the continuous tracking task; however, individuals with stroke who stayed awake between practice and retention testing did not demonstrate an improvement in motor performance at retention. Neither sleep nor instruction differentiated the performance of the healthy control participants. These data suggest that aspects of motor recovery after stroke may be modulated by sleep.

  4. Evidence for biomechanics and motor learning research improving golf performance.

    PubMed

    Keogh, Justin W L; Hume, Patria A

    2012-06-01

    The aim of this review was to determine how the findings of biomechanics and motor control/learning research may be used to improve golf performance. To be eligible, the biomechanics and motor learning studies had to use direct (ball displacement and shot accuracy) or indirect (clubhead velocity and clubface angle) golf performance outcome measures. Biomechanical studies suggested that reducing the radius path of the hands during the downswing, increasing wrist torque and/or range of motion, delaying wrist motion to late in the downswing, increasing downswing amplitude, improving sequential acceleration of body parts, improving weight transfer, and utilising X-factor stretch and physical conditioning programmes can improve clubhead velocity. Motor learning studies suggested that golf performance improved more when golfers focused on swing outcome or clubhead movement rather than specific body movements. A distributed practice approach involving multiple sessions per week of blocked, errorless practice may be best for improving putting accuracy of novice golfers, although variable practice may be better for skilled golfers. Video, verbal, or a combination of video and verbal feedback can increase mid-short iron distance in novice to mid-handicap (hcp) golfers. Coaches should not only continue to critique swing technique but also consider how the focus, structure, and types of feedback for practice may alter learning for different groups of golfers.

  5. Social-comparative feedback affects motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Lewthwaite, Rebecca; Wulf, Gabriele

    2010-04-01

    This study examined motivational effects of feedback on motor learning. Specifically, we investigated the influence of social-comparative feedback on the learning of a balance task (stabilometer). In addition to veridical feedback (error scores reflecting deviation from the target horizontal platform position) about their own performance after each trial, two groups received false normative information about the "average" score of others on that trial. Average performance scores indicated that the participant's performance was either above (better group) or below (worse group) the average, respectively. A control group received veridical feedback about trial performance without normative feedback. Learning as a function of social-comparative feedback was determined in a retention test without feedback, performed on a third day following two days of practice. Normative feedback affected the learning of the balance task: The better group demonstrated more effective balance performance than both the worse and control groups on the retention test. Furthermore, high-frequency/low-amplitude balance adjustments, indicative of more automatic control of movement, were greater in the better than in the worse group. The control group exhibited more limited learning and less automaticity than both the better and the worse groups. The findings indicate that positive normative feedback had a facilitatory effect on motor learning.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kee, Ying Hwa; Liu, Yeou-Teh

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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.…

  8. Activation of thalamus in motor imagery results from gating by hypnosis.

    PubMed

    Müller, Katharina; Bacht, Katrin; Prochnow, Denise; Schramm, Stefanie; Seitz, Rüdiger J

    2013-02-01

    The ability to mentally imagine the performance of automatic movements has been well-established being employed in sports and physiotherapy as a tool for motor learning and rehabilitation. This is probably mediated by engagement of the same brain areas as during real motor performance. Here we investigated the effect of hypnotic trance on the cerebral activation pattern engaged in motor imagery in 16 healthy, right-handed subjects using fMRI. Motor imagery as compared with rest was related to activations in the left medial frontal areas (preSMA/SMA), prefrontal- and frontal areas, putamen and inferior parietal areas. When compared with performance of the same movements motor imagery resulted in activation of the left middle frontal cortex, precuneus, and posterior cingulate. Under hypnotic trance there was one extra-activation in the left thalamus which occurred specifically in the motor imagery condition. The regional beta indices were highly correlated among the areas of the cortical-subcortical motor network. Our data accord with the notion that hypnotic trance enhances the motor control circuit engaged in motor imagery by modulating the gating function of the thalamus.

  9. Motor Behavior Activates Bergmann Glial Networks

    PubMed Central

    Nimmerjahn, Axel; Mukamel, Eran A.; Schnitzer, Mark J.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Although it is firmly established neuronal activity is a prime determinant of animal behavior, relationships between astrocytic excitation and animal behavior have remained opaque. Cerebellar Bergmann glia are radial astrocytes that are implicated in motor behavior and exhibit Ca2+-excitation. However, Ca2+-excitation in these cells has not previously been studied in behaving animals. Using two-photon microscopy we found that Bergmann glia exhibit three forms of Ca2+-excitation in awake behaving mice. Two of these are ongoing within the cerebellar vermis. During locomotor performance concerted Ca2+-excitation arises in networks of at least hundreds of Bergmann glia extending across several hundred microns or more. Concerted Ca2+-excitation was abolished by anesthesia or blockade of either neural activity or glutamatergic transmission. Thus, large networks of Bergmann glia can be activated by specific animal behaviors and undergo excitation of sufficient magnitude to potentially initiate macroscopic changes in brain dynamics or blood flow. PMID:19447095

  10. Variability in action: Contributions of a songbird cortical-basal ganglia circuit to vocal motor learning and control.

    PubMed

    Woolley, S C; Kao, M H

    2015-06-18

    Many motor behaviors, from walking to speaking, are acquired through experience, in particular, through trial-and-error learning. The acquisition and maintenance of such motor behaviors in a wide range of species, including humans, appear to depend on cortical-basal ganglia circuits. In this review, we discuss recent studies in songbirds that have been pivotal in informing our current understanding of motor learning and cortical-basal ganglia function. Songbirds are important ethological model systems for the study of motor learning because young songbirds naturally develop and refine their songs through trial-and-error learning. In addition, reinforcement mechanisms are hypothesized to be important for the maintenance and plasticity of structured adult song. Computational and experimental studies highlight the importance of vocal motor variability as the substrate upon which reinforcement mechanisms could operate to shape developing song and to maintain adult song. Recent studies in songbirds indicate that this vocal motor variability is actively generated and modulated by a highly specialized cortical-basal ganglia circuit evolved for a single behavior, song. We argue that these and other recent findings illustrate how the tight association between a specialized neural circuit and a natural behavior make songbirds a unique and powerful model in which to investigate the neural substrates of motor learning and plasticity.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kleynen, Melanie; Braun, Susy M.; Rasquin, Sascha M. C.; Bleijlevens, Michel H. C.; Lexis, Monique A. S.; Halfens, Jos; Wilson, Mark R.; Masters, Rich S. W.; Beurskens, Anna J.

    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 experiences, using the distinction between implicit and explicit motor learning as a conceptual departure point. Methods 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. Results 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). Conclusion 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. PMID:26296203

  12. Processing abstract language modulates motor system activity.

    PubMed

    Glenberg, Arthur M; Sato, Marc; Cattaneo, Luigi; Riggio, Lucia; Palumbo, Daniele; Buccino, Giovanni

    2008-06-01

    Embodiment theory proposes that neural systems for perception and action are also engaged during language comprehension. Previous neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies have only been able to demonstrate modulation of action systems during comprehension of concrete language. We provide neurophysiological evidence for modulation of motor system activity during the comprehension of both concrete and abstract language. In Experiment 1, when the described direction of object transfer or information transfer (e.g., away from the reader to another) matched the literal direction of a hand movement used to make a response, speed of responding was faster than when the two directions mismatched (an action-sentence compatibility effect). In Experiment 2, we used single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to study changes in the corticospinal motor pathways to hand muscles while reading the same sentences. Relative to sentences that do not describe transfer, there is greater modulation of activity in the hand muscles when reading sentences describing transfer of both concrete objects and abstract information. These findings are discussed in relation to the human mirror neuron system.

  13. Snoddy (1926) revisited: time scales of motor learning.

    PubMed

    Stratton, Shannon M; Liu, Yeou-Teh; Hong, Siang Lee; Mayer-Kress, Gottfried; Newell, Karl M

    2007-11-01

    The authors investigated the time scales of the learning of a mirror-tracing task to reexamine G. S. Snoddy's (1926) original claim and the received theoretical view (A. Newell & P. S. Rosenbloom, 1981) that motor learning follows a power law. Adult participants (N = 16) learned the tracing task in either a normal or a reversed visual-image condition over 5 consecutive days of practice and then performed 1 day of practice 1 week later and again 1 month later. The reversed-image group's performance was poorer than that of the normal-image group throughout the practice. An exponential was the best fitting function on individual data, but the power-law function was the best fit on the group-averaged data. The findings provided preliminary evidence that 2 characteristic time scales, (a) fast, dominated by warm-up, and (b) slow, dominated by persistent change, capture individuals' performance in the learning of the mirror-tracing task.

  14. Neural correlates of motor learning, transfer of learning, and learning to learn.

    PubMed

    Seidler, Rachael D

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies on the neural bases of sensorimotor adaptation demonstrate that the cerebellar and striatal thalamocortical pathways contribute to early learning. Transfer of learning involves a reduction in the contribution of early learning networks and increased reliance on the cerebellum. The neural correlates of learning to learn remain to be determined but likely involve enhanced functioning of the general aspects of early learning.

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

    PubMed Central

    Colomb, Julien

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27168980

  16. Synchrony and motor mimicking in chimpanzee observational learning

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipp, Genevieve Pinto; Gentile, A. M.

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Emergence of virtual reality as a tool for upper limb rehabilitation: incorporation of motor control and motor learning principles.

    PubMed

    Levin, Mindy F; Weiss, Patrice L; Keshner, Emily A

    2015-03-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Length regulation of active biopolymers by molecular motors.

    PubMed

    Johann, Denis; Erlenkämper, Christoph; Kruse, Karsten

    2012-06-22

    For biopolymers like cytoskeletal actin filaments and microtubules, assembly and disassembly are inherently dissipative processes. Molecular motors can affect the rates of subunit removal at filament ends. We introduce a driven lattice-gas model to study the effects of motor-induced depolymerization on the length of active biopolymers and find that increasing motor activity sharpens unimodal steady-state length distributions. Furthermore, for sufficiently fast moving motors, the relative width of the length distribution is determined only by the attachment rate of motors. Our results show how established molecular processes can be used to robustly regulate the size of cytoskeletal structures like mitotic spindles.

  1. Understanding and modulating motor learning with Cerebellar stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Celnik, Pablo

    2014-01-01

    Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques are a powerful approach to investigate the physiology and function of the central nervous system. Recent years have seen numerous investigations delivering transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the cerebellum to determine its role in motor, cognitive and emotional behaviours. Early studies have shown that it is possible to assess cerebellar-motor cortex (CB-M1) connectivity using a paired-pulse TMS paradigm called cerebellar inhibition (CBI), and indirectly infer the state of cerebellar excitability. Thus, it has been shown that CBI changes proportionally to the magnitude of locomotor learning and in association with reaching adaption tasks. In addition, CBI has been used to demonstrate at a physiological level the effects of applying TMS or tDCS to modulate, up or down, the excitability of cerebellar-M1 connectivity. These studies became the fundamental substrate to newer investigations showing that we can affect motor, cognitive and emotional behaviour when TMS or tDCS targeting the cerebellum is delivered in the context of performance. Furthermore, newer investigations are starting to report the effects of cerebellar non-invasive stimulation to treat symptoms associated with neurological conditions such as stroke and dystonia. Altogether, non-invasive cerebellar stimulation can potentially become a game changer for the management of conditions that affect the cerebellum given the scarcity of current effective therapeutic options. In this brief manuscript, some of the current evidence demonstrating the effects of cerebellar stimulation to modulate motor behaviour and its use to assess physiological processes underlying motor learning are presented. PMID:25283180

  2. Auditory feedback in error-based learning of motor regularity.

    PubMed

    van Vugt, Floris T; Tillmann, Barbara

    2015-05-05

    Music and speech are skills that require high temporal precision of motor output. A key question is how humans achieve this timing precision given the poor temporal resolution of somatosensory feedback, which is classically considered to drive motor learning. We hypothesise that auditory feedback critically contributes to learn timing, and that, similarly to visuo-spatial learning models, learning proceeds by correcting a proportion of perceived timing errors. Thirty-six participants learned to tap a sequence regularly in time. For participants in the synchronous-sound group, a tone was presented simultaneously with every keystroke. For the jittered-sound group, the tone was presented after a random delay of 10-190 ms following the keystroke, thus degrading the temporal information that the sound provided about the movement. For the mute group, no keystroke-triggered sound was presented. In line with the model predictions, participants in the synchronous-sound group were able to improve tapping regularity, whereas the jittered-sound and mute group were not. The improved tapping regularity of the synchronous-sound group also transferred to a novel sequence and was maintained when sound was subsequently removed. The present findings provide evidence that humans engage in auditory feedback error-based learning to improve movement quality (here reduce variability in sequence tapping). We thus elucidate the mechanism by which high temporal precision of movement can be achieved through sound in a way that may not be possible with less temporally precise somatosensory modalities. Furthermore, the finding that sound-supported learning generalises to novel sequences suggests potential rehabilitation applications.

  3. Influence of motor activities on the release of transmitter quanta from motor nerve terminals in mice.

    PubMed

    Taquahashi, Y; Yonezawa, K; Nishimura, M

    1999-05-01

    We investigated the effects of motor activities on transmitter release in mouse nerve-muscle preparations of the diaphragm muscle (DPH), extensor digitorum longus muscle (EDL), and soleus muscle (SOL). Mice were divided into a control group, a motor-restricted (RST) group, and a motor-compelled (CMP) group. The quantal content (m) of endplate potentials was measured intracellularly. In DPH the motor activity was unaffected. In the CMP group the m value of the EDL group increased with increases in the cooperativity of Ca2+ in transmitter release. Compared with the CMP group, the SOL of the RST group had a smaller m value with increases in the cooperativity of Ca2+ in transmitter release. These results suggest that motor activities can influence neuromuscular activity specific to different systems, however, the motor compulsion specifically activated the function of EDL and the motor restriction activated the function of SOL, and these effects might lead to altered activity of the release of transmitter quanta in motor nerve terminals of mice.

  4. What Do TMS-Evoked Motor Potentials Tell Us About Motor Learning?

    PubMed

    Carson, Richard G; Ruddy, Kathy L; McNickle, Emmet

    2016-01-01

    Thirty years ago, the first magnetic device capable of stimulating the human brain without discomfort through the intact skull was unveiled in Sheffield, England (Barker et al. in Lancet 1:1106-1107, 1985). Since that time, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has become the tool of choice for many scientists investigating human motor control and learning. In light of the fact that there are limits to the information that can be provided by any experimental technique, we first make the case that the necessarily restricted explanatory scope of the TMS technique-and the motor-evoked potentials to which it gives rise, is not yet reflected adequately in the research literature. We also argue that this inattention, coupled with the pervasive adoption of TMS as an investigative tool, may be restricting the elaboration of knowledge concerning the neural processes that mediate human motor learning. In order to make these points, we use as an exemplar the study of cross-education-the interlimb transfer of functional capacity.

  5. Influence of the inter-reach-interval on motor learning.

    PubMed

    Francis, Joseph T

    2005-11-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated changes in motor memories with the passage of time on the order of hours. We sought to further this work by determining the influence that time on the order of seconds has on motor learning by changing the duration between successive reaches (inter-reach-interval (IRI)). Human subjects made reaching movements to visual targets while holding onto a robotic manipulandum that presented a viscous curl field. We tested four experimental groups that differed with respect to the IRI (0.5, 5, 10 or 20 s). The 0.5 s IRI group performed significantly worse with respect to a learning index than the other groups over the first set of 192 reaches. Each group demonstrated significant learning during the first set. There was no significant difference with respect to the learning index between the 5, 10 and 20 s IRI groups. During the second and third set of 192 reaches the 0.5 s IRI group's performance became indistinguishable from the other groups indicating that with continued training the initial deficit in performance could be overcome.

  6. Cortical activity predicts good variation in human motor output.

    PubMed

    Babikian, Sarine; Kanso, Eva; Kutch, Jason J

    2017-02-04

    Human movement patterns have been shown to be particularly variable if many combinations of activity in different muscles all achieve the same task goal (i.e., are goal-equivalent). The nervous system appears to automatically vary its output among goal-equivalent combinations of muscle activity to minimize muscle fatigue or distribute tissue loading, but the neural mechanism of this "good" variation is unknown. Here we use a bimanual finger task, electroencephalography (EEG), and machine learning to determine if cortical signals can predict goal-equivalent variation in finger force output. 18 healthy participants applied left and right index finger forces to repeatedly perform a task that involved matching a total (sum of right and left) finger force. As in previous studies, we observed significantly more variability in goal-equivalent muscle activity across task repetitions compared to variability in muscle activity that would not achieve the goal: participants achieved the task in some repetitions with more right finger force and less left finger force (right > left) and in other repetitions with less right finger force and more left finger force (left > right). We found that EEG signals from the 500 milliseconds (ms) prior to each task repetition could make a significant prediction of which repetitions would have right > left and which would have left > right. We also found that cortical maps of sites contributing to the prediction contain both motor and pre-motor representation in the appropriate hemisphere. Thus, goal-equivalent variation in motor output may be implemented at a cortical level.

  7. Learning motor synergies makes use of information on muscular load.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Ruiz, J; Hall-Haro, C; Díaz, R; Mischner, J; Vergara, P; Lopez-Garcia, J C

    2000-01-01

    Prism adaptation, a form of procedural learning, requires the integration of visual and motor information for its proper acquisition. Although the role of the visual feedback has begun to be understood, the nature of the motor information necessary for the development of the adaptation remains unknown. In this work we have tested the idea that modifying the arm load at different stages of the adaptation process, and the ensuing change of motor information perceived by the subjects, would modify the final properties of the adaptation. We trained a set of subjects to throw balls to a target while wearing prism glasses and varied the weight of their arms at different time points during the task. We observed that the acquisition of the adaptation was not affected by the change in load. However, its persistence (i.e., the aftereffect) was reduced when tested under a weight condition different from the training trials. Furthermore, when the training weight conditions were restored later during testing, a second, late aftereffect was unmasked, suggesting that the missing aftereffect did not disappear but had remained latent. Our results show that the internal representation of a motor memory incorporates information about load conditions and that the memory stored under a specific weight condition can be fully retrieved only when the original training condition is restored.

  8. Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor Program Overview and Lessons Learned

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graves, Stan R.; McCool, Alex (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    An overview of the Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) program is provided with a summary of lessons learned since the first test firing in 1977. Fifteen different lessons learned are discussed that fundamentally changed the motor's design, processing, and RSRM program risk management systems. The evolution of the rocket motor design is presented including the baseline or High Performance Solid Rocket Motor (HPM), the Filament Wound Case (FWC), the RSRM, and the proposed Five-Segment Booster (FSB).

  9. Learning Activity Package, Algebra.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evans, Diane

    A set of ten teacher-prepared Learning Activity Packages (LAPs) in beginning algebra and nine in intermediate algebra, these units cover sets, properties of operations, number systems, open expressions, solution sets of equations and inequalities in one and two variables, exponents, factoring and polynomials, relations and functions, radicals,…

  10. Neural correlates of the contextual interference effect in motor learning: a transcranial magnetic stimulation investigation.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chien-Ho Janice; Winstein, Carolee J; Fisher, Beth E; Wu, Allan D

    2010-01-01

    The authors applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate the causal role of the primary motor cortex (M1) for the contextual-interference effect in motor learning. Previous work using a nonfocal TMS coil suggested a casual role for M1 during high-interference practice conditions, but this hypothesis has not yet been proven. In the 1st experiment, participants practiced 3 rapid elbow flexion-extension tasks in either a blocked or random order, with learning assessed by a delayed retention test. TMS was delivered immediately after feedback during practice using a circular coil, centered over the contralateral M1. Each participant practiced with 1 of 3 TMS conditions: no TMS, real TMS, or sham TMS. Although no significant differences were observed between groups during acquisition, retention of the random group was better than the blocked group. The learning benefits of random practice were attenuated in the real-TMS condition, but not in the sham-TMS or no-TMS conditions. In the second experiment, the authors studied the effects of suprathreshold TMS and subthreshold TMS over M1, lateral premotor cortex, and peripheral arm stimulation using a focal figure-8 coil on motor learning under random practice conditions. The authors found that only suprathreshold TMS on M1 produced significant disruption of retention compared to the other stimulation conditions. Results suggest that a high-threshold neuronal population within M1 is causally important for enhanced retention following random, but not block, practice. Results also support the early intertrial interval as a critical period of M1 activity during practice. Overall, these results suggest neural circuits within M1 contribute to motor learning processing that depends on learners' training experience. Results contribute to knowledge of the critical and specific role that M1 plays in generating a learning advantage following high-interference practice conditions.

