Science.gov

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. Motor skill learning requires active central myelination.

    PubMed

    McKenzie, Ian A; Ohayon, David; Li, Huiliang; de Faria, Joana Paes; Emery, Ben; Tohyama, Koujiro; Richardson, William D

    2014-10-17

    Myelin-forming oligodendrocytes (OLs) are formed continuously in the healthy adult brain. In this work, we study the function of these late-forming cells and the myelin they produce. Learning a new motor skill (such as juggling) alters the structure of the brain's white matter, which contains many OLs, suggesting that late-born OLs might contribute to motor learning. Consistent with this idea, we show that production of newly formed OLs is briefly accelerated in mice that learn a new skill (running on a "complex wheel" with irregularly spaced rungs). By genetically manipulating the transcription factor myelin regulatory factor in OL precursors, we blocked production of new OLs during adulthood without affecting preexisting OLs or myelin. This prevented the mice from mastering the complex wheel. Thus, generation of new OLs and myelin is important for learning motor skills. PMID:25324381

  3. Active Learning: Learning a Motor Skill Without a Coach

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18509079

  4. 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. PMID:18509079

  5. 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.

  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. Motor learning.

    PubMed

    Wolpert, Daniel M; Flanagan, J Randall

    2010-06-01

    Although learning a motor skill, such as a tennis stroke, feels like a unitary experience, researchers who study motor control and learning break the processes involved into a number of interacting components. These components can be organized into four main groups. First, skilled performance requires the effective and efficient gathering of sensory information, such as deciding where and when to direct one's gaze around the court, and thus an important component of skill acquisition involves learning how best to extract task-relevant information. Second, the performer must learn key features of the task such as the geometry and mechanics of the tennis racket and ball, the properties of the court surface, and how the wind affects the ball's flight. Third, the player needs to set up different classes of control that include predictive and reactive control mechanisms that generate appropriate motor commands to achieve the task goals, as well as compliance control that specifies, for example, the stiffness with which the arm holds the racket. Finally, the successful performer can learn higher-level skills such as anticipating and countering the opponent's strategy and making effective decisions about shot selection. In this Primer we shall consider these components of motor learning using as an example how we learn to play tennis. PMID:20541489

  8. Motor learning.

    PubMed

    Wolpert, Daniel M; Flanagan, J Randall

    2010-06-01

    Although learning a motor skill, such as a tennis stroke, feels like a unitary experience, researchers who study motor control and learning break the processes involved into a number of interacting components. These components can be organized into four main groups. First, skilled performance requires the effective and efficient gathering of sensory information, such as deciding where and when to direct one's gaze around the court, and thus an important component of skill acquisition involves learning how best to extract task-relevant information. Second, the performer must learn key features of the task such as the geometry and mechanics of the tennis racket and ball, the properties of the court surface, and how the wind affects the ball's flight. Third, the player needs to set up different classes of control that include predictive and reactive control mechanisms that generate appropriate motor commands to achieve the task goals, as well as compliance control that specifies, for example, the stiffness with which the arm holds the racket. Finally, the successful performer can learn higher-level skills such as anticipating and countering the opponent's strategy and making effective decisions about shot selection. In this Primer we shall consider these components of motor learning using as an example how we learn to play tennis.

  9. 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.

  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. The multifaceted nature of the relationship between performance and brain activity in motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Orban, Pierre; Peigneux, Philippe; Lungu, Ovidiu; Albouy, Geneviève; Breton, Estelle; Laberenne, Frédéric; Benali, Habib; Maquet, Pierre; Doyon, Julien

    2010-01-01

    The 'learning and performance' conundrum has for a long time puzzled the field of cognitive neuroscience. Deciphering the genuine functional neuroanatomy of motor sequence learning, among that of other skills, has thereby been hampered. The main caveat is that changes in neural activity that inherently accompany task practice may not only reflect the learning process per se, but also the basic motor implementation of improved performance. Previous research has attempted to control for a performance confound in brain activity by adopting methodologies that prevent changes in performance. However, blocking the expression of performance is likely to distort the very nature of the motor sequence learning process, and may thus represent a major confound in itself. In the present study, we postulated that both learning-dependent plasticity mechanisms and learning-independent implementation processes are nested within the relationship that exists between performance and brain activity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to map brain responses in healthy volunteers while they either (a) learned a novel sequence, (b) produced a highly automatized sequence or (c) executed non-sequential movements matched for speed frequency. In order to dissociate between qualitatively distinct, but intertwined, relationships between performance and neural activity, our analyses focused on correlations between variations in performance and brain activity, and how this relationship differs or shares commonalities between conditions. Results revealed that activity in the putamen and contralateral lobule VI of the cerebellum most strongly correlated with performance during learning per se, suggesting their key role in this process. By contrast, activity in a parallel cerebellar network, as well as in motor and premotor cortical areas, was modulated by performance during learning and during one or both control condition(s), suggesting the primary contribution of these areas in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1995-12-01

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

  13. Longitudinal Changes in the Motor Learning-Related Brain Activation Response in Presymptomatic Huntington's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Holtbernd, Florian; Tang, Chris C.; Feigin, Andrew; Dhawan, Vijay; Ghilardi, Maria Felice; Paulsen, Jane S.; Guttman, Mark; Eidelberg, David

    2016-01-01

    Neurocognitive decline, including deficits in motor learning, occurs in the presymptomatic phase of Huntington’s disease (HD) and precedes the onset of motor symptoms. Findings from recent neuroimaging studies have linked these deficits to alterations in fronto-striatal and fronto-parietal brain networks. However, little is known about the temporal dynamics of these networks when subjects approach phenoconversion. Here, 10 subjects with presymptomatic HD were scanned with 15O-labeled water at baseline and again 1.5 years later while performing a motor sequence learning task and a kinematically matched control task. Spatial covariance analysis was utilized to characterize patterns of change in learning-related neural activation occurring over time in these individuals. Pattern expression was compared to corresponding values in 10 age-matched healthy control subjects. Spatial covariance analysis revealed significant longitudinal changes in the expression of a specific learning-related activation pattern characterized by increasing activity in the right orbitofrontal cortex, with concurrent reductions in the right medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate regions, the left insula, left precuneus, and left cerebellum. Changes in the expression of this pattern over time correlated with baseline measurements of disease burden and learning performance. The network changes were accompanied by modest improvement in learning performance that took place concurrently in the gene carriers. The presence of increased network activity in the setting of stable task performance is consistent with a discrete compensatory mechanism. The findings suggest that this effect is most pronounced in the late presymptomatic phase of HD, as subjects approach clinical onset. PMID:27192167

  14. Motor learning by observing.

    PubMed

    Mattar, Andrew A G; Gribble, Paul L

    2005-04-01

    Learning complex motor behaviors like riding a bicycle or swinging a golf club is based on acquiring neural representations of the mechanical requirements of movement (e.g., coordinating muscle forces to control the club). Here we provide evidence that mechanisms matching observation and action facilitate motor learning. Subjects who observed a video depicting another person learning to reach in a novel mechanical environment (imposed by a robot arm) performed better when later tested in the same environment than subjects who observed similar movements but no learning; moreover, subjects who observed learning of a different environment performed worse. We show that this effect is not based on conscious strategies but instead depends on the implicit engagement of neural systems for movement planning and control. PMID:15820701

  15. 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. PMID:21315795

  16. Sub-threshold activation of the superior colliculus drives saccade motor learning

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 sub-threshold 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 to 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. PMID:19955374

  17. The Homeostatic Interaction Between Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Motor Learning in Humans is Related to GABAA Activity

    PubMed Central

    Amadi, Ugwechi; Allman, Claire; Johansen-Berg, Heidi; Stagg, Charlotte J.

    2015-01-01

    Background The relative timing of plasticity-induction protocols is known to be crucial. For example, anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which increases cortical excitability and typically enhances plasticity, can impair performance if it is applied before a motor learning task. Such timing-dependent effects have been ascribed to homeostatic plasticity, but the specific synaptic site of this interaction remains unknown. Objective We wished to investigate the synaptic substrate, and in particular the role of inhibitory signaling, underpinning the behavioral effects of anodal tDCS in homeostatic interactions between anodal tDCS and motor learning. Methods We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate cortical excitability and inhibitory signaling following tDCS and motor learning. Each subject participated in four experimental sessions and data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVAs and post-hoc t-tests as appropriate. Results As predicted, we found that anodal tDCS prior to the motor task decreased learning rates. This worsening of learning after tDCS was accompanied by a correlated increase in GABAA activity, as measured by TMS-assessed short interval intra-cortical inhibition (SICI). Conclusion This provides the first direct demonstration in humans that inhibitory synapses are the likely site for the interaction between anodal tDCS and motor learning, and further, that homeostatic plasticity at GABAA synapses has behavioral relevance in humans. PMID:26279408

  18. Visuomotor learning by passive motor experience.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Takashi; Kondo, Toshiyuki

    2015-01-01

    Humans can adapt to unfamiliar dynamic and/or kinematic transformations through the active motor experience. Recent studies of neurorehabilitation using robots or brain-computer interface (BCI) technology suggest that passive motor experience would play a measurable role in motor recovery, however our knowledge of passive motor learning is limited. To clarify the effects of passive motor experience on human motor learning, we performed arm reaching experiments guided by a robotic manipulandum. The results showed that the passive motor experience had an anterograde transfer effect on the subsequent motor execution, whereas no retrograde interference was confirmed in the ABA paradigm experiment. This suggests that the passive experience of the error between visual and proprioceptive sensations leads to the limited but actual compensation of behavior, although it is fragile and cannot be consolidated as a persistent motor memory.

  19. Visuomotor learning by passive motor experience

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Takashi; Kondo, Toshiyuki

    2015-01-01

    Humans can adapt to unfamiliar dynamic and/or kinematic transformations through the active motor experience. Recent studies of neurorehabilitation using robots or brain-computer interface (BCI) technology suggest that passive motor experience would play a measurable role in motor recovery, however our knowledge of passive motor learning is limited. To clarify the effects of passive motor experience on human motor learning, we performed arm reaching experiments guided by a robotic manipulandum. The results showed that the passive motor experience had an anterograde transfer effect on the subsequent motor execution, whereas no retrograde interference was confirmed in the ABA paradigm experiment. This suggests that the passive experience of the error between visual and proprioceptive sensations leads to the limited but actual compensation of behavior, although it is fragile and cannot be consolidated as a persistent motor memory. PMID:26029091

  20. 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…

  1. Interleukin-18 regulates motor activity, anxiety and spatial learning without affecting synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Yaguchi, Takahiro; Nagata, Tetsu; Yang, Dongqin; Nishizaki, Tomoyuki

    2010-01-01

    Expression of Schaffer collateral-CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) was not affected in hippocampal slices from wild-type mice pretreated with lipopolysaccharide (0.25mg/kg, i.p.), to increase interleukin-18 (IL-18) concentrations in the brain. For IL-18 knock-out (IL-18 KO) mice, the LTP was still expressed, the extent being similar to that for wild-type mice. In the open-field test to assess motor activity, rearing activity for IL-18 KO mice was significantly suppressed as compared with that for wild-type mice, without significant difference in the locomotion activity between two groups. In the passive avoidance test to assess fear memory, the retention latency for IL-18 KO mice was much shorter than for wild-type mice, without significant difference in the acquisition latency between two groups. In the water maze test, the acquisition latency for IL-18 KO mice significantly prolonged as compared with that for wild-type mice, without significant difference in the retention latency between two groups. For IL-18 KO mice, intraventricular injection with IL-18 for 4 days (total, 240 fg) prior to water maze task shortened the prolonged acquisition latency, reaching a level similar to that for wild-type mice. The results of the present study, thus, suggest that IL-18 is a critical regulator for exploratory activity, fear memory, and spatial learning.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Heritability of motor control and motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Missitzi, Julia; Gentner, Reinhard; Misitzi, Angelica; Geladas, Nickos; Politis, Panagiotis; Klissouras, Vassilis; Classen, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The aim of this study was to elucidate the relative contribution of genes and environment on individual differences in motor control and acquisition of a force control task, in view of recent association studies showing that several candidate polymorphisms may have an effect on them. Forty‐four healthy female twins performed brisk isometric abductions with their right thumb. Force was recorded by a transducer and fed back to the subject on a computer screen. The task was to place the tracing of the peak force in a force window defined between 30% and 40% of the subject's maximum force, as determined beforehand. The initial level of proficiency was defined as the number of attempts reaching the force window criterion within the first 100 trials. The difference between the number of successful trials within the last and the first 100 trials was taken as a measure of motor learning. For motor control, defined by the initial level of proficiency, the intrapair differences in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins were 6.8 ± 7.8 and 13.8 ± 8.4, and the intrapair correlations 0.77 and 0.39, respectively. Heritability was estimated at 0.68. Likewise for motor learning intrapair differences in the increment of the number of successful trials in MZ and DZ twins were 5.4 ± 5.2 and 12.8 ± 7, and the intrapair correlations 0.58 and 0.19. Heritability reached 0.70. The present findings suggest that heredity accounts for a major part of existing differences in motor control and motor learning, but uncertainty remains which gene polymorphisms may be responsible. PMID:24744865

  6. [Functional brain plasticity associated with motor learning].

    PubMed

    Doyon, Julien; Orban, Pierre; Barakat, Marc; Debas, Karen; Lungu, Ovidiu; Albouy, Geneviève; Fogel, Stuart; Proulx, Sébastien; Laventure, Samuel; Deslauriers, Jonathan; Duchesne, Catherine; Carrier, Julie; Benali, Habib

    2011-04-01

    This review presents the results of studies carried out in our laboratory that aim to investigate, through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the brain plasticity associated with motor sequence learning, defined as our ability to integrate simple stereotyped movements into a single motor representation. Following a brief description of Doyon and colleagues' model (2002, 2005, 2009) of motor skill learning that has guided this work, we then describe the functional changes that occur at the different (rapid, slow, automatization) acquisition phases, and propose specific roles that the putamen, the cerebellum and their motor-related cortical areas, play in this form of motor behavior. Finally, we put forward evidence that post-training, non-REM sleep (and spindles in Stage 2 sleep, in particular) contributes to the consolidation of a motor sequence memory trace, and that increased activity within the striatum and/or the hippocampus mediates this mnemonic process.

  7. Agriculture--Agricultural Mechanics, Electric Motors. Kit No. 56. Instructor's Manual [and] Student Learning Activity Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bomar, William

    An instructor's manual and student activity guide on agricultural mechanics (electric motors) are provided in this set of prevocational education materials which focuses on the vocational area of agriculture. (This set of materials is one of ninety-two prevocational education sets arranged around a cluster of seven vocational offerings:…

  8. 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. PMID:27481694

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27137944

  11. Reward feedback accelerates motor learning.

    PubMed

    Nikooyan, Ali A; Ahmed, Alaa A

    2015-01-15

    Recent findings have demonstrated that reward feedback alone can drive motor learning. However, it is not yet clear whether reward feedback alone can lead to learning when a perturbation is introduced abruptly, or how a reward gradient can modulate learning. In this study, we provide reward feedback that decays continuously with increasing error. We asked whether it is possible to learn an abrupt visuomotor rotation by reward alone, and if the learning process could be modulated by combining reward and sensory feedback and/or by using different reward landscapes. We designed a novel visuomotor learning protocol during which subjects experienced an abruptly introduced rotational perturbation. Subjects received either visual feedback or reward feedback, or a combination of the two. Two different reward landscapes, where the reward decayed either linearly or cubically with distance from the target, were tested. Results demonstrate that it is possible to learn from reward feedback alone and that the combination of reward and sensory feedback accelerates learning. An analysis of the underlying mechanisms reveals that although reward feedback alone does not allow for sensorimotor remapping, it can nonetheless lead to broad generalization, highlighting a dissociation between remapping and generalization. Also, the combination of reward and sensory feedback accelerates learning without compromising sensorimotor remapping. These findings suggest that the use of reward feedback is a promising approach to either supplement or substitute sensory feedback in the development of improved neurorehabilitation techniques. More generally, they point to an important role played by reward in the motor learning process.

  12. Neuroplasticity subserving motor skill learning

    PubMed Central

    Dayan, Eran; Cohen, Leonardo G.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Recent years have seen significant progress in our understanding of the neural substrates of motor skill learning. Advances in neuroimaging provide new insight into functional reorganization associated with the acquisition, consolidation and retention of motor skills. Plastic changes involving structural reorganization in gray and white matter architecture that occurs over shorter time periods than previously thought have been documented as well. Data from experimental animals provided crucial information on plausible cellular and molecular substrates contributing to large-scale reorganization underlying skill acquisition in humans. Here, we review findings demonstrating functional and structural plasticity across different spatial and temporal scales that mediate motor skill learning, while identifying converging areas of interest, and possible avenues for future research. PMID:22078504

  13. Assessment of Motor Learning Through Mathematical Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bundschuh, Ernest L.; Gooch, Susan J.

    The basic assumption underlying the assessment of motor learning through mathematical analysis is that motor learning behaves exponentially when described as a function of practice time. It is assumed that motor learning will continuously taper off (minimizing errors) with increased practice and eventually approach as asympote. Although many…

  14. 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.

  15. Cyclic motor activity; migrating motor complex: 1985.

    PubMed

    Sarna, S K

    1985-10-01

    Most of the gastrointestinal tract and the biliary tract have a cyclic motor activity. The electric counterpart of this motor activity is called cyclic myoelectric activity. A typical motor cycle in the LES, stomach, and small intestine is composed of a quiescent state, followed by progressively increasing amplitude and frequency of contractions culminating in a state of maximal contractile activity. The colonic motor cycle has only the quiescent and the contractile states. In the small intestine, these motor complexes migrate in an aborad direction, and in the colon in both orad and aborad directions. The mechanisms of initiation and migration of these complexes are best understood in the small intestine. Both the initiation and migration of these complexes seem to be controlled by enteric neural mechanisms. The functions of the enteric mechanisms may be modulated by the central nervous system and by circulating endogenous substances. The mechanisms of initiation of these complexes are not completely understood in the rest of the gastrointestinal tract and in the biliary tract. The physiologic function of these motor complexes that occur only after several hours of fast in the upper gastrointestinal tract of nonruminants may be to clean the digestive tract of residual food, secretions, and cellular debris. This function is aided by a coordinated secretion of enzymes, acid, and bicarbonate. In ruminants, phase III activity is associated with the distal propulsion of ingested food. The function of colonic motor complexes that are not coordinated with the cyclic motor activities of the rest of the gastrointestinal tract may be only to move contents back and forth for optimal absorption. PMID:3896912

  16. The Effects of a Learning Program in Perceptual-Motor Activity Upon the Visual Perception of Shape. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kannegieter, Ruthan Brinkerhoff

    This study involved fifty-eight 3-year-olds. It sought to determine whether the preschoolers could learn to discriminate visually the critical elements of shape through a program of perceptual-motor training, transfer such knowledge to similar but different shapes, and then resist the process of forgetting the critical elements. The children were…

  17. 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…

  18. Observing motor learning produces somatosensory change.

    PubMed

    Bernardi, Nicolò F; Darainy, Mohammad; Bricolo, Emanuela; Ostry, David J

    2013-10-01

    Observing the actions of others has been shown to affect motor learning, but does it have effects on sensory systems as well? It has been recently shown that motor learning that involves actual physical practice is also associated with plasticity in the somatosensory system. Here, we assessed the idea that observational learning likewise changes somatosensory function. We evaluated changes in somatosensory function after human subjects watched videos depicting motor learning. Subjects first observed video recordings of reaching movements either in a clockwise or counterclockwise force field. They were then trained in an actual force-field task that involved a counterclockwise load. Measures of somatosensory function were obtained before and after visual observation and also following force-field learning. Consistent with previous reports, video observation promoted motor learning. We also found that somatosensory function was altered following observational learning, both in direction and in magnitude, in a manner similar to that which occurs when motor learning is achieved through actual physical practice. Observation of the same sequence of movements in a randomized order did not result in somatosensory perceptual change. Observational learning and real physical practice appear to tap into the same capacity for sensory change in that subjects that showed a greater change following observational learning showed a reliably smaller change following physical motor learning. We conclude that effects of observing motor learning extend beyond the boundaries of traditional motor circuits, to include somatosensory representations.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    de Xivry, Jean-Jacques Orban; Shadmehr, Reza

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:26972317

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. Emergence of Motor Circuit Activity

    PubMed Central

    Law, Chris; Paquet, Michel; Kania, Artur

    2014-01-01

    In the developing nervous system, ordered neuronal activity patterns can occur even in the absence of sensory input and to investigate how these arise, we have used the model system of the embryonic chicken spinal motor circuit, focusing on motor neurons of the lateral motor column (LMC). At the earliest stages of their molecular differentiation, we can detect differences between medial and lateral LMC neurons in terms of expression of neurotransmitter receptor subunits, including CHRNA5, CHRNA7, GRIN2A, GRIK1, HTR1A and HTR1B, as well as the KCC2 transporter. Using patch-clamp recordings we also demonstrate that medial and lateral LMC motor neurons have subtly different activity patterns that reflect the differential expression of neurotransmitter receptor subunits. Using a combination of patch-clamp recordings in single neurons and calcium-imaging of motor neuron populations, we demonstrate that inhibition of nicotinic, muscarinic or GABA-ergic activity, has profound effects of motor circuit activity during the initial stages of neuromuscular junction formation. Finally, by analysing the activity of large populations of motor neurons at different developmental stages, we show that the asynchronous, disordered neuronal activity that occurs at early stages of circuit formation develops into organised, synchronous activity evident at the stage of LMC neuron muscle innervation. In light of the considerable diversity of neurotransmitter receptor expression, activity patterns in the LMC are surprisingly similar between neuronal types, however the emergence of patterned activity, in conjunction with the differential expression of transmitter systems likely leads to the development of near-mature patterns of locomotor activity by perinatal ages. PMID:24722186

  9. Motor activity improves temporal expectancy.

    PubMed

    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

  10. Motor activity improves temporal expectancy.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Talent identification plans are designed to select young athletes with the ability to achieve future success in sports. The aim of the study was to verify the predictive value of coordination and precision in skill acquisition during motor learning, as indicators of talent. One hundred gymnasts, both cadets (aged 11.5 ± 0.5 yr.) and juniors (aged 13.3 ± 0.5 years), competing at the national level, were enrolled in the study. The assessment of motor coordination involved three tests of the validated Hirtz's battery (1985), and motor skill learning involved four technical tests, specific of rhythmic gymnastics. All the tests were correlated with ranking and performance scores reached by each gymnast in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 National Championships. Coordination tests were significantly correlated to 2013 Championships scores (p < 0.01) and ranking (p < 0.05) of elite cadet athletes. Precision, in skill acquisition test results, was positively and significantly associated with scores in 2013 (adj. R(2) = 0.26, p < 0.01). Gymnasts with the best results in coordination and motor learning tests went on to achieve better competition results in three- year time. Key pointsIn talent identification and selection procedures it is better to include the evaluation of coordination and motor learning ability.Motor learning assessment concerns performance improvement and the ability to develop it, rather than evaluating the athlete's current performance.In this manner talent identification processes should be focused on the future performance capabilities of athletes.

  13. Balanced motor primitive can explain generalization of motor learning effects between unimanual and bimanual movements

    PubMed Central

    Takiyama, Ken; Sakai, Yutaka

    2016-01-01

    Motor learning in unimanual and bimanual planar reaching movements has been intensively investigated. Although distinct theoretical frameworks have been proposed for each of these reaching movements, the relationship between these movements remains unclear. In particular, the generalization of motor learning effects (transfer of learning effects) between unimanual and bimanual movements has yet to be successfully explained. Here, by extending a motor primitive framework, we analytically proved that the motor primitive framework can reproduce the generalization of learning effects between unimanual and bimanual movements if the mean activity of each primitive for unimanual movements is balanced to the mean for bimanual movements. In this balanced condition, the activity of each primitive is consistent with previously reported neuronal activity. The unimanual-bimanual balance leads to the testable prediction that generalization between unimanual and bimanual movements is more widespread to different reaching directions than generalization within respective movements. Furthermore, the balanced motor primitive can reproduce another previously reported phenomenon: the learning of different force fields for unimanual and bimanual movements. PMID:27025168

  14. MOVEMENT BEHAVIOR AND MOTOR LEARNING. SECOND EDITION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    CRATTY, BRYANT J.

    TO BRING TOGETHER DATA RELEVANT TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN MOVEMENT WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO LEARNING, THE TEXT SURVEYS THE CONCERN OF SEVERAL DISCIPLINES WITH MOTOR BEHAVIOR AND LEARNING. WORDS AND DEFINITIONS ARE ESTABLISHED, AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAN ACTION SYSTEM IS DISCUSSED. A CONSIDERATION OF PERCEPTION TREATS THE PROCESS OF…

  15. Laboratory and Field Experiments in Motor Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singer, Robert N.; And Others

    This manual for research in motor learning was written for scientifically based physical educators, experimental psychologists, and others interested in the investigation of learning and performance phenomena associated with skill acquisition. Laboratory and field experiments are presented that can be run with or without the presence of a formal…

  16. 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. PMID:27656663

  17. 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.

