Learning-related fMRI activation associated with a rotational visuo-motor transformation.
ABSTRACT The unique ability to learn transformed or altered visuo-motor relationships during motor learning (visuo-motor transformation learning) has engaged researchers for over a century. Compared to other forms of motor learning (e.g., sequence learning), little is known about plasticity in the cortical and/or subcortical systems involved. We used fMRI to isolate region-specific activation changes during the learning of a visuo-motor (joystick) task under a simple transformation (90 degree rotation of visual feedback). Distributed brain systems were engaged in the learning process. In particular, we found evidence of a learning-dependent transition from early activation of the posterior parietal cortex to later distributed cortico-subcortical-cerebellar responses (in the temporal and occipital cortices, basal ganglia, cerebellum and thalamus). The role of the posterior parietal cortex may relate specifically to the acquisition of the transformation, while that of the fusiform and superior temporal gyri may reflect higher level visual and visuo-spatial processing underlying consolidation. Learning-related increases in cerebellar responses are consistent with its proposed role in the acquisition of internal models of the motor apparatus. These learning-related changes suggest a role for interacting neural systems involving the co-operation of cortico-cortico, cortico-cerebellar and cortico-basal ganglia loops during visuo-motor transformation learning.
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ABSTRACT: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we explore how the time scale of practice affects patterns of brain activity associated with motor skill acquisition. Fifty-eight studies that involved skill learning with healthy participants (117 contrasts) met inclusion criteria. Two meta-contrasts were coded: decreases: peak coordinates that showed decreases in brain activity over time; increases: peak coordinates that showed increases in activity over time. Studies were grouped by practice time scale: short (≤1 hrs; 25 studies), medium (>1 and ≤24 hrs; 18 studies), and long (>24 hrs to 5 weeks; 17 studies). Coordinates were analyzed using Activation Likelihood Estimation to show brain areas that were consistently activated for each contrast. Across time scales, consistent decreases in activity were shown in prefrontal and premotor cortex, the inferior parietal lobules, and the cerebellar cortex. Across the short and medium time scales there were consistent increases in supplementary and primary motor cortex and dentate nucleus. At the long time scale, increases were seen in posterior cingulate gyrus, primary motor cortex, putamen, and globus pallidus. Comparisons between time scales showed that increased activity in M1 at medium time scales was more spatially consistent across studies than increased activity in M1 at long time scales. Further, activity in the striatum (viz. putamen and globus pallidus) was consistently more rostral in the medium time scale and consistently more caudal in the long time scale. These data support neurophysiological models that posit that both a cortico-cerebellar system and a cortico-striatal system are active, but at different time points, during motor learning, and suggest there are associative/premotor and sensorimotor networks active within each system.Neuropsychologia 05/2014; 59:130-141. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Age-associated neural changes profoundly affect the biomechanics and energetics of walking, increase energy cost, and require novel approaches to exercise that focus on motor learning theory.The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 09/2014; · 4.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prismatic adaptation has been shown to induce a realignment of visuoproprioceptive representations and to involve parietocerebellar networks. We have investigated in humans how far other types of functions known to involve the parietal cortex are influenced by a brief exposure to prismatic adaptation. Normal subjects underwent an fMRI evaluation before and after a brief session of prismatic adaptation using rightward deviating prisms for one group or after an equivalent session using plain glasses for the other group. Activation patterns to three tasks were analyzed: (1) visual detection; (2) visuospatial short-term memory; and (3) verbal short-term memory. The prismatic adaptation-related changes were found bilaterally in the inferior parietal lobule when prisms, but not plain glasses, were used. This effect was driven by selective changes during the visual detection task: an increase in neural activity was induced on the left and a decrease on the right parietal side after prismatic adaptation. Comparison of activation patterns after prismatic adaptation on the visual detection task demonstrated a significant increase of the ipsilateral field representation in the left inferior parietal lobule and a significant decrease in the right inferior parietal lobule. In conclusion, a brief exposure to prismatic adaptation modulates differently left and right parietal activation during visual detection but not during short-term memory. Furthermore, the visuospatial representation within the inferior parietal lobule changes, with a decrease of the ipsilateral hemifield representation on the right and increase on the left side, suggesting thus a left hemispheric dominance.Journal of Neuroscience 08/2014; 34(35):11803-11. · 6.75 Impact Factor