  11. Sleep and motor learning: Is there room for consolidation?

    PubMed

    Pan, Steven C; Rickard, Timothy C

    2015-07-01

    It is widely believed that sleep is critical to the consolidation of learning and memory. In some skill domains, performance has been shown to improve by 20% or more following sleep, suggesting that sleep enhances learning. However, recent work suggests that those performance gains may be driven by several factors that are unrelated to sleep consolidation, inviting a reconsideration of sleep's theoretical role in the consolidation of procedural memories. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of that possibility for the case of motor sequence learning. Quantitative meta-analyses involving 34 articles, 88 experimental groups and 1,296 subjects confirmed the empirical pattern of a large performance gain following sleep and a significantly smaller gain following wakefulness. However, the results also confirm strong moderating effects of 4 previously hypothesized variables: averaging in the calculation of prepost gain scores, build-up of reactive inhibition over training, time of testing, and training duration, along with 1 supplemental variable, elderly status. With those variables accounted for, there was no evidence that sleep enhances learning. Thus, the literature speaks against, rather than for, the enhancement hypothesis. Overall there was relatively better performance after sleep than after wakefulness, suggesting that sleep may stabilize memory. That effect, however, was not consistent across different experimental designs. We conclude that sleep does not enhance motor learning and that the role of sleep in the stabilization of memory cannot be conclusively determined based on the literature to date. We discuss challenges and opportunities for the field, make recommendations for improved experimental design, and suggest approaches to data analysis that eliminate confounds due to averaging over online learning. (PsycINFO Database Record

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

    PubMed

    Roig, Marc; Ritterband-Rosenbaum, Anina; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2014-08-01

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

  13. Dissociation between the Procedural Learning of Letter Names and Motor Sequences in Developmental Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gabay, Yafit; Schiff, Rachel; Vakil, Eli

    2012-01-01

    Motor sequence learning has been studied extensively in Developmental dyslexia (DD). The purpose of the present research was to examine procedural learning of letter names and motor sequences in individuals with DD and control groups. Both groups completed the Serial Search Task which enabled the assessment of learning of letter names and motor…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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-hrs after learning). We trained forty-seven 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-hours 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-hrs 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. PMID:26645305

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. tDCS-induced alterations in GABA concentration within primary motor cortex predict motor learning and motor memory: a 7 T magnetic resonance spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soyoung; Stephenson, Mary C; Morris, Peter G; Jackson, Stephen R

    2014-10-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that alters cortical excitability in a polarity specific manner and has been shown to influence learning and memory. tDCS may have both on-line and after-effects on learning and memory, and the latter are thought to be based upon tDCS-induced alterations in neurochemistry and synaptic function. We used ultra-high-field (7 T) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), together with a robotic force adaptation and de-adaptation task, to investigate whether tDCS-induced alterations in GABA and Glutamate within motor cortex predict motor learning and memory. Note that adaptation to a robot-induced force field has long been considered to be a form of model-based learning that is closely associated with the computation and 'supervised' learning of internal 'forward' models within the cerebellum. Importantly, previous studies have shown that on-line tDCS to the cerebellum, but not to motor cortex, enhances model-based motor learning. Here we demonstrate that anodal tDCS delivered to the hand area of the left primary motor cortex induces a significant reduction in GABA concentration. This effect was specific to GABA, localised to the left motor cortex, and was polarity specific insofar as it was not observed following either cathodal or sham stimulation. Importantly, we show that the magnitude of tDCS-induced alterations in GABA concentration within motor cortex predicts individual differences in both motor learning and motor memory on the robotic force adaptation and de-adaptation task.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Feedback and monetary reward can enhance motor skill learning, suggesting reward system involvement. Continuous theta burst (cTBS) transcranial magnetic stimulation of the primary motor area (M1) disrupts processing, reduces excitability and impairs motor learning. To see whether feedback and reward can overcome the learning impairment associated with M1 cTBS, we delivered real or sham stimulation to two groups of participants before they performed a motor sequence learning task with and without feedback. Participants were trained on two intermixed sequences, one occurring 85% of the time (the “probable” sequence) and the other 15% of the time (the “improbable” sequence). We measured sequence learning as the difference in reaction time (RT) and error rate between probable and improbable trials (RT and error difference scores). Participants were also tested for sequence recall with the same indices of learning 60 min after cTBS. Real stimulation impaired initial sequence learning and sequence knowledge recall as measured by error difference scores and impaired sequence knowledge recall as measured by RT difference score. Relative to non-feedback learning, the introduction of feedback during sequence learning improved subsequent sequence knowledge recall indexed by RT difference score, in both real and sham stimulation groups and feedback reversed the RT difference score based sequence knowledge recall impairment from real cTBS that we observed in the non-feedback learning condition. Only the real cTBS group in the non-feedback condition showed no evidence of explicit sequence knowledge when tested at the end of the study. Feedback improves recall of implicit and explicit motor sequence knowledge and can protect sequence knowledge against the effect of M1 inhibition. Adding feedback and monetary reward/punishment to motor skill learning may help overcome retention impairments or accelerate training in clinical and other settings. PMID:26204232

  19. A computational framework for constructing interactive feedback for assisting motor learning.

    PubMed

    Sundaram, Hari; Chen, Yinpeng; Rikakis, Thanassis

    2011-01-01

    New motion capture technologies are allowing detailed, precise and complete monitoring of movement through real-time kinematic analysis. However, a clinically relevant understanding of movement impairment through kinematic analysis requires the development of computational models that integrate clinical expertise in the weighing of the kinematic parameters. The resulting kinematics based measures of movement impairment would further need to be integrated with existing clinical measures of activity disability. This is a challenging process requiring computational solutions that can extract correlations within and between three diverse data sets: human driven assessment of body function, kinematic based assessment of movement impairment and human driven assessment of activity. We propose to identify and characterize different sensorimotor control strategies used by normal individuals and by hemiparetic stroke survivors acquiring a skilled motor task. We will use novel quantitative approaches to further our understanding of how human motor function is coupled to multiple and simultaneous modes of feedback. The experiments rely on a novel interactive tasks environment developed by our team in which subjects are provided with rich auditory and visual feedback of movement variables to drive motor learning. Our proposed research will result in a computational framework for applying virtual information to assist motor learning for complex tasks that require coupling of proprioception, vision audio and haptic cues. We shall use the framework to devise a computational tool to assist with therapy of stroke survivors. This tool will utilize extracted relationships in a pre-clinical setting to generate effective and customized rehabilitation strategies.

  20. Activity-dependent plasticity improves M1 motor representation and corticospinal tract connectivity.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarty, S; Friel, K M; Martin, J H

    2009-03-01

    Motor cortex (M1) activity between postnatal weeks 5 and 7 is essential for normal development of the corticospinal tract (CST) and visually guided movements. Unilateral reversible inactivation of M1, by intracortical muscimol infusion, during this period permanently impairs development of the normal dorsoventral distribution of CST terminations and visually guided motor skills. These impairments are abrogated if this M1 inactivation is followed by inactivation of the contralateral, initially active M1, from weeks 7 to 11 (termed alternate inactivation). This later period is when the M1 motor representation normally develops. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of alternate inactivation on the motor representation of the initially inactivated M1. We used intracortical microstimulation to map the left M1 1 to 2 mo after the end of left M1 muscimol infusion. We compared representations in the unilateral inactivation and alternate inactivation groups. Alternate inactivation converted the sparse proximal M1 motor representation produced by unilateral inactivation to a complete and high-resolution proximal-distal representation. The motor map was restored by week 11, the same age that our present and prior studies demonstrated that alternate inactivation restored CST spinal connectivity. Thus M1 motor map developmental plasticity closely parallels plasticity of CST spinal terminations. After alternate inactivation reestablished CST connections and the motor map, an additional 3 wk was required for motor skill recovery. Since motor map recovery preceded behavioral recovery, our findings suggest that the representation is necessary for recovering motor skills, but additional time, or experience, is needed to learn to take advantage of the restored CST connections and motor map.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. From Spontaneous Motor Activity to Coordinated Behaviour: A Developmental Model

    PubMed Central

    Marques, Hugo Gravato; Bharadwaj, Arjun; Iida, Fumiya

    2014-01-01

    In mammals, the developmental path that links the primary behaviours observed during foetal stages to the full fledged behaviours observed in adults is still beyond our understanding. Often theories of motor control try to deal with the process of incremental learning in an abstract and modular way without establishing any correspondence with the mammalian developmental stages. In this paper, we propose a computational model that links three distinct behaviours which appear at three different stages of development. In order of appearance, these behaviours are: spontaneous motor activity (SMA), reflexes, and coordinated behaviours, such as locomotion. The goal of our model is to address in silico four hypotheses that are currently hard to verify in vivo: First, the hypothesis that spinal reflex circuits can be self-organized from the sensor and motor activity induced by SMA. Second, the hypothesis that supraspinal systems can modulate reflex circuits to achieve coordinated behaviour. Third, the hypothesis that, since SMA is observed in an organism throughout its entire lifetime, it provides a mechanism suitable to maintain the reflex circuits aligned with the musculoskeletal system, and thus adapt to changes in body morphology. And fourth, the hypothesis that by changing the modulation of the reflex circuits over time, one can switch between different coordinated behaviours. Our model is tested in a simulated musculoskeletal leg actuated by six muscles arranged in a number of different ways. Hopping is used as a case study of coordinated behaviour. Our results show that reflex circuits can be self-organized from SMA, and that, once these circuits are in place, they can be modulated to achieve coordinated behaviour. In addition, our results show that our model can naturally adapt to different morphological changes and perform behavioural transitions. PMID:25057775

  4. Cerebellar granule cells acquire a widespread predictive feedback signal during motor learning.

    PubMed

    Giovannucci, Andrea; Badura, Aleksandra; Deverett, Ben; Najafi, Farzaneh; Pereira, Talmo D; Gao, Zhenyu; Ozden, Ilker; Kloth, Alexander D; Pnevmatikakis, Eftychios; Paninski, Liam; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Medina, Javier F; Wang, Samuel S-H

    2017-03-20

    Cerebellar granule cells, which constitute half the brain's neurons, supply Purkinje cells with contextual information necessary for motor learning, but how they encode this information is unknown. Here we show, using two-photon microscopy to track neural activity over multiple days of cerebellum-dependent eyeblink conditioning in mice, that granule cell populations acquire a dense representation of the anticipatory eyelid movement. Initially, granule cells responded to neutral visual and somatosensory stimuli as well as periorbital airpuffs used for training. As learning progressed, two-thirds of monitored granule cells acquired a conditional response whose timing matched or preceded the learned eyelid movements. Granule cell activity covaried trial by trial to form a redundant code. Many granule cells were also active during movements of nearby body structures. Thus, a predictive signal about the upcoming movement is widely available at the input stage of the cerebellar cortex, as required by forward models of cerebellar control.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Human Engineering Inst., Cleveland, OH.

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

  6. Older adults learn less, but still reduce metabolic cost, during motor adaptation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Helen J; Ahmed, Alaa A

    2014-01-01

    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.

  7. Older adults learn less, but still reduce metabolic cost, during motor adaptation

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. Motor-response learning at a process control panel by an autonomous robot

    SciTech Connect

    Spelt, P.F.; de Saussure, G.; Lyness, E.; Pin, F.G.; Weisbin, C.R.

    1988-01-01

    The Center for Engineering Systems Advanced Research (CESAR) was founded at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Research/Division of Engineering and Geoscience (DOE-OER/DEG) to conduct basic research in the area of intelligent machines. Therefore, researchers at the CESAR Laboratory are engaged in a variety of research activities in the field of machine learning. In this paper, we describe our approach to a class of machine learning which involves motor response acquisition using feedback from trial-and-error learning. Our formulation is being experimentally validated using an autonomous robot, learning tasks of control panel monitoring and manipulation for effect process control. The CLIPS Expert System and the associated knowledge base used by the robot in the learning process, which reside in a hypercube computer aboard the robot, are described in detail. Benchmark testing of the learning process on a robot/control panel simulation system consisting of two intercommunicating computers is presented, along with results of sample problems used to train and test the expert system. These data illustrate machine learning and the resulting performance improvement in the robot for problems similar to, but not identical with, those on which the robot was trained. Conclusions are drawn concerning the learning problems, and implications for future work on machine learning for autonomous robots are discussed. 16 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  10. Motor Learning Research: Applications and Directions for Elementary Music Teaching and Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Mark

    1998-01-01

    Explores the literature from physical education psychomotor research in order to answer questions concerning elementary music psychomotor skills acquisition and retention by focusing on four aspects of motor-learning theories: (1) knowledge of results; (2) contextual interference; (3) cognitive strategies; and (4) modeling. (CMK)

  11. Daily update of motor predictions by physical activity.

    PubMed

    Gueugneau, Nicolas; Schweighofer, Nicolas; Papaxanthis, Charalambos

    2015-12-03

    Motor prediction, i.e., the ability to predict the sensory consequences of motor commands, is critical for adapted motor behavior. Like speed or force, the accuracy of motor prediction varies in a 24-hour basis. Although the prevailing view is that basic biological markers regulate this circadian modulation, behavioral factors such as physical activity, itself modulated by the alternation of night and day, can also regulate motor prediction. Here, we propose that physical activity updates motor prediction on a daily basis. We tested our hypothesis by up- and down-regulating physical activity via arm-immobilization and high-intensity training, respectively. Motor prediction was assessed by measuring the timing differences between actual and mental arm movements. Results show that although mental movement time was modulated during the day when the arm was unconstrained, it remained constant when the arm was immobilized. Additionally, increase of physical activity, via release from immobilization or intense bout of training, significantly reduced mental movement time. Finally, mental and actual times were similar in the afternoon in the unconstrained condition, indicating that predicted and actual movements match after sufficient amount of physical activity. Our study supports the view that physical activity calibrates motor predictions on a daily basis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Neural model for learning-to-learn of novel task sets in the motor domain.

    PubMed

    Pitti, Alexandre; Braud, Raphaël; Mahé, Sylvain; Quoy, Mathias; Gaussier, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    During development, infants learn to differentiate their motor behaviors relative to various contexts by exploring and identifying the correct structures of causes and effects that they can perform; these structures of actions are called task sets or internal models. The ability to detect the structure of new actions, to learn them and to select on the fly the proper one given the current task set is one great leap in infants cognition. This behavior is an important component of the child's ability of learning-to-learn, a mechanism akin to the one of intrinsic motivation that is argued to drive cognitive development. Accordingly, we propose to model a dual system based on (1) the learning of new task sets and on (2) their evaluation relative to their uncertainty and prediction error. The architecture is designed as a two-level-based neural system for context-dependent behavior (the first system) and task exploration and exploitation (the second system). In our model, the task sets are learned separately by reinforcement learning in the first network after their evaluation and selection in the second one. We perform two different experimental setups to show the sensorimotor mapping and switching between tasks, a first one in a neural simulation for modeling cognitive tasks and a second one with an arm-robot for motor task learning and switching. We show that the interplay of several intrinsic mechanisms drive the rapid formation of the neural populations with respect to novel task sets.

  14. Measurements of Myosin-II Motor Activity During Cytokinesis in Fission Yeast.

    PubMed

    Tang, Qing; Pollard, Luther W; Lord, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Fission yeast myosin-II (Myo2p) represents the critical actin-based motor protein that drives actomyosin ring assembly and constriction during cytokinesis. We detail three different methods to measure Myo2p motor function. Actin-activated ATPases provide a readout of actomyosin ATPase motor activity in a bulk assay; actin filament motility assays reveal the speed and efficiency of myosin-driven actin filament gliding (when motors are anchored); myosin-bead motility assays reveal the speed and efficiency of myosin ensembles traveling along actin filaments (when actin is anchored). Collectively, these methods allow us to combine the standard in vivo approaches common to fission yeast with in vitro biochemical methods to learn more about the mechanistic action of myosin-II during cytokinesis.

  15. 78 FR 46677 - Agency Information Collection Activities; New Information Collection Request: Commercial Motor...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-01

    ... Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, 20590... Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Agency Information Collection Activities; New Information Collection Request: Commercial Motor Vehicle Marking Requirements AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier...

  16. 78 FR 21704 - Agency Information Collection Activities; New Information Collection: Commercial Motor Vehicle...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-11

    ... Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Agency Information Collection Activities; New Information Collection: Commercial Motor Vehicle Marking Requirements AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration... require marking of vehicles and intermodal equipment by motor carriers, freight forwarders and...

  17. Design, Synthesis, and Monitoring of Light-Activated Motorized Nanomachines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Pinn-Tsong

    Our group has developed a family of single molecules termed nanocars, which are aimed at performing controllable motion on surfaces. In this work, a series of light-activated motorized nanomachines incorporated with a MHz frequency light-activated unidirectional rotary motor were designed and synthesized. We hope the light-activated motor can serve as the powering unit for the nanomachines, and perform controllable translational motion on surfaces or in solution. A series of motorized nanovehicles intended for scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) imaging were designed and synthesized. A p-carborane-wheeled motorized nanocar was synthesized and monitored by STM. Single-molecule imaging was accomplished on a Cu(111) surface. However, further manipulations did lead to motor induced lateral motion. We attributed this result to the strong molecule-surface interactions between the p-carborane-wheeled nanocar and the Cu(111) surface and possible energy transfer between the rotary motor and the Cu(111) surface. To fine-tune the molecule-surface interactions, an adamantane-wheeled motorized nanocar and a three-wheel nanoroadster were designed and synthesized. In addition, the STM substrates will be varied and different combinations of molecule-surface interactions will be studied. As a complimentary imaging method to STM, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy (SMFM) also provides single-molecule level resolution. Unlike STM experiment requires ultra-high vacuum and conductive substrate, SMFM experiment is conducted at ambient conditions and uses non-conductive substrate. This imaging method allows us to study another category of molecule-surface interactions. We plan to design a fluorescent motorized nanocar that is suitable for SMFM studies. However, both the motor and fluorophore are photochemically active molecules. In proximity, some undesired energy transfer or interference could occur. A cyanine 5- (cy5-) tagged motorized nanocar incorporated with the MHz motor was

  18. A structural pathway for activation of the kinesin motor ATPase

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Mikyung; Zhang, Xiaohua; Park, Cheon-Gil; Park, Hee-Won; Endow, Sharyn A.

    2001-01-01

    Molecular motors move along actin or microtubules by rapidly hydrolyzing ATP and undergoing changes in filament-binding affinity with steps of the nucleotide hydrolysis cycle. It is generally accepted that motor binding to its filament greatly increases the rate of ATP hydrolysis, but the structural changes in the motor associated with ATPase activation are not known. To identify the conformational changes underlying motor movement on its filament, we solved the crystal structures of three kinesin mutants that decouple nucleotide and microtubule binding by the motor, and block microtubule-activated, but not basal, ATPase activity. Conformational changes in the structures include a disordered loop and helices in the switch I region and a visible switch II loop, which is disordered in wild-type structures. Switch I moved closer to the bound nucleotide in two mutant structures, perturbing water-mediated interactions with the Mg2+. This could weaken Mg2+ binding and accelerate ADP release to activate the motor ATPase. The structural changes we observe define a signaling pathway within the motor for ATPase activation that is likely to be essential for motor movement on microtubules. PMID:11387196

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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,…

  20. Visual Perceptual and Visual Motor Performance Differences in Children with Learning Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daniels, Linda E.; Wong, Kathy

    1993-01-01

    The scores of 15 children (ages 5-10) with learning disabilities on the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills and the Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration revealed that visual perception and visual motor skills are separate, though related, functions and that visual motor scores were significantly lower than visual perception scores. (JDD)

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

  2. Functional connectivity in the resting-state motor networks influences the kinematic processes during motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Bonzano, Laura; Palmaro, Eleonora; Teodorescu, Roxana; Fleysher, Lazar; Inglese, Matilde; Bove, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies support the involvement of the cerebello-cortical and striato-cortical motor loops in motor sequence learning. Here, we investigated whether the gain of motor sequence learning could depend on a-priori resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) between motor areas and structures belonging to these circuits. Fourteen healthy subjects underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging session. Afterward, they were asked to reproduce a verbally-learned sequence of finger opposition movements as fast and as accurately as possible. All subjects increased their movement rate with practice, by reducing the touch duration and/or intertapping interval. The rsFC analysis showed that, at rest, the left and right primary motor cortex (M1) and left and right supplementary motor area (SMA) were mainly connected with other motor areas. The covariate analysis taking into account the different kinematic parameters indicated that the subjects achieving greater movement rate increase were those showing stronger rsFC of the left M1 and SMA with the right lobule VIII of the cerebellum. Notably, the subjects with greater intertapping interval reduction showed stronger rsFC of the left M1 and SMA with the association nuclei of the thalamus. Conversely, the regression analysis with the right M1 and SMA seeds showed only a few significant clusters for the different covariates not located in the cerebellum and thalamus. No common clusters were found between the right M1 and SMA. All of these findings indicated important functional connections at rest of those neural circuits responsible for motor learning improvement, involving the motor areas related to the hemisphere directly controlling the finger movements, the thalamus and cerebellum.

  3. Infusing Motor Learning Research Into Neurorehabilitation Practice: A Historical Perspective With Case Exemplar From the Accelerated Skill Acquisition Program

    PubMed Central

    Winstein, Carolee; Lewthwaite, Rebecca; Blanton, Sarah R.; Wolf, Lois B.; Wishart, Laurie

    2016-01-01

    This special interest article provides a historical framework with a contemporary case example that traces the infusion of the science of motor learning into neurorehabilitation practice. The revolution in neuroscience provided the first evidence for learning-dependent neuroplasticity and presaged the role of motor learning as critical for restorative therapies after stroke. The scientific underpinnings of motor learning have continued to evolve from a dominance of cognitive or information processing perspectives to a blend with neural science and contemporary social-cognitive psychological science. Furthermore, advances in the science of behavior change have contributed insights into influences on sustainable and generalizable gains in motor skills and associated behaviors, including physical activity and other recovery-promoting habits. For neurorehabilitation, these insights have tremendous relevance for the therapist–patient interactions and relationships. We describe a principle-based intervention for neurorehabilitation termed the Accelerated Skill Acquisition Program that we developed. This approach emphasizes integration from a broad set of scientific lines of inquiry including the contemporary fields of motor learning, neuroscience, and the psychological science of behavior change. Three overlapping essential elements—skill acquisition, impairment mitigation, and motivational enhancements—are integrated. PMID:24828523

  4. Motor deficits cannot explain impaired cognitive associative learning in cerebellar patients.

    PubMed

    Timmann, Dagmar; Drepper, J; Maschke, M; Kolb, F P; Böring, D; Thilmann, A F; Diener, H C

    2002-01-01

    There is a strong evidence that the cerebellum is involved in associative motor learning. The exact role of the cerebellum in motor learning, and whether it is involved in cognitive learning processes too, are still controversially discussed topics. A common problem of assessing cognitive capabilities of cerebellar patients is the existence of additional motor demands in all cognitive tests. Even if the patients are able to cope well with the motor requirements of the task, their performance could still involve compensating strategies which cost them more attentional resources than the normal controls. To investigate such interaction effects of cognitive and motor demands in cerebellar patients, we conducted a cognitive associative learning paradigm and varied systematically the motor demands and the cognitive requirements of the task. Nine patients with isolated cerebellar disease and nine matched healthy controls had to learn the association between pairs of color squares, presented centrally on a computer monitor together with a left or right answer button. In the simple motor condition, the answer button had to be pressed once and in the difficult condition three times. We measured the decision times and evaluated the correctly named associations after the test was completed. The cerebellar subjects showed a learning deficit, compared to the normal controls. However, this deficit was independent of the motor difficulty of the task. The cerebellum seems to contribute to motor-independent processes, which are generally involved in associative learning.

  5. Motor cortex plasticity induced by paired associative stimulation is enhanced in physically active individuals.

    PubMed

    Cirillo, John; Lavender, Andrew P; Ridding, Michael C; Semmler, John G

    2009-12-15

    Recent evidence indicates that regular physical activity enhances brain plasticity (i.e. the ability to reorganise neural connections) and improves neurocognitive function. However, the effect of regular physical activity on human motor cortex function is unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine motor cortex plasticity for a small hand muscle in highly active and sedentary individuals. Electromyographic recordings were obtained from the left abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle of 14 active and 14 sedentary subjects (aged 18-38 yrs). The extent of physical activity was assessed by questionnaire, where the physically active subjects performed >150 min per day moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity on at least 5 days per week, whereas the sedentary group performed <20 min per day of physical activity on no more than 3 days per week. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the right hemisphere was used to assess changes in APB motor-evoked potentials (MEPs), input-output curve (IO curve), short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and cortical silent period (CSP). Neuroplastic changes were induced using paired-associative stimulation (PAS), which consisted of 90 paired stimuli (0.05 Hz for 30 min) of median nerve electrical stimulation at the wrist followed 25 ms later by TMS to the hand area of motor cortex. The IO curve slope was 35% steeper in individuals with increased physical activity (combined before and after PAS, P < 0.05), suggesting increased motor cortex excitability, although there was no difference in SICI or CSP between groups. PAS induced an increase in MEP amplitude in the physically active subjects (54% increase compared with before, P < 0.01), but no significant facilitation in the sedentary subjects. We conclude that participation in regular physical activity may offer global benefits to motor cortex function that enhances neuroplasticity, which could improve motor learning and neurorehabilitation in physically active individuals.

  6. Mountain Plains Learning Experience Guide: Electric Motor Repair.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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,…

  7. Innovative Perceptual Motor Activities: Programing Techniques That Work.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sorrell, Howard M.