  18. 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,…

  19. 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.

  20. Conceptual and motor learning in music performance.

    PubMed

    Palmer, C; Meyer, R K

    2000-01-01

    Are the mental plans for action abstract or specified in terms of the movements with which they are produced? We report motor independence for expert music performance but not for novice performance in a transfer-of-learning task. Skilled adult pianists practiced musical pieces and transferred to new pieces with the same or different motor (hand and finger) requirements and conceptual (melodic) relations. Greatest transfer in sequence duration was observed when the same conceptual relations were retained from training to transfer, regardless of motor movements. In a second experiment, novice child pianists performed the same task. More experienced child pianists showed transfer on both the motor and the conceptual dimensions; the least experienced child pianists demonstrated transfer only to sequences with identical motor and conceptual dimensions. These findings suggest that mental plans for action become independent of the required movements only at advanced skill levels.

  1. Conditional visuo-motor learning and dimension reduction.

    PubMed

    Hadj-Bouziane, Fadila; Frankowska, Hélène; Meunier, Martine; Coquelin, Pierre-Arnaud; Boussaoud, Driss

    2006-06-01

    Conditional visuo-motor learning consists in learning by trial and error to associate visual cues with correct motor responses, that have no direct link. Converging evidence supports the role of a large brain network in this type of learning, including the prefrontal and the premotor cortex, the basal ganglia BG and the hippocampus. In this paper we focus on the role of a major structure of the BG, the striatum. We first present behavioral results and electrophysiological data recorded from this structure in monkeys engaged in learning new visuo-motor associations. Visual stimuli were presented on a video screen and the animals had to learn, by trial and error, to select the correct movement of a joystick, in order to receive a liquid reward. Behavioral results revealed that the monkeys used a sequential strategy, whereby they learned the associations one by one although they were presented randomly. Human subjects, tested on the same task, also used a sequential strategy. Neuronal recordings in monkeys revealed learning-related modulations of neural activity in the striatum. We then present a mathematical model inspired by viability theory developed to implement the use of strategies during learning. This model complements existing models of the BG based on reinforcement learning RL, which do not take into account the use of strategies to reduce the dimension of the learning space.

  2. Effectiveness of knowledge of result and knowledge of performance in the learning of a skilled motor activity by healthy young adults

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Dhara A; Chevidikunnan, Mohamed Faisal; Khan, Fayaz Rahman; Gaowgzeh, Riziq Allah

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The acquisition of motor skills are fundamental to human life. There is a lack of research on whether knowledge of performance or knowledge of result as augmented feedback is more effective. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of knowledge of result and knowledge of performance in the learning of a skilled motor activity by healthy young adults. [Subjects and Methods] A total of thirty healthy young adult males and females without any neurological or musculoskeletal impairment, between the age of 18–30 years were the subjects of the study. They were randomly allocated to 2 groups: group 1 was given knowledge of result as feedback, and knowledge of performance was given as feedback to group 2. Both the groups practiced the task of throwing a soft spongy ball for 6 days per week for 4 weeks, with 40 trials each day. The outcome measure used was the distance of the throw. [Results] The results were analyzed using the t-test. The mean distances thrown by both the groups showed highly significant improvements and throwing distance of group 2 showed better improvement than that of group 1. [Conclusion] Both types of augmented feedback were effective at improving skilled motor activity, but the knowledge of performance group showed better improvement than the knowledge of result group. PMID:27313355

  3. Effectiveness of knowledge of result and knowledge of performance in the learning of a skilled motor activity by healthy young adults.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Dhara A; Chevidikunnan, Mohamed Faisal; Khan, Fayaz Rahman; Gaowgzeh, Riziq Allah

    2016-05-01

    [Purpose] The acquisition of motor skills are fundamental to human life. There is a lack of research on whether knowledge of performance or knowledge of result as augmented feedback is more effective. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of knowledge of result and knowledge of performance in the learning of a skilled motor activity by healthy young adults. [Subjects and Methods] A total of thirty healthy young adult males and females without any neurological or musculoskeletal impairment, between the age of 18-30 years were the subjects of the study. They were randomly allocated to 2 groups: group 1 was given knowledge of result as feedback, and knowledge of performance was given as feedback to group 2. Both the groups practiced the task of throwing a soft spongy ball for 6 days per week for 4 weeks, with 40 trials each day. The outcome measure used was the distance of the throw. [Results] The results were analyzed using the t-test. The mean distances thrown by both the groups showed highly significant improvements and throwing distance of group 2 showed better improvement than that of group 1. [Conclusion] Both types of augmented feedback were effective at improving skilled motor activity, but the knowledge of performance group showed better improvement than the knowledge of result group. PMID:27313355

  4. Changes in spinal reflex excitability associated with motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Lungu, Ovidiu; Frigon, Alain; Piché, Mathieu; Rainville, Pierre; Rossignol, Serge; Doyon, Julien

    2010-05-01

    There is ample evidence that motor sequence learning is mediated by changes in brain activity. Yet the question of whether this form of learning elicits changes detectable at the spinal cord level has not been addressed. To date, studies in humans have revealed that spinal reflex activity may be altered during the acquisition of various motor skills, but a link between motor sequence learning and changes in spinal excitability has not been demonstrated. To address this issue, we studied the modulation of H-reflex amplitude evoked in the flexor carpi radialis muscle of 14 healthy individuals between blocks of movements that involved the implicit acquisition of a sequence versus other movements that did not require learning. Each participant performed the task in three conditions: "sequence"-externally triggered, repeating and sequential movements, "random"-similar movements, but performed in an arbitrary order, and "simple"- involving alternating movements in a left-right or up-down direction only. When controlling for background muscular activity, H-reflex amplitude was significantly more reduced in the sequence (43.8 +/- 1.47%. mean +/- SE) compared with the random (38.2 +/- 1.60%) and simple (31.5 +/- 1.82%) conditions, while the M-response was not different across conditions. Furthermore, H-reflex changes were observed from the beginning of the learning process up to when subjects reached asymptotic performance on the motor task. Changes also persisted for >60 s after motor activity ceased. Such findings suggest that the excitability in some spinal reflex circuits is altered during the implicit learning process of a new motor sequence.

  5. Speech Motor Learning in Profoundly Deaf Adults

    PubMed Central

    Nasir, Sazzad M.; Ostry, David J.

    2008-01-01

    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 on its own 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 with training implant subjects progressively adapted to the mechanical perturbation. Moreover, the corrections we observed were for movement deviations that were exceedingly small, on the order of millimetres, indicating that speakers have precise somatosensory expectations. Speech motor learning is significantly dependent on somatosensory input. PMID:18794839

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2012-05-01

    In two experiments, we investigated how auditory-motor learning influences performers' memory for music. Skilled pianists learned novel melodies in four conditions: auditory only (listening), motor only (performing without sound), strongly coupled auditory-motor (normal performance), and weakly coupled auditory-motor (performing along with auditory recordings). Pianists' recognition of the learned melodies was better following auditory-only or auditory-motor (weakly coupled and strongly coupled) learning than following motor-only learning, and better following strongly coupled auditory-motor learning than following auditory-only learning. Auditory and motor imagery abilities modulated the learning effects: Pianists with high auditory imagery scores had better recognition following motor-only learning, suggesting that auditory imagery compensated for missing auditory feedback at the learning stage. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 with melodies that contained greater variation in acoustic features. Melodies that were slower and less variable in tempo and intensity were remembered better following weakly coupled auditory-motor learning. These findings suggest that motor learning can aid performers' auditory recognition of music beyond auditory learning alone, and that motor learning is influenced by individual abilities in mental imagery and by variation in acoustic features. PMID:22271265

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

    PubMed

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2012-05-01

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

  9. Structural and Functional Bases for Individual Differences in Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Tomassini, Valentina; Jbabdi, Saad; Kincses, Zsigmond T.; Bosnell, Rose; Douaud, Gwenaelle; Pozzilli, Carlo; Matthews, Paul M.; Johansen-Berg, Heidi

    2013-01-01

    People vary in their ability to learn new motor skills. We hypothesize that between-subject variability in brain structure and function can explain differences in learning. We use brain functional and structural MRI methods to characterize such neural correlates of individual variations in motor learning. Healthy subjects applied isometric grip force of varying magnitudes with their right hands cued visually to generate smoothly-varying pressures following a regular pattern. We tested whether individual variations in motor learning were associated with anatomically colocalized variations in magnitude of functional MRI (fMRI) signal or in MRI differences related to white and grey matter microstructure. We found that individual motor learning was correlated with greater functional activation in the prefrontal, premotor, and parietal cortices, as well as in the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Structural MRI correlates were found in the premotor cortex [for fractional anisotropy (FA)] and in the cerebellum [for both grey matter density and FA]. The cerebellar microstructural differences were anatomically colocalized with fMRI correlates of learning. This study thus suggests that variations across the population in the function and structure of specific brain regions for motor control explain some of the individual differences in skill learning. This strengthens the notion that brain structure determines some limits to cognitive function even in a healthy population. Along with evidence from pathology suggesting a role for these regions in spontaneous motor recovery, our results also highlight potential targets for therapeutic interventions designed to maximize plasticity for recovery of similar visuomotor skills after brain injury. PMID:20533562

  10. 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

  11. Motor sequence learning and developmental dyslexia.

    PubMed

    Orban, Pierre; Lungu, Ovidiu; Doyon, Julien

    2008-12-01

    Beyond the reading-related deficits typical of developmental dyslexia (DD), recent evidence suggests that individuals afflicted with this condition also show difficulties in motor sequence learning. To date, however, little is known with respect to the characteristics of the learning impairments, nor to the neural correlates associated with this type of procedural deficit in DD patients. Here, we first summarize the results of the few behavioral and brain imaging studies that have investigated the effects of DD on motor sequence learning. To help guide research in this field, we then discuss relevant psychophysical and neuroimaging work conducted in healthy volunteers in relation to three different conceptual perspectives: when, how, and what. More specifically, we examine the cognitive boundaries that affect performance across the different stages of learning (i.e., "when"), the different cognitive processes (i.e., "how") under which learning occurs, and the mental representations (i.e., "what") that are elicited when acquiring this type of skilled behavior. It is hoped that this conceptual framework will be useful to researchers interested in further studying the nature of the motor learning impairment reported in DD.

  12. Structure of Plasticity in Human Sensory and Motor Networks Due to Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Vahdat, Shahabeddin; Darainy, Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24523536

  13. 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. PMID:25867743

  14. 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…

  15. Reduced procedural motor learning in deaf individuals

    PubMed Central

    Lévesque, Justine; Théoret, Hugo; Champoux, François

    2014-01-01

    Studies in the deaf suggest that cross-modal neuroplastic changes may vary across modalities. Only a handful of studies have examined motor capacities in the profoundly deaf. These studies suggest the presence of deficits in manual dexterity and delays in movement production. As of yet, the ability to learn complex sequential motor patterns has not been explored in deaf populations. The aim of the present study was to investigate the procedural learning skills of deaf adults. A serial reaction-time task (SRTT) was performed by 18 deaf subjects and 18 matched controls to investigate possible motor alteration subsequent to auditory deprivation. Deaf participants had various degrees of hearing loss. Half of the experimental group were early deaf adults mostly using hearing aids, the remaining half were late-deaf adults using a cochlear implant (CI). Participants carried out a repeating 12-item sequence of key presses along with random blocks containing no repeating sequence. Non-specific and sequence-specific learning was analyzed in relation to individual features related to the hearing loss. The results revealed significant differences between groups in sequence-specific learning, with deaf subjects being less efficient than controls in acquiring sequence-specific knowledge. We interpret the results in light of cross-modal plasticity and the auditory scaffolding hypothesis. PMID:24904381

  16. 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.

  17. Learning of bimanual motor sequences in normal aging

    PubMed Central

    Bhakuni, Rashmi; Mutha, Pratik K.

    2015-01-01

    While it is well accepted that motor performance declines with age, the ability to learn simple procedural motor tasks appears to remain intact to some extent in normal aging. Here we examined the impact of aging on the acquisition of a simple sequence of bimanual actions. We further asked whether such learning results from an overall decrease in response time or is also associated with improved coordination between the hands. Healthy young and old individuals performed a bimanual version of the classic serial reaction time task. We found no learning deficit in older adults and noted that older subjects were able to learn as much as young participants. We also observed that learning in both groups was associated with an overall decrease in response time, but switch cost, the increase in response time when a switch in hands was required during sequence execution, did not decrease with learning. Surprisingly however, overall switch cost was lower in the older group compared to the younger subjects. These findings are discussed in the context of interactions between procedural and declarative memory, reduced interhemispheric inhibition and more symmetric cortical activation during motor performance in normal aging. PMID:26005417

  18. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lisberger, Stephen G.

    1988-01-01

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

  20. Motor Learning and the Cerebellum.

    PubMed

    De Zeeuw, Chris I; Ten Brinke, Michiel M

    2015-09-01

    Although our ability to store semantic declarative information can nowadays be readily surpassed by that of simple personal computers, our ability to learn and express procedural memories still outperforms that of supercomputers controlling the most advanced robots. To a large extent, our procedural memories are formed in the cerebellum, which embodies more than two-thirds of all neurons in our brain. In this review, we will focus on the emerging view that different modules of the cerebellum use different encoding schemes to form and express their respective memories. More specifically, zebrin-positive zones in the cerebellum, such as those controlling adaptation of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, appear to predominantly form their memories by potentiation mechanisms and express their memories via rate coding, whereas zebrin-negative zones, such as those controlling eyeblink conditioning, appear to predominantly form their memories by suppression mechanisms and express their memories in part by temporal coding using rebound bursting. Together, the different types of modules offer a rich repertoire to acquire and control sensorimotor processes with specific challenges in the spatiotemporal domain. PMID:26330521

  1. Motor Learning and the Cerebellum.

    PubMed

    De Zeeuw, Chris I; Ten Brinke, Michiel M

    2015-09-01

    Although our ability to store semantic declarative information can nowadays be readily surpassed by that of simple personal computers, our ability to learn and express procedural memories still outperforms that of supercomputers controlling the most advanced robots. To a large extent, our procedural memories are formed in the cerebellum, which embodies more than two-thirds of all neurons in our brain. In this review, we will focus on the emerging view that different modules of the cerebellum use different encoding schemes to form and express their respective memories. More specifically, zebrin-positive zones in the cerebellum, such as those controlling adaptation of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, appear to predominantly form their memories by potentiation mechanisms and express their memories via rate coding, whereas zebrin-negative zones, such as those controlling eyeblink conditioning, appear to predominantly form their memories by suppression mechanisms and express their memories in part by temporal coding using rebound bursting. Together, the different types of modules offer a rich repertoire to acquire and control sensorimotor processes with specific challenges in the spatiotemporal domain.

  2. Learning style consistency across cognitive and motor settings.

    PubMed

    Coker, C A

    1995-12-01

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

  3. 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. PMID:25706473

  4. Neuroserpin, a brain-associated inhibitor of tissue plasminogen activator is localized primarily in neurons. Implications for the regulation of motor learning and neuronal survival.

    PubMed

    Hastings, G A; Coleman, T A; Haudenschild, C C; Stefansson, S; Smith, E P; Barthlow, R; Cherry, S; Sandkvist, M; Lawrence, D A

    1997-12-26

    A cDNA clone for the serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin), neuroserpin, was isolated from a human whole brain cDNA library, and recombinant protein was expressed in insect cells. The purified protein is an efficient inhibitor of tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA), having an apparent second-order rate constant of 6. 2 x 10(5) M-1 s-1 for the two-chain form. However, unlike other known plasminogen activator inhibitors, neuroserpin is a more effective inactivator of tPA than of urokinase-type plasminogen activator. Neuroserpin also effectively inhibited trypsin and nerve growth factor-gamma but reacted only slowly with plasmin and thrombin. Northern blot analysis showed a 1.8 kilobase messenger RNA expressed predominantly in adult human brain and spinal cord, and immunohistochemical studies of normal mouse tissue detected strong staining primarily in neuronal cells with occasionally positive microglial cells. Staining was most prominent in the ependymal cells of the choroid plexus, Purkinje cells of the cerebellum, select neurons of the hypothalamus and hippocampus, and in the myelinated axons of the commissura. Expression of tPA within these regions is reported to be high and has previously been correlated with both motor learning and neuronal survival. Taken together, these data suggest that neuroserpin is likely to be a critical regulator of tPA activity in the central nervous system, and as such may play an important role in neuronal plasticity and/or maintenance.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26890347

  7. The role of strategies in motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Jordan A.; Ivry, Richard B.

    2015-01-01

    There has been renewed interest in the role of strategies in sensorimotor learning. The combination of new behavioral methods and computational methods has begun to unravel the interaction between processes related to strategic control and processes related to motor adaptation. These processes may operate on very different error signals. Strategy learning is sensitive to goal-based performance error. In contrast, adaptation is sensitive to prediction errors between the desired and actual 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. PMID:22329960

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    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 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. PMID:23978820

  11. Reduced motor cortex activity during movement preparation following a period of motor skill practice.

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Towards Machine Learning of Motor Skills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, Jan; Schaal, Stefan; Schölkopf, Bernhard

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

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

    PubMed

    Brown, Rachel M; Palmer, Caroline

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:26973495

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The cerebellum is essential for error-driven motor learning and is strongly implicated in detecting and correcting for motor errors. Therefore, elucidating how motor errors are represented in the cerebellum is essential in understanding cerebellar function, in general, and its role in motor learning, in particular. This review examines how motor errors are encoded in the cerebellar cortex in the context of a forward internal model that generates predictions about the upcoming movement and drives learning and adaptation. In this framework, sensory prediction errors, defined as the discrepancy between the predicted consequences of motor commands and the sensory feedback, are crucial for both on-line movement control and motor learning. While many studies support the dominant view that motor errors are encoded in the complex spike discharge of Purkinje cells, others have failed to relate complex spike activity with errors. Given these limitations, we review recent findings in the monkey showing that complex spike modulation is not necessarily required for motor learning or for simple spike adaptation. Also, new results demonstrate that the simple spike discharge provides continuous error signals that both lead and lag the actual movements in time, suggesting errors are encoded as both an internal prediction of motor commands and the actual sensory feedback. These dual error representations have opposing effects on simple spike discharge, consistent with the signals needed to generate sensory prediction errors used to update a forward internal model. PMID:26112422

  1. [The learning and motor development transfer process].

    PubMed

    Cecchini Estrada, José Antonio; Fernández Losa, Jorge Luis; Pallasá Manteca, Miguel; Cecchini Applegatte, Christian

    2012-05-01

    The aim of this study is to analyze the transference process in motor skill learning. For this purpose, 320 boys and girls, with ages ranging from 3 to 12 years (M= 7.61; SD= 2.61), took part in nine object movement reception drills in which the following variables were cross-examined: the presence-absence of displacement (static or in motion), the corporal segments utilized (hands or arms), the movement direction (right or left), and the moving object (volleyball or tennis ball). The results indicate that what is being transferred is the common factor among them, the ocular-kinesthetic regulating system, which is constructed according to a generalized motor program and a predictive strategy of continuous control. The way that individuals group by levels of skill that represent the developmental levels of the aforementioned regulating system can also be observed. Lastly, the results are discussed, and strategies to improve the learning process in sports and physical education are provided.

  2. 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,…

  3. Integrating motor control and motor learning concepts with neuropsychological perspectives on apraxia and developmental dyspraxia.

    PubMed

    Goodgold-Edwards, S A; Cermak, S A

    1990-05-01

    This paper reviews selected pertinent literature on the learning and performance of skilled motor acts. Information on normal motor performance is integrated with that on adult apraxia and related to common problems observed in children with developmental dyspraxia. The process of motor skill acquisition is outlined, and aspects of styles of motor organization, modes of control, premovement organization, sensory organization, and analysis of the types of errors are presented. Recommendations for clinicians working with children with developmental dyspraxia are offered.

  4. The value of the follow-through derives from motor learning depending on future actions.

    PubMed

    Howard, Ian S; Wolpert, Daniel M; Franklin, David W

    2015-02-01

    In ball sports, we are taught to follow through, despite the inability of events after contact or release to influence the outcome [1, 2]. Here we show that the specific motor memory active at any given moment critically depends on the movement that will be made in the near future. We demonstrate that associating a different follow-through movement with two motor skills that normally interfere [3-7] allows them to be learned simultaneously, suggesting that distinct future actions activate separate motor memories. This implies that when learning a skill, a variable follow-through would activate multiple motor memories across practice, whereas a consistent follow-through would activate a single motor memory, resulting in faster learning. We confirm this prediction and show that such follow-through effects influence adaptation over time periods associated with real-world skill learning. Overall, our results indicate that movements made in the immediate future influence the current active motor memory. This suggests that there is a critical time period both before [8] and after the current movement that determines motor memory activation and controls learning.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Motor imagery learning induced changes in functional connectivity of the default mode network.

    PubMed

    Ge, Ruiyang; Zhang, Hang; Yao, Li; Long, Zhiying

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies provide evidences that motor skill learning changes the activity of some brain regions during task as well as some resting networks during rest. However, it is still unclear how motor learning affects the resting-state default-mode network (DMN). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, this study investigated the alteration of the DMN after motor skill learning with mental imagery practice. Fourteen participants in the experimental group learned to imagine a sequential finger movement over a two-week period while twelve control participants did not undergo motor imagery learning. For the experimental group, interregional connectivity, estimated by the graph theory method, between the medial temporal lobe, lateral temporal, and lateral parietal cortex within the DMN was increased after learning, whereas activity of the DMN network, estimated by the independent component analysis method, remained stable. Moreover, the experimental group showed significant improvement in motor performance after learning and a negative correlation between the alteration of the execution rate and changes in activity in the lateral parietal cortex. These results indicate that the DMN could be sculpted by motor learning in a manner of altering interregional connectivity and may imply that the DMN plays a role in improving behavioral performance.

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed

    McGregor, Heather R; Gribble, Paul L

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    McGregor, Heather R; Gribble, Paul L

    2015-07-01

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

  12. Auditory-Perceptual Learning Improves Speech Motor Adaptation in Children

    PubMed Central

    Shiller, Douglas M.; Rochon, Marie-Lyne

    2015-01-01

    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 5–7-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. PMID:24842067

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The Statistical Determinants of the Speed of Motor Learning.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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;…

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:18482830

  1. Prespeech motor learning in a neural network using reinforcement☆

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 differ-ent 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. PMID:23275137

  2. 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.

  3. Learning as Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jonassen, David H.

    2002-01-01

    Integrates contemporary theories of learning into a theory of learning as activity. Explains ecological psychology, changes in understanding of learning, activity systems and activity theory (including the integration of consciousness and activity), and activity structure; and discusses learning as a cognitive and social process. (LRW)

  4. Complex Spike Activity in the Oculomotor Vermis of the Cerebellum: A Vectorial Error Signal for Saccade Motor Learning?

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    Brain stem signals that generate saccadic eye movements originate in the superior colliculus. They reach the pontine burst generator for horizontal saccades via short-latency pathways and a longer pathway through the oculomotor vermis (OMV) of the cerebellum. Lesion studies implicate the OMV in the adaptation of saccade amplitude that occurs when saccades become inaccurate because of extraocular muscle weakness or behavioral manipulations. We studied the nature of the possible error signal that might drive adaptation by examining the complex spike (CS) activity of vermis Purkinje (P-) cells in monkeys. We produced a saccade error by displacing the target as a saccade was made toward it; a corrective saccade ∼200 ms later eliminated the resulting error. In most P-cells, the probability of CS firing changed, but only in the error interval between the primary and corrective saccade. For most P-cells, CSs occurred in a tight cluster ∼100 ms after error onset. The probability of CS occurrence depended on both error direction and size. Across our sample, all error directions were represented; most had a horizontal component. In more than one half of our P-cells, the probability of CS occurrence was greatest for error sizes <5° and less for larger errors. In the remaining cells, there was a uniform increased probability of CS occurrence for all errors ≤7–9°. CS responses disappeared when the target was extinguished during a saccade. We discuss the properties of this putative CS error signal in the context of the characteristics of saccade adaptation produced by the target displacement paradigm. PMID:18650308

  5. Lateral dominance as a factor in learning selected motor skills.

    PubMed

    Tyler, R W

    1971-09-01

    Lateral dominance, as determined by tests of eye, hand, and foot preference, was investigated as a factor in motor skill acquisition. 3 groups of Ss, classified as right dominant, crossed dominant, or mixed dominant, practiced 3 motor skills for 18 practice sessions. All 3 groups showed significant learning of the 3 motor skills; however, there was no significant difference among the groups in performance or in rate of improvement on the skills. It was concluded that Ss displaying different dominance patterns, as defined in this study, appear equally capable of learning selected new motor skills. PMID:23947378

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Motor patterns during active electrosensory acquisition.

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. The learning of motor skills: sports science and ergonomics perspectives.