    1978-01-01

    A circuit approach and station techniques are used to depict perceptual motor games for handicapped and nonhandicapped children. Twenty activities are described in terms of objectives, materials, and procedures, and their focus on visual tracking, visual discrimination and copying of forms, spatial body perception, fine motor coordination, tactile…

  8. Neurophysiological correlates of visuo-motor learning through mental and physical practice.

    PubMed

    Allami, Nadia; Brovelli, Andrea; Hamzaoui, El Mehdi; Regragui, Fakhita; Paulignan, Yves; Boussaoud, Driss

    2014-03-01

    We have previously shown that mental rehearsal can replace up to 75% of physical practice for learning a visuomotor task (Allami, Paulignan, Brovelli, & Boussaoud, (2008). Experimental Brain Research, 184, 105-113). Presumably, mental rehearsal must induce brain changes that facilitate motor learning. We tested this hypothesis by recording scalp electroencephalographic activity (EEG) in two groups of subjects. In one group, subjects executed a reach to grasp task for 240 trials. In the second group, subjects learned the task through a combination of mental rehearsal for the initial 180 trials followed by the execution of 60 trials. Thus, one group physically executed the task for 240 trials, the other only for 60 trials. Amplitudes and latencies of event-related potentials (ERPs) were compared across groups at different stages during learning. We found that ERP activity increases dramatically with training and reaches the same amplitude over the premotor regions in the two groups, despite large differences in physically executed trials. These findings suggest that during mental rehearsal, neuronal changes occur in the motor networks that make physical practice after mental rehearsal more effective in configuring functional networks for skilful behaviour.

  9. Motor Education: Educational Development Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tansley, A. E.

    This booklet presents educational programs and activities focusing on motor skills for 5- to 9-year-old children and older children with learning problems. The premise of the activities is that the acquisition of motor skills is essential to basic learning. The role of language as a mediator and controller of motor development is emphasized. The…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  12. Using Motor Learning Approaches for Treating Swallowing and Feeding Disorders: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheppard, Justine J.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This article discusses children's development of mature swallowing and feeding as a process of skill acquisition and considers the applicability of motor learning concepts for advancing these capabilities in school-aged children. Method: The motor learning literature was reviewed, with concentration on (a) concepts that are relevant for…

  13. Providing Explicit Information Disrupts Implicit Motor Learning after Basal Ganglia Stroke

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Lara A.; Winstein, Carolee J.

    2004-01-01

    Despite their purported neuroanatomic and functional isolation, empirical evidence suggests that sometimes conscious explicit processes can influence implicit motor skill learning. Our goal was to determine if the provision of explicit information affected implicit motor-sequence learning after damage to the basal ganglia. Individuals with stroke…

  14. Active inference and learning.

    PubMed

    Friston, Karl; FitzGerald, Thomas; Rigoli, Francesco; Schwartenbeck, Philipp; O'Doherty, John; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2016-09-01

    This paper offers an active inference account of choice behaviour and learning. It focuses on the distinction between goal-directed and habitual behaviour and how they contextualise each other. We show that habits emerge naturally (and autodidactically) from sequential policy optimisation when agents are equipped with state-action policies. In active inference, behaviour has explorative (epistemic) and exploitative (pragmatic) aspects that are sensitive to ambiguity and risk respectively, where epistemic (ambiguity-resolving) behaviour enables pragmatic (reward-seeking) behaviour and the subsequent emergence of habits. Although goal-directed and habitual policies are usually associated with model-based and model-free schemes, we find the more important distinction is between belief-free and belief-based schemes. The underlying (variational) belief updating provides a comprehensive (if metaphorical) process theory for several phenomena, including the transfer of dopamine responses, reversal learning, habit formation and devaluation. Finally, we show that active inference reduces to a classical (Bellman) scheme, in the absence of ambiguity.

  15. Motor Cortex Activity Organizes the Developing Rubrospinal System

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Preston T.J.A.

    2015-01-01

    The corticospinal and rubrospinal systems function in skilled movement control. A key question is how do these systems develop the capacity to coordinate their motor functions and, in turn, if the red nucleus/rubrospinal tract (RN/RST) compensates for developmental corticospinal injury? We used the cat to investigate whether the developing rubrospinal system is shaped by activity-dependent interactions with the developing corticospinal system. We unilaterally inactivated M1 by muscimol microinfusion between postnatal weeks 5 and 7 to examine activity-dependent interactions and whether the RN/RST compensates for corticospinal tract (CST) developmental motor impairments and CST misprojections after M1 inactivation. We examined the RN motor map and RST cervical projections at 7 weeks of age, while the corticospinal system was inactivated, and at 14 weeks, after activity returned. During M1 inactivation, the RN on the same side showed normal RST projections and reduced motor thresholds, suggestive of precocious development. By contrast, the RN on the untreated/active M1 side showed sparse RST projections and an immature motor map. After M1 activity returned later in adolescent cat development, RN on the active M1/CST side continued to show a substantial loss of spinal terminations and an impaired motor map. RN/RST on the inactivated side regressed to a smaller map and fewer axons. Our findings suggest that the developing rubrospinal system is under activity-dependent regulation by the corticospinal system for establishing mature RST connections and RN motor map. The lack of RS compensation on the non-inactivated side can be explained by development of ipsilateral misprojections from the active M1 that outcompete the RST. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Skilled movements reflect the activity of multiple descending motor systems and their interactions with spinal motor circuits. Currently, there is little insight into whether motor systems interact during development to

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Cdk5 Modulates Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity and Motor Learning in Dorsolateral Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Adan; Tan, Chunfeng; Mettlach, Gabriel; Pozo, Karine; Plattner, Florian; Bibb, James A.

    2016-01-01

    The striatum controls multiple cognitive aspects including motivation, reward perception, decision-making and motor planning. In particular, the dorsolateral striatum contributes to motor learning. Here we define an approach for investigating synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral cortico-striatal circuitry and interrogate the relative contributions of neurotransmitter receptors and intracellular signaling components. Consistent with previous studies, we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) in cortico-striatal circuitry is facilitated by dopamine, and requires activation of D1-dopamine receptors, as well as NMDA receptors (NMDAR) and their calcium-dependent downstream effectors, including CaMKII. Moreover, we assessed the contribution of the protein kinase Cdk5, a key neuronal signaling molecule, in cortico-striatal LTP. Pharmacological Cdk5 inhibition, brain-wide Cdk5 conditional knockout, or viral-mediated dorsolateral striatal-specific loss of Cdk5 all impaired dopamine-facilitated LTP or D1-dopamine receptor-facilitated LTP. Selective loss of Cdk5 in dorsolateral striatum increased locomotor activity and attenuated motor learning. Taken together, we report an approach for studying synaptic plasticity in mouse dorsolateral striatum and critically implicate D1-dopamine receptor, NMDAR, Cdk5, and CaMKII in cortico-striatal plasticity. Furthermore, we associate striatal plasticity deficits with effects upon behaviors mediated by this circuitry. This approach should prove useful for the study of the molecular basis of plasticity in the dorsolateral striatum. PMID:27443506

  19. Visuo-Motor and Cognitive Procedural Learning in Children with Basal Ganglia Pathology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayor-Dubois, C.; Maeder, P.; Zesiger, P.; Roulet-Perez, E.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated procedural learning in 18 children with basal ganglia (BG) lesions or dysfunctions of various aetiologies, using a visuo-motor learning test, the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task, and a cognitive learning test, the Probabilistic Classification Learning (PCL) task. We compared patients with early (less than 1 year old, n=9), later…

  20. A Guide for Perceptual-Motor Training Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    South Euclid - Lyndhurst City Schools, Lyndhurst, OH.

    This document has been prepared as part of a kindergarten perceptual-training program of the South Euclid-Lyndhurst City School District near Cleveland, Ohio. The guide contains information on training and procedures related to perceptual-motor learning. This information is structured primarily into 150 lesson plans, devised as 30-minute sessions…

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Mefloquine (a marketed anti-malaria drug) prophylaxis has a high risk of causing adverse events. Interestingly, animal studies have shown that mefloquine imposes a major deficit in motor learning skills by affecting the connexin 36 gap junctions of the inferior olive. We were therefore interested in assessing whether mefloquine might induce similar effects in humans. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mefloquine on olivary-related motor performance and motor learning tasks in humans. We subjected nine participants to voluntary motor timing (dart throwing task), perceptual timing (rhythm perceptual task) and reflex timing tasks (eye-blink task) before and 24 h after the intake of mefloquine. The influence of mefloquine on motor learning was assessed by subjecting participants with and without mefloquine intake (controls: n = 11 vs mefloquine: n = 8) to an eye-blink conditioning task. Voluntary motor performance, perceptual timing, and reflex blinking were not affected by mefloquine use. However, the influence of mefloquine on motor learning was substantial; both learning speed as well as learning capacity was impaired by mefloquine use. Our data suggest that mefloquine disturbs motor learning skills. This adverse effect can have clinical as well as social clinical implications for mefloquine users. Therefore, this side-effect of mefloquine should be further investigated and recognized by clinicians. PMID:21151372

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  4. [Motor asymmetry and learning new skills in animals].

    PubMed

    Budilin, S Iu; Pletneva, E V; Ioffe, M E; Arsen'ev, G N

    2014-01-01

    The aim was to examine the relationship between the ability to learn new motor skills and preference to the right or left front paw when performing manipulation movements in rats. As a new skill used the Morris water maze, in which the animals are initially trained to detect platform hidden under water at the swim of the sector of the opposite platform, and then when sailing from sectors on the left or the right of the platform. Preference paw was determined by using the taking of animal food from a narrow horizontal tube and, accordingly, the rats were divided into left-handedness and right-handedness. We found that when changing the place of launch, that is the first voyage from the left or right of the sector, are right-handed, unlike left-handed, spent significantly more time to find the platform.

  5. Shifts in connectivity during procedural learning after motor cortex stimulation: A combined transcranial magnetic stimulation/functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Steel, Adam; Song, Sunbin; Bageac, Devin; Knutson, Kristine M; Keisler, Aysha; Saad, Ziad S; Gotts, Stephen J; Wassermann, Eric M; Wilkinson, Leonora

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), of which continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) is a common form, has been used to inhibit cortical areas during investigations of their function. cTBS applied to the primary motor area (M1) depresses motor output excitability via a local effect and impairs procedural motor learning. This could be due to an effect on M1 itself and/or to changes in its connectivity with other nodes in the learning network. To investigate this issue, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure changes in brain activation and connectivity during implicit procedural learning after real and sham cTBS of M1. Compared to sham, real cTBS impaired motor sequence learning, but caused no local or distant changes in brain activation. Rather, it reduced functional connectivity between motor (M1, dorsal premotor & supplementary motor areas) and visual (superior & inferior occipital gyri) areas. It also increased connectivity between frontal associative (superior & inferior frontal gyri), cingulate (dorsal & middle cingulate), and temporal areas. This potentially compensatory shift in coupling, from a motor-based learning network to an associative learning network accounts for the behavioral effects of cTBS of M1. The findings suggest that the inhibitory TMS affects behavior via relatively subtle and distributed effects on connectivity within networks, rather than by taking the stimulated area "offline".

  6. Effect of evaluative others upon learning and performance of a complex motor task.

    PubMed

    Haas, J; Roberts, G C

    1975-06-01

    Two experiments were conducted to assess the effect of evaluation potential upon learning and performing a complex motor task. In Experiment 1, 45 subjects learned the motor task (mirror tracing) to criterion and were then introduced to one of three treatments. Subjects performed the task either (a) alone, (b) in the presence of a blindfolded audience, or (c) in the presence of an evaluative audience. In Experiment 2, 45 subjects were introduced to the same three treatments but the subjects did not learn the task beforehand. The subjects learning the motor task were significantly inhibited by the evaluative audience, while the subjects who had already learned the task were significantly facilitated in their motor responses. The blindfolded audience also had an effect upon learning and performance. The results of both experiments were discussed in relation to their support of Cottrell's evaluation potential hypothesis.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Motor Skill Competence and Physical Activity in Preschoolers: A Review.

    PubMed

    Figueroa, Roger; An, Ruopeng

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Preschoolers 3-5 years of age are in a crucial stage of motor skill competence. While preschoolers develop their motor skill competence through engagement in physical activity, a majority of them fail to meet guideline-recommended physical activity level. This study reviews scientific evidence on the relationship between motor skill competence and physical activity among preschoolers. Methods This systematic review followed the PRISMA framework. Keyword and reference search were conducted in PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Inclusion criteria included-age: 3-5 years of age; setting: preschool environment (e.g., preschool, childcare, head start); main outcomes: motor skill competence and physical activity; study design: cross-sectional study, case-control study, retrospective cohort study, prospective cohort study, or randomized controlled trial; language: English; and article type: peer-reviewed publication. Results Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria, including 6 randomized controlled trials and 5 cross-sectional studies. Studies were conducted in 5 countries: United States (5), United Kingdom (2), Australia (2), Switzerland (1), and Finland (1). Eight out of the 11 studies included in the review reported a significant relationship between motor skill competence and physical activity. The specific pattern and strength of the relationship tend to differ by gender, physical activity intensity, motor skill type, and day of the week (weekdays versus weekends). Conclusions An association has been consistently documented between motor skill competence and physical activity. Future research is warranted to elucidate the underlining causal link, examine potential heterogeneity, and determine the role of environment in the relationship between motor skill competence and physical activity among preschoolers.

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

    PubMed Central

    Therrien, Amanda S.; Wolpert, Daniel M.

    2016-01-01

    See Miall and Galea (doi: 10.1093/awv343) for a scientific commentary on this article. Reinforcement and error-based processes are essential for motor learning, with the cerebellum thought to be required only for the error-based mechanism. Here we examined learning and retention of a reaching skill under both processes. Control subjects learned similarly from reinforcement and error-based feedback, but showed much better retention under reinforcement. To apply reinforcement to cerebellar patients, we developed a closed-loop reinforcement schedule in which task difficulty was controlled based on recent performance. This schedule produced substantial learning in cerebellar patients and controls. Cerebellar patients varied in their learning under reinforcement but fully retained what was learned. In contrast, they showed complete lack of retention in error-based learning. We developed a mechanistic model of the reinforcement task and found that learning depended on a balance between exploration variability and motor noise. While the cerebellar and control groups had similar exploration variability, the patients had greater motor noise and hence learned less. Our results suggest that cerebellar damage indirectly impairs reinforcement learning by increasing motor noise, but does not interfere with the reinforcement mechanism itself. Therefore, reinforcement can be used to learn and retain novel skills, but optimal reinforcement learning requires a balance between exploration variability and motor noise. PMID:26626368

  10. Speed of motor re-learning after experimental stroke depends on prior skill.

    PubMed

    Schubring-Giese, Maximilian; Molina-Luna, Katiuska; Hertler, Benjamin; Buitrago, Manuel M; Hanley, Daniel F; Luft, Andreas R

    2007-08-01

    Many motor rehabilitation therapies are based on principles of motor learning. Motor learning depends on preliminary knowledge of the trained and other (similar) skills. This study sought to investigate the influence of prior skill knowledge on re-learning of a precision reaching skill after a cortical lesion in rat. One group of animals recovered a previously known skill (skill training, followed by stroke and re-learning training, TST, n = 8). A second group learned the skill for the first time after stroke (ST, n = 6). A control group received prolonged training without stroke (n = 6). Unilateral partial motor cortex lesions were induced photothrombotically after identifying the forelimb representation using epidural stimulation mapping. In TST animals, re-learning after stroke was slower than learning before stroke (post hoc repeated measures ANOVA P = 0.039) and learning in the control group (P = 0.033). De novo learning after stroke (ST group) was not different from healthy learning. These findings show that skill learning can be performed if the motor cortex is partially lesioned; re-learning of a skill after stroke is slowed by prior knowledge of the skill. It remains to be tested in humans whether task novelty positively influences rehabilitation therapy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Objective Although Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is often characterized as a skill acquisition deficit disorder, few studies have addressed the process of motor learning. This study examined learning of a novel motor task; the Wii Fit ski slalom game. The main objectives were to determine: 1) whether learning occurs over 100 trial runs of the game, 2) if the learning curve is different between children with and without DCD, 3) if learning is different in an easier or harder version of the task, 4) if learning transfers to other balance tasks. Method 17 children with DCD (6–10 years) and a matched control group of 17 typically developing (TD) children engaged in 20 minutes of gaming, twice a week for five weeks. Each training session comprised of alternating trial runs, with five runs at an easy level and five runs at a difficult level. Wii scores, which combine speed and accuracy per run, were recorded. Standardized balance tasks were used to measure transfer. Results Significant differences in initial performance were found between groups on the Wii score and balance tasks. Both groups improved their Wii score over the five weeks. Improvement in the easy and in the hard task did not differ between groups. Retention in the time between training sessions was not different between TD and DCD groups either. The DCD group improved significantly on all balance tasks. Conclusions The findings in this study give a fairly coherent picture of the learning process over a medium time scale (5 weeks) in children novice to active computer games; they learn, retain and there is evidence of transfer to other balance tasks. The rate of motor learning is similar for those with and without DCD. Our results raise a number of questions about motor learning that need to be addressed in future research. PMID:26466324

  13. Intact procedural motor sequence learning in developmental coordination disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    The purpose of the present study was to explore the possibility of a procedural learning deficit among children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). We tested 34 children aged 6-12 years with and without DCD using the serial reaction time task, in which the standard keyboard was replaced by a touch screen in order to minimize the impact of perceptuomotor coordination difficulties that characterize this disorder. The results showed that children with DCD succeed as well as control children at the procedural sequence learning task. These findings challenge the hypothesis that a procedural learning impairment underlies the difficulties of DCD children in acquiring and automatizing daily activities. We suggest that the previously reported impairment of children with DCD on the serial reaction time task is not due to a sequence learning deficit per se, but rather due to methodological factors such as the response mode used in these studies.

  14. Individual variation in sleep and motor activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiangdong; Yang, Linghui; Sanford, Larry D

    2007-06-04

    We examined individual differences in sleep and motor activity across 2 consecutive days in rats. EEG and motor activity were recorded via telemetry in Wistar rats (n=29) for 48h under well-habituated conditions. Rats were grouped based on sleep amounts and stability across days (short [SS, n=7], intermediate [IS, n=15] and long [LS, n=7] sleep) and comparisons were conducted to determine group differences for measures of sleep and motor activity. We found that correlations across recording days were significant for all selected sleep measures and motor activity counts. Rankings for 24h total sleep time and non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) were SSmotor activity counts (per waking min) were greater (32-38%) in SS compared to LS rats on both recording days. The results indicate that individual differences in sleep and motor activity in Wistar rats are stable across days. Differences between SS and LS rats have parallels to those reported for short and long sleep humans.

  15. Causal interaction following the alteration of target region activation during motor imagery training using real-time fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xiaojie; Zhang, Hang; Song, Sutao; Ye, Qing; Guo, Jia; Yao, Li

    2013-01-01

    Motor imagery training is an effective approach for motor skill learning and motor function rehabilitation. As a novel method of motor imagery training, real-time fMRI (rtfMRI) enables individuals to acquire self-control of localized brain activation, achieving desired changes in behavior. The regulation of target region activation by rtfMRI often alters the activation of related brain regions. However, the interaction between the target region and these related regions is unclear. The Granger causality model (GCM) is a data-driven method that can explore the causal interaction between brain regions. In this study, we employed rtfMRI to train subjects to regulate the activation of the ipsilateral dorsal premotor area (dPMA) during motor imagery training, and we calculated the causal interaction of the dPMA with other motor-related regions based on the GCM. The results demonstrated that as the activity of the dPMA changed during rtfMRI training, the interaction of the target region with other related regions became significantly altered, and behavioral performance was improved after training. The altered interaction primarily exhibited as an increased unidirectional interaction from the dPMA to the other regions. These findings support the dominant role of the dPMA in motor skill learning via rtfMRI training and may indicate how activation of the target region interacts with the activation of other related regions. PMID:24379775

  16. Motor cortex activity predicts response alternation during sensorimotor decisions

    PubMed Central

    Pape, Anna-Antonia; Siegel, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Our actions are constantly guided by decisions based on sensory information. The motor cortex is traditionally viewed as the final output stage in this process, merely executing motor responses based on these decisions. However, it is not clear if, beyond this role, the motor cortex itself impacts response selection. Here, we report activity fluctuations over motor cortex measured using MEG, which are unrelated to choice content and predict responses to a visuomotor task seconds before decisions are made. These fluctuations are strongly influenced by the previous trial's response and predict a tendency to switch between response alternatives for consecutive decisions. This alternation behaviour depends on the size of neural signals still present from the previous response. Our results uncover a response-alternation bias in sensorimotor decision making. Furthermore, they suggest that motor cortex is more than an output stage and instead shapes response selection during sensorimotor decision making. PMID:27713396

  17. Chained Activation of the Motor System during Language Understanding

    PubMed Central

    Marino, Barbara F.; Borghi, Anna M.; Buccino, Giovanni; Riggio, Lucia

    2017-01-01

    Two experiments were carried out to investigate whether and how one important characteristic of the motor system, that is its goal-directed organization in motor chains, is reflected in language processing. This possibility stems from the embodied theory of language, according to which the linguistic system re-uses the structures of the motor system. The participants were presented with nouns of common tools preceded by a pair of verbs expressing grasping or observational motor chains (i.e., grasp-to-move, grasp-to-use, look-at-to-grasp, and look-at-to-stare). They decided whether the tool mentioned in the sentence was the same as that displayed in a picture presented shortly after. A primacy of the grasp-to-use motor chain over the other motor chains in priming the participants' performance was observed in both the experiments. More interestingly, we found that the motor information evoked by the noun was modulated by the specific motor-chain expressed by the preceding verbs. Specifically, with the grasping chain aimed at using the tool, the functional motor information prevailed over the volumetric information, and vice versa with the grasping chain aimed at moving the tool (Experiment 2). Instead, the functional and volumetric information were balanced for those motor chains that comprise at least an observational act (Experiment 1). Overall our results are in keeping with the embodied theory of language and suggest that understanding sentences expressing an action directed toward a tool drives a chained activation of the motor system. PMID:28265247

  18. Chained Activation of the Motor System during Language Understanding.

    PubMed

    Marino, Barbara F; Borghi, Anna M; Buccino, Giovanni; Riggio, Lucia

    2017-01-01

    Two experiments were carried out to investigate whether and how one important characteristic of the motor system, that is its goal-directed organization in motor chains, is reflected in language processing. This possibility stems from the embodied theory of language, according to which the linguistic system re-uses the structures of the motor system. The participants were presented with nouns of common tools preceded by a pair of verbs expressing grasping or observational motor chains (i.e., grasp-to-move, grasp-to-use, look-at-to-grasp, and look-at-to-stare). They decided whether the tool mentioned in the sentence was the same as that displayed in a picture presented shortly after. A primacy of the grasp-to-use motor chain over the other motor chains in priming the participants' performance was observed in both the experiments. More interestingly, we found that the motor information evoked by the noun was modulated by the specific motor-chain expressed by the preceding verbs. Specifically, with the grasping chain aimed at using the tool, the functional motor information prevailed over the volumetric information, and vice versa with the grasping chain aimed at moving the tool (Experiment 2). Instead, the functional and volumetric information were balanced for those motor chains that comprise at least an observational act (Experiment 1). Overall our results are in keeping with the embodied theory of language and suggest that understanding sentences expressing an action directed toward a tool drives a chained activation of the motor system.

  19. Modulation of the inter-hemispheric asymmetry of motor-related brain activity using brain-computer interfaces.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Michael; Sobolewski, Aleksander; Millan, Jose Del R

    2015-01-01

    Non-invasive brain stimulation has shown promising results in neurorehabilitation for motor-impaired stroke patients, by rebalancing the relative involvement of each hemisphere in movement generation. Similarly, brain-computer interfaces have been used to successfully facilitate movement-related brain activity spared by the infarct. We propose to merge both approaches by using BCI to train stroke patients to rebalance their motor-related brain activity during motor tasks, through the use of online feedback. In this pilot study, we report results showing that some healthy subjects were able to learn to spontaneously up- and/or down-regulate their ipsilateral brain activity during a single session.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. Dopamine in Motor Cortex Is Necessary for Skill Learning and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Luna, Katiuska; Pekanovic, Ana; Röhrich, Sebastian; Hertler, Benjamin; Schubring-Giese, Maximilian; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia-Seraina; Luft, Andreas R.

    2009-01-01

    Preliminary evidence indicates that dopamine given by mouth facilitates the learning of motor skills and improves the recovery of movement after stroke. The mechanism of these phenomena is unknown. Here, we describe a mechanism by demonstrating in rat that dopaminergic terminals and receptors in primary motor cortex (M1) enable motor skill learning and enhance M1 synaptic plasticity. Elimination of dopaminergic terminals in M1 specifically impaired motor skill acquisition, which was restored upon DA substitution. Execution of a previously acquired skill was unaffected. Reversible blockade of M1 D1 and D2 receptors temporarily impaired skill acquisition but not execution, and reduced long-term potentiation (LTP) within M1, a form of synaptic plasticity critically involved in skill learning. These findings identify a behavioral and functional role of dopaminergic signaling in M1. DA in M1 optimizes the learning of a novel motor skill. PMID:19759902

  2. Saccade Adaptation as a Model of Flexible and General Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Herman, James P.; Blangero, Annabelle; Madelain, Laurent; Khan, Afsheen; Harwood, Mark R.

    2013-01-01

    The rapid point-to-point movements of the eyes called saccades are the most commonly made movement by humans, yet differ from nearly every other type of motor output in that they are completed too quickly to be adjusted during their execution by visual feedback. Saccadic accuracy remains quite high over a lifetime despite inevitable changes to the physical structures controlling the eyes, indicating that the oculomotor system actively monitors and adjusts motor commands to achieve consistent behavioural production. Indeed, it seems that beyond the ability to compensate for slow, age-related bodily changes, saccades can be modified following traumatic injury or pathology that affects their production, or in response to more short-term systematic alterations to post-saccadic visual feedback in a laboratory setting. These forms of plasticity rely on the visual detection of accuracy errors by a unified set of mechanisms that support the process known as saccade adaptation. Saccade adaptation has been mostly studied as a phenomenon in its own right, outside of motor learning in general. Here, we highlight the commonalities between eye and arm movement adaptation by reviewing the literature across these fields wherever there are compelling overlapping theories or data. Recent exciting findings are challenging previous interpretations of the underlying mechanism of saccade adaptation with the incorporation of concepts including prediction, reinforcement and contextual learning. We review the emerging ideas and evidence with particular emphasis on the important contributions made by Josh Wallman in this sphere over the past 15 years. PMID:23597598

  3. Active Learning and the LRC.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ducote, Richard L.

    1990-01-01

    Describes Collin County Community College's commitment to an active/experiential learning philosophy and the role of the college's learning resources center (LRC) in promoting learner-centered education and lab experiences throughout the curriculum. Discusses the LRC's Alternative Learning Center, which uses computers and other technology to…

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

    PubMed

    Overvelde, Anneloes; Hulstijn, Wouter

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Influence of motor learning on utilizing path redundancy.

    PubMed

    Ranganathan, Rajiv; Newell, Karl M

    2010-01-29

    We examined the role of motor learning in influencing the utilization of path redundancy in an interception task. Participants used a pen on a digitizing tablet with the goal of moving to intercept a stationary target shown on a computer screen. Concurrent visual feedback of the cursor and knowledge of results were provided. The changes in spatial variability after extended practice and the correlations between spatial locations on the path were consistent with the view that path redundancy was utilized. However, paths also became less variable with practice, indicating that less of the solution space was utilized. There was also a sequential relation in the movement paths from trial to trial with a tendency to use more similar movement paths on successive trials. These results show that models that account for both redundancy and invariance may be better able to capture the changes in variability with learning. Further, the sequential dependence in the paths suggests that the exploration of redundant solutions is a systematic search process.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

  7. Repetitive motor learning induces coordinated formation of clustered dendritic spines in vivo.

    PubMed

    Fu, Min; Yu, Xinzhu; Lu, Ju; Zuo, Yi

    2012-02-19

    Many lines of evidence suggest that memory in the mammalian brain is stored with distinct spatiotemporal patterns. Despite recent progresses in identifying neuronal populations involved in memory coding, the synapse-level mechanism is still poorly understood. Computational models and electrophysiological data have shown that functional clustering of synapses along dendritic branches leads to nonlinear summation of synaptic inputs and greatly expands the computing power of a neural network. However, whether neighbouring synapses are involved in encoding similar memory and how task-specific cortical networks develop during learning remain elusive. Using transcranial two-photon microscopy, we followed apical dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the motor cortex while mice practised novel forelimb skills. Here we show that a third of new dendritic spines (postsynaptic structures of most excitatory synapses) formed during the acquisition phase of learning emerge in clusters, and that most such clusters are neighbouring spine pairs. These clustered new spines are more likely to persist throughout prolonged learning sessions, and even long after training stops, than non-clustered counterparts. Moreover, formation of new spine clusters requires repetition of the same motor task, and the emergence of succedent new spine(s) accompanies the strengthening of the first new spine in the cluster. We also show that under control conditions new spines appear to avoid existing stable spines, rather than being uniformly added along dendrites. However, succedent new spines in clusters overcome such a spatial constraint and form in close vicinity to neighbouring stable spines. Our findings suggest that clustering of new synapses along dendrites is induced by repetitive activation of the cortical circuitry during learning, providing a structural basis for spatial coding of motor memory in the mammalian brain.

  8. Observing shadow motions: resonant activity within the observer's motor system?

    PubMed

    Alaerts, Kaat; Van Aggelpoel, Tinne; Swinnen, Stephan P; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2009-09-25

    Several studies have demonstrated that the human motor cortex is activated by the mere observation of actions performed by others. In the present study, we explored whether the perception of 'impoverished motion stimuli', such as shadow animations, is sufficient to activate motor areas. To do so, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied over the hand area of the primary motor cortex (M1) while subjects observed shadow animations depicting finger motions. Data showed that resonant motor responses in M1 were only found when a biological effector was recognized from the observed shadow animation. Interestingly, M1 responses were similar for observing shadow or real motions. Therefore, the loss of 'pictorial' movement features in a shadow animation appeared to have no effect on motor resonance in M1. In summary, these findings suggest that the 'recognition' of biological motion from sparse visual input is both necessary and sufficient to recruit motor areas. This supports the hypothesis that the motor system is involved in recognizing the actions performed by others.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Campusano, Raudel; Gruart, Agnès; Fernández-Mas, Rodrigo; Delgado-García, José M.

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Structural plasticity within highly specific neuronal populations identifies a unique parcellation of motor learning in the adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ling; Conner, James M.; Rickert, Jessica; Tuszynski, Mark H.

    2011-01-01

    Cortical networks undergo adaptations during learning, including increases in dendritic complexity and spines. We hypothesized that structural elaborations during learning are restricted to discrete subsets of cells preferentially activated by, and relevant to, novel experience. Accordingly, we examined corticospinal motor neurons segregated on the basis of their distinct descending projection patterns, and their contribution to specific aspects of motor control during a forelimb skilled grasping task in adult rats. Learning-mediated structural adaptations, including extensive expansions of spine density and dendritic complexity, were restricted solely to neurons associated with control of distal forelimb musculature required for skilled grasping; neurons associated with control of proximal musculature were unchanged by the experience. We further found that distal forelimb-projecting and proximal forelimb-projecting neurons are intermingled within motor cortex, and that this distribution does not change as a function of skill acquisition. These findings indicate that representations of novel experience in the adult motor cortex are associated with selective structural expansion in networks of functionally related, active neurons that are distributed across a single cortical domain. These results identify a distinct parcellation of cortical resources in support of learning. PMID:21257908

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. Coordinate Representations for Interference Reduction in Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Yeo, Sang-Hoon; Wolpert, Daniel M.; Franklin, David W.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26067480

  13. Locomotor function after long-duration space flight: effects and motor learning during recovery.

    PubMed

    Mulavara, Ajitkumar P; Feiveson, Alan H; Fiedler, James; Cohen, Helen; Peters, Brian T; Miller, Chris; Brady, Rachel; Bloomberg, Jacob J

    2010-05-01

    Astronauts returning from space flight and performing Earth-bound activities must rapidly transition from the microgravity-adapted sensorimotor state to that of Earth's gravity. The goal of the current study was to assess locomotor dysfunction and recovery of function after long-duration space flight using a test of functional mobility. Eighteen International Space Station crewmembers experiencing an average flight duration of 185 days performed the functional mobility test (FMT) pre-flight and post-flight. To perform the FMT, subjects walked at a self selected pace through an obstacle course consisting of several pylons and obstacles set up on a base of 10-cm-thick, medium-density foam for a total of six trials per test session. The primary outcome measure was the time to complete the course (TCC, in seconds). To assess the long-term recovery trend of locomotor function after return from space flight, a multilevel exponential recovery model was fitted to the log-transformed TCC data. All crewmembers exhibited altered locomotor function after space flight, with a median 48% increase in the TCC. From the fitted model we calculated that a typical subject would recover to 95% of his/her pre-flight level at approximately 15 days post-flight. In addition, to assess the early motor learning responses after returning from space flight, we modeled performance over the six trials during the first post-flight session by a similar multilevel exponential relation. We found a significant positive correlation between measures of long-term recovery and early motor learning (P < 0.001) obtained from the respective models. We concluded that two types of recovery processes influence an astronaut's ability to re-adapt to Earth's gravity environment. Early motor learning helps astronauts make rapid modifications in their motor control strategies during the first hours after landing. Further, this early motor learning appears to reinforce the adaptive realignment, facilitating re

  14. Separating Predicted and Perceived Sensory Consequences of Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    ‘t Hart, Bernard Marius; Henriques, Denise Y. P.

    2016-01-01

    During motor adaptation the discrepancy between predicted and actually perceived sensory feedback is thought to be minimized, but it can be difficult to measure predictions of the sensory consequences of actions. Studies attempting to do so have found that self-directed, unseen hand position is mislocalized in the direction of altered visual feedback. However, our lab has shown that motor adaptation also leads to changes in perceptual estimates of hand position, even when the target hand is passively displaced. We attribute these changes to a recalibration of hand proprioception, since in the absence of a volitional movement, efferent or predictive signals are likely not involved. The goal here is to quantify the extent to which changes in hand localization reflect a change in the predicted sensory (visual) consequences or a change in the perceived (proprioceptive) consequences. We did this by comparing changes in localization produced when the hand movement was self-generated (‘active localization’) versus robot-generated (‘passive localization’) to the same locations following visuomotor adaptation to a rotated cursor. In this passive version, there should be no predicted consequences of these robot-generated hand movements. We found that although changes in localization were somewhat larger in active localization, the passive localization task also elicited substantial changes. Our results suggest that the change in hand localization following visuomotor adaptation may not be based entirely on updating predicted sensory consequences, but may largely reflect changes in our proprioceptive state estimate. PMID:27658214

  15. Active Learning with Irrelevant Examples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazzoni, Dominic; Wagstaff, Kiri L.; Burl, Michael

    2006-01-01

    Active learning algorithms attempt to accelerate the learning process by requesting labels for the most informative items first. In real-world problems, however, there may exist unlabeled items that are irrelevant to the user's classification goals. Queries about these points slow down learning because they provide no information about the problem of interest. We have observed that when irrelevant items are present, active learning can perform worse than random selection, requiring more time (queries) to achieve the same level of accuracy. Therefore, we propose a novel approach, Relevance Bias, in which the active learner combines its default selection heuristic with the output of a simultaneously trained relevance classifier to favor items that are likely to be both informative and relevant. In our experiments on a real-world problem and two benchmark datasets, the Relevance Bias approach significantly improved the learning rate of three different active learning approaches.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-11

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

  17. Applying principles of motor learning and control to upper extremity rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Muratori, Lisa M; Lamberg, Eric M; Quinn, Lori; Duff, Susan V

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to provide a brief review of the principles of motor control and learning. Different models of motor control from historical to contemporary are presented with emphasis on the Systems model. Concepts of motor learning including skill acquisition, measurement of learning, and methods to promote skill acquisition by examining the many facets of practice scheduling and use of feedback are provided. A fictional client case is introduced and threaded throughout the article to facilitate understanding of these concepts and how they can be applied to clinical practice.

  18. ACHIEVING PERCEPTUAL-MOTOR EFFICIENCY, A SPACE-ORIENTED APPROACH TO LEARNING. PERCEPTUAL MOTOR CURRICULUM, VOLUME I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    BARSCH, RAY H.

    THE FIRST OF A 3-VOLUME PERCEPTUAL MOTOR CURRICULUM, THE BOOK DESCRIBES A PROGRAM BASED ON A THEORY OF MOVEMENT WHICH THE AUTHOR LABELS MOVIGENICS (THE STUDY OF THE ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF PATTERNS OF MOVEMENT IN MAN AND THE RELATIONSHIP OF THESE MOVEMENTS TO HIS LEARNING EFFICIENCY). TEN BASIC CONSTRUCTS OF MOVIGENICS ARE OUTLINED, AND THE…

  19. Progressive impairment in motor skill learning at 12 and 20 weeks post 6-OHDA- SNc lesion in rats.

    PubMed

    Gambhir, Hardeep; Mathur, Rashmi; Behari, Madhuri

    2011-07-01

    Deficiency in skilled motor activity is primarily attributed to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the pars compacta of substantia nigra (SNc), which can be detected by performance of the rotarod test. Previous reports have demonstrated impaired skilled motor behavior in rats during the pre-motor stage of Parkinson's disease (PD) (3-8 weeks post 6-OHDA lesion of striatum). We studied skilled motor learning in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) SNc lesion rats at 12 and 20 weeks by rotarod task after providing sufficient training to give allowance for ageing (3 sessions/day for 14 consecutive days). On each day, the stay duration on rotarod was noted and compared between the groups (Group 1 = Control, Group 2 = Post lesion (PL) week 12, Group 3 = PL week 20). In Group 2 rats, the duration of stay on rotarod gradually increased from day 1 through 7 {day 7 = 193.1 (81.8-247.4) vs. control group day 7 = 202.1 (87.7-279.8), p = 0.771} and declined thereafter. While, the stay duration in Group 3 rats remained lower {day 7 = 32.5 (20.4-52.1), p = 0.011} than that of the control rats throughout the study period. The results of our study suggest a slower brief learning of skilled motor tasks at post lesion week 12 whereas no learning at all at post-lesion week 20.

  20. Student Perceptions of Active Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lumpkin, Angela; Achen, Rebecca M.; Dodd, Regan K.

    2015-01-01

    A paradigm shift from lecture-based courses to interactive classes punctuated with engaging, student-centered learning activities has begun to characterize the work of some teachers in higher education. Convinced through the literature of the values of using active learning strategies, we assessed through an action research project in five college…

  1. In Defense of Active Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pica, Rae

    2008-01-01

    Effective early childhood teachers use what they know about and have observed in young children to design programs to meet children's developmental needs. Play and active learning are key tools to address those needs and facilitate children's early education. In this article, the author discusses the benefits of active learning in the education of…

  2. MOTOR DEVELOPMENT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: A LONGITUDINAL DISCORDANT TWIN-PAIR STUDY

    PubMed Central

    Aaltonen, Sari; Latvala, Antti; Rose, Richard J.; Pulkkinen, Lea; Kujala, Urho M.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Silventoinen, Karri

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Previous longitudinal research suggests that motor proficiency in early life predicts physical activity in adulthood. Familial effects including genetic and environmental factors could explain the association, but no long-term follow-up studies have taken into account potential confounding by genetic and social family background. The present twin study investigated whether childhood motor skill development is associated with leisure-time physical activity levels in adulthood independent of family background. Methods Altogether, 1 550 twin pairs from the FinnTwin12 study and 1 752 twin pairs from the FinnTwin16 study were included in the analysis. Childhood motor development was assessed by the parents’ report of whether one of the co-twins had been ahead of the other in different indicators of motor skill development in childhood. Leisure-time physical activity (MET hours/day) was self-reported by the twins in young adulthood and adulthood. Statistical analyses included conditional and ordinary linear regression models within twin pairs. Results Using all activity-discordant twin pairs, the within-pair difference in a sum score of motor development in childhood predicted the within-pair difference in the leisure-time physical activity level in young adulthood (p<0.001). Within specific motor development indicators, learning to stand unaided earlier in infancy predicted higher leisure-time MET values in young adulthood statistically significantly in both samples (FinnTwin12 p=0.02, FinnTwin16 p=0.001) and also in the pooled dataset of the FinnTwin12 and FinnTwin16 studies (p<0.001). Having been more agile than the co-twin as a child predicted higher leisure-time MET values up to adulthood (p=0.03). Conclusions More advanced childhood motor development is associated with higher leisure-time MET values in young adulthood at least partly independent of family background, in both men and women. PMID:26378945

  3. Contribution of the premotor cortex to consolidation of motor sequence learning in humans during sleep.

    PubMed

    Nitsche, Michael A; Jakoubkova, Michaela; Thirugnanasambandam, Nivethida; Schmalfuss, Leonie; Hullemann, Sandra; Sonka, Karel; Paulus, Walter; Trenkwalder, Claudia; Happe, Svenja

    2010-11-01

    Motor learning and memory consolidation require the contribution of different cortices. For motor sequence learning, the primary motor cortex is involved primarily in its acquisition. Premotor areas might be important for consolidation. In accordance, modulation of cortical excitability via transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS) during learning affects performance when applied to the primary motor cortex, but not premotor cortex. We aimed to explore whether premotor tDCS influences task performance during motor memory consolidation. The impact of excitability-enhancing, -diminishing, or placebo premotor tDCS during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep on recall in the serial reaction time task (SRTT) was explored in healthy humans. The motor task was learned in the evening. Recall was performed immediately after tDCS or the following morning. In two separate control experiments, excitability-enhancing premotor tDCS was performed 4 h after task learning during daytime or immediately before conduction of a simple reaction time task. Excitability-enhancing tDCS performed during REM sleep increased recall of the learned movement sequences, when tested immediately after stimulation. REM density was enhanced by excitability-increasing tDCS and reduced by inhibitory tDCS, but did not correlate with task performance. In the control experiments, tDCS did not improve performance. We conclude that the premotor cortex is involved in motor memory consolidation during REM sleep.

  4. Reward and reinforcement activity in the nucleus accumbens during learning

    PubMed Central

    Gale, John T.; Shields, Donald C.; Ishizawa, Yumiko; Eskandar, Emad N.

    2014-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens core (NAcc) has been implicated in learning associations between sensory cues and profitable motor responses. However, the precise mechanisms that underlie these functions remain unclear. We recorded single-neuron activity from the NAcc of primates trained to perform a visual-motor associative learning task. During learning, we found two distinct classes of NAcc neurons. The first class demonstrated progressive increases in firing rates at the go-cue, feedback/tone and reward epochs of the task, as novel associations were learned. This suggests that these neurons may play a role in the exploitation of rewarding behaviors. In contrast, the second class exhibited attenuated firing rates, but only at the reward epoch of the task. These findings suggest that some NAcc neurons play a role in reward-based reinforcement during learning. PMID:24765069

  5. Inflammation Effects on Motivation and Motor Activity: Role of Dopamine.

    PubMed

    Felger, Jennifer C; Treadway, Michael T

    2017-01-01

    Motivational and motor deficits are common in patients with depression and other psychiatric disorders, and are related to symptoms of anhedonia and motor retardation. These deficits in motivation and motor function are associated with alterations in corticostriatal neurocircuitry, which may reflect abnormalities in mesolimbic and mesostriatal dopamine (DA). One pathophysiologic pathway that may drive changes in DAergic corticostriatal circuitry is inflammation. Biomarkers of inflammation such as inflammatory cytokines and acute-phase proteins are reliably elevated in a significant proportion of psychiatric patients. A variety of inflammatory stimuli have been found to preferentially target basal ganglia function to lead to impaired motivation and motor activity. Findings have included inflammation-associated reductions in ventral striatal neural responses to reward anticipation, decreased DA and DA metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid, and decreased availability, and release of striatal DA, all of which correlated with symptoms of reduced motivation and/or motor retardation. Importantly, inflammation-associated symptoms are often difficult to treat, and evidence suggests that inflammation may decrease DA synthesis and availability, thus circumventing the efficacy of standard pharmacotherapies. This review will highlight the impact of administration of inflammatory stimuli on the brain in relation to motivation and motor function. Recent data demonstrating similar relationships between increased inflammation and altered DAergic corticostriatal circuitry and behavior in patients with major depressive disorder will also be presented. Finally, we will discuss the mechanisms by which inflammation affects DA neurotransmission and relevance to novel therapeutic strategies to treat reduced motivation and motor symptoms in patients with high inflammation.

  6. Motor activity after colon replacement of esophagus. Manometric evaluation.

    PubMed

    Benages, A; Moreno-Ossett, E; Paris, F; Ridocci, M T; Blasco, E; Pastor, J; Tarazona, V; Molina, R; Mora, F

    1981-09-01

    Motor activity of the colon transplant for esophageal reconstruction is a point of controversy. In this paper we present manometric studies carried out in 15 patients subjected to isoperistaltic colon interposition. Manometric studies were carried out with two polyvinyl water-filled catheters inserted through pressure transducers. Basal colonic activity and motor activity following several stimuli and "dry swallows" were registered. The type of waves after stimuli were classified as (1) synchronous, (2) sequential or progressive, and (3) segmental. Details of the basal colonic waves and colon contractions after stimuli are given: i.e., rate, duration, amplitude, interval from the stimulus, and percentage of motor activity. The data reported here indicate the good motor response of the isoperistaltic colon to intraluminal injection of water or 0. 1 N hydrochloric acid and to chachet swallowing. Only two free-symptoms patients did not have motor activity. One of them was submitted to manometric studies too soon after the operation. We conclude that the presence of sequential waves in the interposed segment likely can help to propel the contents of the colon into the stomach and to clear gastric juice if reflux from the stomach should occur.

  7. [Study of cardiac, respiratory, and motor activity in rat fetuses].

    PubMed

    Timofeeva, O P; Vdovichenko, N D

    2009-01-01

    Development of the cardiac, respiratory, and motor activity was studied in rat fetuses with preserved placenta circulation was studied at the 16th, 18th, and 20th gestation days. The presence of three main movement types has been found: complexes of generalization activity, local movements, and jerks. In development of respiratory function, there is observed a gradual transition from individual inspirations to series of respiratory movements and then to formation of periodic respiration episodes. At the studied period, the heart rate has been found to increase. The existence of the slow-wave modulations it the heart rate with a period of 20-40 s has been revealed. Analysis of interrelations between the respiratory and motor systems has shown that in the 16-day fetuses, each respiratory movement is accompanied by extensor jerk. By the 20th days of embryonic development (E20), uncoupling of the respiratory and motor activities occurs. Comparison of the activity observed in the cardiac and somatomotor systems has shown that at E16, the cardiac rhythm fluctuations do not depend on the motor excitation jerks. In the 18-day fetuses, brief slowing down (decelerations) of the cardiac rhythm appeared during the motor activity jerks, whereas at E20, on the contrary, an increase of frequency (accelerations) of the cardiac rhythm occurred.