    PubMed

    Annett, J

    1994-01-01

    The paper describes some of the common origins of ergonomics and sports science in the UK with particular reference to research on motor learning. Attention is drawn to the value of analytical methods developed by ergonomists in deriving training prescriptions and their relationship with conventional learning theory is discussed. The cognitive revolution, which in the last 25 years has changed the face of psychology, has also had its impact on ergonomics and basic research on motor skills. The role of cognitive processes in motor learning is being reassessed and there is a renewed interest in topics such as verbal instruction, imitation, imagery, and mental practice which to earlier generations of behavioural scientists appeared beyond the scope of scientific investigation. The paper outlines some recent research into the role of imagery in motor learning illustrating these new approaches.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-20

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

  20. Reconsideration of measurement of error in human motor learning.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, D A; Antrim, L R

    1988-10-01

    Human motor learning is often measured by error scores. The convention of using mean absolute error, mean constant error, and variable error shows lack of desirable parsimony and interpretability. This paper provides the background of error measurement and states criticisms of conventional methodology. A parsimonious model of error analysis is provided, along with operationalized interpretations and implications for motor learning. Teaching, interpreting, and using error scores in research may be simplified and facilitated with the model.

  1. 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.

  2. Gross motor development and physical activity in kindergarten age children.

    PubMed

    Colella, Dario; Morano, Milena

    2011-10-01

    Physical activity in kindergarten is a fundamental part of the child's educational process. Body experience and physical activity contribute to the development of self-awareness and the learning of different modes of expression, as well as encouraging the acquisition of physically active lifestyles. Recent scientific evidence has confirmed the role of physical activity in disease prevention and quality of life improvement, and stressed the importance of integrated educational programmes promoting physical activity and healthy eating habits. A key priority of scientific research is to identify the opportunities and methods of motor learning and to increase the daily physical activity levels of children by reducing sedentary time and promoting active play and transport (i.e. walking, cycling). Family, school and community involvement are all needed to assure adherence to the official guidelines on how much physical activity children need to boost their health and stave off obesity.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Translational studies exploring neuroplasticity associated with motor skill learning and the regulatory role of the dopamine system.

    PubMed

    Diaz Heijtz, Rochellys; Forssberg, Hans

    2015-04-01

    Cerebral palsy (CP) is a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental disorders associated with lifelong motor impairment and disability. Current intervention programmes aim to capitalize on the neuroplasticity of the undamaged part of the brain to improve motor functions, by engaging individuals in active motor learning and training. In this review, we highlight recent animal studies (1) exploring cellular and molecular mechanisms contributing to neuroplasticity during motor training, (2) assessing the functional role of the mesocortical dopaminergic system in motor skill learning, and (3) exploring the impact of naturally occurring genetic variation in dopamine-related gene expression on the acquisition and performance of fine motor skills. Finally, the potential influence of the dopamine system on the outcome of motor learning interventions in cerebral palsy is discussed. PMID:25690110

  6. 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

  7. Motor Skill Learning, Retention, and Control Deficits in Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:21760898

  8. Motor-learning-related changes in piano players and non-musicians revealed by functional magnetic-resonance signals.

    PubMed

    Hund-Georgiadis, M; von Cramon, D Y

    1999-04-01

    In this study, we investigated blood-flow-related magnetic-resonance (MR) signal changes and the time course underlying short-term motor learning of the dominant right hand in ten piano players (PPs) and 23 non-musicians (NMs), using a complex finger-tapping task. The activation patterns were analyzed for selected regions of interest (ROIs) within the two examined groups and were related to the subjects' performance. A functional learning profile, based on the regional blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes, was assessed in both groups. All subjects achieved significant increases in tapping frequency during the training session of 35 min in the scanner. PPs, however, performed significantly better than NMs and showed increasing activation in the contralateral primary motor cortex throughout motor learning in the scanner. At the same time, involvement of secondary motor areas, such as bilateral supplementary motor area, premotor, and cerebellar areas, diminished relative to the NMs throughout the training session. Extended activation of primary and secondary motor areas in the initial training stage (7-14 min) and rapid attenuation were the main functional patterns underlying short-term learning in the NM group; attenuation was particularly marked in the primary motor cortices as compared with the PPs. When tapping of the rehearsed sequence was performed with the left hand, transfer effects of motor learning were evident in both groups. Involvement of all relevant motor components was smaller than after initial training with the right hand. Ipsilateral premotor and primary motor contributions, however, showed slight increases of activation, indicating that dominant cortices influence complex sequence learning of the non-dominant hand. In summary, the involvement of primary and secondary motor cortices in motor learning is dependent on experience. Interhemispheric transfer effects are present.

  9. 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…

  10. 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:…

  11. Approximate Optimal Control as a Model for Motor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berthier, Neil E.; Rosenstein, Michael T.; Barto, Andrew G.

    2005-01-01

    Current models of psychological development rely heavily on connectionist models that use supervised learning. These models adapt network weights when the network output does not match the target outputs computed by some agent. The authors present a model of motor learning in which the child uses exploration to discover appropriate ways of…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Learning by Leaps and Bounds. Why Motor Skills Matter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pica, Rae

    2008-01-01

    This new column about young children's movement and learning will offer practical ideas for teachers in the March, July, and November issues. In this column, she focuses on the role of teachers in helping young children learn motor skills. (Lists 4 resources and 1 online resource.)

  15. [The effect of different motor regimens modulating spontaneous activity on rat behavior].

    PubMed

    Kulikov, V P; Kiselev, V I; Konev, I V

    1993-01-01

    A method was developed of non-stressful modulation of spontaneous motor activity of rats. Restraint of mobility was found to inhibit spontaneous activity. Physiological stimulation of muscle activity by means of complication of food-procuring behaviour was accompanied by increase of spontaneous activity. Physiological stimulation of motor activity was characterized by stability of orienting-exploratory behaviour, emotional reactivity, expression of "freedom response", the best learning and working abilities of the animals. Regimes with imposing or restriction of muscle activity favoured the inhibition of spontaneous activity and the decrease of efficiency of adaptive behaviour. Motor regimes accompanied by increase of spontaneous activity were found to be optimal for adaptive behaviour.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    To investigate the cross-modal transfer of movement patterns necessary to perform melodies on the piano, 22 non-musicians learned to play short sequences on a piano keyboard by (1) merely listening and replaying (vision of own fingers occluded) or (2) merely observing silent finger movements and replaying (on a silent keyboard). After training, participants recognized with above chance accuracy (1) audio-motor learned sequences upon visual presentation (89±17%), and (2) visuo-motor learned sequences upon auditory presentation (77±22%). The recognition rates for visual presentation significantly exceeded those for auditory presentation (p<.05). fMRI revealed that observing finger movements corresponding to audio-motor trained melodies is associated with stronger activation in the left rolandic operculum than observing untrained sequences. This region was also involved in silent execution of sequences, suggesting that a link to motor representations may play a role in cross-modal transfer from audio-motor training condition to visual recognition. No significant differences in brain activity were found during listening to visuo-motor trained compared to untrained melodies. Cross-modal transfer was stronger from the audio-motor training condition to visual recognition and this is discussed in relation to the fact that non-musicians are familiar with how their finger movements look (motor-to-vision transformation), but not with how they sound on a piano (motor-to-sound transformation). PMID:22484310

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    To investigate the cross-modal transfer of movement patterns necessary to perform melodies on the piano, 22 non-musicians learned to play short sequences on a piano keyboard by (1) merely listening and replaying (vision of own fingers occluded) or (2) merely observing silent finger movements and replaying (on a silent keyboard). After training, participants recognized with above chance accuracy (1) audio-motor learned sequences upon visual presentation (89±17%), and (2) visuo-motor learned sequences upon auditory presentation (77±22%). The recognition rates for visual presentation significantly exceeded those for auditory presentation (p<.05). fMRI revealed that observing finger movements corresponding to audio-motor trained melodies is associated with stronger activation in the left rolandic operculum than observing untrained sequences. This region was also involved in silent execution of sequences, suggesting that a link to motor representations may play a role in cross-modal transfer from audio-motor training condition to visual recognition. No significant differences in brain activity were found during listening to visuo-motor trained compared to untrained melodies. Cross-modal transfer was stronger from the audio-motor training condition to visual recognition and this is discussed in relation to the fact that non-musicians are familiar with how their finger movements look (motor-to-vision transformation), but not with how they sound on a piano (motor-to-sound transformation).

  18. 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. PMID:22663773

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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. PMID:27656276

  2. 40 CFR 798.6200 - Motor activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... of the dose or equivalent independent variable. A single administration of the dose (or equivalent... systematically related to treatment. Among the variables which can affect motor activity are sound level, size... addition to the reporting requirements specified under 40 CFR part 792, subpart J the final test...

  3. 40 CFR 798.6200 - Motor activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... of the dose or equivalent independent variable. A single administration of the dose (or equivalent... systematically related to treatment. Among the variables which can affect motor activity are sound level, size... addition to the reporting requirements specified under 40 CFR part 792, subpart J the final test...

  4. 40 CFR 798.6200 - Motor activity.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... vehicle is used in administering the test substance, a vehicle control group. If the toxic properties of...) General. In the assessment and evaluation of the toxic characteristics of a substance, determination of the effects of administration of the substance on motor activity is......

  5. Dissociation of Neural Networks for Predisposition and for Training-Related Plasticity in Auditory-Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Herholz, Sibylle C; Coffey, Emily B J; Pantev, Christo; Zatorre, Robert J

    2016-07-01

    Skill learning results in changes to brain function, but at the same time individuals strongly differ in their abilities to learn specific skills. Using a 6-week piano-training protocol and pre- and post-fMRI of melody perception and imagery in adults, we dissociate learning-related patterns of neural activity from pre-training activity that predicts learning rates. Fronto-parietal and cerebellar areas related to storage of newly learned auditory-motor associations increased their response following training; in contrast, pre-training activity in areas related to stimulus encoding and motor control, including right auditory cortex, hippocampus, and caudate nuclei, was predictive of subsequent learning rate. We discuss the implications of these results for models of perceptual and of motor learning. These findings highlight the importance of considering individual predisposition in plasticity research and applications. PMID:26139842

  6. Motor Learning Characterizes Habilitation of Children With Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

    PubMed Central

    Krebs, Hermano I.; Fasoli, Susan E.; Dipietro, Laura; Fragala-Pinkham, Maria; Hughes, Richard; Stein, Joel; Hogan, Neville

    2015-01-01

    Background This study tested in children with cerebral palsy (CP) whether motor habilitation resembles motor learning. Methods Twelve children with hemiplegic CP ages 5 to 12 years with moderate to severe motor impairments underwent a 16-session robot-mediated planar therapy program to improve upper limb reach, with a focus on shoulder and elbow movements. Participants were trained to execute point-to-point movements (with robot assistance) with the affected arm and were evaluated (without robot assistance) in trained (point-to-point) and untrained (circle-drawing) conditions. Outcomes were measured at baseline, midpoint, immediately after the program, and 1 month postcompletion. Outcome measures were the Fugl-Meyer (FM), Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test (QUEST), and Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) scores; parent questionnaire; and robot-based kinematic metrics. To assess whether learning best characterizes motor habilitation in CP, the authors quantified (a) improvement on trained tasks at completion of training (acquisition) and 1 month following completion (retention) and (b) quantified generalization of improvement to untrained tasks. Results After robotic intervention, the authors found significant gains in the FM, QUEST, and parent questionnaire. Robot-based evaluations demonstrated significant improvement in trained movements and that improvement was sustained at follow-up. Furthermore, children improved their performance in untrained movements indicating generalization. Conclusions Motor habilitation in CP exhibits some traits of motor learning. Optimal treatment may not require an extensive repertoire of tasks but rather a select set to promote generalization. PMID:22331211

  7. Enhancing motor skill learning with transcranial direct current stimulation - a concise review with applications to stroke.

    PubMed

    Madhavan, Sangeetha; Shah, Bhakti

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. ACTIVITIES OF HUMAN GENIOGLOSSUS MOTOR UNITS

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, E. Fiona

    2011-01-01

    Upper airway muscles play an important role in regulating airway lumen and in increasing the ability of the pharynx to remain patent in the face of subatmospheric intraluminal pressures produced during inspiration. Due to the considerable technical challenges associated with recording from muscles of the upper airway, much of the experimental work conducted in human subjects has centered on recording respiratory-related activities of the extrinsic tongue protudor muscle, the genioglossus (GG). The GG is one of eight muscles that invest the human tongue (Abd-El-Malek, 1939). All eight muscles are innervated by the hypoglossal nerve (cranial nerve XII) the cell bodies of which are located in the hypoglossal motor nucleus (HMN) of the caudal medulla. Much of the earlier work on the respiratory-related activity of XII motoneurons was based on recordings obtained from single motor axons dissected from the whole XII nerve or from whole muscle GG EMG recordings. Detailed information regarding respiratory-related GG motor unit activities was lacking until as recently as 2006. This paper examines key findings that have emerged from the last decade of work conducted in human subjects. Wherever appropriate, these results are compared with results obtained from in vitro and in vivo studies conducted in non-human mammals. The review is written with the objective of facilitating some discussion and some new thoughts regarding future research directions. The material is framed around four topics: a) Motor unit type, b) Rate coding and recruitment, c) Motor unit activity patterns, and d) A compartment based view of pharyngeal airway control. PMID:21558022

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:22476215

  18. 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. PMID:26582507

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:22174944

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

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Ayala; Tamir, Dror; Vakil, Eli; Zeilig, Gabi

    2016-01-01

    Background Physical and psychosocial rehabilitation following spinal cord injury (SCI) leans heavily on learning and practicing new skills. However, despite research relating motor sequence learning to spinal cord activity and clinical observations of impeded skill-learning after SCI, implicit procedural learning following spinal cord damage has not been examined. Objective To test the hypothesis that spinal cord injury (SCI) in the absence of concomitant brain injury is associated with a specific implicit motor sequence learning deficit that cannot be explained by depression or impairments in other cognitive measures. Methods Ten participants with SCI in T1-T11, unharmed upper limb motor and sensory functioning, and no concomitant brain injury were compared to ten matched control participants on measures derived from the serial reaction time (SRT) task, which was used to assess implicit motor sequence learning. Explicit generation of the SRT sequence, depression, and additional measures of learning, memory, and intelligence were included to explore the source and specificity of potential learning deficits. Results There was no between-group difference in baseline reaction time, indicating that potential differences between the learning curves of the two groups could not be attributed to an overall reduction in response speed in the SCI group. Unlike controls, the SCI group showed no decline in reaction time over the first six blocks of the SRT task and no advantage for the initially presented sequence over the novel interference sequence. Meanwhile, no group differences were found in explicit learning, depression, or any additional cognitive measures. Conclusions The dissociation between impaired implicit learning and intact declarative memory represents novel empirical evidence of a specific implicit procedural learning deficit following SCI, with broad implications for rehabilitation and adjustment. PMID:27355834

  2. Nonhomogeneous transfer reveals specificity in speech motor learning.

    PubMed

    Rochet-Capellan, Amélie; Richer, Lara; Ostry, David J

    2012-03-01

    Does motor learning generalize to new situations that are not experienced during training, or is motor learning essentially specific to the training situation? In the present experiments, we use speech production as a model to investigate generalization in motor learning. We tested for generalization from training to transfer utterances by varying the acoustical similarity between these two sets of utterances. During the training phase of the experiment, subjects received auditory feedback that was altered in real time as they repeated a single consonant-vowel-consonant utterance. Different groups of subjects were trained with different consonant-vowel-consonant utterances, which differed from a subsequent transfer utterance in terms of the initial consonant or vowel. During the adaptation phase of the experiment, we observed that subjects in all groups progressively changed their speech output to compensate for the perturbation (altered auditory feedback). After learning, we tested for generalization by having all subjects produce the same single transfer utterance while receiving unaltered auditory feedback. We observed limited transfer of learning, which depended on the acoustical similarity between the training and the transfer utterances. The gradients of generalization observed here are comparable to those observed in limb movement. The present findings are consistent with the conclusion that speech learning remains specific to individual instances of learning.

  3. Nonhomogeneous transfer reveals specificity in speech motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Rochet-Capellan, Amélie; Richer, Lara

    2012-01-01

    Does motor learning generalize to new situations that are not experienced during training, or is motor learning essentially specific to the training situation? In the present experiments, we use speech production as a model to investigate generalization in motor learning. We tested for generalization from training to transfer utterances by varying the acoustical similarity between these two sets of utterances. During the training phase of the experiment, subjects received auditory feedback that was altered in real time as they repeated a single consonant-vowel-consonant utterance. Different groups of subjects were trained with different consonant-vowel-consonant utterances, which differed from a subsequent transfer utterance in terms of the initial consonant or vowel. During the adaptation phase of the experiment, we observed that subjects in all groups progressively changed their speech output to compensate for the perturbation (altered auditory feedback). After learning, we tested for generalization by having all subjects produce the same single transfer utterance while receiving unaltered auditory feedback. We observed limited transfer of learning, which depended on the acoustical similarity between the training and the transfer utterances. The gradients of generalization observed here are comparable to those observed in limb movement. The present findings are consistent with the conclusion that speech learning remains specific to individual instances of learning. PMID:22190628

  4. 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…

  5. [Quantification of motor activity in biomedicine].

    PubMed

    Giannazzo, E

    1993-01-01

    A computer-assisted analysis of motor activity was carried out using ultrasound waves, that are not invasive and free from any kind of interference, because of their specific characteristics. We worked out the Doppler's effect which determines a frequency variation on the reflected wave from any body in motion. That variation is linked to the velocity of the moving body and the superimposition of the emitted wave with those reflected, results in beats, which have a frequency proportional to the motor activity velocity. Our research group planned and carried out an electronic quantification apparatus that can be interfaced with a personal computer system by means of an Analog to Digital acquisition card. The performed test on the apparatus confirmed that the theory that the number of antinodes detected was proportional to the space covered by the moving body. The equipment was also tested on several types of animals.

  6. Physical Fitness Differences in Children with and without Motor Learning Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hands, Beth; Larkin, Dawne

    2006-01-01

    Children with motor learning difficulties (MLD) tend to be less physically active than their coordinated peers and one likely consequence is a reduced level of physical fitness. In this study, 52 children with MLD, aged 5 to 8 years, were compared to 52 age- and gender-matched control children across a range of health and skill related fitness…

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

    PubMed Central

    Shadmehr, Reza

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Qualitative and Quantitative Change in the Dynamics of Motor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Yeou-Teh; Mayer-Kress, Gottfried; Newell, Karl M.

    2006-01-01

    The experiments examined qualitative and quantitative changes in the dynamics of learning a novel motor skill (roller ball task) as a function of the manipulation of a control parameter (initial ball speed). The focus was on the relation between the rates of change in performance over practice time and the changing time scales of the evolving…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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. PMID:23630472

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26948893

  18. Individual differences in learning a novel discrete motor task.

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Observation of microtubule-based motor protein activity.

    PubMed

    Sloboda, Roger D

    2015-02-01

    It is possible to detect the presence of motor proteins that have the ability to translocate particles along microtubules. The two procedures described here were developed to detect microtubule-dependent motor protein activity in cell lysates or of purified proteins. In the first procedure, latex beads bound to the putative motor protein are assayed for their ability to translocate along microtubules in an ATP-dependent fashion. If motor protein activity is present, it will bind to the beads and translocate them unidirectionally along the microtubules. In the second procedure, motor proteins induce microtubule gliding over a glass coverslip surface that is coated with active motor protein. Because the mass of a microtubule is negligible compared to that of a coverslip or slide, the microtubule glides over the glass surface when the surface is coated with active motor protein. Also included here are descriptions of assays designed to determine the directionality of movement of microtubule-based motor proteins. PMID:25646501

  3. 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.

  4. Learning to play a melody: an fMRI study examining the formation of auditory-motor associations.

    PubMed

    Chen, Joyce L; Rae, Charlotte; Watkins, Kate E

    2012-01-16

    Interactions between the auditory and motor systems are important for music and speech, and may be especially relevant when one learns to associate sounds with movements such as when learning to play a musical instrument. However, little is known about the neural substrates underlying auditory-motor learning. This study used fMRI to investigate the formation of auditory-motor associations while participants with no musical training learned to play a melody. Listening to melodies before and after training activated the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally, but neural activity in this region was significantly reduced on the right when participants listened to the trained melody. When playing melodies and random sequences, activity in the left dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) was reduced in the late compared to early phase of training; learning to play the melody was also associated with reduced neural activity in the left ventral premotor cortex (PMv). Participants with the highest performance scores for learning the melody showed more reduced neural activity in the left PMd and PMv. Learning to play a melody or random sequence involves acquiring conditional associations between key-presses and their corresponding musical pitches, and is related to activity in the PMd. Learning to play a melody additionally involves acquisition of a learned auditory-motor sequence and is related to activity in the PMv. Together, these findings demonstrate that auditory-motor learning is related to the reduction of neural activity in brain regions of the dorsal auditory action stream, which suggests increased efficiency in neural processing of a learned stimulus. PMID:21871571

  5. Neural Activation in Humans during a Simple Motor Task Differs between BDNF Polymorphisms

    PubMed Central

    Cárdenas-Morales, Lizbeth; Grön, Georg; Sim, Eun-Jin; Stingl, Julia C.; Kammer, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has been linked to decreased synaptic plasticity involved in motor learning tasks. We investigated whether individual differences in this polymorphism may promote differences in neural activity during a two-alternative forced-choice motor performance. In two separate sessions, the BOLD signal from 22 right-handed healthy men was measured during button presses with the left and right index finger upon visual presentation of an arrow. 11 men were Val66Val carriers (ValVal group), the other 11 men carried either the Val66Met or the Met66Met polymorphism (Non-ValVal group). Reaction times, resting and active motor thresholds did not differ between ValVal and Non-ValVal groups. Compared to the ValVal group the Non-ValVal group showed significantly higher BOLD signals in the right SMA and motor cingulate cortex during motor performance. This difference was highly consistent for both hands and across all four sessions. Our finding suggests that this BDNF polymorphism may not only influence complex performance during motor learning but is already associated with activation differences during rather simple motor tasks. The higher BOLD signal observed in Non-ValVal subjects suggests the presence of cumulative effects of the polymorphism on the motor system, and may reflect compensatory functional activation mediating equal behavioral performance between groups. PMID:24828051

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:22900408

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Motor sequence learning under high levels of contextual interference (CI) disrupts initial performance but supports delayed test and transfer performance when compared to learning under low CI. Integrating findings from early behavioral work and more recent experimental efforts that incorporated neurophysiologic measures led to a novel account of the role of CI during motor sequence learning. This account focuses on important contributions from two neural regions-the dorsal premotor area and the SMA complex-that are recruited earlier and more extensively during the planning of a motor sequence in a high CI context. It is proposed that activation of these regions is critical to early adaptation of sequence structure amenable to long-term storage. Moreover, greater CI enhances access to newly acquired motor sequence knowledge through (1) the emergence of temporary functional connectivity between neural sites previously described as crucial to successful long-term performance of sequential behaviors, and (2) heightened excitability of M1-a key constituent of the temporary coupled neural circuits, and the primary candidate for storage of motor memory.

  11. Bihemispheric Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Enhances Effector-Independent Representations of Motor Synergy and Sequence Learning

    PubMed Central

    Husain, Masud; Wiestler, Tobias; Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2014-01-01

    Complex manual tasks—everything from buttoning up a shirt to playing the piano—fundamentally involve two components: (1) generating specific patterns of muscle activity (here, termed “synergies”); and (2) stringing these into purposeful sequences. Although transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) has been found to increase the learning of motor sequences, it is unknown whether it can similarly facilitate motor synergy learning. Here, we determined the effects of tDCS on the learning of motor synergies using a novel hand configuration task that required the production of difficult muscular activation patterns. Bihemispheric tDCS was applied to M1 of healthy, right-handed human participants during 4 d of repetitive left-hand configuration training in a double-blind design. tDCS augmented synergy learning, leading subsequently to faster and more synchronized execution. This effect persisted for at least 4 weeks after training. Qualitatively similar tDCS-associated improvements occurred during training of finger sequences in a separate subject cohort. We additionally determined whether tDCS only improved the acquisition of motor memories for specific synergies/sequences or whether it also facilitated more general parts of the motor representations, which could be transferred to novel movements. Critically, we observed that tDCS effects generalized to untrained hand configurations and untrained finger sequences (i.e., were nonspecific), as well as to the untrained hand (i.e., were effector-independent). Hence, bihemispheric tDCS may be a promising adjunct to neurorehabilitative training regimes, in which broad transfer to everyday tasks is highly desirable. PMID:24431461

  12. 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.