  8. Antennal motor activity induced by pilocarpine in the American cockroach.

    PubMed

    Okada, Jiro; Morimoto, Yusuke; Toh, Yoshihiro

    2009-04-01

    The antennal motor system is activated by the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine in the American cockroach Periplaneta americana, and its output patterns were examined both in restrained intact animals and in isolated CNS preparations. The three-dimensional antennal movements induced by the hemocoelic drug injection were analyzed in in vivo preparations. Pilocarpine effectively induced prolonged rhythmic movements of both antennae. The antennae tended to describe a spatially patterned trajectory, forming loops or the symbol of infinity (infinity). Such spatial regularity is comparable to that during spontaneous tethered-walking. Rhythmic bursting activities of the antennal motor nerves in in vitro preparations were also elicited by bath application of pilocarpine. Cross-correlation analyses of the bursting spike activities revealed significant couplings among certain motor units, implying the spatial regularity of the antennal trajectory. The pilocarpine-induced rhythmic activity of antennal motor nerves was effectively suppressed by the muscarinic antagonist atropine. These results indicate that the activation of the antennal motor system is mediated by muscarinic receptors.

  9. Plastic Changes in Hand Proprioception Following Force-Field Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Anguera, Joaquin A.

    2010-01-01

    Motor neurophysiologists are placing greater emphasis on sensory feedback processing than ever before. In line with this shift, a recent article by Ostry and colleagues provided timely new evidence that force-field motor learning influences not only motor output, but also proprioceptive sense. In this Neuro Forum, the merits and limitations of Ostry and colleagues are explored in the context of recent work on proprioceptive function, including several recent studies from this journal. PMID:20610787

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

    PubMed

    Goble, Daniel J; Anguera, Joaquin A

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    McGrath, Robert L; Kantak, Shailesh S

    2016-02-01

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

  12. Using Learning Styles Inventories To Promote Active Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fritz, Margaret

    2002-01-01

    Defines active learning as students actively involved in the learning process. Suggests that to learn actively, students need to know their learning styles and engage with the subject matter. Concludes that students who know their learning styles and are allowed to choose time management methods, note-taking systems, textbook marking methods and…

  13. Mirror symmetric bimanual movement priming can increase corticomotor excitability and enhance motor learning.

    PubMed

    Byblow, Winston D; Stinear, Cathy M; Smith, Marie-Claire; Bjerre, Lotte; Flaskager, Brian K; McCambridge, Alana B

    2012-01-01

    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 priming modality

  14. Mirror Symmetric Bimanual Movement Priming Can Increase Corticomotor Excitability and Enhance Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Byblow, Winston D.; Stinear, Cathy M.; Smith, Marie-Claire; Bjerre, Lotte; Flaskager, Brian K.; McCambridge, Alana B.

    2012-01-01

    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 priming modality

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  16. Modulating Motor Learning through Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation: An Integrative View

    PubMed Central

    Ammann, Claudia; Spampinato, Danny; Márquez-Ruiz, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Motor learning consists of the ability to improve motor actions through practice playing a major role in the acquisition of skills required for high-performance sports or motor function recovery after brain lesions. During the last decades, it has been reported that transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), consisting in applying weak direct current through the scalp, is able of inducing polarity-specific changes in the excitability of cortical neurons. This low-cost, painless and well-tolerated portable technique has found a wide-spread use in the motor learning domain where it has been successfully applied to enhance motor learning in healthy individuals and for motor recovery after brain lesion as well as in pathological states associated to motor deficits. The main objective of this mini-review is to offer an integrative view about the potential use of tDCS for human motor learning modulation. Furthermore, we introduce the basic mechanisms underlying immediate and long-term effects associated to tDCS along with important considerations about its limitations and progression in recent years. PMID:28066300

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, David

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  20. Discriminative learning of propagation and spatial pattern for motor imagery EEG analysis.

    PubMed

    Li, Xinyang; Zhang, Haihong; Guan, Cuntai; Ong, Sim Heng; Ang, Kai Keng; Pan, Yaozhang

    2013-10-01

    Effective learning and recovery of relevant source brain activity patterns is a major challenge to brain-computer interface using scalp EEG. Various spatial filtering solutions have been developed. Most current methods estimate an instantaneous demixing with the assumption of uncorrelatedness of the source signals. However, recent evidence in neuroscience suggests that multiple brain regions cooperate, especially during motor imagery, a major modality of brain activity for brain-computer interface. In this sense, methods that assume uncorrelatedness of the sources become inaccurate. Therefore, we are promoting a new methodology that considers both volume conduction effect and signal propagation between multiple brain regions. Specifically, we propose a novel discriminative algorithm for joint learning of propagation and spatial pattern with an iterative optimization solution. To validate the new methodology, we conduct experiments involving 16 healthy subjects and perform numerical analysis of the proposed algorithm for EEG classification in motor imagery brain-computer interface. Results from extensive analysis validate the effectiveness of the new methodology with high statistical significance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  2. Generalization and transfer of contextual cues in motor learning.

    PubMed

    Sarwary, A M E; Stegeman, D F; Selen, L P J; Medendorp, W P

    2015-09-01

    We continuously adapt our movements in daily life, forming new internal models whenever necessary and updating existing ones. Recent work has suggested that this flexibility is enabled via sensorimotor cues, serving to access the correct internal model whenever necessary and keeping new models apart from previous ones. While research to date has mainly focused on identifying the nature of such cue representations, here we investigated whether and how these cue representations generalize, interfere, and transfer within and across effector systems. Subjects were trained to make two-stage reaching movements: a premovement that served as a cue, followed by a targeted movement that was perturbed by one of two opposite curl force fields. The direction of the premovement was uniquely coupled to the direction of the ensuing force field, enabling simultaneous learning of the two respective internal models. After training, generalization of the two premovement cues' representations was tested at untrained premovement directions, within both the trained and untrained hand. We show that the individual premovement representations generalize in a Gaussian-like pattern around the trained premovement direction. When the force fields are of unequal strengths, the cue-dependent generalization skews toward the strongest field. Furthermore, generalization patterns transfer to the nontrained hand, in an extrinsic reference frame. We conclude that contextual cues do not serve as discrete switches between multiple internal models. Instead, their generalization suggests a weighted contribution of the associated internal models based on the angular separation from the trained cues to the net motor output.

  3. Generalization and transfer of contextual cues in motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Stegeman, D. F.; Selen, L. P. J.; Medendorp, W. P.

    2015-01-01

    We continuously adapt our movements in daily life, forming new internal models whenever necessary and updating existing ones. Recent work has suggested that this flexibility is enabled via sensorimotor cues, serving to access the correct internal model whenever necessary and keeping new models apart from previous ones. While research to date has mainly focused on identifying the nature of such cue representations, here we investigated whether and how these cue representations generalize, interfere, and transfer within and across effector systems. Subjects were trained to make two-stage reaching movements: a premovement that served as a cue, followed by a targeted movement that was perturbed by one of two opposite curl force fields. The direction of the premovement was uniquely coupled to the direction of the ensuing force field, enabling simultaneous learning of the two respective internal models. After training, generalization of the two premovement cues' representations was tested at untrained premovement directions, within both the trained and untrained hand. We show that the individual premovement representations generalize in a Gaussian-like pattern around the trained premovement direction. When the force fields are of unequal strengths, the cue-dependent generalization skews toward the strongest field. Furthermore, generalization patterns transfer to the nontrained hand, in an extrinsic reference frame. We conclude that contextual cues do not serve as discrete switches between multiple internal models. Instead, their generalization suggests a weighted contribution of the associated internal models based on the angular separation from the trained cues to the net motor output. PMID:26156381

  4. Activity Analysis for Cognitive-Perceptual-Motor Dysfunction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Llorens, Lela A.

    1973-01-01

    This paper presents a review of several approaches to activity and task analysis for their selection for use in occupational therapy and proposes a neuro-behavioral approach to activity analysis and selection for use in treatment of cognitive-perceptual-motor dysfunction. (Editors/JA)

  5. Probing the Mechanism of Oscillations in Newborn Motor Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Steven S.

    1993-01-01

    Cyclical fluctuation in spontaneous motor activity (CM) emerges in fetus and persists in newborn. This "resetting" experiment perturbed CM by noise stimulus during infants' active sleep. Pre- and postperturbation CM were measured and compared. Subjects were 33 infants between 1 and 3 days of age. The stimulus induced a relative slowing of CM…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Does motor interference arise from mirror system activation? The effect of prior visuo-motor practice on automatic imitation.

    PubMed

    Capa, Rémi L; Marshall, Peter J; Shipley, Thomas F; Salesse, Robin N; Bouquet, Cédric A

    2011-03-01

    Action perception may involve a mirror-matching system, such that observed actions are mapped onto the observer's own motor representations. The strength of such mirror system activation should depend on an individual's experience with the observed action. The motor interference effect, where an observed action interferes with a concurrently executed incongruent action, is thought to arise from mirror system activation. However, this view was recently challenged. If motor interference arises from mirror system activation, this effect should be sensitive to prior sensorimotor experience with the observed action. To test this prediction, we measured motor interference in two groups of participants observing the same incongruent movements. One group had received brief visuo-motor practice with the observed incongruent action, but not the other group. Action observation induced a larger motor interference in participants who had practiced the observed action. This result thus supports a mirror system account of motor interference.

  8. Cerebellar-M1 Connectivity Changes Associated with Motor Learning Are Somatotopic Specific.

    PubMed

    Spampinato, Danny A; Block, Hannah J; Celnik, Pablo A

    2017-03-01

    One of the functions of the cerebellum in motor learning is to predict and account for systematic changes to the body or environment. This form of adaptive learning is mediated by plastic changes occurring within the cerebellar cortex. The strength of cerebellar-to-cerebral pathways for a given muscle may reflect aspects of cerebellum-dependent motor adaptation. These connections with motor cortex (M1) can be estimated as cerebellar inhibition (CBI): a conditioning pulse of transcranial magnetic stimulation delivered to the cerebellum before a test pulse over motor cortex. Previously, we have demonstrated that changes in CBI for a given muscle representation correlate with learning a motor adaptation task with the involved limb. However, the specificity of these effects is unknown. Here, we investigated whether CBI changes in humans are somatotopy specific and how they relate to motor adaptation. We found that learning a visuomotor rotation task with the right hand changed CBI, not only for the involved first dorsal interosseous of the right hand, but also for an uninvolved right leg muscle, the tibialis anterior, likely related to inter-effector transfer of learning. In two follow-up experiments, we investigated whether the preparation of a simple hand or leg movement would produce a somatotopy-specific modulation of CBI. We found that CBI changes only for the effector involved in the movement. These results indicate that learning-related changes in cerebellar-M1 connectivity reflect a somatotopy-specific interaction. Modulation of this pathway is also present in the context of interlimb transfer of learning.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Connectivity between the cerebellum and motor cortex is a critical pathway for the integrity of everyday movements and understanding the somatotopic specificity of this pathway in the context of motor learning is critical to advancing the efficacy of neurorehabilitation. We found that adaptive learning with the hand affects cerebellar-motor

  9. Terminology, Taxonomy, and Facilitation of Motor Learning in Clinical Practice: Protocol of a Delphi Study

    PubMed Central

    Bleijlevens, Michel HC; Beurskens, Anna JHM; Rasquin, Sascha M; Halfens, Jos; Wilson, Mark R; Masters, Rich S; Lexis, Monique A; Braun, Susy M

    2013-01-01

    Background Facilitating motor learning in patients during clinical practice is complex, especially in people with cognitive impairments. General principles of motor learning are available for therapists to use in their practice. However, the translation of evidence from the different fields of motor learning for use in clinical practice is problematic due to lack of uniformity in definition and taxonomy of terms related to motor learning. Objective The objective of this paper was to describe the design of a Delphi technique to reach consensus on definitions, descriptions, and taxonomy used within motor learning and to explore experts’ opinions and experiences on the application of motor learning in practice. Methods A heterogeneous sample of at least 30 international experts on motor learning will be recruited. Their opinions regarding several central topics on motor learning using a Delphi technique will be collected in 3 sequential rounds. The questionnaires in the 3 rounds will be developed based on the literature and answers of experts from earlier rounds. Consensus will be reached when at least 70% of the experts agree on a certain topic. Free text comments and answers from open questions on opinions and experiences will be described and clustered into themes. Results This study is currently ongoing. It is financially supported by Stichting Alliantie Innovatie (Innovation Alliance Foundation), RAAK-international (Registration number: 2011-3-33int). Conclusions The results of this study will enable us to summarize and categorize expert knowledge and experiences in a format that should be more accessible for therapists to use in support of their clinical practice. Unresolved aspects will direct future research. PMID:23685621

  10. Interaction between motor ability and skill learning in children: Application of implicit and explicit approaches.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Jon P; Capio, Catherine M; Masters, Rich S W

    2017-05-01

    The benefits of implicit and explicit motor learning approaches in young adults have been studied extensively, but much less in children. This study investigated the relationship between fundamental motor ability and implicit/explicit learning in children using the errorless learning paradigm. First, the motor ability of 261 children (142 boys, 119 girls) aged 9-12 years (M = 9.74, SD = 0.67) was measured. Second, children with motor ability scores in the upper and lower quartile learned a golf-putting skill in either an errorless (implicit) or errorful (explicit) learning condition. Four groups were formed: Errorless High-Ability (n = 13), Errorless Low-Ability (n = 11), Errorful High-Ability (n = 10), and Errorful Low-Ability (n = 11). Learning consisted of 300 practice trials, while testing included a 50-trial retention test, followed by a 50-trial secondary task transfer test, and another 50-trial retention test. The results showed that for high- and low-ability errorless learners, motor performance was unaffected by the secondary task, as was the case for high-ability errorful learners. Low-ability errorful learners performed worse with a secondary task and were significantly poorer than the corresponding high-ability group. These results suggest that implicit motor learning (errorless) may be beneficial for children with low motor ability. The findings also show a trend that children of high motor ability might benefit from learning explicitly (errorful). Further research is recommended to examine the compatibility of implicit and explicit approaches for children of different abilities.

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

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Virginia Way Tong; Sanger, Terence David

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chu, Virginia Way Tong; Sanger, Terence David

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Gross Motor Engrams: An Important Spatial Learning Modality for Preschool Visually Handicapped Children. Vol. 1, No. 9.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitcraft, Carol

    Investigations and theories concerning interrelationships of motoric experiences, perceptual-motor skills, and learning are reviewed, with emphasis on early engramming of form and space concepts. Covered are studies on haptic perception of form, the matching of perceptual data and motor information, Kephart's perceptual-motor theory, and…

  15. Mushroom bodies enhance initial motor activity in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Serway, Christine N; Kaufman, Rebecca R; Strauss, Roland; de Belle, J Steven

    2009-01-01

    The central body (or central complex, CCX) and the mushroom bodies (MBs) are brain structures in most insect phyla that have been shown to influence aspects of locomotion. The CCX regulates motor coordination and enhances activity while MBs have, thus far, been shown to suppress motor activity levels measured over time intervals ranging from hours to weeks. In this report, we investigate MB involvement in motor behavior during the initial stages (15 minutes) of walking in Buridan's paradigm. We measured aspects of walking in flies that had MB lesions induced by mutations in six different genes and by chemical ablation. All tested flies were later examined histologically to assess MB neuroanatomy. Mutant strains with MB structural defects were generally less active in walking than wild-type flies. Most mutants in which MBs were also ablated with hydroxyurea (HU) showed additional activity decrements. Variation in measures of velocity and orientation to landmarks among wild-type and mutant flies was attributed to pleiotropy, rather than to MB lesions. We conclude that MBs upregulate activity during the initial stages of walking, but suppress activity thereafter. An MB influence on decision making has been shown in a wide range of complex behaviors. We suggest that MBs provide appropriate contextual information to motor output systems in the brain, indirectly fine tuning walking by modifying the quantity (i.e., activity) of behavior.

  16. Autonomic nervous system activities during motor imagery in elite athletes.

    PubMed

    Oishi, Kazuo; Maeshima, Takashi

    2004-01-01

    Motor imagery (MI), a mental simulation of voluntary motor actions, has been used as a training method for athletes for many years. It is possible that MI techniques might similarly be useful as part of rehabilitative strategies to help people regain skills lost as a consequence of diseases or stroke. Mental activity and stress induce several different autonomic responses as part of the behavioral response to movement (e.g., motor anticipation) and as part of the central planning and preprogramming of movement. However, the interrelationships between MI, the autonomic responses, and the motor system have not yet been worked out. The authors compare a number of autonomic responses (respiration, heart rate, electro skin resistance) and motoneuron excitability (soleus H-reflex) in elite and nonelite speed skaters during MI. In contrast to the nonelite athletes, MI of elite speed skaters is characterized by larger changes in heart rate and respiration, a greater reliance on an internal perspective for MI, a more vivid MI, a more accurate correspondence between the MI and actual race times, and decreased motoneuron excitability. Two observations suggest that the changes in the autonomic responses and motoneuron excitability for the elite speed skaters are related to the effects of central motor programming: (1) there was no correlation between the autonomic responses for MI and those recorded during mental arithmetic; and (2) mental arithmetic did not significantly alter motoneuron activity. It is suggested that in elite speed skaters, the descending neural mechanisms that reduce motoneuron excitability are activated even when full, vivid MI is performed internally. These inhibitory responses of the motor system may enhance actual motor performance under conditions of remarkably high mental stress, such as that which occurs in the Olympic games.

  17. Automatic motor activation in the executive control of action

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Jennifer; Boy, Frédéric; Husain, Masud; Sumner, Petroc

    2012-01-01

    Although executive control and automatic behavior have often been considered separate and distinct processes, there is strong emerging and convergent evidence that they may in fact be intricately interlinked. In this review, we draw together evidence showing that visual stimuli cause automatic and unconscious motor activation, and how this in turn has implications for executive control. We discuss object affordances, alien limb syndrome, the visual grasp reflex, subliminal priming, and subliminal triggering of attentional orienting. Consideration of these findings suggests automatic motor activation might form an intrinsic part of all behavior, rather than being categorically different from voluntary actions. PMID:22536177

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhou; Holschneider, Daniel; Beeler, Jeff; Petzinger, Giselle M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Exercise and physical activity are fundamental components of a lifestyle essential in maintaining a healthy brain. This is primarily due to the fact that the adult brain maintains a high degree of plasticity and activity is essential for homeostasis throughout life. Plasticity is not lost even in the context of a neurodegenerative disorder, but could be maladaptive thus promoting disease onset and progression. A major breakthrough in treating brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease is to drive neuroplasticity in a direction to improve motor and cognitive dysfunction. The purpose of this short review is to present the evidence from our laboratories that supports neuroplasticity as a potential therapeutic target in treating brain disorders. We consider that the enhancement of motor recovery in both animal models of dopamine depletion and in patients with Parkinson’s disease is optimized when cognitive circuits are engaged; in other words, the brain is engaged in a learning modality. Therefore, we propose that to be effective in treating Parkinson’s disease, physical therapy must employ both skill-based exercise (to drive specific circuits) and aerobic exercise (to drive the expression of molecules required to strengthen synaptic connections) components to select those neuronal circuits, such as the corticostriatal pathway, necessary to restore proper motor and cognitive behaviors. In the wide spectrum of different forms of exercise, learning as the fundamental modality likely links interventions used to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease and may be necessary to drive beneficial neuroplasticity resulting in symptomatic improvement and possible disease modification. PMID:28149392

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

    PubMed

    Gentili, R J; Papaxanthis, C

    2015-06-25

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

  20. A pilot study on the feasibility of robot-aided leg motor training to facilitate active participation.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Robot-aided gait therapy offers a promising approach towards improving gait function in individuals with neurological disorders such as stroke or spinal cord injury. However, incorporation of appropriate control strategies is essential for actively engaging the patient in the therapeutic process. Although several control algorithms (such as assist-as-needed and error augmentation) have been proposed to improve active patient participation, we hypothesize that the therapeutic benefits of these control algorithms can be greatly enhanced if combined with a motor learning task to facilitate neural reorganization and motor recovery. Here, we describe an active robotic training approach (patient-cooperative robotic gait training combined with a motor learning task) using the Lokomat and pilot-tested whether this approach can enhance active patient participation during training. Six neurologically intact adults and three chronic stroke survivors participated in this pilot feasibility study. Participants walked in a Lokomat while simultaneously performing a foot target-tracking task that necessitated greater hip and knee flexion during the swing phase of the gait. We computed the changes in tracking error as a measure of motor performance and changes in muscle activation as a measure of active subject participation. Repeated practice of the motor-learning task resulted in significant reductions in target-tracking error in all subjects. Muscle activation was also significantly higher during active robotic training compared to simply walking in the robot. The data from stroke participants also showed a trend similar to neurologically intact participants. These findings provide a proof-of-concept demonstration that combining robotic gait training with a motor learning task enhances active participation.