  13. Impairment in motor learning of somatostatin null mutant mice.

    PubMed

    Zeyda, T; Diehl, N; Paylor, R; Brennan, M B; Hochgeschwender, U

    2001-07-01

    Somatostatin was first identified as a hypothalamic factor which inhibits the release of growth hormone from the anterior pituitary (somatotropin release inhibitory factor, SRIF). Both SRIF and its receptors were subsequently found widely distributed within and outside the nervous system, in the adult as well as in the developing organism. Reflecting this wide distribution, somatostatin has been implicated regulating a diverse array of biological processes. These include body growth, homeostasis, sensory perception, autonomous functions, rate of intestinal absorption, behavior, including cognition and memory, and developmental processes. We produced null mutant mice lacking somatostatin through targeted mutagenesis. The mutant mice are healthy, fertile, and superficially indistinguishable from their heterozygous and wildtype littermates. A 'first round' phenotype screen revealed that mice lacking somatostatin have elevated plasma growth hormone levels, despite normal body size, and have elevated basal plasma corticosterone levels. In order to uncover subtle and unexpected differences, we carried out a systematic behavioral phenotype screen which identified a significant impairment in motor learning revealed when increased demands were made on motor coordination. Motor coordination and motor learning require an intact cerebellum. While somatostatin is virtually absent from the adult cerebellum, the ligand and its receptor(s) are transiently expressed at high levels in the developing cerebellum. This result suggests the functional significance of transient expression of SRIF and its receptors in the development of the cerebellum. PMID:11430867

  14. 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-,…

  15. 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.…

  16. 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. PMID:18470821

  17. Two distinct layer-specific dynamics of cortical ensembles during learning of a motor task.

    PubMed

    Masamizu, Yoshito; Tanaka, Yasuhiro R; Tanaka, Yasuyo H; Hira, Riichiro; Ohkubo, Fuki; Kitamura, Kazuo; Isomura, Yoshikazu; Okada, Takashi; Matsuzaki, Masanori

    2014-07-01

    The primary motor cortex (M1) possesses two intermediate layers upstream of the motor-output layer: layer 2/3 (L2/3) and layer 5a (L5a). Although repetitive training often improves motor performance and movement coding by M1 neuronal ensembles, it is unclear how neuronal activities in L2/3 and L5a are reorganized during motor task learning. We conducted two-photon calcium imaging in mouse M1 during 14 training sessions of a self-initiated lever-pull task. In L2/3, the accuracy of neuronal ensemble prediction of lever trajectory remained unchanged globally, with a subset of individual neurons retaining high prediction accuracy throughout the training period. However, in L5a, the ensemble prediction accuracy steadily improved, and one-third of neurons, including subcortical projection neurons, evolved to contribute substantially to ensemble prediction in the late stage of learning. The L2/3 network may represent coordination of signals from other areas throughout learning, whereas L5a may participate in the evolving network representing well-learned movements.

  18. Investigating Speech Motor Practice and Learning in People Who Stutter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Namasivayam, Aravind Kumar; van Lieshout, Pascal

    2008-01-01

    In this exploratory study, we investigated whether or not people who stutter (PWS) show motor practice and learning changes similar to those of people who do not stutter (PNS). To this end, five PWS and five PNS repeated a set of non-words at two different rates (normal and fast) across three test sessions (T1, T2 on the same day and T3 on a…

  19. 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

  20. Synchrony and motor mimicking in chimpanzee observational learning.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-13

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

  1. Active Learning Crosses Generations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woodard, Diane K.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the benefits of intergenerational programs, highlighting a child care program that offers age-appropriate and mutually beneficial activities for children and elders within a nearby retirement community. The program has adopted High/Scope's active learning approach to planning and implementing activities that involve both generations. The…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Fine Motor Activities Program to Promote Fine Motor Skills in a Case Study of Down's Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Lersilp, Suchitporn; Putthinoi, Supawadee; Panyo, Kewalin

    2016-01-01

    Children with Down's syndrome have developmental delays, particularly regarding cognitive and motor development. Fine motor skill problems are related to motor development. They have impact on occupational performances in school-age children with Down's syndrome because they relate to participation in school activities, such as grasping, writing, and carrying out self-care duties. This study aimed to develop a fine motor activities program and to examine the efficiency of the program that promoted fine motor skills in a case study of Down's syndrome. The case study subject was an 8 -year-old male called Kai, who had Down's syndrome. He was a first grader in a regular school that provided classrooms for students with special needs. This study used the fine motor activities program with assessment tools, which included 3 subtests of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, second edition (BOT-2) that applied to Upper-limb coordination, Fine motor precision and Manual dexterity; as well as the In-hand Manipulation Checklist, and Jamar Hand Dynamometer Grip Test. The fine motor activities program was implemented separately and consisted of 3 sessions of 45 activities per week for 5 weeks, with each session taking 45 minutes. The results showed obvious improvement of fine motor skills, including bilateral hand coordination, hand prehension, manual dexterity, in-hand manipulation, and hand muscle strength. This positive result was an example of a fine motor intervention program designed and developed for therapists and related service providers in choosing activities that enhance fine motor skills in children with Down's syndrome. PMID:27357876

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Colomb, Julien; Brembs, Björn

    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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. How Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Can Modulate Implicit Motor Sequence Learning and Consolidation: A Brief Review

    PubMed Central

    Savic, Branislav; Meier, Beat

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to investigate how transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can modulate implicit motor sequence learning and consolidation. So far, most of the studies have focused on the modulating effect of tDCS for explicit motor learning. Here, we focus explicitly on implicit motor sequence learning and consolidation in order to improve our understanding about the potential of tDCS to affect this kind of unconscious learning. Specifically, we concentrate on studies with the serial reaction time task (SRTT), the classical paradigm for measuring implicit motor sequence learning. The influence of tDCS has been investigated for the primary motor cortex, the premotor cortex, the prefrontal cortex, and the cerebellum. The results indicate that tDCS above the primary motor cortex gives raise to the most consistent modulating effects for both implicit motor sequence learning and consolidation. PMID:26903837

  10. Developmental Changes in Medial Auditory Thalamic Contributions to Associative Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Ka H.; Freeman, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Eyeblink conditioning (EBC) was used in the current study to examine the mechanisms underlying the ontogeny of associative motor learning in rats. Eyeblink conditioning emerges ontogenetically between postnatal days (P) 17 and 24 in rats. Previous studies used electrical stimulation to show that the ontogeny of EBC is influenced by developmental changes in input from the medial auditory thalamus to the pontine nuclei, which in turn affects input to the cerebellum. The current study used tetrode recordings to examine the ontogeny of medial auditory thalamic sensory responses to the conditioned stimulus (CS) and learning-related activity during EBC. Rat pups were implanted with multiple tetrodes in the medial nucleus of the medial geniculate (MGm) and suprageniculate (SG) and trained on delay EBC on P17–19, P24–26, or P31–33 while recording spike activity. Developmental changes in MGm and SG sensory-related activity were found during a pre-training session with unpaired presentations of the auditory CS and periorbital stimulation US. Substantial developmental changes were observed in learning-related activity in the MGm and SG during CS-US paired training. The ontogenetic changes in learning-related activity may be related to developmental changes in input to the medial auditory thalamus from the amygdala and cerebellum. The findings suggest that the ontogeny of associative motor learning involves developmental changes in sensory input to the thalamus, amygdala input to the thalamus, thalamic input to the pontine nuclei, and cerebellar feedback to the thalamus. PMID:22593053

  11. Simultaneous Brain–Cervical Cord fMRI Reveals Intrinsic Spinal Cord Plasticity during Motor Sequence Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cohen-Adad, Julien; Marchand-Pauvert, Veronique; Benali, Habib; Doyon, Julien

    2015-01-01

    The spinal cord participates in the execution of skilled movements by translating high-level cerebral motor representations into musculotopic commands. Yet, the extent to which motor skill acquisition relies on intrinsic spinal cord processes remains unknown. To date, attempts to address this question were limited by difficulties in separating spinal local effects from supraspinal influences through traditional electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods. Here, for the first time, we provide evidence for local learning-induced plasticity in intact human spinal cord through simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spinal cord during motor sequence learning. Specifically, we show learning-related modulation of activity in the C6–C8 spinal region, which is independent from that of related supraspinal sensorimotor structures. Moreover, a brain–spinal cord functional connectivity analysis demonstrates that the initial linear relationship between the spinal cord and sensorimotor cortex gradually fades away over the course of motor sequence learning, while the connectivity between spinal activity and cerebellum gains strength. These data suggest that the spinal cord not only constitutes an active functional component of the human motor learning network but also contributes distinctively from the brain to the learning process. The present findings open new avenues for rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries, as they demonstrate that this part of the central nervous system is much more plastic than assumed before. Yet, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this intrinsic functional plasticity in the spinal cord warrant further investigations. PMID:26125597

  12. Simultaneous Brain-Cervical Cord fMRI Reveals Intrinsic Spinal Cord Plasticity during Motor Sequence Learning.

    PubMed

    Vahdat, Shahabeddin; Lungu, Ovidiu; Cohen-Adad, Julien; Marchand-Pauvert, Veronique; Benali, Habib; Doyon, Julien

    2015-06-01

    The spinal cord participates in the execution of skilled movements by translating high-level cerebral motor representations into musculotopic commands. Yet, the extent to which motor skill acquisition relies on intrinsic spinal cord processes remains unknown. To date, attempts to address this question were limited by difficulties in separating spinal local effects from supraspinal influences through traditional electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods. Here, for the first time, we provide evidence for local learning-induced plasticity in intact human spinal cord through simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spinal cord during motor sequence learning. Specifically, we show learning-related modulation of activity in the C6-C8 spinal region, which is independent from that of related supraspinal sensorimotor structures. Moreover, a brain-spinal cord functional connectivity analysis demonstrates that the initial linear relationship between the spinal cord and sensorimotor cortex gradually fades away over the course of motor sequence learning, while the connectivity between spinal activity and cerebellum gains strength. These data suggest that the spinal cord not only constitutes an active functional component of the human motor learning network but also contributes distinctively from the brain to the learning process. The present findings open new avenues for rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries, as they demonstrate that this part of the central nervous system is much more plastic than assumed before. Yet, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this intrinsic functional plasticity in the spinal cord warrant further investigations.

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

    PubMed

    van Vugt, Floris T; Tillmann, Barbara

    2015-05-01

    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.

  14. Probing the allocation of attention in implicit (motor) learning.

    PubMed

    Lam, W K; Maxwell, J P; Masters, R S W

    2010-12-01

    We investigated the attention demands associated with implicit and explicit (motor) learning and performance using a probe reaction time paradigm. Two groups of participants learned a golf putting task over eight blocks of 50 trials performed from different distances. One group (errorless learning) began putting from the shortest distance (25 cm) and moved progressively back to the furthest distance (200 cm). A second group (errorful learning) began putting from the furthest distance (200 cm) and moved progressively closer (25 cm). Retention tests were used to assess learning in the two conditions, followed by transfer tests in which participants used either an unusual putter or a very unusual putter. Transfer to the unusual putters had an equivalent effect on the performance of both errorless and errorful learners, but probe reaction times were unaffected in the errorless learners, suggesting that execution of their movements was associated with reduced attention demands. Reducing errors during initial learning trials may encourage an implicit mode of learning and lower the demand for cognitive resources in subsequent performance. PMID:21049315

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Learning Motor Synergies Makes Use of Information on Muscular Load

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Ruiz, Juan; Hall-Haro, Cynthia; Díaz, Rosalinda; Mischner, Jacqueline; Vergara, Patricia; Lopez-Garcia, Juan Carlos

    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. PMID:10940319

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  18. Motor and non-motor error and the influence of error magnitude on brain activity.

    PubMed

    Nadig, Karin Graziella; Jäncke, Lutz; Lüchinger, Roger; Lutz, Kai

    2010-04-01

    It has been shown that frontal cortical areas increase their activity during error perception and error processing. However, it is not yet clear whether perception of motor errors is processed in the same frontal areas as perception of errors in cognitive tasks. It is also unclear whether brain activity level is influenced by the magnitude of error. For this purpose, we conducted a study in which subjects were confronted with motor and non-motor errors, and had them perform a sensorimotor transformation task in which they were likely to commit motor errors of different magnitudes (internal errors). In addition to the internally committed motor errors, non-motor errors (external errors) were added to the feedback in some trials. We found that activity in the anterior insula, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), cerebellum, precuneus, and posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) correlated positively with the magnitude of external errors. The middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and the pMFC cortex correlated positively with the magnitude of the total error fed back to subjects (internal plus external). No significant positive correlation between internal error and brain activity could be detected. These results indicate that motor errors have a differential effect on brain activity compared with non-motor errors.

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

    PubMed Central

    Manto, Mario U.; Jissendi, Patrice

    2012-01-01

    The study of the links and interactions between development and motor learning has noticeable implications for the understanding and management of neurodevelopmental disorders. This is particularly relevant for the cerebellum which is critical for sensorimotor learning. The olivocerebellar pathway is a key pathway contributing to learning of motor skills. Its developmental maturation and remodeling are being unraveled. Advances in genetics have led to major improvements in our appraisal of the genes involved in cerebellar development, especially studies in mutant mice. Cerebellar neurogenesis is compartmentalized in relationship with neurotransmitter fate. The Engrailed-2 gene is a major actor of the specification of cerebellar cell types and late embryogenic morphogenesis. Math1, expressed by the rhombic lip, is required for the genesis of glutamatergic neurons. Mutants deficient for the transcription factor Ptf1a display a lack of Purkinje cells and gabaergic interneurons. Rora gene contributes to the developmental signaling between granule cells and Purkinje neurons. The expression profile of sonic hedgehog in postnatal stages determines the final size/shape of the cerebellum. Genes affecting the development impact upon the physiological properties of the cerebellar circuits. For instance, receptors are developmentally regulated and their action interferes directly with developmental processes. Another field of research which is expanding relates to very preterm neonates. They are at risk for cerebellar lesions, which may themselves impair the developmental events. Very preterm neonates often show sensori-motor deficits, highlighting another major link between impaired developments and learning deficiencies. Pathways playing a critical role in cerebellar development are likely to become therapeutical targets for several neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:22291620

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

    PubMed

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2013-11-01

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

  1. Functional network reorganization in motor cortex can be explained by reward-modulated Hebbian learning

    PubMed Central

    Legenstein, Robert; Chase, Steven M.; Schwartz, Andrew B.; Maass, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    The control of neuroprosthetic devices from the activity of motor cortex neurons benefits from learning effects where the function of these neurons is adapted to the control task. It was recently shown that tuning properties of neurons in monkey motor cortex are adapted selectively in order to compensate for an erroneous interpretation of their activity. In particular, it was shown that the tuning curves of those neurons whose preferred directions had been misinterpreted changed more than those of other neurons. In this article, we show that the experimentally observed self-tuning properties of the system can be explained on the basis of a simple learning rule. This learning rule utilizes neuronal noise for exploration and performs Hebbian weight updates that are modulated by a global reward signal. In contrast to most previously proposed reward-modulated Hebbian learning rules, this rule does not require extraneous knowledge about what is noise and what is signal. The learning rule is able to optimize the performance of the model system within biologically realistic periods of time and under high noise levels. When the neuronal noise is fitted to experimental data, the model produces learning effects similar to those found in monkey experiments. PMID:25284966

  2. Motor activity of pregnant tethered sows.

    PubMed

    Cariolet, R; Dantzer, R

    1984-01-01

    Continuous recording of body postures (standing or lying) using photocells connected to an event recorder was carried out on 125 pregnant sows tethered either by a thoracic girth or by a neck harness in six different farms, at different times of the year. Standing activity occupied an average of 250 min per day. This position occurred mainly during daytime, with amount of standing during the night (10 p.m. to 6 p.m.) averaging less than 2% of the total time. This mean value was found in 4 farms out of 6. However, on one farm, standing postures lasted 390 min and this hyperactivity was associated with stereotypes. In another farm, time spent standing did not exceed 180 min. In all cases, multiparous sows spent about 60% more time standing than first or second litter sows. Time spent standing was dependent on other animal characteristics such as physical condition and foot condition, and also on environmental factors. Activity rhythms were synchronized by food distribution. These results are discussed together with the potential of using motor activity to characterize adaptability of sows to tethering.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Physical activity and motor decline in older persons.

    PubMed

    Buchman, A S; Boyle, P A; Wilson, R S; Bienias, Julia L; Bennett, D A

    2007-03-01

    We tested the hypothesis that physical activity modifies the course of age-related motor decline. More than 850 older participants of the Rush Memory and Aging Project underwent baseline assessment of physical activity and annual motor testing for up to 8 years. Nine strength measures and nine motor performance measures were summarized into composite measures of motor function. In generalized estimating equation models, global motor function declined during follow-up (estimate, -0.072; SE, 0.008; P < 0.001). Each additional hour of physical activity at baseline was associated with about a 5% decrease in the rate of global motor function decline (estimate, 0.004; SE, 0.001; P = 0.007). Secondary analyses suggested that the association of physical activity with motor decline was mostly due to the effect of physical activity on the rate of motor performance decline. Thus, higher levels of physical activity are associated with a slower rate of motor decline in older persons.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed

    King, Bradley R; Fogel, Stuart M; Albouy, Geneviève; Doyon, Julien

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Contributions of the basal ganglia and functionally related brain structures to motor learning.

    PubMed

    Doyon, Julien; Bellec, Pierre; Amsel, Rhonda; Penhune, Virginia; Monchi, Oury; Carrier, Julie; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Benali, Habib

    2009-04-12

    This review discusses the cerebral plasticity, and the role of the cortico-striatal system in particular, observed as one is learning or planning to execute a newly learned motor behavior up to when the skill is consolidated or has become highly automatized. A special emphasis is given to imaging work describing the neural substrate mediating motor sequence learning and motor adaptation paradigms. These results are then put into a plausible neurobiological model of motor skill learning, which proposes an integrated view of the brain plasticity mediating this form of memory at different stages of the acquisition process.

  12. Altered cortico-basal ganglia motor pathways reflect reduced volitional motor activity in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Bracht, Tobias; Schnell, Susanne; Federspiel, Andrea; Razavi, Nadja; Horn, Helge; Strik, Werner; Wiest, Roland; Dierks, Thomas; Müller, Thomas J; Walther, Sebastian

    2013-02-01

    Little is known about the neurobiology of hypokinesia in schizophrenia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate alterations of white matter motor pathways in schizophrenia and to relate our findings to objectively measured motor activity. We examined 21 schizophrenia patients and 21 healthy controls using diffusion tensor imaging and actigraphy. We applied a probabilistic fibre tracking approach to investigate pathways connecting the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), the supplementary motor area proper (SMA-proper), the primary motor cortex (M1), the caudate nucleus, the striatum, the pallidum and the thalamus. Schizophrenia patients had lower activity levels than controls. In schizophrenia we found higher probability indices forming part of a bundle of interest (PIBI) in pathways connecting rACC, pre-SMA and SMA-proper as well as in pathways connecting M1 and pre-SMA with caudate nucleus, putamen, pallidum and thalamus and a reduced spatial extension of motor pathways in schizophrenia. There was a positive correlation between PIBI and activity level in the right pre-SMA-pallidum and the left M1-thalamus connection in healthy controls, and in the left pre-SMA-SMA-proper pathway in schizophrenia. Our results point to reduced volitional motor activity and altered motor pathway organisation in schizophrenia. The identified associations between the amount of movement and structural connectivity of motor pathways suggest dysfunction of cortico-basal ganglia pathways in the pathophysiology of hypokinesia in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia patients may use cortical pathways involving the supplementary motor area to compensate for basal ganglia dysfunction.

  13. Nutrition. Learning Activity Package.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Carolyn

    This learning activity package on nutrition is one of a series of 12 titles developed for use in health occupations education programs. Materials in the package include objectives, a list of materials needed, a list of definitions, information sheets, reviews (self evaluations) of portions of the content, and answers to reviews. These topics are…

  14. Grooming. Learning Activity Package.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stark, Pamela

    This learning activity package on grooming for health workers is one of a series of 12 titles developed for use in health occupations education programs. Materials in the package include objectives, a list of materials needed, information sheets, reviews (self evaluations) of portions of the content, and answers to reviews. These topics are…

  15. Motor imagery of hand actions: Decoding the content of motor imagery from brain activity in frontal and parietal motor areas.

    PubMed

    Pilgramm, Sebastian; de Haas, Benjamin; Helm, Fabian; Zentgraf, Karen; Stark, Rudolf; Munzert, Jörn; Krüger, Britta

    2016-01-01

    How motor maps are organized while imagining actions is an intensely debated issue. It is particularly unclear whether motor imagery relies on action-specific representations in premotor and posterior parietal cortices. This study tackled this issue by attempting to decode the content of motor imagery from spatial patterns of Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) signals recorded in the frontoparietal motor imagery network. During fMRI-scanning, 20 right-handed volunteers worked on three experimental conditions and one baseline condition. In the experimental conditions, they had to imagine three different types of right-hand actions: an aiming movement, an extension-flexion movement, and a squeezing movement. The identity of imagined actions was decoded from the spatial patterns of BOLD signals they evoked in premotor and posterior parietal cortices using multivoxel pattern analysis. Results showed that the content of motor imagery (i.e., the action type) could be decoded significantly above chance level from the spatial patterns of BOLD signals in both frontal (PMC, M1) and parietal areas (SPL, IPL, IPS). An exploratory searchlight analysis revealed significant clusters motor- and motor-associated cortices, as well as in visual cortices. Hence, the data provide evidence that patterns of activity within premotor and posterior parietal cortex vary systematically with the specific type of hand action being imagined. PMID:26452176

  16. 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.

  17. Marginally perceptible outcome feedback, motor learning and implicit processes.

    PubMed

    Masters, Rich S W; Maxwell, Jon P; Eves, Frank F

    2009-09-01

    Participants struck 500 golf balls to a concealed target. Outcome feedback was presented at the subjective or objective threshold of awareness of each participant or at a supraliminal threshold. Participants who received fully perceptible (supraliminal) feedback learned to strike the ball onto the target, as did participants who received feedback that was only marginally perceptible (subjective threshold). Participants who received feedback that was not perceptible (objective threshold) showed no learning. Upon transfer to a condition in which the target was unconcealed, performance increased in both the subjective and the objective threshold condition, but decreased in the supraliminal condition. In all three conditions, participants reported minimal declarative knowledge of their movements, suggesting that deliberate hypothesis testing about how best to move in order to perform the motor task successfully was disrupted by the impoverished disposition of the visual outcome feedback. It was concluded that sub-optimally perceptible visual feedback evokes implicit processes. PMID:19375946

  18. 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. PMID:27309494

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. Single session motor learning demonstrated using a visuomotor task: Evidence from fMRI and behavioural analysis.

    PubMed

    Boe, Shaun G; Cassidy, Ryan J; McIlroy, William E; Graham, Simon J

    2012-08-15

    There is a continuing need to improve understanding of the central nervous system control of learning. Specifically, there is a need to examine the characteristics of cortical and sub-cortical activity linked to the stages of motor learning, including those occurring within a single-session. In this study we sought to design and investigate a visuomotor task to determine its ability to assess the component of motor learning occurring during a single session of fMRI (i.e., the 'online' improvement in motor performance). Fourteen healthy control subjects performed a visuomotor task requiring a combination of bilateral grip force to accurately move a cursor towards a target. We assessed online motor learning by comparing behavioural measures (accuracy and error magnitude) and the extent of spatial activation in specific brain regions of interest (ROIs) using fMRI pre- and post-training. Results showed a training-related improvement in performance based on increased accuracy (p<0.0125) and decreased error magnitude (p<0.0125) from pre- to post-training. Decreases in the extent of spatial activation from pre- to post-training in the majority of ROIs supported a training-related attenuation in brain activity associated with online motor learning. Importantly, decreases in error magnitude across conditions (p<0.05) confirmed that improvements in performance continued over the entire course of the experiment. Establishing this task may permit more extensive study of the neural correlates of single-session, online learning in healthy individuals and those with motor control challenges. Information obtained from such studies may provide an opportunity to improve interventions in neurological rehabilitation.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Neuromodulation of parietal and motor activity affects motor planning and execution.

    PubMed

    Convento, Silvia; Bolognini, Nadia; Fusaro, Martina; Lollo, Federica; Vallar, Giuseppe

    2014-08-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive tool, which effectively modulates behavior, and related brain activity. When applied to the primary motor cortex (M1), tDCS affects motor function, enhancing or decreasing performance of both healthy participants and brain-damaged patients. Beyond M1, the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is also crucially involved in controlling and guiding movement. Therefore, we explored whether the modulation of cortical excitability within PPC can also affect hand motor function in healthy right-handed participants. In Experiment 1, anodal tDCS (2 mA, 10 min) was applied to PPC and to M1 of both hemispheres. Skilled motor function of the non-dominant left hand, measured using the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test (JTT), improved after anodal tDCS of the right, contralateral M1, as well as after the anodal stimulation of the left, ipsilateral PPC. Conversely, in Experiment 2, cathodal tDCS of the left PPC, or of the right M1, reduced motor performance of the left hand. Finally, Experiment 3 shows that the anodal tDCS of the left PPC selectively facilitated action planning, while the anodal tDCS of the right M1 modulated action execution only. This evidence shows that motor improvement induced by left parietal and right motor stimulations relies on substantial different mechanisms, opening up novel perspectives in the neurorehabilitation of stroke patients with motor and apraxic disorders.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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,…

  8. Dynamic reorganization of neural activity in motor cortex during new sequence production.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiaofeng; Ashe, James

    2015-09-01

    Although previous studies have shown that primary motor cortex (M1) neurons are modulated during the performance of a sequence of movements, it is not known how this neural activity in the M1 reorganizes during new learning of sequence-dependent motor skills. Here we trained monkeys to move to each of four spatial targets to produce multiple distinct sequences of movements in which the spatial organization of the targets determined uniquely the serial order of the movements. After the monkeys memorized the sequences, we changed one element of these over-practised sequences and the subjects were required to learn the new sequence through trial and error. When one element in an over-learned four-element sequence was changed, the sequence-specific neural activity was totally disrupted, but relatively minor changes in the direction-specific activity were observed. The data suggest that sequential motor skills are represented within M1 in the context of the complete sequential behavior rather than as a series of single consecutive movements; and sequence-specific neurons in the M1 are involved in new learning of sequence by using memorized knowledge to acquire complex motor skill efficiently.