  1. A Pilot Study on the Feasibility of Robot-Aided Leg Motor Training to Facilitate Active Participation

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Robot-aided gait therapy offers a promising approach towards improving gait function in individuals with neurological disorders such as stroke or spinal cord injury. However, incorporation of appropriate control strategies is essential for actively engaging the patient in the therapeutic process. Although several control algorithms (such as assist-as-needed and error augmentation) have been proposed to improve active patient participation, we hypothesize that the therapeutic benefits of these control algorithms can be greatly enhanced if combined with a motor learning task to facilitate neural reorganization and motor recovery. Here, we describe an active robotic training approach (patient-cooperative robotic gait training combined with a motor learning task) using the Lokomat and pilot-tested whether this approach can enhance active patient participation during training. Six neurologically intact adults and three chronic stroke survivors participated in this pilot feasibility study. Participants walked in a Lokomat while simultaneously performing a foot target-tracking task that necessitated greater hip and knee flexion during the swing phase of the gait. We computed the changes in tracking error as a measure of motor performance and changes in muscle activation as a measure of active subject participation. Repeated practice of the motor-learning task resulted in significant reductions in target-tracking error in all subjects. Muscle activation was also significantly higher during active robotic training compared to simply walking in the robot. The data from stroke participants also showed a trend similar to neurologically intact participants. These findings provide a proof-of-concept demonstration that combining robotic gait training with a motor learning task enhances active participation. PMID:24146986

  2. Learning as a Subversive Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatch, J. Amos

    2007-01-01

    "Learning as a subversive activity" is about working with public school students to debunk the shallow conception that achievement equals learning. That means exposing the power relations that keep in place such a narrow definition of what counts and exploring the implications of those powerful forces for students' lives and for society at large.…

  3. A Circuit for Motor Cortical Modulation of Auditory Cortical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Anders; Schneider, David M.; Takatoh, Jun; Sakurai, Katsuyasu; Wang, Fan

    2013-01-01

    Normal hearing depends on the ability to distinguish self-generated sounds from other sounds, and this ability is thought to involve neural circuits that convey copies of motor command signals to various levels of the auditory system. Although such interactions at the cortical level are believed to facilitate auditory comprehension during movements and drive auditory hallucinations in pathological states, the synaptic organization and function of circuitry linking the motor and auditory cortices remain unclear. Here we describe experiments in the mouse that characterize circuitry well suited to transmit motor-related signals to the auditory cortex. Using retrograde viral tracing, we established that neurons in superficial and deep layers of the medial agranular motor cortex (M2) project directly to the auditory cortex and that the axons of some of these deep-layer cells also target brainstem motor regions. Using in vitro whole-cell physiology, optogenetics, and pharmacology, we determined that M2 axons make excitatory synapses in the auditory cortex but exert a primarily suppressive effect on auditory cortical neuron activity mediated in part by feedforward inhibition involving parvalbumin-positive interneurons. Using in vivo intracellular physiology, optogenetics, and sound playback, we also found that directly activating M2 axon terminals in the auditory cortex suppresses spontaneous and stimulus-evoked synaptic activity in auditory cortical neurons and that this effect depends on the relative timing of motor cortical activity and auditory stimulation. These experiments delineate the structural and functional properties of a corticocortical circuit that could enable movement-related suppression of auditory cortical activity. PMID:24005287

  4. A circuit for motor cortical modulation of auditory cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Anders; Schneider, David M; Takatoh, Jun; Sakurai, Katsuyasu; Wang, Fan; Mooney, Richard

    2013-09-04

    Normal hearing depends on the ability to distinguish self-generated sounds from other sounds, and this ability is thought to involve neural circuits that convey copies of motor command signals to various levels of the auditory system. Although such interactions at the cortical level are believed to facilitate auditory comprehension during movements and drive auditory hallucinations in pathological states, the synaptic organization and function of circuitry linking the motor and auditory cortices remain unclear. Here we describe experiments in the mouse that characterize circuitry well suited to transmit motor-related signals to the auditory cortex. Using retrograde viral tracing, we established that neurons in superficial and deep layers of the medial agranular motor cortex (M2) project directly to the auditory cortex and that the axons of some of these deep-layer cells also target brainstem motor regions. Using in vitro whole-cell physiology, optogenetics, and pharmacology, we determined that M2 axons make excitatory synapses in the auditory cortex but exert a primarily suppressive effect on auditory cortical neuron activity mediated in part by feedforward inhibition involving parvalbumin-positive interneurons. Using in vivo intracellular physiology, optogenetics, and sound playback, we also found that directly activating M2 axon terminals in the auditory cortex suppresses spontaneous and stimulus-evoked synaptic activity in auditory cortical neurons and that this effect depends on the relative timing of motor cortical activity and auditory stimulation. These experiments delineate the structural and functional properties of a corticocortical circuit that could enable movement-related suppression of auditory cortical activity.

  5. Differences in cortical activity related to motor planning between experienced guitarists and non-musicians during guitar playing.

    PubMed

    Wright, David J; Holmes, Paul S; Di Russo, Francesco; Loporto, Michela; Smith, Dave

    2012-06-01

    The influence of motor skill learning on movement-related brain activity was investigated using electroencephalography. Previous research has indicated that experienced performers display movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) of smaller amplitude and later onset compared to novices. Unfortunately, previous studies have lacked ecological validity with experimenters recording the MRCP prior to simple motor tasks and applying the results to more complex motor skills. This study replicated previous research using an ecologically valid motor skill; recording the MRCP from a group of experienced guitarists and a control group of non-musicians while they played a simple scale on the guitar. Results indicated no difference between groups in early motor planning. In contrast, the later, negative slope and motor potential components were of smaller amplitude and the negative slope began later in the experienced guitarists. The data may indicate that, for experienced guitarists, a reduced level of effort is required during the motor preparation phase of the task. These findings have implications for musical instrument learning as well as motor skill acquisition in general.

  6. Molecular Mapping of Movement-Associated Areas in the Avian Brain: A Motor Theory for Vocal Learning Origin

    PubMed Central

    Feenders, Gesa; Liedvogel, Miriam; Rivas, Miriam; Zapka, Manuela; Horita, Haruhito; Hara, Erina; Wada, Kazuhiro; Mouritsen, Henrik; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2008-01-01

    Vocal learning is a critical behavioral substrate for spoken human language. It is a rare trait found in three distantly related groups of birds-songbirds, hummingbirds, and parrots. These avian groups have remarkably similar systems of cerebral vocal nuclei for the control of learned vocalizations that are not found in their more closely related vocal non-learning relatives. These findings led to the hypothesis that brain pathways for vocal learning in different groups evolved independently from a common ancestor but under pre-existing constraints. Here, we suggest one constraint, a pre-existing system for movement control. Using behavioral molecular mapping, we discovered that in songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds, all cerebral vocal learning nuclei are adjacent to discrete brain areas active during limb and body movements. Similar to the relationships between vocal nuclei activation and singing, activation in the adjacent areas correlated with the amount of movement performed and was independent of auditory and visual input. These same movement-associated brain areas were also present in female songbirds that do not learn vocalizations and have atrophied cerebral vocal nuclei, and in ring doves that are vocal non-learners and do not have cerebral vocal nuclei. A compilation of previous neural tracing experiments in songbirds suggests that the movement-associated areas are connected in a network that is in parallel with the adjacent vocal learning system. This study is the first global mapping that we are aware for movement-associated areas of the avian cerebrum and it indicates that brain systems that control vocal learning in distantly related birds are directly adjacent to brain systems involved in movement control. Based upon these findings, we propose a motor theory for the origin of vocal learning, this being that the brain areas specialized for vocal learning in vocal learners evolved as a specialization of a pre-existing motor pathway that controls

  7. Molecular mapping of movement-associated areas in the avian brain: a motor theory for vocal learning origin.

    PubMed

    Feenders, Gesa; Liedvogel, Miriam; Rivas, Miriam; Zapka, Manuela; Horita, Haruhito; Hara, Erina; Wada, Kazuhiro; Mouritsen, Henrik; Jarvis, Erich D

    2008-03-12

    Vocal learning is a critical behavioral substrate for spoken human language. It is a rare trait found in three distantly related groups of birds-songbirds, hummingbirds, and parrots. These avian groups have remarkably similar systems of cerebral vocal nuclei for the control of learned vocalizations that are not found in their more closely related vocal non-learning relatives. These findings led to the hypothesis that brain pathways for vocal learning in different groups evolved independently from a common ancestor but under pre-existing constraints. Here, we suggest one constraint, a pre-existing system for movement control. Using behavioral molecular mapping, we discovered that in songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds, all cerebral vocal learning nuclei are adjacent to discrete brain areas active during limb and body movements. Similar to the relationships between vocal nuclei activation and singing, activation in the adjacent areas correlated with the amount of movement performed and was independent of auditory and visual input. These same movement-associated brain areas were also present in female songbirds that do not learn vocalizations and have atrophied cerebral vocal nuclei, and in ring doves that are vocal non-learners and do not have cerebral vocal nuclei. A compilation of previous neural tracing experiments in songbirds suggests that the movement-associated areas are connected in a network that is in parallel with the adjacent vocal learning system. This study is the first global mapping that we are aware for movement-associated areas of the avian cerebrum and it indicates that brain systems that control vocal learning in distantly related birds are directly adjacent to brain systems involved in movement control. Based upon these findings, we propose a motor theory for the origin of vocal learning, this being that the brain areas specialized for vocal learning in vocal learners evolved as a specialization of a pre-existing motor pathway that controls

  8. THE ORIGIN OF SEGMENTATION MOTOR ACTIVITY IN THE INTESTINE

    PubMed Central

    Huizinga, Jan D.; Chen, Ji-Hong; Zhu, Yong Fang; Pawelka, Andrew; McGinn, Ryan J.; Bardakjian, Berj L.; Parsons, Sean P.; Kunze, Wolfgang A.; Wu, Richard You; Bercik, Premysl; Khoshdel, Amir; Chen, Sifeng; Yin, Sheng; Zhang, Qian; Yu, Yuanjie; Gao, Qingmin; Li, Kongling; Hu, Xinghai; Zarate, Natalia; Collins, Phillip; Pistilli, Marc; Ma, Junling; Zhang, Ruixue; Chen, David

    2016-01-01

    The segmentation motor activity of the gut that facilitates absorption of nutrients, was first described in the late 19th century but the fundamental mechanisms underlying it remain poorly understood. The dominant theory suggests alternate excitation and inhibition from the enteric nervous system. Here we demonstrate that typical segmentation can occur after total nerve blockade. The segmentation motor pattern emerges when the amplitude of the dominant pacemaker, the slow wave generated by ICC associated with the myenteric plexus (ICC-MP), is modulated by the phase of induced lower frequency rhythmic transient depolarizations, generated by ICC associated with the deep muscular plexus (ICC-DMP), resulting in a waxing and waning of the amplitude of the slow wave and a rhythmic checkered pattern of segmentation motor activity. Phase amplitude modulation of the slow waves points to an underlying system of coupled nonlinear oscillators originating in ICC. PMID:24561718

  9. The origin of segmentation motor activity in the intestine.

    PubMed

    Huizinga, Jan D; Chen, Ji-Hong; Zhu, Yong Fang; Pawelka, Andrew; McGinn, Ryan J; Bardakjian, Berj L; Parsons, Sean P; Kunze, Wolfgang A; Wu, Richard You; Bercik, Premysl; Khoshdel, Amir; Chen, Sifeng; Yin, Sheng; Zhang, Qian; Yu, Yuanjie; Gao, Qingmin; Li, Kongling; Hu, Xinghai; Zarate, Natalia; Collins, Phillip; Pistilli, Marc; Ma, Junling; Zhang, Ruixue; Chen, David

    2014-01-01

    The segmentation motor activity of the gut that facilitates absorption of nutrients was first described in the late 19th century, but the fundamental mechanisms underlying it remain poorly understood. The dominant theory suggests alternate excitation and inhibition from the enteric nervous system. Here we demonstrate that typical segmentation can occur after total nerve blockade. The segmentation motor pattern emerges when the amplitude of the dominant pacemaker, the slow wave generated by interstitial cells of Cajal associated with the myenteric plexus (ICC-MP), is modulated by the phase of induced lower frequency rhythmic transient depolarizations, generated by ICC associated with the deep muscular plexus (ICC-DMP), resulting in a waxing and waning of the amplitude of the slow wave and a rhythmic checkered pattern of segmentation motor activity. Phase-amplitude modulation of the slow waves points to an underlying system of coupled nonlinear oscillators originating in the networks of ICC.

  10. Actigraphic motor activity during sleep from infancy to adulthood.

    PubMed

    Tonetti, Lorenzo; Scher, Anat; Atun-Einy, Osnat; Samuel, Moran; Boreggiani, Michele; Natale, Vincenzo

    2017-01-01

    A secondary analysis of longitudinal and cohort studies was carried out to quantitatively investigate the motor activity pattern, recorded through actigraphy, during the first six hours of nocturnal sleep. The first study was of longitudinal nature. Ten healthy participants (four females) were monitored three times, at baseline (T1) when they were infants (mean age 7.10 ± 0.32 months), at the first follow-up examination (T2) around 4 months later (mean age 11.20 ± 0.63 months) and at the second follow-up (T3) around three years later, when they were preschoolers (mean age 4.68 ± 0.14 years). At T1, T2 and T3 each participant wore the actigraph Basic Mini-Motionlogger (Ambulatory Monitoring, Inc., Ardsley, NY, USA) over at least two consecutive nycthemeral cycles, with the aim to measure the mean hourly motor activity count. Seven- and 11-month-old infants had a higher level of motor activity over the night compared to preschoolers. Furthermore, motor activity increased as the night progressed, with a pronounced increment at both T1 and T2, while at T3 such an increase was less marked. The second study was cross-sectional and aimed to explore the motor activity pattern, using actigraphy, during the first six hours of nocturnal sleep in multiple-age healthy groups, from infancy to adulthood. We assigned participants to eight groups according to age: 20 (five females) aged around 10 months old (mean age 10.65 ± 0.67 months); 13 (nine females) aged around 4 years (mean age 4.38 ± 0.51 years); 21 (10 females) aged around 10 years (mean age 9.67 ± 0.91 years); 21 (nine females) aged around 20 years (mean age 19.33 ± 2.44 years); 20 (10 females) aged around 30 years (mean age 29.80 ± 1.99 years); 20 (15 females) aged around 40 years (mean age 40.70 ± 1.26 years); 20 (11 females) aged around 50 years (mean age 50.15 ± 2.80 years) and 20 (nine females) aged around 60 years (mean age 59.25 ± 3.23 years). The participants aged between 10 and 60 years wore the

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-07

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Although implicit motor sequence learning is rather well understood in young adults, effects of aging on this kind of learning are controversial. There is first evidence that working memory (WM) might play a role in implicit motor sequence learning in young adults as well as in adults above the age of 65. However, the knowledge about the development of these processes across the adult life span is rather limited. As the average age of our population continues to rise, a better understanding 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 (SRTT). 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. PMID:27199736

  13. Abstract art and cortical motor activation: an EEG study

    PubMed Central

    Umilta', M. Alessandra; Berchio, Cristina; Sestito, Mariateresa; Freedberg, David; Gallese, Vittorio

    2012-01-01

    The role of the motor system in the perception of visual art remains to be better understood. Earlier studies on the visual perception of abstract art (from Gestalt theory, as in Arnheim, 1954 and 1988, to balance preference studies as in Locher and Stappers, 2002, and more recent work by Locher et al., 2007; Redies, 2007, and Taylor et al., 2011), neglected the question, while the field of neuroesthetics (Ramachandran and Hirstein, 1999; Zeki, 1999) mostly concentrated on figurative works. Much recent work has demonstrated the multimodality of vision, encompassing the activation of motor, somatosensory, and viscero-motor brain regions. The present study investigated whether the observation of high-resolution digitized static images of abstract paintings by Lucio Fontana is associated with specific cortical motor activation in the beholder's brain. Mu rhythm suppression was evoked by the observation of original art works but not by control stimuli (as in the case of graphically modified versions of these works). Most interestingly, previous visual exposure to the stimuli did not affect the mu rhythm suppression induced by their observation. The present results clearly show the involvement of the cortical motor system in the viewing of static abstract art works. PMID:23162456

  14. Effect of the Children’s Health Activity Motor Program on Motor Skills and Self-Regulation in Head Start Preschoolers: An Efficacy Trial

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Leah E.; Palmer, Kara K.; Bub, Kristen L.

    2016-01-01

    Self-regulatory skills are broadly defined as the ability to manage emotions, focus attention, and inhibit some behaviors while activating others in accordance with social expectations and are an established indicator of academic success. Growing evidence links motor skills and physical activity to self-regulation. This study examined the efficacy of a motor skills intervention (i.e., the Children’s Health Activity Motor Program, CHAMP) that is theoretically grounded in Achievement Goal Theory on motor skill performance and self-regulation in Head Start preschoolers. A sample of 113 Head Start preschoolers (Mage = 51.91 ± 6.5 months; 49.5% males) were randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 68) or control (n = 45) program. CHAMP participants engaged in 15, 40-min sessions of a mastery climate intervention that focused on the development of motor skills over 5 weeks while control participants engaged in their normal outdoor recess period. The Delay of Gratification Snack Task was used to measure self-regulation and the Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition was used to assess motor skills. All measures were assessed prior to and following the intervention. Linear mixed models were fit for both self-regulation and motor skills. Results revealed a significant time × treatment interaction (p < 0.001). In regard to motor skills, post hoc comparisons found that all children improved their motor skills (p < 0.05), but the CHAMP group improved significantly more than the control group (p < 0.001). Children in CHAMP maintained their self-regulation scores across time, while children in the control group scored significantly lower than the CHAMP group at the posttest (p < 0.05). CHAMP is a mastery climate movement program that enhance skills associated with healthy development in children (i.e., motor skills and self-regulation). This efficacy trial provided evidence that CHAMP helped maintain delay of gratification in preschool

  15. Effect of the Children's Health Activity Motor Program on Motor Skills and Self-Regulation in Head Start Preschoolers: An Efficacy Trial.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Leah E; Palmer, Kara K; Bub, Kristen L

    2016-01-01

    Self-regulatory skills are broadly defined as the ability to manage emotions, focus attention, and inhibit some behaviors while activating others in accordance with social expectations and are an established indicator of academic success. Growing evidence links motor skills and physical activity to self-regulation. This study examined the efficacy of a motor skills intervention (i.e., the Children's Health Activity Motor Program, CHAMP) that is theoretically grounded in Achievement Goal Theory on motor skill performance and self-regulation in Head Start preschoolers. A sample of 113 Head Start preschoolers (Mage = 51.91 ± 6.5 months; 49.5% males) were randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 68) or control (n = 45) program. CHAMP participants engaged in 15, 40-min sessions of a mastery climate intervention that focused on the development of motor skills over 5 weeks while control participants engaged in their normal outdoor recess period. The Delay of Gratification Snack Task was used to measure self-regulation and the Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition was used to assess motor skills. All measures were assessed prior to and following the intervention. Linear mixed models were fit for both self-regulation and motor skills. Results revealed a significant time × treatment interaction (p < 0.001). In regard to motor skills, post hoc comparisons found that all children improved their motor skills (p < 0.05), but the CHAMP group improved significantly more than the control group (p < 0.001). Children in CHAMP maintained their self-regulation scores across time, while children in the control group scored significantly lower than the CHAMP group at the posttest (p < 0.05). CHAMP is a mastery climate movement program that enhance skills associated with healthy development in children (i.e., motor skills and self-regulation). This efficacy trial provided evidence that CHAMP helped maintain delay of gratification in preschool

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

    PubMed

    Humbert, Ianessa A; German, Rebecca Z

    2013-03-01

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

  17. Perceptual-Motor Learning with Moderately Retarded Persons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kodman, Frank, Jr.

    1981-01-01

    A training program was undertaken with 12 cultural-familial and 12 organic institutionalized young adults to determine if organic signs on the Bender-Gestalt visual-motor test could be reversed. Significant improvement was obtained. Results are discussed in relation to perceptual-motor regression and its potential for reversibility. (Author/SJL)

  18. Enhancing Hebbian Learning to Control Brain Oscillatory Activity.

    PubMed

    Soekadar, Surjo R; Witkowski, Matthias; Birbaumer, Niels; Cohen, Leonardo G

    2015-09-01

    Sensorimotor rhythms (SMR, 8-15 Hz) are brain oscillations associated with successful motor performance, imagery, and imitation. Voluntary modulation of SMR can be used to control brain-machine interfaces (BMI) in the absence of any physical movements. The mechanisms underlying acquisition of such skill are unknown. Here, we provide evidence for a causal link between function of the primary motor cortex (M1), active during motor skill learning and retention, and successful acquisition of abstract skills such as control over SMR. Thirty healthy participants were trained on 5 consecutive days to control SMR oscillations. Each participant was randomly assigned to one of 3 groups that received either 20 min of anodal, cathodal, or sham transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over M1. Learning SMR control across training days was superior in the anodal tDCS group relative to the other 2. Cathodal tDCS blocked the beneficial effects of training, as evidenced with sham tDCS. One month later, the newly acquired skill remained superior in the anodal tDCS group. Thus, application of weak electric currents of opposite polarities over M1 differentially modulates learning SMR control, pointing to this primary cortical region as a common substrate for acquisition of physical motor skills and learning to control brain oscillatory activity.

  19. Motor learning and its sensory effects: time course of perceptual change and its presence with gradual introduction of load.

    PubMed

    Mattar, Andrew A G; Darainy, Mohammad; Ostry, David J

    2013-02-01

    A complex interplay has been demonstrated between motor and sensory systems. We showed recently that motor learning leads to changes in the sensed position of the limb (Ostry DJ, Darainy M, Mattar AA, Wong J, Gribble PL. J Neurosci 30: 5384-5393, 2010). Here, we document further the links between motor learning and changes in somatosensory perception. To study motor learning, we used a force field paradigm in which subjects learn to compensate for forces applied to the hand by a robotic device. We used a task in which subjects judge lateral displacements of the hand to study somatosensory perception. In a first experiment, we divided the motor learning task into incremental phases and tracked sensory perception throughout. We found that changes in perception occurred at a slower rate than changes in motor performance. A second experiment tested whether awareness of the motor learning process is necessary for perceptual change. In this experiment, subjects were exposed to a force field that grew gradually in strength. We found that the shift in sensory perception occurred even when awareness of motor learning was reduced. These experiments argue for a link between motor learning and changes in somatosensory perception, and they are consistent with the idea that motor learning drives sensory change.

  20. Neural correlates of learning in an electrocorticographic motor-imagery brain-computer interface

    PubMed Central

    Blakely, Tim M.; Miller, Kai J.; Rao, Rajesh P. N.; Ojemann, Jeffrey G.

    2014-01-01

    Human subjects can learn to control a one-dimensional electrocorticographic (ECoG) brain-computer interface (BCI) using modulation of primary motor (M1) high-gamma activity (signal power in the 75–200 Hz range). However, the stability and dynamics of the signals over the course of new BCI skill acquisition have not been investigated. In this study, we report 3 characteristic periods in evolution of the high-gamma control signal during BCI training: initial, low task accuracy with corresponding low power modulation in the gamma spectrum, followed by a second period of improved task accuracy with increasing average power separation between activity and rest, and a final period of high task accuracy with stable (or decreasing) power separation and decreasing trial-to-trial variance. These findings may have implications in the design and implementation of BCI control algorithms. PMID:25599079

  1. Face Preference in Infancy and Its Relation to Motor Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Libertus, Klaus; Needham, Amy

    2014-01-01

    Infants' preference for faces was investigated in a cross-sectional sample of 75 children, aged 3 to 11 months, and 23 adults. A visual preference paradigm was used where pairs of faces and toys were presented side-by-side while eye gaze was recorded. In addition, motor activity was assessed via parent report and the relation between motor…

  2. Recreational Activities and Motor Skills of Children in Kindergarten

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Temple, Viviene A.; Crane, Jeff R.; Brown, Amy; Williams, Buffy-Lynne; Bell, Rick I.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Developmental theorists suggest that physical activity during early childhood promotes fundamental motor skill (FMS) proficiency; and that differences in FMS proficiency are largely related to children's experiences. Aim: To examine associations between participation in different types of recreation/leisure and FMS proficiency of boys…

  3. Sport and Other Motor Activities of Warsaw Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biernat, Elzbieta

    2011-01-01

    Study aim: To assess the engagement of students of Warsaw university schools in sports and in recreational motor activities. Material and methods: A cohort (n = 1100) of students attending B.S. or M.S. courses at 6 university schools in Warsaw were studied by applying questionnaire techniques. The questions pertained to participation in…

  4. Acquisition and Use of Internal Models for Human Motor Learning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-11-17

    Policy gradient, a type of reinforcement learning algorithm, was used to learn estimates of the relevant parameter values (Sutton, McAllester... reinforcement learning with function approximation. In S. A. Solla, T. K. Leen, & K.-R. Müller (Eds.), Advances in neural information processing systems...agent that uses a reinforcement learning method known as Q-leaming to learn to perform the task. Our analyses suggest that subjects learned to

  5. Parallel contributions of cerebellar, striatal and M1 mechanisms to motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Penhune, Virginia B; Steele, Christopher J

    2012-01-15

    When learning a new motor sequence, we must execute the correct order of movements while simultaneously optimizing sensorimotor parameters such as trajectory, timing, velocity and force. Neurophysiological studies in animals and humans have identified the major brain regions involved in sequence learning, including the motor cortex (M1), basal ganglia (BG) and cerebellum. Current models link these regions to different stages of learning (early vs. late) or different components of performance (spatial vs. sensorimotor). At the same time, research in motor control has given rise to the concept that internal models at different levels of the motor system may contribute to learning. The goal of this review is to develop a new framework for motor sequence learning that combines stage and component models within the context of internal models. To do this, we review behavioral and neuroimaging studies in humans and neurophysiological studies in animals. Based on this evidence, we present a model proposing that sequence learning is underwritten by parallel, interacting processes, including internal model formation and sequence representation, that are instantiated in specific cerebellar, BG or M1 mechanisms depending on task demands and the stage of learning. The striatal system learns predictive stimulus-response associations and is critical for motor chunking. The role of the cerebellum is to acquire the optimal internal model for sequence performance in a particular context, and to contribute to error correction and control of on-going movement. M1 acts to store the representation of a learned sequence, likely as part of a distributed network including the parietal lobe and premotor cortex.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pouw, Wim T. J. L.; Eielts, Charly; 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 learning task. We investigated (N = 74), through the use…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    PubMed

    Miwa, Julie M; Walz, Andreas

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Is There an Interaction between Task Complexity and Practice Variability in Speech-Motor learning?

    PubMed Central

    Kaipa, Ramesh

    2016-01-01

    Background Prior studies have investigated the influence of principles of motor learning (PMLs) on speech-motor learning. However, the interactive effect of different PMLs on speech-motor learning remains unknown. Purpose This study is aimed at investigating the interaction of 2 PMLs, that is, practice variability and task complexity and their influence on speech-motor learning. Method Forty healthy individuals (aged 18-30 years) were randomly and equally allocated to 2 groups where they had to either practice a simple (simple group) or a complex phrase (complex group). Two levels of practice variability (constant and variable) were considered in training participants in simple and complex groups. Participants practiced 50 practice trials of either complex or simple phrase during the first 2 days. At the end of training on each day, participants produced 10 trials of the phrase they practiced without feedback. On the third day, participants returned for a delayed retention test. The participant utterances on all the 3 days were recorded for later analysis. Results Data analysis revealed that there was no major effect of practice condition, and there was no interaction of task complexity and practice condition. However, there was an interaction between data collection points and complexity. Conclusion The findings suggest that irrespective of the complexity of the to-be-learned speech task, there is no preponderance of variable over constant practice, which contradicts the findings of the non-speech-motor learning literature. PMID:27721581

  13. Disruption of primary motor cortex before learning impairs memory of movement dynamics.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Andrew G; Overduin, Simon A; Valero-Cabré, Antoni; Padoa-Schioppa, Camillo; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Bizzi, Emilio; Press, Daniel Z

    2006-11-29

    Although multiple lines of evidence implicate the primary motor cortex (M1) in motor learning, the precise role of M1 in the adaptation to novel movement dynamics and in the subsequent consolidation of a memory of those dynamics remains unclear. Here we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to dissociate the contribution of M1 to these distinct aspects of motor learning. Subjects performed reaching movements in velocity-dependent force fields over three epochs: a null-field baseline epoch, a clockwise-field learning epoch (15 min after the baseline epoch), and a clockwise-field retest epoch (24 h after the learning epoch). Half of the subjects received 15 min of 1 Hz rTMS to M1 between the baseline and learning epochs. Subjects given rTMS performed identically to control subjects during the learning epoch. However, control subjects performed with significantly less error than rTMS subjects in the retest epoch on the following day. These results suggest that M1 is not critical to the network supporting motor adaptation per se but that, within this network, M1 may be important for initiating the development of long-term motor memories.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Self-organizing model of motor cortical activities during drawing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Siming H.; Si, Jennie; Schwartz, Andrew B.

    1996-05-01

    The population vector algorithm has been developed to combine the simultaneous direction- related activities of a population of motor cortical neurons to predict the trajectory of the arm movement. In our study, we consider a self-organizing model of a neural representation of the arm trajectory based on neuronal discharge rates. Self-organizing feature mapping (SOFM) is used to select the optimal set of weights in the model to determine the contribution of individual neuron to the overall movement. The correspondence between the movement directions and the discharge patterns of the motor cortical neurons is established in the output map. The topology preserving property of the SOFM is used to analyze real recorded data of a behavior monkey. The data used in this analysis were taken while the monkey was drawing spirals and doing the center out movement. Using such a statistical model, the monkey's arm moving directions could be well predicted based on the motor cortex neuronal firing information.

  18. 3D visualization of movements can amplify motor cortex activation during subsequent motor imagery

    PubMed Central

    Sollfrank, Teresa; Hart, Daniel; Goodsell, Rachel; Foster, Jonathan; Tan, Tele

    2015-01-01

    A repetitive movement practice by motor imagery (MI) can influence motor cortical excitability in the electroencephalogram (EEG). This study investigated if a realistic visualization in 3D of upper and lower limb movements can amplify motor related potentials during subsequent MI. We hypothesized that a richer sensory visualization might be more effective during instrumental conditioning, resulting in a more pronounced event related desynchronization (ERD) of the upper alpha band (10–12 Hz) over the sensorimotor cortices thereby potentially improving MI based brain-computer interface (BCI) protocols for motor rehabilitation. The results show a strong increase of the characteristic patterns of ERD of the upper alpha band components for left and right limb MI present over the sensorimotor areas in both visualization conditions. Overall, significant differences were observed as a function of visualization modality (VM; 2D vs. 3D). The largest upper alpha band power decrease was obtained during MI after a 3-dimensional visualization. In total in 12 out of 20 tasks the end-user of the 3D visualization group showed an enhanced upper alpha ERD relative to 2D VM group, with statistical significance in nine tasks.With a realistic visualization of the limb movements, we tried to increase motor cortex activation during subsequent MI. The feedback and the feedback environment should be inherently motivating and relevant for the learner and should have an appeal of novelty, real-world relevance or aesthetic value (Ryan and Deci, 2000; Merrill, 2007). Realistic visual feedback, consistent with the participant’s MI, might be helpful for accomplishing successful MI and the use of such feedback may assist in making BCI a more natural interface for MI based BCI rehabilitation. PMID:26347642

  19. 3D visualization of movements can amplify motor cortex activation during subsequent motor imagery.

    PubMed

    Sollfrank, Teresa; Hart, Daniel; Goodsell, Rachel; Foster, Jonathan; Tan, Tele

    2015-01-01

    A repetitive movement practice by motor imagery (MI) can influence motor cortical excitability in the electroencephalogram (EEG). This study investigated if a realistic visualization in 3D of upper and lower limb movements can amplify motor related potentials during subsequent MI. We hypothesized that a richer sensory visualization might be more effective during instrumental conditioning, resulting in a more pronounced event related desynchronization (ERD) of the upper alpha band (10-12 Hz) over the sensorimotor cortices thereby potentially improving MI based brain-computer interface (BCI) protocols for motor rehabilitation. The results show a strong increase of the characteristic patterns of ERD of the upper alpha band components for left and right limb MI present over the sensorimotor areas in both visualization conditions. Overall, significant differences were observed as a function of visualization modality (VM; 2D vs. 3D). The largest upper alpha band power decrease was obtained during MI after a 3-dimensional visualization. In total in 12 out of 20 tasks the end-user of the 3D visualization group showed an enhanced upper alpha ERD relative to 2D VM group, with statistical significance in nine tasks.With a realistic visualization of the limb movements, we tried to increase motor cortex activation during subsequent MI. The feedback and the feedback environment should be inherently motivating and relevant for the learner and should have an appeal of novelty, real-world relevance or aesthetic value (Ryan and Deci, 2000; Merrill, 2007). Realistic visual feedback, consistent with the participant's MI, might be helpful for accomplishing successful MI and the use of such feedback may assist in making BCI a more natural interface for MI based BCI rehabilitation.

  20. Perceptual Motor Activities for Specific Cognitive Goals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Charlene Kimbro

    The slide presentation depicts movement activities through which children can perceive and form concepts, thus building cognitive skills in certain areas. The presentation is based on the fact that children interact with their environments through all their senses and benefit from perceiving through their kinesthetic senses. The areas presented…

  1. Vicarious motor activation during action perception: beyond correlational evidence

    PubMed Central

    Avenanti, Alessio; Candidi, Matteo; Urgesi, Cosimo

    2013-01-01

    Neurophysiological and imaging studies have shown that seeing the actions of other individuals brings about the vicarious activation of motor regions involved in performing the same actions. While this suggests a simulative mechanism mediating the perception of others' actions, one cannot use such evidence to make inferences about the functional significance of vicarious activations. Indeed, a central aim in social neuroscience is to comprehend how vicarious activations allow the understanding of other people's behavior, and this requires to use stimulation or lesion methods to establish causal links from brain activity to cognitive functions. In the present work, we review studies investigating the effects of transient manipulations of brain activity or stable lesions in the motor system on individuals' ability to perceive and understand the actions of others. We conclude there is now compelling evidence that neural activity in the motor system is critical for such cognitive ability. More research using causal methods, however, is needed in order to disclose the limits and the conditions under which vicarious activations are required to perceive and understand actions of others as well as their emotions and somatic feelings. PMID:23675338

  2. Brief Periods of Auditory Perceptual Training Can Determine the Sensory Targets of Speech Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Lametti, Daniel R.; Krol, Sonia A.; Shiller, Douglas M.; Ostry, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The perception of speech is notably malleable in adults, yet alterations in perception seem to have little impact on speech production. We hypothesized that speech perceptual training might immediately influence speech motor learning. To test this, we paired a speech perceptual training task with a speech motor learning task. Subjects performed a series of perceptual tests designed to measure and then manipulate the perceptual distinction between the words “head” and “had”. Subjects then produced “head” with the sound of the vowel altered in real-time so that they heard themselves through headphones producing a word that sounded more like “had”. In support of our hypothesis, the amount of motor learning in response to the voice alterations depended on the perceptual boundary acquired through perceptual training. The studies show that plasticity in adult speech perception can have immediate consequences for speech production in the context of speech learning. PMID:24815610

  3. Hyperactivity and Motoric Activity in ADHD: Characterization, Assessment, and Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Gawrilow, Caterina; Kühnhausen, Jan; Schmid, Johanna; Stadler, Gertraud

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present literature review is threefold. (1) We will review theories, models, and studies on symptomatic hyperactivity and motoric activity in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (2) Another focus will be on assessment methods that have been proven to be effective in the detection of hyperactivity and motoric activity in children, adolescents, and adults with and without ADHD and emerging areas of research in the field of ADHD. We will compare subjective methods (i.e., rating scales) and objective methods (i.e., accelerometers). (3) Finally, physical activity intervention studies aiming at a modification of activity and overactive behavior will be summarized that seem to be promising candidates for alleviating hyperactivity symptoms in children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD. PMID:25506329

  4. Task-specific contribution of the human striatum to perceptual-motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Cavaco, Sara; Anderson, Steven W; Correia, Manuel; Magalhaes, Marina; Pereira, Claudia; Tuna, Assuncao; Taipa, Ricardo; Pinto, Pedro; Pinto, Claudia; Cruz, Romeu; Lima, Antonio Bastos; Castro-Caldas, Alexandre; da Silva, Antonio Martins; Damasio, Hanna

    2011-01-01

    Acquisition of new perceptual-motor skills depends on multiple brain areas, including the striatum. However, the specific contribution of each structure to this type of learning is still poorly understood. Focusing on the striatum, we proposed (a) to replicate the finding of impaired rotary pursuit (RP) and preserved mirror tracing (MT) in Huntington's disease (HD); and (b) to further explore this putative learning dissociation with other human models of striatal dysfunction (i.e., Parkinson's disease and focal vascular damage) and two new paradigms (i.e., Geometric Figures, GF, and Control Stick, CS) of skill learning. Regardless of the etiology, participants with damage to the striatum showed impaired learning of visuomotor tracking skills (i.e., RP and GF), whereas the ability to learn skills that require motor adaptation (i.e., MT and CS) was not affected. These results suggest a task-specific involvement of the striatum in the early stages of skill learning.

  5. Effect of sensory experience on motor learning strategy.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-15

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. An internal model for acquisition and retention of motor learning during arm reaching.

    PubMed

    Lonini, Luca; Dipietro, Laura; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Krebs, Hermano Igo

    2009-07-01

    Humans have the ability to learn novel motor tasks while manipulating the environment. Several models of motor learning have been proposed in the literature, but few of them address the problem of retention and interference of motor memory. The modular selection and identification for control (MOSAIC) model, originally proposed by Wolpert and Kawato, is one of the most relevant contributions; it suggests a possible strategy on how the human motor control system learns and adapts to novel environments. MOSAIC employs the concept of forward and inverse models. The same group later proposed the hidden Markov model (HMM) MOSAIC, which affords learning multiple tasks. The significant drawback of this second approach is that the HMM must be trained with a complete data set that includes all contexts. Since the number of contexts or modules is fixed from the onset, this approach does not afford incremental learning of new tasks. In this letter, we present an alternative architecture to overcome this problem, based on a nonparametric regression algorithm, named locally weighted projection regression (LWPR). This network structure develops according to the contexts allowing incremental training. Of notice, interaction force is used to disambiguate among different contexts. We demonstrate the capability of this alternative architecture with a simulated 2 degree-of-freedom representation of the human arm that learns to interact with three distinct objects, reproducing the same test paradigm of the HMM MOSAIC. After learning the dynamics of the three objects, the LWPR network successfully learns to compensate for a novel velocity-dependent force field. Equally important, it retains previously acquired knowledge on the interaction with the three objects. Thus, this architecture allows both incremental learning of new tasks and retention of previously acquired knowledge, a feature of human motor learning and memory.

  8. D-amphetamine boosts language learning independent of its cardiovascular and motor arousing effects.

    PubMed

    Breitenstein, Caterina; Wailke, Stefanie; Bushuven, Stefan; Kamping, Sandra; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Ringelstein, E Bernd; Knecht, Stefan

    2004-09-01

    D-Amphetamine (AMPH) was effective in a number of studies on motor and language recovery after stroke, but given safety concerns, its general use after stroke is still debated. Most stroke patients are excluded from treatment because of a significant risk of cardiovascular dysregulation. AMPH acts on multiple transmitter systems, and mainly the noradrenergic actions are related to the cardiovascular effects. If AMPH's cardiovascular and arousal effects were correlated with its plasticity-enhancing effects in humans, this would imply that desired and undesired effects are inevitably tied. If not, improved cerebral reorganization may not be mediated by AMPH's arousing effects and could be achieved with substances lacking the undesired cardiovascular effects. As a model for language recovery after stroke, we used a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design and taught 40 healthy male subjects an artificial vocabulary of 50 concrete nouns over the course of five consecutive training days (high-frequency training). The associative learning principle involved higher co-occurrences of 'correct' picture-pseudoword pairings as compared to 'incorrect' pairings. Subjects received either AMPH (0.25 mg/kg) or placebo 90 min prior to training on each day. Novel word learning was significantly faster and better in the AMPH as compared to the placebo group. Increased learning success was maintained 1 month post-training. No correlation was found between training success and drug-induced increases in blood pressure, heart rate, or a facilitation of simple motor reaction time. Our data show that AMPH's plasticity-enhancing effect in humans is not related to its cardiovascular arousal. This suggests that the beneficial effects in stroke patients could also be obtained by less cardiovascular active drugs.

  9. Role of the olivo-cerebellar complex in motor learning and control

    PubMed Central

    Schweighofer, Nicolas; Lang, Eric J.; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2013-01-01

    How is the cerebellum capable of efficient motor learning and control despite very low firing of the inferior olive (IO) inputs, which are postulated to carry errors needed for learning and contribute to on-line motor control? IO neurons form the largest electrically coupled network in the adult human brain. Here, we discuss how intermediate coupling strengths can lead to chaotic resonance and increase information transmission of the error signal despite the very low IO firing rate. This increased information transmission can then lead to more efficient learning than with weak or strong coupling. In addition, we argue that a dynamic modulation of IO electrical coupling via the Purkinje cell-deep cerebellar neurons – IO triangle could speed up learning and improve on-line control. Initially strong coupling would allow transmission of large errors to multiple functionally related Purkinje cells, resulting in fast but coarse learning as well as significant effects on deep cerebellar nucleus and on-line motor control. In the late phase of learning decreased coupling would allow desynchronized IO firing, allowing high-fidelity transmission of error, resulting in slower but fine learning, and little on-line motor control effects. PMID:23754983

  10. Adaptation paths to novel motor tasks are shaped by prior structure learning.

    PubMed

    Kobak, Dmitry; Mehring, Carsten

    2012-07-18

    After extensive practice with motor tasks sharing structural similarities (e.g., different dancing movements, or different sword techniques), new tasks of the same type can be learned faster. According to the recent "structure learning" hypothesis (Braun et al., 2009a), such rapid generalization of related motor skills relies on learning the dynamic and kinematic relationships shared by this set of skills. As a consequence, motor adaptation becomes constrained, effectively leading to a dimensionality reduction of the learning problem; at the same time, adaptation to tasks lying outside the structure becomes biased toward the structure. We tested these predictions by investigating how previously learned structures influence subsequent motor adaptation. Human subjects were making reaching movements in 3D virtual reality, experiencing perturbations either in the vertical or in the horizontal plane. Perturbations were either visuomotor rotations of varying angle or velocity-dependent forces of varying strength. We found that, after extensive training with both kinematic or dynamic perturbations, adaptation to unpracticed, diagonal, perturbations happened along the previously learned structure (vertical or horizontal), and resulting adaptation trajectories were curved. This effect is robust, can be observed on the single-subject level, and occurs during adaptation both within and across trials. Additionally, we demonstrate that structure learning changes involuntary visuomotor reflexes and therefore is not exclusively a high-level cognitive phenomenon.

  11. Subcortical evoked activity and motor enhancement in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Anzak, Anam; Tan, Huiling; Pogosyan, Alek; Khan, Sadaquate; Javed, Shazia; Gill, Steven S; Ashkan, Keyoumars; Akram, Harith; Foltynie, Thomas; Limousin, Patricia; Zrinzo, Ludvic; Green, Alexander L; Aziz, Tipu; Brown, Peter

    2016-03-01

    Enhancements in motor performance have been demonstrated in response to intense stimuli both in healthy subjects and in the form of 'paradoxical kinesis' in patients with Parkinson's disease. Here we identify a mid-latency evoked potential in local field potential recordings from the region of the subthalamic nucleus, which scales in amplitude with both the intensity of the stimulus delivered and corresponding enhancements in biomechanical measures of maximal handgrips, independent of the dopaminergic state of our subjects with Parkinson's disease. Recordings of a similar evoked potential in the related pedunculopontine nucleus - a key component of the reticular activating system - provide support for this neural signature in the subthalmic nucleus being a novel correlate of ascending arousal, propagated from the reticular activating system to exert an 'energizing' influence on motor circuitry. Future manipulation of this system linking arousal and motor performance may provide a novel approach for the non-dopaminergic enhancement of motor performance in patients with hypokinetic disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

  12. Subcortical evoked activity and motor enhancement in Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Anzak, Anam; Tan, Huiling; Pogosyan, Alek; Khan, Sadaquate; Javed, Shazia; Gill, Steven S.; Ashkan, Keyoumars; Akram, Harith; Foltynie, Thomas; Limousin, Patricia; Zrinzo, Ludvic; Green, Alexander L.; Aziz, Tipu; Brown, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Enhancements in motor performance have been demonstrated in response to intense stimuli both in healthy subjects and in the form of ‘paradoxical kinesis’ in patients with Parkinson's disease. Here we identify a mid-latency evoked potential in local field potential recordings from the region of the subthalamic nucleus, which scales in amplitude with both the intensity of the stimulus delivered and corresponding enhancements in biomechanical measures of maximal handgrips, independent of the dopaminergic state of our subjects with Parkinson's disease. Recordings of a similar evoked potential in the related pedunculopontine nucleus – a key component of the reticular activating system – provide support for this neural signature in the subthalmic nucleus being a novel correlate of ascending arousal, propagated from the reticular activating system to exert an ‘energizing’ influence on motor circuitry. Future manipulation of this system linking arousal and motor performance may provide a novel approach for the non-dopaminergic enhancement of motor performance in patients with hypokinetic disorders such as Parkinson's disease. PMID:26687971

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. The effects of MyD88 deficiency on exploratory activity, anxiety, motor coordination, and spatial learning in C57BL/6 and APPswe/PS1dE9 mice.

    PubMed

    Lim, Jeong-Eun; Song, Min; Jin, Jingji; Kou, Jinghong; Pattanayak, Abhinandan; Lalonde, Robert; Fukuchi, Ken-Ichiro

    2012-02-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of pattern-recognition receptors in innate immunity and provide a first line defense against pathogens and tissue injuries. In addition to important roles in infection, inflammation, and immune diseases, recent studies show that TLR signaling is involved in modulation of learning, memory, mood, and neurogenesis. Because MyD88 is essential for the downstream signaling of all TLRs, except TLR3, we investigated the effects of MyD88 deficiency (MyD88-/-) on behavioral functions in mice. Additionally, we recently demonstrated that a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) deficient for MyD88 had decreases in Aβ deposits and soluble Aβ in the brain as compared with MyD88 sufficient AD mouse models. Because accumulation of Aβ in the brain is postulated to be a causal event leading to cognitive deficits in AD, we investigated the effects of MyD88 deficiency on behavioral functions in the AD mouse model at 10 months of age. MyD88 deficient mice showed more anxiety in the elevated plus-maze. In the motor coordination tests, MyD88 deficient mice remained on a beam and a bar for a longer time, but with slower initial movement on the bar. In the Morris water maze test, MyD88 deficiency appeared to improve spatial learning irrespective of the transgene. Our findings suggest that the MyD88-dependent pathway contributes to behavioral functions in an AD mouse model and its control group.

  15. Finite Element Learning Modules as Active Learning Tools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Ashland O.; Jensen, Daniel; Rencis, Joseph; Wood, Kristin; Wood, John; White, Christina; Raaberg, Kristen Kaufman; Coffman, Josh

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of active learning is to solicit participation by students beyond the passive mode of traditional classroom lectures. Reading, writing, participating in discussions, hands-on activities, engaging in active problem solving, and collaborative learning can all be involved. The skills acquired during active learning tend to go above and…

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Haith, Adrian; Vijayakumar, Sethu

    2009-01-01

    The exact role of the cerebellum in motor control and learning is not yet fully understood. The structure, connectivity and plasticity within cerebellar cortex has been extensively studied, but the patterns of connectivity and interaction with other brain structures, and the computational significance of these patterns, is less well known and a matter of debate. Two contrasting models of the role of the cerebellum in motor adaptation have previously been proposed. Most commonly, the cerebellum is employed in a purely feedforward pathway, with its output contributing directly to the outgoing motor command. The cerebellum must then learn an inverse model of the motor apparatus in order to achieve accurate control. More recently, Porrill et al. (Proc Biol Sci 271(1541):789-796, 2004) and Porrill et al. (PLoS Comput Biol 3:1935-1950, 2007a) and Porrill et al. (Neural Comput 19(1), 170-193, 2007b) have highlighted the potential importance of these recurrent connections by proposing an alternative architecture in which the cerebellum is embedded in a recurrent loop with brainstem control circuitry. In this framework, the feedforward connections are not necessary at all. The cerebellum must learn a forward model of the motor apparatus for accurate motor commands to be generated. We show here how these two models exhibit contrasting yet complimentary learning capabilities. Central to the differences in performance between architectures is that there are two distinct kinds of disturbance to which a motor system may need to adapt (1) changes in the relationship between the motor command and the observed outcome and (2) changes in the relationship between the stimulus and the desired outcome. The computational distinction between these two kinds of transformation is subtle and has therefore often been overlooked. However, the implications for learning turn out to be significant: learning with a feedforward architecture is robust following changes in the stimulus

  18. EFFECTS OF SENSORI-MOTOR LEARNING ON MELODY PROCESSING ACROSS DEVELOPMENT

    PubMed Central

    WAKEFIELD, Elizabeth M.; JAMES, Karin H.