  9. Dynamic reorganization of neural activity in motor cortex during new sequence production.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiaofeng; Ashe, James

    2015-09-01

    Although previous studies have shown that primary motor cortex (M1) neurons are modulated during the performance of a sequence of movements, it is not known how this neural activity in the M1 reorganizes during new learning of sequence-dependent motor skills. Here we trained monkeys to move to each of four spatial targets to produce multiple distinct sequences of movements in which the spatial organization of the targets determined uniquely the serial order of the movements. After the monkeys memorized the sequences, we changed one element of these over-practised sequences and the subjects were required to learn the new sequence through trial and error. When one element in an over-learned four-element sequence was changed, the sequence-specific neural activity was totally disrupted, but relatively minor changes in the direction-specific activity were observed. The data suggest that sequential motor skills are represented within M1 in the context of the complete sequential behavior rather than as a series of single consecutive movements; and sequence-specific neurons in the M1 are involved in new learning of sequence by using memorized knowledge to acquire complex motor skill efficiently. PMID:26202600

  10. 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,…

  11. The origin of word-related motor activity.

    PubMed

    Papeo, Liuba; Lingnau, Angelika; Agosta, Sara; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Battelli, Lorella; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2015-06-01

    Conceptual processing of verbs consistently recruits the left posterior middle temporal gyrus (lpMTG). The left precentral motor cortex also responds to verbs, with higher activity for action than nonaction verbs. The early timing of this effect has suggested that motor features of words' meaning are accessed directly, bypassing access to conceptual representations in lpMTG. An alternative hypothesis is that the retrieval of conceptual representations in lpMTG is necessary to drive more specific, motor-related representations in the precentral gyrus. To test these hypotheses, we first showed that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied to the verb-preferring lpMTG site selectively impoverished the semantic processing of verbs. In a second experiment, rTMS perturbation of lpMTG, relative to no stimulation (no-rTMS), eliminated the action-nonaction verb distinction in motor activity, as indexed by motor-evoked potentials induced in peripheral muscles with single-pulse TMS over the left primary motor cortex. rTMS pertubation of an occipital control site, relative to no-rTMS, did not affect the action-nonaction verb distinction in motor activity, but the verb contrast did not differ reliably from the lpMTG effect. The results show that lpMTG carries core semantic information necessary to drive the activation of specific (motor) features in the precentral gyrus.

  12. Plastic changes to dendritic spines on layer V pyramidal neurons are involved in the rectifying role of the prefrontal cortex during the fast period of motor learning.

    PubMed

    González-Tapia, David; Martínez-Torres, Nestor I; Hernández-González, Marisela; Guevara, Miguel Angel; González-Burgos, Ignacio

    2016-02-01

    The prefrontal cortex participates in the rectification of information related to motor activity that favors motor learning. Dendritic spine plasticity is involved in the modifications of motor patterns that underlie both motor activity and motor learning. To study this association in more detail, adult male rats were trained over six days in an acrobatic motor learning paradigm and they were subjected to a behavioral evaluation on each day of training. Also, a Golgi-based morphological study was carried out to determine the spine density and the proportion of the different spine types. In the learning paradigm, the number of errors diminished as motor training progressed. Concomitantly, spine density increased on days 1 and 3 of training, particularly reflecting an increase in the proportion of thin (day 1), stubby (day 1) and branched (days 1, 2 and 5) spines. Conversely, mushroom spines were less prevalent than in the control rats on days 5 and 6, as were stubby spines on day 6, together suggesting that this plasticity might enhance motor learning. The increase in stubby spines on day 1 suggests a regulation of excitability related to the changes in synaptic input to the prefrontal cortex. The plasticity to thin spines observed during the first 3 days of training could be related to the active rectification induced by the information relayed to the prefrontal cortex -as the behavioral findings indeed showed-, which in turn could be linked to the lower proportion of mushroom and stubby spines seen in the last days of training.

  13. 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…

  14. 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. PMID:24388796

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Motor Cortex Activity Organizes the Developing Rubrospinal System.

    PubMed

    Williams, Preston T J A; Martin, John H

    2015-09-30

    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

  19. 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

  20. Motor Cortex Activity Organizes the Developing Rubrospinal System.

    PubMed

    Williams, Preston T J A; Martin, John H

    2015-09-30

    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

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

    PubMed

    Dirnberger, Georg; Novak-Knollmueller, Judith

    2013-07-10

    The aim was to determine the extent and time course of motor and perceptual learning in a procedural learning task, and the relation of these two processes. Because environmental constraints modulate the relative impact of different learning mechanisms, we chose a simple learning task similar to real-life exercise. Thirty-four healthy individuals performed a visuomotor serial reaction time task. Learning blocks with high stimulus-response compatibility were practiced repeatedly; in between these, participants performed test blocks with the same or a different (mirror-inverted, or new) stimulus sequence and/or with the same or a different (mirror-inverted) stimulus-response allocation. This design allowed us to measure the progress of motor learning and perceptual learning independently. Results showed that in the learning blocks, a steady reduction of the reaction times indicated that - as expected - participants improved their skills continuously. Analysis of the test blocks indicated that both motor learning and perceptual learning were significant. The two mechanisms were correlated (r=0.62, P<0.001). However, their time course was different: the impact of motor learning increased strongly from earlier to later intervals, whereas the progress of perceptual learning was more stable but slower. In conclusion, in a simple visuomotor learning task, participants can learn the motor sequence and the stimulus sequence in parallel. The positive correlation of motor and perceptual learning suggests that the two mechanisms act in synergy and are not alternative opposing strategies. The impact of these two learning mechanisms changes over time: motor learning sets in later and becomes relevant only in the course of training.

  2. Variability of Practice and Contextual Interference in Motor Skill Learning.

    PubMed

    Hall, K. G.; Magill, R. A.

    1995-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether learning benefits in multiple-task learning situations are a result of contextual interference or of schema enhancement related to the amount of variability in the practice session. Two experiments were designed that replicated and extended the experiment reported by Wulf and Schmidt (1988). In a 2 (same vs. different relative time) x 2 (blocked vs. random practice schedule) design, 48 right-handed subjects were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions. A tapping task was employed that required a right-handed tap of three small brass plates arranged in a diamond pattern. Each segment had a specific time requirement. Target times and response times were provided on a computer screen directly in front of the subject. Each subject participated in two acquisition sessions (i.e., 198 practice trials) and was tested for learning on several different retention and transfer tests. In Experiment 2, a control group was added that received no acquisition phase. Results of both experiments showed a typical contextual interference effect, with depressed scores by the random groups during acquisition but significantly better scores than the blocked groups on several retention and transfer tests. Certain characteristics of the tests were found to influence the demonstration of the practice schedule effects. These results were consistent with predictions from Magill and Hall (1990) that the learning benefits of contextual interference are more likely to occur when skill variations are from different classes of movement and that the amount of variability in practice is more influential when the to-be-learned tasks are parameter modifications of the same generalized motor program. PMID:12529226

  3. 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. PMID:21700421

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

    PubMed

    Russell, Daniel M; Newell, Karl M

    2007-02-01

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

  5. Learning a unimanual motor skill by partial commissurotomy patients.

    PubMed

    Chen, Y P; Campbell, R; Marshall, J C; Zaidel, D W

    1990-09-01

    A series of motor tests on four Chinese partial commissurotomy patients is reported. The single-stage commissurotomy in all four patients included the anterior commissures and two-thirds or four-fifths section of the corpus callosum with sparing of the splenium. There was no demonstrable ability to transfer hand posture in these patients. This was the major evidence for functional deconnexion. A newly learned task of one-hand knotting revealed right hand impairment in all four patients. There was no dyspraxia in the right hand for over-learned object-handling tasks in these patients. It is suggested that there might be right hemisphere specialisation for the initial acquisition of unimanual object-handling skills and that the spared callosal fibres in the splenium alone are insufficient to mediate task control under these conditions. This is supported by the finding that one of these patients, who was the only one who had a right parietal lesion, was unable to perform the newly learned task with either hand.

  6. Learning a unimanual motor skill by partial commissurotomy patients.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Y P; Campbell, R; Marshall, J C; Zaidel, D W

    1990-01-01

    A series of motor tests on four Chinese partial commissurotomy patients is reported. The single-stage commissurotomy in all four patients included the anterior commissures and two-thirds or four-fifths section of the corpus callosum with sparing of the splenium. There was no demonstrable ability to transfer hand posture in these patients. This was the major evidence for functional deconnexion. A newly learned task of one-hand knotting revealed right hand impairment in all four patients. There was no dyspraxia in the right hand for over-learned object-handling tasks in these patients. It is suggested that there might be right hemisphere specialisation for the initial acquisition of unimanual object-handling skills and that the spared callosal fibres in the splenium alone are insufficient to mediate task control under these conditions. This is supported by the finding that one of these patients, who was the only one who had a right parietal lesion, was unable to perform the newly learned task with either hand. Images PMID:2246661

  7. 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…

  8. Project Success for the SLD Child, Motor-Perception Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wayne - Carroll Public Schools, Wayne, NE.

    Presented is a curriculum guide for a perceptual motor program which was developed by Project Success (Nebraska) through a Title III grant for language learning disabled elementary level students in kindergarten through grade 3. The program is said to be arranged in a hierarchy of skills ranging from simple to complex and to be written so that the…

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-22

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Variability In Motor Learning: Relocating, Channeling and Reducing Noise

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, R.G.; Sternad, D.

    2009-01-01

    Variability in motor performance decreases with practice but is never entirely eliminated, due in part to inherent motor noise. The present study develops a method that quantifies how performers can shape their performance to minimize the effects of motor noise on the result of the movement. Adopting a statistical approach on sets of data, the method quantifies three components of variability (Tolerance, Noise, and Covariation) as costs with respect to optimal performance. T-Cost quantifies how much the result could be improved if the location of the data were optimal, N-Cost compares actual results to results with optimal dispersion at the same location, and C-Cost represents how much improvement stands to be gained if the data covaried optimally. The TNC-Cost analysis is applied to examine the learning of a throwing task that participants practiced for 6 or 15 days. Using a virtual set-up, 15 participants threw a pendular projectile in a simulated concentric force field to hit a target. Two variables, angle and velocity at release, fully determined the projectile’s trajectory and thereby the accuracy of the throw. The task is redundant and the successful solutions define a nonlinear manifold. Analysis of experimental results indicated that all three components were present and that all three decreased across practice. Changes in T-Cost were considerable at the beginning of practice; C-Cost and N-Cost diminished more slowly, with N-Cost remaining the highest. These results showed that performance variability can be reduced by three routes: by tuning tolerance, covariation and noise in execution. We speculate that by exploiting T-Cost and C-Cost, participants minimize the effects of inevitable intrinsic noise. PMID:18953531

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Active Learning Using Hint Information.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun-Liang; Ferng, Chun-Sung; Lin, Hsuan-Tien

    2015-08-01

    The abundance of real-world data and limited labeling budget calls for active learning, an important learning paradigm for reducing human labeling efforts. Many recently developed active learning algorithms consider both uncertainty and representativeness when making querying decisions. However, exploiting representativeness with uncertainty concurrently usually requires tackling sophisticated and challenging learning tasks, such as clustering. In this letter, we propose a new active learning framework, called hinted sampling, which takes both uncertainty and representativeness into account in a simpler way. We design a novel active learning algorithm within the hinted sampling framework with an extended support vector machine. Experimental results validate that the novel active learning algorithm can result in a better and more stable performance than that achieved by state-of-the-art algorithms. We also show that the hinted sampling framework allows improving another active learning algorithm designed from the transductive support vector machine. PMID:26079748

  15. 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.

  16. [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. PMID:25713870

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

    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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vidoni, Eric D; Boyd, Lara A

    2009-01-01

    Background Most motor learning theories posit that proprioceptive sensation serves an important role in acquiring and performing movement patterns. However, we recently demonstrated that experimental disruption of proprioception peripherally altered motor performance but not motor learning in humans. Little work has considered humans with central nervous system damage. The purpose of the present study was to specifically consider the relationship between proprioception and motor learning at the level of the central nervous system in humans. Methods Individuals with chronic (> 6mo) stroke and similarly aged healthy participants performed a continuous tracking task with an embedded repeating segment over two days and returned on a third day for retention testing. A limb-position matching task was used to quantify proprioception. Results Individuals with chronic stroke demonstrated the ability to learn to track a repeating segment; however, the magnitude of behavioral change associated with repeated segment-specific learning was directly related to the integrity of central proprioceptive processing as indexed by our limb-position matching task. Conclusion These results support the importance of central sensory processing for motor learning. The confirmation of central sensory processing dependent motor learning in humans is discussed in the context of our prior report of preserved motor learning when sensation is disrupted peripherally. PMID:19715593

  20. 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.

  1. Motor imagery of hand actions: Decoding the content of motor imagery from brain activity in frontal and parietal motor areas

    PubMed Central

    Pilgramm, Sebastian; de Haas, Benjamin; Helm, Fabian; Zentgraf, Karen; Stark, Rudolf; Munzert, Jörn

    2015-01-01

    Abstract How motor maps are organized while imagining actions is an intensely debated issue. It is particularly unclear whether motor imagery relies on action‐specific representations in premotor and posterior parietal cortices. This study tackled this issue by attempting to decode the content of motor imagery from spatial patterns of Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) signals recorded in the frontoparietal motor imagery network. During fMRI‐scanning, 20 right‐handed volunteers worked on three experimental conditions and one baseline condition. In the experimental conditions, they had to imagine three different types of right‐hand actions: an aiming movement, an extension–flexion movement, and a squeezing movement. The identity of imagined actions was decoded from the spatial patterns of BOLD signals they evoked in premotor and posterior parietal cortices using multivoxel pattern analysis. Results showed that the content of motor imagery (i.e., the action type) could be decoded significantly above chance level from the spatial patterns of BOLD signals in both frontal (PMC, M1) and parietal areas (SPL, IPL, IPS). An exploratory searchlight analysis revealed significant clusters motor‐ and motor‐associated cortices, as well as in visual cortices. Hence, the data provide evidence that patterns of activity within premotor and posterior parietal cortex vary systematically with the specific type of hand action being imagined. Hum Brain Mapp 37:81–93, 2016. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26452176

  2. White matter integrity associated with volitional motor activity.

    PubMed

    Walther, Sebastian; Federspiel, Andrea; Horn, Helge; Wiest, Roland; Dierks, Thomas; Strik, Werner; Müller, Thomas J

    2010-03-31

    Variations of white matter integrity have been associated with interindividual differences in brain function. Still, little is known about the impact of white matter integrity on quantitative motor behaviour. Diffusion tensor imaging and continuous wrist actigraphy were measured on the same day in 12 individuals. Fractional anisotropy as measure of white matter integrity was correlated with the motor activity level. Positive correlations of fractional anisotropy and activity level were detected in the cingulum and the right superior longitudinal fasciculus underneath the precentral gyrus. Negative correlations were found in the left corticobulbar tract, in the right posterior corpus callosum and in the left superior longitudinal fasciculus. Volitional motor activity was associated with white matter integrity in motor relevant fiber tracts.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Striatal dysregulation of Cdk5 alters locomotor responses to cocaine, motor learning, and dendritic morphology.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Douglas A; Richer, Edmond; Benkovic, Stanley A; Hayashi, Kanehiro; Kansy, Janice W; Hale, Carly F; Moy, Lily Y; Kim, Yong; O'Callaghan, James P; Tsai, Li-Huei; Greengard, Paul; Nairn, Angus C; Cowan, Christopher W; Miller, Diane B; Antich, Pietro; Bibb, James A

    2008-11-25

    Motor learning and neuro-adaptations to drugs of abuse rely upon neuronal signaling in the striatum. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) regulates striatal dopamine neurotransmission and behavioral responses to cocaine. Although the role for Cdk5 in neurodegeneration in the cortex and hippocampus and in hippocampal-dependent learning has been demonstrated, its dysregulation in the striatum has not been examined. Here we show that strong activation of striatal NMDA receptors produced p25, the truncated form of the Cdk5 co-activator p35. Furthermore, inducible overexpression of p25 in the striatum prevented locomotor sensitization to cocaine and attenuated motor coordination and learning. This corresponded with reduced dendritic spine density, increased neuro-inflammation, altered dopamine signaling, and shifted Cdk5 specificity with regard to physiological and aberrant substrates, but no apparent loss of striatal neurons. Thus, dysregulation of Cdk5 dramatically affects striatal-dependent brain function and may be relevant to non-neurodegenerative disorders involving dopamine neurotransmission.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Reorganization and plasticity in the adult brain during learning of motor skills.

    PubMed

    Doyon, Julien; Benali, Habib

    2005-04-01

    On the basis of brain imaging studies, Doyon and Ungerleider recently proposed a model describing the cerebral plasticity that occurs in both cortico-striatal and cortico-cerebellar systems of the adult brain during learning of new motor skilled behaviors. This theoretical framework makes several testable predictions with regards to the contribution of these neural systems based on the phase (fast, slow, consolidation, automatization, and retention) and nature of the motor learning processes (motor sequence versus motor adaptation) acquired through repeated practice. There has been recent behavioral, lesion and additional neuroimaging studies that have addressed the assumptions made in this theory that will help in the revision of this model.

  11. Directed functional connectivity matures with motor learning in a cortical pattern generator

    PubMed Central

    Day, Nancy F.; Terleski, Kyle L.; Nykamp, Duane Q.

    2013-01-01

    Sequential motor skills may be encoded by feedforward networks that consist of groups of neurons that fire in sequence (Abeles 1991; Long et al. 2010). However, there has been no evidence of an anatomic map of activation sequence in motor control circuits, which would be potentially detectable as directed functional connectivity of coactive neuron groups. The proposed pattern generator for birdsong, the HVC (Long and Fee 2008; Vu et al. 1994), contains axons that are preferentially oriented in the rostrocaudal axis (Nottebohm et al. 1982; Stauffer et al. 2012). We used four-tetrode recordings to assess the activity of ensembles of single neurons along the rostrocaudal HVC axis in anesthetized zebra finches. We found an axial, polarized neural network in which sequential activity is directionally organized along the rostrocaudal axis in adult males, who produce a stereotyped song. Principal neurons fired in rostrocaudal order and with interneurons that were rostral to them, suggesting that groups of excitatory neurons fire at the leading edge of travelling waves of inhibition. Consistent with the synchronization of neurons by caudally travelling waves of inhibition, the activity of interneurons was more coherent in the orthogonal mediolateral axis than in the rostrocaudal axis. If directed functional connectivity within the HVC is important for stereotyped, learned song, then it may be lacking in juveniles, which sing a highly variable song. Indeed, we found little evidence for network directionality in juveniles. These data indicate that a functionally directed network within the HVC matures during sensorimotor learning and may underlie vocal patterning. PMID:23175804

  12. 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.

  13. Adaptations of motor neural structures' activity to lapses in attention.

    PubMed

    Derosière, Gérard; Billot, Maxime; Ward, E Tomas; Perrey, Stéphane

    2015-01-01

    Sustained attention is fundamental for cognition and when impaired, impacts negatively on important contemporary living skills. Degradation in sustained attention is characterized by the time-on-task (TOT) effect, which manifests as a gradual increase in reaction time (RT). The TOT effect is accompanied by changes in relative brain activity patterns in attention-related areas, most noticeably in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the right parietal areas. However, activity changes in task-relevant motor structures have not been confirmed to date. This article describes an investigation of such motor-related activity changes as measured with 1) the time course of corticospinal excitability (CSE) through single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation; and 2) the changes in activity of premotor (PMC), primary motor (M1), PFC, and right parietal areas by means of near-infrared spectroscopy, during a sustained attention RT task exhibiting the TOT effect. Our results corroborate established findings such as a significant increase (P < 0.05) in lateral prefrontal and right parietal areas activity after the emergence of the TOT effect but also reveal adaptations in the form of motor activity changes--in particular, a significant increase in CSE (P < 0.01) and in primary motor area (M1) activity (P < 0.05).

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

    This experiment demonstrates that musicians who began training before age seven perform better on a rhythmic tapping task than musicians who began after the age of seven, when the two groups are matched for years of experience. These results support the idea that there may be a sensitive period in childhood for motor training, similar to that observed for language learning.

  18. Telemetric motor activity in children. A preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Foster, F G; McPartland, R J; Kupfer, D J

    1977-01-01

    A lightweight telemetric mobility sensing system was used to study the relationship between high levels of motor activity during free-play and school performance. Among the 21 normal children, there was a significant correlation between high ankle motor activity during free-play, poor school achievement, the presence of neurological soft signs, and a poor self-image. Those normals whose free-play ankle activity was above the mean, also had significantly more errors and performed at a significantly lower level on the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test than children whose activity was below the mean. This preliminary study suggests that the telemetric mobility sensing system can be easily applied to children to assess clinically relevant components of psychomotor activity.

  19. Visuo-motor and cognitive procedural learning in children with basal ganglia pathology.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

    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 (<1 year old, n=9), later onset (>6 years old, n=7) or progressive disorder (idiopathic dystonia, n=2). All patients showed deficits in both visuo-motor and cognitive domains, except those with idiopathic dystonia, who displayed preserved classification learning skills. Impairments seem to be independent from the age of onset of pathology. As far as we know, this study is the first to investigate motor and cognitive procedural learning in children with BG damage. Procedural impairments were documented whatever the aetiology of the BG damage/dysfunction and time of pathology onset, thus supporting the claim of very early skill learning development and lack of plasticity in case of damage.

  20. Spatial and nonspatial implicit motor learning in Korsakoff's amnesia: evidence for selective deficits.

    PubMed

    Van Tilborg, Ilse A D A; Kessels, Roy P C; Kruijt, Pauline; Wester, Arie J; Hulstijn, Wouter

    2011-10-01

    Patients with amnesia have deficits in declarative memory but intact memory for motor and perceptual skills, which suggests that explicit memory and implicit memory are distinct. However, the evidence that implicit motor learning is intact in amnesic patients is contradictory. This study investigated implicit sequence learning in amnesic patients with Korsakoff's syndrome (N = 20) and matched controls (N = 14), using the classical Serial Reaction Time Task and a newly developed Pattern Learning Task in which the planning and execution of the responses are more spatially demanding. Results showed that implicit motor learning occurred in both groups of participants; however, on the Pattern Learning Task, the percentage of errors did not increase in the Korsakoff group in the random test phase, which is indicative of less implicit learning. Thus, our findings show that the performance of patients with Korsakoff's syndrome is compromised on an implicit learning task with a strong spatial response component.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23598082

  2. Distinct contribution of the cortico-striatal and cortico-cerebellar systems to motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Doyon, Julien; Penhune, Virginia; Ungerleider, Leslie G

    2003-01-01

    This review paper focuses on studies in healthy human subjects that examined the functional neuroanatomy and cerebral plasticity associated with the learning, consolidation and retention phases of motor skilled behaviors using modern brain imaging techniques. Evidence in support of a recent model proposed by Doyon and Ungerleider [Functional Anatomy of Motor Skill Learning. In: Squire LR, Schacter DL, editors. Neuropsychology of Memory. New York: Guilford Press, 2002.] is also discussed. The latter suggests that experience-dependent changes in the brain depend not only on the stage of learning, but also on whether subjects are required to learn a new sequence of movements (motor sequence learning) or learn to adapt to environmental perturbations (motor adaptation). This model proposes that the cortico-striatal and cortico-cerebellar systems contribute differentially to motor sequence learning and motor adaptation, respectively, and that this is most apparent during the slow learning phase (i.e. automatization) when subjects achieve asymptotic performance, as well as during reactivation of the new skilled behavior in the retention phase.

  3. 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.

  4. ACTIVITY LEVEL AND LEARNING EFFECTIVENESS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    SJOGREN, DOUGLAS D.; STAKE, ROBERT E.

    A STUDY OF LEARNING ACTIVITY EXPLORED (1) AN ACTIVITY-ACHIEVEMENT SCALE TO DESCRIBE THE IMPACT OF ACTIVITY ON ACHIEVEMENT AND (2) THE POSSIBLE COMPLEXITY OR DIMENSIONALITY OF THIS IMPACT. TEN GROUPS, OF 10 COLLEGE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS EACH, WERE SCHEDULED TO STUDY UNDER EACH OF 10 LEARNING SITUATIONS. THE SITUATIONS CONSISTED OF TWO MODES OF…

  5. Activating the Desire to Learn

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullo, Bob

    2007-01-01

    Wouldn't your job be easier if students were just more interested in learning? Now, here's a book that will open your eyes to where the desire to learn actually comes from and what teachers can really do to activate it. Using stories from classroom teachers, counselors, administrators, and students, Bob Sullo explains why the desire to learn is…

  6. Social interaction is associated with changes in infants’ motor activity

    PubMed Central

    Scola, Céline; Bourjade, Marie; Jover, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Background In developmental research, infants are commonly assumed to be early stakeholders in interactions with their caregivers. The tools that infants can use to interact with others vary from visual contact to smiling or vocalizing, and also include motor activity. However, surprisingly few studies have explored how the nature and context of social interactions affect infants’ engagement in motor activity. Methods We investigated the kinematic properties of foot and face movements produced by 11 infants aged between 5 and 9 months during six contrasting dyadic episodes (i.e. passive presence of a stranger or the infant's mother, weak or intense interaction with the stranger/mother as she sings a nursery play song). Results The infants’ face and foot motor activity was significantly reduced during the interactive episodes, compared with the episodes without any interaction, in both the mother and stranger conditions. Furthermore, the level of their motor activity was significantly lower in the stranger condition than in the mother one for some parameters. Conclusion These results are in line with those reported by previous studies and confirm the relevance of using motor activity to delineate the early forms of interactive episodes in infants. PMID:26546793

  7. Developmental changes in motor cortex activity as infants develop functional motor skills.

    PubMed

    Nishiyori, Ryota; Bisconti, Silvia; Meehan, Sean K; Ulrich, Beverly D

    2016-09-01

    Despite extensive research examining overt behavioral changes of motor skills in infants, the neural basis underlying the emergence of functional motor control has yet to be determined. We used functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to record hemodynamic activity of the primary motor cortex (M1) from 22 infants (11 six month-olds, 11 twelve month-olds) as they reached for an object, and stepped while supported over a treadmill. Based on the developmental systems framework, we hypothesized that as infants increased goal-directed experience, neural activity shifts from a diffused to focal pattern. Results showed that for reaching, younger infants showed diffuse areas of M1 activity that became focused by 12 months. For elicited stepping, younger infants produced much less M1 activity which shifted to diffuse activity by 12 months. Thus, the data suggest that as infants gain goal-directed experience, M1 activity emerges, initially showing a diffuse area of activity, becoming refined as the behavior stabilizes. Our data begin to document the cortical activity underlying early functional skill acquisition.

  8. [The mechanism of movement instrumental learning in a Hopfield environment in the feline motor cortex].

    PubMed

    Maĭorov, V I

    1998-01-01

    A model of the neuronal processes in the motor cortex is proposed, which provides the mechanism for instrumentalization (voluntary reproduction) of movements primarily evoked by stimulation of the parietal cortex. The main propositions of the model are as follows: the late NMDA-dependent response of the motor cortex neurons to stimulation of the parietal cortex reflects the discharges in the recurrent collaterals of the pyramidal cell axons; learning processes in the motor cortex are based on the long-term potentiation of the efficiency of the recurrent collaterals; the Hopfield's theory of neuronal nets is applied to the processes of motor learning in the cortex. The movement instrumentalization is viewed as the stable state formation in the collaterally linked neuronal structure; the voluntary reproduction of the previously learned movement in considered as the process of transition of the neuronal structure into the stable state. The data on acetylcholine and dopamine modulatory influences on the reactions of motor cortex neurons are discussed.

  9. Postnatal TLR2 activation impairs learning and memory in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Madar, Ravit; Rotter, Aviva; Waldman Ben-Asher, Hiba; Mughal, Mohamed R; Arumugam, Thiruma V; Wood, W H; Becker, K G; Mattson, Mark P; Okun, Eitan

    2015-08-01

    Neuroinflammation in the central nervous system is detrimental for learning and memory, as evident form epidemiological studies linking developmental defects and maternal exposure to harmful pathogens. Postnatal infections can also induce neuroinflammatory responses with long-term consequences. These inflammatory responses can lead to motor deficits and/or behavioral disabilities. Toll like receptors (TLRs) are a family of innate immune receptors best known as sensors of microbial-associated molecular patterns, and are the first responders to infection. TLR2 forms heterodimers with either TLR1 or TLR6, is activated in response to gram-positive bacterial infections, and is expressed in the brain during embryonic development. We hypothesized that early postnatal TLR2-mediated neuroinflammation would adversely affect cognitive behavior in the adult. Our data indicate that postnatal TLR2 activation affects learning and memory in adult mice in a heterodimer-dependent manner. TLR2/6 activation improved motor function and fear learning, while TLR2/1 activation impaired spatial learning and enhanced fear learning. Moreover, developmental TLR2 deficiency significantly impairs spatial learning and enhances fear learning, stressing the involvement of the TLR2 pathway in learning and memory. Analysis of the transcriptional effects of TLR2 activation reveals both common and unique transcriptional programs following heterodimer-specific TLR2 activation. These results imply that adult cognitive behavior could be influenced in part, by activation or alterations in the TLR2 pathway at birth. PMID:26021559

  10. Postnatal TLR2 activation impairs learning and memory in adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Madar, Ravit; Rotter, Aviva; Ben-Asher, Hiba Waldman; Mughal, Mohamed R.; Arumugam, Thiruma V.; Wood, WH; Becker, KG; Mattson, Mark P.; Okun, Eitan

    2015-01-01

    Neuroinflammation in the central nervous system is detrimental for learning and memory, as evident form epidemiological studies linking developmental defects and maternal exposure to harmful pathogens. Postnatal infections can also induce neuroinflammatory responses with long-term consequences. These inflammatory responses can lead to motor deficits and/or behavioral disabilities. Toll like receptors (TLRs) are a family of innate immune receptors best known as sensors of microbial-associated molecular patterns, and are the first responders to infection. TLR2 forms heterodimers with either TLR1 or TLR6, is activated in response to gram-positive bacterial infections, and is expressed in the brain during embryonic development. We hypothesized that early postnatal TLR2-mediated neuroinflammation would adversely affect cognitive behavior in the adult. Our data indicate that postnatal TLR2 activation affects learning and memory in adult mice in a heterodimer-dependent manner. TLR2/6 activation improved motor function and fear learning, while TLR2/1 activation impaired spatial learning and enhanced fear learning. Moreover, developmental TLR2 deficiency significantly impairs spatial learning and enhances fear learning, stressing the involvement of the TLR2 pathway in learning and memory. Analysis of the transcriptional effects of TLR2 activation reveals both common and unique transcriptional programs following heterodimer-specific TLR2 activation. These results imply that adult cognitive behavior could be influenced in part, by activation or alterations in the TLR2 pathway at birth. PMID:26021559

  11. Postnatal TLR2 activation impairs learning and memory in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Madar, Ravit; Rotter, Aviva; Waldman Ben-Asher, Hiba; Mughal, Mohamed R; Arumugam, Thiruma V; Wood, W H; Becker, K G; Mattson, Mark P; Okun, Eitan

    2015-08-01

    Neuroinflammation in the central nervous system is detrimental for learning and memory, as evident form epidemiological studies linking developmental defects and maternal exposure to harmful pathogens. Postnatal infections can also induce neuroinflammatory responses with long-term consequences. These inflammatory responses can lead to motor deficits and/or behavioral disabilities. Toll like receptors (TLRs) are a family of innate immune receptors best known as sensors of microbial-associated molecular patterns, and are the first responders to infection. TLR2 forms heterodimers with either TLR1 or TLR6, is activated in response to gram-positive bacterial infections, and is expressed in the brain during embryonic development. We hypothesized that early postnatal TLR2-mediated neuroinflammation would adversely affect cognitive behavior in the adult. Our data indicate that postnatal TLR2 activation affects learning and memory in adult mice in a heterodimer-dependent manner. TLR2/6 activation improved motor function and fear learning, while TLR2/1 activation impaired spatial learning and enhanced fear learning. Moreover, developmental TLR2 deficiency significantly impairs spatial learning and enhances fear learning, stressing the involvement of the TLR2 pathway in learning and memory. Analysis of the transcriptional effects of TLR2 activation reveals both common and unique transcriptional programs following heterodimer-specific TLR2 activation. These results imply that adult cognitive behavior could be influenced in part, by activation or alterations in the TLR2 pathway at birth.

  12. 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. PMID:26638046

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Cortical entrainment of human hypoglossal motor unit activities

    PubMed Central

    Laine, Christopher M.; Nickerson, Laura A.

    2012-01-01

    Output from the primary motor cortex contains oscillations that can have frequency-specific effects on the firing of motoneurons (MNs). Whereas much is known about the effects of oscillatory cortical drive on the output of spinal MN pools, considerably less is known about the effects on cranial motor nuclei, which govern speech/oromotor control. Here, we investigated cortical input to one such motor pool, the hypoglossal motor nucleus (HMN), which controls muscles of the tongue. We recorded intramuscular genioglossus electromyogram (EMG) and scalp EEG from healthy adult subjects performing a tongue protrusion task. Cortical entrainment of HMN population activity was assessed by measuring coherence between EEG and multiunit EMG activity. In addition, cortical entrainment of individual MN firing activity was assessed by measuring phase locking between single motor unit (SMU) action potentials and EEG oscillations. We found that cortical entrainment of multiunit activity was detectable within the 15- to 40-Hz frequency range but was inconsistent across recordings. By comparison, cortical entrainment of SMU spike timing was reliable within the same frequency range. Furthermore, this effect was found to be intermittent over time. Our study represents an important step in understanding corticomuscular synchronization in the context of human oromotor control and is the first study to document SMU entrainment by cortical oscillations in vivo. PMID:22049332

  16. Level of independence of motor unit properties from neuromuscular activity.

    PubMed

    Pierotti, D J; Roy, R R; Hodgson, J A; Edgerton, V R

    1994-11-01

    Neuromuscular activity was eliminated in the tibialis anterior muscle of adult cats for 6 months by spinal isolation (SI), i.e., complete spinal cord transections at T-12-13 and at L-7-S-1, plus bilateral dorsal rhizotomy between the two transection sites. One motor unit from each muscle was isolated using ventral root teasing procedures and physiologically tested. The fibers belonging to each motor unit were visualized in PAS-stained sections by the loss of glycogen following prolonged repetitive stimulation. Qualitatively, the normal enzymatic interrelationships among fibers identified by myosin heavy chain composition were unchanged by SI. Generally, each motor unit from SI cats were of a single myosin immunohistochemical type. The same physiological motor unit types that typify control muscles were found in SI cats. In SI compared to control cats, there was approximately a 10% increase in the number of muscle fibers expressing fast myosin. Mean fiber activity levels of ATPase and SDH for a given fiber type (based on MHC antibody reactions) decreased by approximately 10% and 25%, whereas GPD activity increased approximately 35%. It is concluded that differential levels or patterns of activity are not essential to maintain the range of histochemical and physiological motor unit types found in the tibialis anterior of normal adult cats.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:26447746

  20. 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. PMID:26156381

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rukavina, Paul B.; Jeansonne, Jennifer J.

    2009-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. EEG correlation and impulse activity of neuronal populations of individual structures of the cat brain during elaboration and reproduction of motor and alimentary reactions in instrumental conditioned reflexes.

    PubMed

    Vasilevskiĭ, N N; Katinas, V Ia; Popova, L A; Ur'iash, V V

    1976-01-01

    Stable changes in EEG and spike activity of neuronal populations in different brain formations were studied on models of instrumental conditioned reflexes: motor and motor alimentary. A depencence has been established of the EEG amplitude-frequency parameters in the motor and striate cortical zones and the hippocampus on definite changes of unit spike activity in these areas. Simultaneous recording of the EEG and the spike activity of neuronal populations helps to elucidate the neurophysiological nature of individual rhythms of bio-electrical activity. Learned animals exhibit a stable reproduction of the spatial-temporal EEG patterns and motor alimentary reactions when automatic presentation of reinforcement is changed over to an arbitrary one.

  11. The role of sleep and practice in implicit and explicit motor learning

    PubMed Central

    Rieth, Cory A.; Cai, Denise J.; McDevitt, Elizabeth A.; Mednick, Sara C.

    2010-01-01

    Sleep is hypothesized to play a functional role in the consolidation of memory, with more robust findings for implicit, than explicit memory. Previous studies have observed improvements on an explicit motor task after a sleep period. We examined the role of massed practice and sleep on implicit and explicit learning within a motor task. Controlling for non-sleep factors (e.g. massed practice, circadian confounds) eliminated both explicit and implicit learning effects that have been attributed to sleep. PMID:20553972

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Floriculture. Selected Learning Activity Packages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clemson Univ., SC. Vocational Education Media Center.

    This series of learning activity packages is based on a catalog of performance objectives, criterion-referenced measures, and performance guides for gardening/groundskeeping developed by the Vocational Education Consortium of States (V-TECS). Learning activity packages are presented in four areas: (1) preparation of soils and planting media, (2)…

  16. 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…

  17. A circuit for motor cortical modulation of auditory cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Anders; Schneider, David M; Takatoh, Jun; Sakurai, Katsuyasu; Wang, Fan; Mooney, Richard

    2013-09-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Censor, N

    2013-10-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Recent research has revealed that having learners study and practice a motor skill with the expectation of having to teach it enhances motor learning. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unknown. We attempted to replicate this effect and elucidate the mechanisms underlying it. Thus, participants studied golf putting instructions and practiced putting either with the expectation of having to teach another participant how to putt or the expectation of being tested on their putting. During this acquisition phase, participants' motivation, anxiety, and information processing (the duration they took preparing each putt) were indexed as possible mechanisms underlying a motor learning effect. One day and seven days after the acquisition phase, learning was assessed by testing all participants on their golf putting. Results revealed that expecting to teach enhanced motor learning, replicating the original finding. Moreover, expecting to teach increased the duration participants took preparing each putt, which was correlated with superior motor learning. Thus, results suggest expecting to teach enhances motor learning by increasing information processing during practice. PMID:27584946

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Qian, Yu; Forssberg, Hans; Diaz Heijtz, Rochellys

    2015-01-01

    Abundant evidence points to a key role of dopamine in motor skill learning, although the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we used a skilled-reaching paradigm to first examine changes in the expression of the plasticity-related gene Arc to map activity in cortico-striatal circuitry during different phases of motor skill learning in young animals. In the early phase, Arc mRNA was significantly induced in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), cingulate cortex, primary motor cortex, and striatum. In the late phase, expression of Arc did not change in most regions, except in the mPFC and dorsal striatum. In the second series of experiments, we studied the learning-induced changes in the phosphorylation state of dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, 32k Da (DARPP-32). Western blot analysis of the phosphorylation state of DARPP-32 and its downstream target cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) in the striatum revealed that the early, but not late, phase of motor skill learning was associated with increased levels of phospho-Thr34-DARPP-32 and phospho-Ser133-CREB. Finally, we used the DARPP-32 knock-in mice with a point mutation in the Thr34 regulatory site (i.e., protein kinase A site) to test the significance of this pathway in motor skill learning. In accordance with our hypothesis, inhibition of DARPP-32 activity at the Thr34 regulatory site strongly attenuated the motor learning rate and skilled reaching performance of mice. These findings suggest that the cAMP/PKA/DARPP-32 signaling pathway is critically involved in the acquisition of novel motor skills, and also demonstrate a dynamic shift in the contribution of cortico-striatal circuitry during different phases of motor skill learning. PMID:26488498

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:21899906

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view ‘emotion actions’ as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed. PMID:25278250

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

    2008-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  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. Measuring Motor Skill Learning--A Practical Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kovacs, Christopher R.

    2008-01-01

    The assessment of fundamental motor skills in early learners is critical to the overall well-being and physical development of the students within the physical education setting. Olrich (2002) has suggested that any physical education program must be designed to assess both measures of physical fitness and fundamental motor skills in all students.…

  19. Purkinje Cell-Specific Knockout of the Protein Phosphatase PP2B Impairs Potentiation and Cerebellar Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Schonewille, M.; Belmeguenai, A.; Koekkoek, S.K.; Houtman, S.H.; Boele, H.J.; van Beugen, B.J.; Gao, Z.; Badura, A.; Ohtsuki, G.; Amerika, W.E.; Hosy, E.; Hoebeek, F.E.; Elgersma, Y.; Hansel, C.; De Zeeuw, C.I.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Cerebellar motor learning is required to obtain procedural skills. Studies have provided supportive evidence for a potential role of kinase-mediated long-term depression (LTD) at the parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapse in cerebellar learning. Recently, phosphatases have been implicated in the induction of potentiation of Purkinje cell activities in vitro, but it remains to be shown whether and how phosphatase-mediated potentiation contributes to motor learning. Here, we investigated its possible role by creating and testing a Purkinje cell-specific knockout of calcium/calmodulin-activated protein-phosphatase-2B (L7-PP2B). The selective deletion of PP2B indeed abolished postsynaptic long-term potentiation in Purkinje cells and their ability to increase their excitability, whereas LTD was unaffected. The mutants showed impaired “gain-decrease” and “gain-increase” adaptation of their vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) as well as impaired acquisition of classical delay conditioning of their eyeblink response. Thus, our data indicate that PP2B may indeed mediate potentiation in Purkinje cells and contribute prominently to cerebellar motor learning. PMID:20797538

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Dynamical behaviors of a plate activated by an induction motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tcheutchoua Fossi, D. O.; Woafo, P.

    2010-08-01

    Dynamics and chaotification of a system consisting of an induction motor activating a mobile plate (with variable contents) fixed to a spring are studied. The dynamical model of the device is presented and the electromechanical equations are formulated. The oscillations of the plate are analyzed through variations of the following reliable control parameters: phase voltage supply of the motor, frequency of the external source and mass of the plate. The dynamics of the system near the fundamental resonance region presents jump phenomenon. Mapping of the control parameters planes in terms of types of motion reveals period- n motion, quasi-periodicity and chaos. Anti-control of chaos of the induction motor is also obtained using the field-oriented control associated to the time delay feedback control.

  7. Done that: short-term repetition related modulations of motor cortex activity as a stable signature for overnight motor memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Gabitov, Ella; Manor, David; Karni, Avi

    2014-12-01

    An almost universally accepted tacit expectation is that learning and memory consolidation processes must be reflected in the average brain activity in brain areas relevant to task performance. Motor cortex (M1) plasticity has been implicated in motor skill acquisition and its consolidation. Nevertheless, no consistent pattern of changes in the average signal, related to motor learning or motor memory consolidation following a single session of training, has emerged from imaging studies. Here we show that the pattern and magnitude of short-term brain activity modulations in response to task repetition, in M1, may provide a robust signature for effective motor memory consolidation processes. We studied participants during the paced performance of a finger-to-thumb opposition sequence (FOS), intensively trained a day earlier, and a similarly constructed untrained FOS. In addition to within-session "on-line" gains, most participants expressed delayed, consolidation-phase gains in the performance of the trained FOS. The execution of the trained FOS induced repetition enhancements in the contralateral M1 and bilaterally in the medial-temporal lobes, offsetting novelty-related repetition suppression effects. Moreover, the M1 modulations were positively correlated with the magnitude of each participant's overnight delayed gains but not with absolute performance levels. Our results suggest that short-term enhancements of brain signals upon task repetition reflect the effectiveness of overnight motor memory consolidation. We propose that procedural memory consolidation processes may affect the excitation-inhibition balance within cortical representations of the trained movements; this new balance is better reflected in repetition effects than in the average level of evoked neural activity. PMID:24893741

  8. Predictive motor activation during action observation in human infants.

    PubMed

    Southgate, Victoria; Johnson, Mark H; Osborne, Tamsin; Csibra, Gergely

    2009-12-23

    Certain regions of the human brain are activated both during action execution and action observation. This so-called 'mirror neuron system' has been proposed to enable an observer to understand an action through a process of internal motor simulation. Although there has been much speculation about the existence of such a system from early in life, to date there is little direct evidence that young infants recruit brain areas involved in action production during action observation. To address this question, we identified the individual frequency range in which sensorimotor alpha-band activity was attenuated in nine-month-old infants' electroencephalographs (EEGs) during elicited reaching for objects, and measured whether activity in this frequency range was also modulated by observing others' actions. We found that observing a grasping action resulted in motor activation in the infant brain, but that this activity began prior to observation of the action, once it could be anticipated. These results demonstrate not only that infants, like adults, display overlapping neural activity during execution and observation of actions, but that this activation, rather than being directly induced by the visual input, is driven by infants' understanding of a forthcoming action. These results provide support for theories implicating the motor system in action prediction. PMID:19675001

  9. 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

  10. THE EFFECT OF MENTAL AND PHYSICAL PRACTICE ON THE LEARNING OF GROSS MOTOR SKILLS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    OXENDINE, JOSEPH B.

    THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY WAS TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT SCHEDULES OF MENTAL AND PHYSICAL PRACTICE ON THE LEARNING AND RETENTION OF THREE MOTOR TASKS--USING THE PURSUIT ROTOR AND LEARNING THE SOCCER KICK, AND JUMP SHOT. THREE SEPARATE EXPERIMENTS WERE CONDUCTED IN THREE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS USING 80, 72, AND 60 SEVENTH GRADE BOYS AS…

  11. Disentangling perceptual from motor implicit sequence learning with a serial color-matching task.

    PubMed

    Gheysen, Freja; Gevers, Wim; De Schutter, Erik; Van Waelvelde, Hilde; Fias, Wim

    2009-08-01

    This paper contributes to the domain of implicit sequence learning by presenting a new version of the serial reaction time (SRT) task that allows unambiguously separating perceptual from motor learning. Participants matched the colors of three small squares with the color of a subsequently presented large target square. An identical sequential structure was tied to the colors of the target square (perceptual version, Experiment 1) or to the manual responses (motor version, Experiment 2). Short blocks of sequenced and randomized trials alternated and hence provided a continuous monitoring of the learning process. Reaction time measurements demonstrated clear evidence of independently learning perceptual and motor serial information, though revealed different time courses between both learning processes. No explicit awareness of the serial structure was needed for either of the two types of learning to occur. The paradigm introduced in this paper evidenced that perceptual learning can occur with SRT measurements and opens important perspectives for future imaging studies to answer the ongoing question, which brain areas are involved in the implicit learning of modality specific (motor vs. perceptual) or general serial order.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:26442448

  19. 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

  20. Discharge pattern of tonically activated motor units during unloading.

    PubMed

    Gerilovsky, L; Struppler, A; Velho, F; Niehage, O

    1990-12-01

    In order to analyse the EMG pattern during unloading of brachial biceps muscle, the interference EMG and single motor unit activity were investigated. The measurements were done on seven healthy subjects with two types of unloading techniques: a) active unloading, when the subjects resisted against an external load (10, 20, 30 and 40 N) which is suddenly released, and b) passive unloading, performed by low inertia torque motors with independently adjustable background extension and suddenly applied flexion torques. Following active unloading the silent period duration, the amplitude of the rebound and its segmentation into consecutive bursts is changing with initial load, whereas the silent period latency remains constant. Following passive unloading the acceleration influences predominantly the amplitude of the rebound, without changing its latency and silent period duration. The initial voluntary activity influences both silent period duration and rebound parameters (latency, amplitude and duration). PMID:2286170

  1. 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.…

  2. Introduction of a method for quantitative evaluation of spontaneous motor activity development with age in infants.

    PubMed

    Disselhorst-Klug, Catherine; Heinze, Franziska; Breitbach-Faller, Nico; Schmitz-Rode, Thomas; Rau, Günter

    2012-04-01

    Coordination between perception and action is required to interact with the environment successfully. This is already trained by very young infants who perform spontaneous movements to learn how their body interacts with the environment. The strategies used by the infants for this purpose change with age. Therefore, very early progresses in action control made by the infants can be investigated by monitoring the development of spontaneous motor activity. In this paper, an objective method is introduced, which allows the quantitative evaluation of the development of spontaneous motor activity in newborns. The introduced methodology is based on the acquisition of spontaneous movement trajectories of the feet by 3D movement analysis and subsequent calculation of specific movement parameters from them. With these movement-based parameters, it was possible to provide an objective description of age-dependent developmental steps in healthy newborns younger than 6 months. Furthermore, it has been shown that pathologies like infantile cerebral palsy influence development of motor activity significantly. Since the introduced methodology is objective and quantitative, it is suitable to monitor how newborns train their cognitive processes, which will enable them to cope with their environment by motor interaction.

  3. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over premotor cortex facilitates observational learning of a motor sequence.

    PubMed

    Wade, Stephanie; Hammond, Geoff

    2015-06-01

    Motor skills, including complex movement sequences, can be acquired by observing a model without physical practice of the skill, a phenomenon known as observational learning. Observational learning of motor skills engages the same memory substrate as physical practice, and is thought to be mediated by the action observation network, a bilateral fronto-parietal circuit with mirror-like properties. We examined the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over premotor cortex, a key node of the action observation network, on observational learning of a serial response time task. Results showed that anodal tDCS during observation of the to-be-learned sequence facilitated reaction times in the subsequent behavioral test. The study provides evidence that increasing excitability of the action observation network during observation can facilitate later motor skill acquisition.