    2014-01-01

    Actions influence perceptions, but how this occurs may change across the lifespan. Studies have investigated how object-directed actions (e.g., learning about objects through manipulation) affect subsequent perception, but how abstract actions affect perception, and how this may change across development, have not been well studied. In the present study, we address this question, teaching children (4–7 year-olds) and adults sung melodies, with or without an abstract motor component, and using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to determine how these melodies are subsequently processed. Results demonstrated developmental change in the motor cortices and Middle Temporal Gyrus. Results have implications for understanding sensori-motor integration in the developing brain, and may provide insight into motor learning use in some music education techniques. PMID:25653926

  19. Learning, Not Adaptation, Characterizes Stroke Motor Recovery: Evidence From Kinematic Changes Induced by Robot-Assisted Therapy in Trained and Untrained Task in the Same Workspace

    PubMed Central

    Dipietro, L.; Krebs, H. I.; Volpe, B. T.; Stein, J.; Bever, C.; Mernoff, S. T.; Fasoli, S. E.; Hogan, N.

    2015-01-01

    Both the American Heart Association and the VA/DoD endorse upper-extremity robot-mediated rehabilitation therapy for stroke care. However, we do not know yet how to optimize therapy for a particular patient’s needs. Here, we explore whether we must train patients for each functional task that they must perform during their activities of daily living or alternatively capacitate patients to perform a class of tasks and have therapists assist them later in translating the observed gains into activities of daily living. The former implies that motor adaptation is a better model for motor recovery. The latter implies that motor learning (which allows for generalization) is a better model for motor recovery. We quantified trained and untrained movements performed by 158 recovering stroke patients via 13 metrics, including movement smoothness and submovements. Improvements were observed both in trained and untrained movements suggesting that generalization occurred. Our findings suggest that, as motor recovery progresses, an internal representation of the task is rebuilt by the brain in a process that better resembles motor learning than motor adaptation. Our findings highlight possible improvements for therapeutic algorithms design, suggesting sparse-activity-set training should suffice over exhaustive sets of task specific training. PMID:22186963

  20. [Field Learning Activities].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, Reading, PA.

    Seventy field activities, pertinent to outdoor, environmental studies, are described in this compilation. Designed for elementary and junior high school students, the activities cover many discipline areas--science, social studies, language arts, health, history, mathematics, and art--and many are multidisciplinary in use. Topics range from soil…

  1. Learning Activities for Toddlers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas Child Care, 1996

    1996-01-01

    Suggests activities to help toddlers develop skills in the four important areas of self-help, creativity, world mastery, and coordination. Activities include hand washing, button practice, painting, movement and music, bubble making, creation of a nature mural, and a shoe print trail. (TJQ)

  2. Primary motor cortex activity is elevated with incremental exercise intensity.

    PubMed

    Brümmer, V; Schneider, S; Strüder, H K; Askew, C D

    2011-05-05

    While the effects of exercise on brain cortical activity from pre-to post-exercise have been thoroughly evaluated, few studies have investigated the change in activity during exercise. As such, it is not clear to what extent changes in exercise intensity influence brain cortical activity. Furthermore, due to the difficulty in using brain-imaging methods during complex whole-body movements like cycling, it is unclear to what extent the activity in specific brain areas is altered with incremental exercise intensity over time. Latterly, active electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes combined with source localization methods allow for the assessment of brain activity, measured as EEG current density, within specific cortical regions. The present study aimed to investigate the application of this method during exercise on a cycle ergometer, and to investigate the effect of increasing exercise intensity on the magnitude and location of any changes in electrocortical current density. Subjects performed an incremental cycle ergometer test until subjective exhaustion. Current density of the EEG recordings during each test stage, as well as before and after exercise, was determined. Spatial changes in current density were localized using low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) to three regions of interest; the primary motor cortex, primary sensory cortex and prefrontal cortex, and were expressed relative to current density within the local lobe. It was demonstrated that the relative current density of the primary motor cortex was intensified with increasing exercise intensity, whereas activity of the primary sensory cortex and that of the prefrontal cortex were not altered with exercise. The results indicate that the combined active EEG/LORETA method allows for the recording of brain cortical activity during complex movements and incremental exercise. These findings indicate that primary motor cortex activity is elevated with incremental exercise intensity

  3. Predicting reading and mathematics from neural activity for feedback learning.

    PubMed

    Peters, Sabine; Van der Meulen, Mara; Zanolie, Kiki; Crone, Eveline A

    2017-01-01

    Although many studies use feedback learning paradigms to study the process of learning in laboratory settings, little is known about their relevance for real-world learning settings such as school. In a large developmental sample (N = 228, 8-25 years), we investigated whether performance and neural activity during a feedback learning task predicted reading and mathematics performance 2 years later. The results indicated that feedback learning performance predicted both reading and mathematics performance. Activity during feedback learning in left superior dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) predicted reading performance, whereas activity in presupplementary motor area/anterior cingulate cortex (pre-SMA/ACC) predicted mathematical performance. Moreover, left superior DLPFC and pre-SMA/ACC activity predicted unique variance in reading and mathematics ability over behavioral testing of feedback learning performance alone. These results provide valuable insights into the relationship between laboratory-based learning tasks and learning in school settings, and the value of neural assessments for prediction of school performance over behavioral testing alone. (PsycINFO Database Record

  4. Chemical and thermal modulation of molecular motor activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Weili

    Molecular motors of kinesin and dynein families are responsible for various intracellular activities, from long distance movement of organelles, vesicles, protein complexes, and mRNAs to powering mitotic processes. They can take nanometer steps using chemical energy from the hydrolysis of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), and their dysfunction is involved in many neurodegenerative diseases that require long distance transport of cargos. Here I report on the study of the properties of molecular motors at a single-molecule level using optical trappings. I first studied the inhibition properties of kinesin motors by marine natural compound adociasulfates. I showed that adociasulfates compete with microtubules for binding to kinesins and thus inhibit kinesins' activity. Although adociasulfates are a strong inhibitor for all kinesin members, they show a much higher inhibition effect for conventional kinesins than for mitotic kinesins. Thus adociasulfates can be used to specifically inhibit conventional kinesins. By comparing the inhibition of kinesins by two structurally similar adociasulfates, one can see that the negatively charged sulfate residue of adociasulfates can be replaced by other negative residues and thus make it possible for adociasulfate-derived compounds to be more cell permeable. Kinesins and dyneins move cargos towards opposite directions along a microtubule. Cargos with both kinesins and dyneins attached often move bidirectionally due to undergoing a tug-of-war between the oppositely moving kinesin and dynein motors. Here I studied the effect of temperature on microtubule-based kinesin and dynein motor transport. While kinesins' and dyneins' velocities are closely matched above 15 °C, below this temperature the dyneins' velocity decreases much faster than the kinesins'. The kinesins' and dyneins' forces do not measurably change with temperature. The results suggest that temperature has significant effects on bidirectional transport and can be used to

  5. Activation of sensory-motor areas in sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Desai, Rutvik H; Binder, Jeffrey R; Conant, Lisa L; Seidenberg, Mark S

    2010-02-01

    The sensory-motor account of conceptual processing suggests that modality-specific attributes play a central role in the organization of object and action knowledge in the brain. An opposing view emphasizes the abstract, amodal, and symbolic character of concepts, which are thought to be represented outside the brain's sensory-motor systems. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in which the participants listened to sentences describing hand/arm action events, visual events, or abstract behaviors. In comparison to visual and abstract sentences, areas associated with planning and control of hand movements, motion perception, and vision were activated when understanding sentences describing actions. Sensory-motor areas were activated to a greater extent also for sentences with actions that relied mostly on hands, as opposed to arms. Visual sentences activated a small area in the secondary visual cortex, whereas abstract sentences activated superior temporal and inferior frontal regions. The results support the view that linguistic understanding of actions partly involves imagery or simulation of actions, and relies on some of the same neural substrate used for planning, performing, and perceiving actions.

  6. On the role of imagery modalities on motor learning.

    PubMed

    Toussaint, Lucette; Blandin, Yannick

    2010-03-01

    In the present study, we examine specifically how the sensory conditions available during physical practice of a task might influence the subsequent use of motor imagery. First, as a pre-test, participants had to physically reproduce knee joint positions with or without vision. Second, they practised motor imagery (15 and 150 trials) with visual, kinaesthetic or visuo-kinaesthetic imagery. A control group with no imagery was included. Post-tests were then performed 10 min and 24 h after each imagery session in a sensory condition similar to that used in the pre-test. Results showed that efficient motor imagery instructions have to take account of the sensory information available during physical experience of the task: kinaesthetic or visuo-kinaesthetic imagery in a no-vision condition, and visual imagery or, to a lesser extent, visuo-kinaesthetic imagery in a vision condition. Discussion focuses on the role of sensory motor memory on motor prediction to simulate a specific movement, and on the similarities between physical and mental practice in the development of sensory-specific movement representation.

  7. The NMDA receptor partial agonist d-cycloserine does not enhance motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Günthner, Jan; Scholl, Jacqueline; Favaron, Elisa; Harmer, Catherine J; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Reinecke, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Rationale: There has recently been increasing interest in pharmacological manipulations that could potentially enhance exposure-based cognitive behaviour therapy for anxiety disorders. One such medication is the partial NMDA agonist d-cycloserine. It has been suggested that d-cycloserine enhances cognitive behaviour therapy by making learning faster. While animal studies have supported this view of the drug accelerating learning, evidence in human studies has been mixed. We therefore designed an experiment to measure the effects of d-cycloserine on human motor learning. Methods: Fifty-four healthy human volunteers were randomly assigned to a single dose of 250mg d-cycloserine versus placebo in a double-blind design. They then performed a motor sequence learning task. Results: D-cycloserine did not increase the speed of motor learning or the overall amount learnt. However, we noted that participants on d-cycloserine tended to respond more carefully (shifting towards slower, but more correct responses). Conclusion: The results suggest that d-cycloserine does not exert beneficial effects on psychological treatments via mechanisms involved in motor learning. Further studies are needed to clarify the influence on other cognitive mechanisms. PMID:27436230

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skeen, Judith A.; And Others

    1982-01-01

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

  11. GR3027 antagonizes GABAA receptor-potentiating neurosteroids and restores spatial learning and motor coordination in rats with chronic hyperammonemia and hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Maja; Agusti, Ana; Llansola, Marta; Montoliu, Carmina; Strömberg, Jessica; Malinina, Evgenya; Ragagnin, Gianna; Doverskog, Magnus; Bäckström, Torbjörn; Felipo, Vicente

    2015-09-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is one of the primary complications of liver cirrhosis. Current treatments for HE, mainly directed to reduction of ammonia levels, are not effective enough because they cannot completely eliminate hyperammonemia and inflammation, which induce the neurological alterations. Studies in animal models show that overactivation of GABAA receptors is involved in cognitive and motor impairment in HE and that reducing this activation restores these functions. We have developed a new compound, GR3027, that selectively antagonizes the enhanced activation of GABAA receptors by neurosteroids such as allopregnanolone and 3α,21-dihydroxy-5α-pregnan-20-one (THDOC). This work aimed to assess whether GR3027 improves motor incoordination, spatial learning, and circadian rhythms of activity in rats with HE. GR3027 was administered subcutaneously to two main models of HE: rats with chronic hyperammonemia due to ammonia feeding and rats with portacaval shunts (PCS). Motor coordination was assessed in beam walking and spatial learning and memory in the Morris water maze and the radial maze. Circadian rhythms of ambulatory and vertical activity were also assessed. In both hyperammonemic and PCS rats, GR3027 restores motor coordination, spatial memory in the Morris water maze, and spatial learning in the radial maze. GR3027 also partially restores circadian rhythms of ambulatory and vertical activity in PCS rats. GR3027 is a novel approach to treatment of HE that would normalize neurological functions altered because of enhanced GABAergic tone, affording more complete normalization of cognitive and motor function than current treatments for HE.

  12. GR3027 antagonizes GABAA receptor-potentiating neurosteroids and restores spatial learning and motor coordination in rats with chronic hyperammonemia and hepatic encephalopathy

    PubMed Central

    Johansson, Maja; Agusti, Ana; Llansola, Marta; Montoliu, Carmina; Strömberg, Jessica; Malinina, Evgenya; Ragagnin, Gianna; Doverskog, Magnus; Bäckström, Torbjörn

    2015-01-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is one of the primary complications of liver cirrhosis. Current treatments for HE, mainly directed to reduction of ammonia levels, are not effective enough because they cannot completely eliminate hyperammonemia and inflammation, which induce the neurological alterations. Studies in animal models show that overactivation of GABAA receptors is involved in cognitive and motor impairment in HE and that reducing this activation restores these functions. We have developed a new compound, GR3027, that selectively antagonizes the enhanced activation of GABAA receptors by neurosteroids such as allopregnanolone and 3α,21-dihydroxy-5α-pregnan-20-one (THDOC). This work aimed to assess whether GR3027 improves motor incoordination, spatial learning, and circadian rhythms of activity in rats with HE. GR3027 was administered subcutaneously to two main models of HE: rats with chronic hyperammonemia due to ammonia feeding and rats with portacaval shunts (PCS). Motor coordination was assessed in beam walking and spatial learning and memory in the Morris water maze and the radial maze. Circadian rhythms of ambulatory and vertical activity were also assessed. In both hyperammonemic and PCS rats, GR3027 restores motor coordination, spatial memory in the Morris water maze, and spatial learning in the radial maze. GR3027 also partially restores circadian rhythms of ambulatory and vertical activity in PCS rats. GR3027 is a novel approach to treatment of HE that would normalize neurological functions altered because of enhanced GABAergic tone, affording more complete normalization of cognitive and motor function than current treatments for HE. PMID:26138462

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Recent work demonstrated that capsaicin-induced acute pain improved motor learning performance; however, baseline accuracy was very high, making it impossible to discern the impact of acute pain on motor learning and retention. In addition, the effects of the spatial location of capsaicin application were not explored. Two experiments were conducted to determine the interactive effects of acute pain vs control (experiment 1) and local vs remote acute pain (experiment 2) on motor learning and sensorimotor processing. For both experiments, somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) amplitudes and motor learning acquisition and retention (accuracy and response time) data were collected at baseline, after application, and after motor learning. Experiment 1: N11 (P < 0.05), N13 (P < 0.05), and N30 (P < 0.05) SEP peak amplitudes increased after motor learning in both groups, whereas the N20 SEP peak increased in the control group (P < 0.05). At baseline, the intervention group outperformed the control group in accuracy (P < 0.001). Response time improved after motor learning (P < 0.001) and at retention (P < 0.001). Experiment 2: The P25 SEP peak decreased in the local group after application of capsaicin cream (P < 0.01), whereas the N30 SEP peaks increased after motor learning in both groups (P < 0.05). Accuracy improved in the local group at retention (P < 0.005), and response time improved after motor learning (P < 0.005) and at retention (P < 0.001). This study suggests that acute pain may increase focal attention to the body part used in motor learning, contributing to our understanding of how the location of pain impacts somatosensory processing and the associated motor learning.

  14. Differential actigraphy for monitoring asymmetry in upper limb motor activities.

    PubMed

    Rabuffetti, M; Meriggi, P; Pagliari, C; Bartolomeo, P; Ferrarin, M

    2016-09-21

    Most applications of accelerometry-based actigraphy require a single sensor, properly located onto the body, to estimate, for example, the level of activity or the energy expenditure. Some approaches adopt a multi-sensor setup to improve those analyses or to classify different types of activity. The specific case of two symmetrically placed actigraphs allowing, by some kind of differential analysis, for the assessment of asymmetric motor behaviors, has been considered in relatively few studies. This article presents a novel method for differential actigraphy, which requires the synchronized measurements of two triaxial accelerometers (programmable eZ430-Chronos, Texas Instruments, USA) placed symmetrically on both wrists. The method involved the definition of a robust epoch-related activity index and its implementation on-board the adopted programmable platform. Finally, the activity recordings from both sensors allowed us to define a novel asymmetry index AR24 h ranging from  -100% (only the left arm moves) to  +100% (only the right arm moves) with null value marking a perfect symmetrical behavior. The accuracy of the AR24 h index was 1.3%. Round-the-clock monitoring on 31 healthy participants (20-79 years old, 10 left handed) provided for the AR24 h reference data (range  -5% to 21%) and a fairly good correlation to the clinical handedness index (r  =  0.66, p  <  0.001). A subset of 20 participants repeated the monitoring one week apart evidencing an excellent test-retest reliability (r  =  0.70, p  <  0.001). Such figures support future applications of the methodology for the study of pathologies involving motor asymmetries, such as in patients with motor hemisyndromes and, in general, for those subjects for whom a quantification of the asymmetry in daily motor performances is required to complement laboratory tests.

  15. Parameters and Measures in Assessment of Motor Learning in Neurorehabilitation; A Systematic Review of the Literature

    PubMed Central

    Shishov, Nataliya; Melzer, Itshak; Bar-Haim, Simona

    2017-01-01

    Upper limb function, essential for daily life, is often impaired in individuals after stroke and cerebral palsy (CP). For an improved upper limb function, learning should occur, and therefore training with motor learning principles is included in many rehabilitation interventions. Despite accurate measurement being an important aspect for examination and optimization of treatment outcomes, there are no standard algorithms for outcome measures selection. Moreover, the ability of the chosen measures to identify learning is not well established. We aimed to review and categorize the parameters and measures utilized for identification of motor learning in stroke and CP populations. PubMed, Pedro, and Web of Science databases were systematically searched between January 2000 and March 2016 for studies assessing a form of motor learning following upper extremity training using motor control measures. Thirty-two studies in persons after stroke and 10 studies in CP of any methodological quality were included. Identified outcome measures were sorted into two categories, “parameters,” defined as identifying a form of learning, and “measures,” as tools measuring the parameter. Review's results were organized as a narrative synthesis focusing on the outcome measures. The included studies were heterogeneous in their study designs, parameters and measures. Parameters included adaptation (n = 6), anticipatory control (n = 2), after-effects (n = 3), de-adaptation (n = 4), performance (n = 24), acquisition (n = 8), retention (n = 8), and transfer (n = 14). Despite motor learning theory's emphasis on long-lasting changes and generalization, the majority of studies did not assess the retention and transfer parameters. Underlying measures included kinematic analyses in terms of speed, geometry or both (n = 39), dynamic metrics, measures of accuracy, consistency, and coordination. There is no exclusivity of measures to a specific parameter. Many factors affect task performance

  16. Parameters and Measures in Assessment of Motor Learning in Neurorehabilitation; A Systematic Review of the Literature.

    PubMed

    Shishov, Nataliya; Melzer, Itshak; Bar-Haim, Simona

    2017-01-01

    Upper limb function, essential for daily life, is often impaired in individuals after stroke and cerebral palsy (CP). For an improved upper limb function, learning should occur, and therefore training with motor learning principles is included in many rehabilitation interventions. Despite accurate measurement being an important aspect for examination and optimization of treatment outcomes, there are no standard algorithms for outcome measures selection. Moreover, the ability of the chosen measures to identify learning is not well established. We aimed to review and categorize the parameters and measures utilized for identification of motor learning in stroke and CP populations. PubMed, Pedro, and Web of Science databases were systematically searched between January 2000 and March 2016 for studies assessing a form of motor learning following upper extremity training using motor control measures. Thirty-two studies in persons after stroke and 10 studies in CP of any methodological quality were included. Identified outcome measures were sorted into two categories, "parameters," defined as identifying a form of learning, and "measures," as tools measuring the parameter. Review's results were organized as a narrative synthesis focusing on the outcome measures. The included studies were heterogeneous in their study designs, parameters and measures. Parameters included adaptation (n = 6), anticipatory control (n = 2), after-effects (n = 3), de-adaptation (n = 4), performance (n = 24), acquisition (n = 8), retention (n = 8), and transfer (n = 14). Despite motor learning theory's emphasis on long-lasting changes and generalization, the majority of studies did not assess the retention and transfer parameters. Underlying measures included kinematic analyses in terms of speed, geometry or both (n = 39), dynamic metrics, measures of accuracy, consistency, and coordination. There is no exclusivity of measures to a specific parameter. Many factors affect task performance and the

  17. Resting state connectivity immediately following learning correlates with subsequent sleep-dependent enhancement of motor task performance.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Michael D; Agam, Yigal; Selvadurai, Chindhuri; Nagy, Amanda; Vangel, Mark; Tucker, Matthew; Robertson, Edwin M; Stickgold, Robert; Manoach, Dara S

    2014-11-15

    There is ongoing debate concerning the functions of resting-state brain activity. Prior work demonstrates that memory encoding enhances subsequent resting-state functional connectivity within task-relevant networks and that these changes predict better recognition. Here, we used functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) to examine whether task-induced changes in resting-state connectivity correlate with performance improvement after sleep. In two separate sessions, resting-state scans were acquired before and after participants performed a motor task. In one session participants trained on the motor sequence task (MST), a well-established probe of sleep-dependent memory consolidation, and were tested the next day, after a night of sleep. In the other session they performed a motor control task (MCT) that minimized learning. In an accompanying behavioral control study, participants trained on the MST and were tested after either a night of sleep or an equivalent interval of daytime wake. Both the fcMRI and the sleep control groups showed significant improvement of MST performance, while the wake control group did not. In the fcMRI group, increased connectivity in bilateral motor cortex following MST training correlated with this next-day improvement. This increased connectivity did not appear to reflect initial learning since it did not correlate with learning during training and was not greater after MST training than MCT performance. Instead, we hypothesize that this increased connectivity processed the new memories for sleep-dependent consolidation. Our findings demonstrate that physiological processes immediately after learning correlate with sleep-dependent performance improvement and suggest that the wakeful resting brain prepares memories of recent experiences for later consolidation during sleep.

  18. Novel Skill Learning and Gross Motor Performance Correlates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dotson, Charles O.

    This research study determined the relative importance of various basic motor ability traits possessed by the learner in the process of acquiring neuromuscular skills. Fifty-two university students practiced two novel skills (ball toss and fli-back paddle ball) 5 days per week for 2 weeks. Prior to beginning practice, each subject was measured on…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Business Communication through Active Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goff-Kfouri, Carol Ann

    Research has shown that although university instructors of English as a Second Language are aware of the benefits that active learning can bring the student, teacher-centered, traditional lecture method classes are still the norm. Resistance to change is due in part to large class sizes, limited instruction hours, and the perception that proactive…