  4. Providing Explicit Information Disrupts Implicit Motor Learning After Basal Ganglia Stroke

    PubMed Central

    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 affecting the basal ganglia (BG) and healthy controls (HC) practiced a continuous implicit motor-sequencing task; half were provided with explicit information (EI) and half were not (No-EI). The focus of brain damage for both BG groups was in the putamen. All of the EI participants were at least explicitly aware of the repeating sequence. Across three days of practice, explicit information had a differential effect on the groups. Explicit information disrupted acquisition performance in participants with basal ganglia stroke but not healthy controls. By retention (day 4), a dissociation was apparent—explicit information hindered implicit learning in participants with basal ganglia lesions but aided healthy controls. It appears that after basal ganglia stroke explicit information is less helpful in the development of the motor plan than is discovering a motor solution using the implicit system alone. This may be due to the increased demand placed on working memory by explicit information. Thus, basal ganglia integrity may be a crucial factor in determining the efficacy of explicit information for implicit motor-sequence learning. PMID:15286181

  5. Motor skill learning is associated with diffusion characteristics of white matter in individuals with chronic stroke

    PubMed Central

    Borich, Michael R.; Brown, Katlyn E.; Boyd, Lara A.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Imaging advances allow investigation of white matter following stroke; a growing body of literature has shown links between diffusion-based measures of white matter microstructure and motor function. However, the relationship between these measures and motor skill learning has not been considered in individuals with stroke. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between post-training white matter microstructural status, as indexed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) within the ipsilesional posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC) and learning of a novel motor task in individuals with chronic stroke. Methods Thirteen participants with chronic stroke and nine healthy controls practiced a visuomotor pursuit task across five sessions. Change in motor behavior associated with learning was indexed by comparing baseline performance with a delayed retention test. Fractional anisotropy (FA) indexed at the retention test was the primary DTI-derived outcome measure. Results In individuals with chronic stroke, we discovered an association between post-training ipsilesional PLIC FA and the magnitude of change associated with motor learning; hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses revealed that the combination of age, time post stroke and ipsilesional PLIC FA post-training was associated with motor learning related change (R2=0.649, p=0.02). Baseline motor performance was not related to post-training ipsilesional PLIC FA. Discussion and Conclusions Diffusion characteristics of post-training ipsilesional PLIC were linked to magnitude of change in skilled motor behavior. These results imply that the microstructural properties of regional white matter indexed by diffusion behavior may be an important factor to consider when determining potential response to rehabilitation in persons with stroke. Video Abstract available (See Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1.) for more insights from the authors. PMID:23934017

  6. Characterization of motor skill and instrumental learning time scales in a skilled reaching task in rat.

    PubMed

    Buitrago, Manuel M; Ringer, Thomas; Schulz, Jörg B; Dichgans, Johannes; Luft, Andreas R

    2004-12-01

    Successful motor skill learning requires repetitive training interrupted by rest periods. In humans, improvement occurs within and between training sessions reflecting fast and slow components of motor learning [Karni A, Meyer G, Rey-Hipolito C, Jezzard P, Adams MM, Turner R, et al. The acquisition of skilled motor performance: fast and slow experience-driven changes in primary motor cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1998;95:861-8]. Here, these components are characterized in male and female rats using a model of skilled forelimb reaching and are compared to time scales of instrumental learning. Twenty female and 14 male adult Long-Evans rats were pre-trained to operate a motorized door (via a sensor in the opposite cage wall) to access a food pellet by tongue. Latencies between pellet removal and door opening were recorded as measures of instrumental learning. After criterion performance was achieved, skilled forelimb reaching was requested by increasing the pellet-window distance to 1.5cm. Reaching success was recorded per trial. Mean latencies decreased exponentially over sessions and no improvement within-session was found. Skill learning over eight training sessions followed an exponential course in females and a sigmoid course in males. Females acquired the skill significantly faster than males starting at higher baseline levels (P < 0.001) but reaching similar plateaus. Within-session improvement was found during the sessions 1-3 in females and 1-4 in males. Performance at the end of session 1 was not carried over to session 2. Learning curves of individual animals were highly variable. These findings confirm in rat that motor skill learning has fast and slow components. No within-session improvement is seen in instrumental learning.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Crocetti, Deana; Hulst, Thomas; Donchin, Opher; Shadmehr, Reza; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25609685

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Ice nucleus activity measurements of solid rocket motor exhaust particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keller, V. W. (Compiler)

    1986-01-01

    The ice Nucleus activity of exhaust particles generated from combustion of Space Shuttle propellant in small rocket motors has been measured. The activity at -20 C was substantially lower than that of aerosols generated by unpressurized combustion of propellant samples in previous studies. The activity decays rapidly with time and is decreased further in the presence of moist air. These tests corroborate the low effectivity ice nucleus measurement results obtained in the exhaust ground cloud of the Space Shuttle. Such low ice nucleus activity implies that Space Shuttle induced inadvertent weather modification via an ice phase process is extremely unlikely.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Approaches to Programs of Motor Development and Activities for Young Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas Education Agency, Austin. Div. of Curriculum Development.

    This teaching guide for motor development in the primary grades describes various areas of concern in motor development and suggests activities for the development of young children in each area. Section I discusses the importance of motor development. The next six sections define and describe particular areas of motor development and suggest…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Verbal actions of physiotherapists to enhance motor learning in children with DCD.

    PubMed

    Niemeijer, Anuschka S; Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien C M; Reynders, Koop; Schoemaker, Marina M

    2003-11-01

    In this study, the motor teaching principles taxonomy (MTPT) was developed to investigate which teaching principles physiotherapists use to treat children with developmental coordination disorder during Neuromotor Task Training (NTT). In NTT, special attention is paid to the best ways to instruct and provide feedback. Based on motor learning theory and video observations of NTT treatments, teaching principles aimed at improving motor learning were categorised into three categories: giving instruction, providing or asking feedback, and sharing knowledge. The MTPT's reliability and validity were satisfactory. Therapists gave instructions very frequently. In addition, the principle frequency showed hardly any correlation with the children's initial motor performance level, indicating that the principles used are not related to the child's entry level.

  18. 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

  19. Neural oscillations: beta band activity across motor networks.

    PubMed

    Khanna, Preeya; Carmena, Jose M

    2015-06-01

    Local field potential (LFP) activity in motor cortical and basal ganglia regions exhibits prominent beta (15-40Hz) oscillations during reaching and grasping, muscular contraction, and attention tasks. While in vitro and computational work has revealed specific mechanisms that may give rise to the frequency and duration of this oscillation, there is still controversy about what behavioral processes ultimately drive it. Here, simultaneous behavioral and large-scale neural recording experiments from non-human primate and human subjects are reviewed in the context of specific hypotheses about how beta band activity is generated. Finally, a new experimental paradigm utilizing operant conditioning combined with motor tasks is proposed as a way to further investigate this oscillation. PMID:25528615

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beitler, Michael A.

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

  1. Genetic variation in dopamine-related gene expression influences motor skill learning in mice.

    PubMed

    Qian, Y; Chen, M; Forssberg, H; Diaz Heijtz, R

    2013-08-01

    Several neurodevelopmental disorders with a strong genetic basis, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders and developmental coordination disorder, involve deficits in fine motor skills. This phenotype may depend on heritable variation in components of the dopamine (DA) system, which is known to play a critical role in motor skill learning. In this study, we took advantage of two inbred strains of mice (BALB/c and C57BL/6) that differ markedly in the number of midbrain DA neurons in order to investigate the influence of such naturally occurring genetic variation on the acquisition and performance of fine motor skills. Gene expression analysis of midbrain, frontal cortex and striatum showed significant differences in the expression of presynaptic and postsynaptic dopaminergic (DAergic) markers (e.g. tyrosine hydroxylase, DA transporter, DA D4 receptor, DA D5 receptor and DARPP-32) between these two strains. BALB/c mice had lower learning rate and performance scores in a complex skilled reaching task when compared with C57BL/6 mice. A negative correlation was found between the motor learning rate and level of DARPP-32 mRNA expression in the frontal cortex contralateral to the trained forelimb. The rate of motor learning was also negatively correlated with the levels of DARPP-32 and DA D1 receptor mRNAs in the striatum. Our results suggest that genetically driven variation in frontostriatal DAergic neurotransmission is a major contributor to individual differences in motor skill learning. Moreover, these findings implicate the D1R/cAMP/DARPP-32 signaling pathway in those neurodevelopmental disorders that are associated with fine motor skill deficits.

  2. Cortical oscillatory activity and the induction of plasticity in the human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Suzanne M; Rothwell, John C; Ridding, Michael C

    2011-05-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation paradigms such as continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) induce long-term potentiation- and long-term depression-like plasticity in the human motor cortex. However, responses to cTBS are highly variable and may depend on the activity of the cortex at the time of stimulation. We investigated whether power in different electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency bands predicted the response to subsequent cTBS, and conversely whether cTBS had after-effects on the EEG. cTBS may utilize similar mechanisms of plasticity to motor learning; thus, we conducted a parallel set of experiments to test whether ongoing electroencephalography could predict performance of a visuomotor training task, and whether training itself had effects on the EEG. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) provided an index of cortical excitability pre- and post-intervention. The EEG was recorded over the motor cortex pre- and post-intervention, and power spectra were computed. cTBS reduced MEP amplitudes; however, baseline power in the delta, theta, alpha or beta frequencies did not predict responses to cTBS or learning of the visuomotor training task. cTBS had no effect on delta, theta, alpha or beta power. In contrast, there was an increase in alpha power following visuomotor training that was positively correlated with changes in MEP amplitude post-training. The results suggest that the EEG is not a useful state-marker for predicting responses to plasticity-inducing paradigms. The correlation between alpha power and changes in corticospinal excitability following visuomotor training requires further investigation, but may be related to disengagement of the somatosensory system important for motor memory consolidation. PMID:21488985

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

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

  6. From visuo-motor interactions to imitation learning: behavioural and brain imaging studies.

    PubMed

    Vogt, Stefan; Thomaschke, Roland

    2007-03-01

    We review three areas of research and theory relating to the involvement of motor processing in action observation: behavioural studies on imitation learning, behavioural work on short-term visuomotor interactions, and related neurophysiological and neuroimaging work. A large number of behavioural studies now indicate bi-directional links between perception and action: visual processing can automatically induce related motor processes, and motor actions can direct future visual processing. The related concept of direct matching (Rizzolatti et al., 2001) does not, however, imply that observed actions are transduced into a corresponding motor representation that would guarantee an instant and accurate imitation. Rather, studies on the mirror neuron system indicate that action observation engages the observer's own motor prototype of the observed action. This allows for enhanced action recognition, imitation recognition, and, predominantly in humans, imitation and observational learning. Despite the clear impact of action observation on motor representations, recent neuroimaging work also indicates the overlap of imitation learning with processes of non-imitative skill acquisition.

  7. 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)

  8. Rhythmic Cortical Neurons Increase their Oscillations and Sculpt Basal Ganglia Signaling During Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Day, Nancy F.; Nick, Teresa A.

    2014-01-01

    The function and modulation of neural circuits underlying motor skill may involve rhythmic oscillations (Feller, 1999; Marder and Goaillard, 2006; Churchland et al., 2012). In the proposed pattern generator for birdsong, the cortical nucleus HVC, the frequency and power of oscillatory bursting during singing increases with development (Crandall et al., 2007; Day et al., 2009). We examined the maturation of cellular activity patterns that underlie these changes. Single unit ensemble recording combined with antidromic identification (Day et al., 2011) was used to study network development in anesthetized zebra finches. Autocovariance quantified oscillations within single units. A subset of neurons oscillated in the theta/alpha/mu/beta range (8–20 Hz), with greater power in adults compared to juveniles. Across the network, the normalized oscillatory power in the 8–20 Hz range was greater in adults than juveniles. In addition, the correlated activity between rhythmic neuron pairs increased with development. We next examined the functional impact of the oscillators on the output neurons of HVC. We found that the firing of oscillatory neurons negatively correlated with the activity of cortico-basal ganglia neurons (HVCXs), which project to Area X (the song basal ganglia). If groups of oscillators work together to tonically inhibit and precisely control the spike timing of adult HVCXs with coordinated release from inhibition, then the activity of HVCXs in juveniles should be decreased relative to adults due to uncorrelated, tonic inhibition. Consistent with this hypothesis, HVCXs had lower activity in juveniles. These data reveal network changes that shape cortical-to-basal ganglia signaling during motor learning. PMID:23776169

  9. Active learning of Pareto fronts.

    PubMed

    Campigotto, Paolo; Passerini, Andrea; Battiti, Roberto

    2014-03-01

    This paper introduces the active learning of Pareto fronts (ALP) algorithm, a novel approach to recover the Pareto front of a multiobjective optimization problem. ALP casts the identification of the Pareto front into a supervised machine learning task. This approach enables an analytical model of the Pareto front to be built. The computational effort in generating the supervised information is reduced by an active learning strategy. In particular, the model is learned from a set of informative training objective vectors. The training objective vectors are approximated Pareto-optimal vectors obtained by solving different scalarized problem instances. The experimental results show that ALP achieves an accurate Pareto front approximation with a lower computational effort than state-of-the-art estimation of distribution algorithms and widely known genetic techniques.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacklin, Susan M.

    1987-01-01

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

  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. 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. PMID:26138462

  14. 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,…

  15. Learning Motor Synergies by Persons with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latash, M. L.

    2007-01-01

    Persons with Down syndrome are frequently described as "clumsy". The recent progress in the development of quantitative approaches to motor synergies has allowed researchers to move towards an understanding of "clumsiness" at the level of underlying control mechanisms. This progress has also offered an opportunity to quantify changes in motor…

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

    PubMed

    Mattes, Josef

    2016-08-01

    The present paper discusses attentional focus in motor learning and performance from the point of view of mindful movement practices, taking as a starting point the Feldenkrais method. It is argued that earlier criticism of the Feldenkrais method (and thereby implicitly of mindful movement practices more generally) because of allegedly inappropriate attentional focus turns out to be unfounded in light of recent developments in the study of motor learning and performance. Conversely, the examples of the Feldenkrais method and Ki-Aikido are used to illustrate how both Western and Eastern (martial arts derived) mindful movement practices might benefit sports psychology. PMID:27502242

  17. 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…

  18. What Is Meant by "Active Learning?"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petress, Ken

    2008-01-01

    This article compares and contrasts active learning and passive learning. The author describes passive learning as being dependent on a teacher imparting what is to be learned, with little student involvement. Active learning, on the other hand, is a process where students take a dynamic and energetic role in their own education, thereby making…

  19. Neural correlates of motor learning in the vestibulo-ocular reflex: dynamic regulation of multimodal integration in the macaque vestibular system.

    PubMed

    Sadeghi, Soroush G; Minor, Lloyd B; Cullen, Kathleen E

    2010-07-28

    Motor learning is required for the reacquisition of skills that have been compromised as a result of brain lesion or disease, as well as for the acquisition of new skills. Behaviors with well characterized anatomy and physiology are required to yield significant insight into changes that occur in the brain during motor learning. The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) is well suited to establish connections between neurons, neural circuits, and motor performance during learning. Here, we examined the linkage between neuronal and behavioral VOR responses in alert behaving monkeys (Macaca mulatta) during the impressive recovery that occurs after unilateral vestibular loss. We show, for the first time, that motor learning is characterized by the dynamic reweighting of inputs from different modalities (i.e., vestibular vs extravestibular) at the level of the single neurons that constitute the first central stage of vestibular processing. Specifically, two types of information, which did not influence neuronal responses before the lesion, had an important role during compensation. First, unmasked neck proprioceptive inputs played a critical role in the early stages of this process demonstrated by faster and more substantial recovery of vestibular responses in proprioceptive sensitive neurons. Second, neuronal and VOR responses were significantly enhanced during active relative to passive head motion later in the compensation process (>3 weeks). Together, our findings provide evidence linking the dynamic regulation of multimodal integration at the level of single neurons and behavioral recovery, suggesting a role for homeostatic mechanisms in VOR motor learning.

  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. Two ways to save a newly learned motor pattern.

    PubMed

    Roemmich, Ryan T; Bastian, Amy J

    2015-06-01

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

  3. Interactive effects of age and multi-gene profile on motor learning and sensorimotor adaptation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    The interactive association of age and dopaminergic polymorphisms on cognitive function has been studied extensively. However, there is limited research on whether age interacts with the association between genetic polymorphisms and motor learning. We examined a group of young and older adults' performance in three motor tasks: explicit sequence learning, visuomotor adaptation, and grooved pegboard. We assessed whether individuals' motor learning and performance were associated with their age and genotypes. We selected three genetic polymorphisms: Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase (COMT val158met) and Dopamine D2 Receptor (DRD2 G>T), which are involved with dopaminergic regulation, and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF val66met) that modulates neuroplasticity and has been shown to interact with dopaminergic genes. Although the underlying mechanisms of the function of these three genotypes are different, the high performance alleles of each have been linked to better learning and performance. We created a composite polygene score based on the Number of High Performance Alleles (NHPA) that each individual carried. We found several associations between genetic profile, motor performance, and sensorimotor adaptation. More importantly, we found that this association varies with age, task type, and engagement of implicit versus explicit learning processes. PMID:26926580

  4. Model for a flexible motor memory based on a self-active recurrent neural network.

    PubMed

    Boström, Kim Joris; Wagner, Heiko; Prieske, Markus; de Lussanet, Marc

    2013-10-01

    Using recent recurrent network architecture based on the reservoir computing approach, we propose and numerically simulate a model that is focused on the aspects of a flexible motor memory for the storage of elementary movement patterns into the synaptic weights of a neural network, so that the patterns can be retrieved at any time by simple static commands. The resulting motor memory is flexible in that it is capable to continuously modulate the stored patterns. The modulation consists in an approximately linear inter- and extrapolation, generating a large space of possible movements that have not been learned before. A recurrent network of thousand neurons is trained in a manner that corresponds to a realistic exercising scenario, with experimentally measured muscular activations and with kinetic data representing proprioceptive feedback. The network is "self-active" in that it maintains recurrent flow of activation even in the absence of input, a feature that resembles the "resting-state activity" found in the human and animal brain. The model involves the concept of "neural outsourcing" which amounts to the permanent shifting of computational load from higher to lower-level neural structures, which might help to explain why humans are able to execute learned skills in a fluent and flexible manner without the need for attention to the details of the movement.

  5. Model for a flexible motor memory based on a self-active recurrent neural network.

    PubMed

    Boström, Kim Joris; Wagner, Heiko; Prieske, Markus; de Lussanet, Marc

    2013-10-01

    Using recent recurrent network architecture based on the reservoir computing approach, we propose and numerically simulate a model that is focused on the aspects of a flexible motor memory for the storage of elementary movement patterns into the synaptic weights of a neural network, so that the patterns can be retrieved at any time by simple static commands. The resulting motor memory is flexible in that it is capable to continuously modulate the stored patterns. The modulation consists in an approximately linear inter- and extrapolation, generating a large space of possible movements that have not been learned before. A recurrent network of thousand neurons is trained in a manner that corresponds to a realistic exercising scenario, with experimentally measured muscular activations and with kinetic data representing proprioceptive feedback. The network is "self-active" in that it maintains recurrent flow of activation even in the absence of input, a feature that resembles the "resting-state activity" found in the human and animal brain. The model involves the concept of "neural outsourcing" which amounts to the permanent shifting of computational load from higher to lower-level neural structures, which might help to explain why humans are able to execute learned skills in a fluent and flexible manner without the need for attention to the details of the movement. PMID:24120277

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro; Shimoda, Shingo

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Impact of Conscious Intent on Chunking during Motor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Song, Sunbin; Cohen, Leonardo

    2014-01-01

    Humans and other mammals learn sequences of movements by splitting them into smaller "chunks." Such chunks are defined by the faster speed of performance of groups of movements. The purpose of this report is to determine how conscious intent to learn impacts chunking, an issue that remains unknown. Here, we studied 80 subjects who either…

  11. Chronic Assessment of Diaphragm Muscle EMG Activity across Motor Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Mantilla, Carlos B.; Seven, Yasin B.; Hurtado-Palomino, Juan N.; Zhan, Wen-Zhi; Sieck, Gary C.

    2011-01-01

    The diaphragm muscle is main inspiratory muscle in mammals. Quantitative analyses documenting the reliability of chronic diaphragm EMG recordings are lacking. Assessment of ventilatory and non-ventilatory motor behaviors may facilitate evaluating diaphragm EMG activity over time. We hypothesized that normalization of diaphragm EMG amplitude across behaviors provides stable and reliable parameters for longitudinal assessments of diaphragm activity. We found that diaphragm EMG activity shows substantial intra-animal variability over 6 weeks, with coefficient of variation (CV) for different behaviors ~29–42%. Normalization of diaphragm EMG activity to near maximal behaviors (e.g., deep breathing) reduced intra-animal variability over time (CV ~22–29%). Plethysmographic measurements of eupneic ventilation were also stable over 6 weeks (CV ~13% for minute ventilation). Thus, stable and reliable measurements of diaphragm EMG activity can be obtained longitudinally using chronically implanted electrodes by examining multiple motor behaviors. By quantitatively determining the reliability of longitudinal diaphragm EMG analyses, we provide an important tool for evaluating the progression of diseases or injuries that impair ventilation. PMID:21414423

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Engagement during practice can motivate a learner to practice more, hence having indirect effects on learning through increased practice. However, it is not known whether engagement can also have a direct effect on learning when the amount of practice is held constant. To address this question, 40 participants played a video game that contained an embedded repeated sequence component, under either highly engaging conditions (the game group) or mechanically identical but less engaging conditions (the sterile group). The game environment facilitated retention over a 1-week interval. Specifically, the game group improved in both speed and accuracy for random and repeated trials, suggesting a general motor-related improvement, rather than a specific influence of engagement on implicit sequence learning. These data provide initial evidence that increased engagement during practice has a direct effect on generalized learning, improving retention and transfer of a complex motor skill. PMID:26296097

  13. Endurance Exercise as an “Endogenous” Neuro-enhancement Strategy to Facilitate Motor Learning

    PubMed Central

    Taubert, Marco; Villringer, Arno; Lehmann, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Endurance exercise improves cardiovascular and musculoskeletal function and may also increase the information processing capacities of the brain. Animal and human research from the past decade demonstrated widespread exercise effects on brain structure and function at the systems-, cellular-, and molecular level of brain organization. These neurobiological mechanisms may explain the well-established positive influence of exercise on performance in various behavioral domains but also its contribution to improved skill learning and neuroplasticity. With respect to the latter, only few empirical and theoretical studies are available to date. The aim of this review is (i) to summarize the existing neurobiological and behavioral evidence arguing for endurance exercise-induced improvements in motor learning and (ii) to develop hypotheses about the mechanistic link between exercise and improved learning. We identify major knowledge gaps that need to be addressed by future research projects to advance our understanding of how exercise should be organized to optimize motor learning. PMID:26834602

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Stages in Learning Motor Synergies: A View Based on the Equilibrium-Point Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Latash, Mark L.

    2009-01-01

    This review describes a novel view on stages in motor learning based on recent developments of the notion of synergies, the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis, and the equilibrium-point hypothesis (referent configuration) that allow to merge these notions into a single scheme of motor control. The principle of abundance and the principle of minimal final action form the foundation for analyses of natural motor actions performed by redundant sets of elements. Two main stages of motor learning are introduced corresponding to (1) discovery and strengthening of motor synergies stabilizing salient performance variable(s), and (2) their weakening when other aspects of motor performance are optimized. The first stage may be viewed as consisting of two steps, the elaboration of an adequate referent configuration trajectory and the elaboration of multi-joint (multi-muscle) synergies stabilizing the referent configuration trajectory. Both steps are expected to lead to more variance in the space of elemental variables that is compatible with a desired time profile of the salient performance variable (“good variability”). Adjusting control to other aspects of performance during the second stage (for example, esthetics, energy expenditure, time, fatigue, etc.) may lead to a drop in the “good variability”. Experimental support for the suggested scheme is reviewed. PMID:20060610

  17. Effects of motor fatigue on human brain activity, an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    van Duinen, Hiske; Renken, Remco; Maurits, Natasha; Zijdewind, Inge

    2007-05-01

    The main purpose of this study was to investigate effects of motor fatigue on brain activation in humans, using fMRI. First, we assessed brain activation that correlated with muscle activity during brief contractions at different force levels (force modulation). Second, a similar analysis was done for sustained contractions inducing motor fatigue. Third, we studied changes in brain activation due to motor fatigue over time. And fourth, we investigated cross-over effects of fatigue by comparing brain activation before and after the fatiguing condition during simple and high-order motor tasks (reaction time tasks). Several motor areas in the brain showed increased activity with increased muscle activity, both during force modulation and motor fatigue. Interestingly, the cerebellum showed a smaller increase in activation, during compensatory activation due to fatigue, while additional activation was found in the pre-supplementary motor area and in a frontal area. During motor fatigue, there was a decrease in force production, an increase in force variability, and an increase in muscle activity. Brain areas comparable with the aforementioned areas also showed stronger activation over time. After fatigue, reaction time task performance remained the same (compared to before fatigue), while increased activation in orbitofrontal areas was found. Furthermore, there was a reduction in subjects' maximal voluntary contraction force, accompanied by a decrease in activation of the supplementary motor area (SMA). These results suggest that especially the activity in the SMA and frontal areas is affected by motor fatigue.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    Individuals learn new skills at different rates. Given the involvement of corticostriatal pathways in some types of learning, variations in dopaminergic transmission may contribute to these individual differences. Genetic polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme and dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) genes partially determine cortical and striatal dopamine availability, respectively. Individuals who are homozygous for the COMT methionine (met) allele show reduced cortical COMT enzymatic activity, resulting in increased dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex as opposed to individuals who are carriers of the valine (val) allele. DRD2 G-allele homozygotes benefit from a higher striatal dopamine level compared with T-allele carriers. We hypothesized that individuals who are homozygous for COMT met and DRD2 G alleles would show higher rates of motor learning. Seventy-two young healthy females (20 ± 1.9 yr) performed a sensorimotor adaptation task and a motor sequence learning task. A nonparametric mixed model ANOVA revealed that the COMT val-val group demonstrated poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the met-met group and showed a learning deficit in the visuomotor adaptation task compared with both met-met and val-met groups. The DRD2 TT group showed poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the GT group, but there was no difference between DRD2 genotype groups in adaptation rate. Although these results did not entirely come out as one might predict based on the known contribution of corticostriatal pathways to motor sequence learning, they support the role of genetic polymorphisms of COMT val158met (rs4680) and DRD2 G>T (rs 1076560) in explaining individual differences in motor performance and motor learning, dependent on task type. PMID:24225542

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Individuals learn new skills at different rates. Given the involvement of corticostriatal pathways in some types of learning, variations in dopaminergic transmission may contribute to these individual differences. Genetic polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme and dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) genes partially determine cortical and striatal dopamine availability, respectively. Individuals who are homozygous for the COMT methionine (met) allele show reduced cortical COMT enzymatic activity, resulting in increased dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex as opposed to individuals who are carriers of the valine (val) allele. DRD2 G-allele homozygotes benefit from a higher striatal dopamine level compared with T-allele carriers. We hypothesized that individuals who are homozygous for COMT met and DRD2 G alleles would show higher rates of motor learning. Seventy-two young healthy females (20 ± 1.9 yr) performed a sensorimotor adaptation task and a motor sequence learning task. A nonparametric mixed model ANOVA revealed that the COMT val-val group demonstrated poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the met-met group and showed a learning deficit in the visuomotor adaptation task compared with both met-met and val-met groups. The DRD2 TT group showed poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the GT group, but there was no difference between DRD2 genotype groups in adaptation rate. Although these results did not entirely come out as one might predict based on the known contribution of corticostriatal pathways to motor sequence learning, they support the role of genetic polymorphisms of COMT val158met (rs4680) and DRD2 G>T (rs 1076560) in explaining individual differences in motor performance and motor learning, dependent on task type. PMID:24225542

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  1. Primary motor cortex activity reduction under the regulation of SMA by real-time fMRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Jia; Zhao, Xiaojie; Li, Yi; Yao, Li; Chen, Kewei

    2012-03-01

    Real-time fMRI (rtfMRI) is a new technology which allows human subjects to observe and control their own BOLD signal change from one or more localized brain regions during scanning. Current rtfMRI-neurofeedback studies mainly focused on the target region itself without considering other related regions influenced by the real-time feedback. However, there always exits important directional influence between many of cooperative regions. On the other hand, rtfMRI based on motor imagery mainly aimed at somatomotor cortex or primary motor area, whereas supplement motor area (SMA) was a relatively more integrated and pivotal region. In this study, we investigated whether the activities of SMA can be controlled utilizing different motor imagery strategies, and whether there exists any possible impact on an unregulated but related region, primary motor cortex (M1). SMA was first localized using overt finger tapping task, the activities of SMA were feedback to subjects visually on line during each of two subsequent imagery motor movement sessions. All thirteen healthy participants were found to be able to successfully control their SMA activities by self-fit imagery strategies which involved no actual motor movements. The activation of right M1 was also found to be significantly reduced in both intensity and extent with the neurofeedback process targeted at SMA, suggestive that not only the part of motor cortex activities were influenced under the regulation of a key region SMA, but also the increased difference between SMA and M1 might reflect the potential learning effect.

  2. Brain acetylcholinesterase activity in Wistar and August rats with low and high motor activity (a cytochemical study).

    PubMed

    Sergutina, A V; Rakhmanova, V I

    2014-08-01

    Acetylcholinesterase activity was quantitatively evaluated by cytochemical method in brain structures (layers III and V of the sensorimotor cortex, caudate nucleus, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus CA3 field) of August and Wistar rats demonstrating high and low motor activity in the open field test. In August rats, acetylcholinesterase activity in the analyzed brain structures prevailed in animals with high motor activity in comparison with rats with low motor activity. In Wistar rats, the differences between the animals demonstrating high and low motor activity were less pronounced, but varied depending on the experimental series of studies. Comparisons of August rats with low motor activity and Wistar rats with high motor activity (maximum difference of motor function in these animals) revealed significant excess of acetylcholinesterase activity in layer III of the sensorimotor cortex in August rats and no differences in other brain structures of the examined animals.

  3. Active Fault Tolerant Control for Ultrasonic Piezoelectric Motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boukhnifer, Moussa

    2012-07-01

    Ultrasonic piezoelectric motor technology is an important system component in integrated mechatronics devices working on extreme operating conditions. Due to these constraints, robustness and performance of the control interfaces should be taken into account in the motor design. In this paper, we apply a new architecture for a fault tolerant control using Youla parameterization for an ultrasonic piezoelectric motor. The distinguished feature of proposed controller architecture is that it shows structurally how the controller design for performance and robustness may be done separately which has the potential to overcome the conflict between performance and robustness in the traditional feedback framework. A fault tolerant control architecture includes two parts: one part for performance and the other part for robustness. The controller design works in such a way that the feedback control system will be solely controlled by the proportional plus double-integral PI2 performance controller for a nominal model without disturbances and H∞ robustification controller will only be activated in the presence of the uncertainties or an external disturbances. The simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed fault tolerant control architecture.

  4. Relation between cooperative molecular motors and active Brownian particles.

    PubMed

    Touya, Clément; Schwalger, Tilo; Lindner, Benjamin

    2011-05-01

    Active Brownian particles (ABPs), obeying a nonlinear Langevin equation with speed-dependent drift and noise amplitude, are well-known models used to describe self-propelled motion in biology. In this paper we study a model describing the stochastic dynamics of a group of coupled molecular motors (CMMs). Using two independent numerical methods, one based on the stationary velocity distribution of the motors and the other one on the local increments (also known as the Kramers-Moyal coefficients) of the velocity, we establish a connection between the CMM and the ABP models. The parameters extracted for the ABP via the two methods show good agreement for both symmetric and asymmetric cases and are independent of N, the number of motors, provided that N is not too small. This indicates that one can indeed describe the CMM problem with a simpler ABP model. However, the power spectrum of velocity fluctuations in the CMM model reveals a peak at a finite frequency, a peak which is absent in the velocity spectrum of the ABP model. This implies richer dynamic features of the CMM model which cannot be captured by an ABP model.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Motor neuronal activity varies least among individuals when it matters most for behavior

    PubMed Central

    Cullins, Miranda J.; Shaw, Kendrick M.; Gill, Jeffrey P.

    2014-01-01

    How does motor neuronal variability affect behavior? To explore this question, we quantified activity of multiple individual identified motor neurons mediating biting and swallowing in intact, behaving Aplysia californica by recording from the protractor muscle and the three nerves containing the majority of motor neurons controlling the feeding musculature. We measured multiple motor components: duration of the activity of identified motor neurons as well as their relative timing. At the same time, we measured behavioral efficacy: amplitude of grasping movement during biting and amplitude of net inward food movement during swallowing. We observed that the total duration of the behaviors varied: Within animals, biting duration shortened from the first to the second and third bites; between animals, biting and swallowing durations varied. To study other sources of variation, motor components were divided by behavior duration (i.e., normalized). Even after normalization, distributions of motor component durations could distinguish animals as unique individuals. However, the degree to which a motor component varied among individuals depended on the role of that motor component in a behavior. Motor neuronal activity that was essential for the expression of biting or swallowing was similar among animals, whereas motor neuronal activity that was not essential for that behavior varied more from individual to individual. These results suggest that motor neuronal activity that matters most for the expression of a particular behavior may vary least from individual to individual. Shaping individual variability to ensure behavioral efficacy may be a general principle for the operation of motor systems. PMID:25411463

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Search for Autonomy in Motor Task Learning in Physical Education University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreno Murcia, Juan Antonio; Lacarcel, Jose Antonio Vera; Del Villar Alvarez, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    The study focused on discovering the influence that an autonomous motor task learning programme had on the improvement of perceived competence, intrinsic regulation, incremental belief and motivational orientations. The study was performed with two groups of participants (n = 22 and n = 20) aged between 19 and 35 years. The instruments used were…

  9. Enhancing Motor Learning through Dyad Practice: Contributions of Observation and Dialogue

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Granados, Carolina; Wulf, Gabriele

    2007-01-01

    It has been shown that practice in dyads, as compared to individual practice, can enhance motor learning and increase the efficiency of practice (as two participants can be trained at the same time; Shea, Wulf, & Whitacre, 1999). The dyad practice protocol used by Shea et al. included both observation and dialogue between partners. Thus, it was…

  10. Developing Learning Readiness; A Visual-Motor-Tactile Skills Program. Teacher's Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getman, G.N.; And Others

    A flexible program for preschool, primary grades, or remedial classes provides opportunities for the child to achieve readiness for learning through the development of visual, motor, and tactile skills. A cardboard doll is discussed which may be utilized by the teacher and children in a variety of gymnasium routines to increase knowledge of body…

  11. Sensori-Motor Learning with Movement Sonification: Perspectives from Recent Interdisciplinary Studies.

    PubMed

    Bevilacqua, Frédéric; Boyer, Eric O; Françoise, Jules; Houix, Olivier; Susini, Patrick; Roby-Brami, Agnès; Hanneton, Sylvain

    2016-01-01

    This article reports on an interdisciplinary research project on movement sonification for sensori-motor learning. First, we describe different research fields which have contributed to movement sonification, from music technology including gesture-controlled sound synthesis, sonic interaction design, to research on sensori-motor learning with auditory-feedback. In particular, we propose to distinguish between sound-oriented tasks and movement-oriented tasks in experiments involving interactive sound feedback. We describe several research questions and recently published results on movement control, learning and perception. In particular, we studied the effect of the auditory feedback on movements considering several cases: from experiments on pointing and visuo-motor tracking to more complex tasks where interactive sound feedback can guide movements, or cases of sensory substitution where the auditory feedback can inform on object shapes. We also developed specific methodologies and technologies for designing the sonic feedback and movement sonification. We conclude with a discussion on key future research challenges in sensori-motor learning with movement sonification. We also point out toward promising applications such as rehabilitation, sport training or product design. PMID:27610071

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Effects of Protein Restriction on Perceptual-Motor Development, Habituation and Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elias, Marjorie F.

    Perceptual motor development, habituation, and learning in squirrel monkeys were studied under controlled rearing and diet history conditions to determine whether the animal's level of behavioral development was similar to well-nourished animals of his own age (agemates) or his own size (sizemates). From birth to 8 weeks of age, the animals were…

  14. Social Facilitation Effects on Children During Early Stages of Motor Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crabbe, James M.

    This study investigated the Zajonc-Cottrell theoretical conflict pertaining to drive by testing children during early learning on a gross motor task, with the audience effect paradigm of social facilitation. Two hundred forty youngsters served as subjects. They were selected randomly from both sexes and equally from a large preschool and public…

  15. Sensori-Motor Learning with Movement Sonification: Perspectives from Recent Interdisciplinary Studies

    PubMed Central

    Bevilacqua, Frédéric; Boyer, Eric O.; Françoise, Jules; Houix, Olivier; Susini, Patrick; Roby-Brami, Agnès; Hanneton, Sylvain

    2016-01-01

    This article reports on an interdisciplinary research project on movement sonification for sensori-motor learning. First, we describe different research fields which have contributed to movement sonification, from music technology including gesture-controlled sound synthesis, sonic interaction design, to research on sensori-motor learning with auditory-feedback. In particular, we propose to distinguish between sound-oriented tasks and movement-oriented tasks in experiments involving interactive sound feedback. We describe several research questions and recently published results on movement control, learning and perception. In particular, we studied the effect of the auditory feedback on movements considering several cases: from experiments on pointing and visuo-motor tracking to more complex tasks where interactive sound feedback can guide movements, or cases of sensory substitution where the auditory feedback can inform on object shapes. We also developed specific methodologies and technologies for designing the sonic feedback and movement sonification. We conclude with a discussion on key future research challenges in sensori-motor learning with movement sonification. We also point out toward promising applications such as rehabilitation, sport training or product design.

  16. Sensori-Motor Learning with Movement Sonification: Perspectives from Recent Interdisciplinary Studies

    PubMed Central

    Bevilacqua, Frédéric; Boyer, Eric O.; Françoise, Jules; Houix, Olivier; Susini, Patrick; Roby-Brami, Agnès; Hanneton, Sylvain

    2016-01-01

    This article reports on an interdisciplinary research project on movement sonification for sensori-motor learning. First, we describe different research fields which have contributed to movement sonification, from music technology including gesture-controlled sound synthesis, sonic interaction design, to research on sensori-motor learning with auditory-feedback. In particular, we propose to distinguish between sound-oriented tasks and movement-oriented tasks in experiments involving interactive sound feedback. We describe several research questions and recently published results on movement control, learning and perception. In particular, we studied the effect of the auditory feedback on movements considering several cases: from experiments on pointing and visuo-motor tracking to more complex tasks where interactive sound feedback can guide movements, or cases of sensory substitution where the auditory feedback can inform on object shapes. We also developed specific methodologies and technologies for designing the sonic feedback and movement sonification. We conclude with a discussion on key future research challenges in sensori-motor learning with movement sonification. We also point out toward promising applications such as rehabilitation, sport training or product design. PMID:27610071

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ya-Ching; Gordon, Andrew M.

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Adapting Active Learning in Ethiopia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casale, Carolyn Frances

    2010-01-01

    Ethiopia is a developing country that has invested extensively in expanding its educational opportunities. In this expansion, there has been a drastic restructuring of its system of preparing teachers and teacher educators. Often, improving teacher quality is dependent on professional development that diversifies pedagogy (active learning). This…

  19. Active Learning in Introductory Climatology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dewey, Kenneth F.; Meyer, Steven J.

    2000-01-01

    Introduces a software package available for the climatology curriculum that determines possible climatic events according to a long-term climate history. Describes the integration of the software into the curriculum and presents examples of active learning. (Contains 19 references.) (YDS)

  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…

  1. Adaptive Batch Mode Active Learning.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Shayok; Balasubramanian, Vineeth; Panchanathan, Sethuraman

    2015-08-01

    Active learning techniques have gained popularity to reduce human effort in labeling data instances for inducing a classifier. When faced with large amounts of unlabeled data, such algorithms automatically identify the exemplar and representative instances to be selected for manual annotation. More recently, there have been attempts toward a batch mode form of active learning, where a batch of data points is simultaneously selected from an unlabeled set. Real-world applications require adaptive approaches for batch selection in active learning, depending on the complexity of the data stream in question. However, the existing work in this field has primarily focused on static or heuristic batch size selection. In this paper, we propose two novel optimization-based frameworks for adaptive batch mode active learning (BMAL), where the batch size as well as the selection criteria are combined in a single formulation. We exploit gradient-descent-based optimization strategies as well as properties of submodular functions to derive the adaptive BMAL algorithms. The solution procedures have the same computational complexity as existing state-of-the-art static BMAL techniques. Our empirical results on the widely used VidTIMIT and the mobile biometric (MOBIO) data sets portray the efficacy of the proposed frameworks and also certify the potential of these approaches in being used for real-world biometric recognition applications.

  2. Oral Hygiene. Learning Activity Package.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hime, Kirsten

    This learning activity package on oral hygiene is one of a series of 12 titles developed for use in health occupations education programs. Materials in the package include objectives, a list of materials needed, a list of definitions, information sheets, reviews (self evaluations) of portions of the content, and answers to reviews. These topics…

  3. Blood Pressure. Learning Activity Package.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hime, Kirsten

    This learning activity package on blood pressure is one of a series of 12 titles developed for use in health occupations education programs. Materials in the package include objectives, list of materials needed, a list of definitions, information sheets, reviews (self evaluations) of portions of the content, and answers to reviews. These topics…

  4. The role of eye movements in motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Vieluf, Solveig; Massing, Matthias; Blandin, Yannick; Leinen, Peter; Panzer, Stefan

    2015-04-01

    An experiment that utilized a 16-element movement sequence was designed to determine the impact of eye movements on sequence learning. The participants were randomly assigned to two experimental groups: a group that was permitted to use eye movements (FREE) and a second group (FIX) that was instructed to fixate on a marker during acquisition (ACQ). A retention test (RET) was designed to provide a measure of learning, and two transfer tests were designed to determine the extent to which eye movements influenced sequence learning. The results demonstrated that both groups decreased the response time to produce the sequence, but the participants in the FREE group performed the sequence more quickly than participants of the FIX group during the ACQ, RET and the two transfer tests. Furthermore, continuous visual control of response execution was reduced over the course of learning. The results of the transfer tests indicated that oculomotor information regarding the sequence can be stored in memory and enhances response production.

  5. Decreased motor activity of hyperactive children on dextroamphetamine during active gym program.

    PubMed

    Rapoport, J L; Tepsic, P N; Grice, J; Johnson, C; Langer, D

    1980-07-01

    The motor activity of 10 hyperactive boys was measured during eight 1-hour active gym classes. Children received either dextroaomphetamine (0.5 mg/kg) or placebo elixir before each class, in a double-blind design. The program for each of the classes was participation in the active sports: hockey, basketball, and/or roller skating; the "task" throughout each hour was to play vigorously and continuously. The boys' mean hourly activity following amphetamine was slightly but significantly less than that following placebo. This finding is contradictory to the hypothesis that improved attention to an active task on stimulant would result in increased motor activity, and suggests the possibility of an independent direct effect of amphetamine on the motor system.

  6. Oculomotor learning revisited: a model of reinforcement learning in the basal ganglia incorporating an efference copy of motor actions

    PubMed Central

    Fee, Michale S.

    2012-01-01

    In its simplest formulation, reinforcement learning is based on the idea that if an action taken in a particular context is followed by a favorable outcome, then, in the same context, the tendency to produce that action should be strengthened, or reinforced. While reinforcement learning forms the basis of many current theories of basal ganglia (BG) function, these models do not incorporate distinct computational roles for signals that convey context, and those that convey what action an animal takes. Recent experiments in the songbird suggest that vocal-related BG circuitry receives two functionally distinct excitatory inputs. One input is from a cortical region that carries context information about the current “time” in the motor sequence. The other is an efference copy of motor commands from a separate cortical brain region that generates vocal variability during learning. Based on these findings, I propose here a general model of vertebrate BG function that combines context information with a distinct motor efference copy signal. The signals are integrated by a learning rule in which efference copy inputs gate the potentiation of context inputs (but not efference copy inputs) onto medium spiny neurons in response to a rewarded action. The hypothesis is described in terms of a circuit that implements the learning of visually guided saccades. The model makes testable predictions about the anatomical and functional properties of hypothesized context and efference copy inputs to the striatum from both thalamic and cortical sources. PMID:22754501

  7. Dopamine-dependent reinforcement of motor skill learning: evidence from Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

    PubMed

    Palminteri, Stefano; Lebreton, Maël; Worbe, Yulia; Hartmann, Andreas; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Vidailhet, Marie; Grabli, David; Pessiglione, Mathias

    2011-08-01

    Reinforcement learning theory has been extensively used to understand the neural underpinnings of instrumental behaviour. A central assumption surrounds dopamine signalling reward prediction errors, so as to update action values and ensure better choices in the future. However, educators may share the intuitive idea that reinforcements not only affect choices but also motor skills such as typing. Here, we employed a novel paradigm to demonstrate that monetary rewards can improve motor skill learning in humans. Indeed, healthy participants progressively got faster in executing sequences of key presses that were repeatedly rewarded with 10 euro compared with 1 cent. Control tests revealed that the effect of reinforcement on motor skill learning was independent of subjects being aware of sequence-reward associations. To account for this implicit effect, we developed an actor-critic model, in which reward prediction errors are used by the critic to update state values and by the actor to facilitate action execution. To assess the role of dopamine in such computations, we applied the same paradigm in patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, who were either unmedicated or treated with neuroleptics. We also included patients with focal dystonia, as an example of hyperkinetic motor disorder unrelated to dopamine. Model fit showed the following dissociation: while motor skills were affected in all patient groups, reinforcement learning was selectively enhanced in unmedicated patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and impaired by neuroleptics. These results support the hypothesis that overactive dopamine transmission leads to excessive reinforcement of motor sequences, which might explain the formation of tics in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

  8. Dopamine-dependent reinforcement of motor skill learning: evidence from Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

    PubMed

    Palminteri, Stefano; Lebreton, Maël; Worbe, Yulia; Hartmann, Andreas; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Vidailhet, Marie; Grabli, David; Pessiglione, Mathias

    2011-08-01

    Reinforcement learning theory has been extensively used to understand the neural underpinnings of instrumental behaviour. A central assumption surrounds dopamine signalling reward prediction errors, so as to update action values and ensure better choices in the future. However, educators may share the intuitive idea that reinforcements not only affect choices but also motor skills such as typing. Here, we employed a novel paradigm to demonstrate that monetary rewards can improve motor skill learning in humans. Indeed, healthy participants progressively got faster in executing sequences of key presses that were repeatedly rewarded with 10 euro compared with 1 cent. Control tests revealed that the effect of reinforcement on motor skill learning was independent of subjects being aware of sequence-reward associations. To account for this implicit effect, we developed an actor-critic model, in which reward prediction errors are used by the critic to update state values and by the actor to facilitate action execution. To assess the role of dopamine in such computations, we applied the same paradigm in patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, who were either unmedicated or treated with neuroleptics. We also included patients with focal dystonia, as an example of hyperkinetic motor disorder unrelated to dopamine. Model fit showed the following dissociation: while motor skills were affected in all patient groups, reinforcement learning was selectively enhanced in unmedicated patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and impaired by neuroleptics. These results support the hypothesis that overactive dopamine transmission leads to excessive reinforcement of motor sequences, which might explain the formation of tics in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. PMID:21727098

  9. A comparison of sensory-motor activity during speech in first and second languages.

    PubMed

    Simmonds, Anna J; Wise, Richard J S; Dhanjal, Novraj S; Leech, Robert

    2011-07-01

    A foreign language (L2) learned after childhood results in an accent. This functional neuroimaging study investigated speech in L2 as a sensory-motor skill. The hypothesis was that there would be an altered response in auditory and somatosensory association cortex, specifically the planum temporale and parietal operculum, respectively, when speaking in L2 relative to L1, independent of rate of speaking. These regions were selected for three reasons. First, an influential computational model proposes that these cortices integrate predictive feedforward and postarticulatory sensory feedback signals during articulation. Second, these adjacent regions (known as Spt) have been identified as a "sensory-motor interface" for speech production. Third, probabilistic anatomical atlases exist for these regions, to ensure the analyses are confined to sensory-motor differences between L2 and L1. The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and participants produced connected overt speech. The first hypothesis was that there would be greater activity in the planum temporale and the parietal operculum when subjects spoke in L2 compared with L1, one interpretation being that there is less efficient postarticulatory sensory monitoring when speaking in the less familiar L2. The second hypothesis was that this effect would be observed in both cerebral hemispheres. Although Spt is considered to be left-lateralized, this is based on studies of covert speech, whereas overt speech is accompanied by sensory feedback to bilateral auditory and somatosensory cortices. Both hypotheses were confirmed by the results. These findings provide the basis for future investigations of sensory-motor aspects of language learning using serial fMRI studies.

  10. Fluoxetine modulates motor performance and cerebral activation of patients recovering from stroke.

    PubMed

    Pariente, J; Loubinoux, I; Carel, C; Albucher, J F; Leger, A; Manelfe, C; Rascol, O; Chollet, F

    2001-12-01

    In order to determine the influence of a single dose of fluoxetine on the cerebral motor activation of lacunar stroke patients in the early phase of recovery, we conducted a prospective, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled study on 8 patients with pure motor hemiparesia. Each patient underwent two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) examinations: one under fluoxetine and one under placebo. The first was performed 2 weeks after stroke onset and the second a week later. During the two fMRI examinations, patients performed an active controlled motor task with the affected hand and a passive one conducted by the examiner with the same hand. Motor performance was evaluated by motor tests under placebo and under fluoxetine immediately before the examinations to investigate the effect of fluoxetine on motor function. Under fluoxetine, during the active motor task, hyperactivation in the ipsilesional primary motor cortex was found. Moreover, fluoxetine significantly improved motor skills of the affected side. We found that a single dose o