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Motor learning

Derek Garden, Arianna Rinaldi, Matthew F Nolan
The inferior olive plays a critical role in motor coordination and learning by integrating diverse afferent signals to generate climbing fibre inputs to the cerebellar cortex. While it is well established that climbing fibre signals are important for motor coordination, the mechanisms by which neurones in the inferior olive integrate synaptic inputs and the roles of particular ion channels are unclear. Here, we test the hypothesis that neurones in the inferior olive actively integrate glutamatergic synaptic inputs...
October 21, 2016: Journal of Physiology
Sanath Allampati, Kevin D Mullen
Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) is a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome associated with decompensated liver disease. The spectrum of disease ranges from trivial abnormalities in complex decision making and prolonged reaction time to coma in its most severe form1. The very initial stages, recently termed covert Hepatic Encephalopathy (CHE), can only be diagnosed with the help of neuropsychiatric testing while the later and more severe forms, termed overt Hepatic Encephalopathy (OHE), can be diagnosed clinically. Severity of HE is graded based on West Haven Criteria and please refer to table 1 for more details2...
October 20, 2016: Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica
Carrie Guy, Xianfu Wang, Xianglan Lu, Jin Lu, Shibo Li
We report a half-sibling cohort with deletion of 4p16.1, astigmatism, gross and fine motor delay, variable intellectual disability, and variable behavioral concerns. However, two siblings without the deletion also had learning delays and psychological concerns. Thus, variable phenotypic expression was seen and the significance of deletion of 4p16.1 remains unclear.
October 2016: Clinical Case Reports
Erin J Wamsley, Kelly Hamilton, Yvette Graveline, Stephanie Manceor, Elaine Parr
Memory consolidation benefits from post-training sleep. However, recent studies suggest that sleep does not uniformly benefit all memory, but instead prioritizes information that is important to the individual. Here, we examined the effect of test expectation on memory consolidation across sleep and wakefulness. Following reports that information with strong "future relevance" is preferentially consolidated during sleep, we hypothesized that test expectation would enhance memory consolidation across a period of sleep, but not across wakefulness...
2016: PloS One
Alexander P Demos, Tânia Lisboa, Roger Chaffin
Performances by soloists in the Western classical tradition are normally highly prepared, yet must sound fresh and spontaneous. How do musicians manage this? We tested the hypothesis that they achieve the necessary spontaneity by varying the musical gestures that express their interpretation of a piece. We examined the tempo arches produced by final slowing at the ends of phrases in performances of J. S. Bach's No. 6 (Prelude) for solo cello (12 performances) and the Italian Concerto (Presto) for solo piano (eight performances)...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Rebecca M Stanley, Rachel A Jones, Dylan P Cliff, Stewart G Trost, Donna Berthelsen, Jo Salmon, Marijka Batterham, Simon Eckermann, John J Reilly, Ngiare Brown, Karen J Mickle, Steven J Howard, Trina Hinkley, Xanne Janssen, Paul Chandler, Penny Cross, Fay Gowers, Anthony D Okely
BACKGROUND: Participation in regular physical activity (PA) during the early years helps children achieve healthy body weight and can substantially improve motor development, bone health, psychosocial health and cognitive development. Despite common assumptions that young children are naturally active, evidence shows that they are insufficiently active for health and developmental benefits. Exploring strategies to increase physical activity in young children is a public health and research priority...
October 19, 2016: BMC Public Health
Donna J Toufexis, Olga Lipatova, Abbie C Johnson, Alfonso Abizaid
Food restriction has been reported to reduce anxiety-like behavior in male rats, while the effects of food restriction on anxiety in female rats are less clear. Ghrelin is a peptide hormone produced and secreted in the stomach that stimulates food intake and is believed to play a role in reward and emotional responses like fear expression. Under food restriction endogenous ghrelin levels increase. Here, we examined the effect of moderate food restriction (80% of ad-libitum fed weight), with or without an acute application of a small dose of exogenous ghrelin intended to cause an immediate hunger response, on the expression of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR)...
October 18, 2016: Journal of Neuroendocrinology
Rachel Barr, Alecia Moser, Sylvia Rusnak, Laura Zimmermann, Kelly Dickerson, Herietta Lee, Peter Gerhardstein
Early childhood is characterized by memory capacity limitations and rapid perceptual and motor development [Rovee-Collier (1996). Infant Behavior & Development, 19, 385-400]. The present study examined 2-year olds' reproduction of a sliding action to complete an abstract fish puzzle under different levels of memory load and perceptual feature support. Experimental groups were compared to baseline controls to assess spontaneous rates of production of the target actions; baseline production was low across all experiments...
November 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Bhim Mani Adhikari, Martin Norgaard, Kristen M Quinn, Jenine Ampudia, Justin Squirek, Mukesh Dhamala
Musical improvisation offers an excellent experimental paradigm for the study of real-time human creativity. It involves moment-to-moment decision-making, monitoring of one's performance, and utilizing external feedback to spontaneously create new melodies or variations on a melody. Recent neuroimaging studies have begun to study the brain activity during musical improvisation, aiming to unlock the mystery of human creativity. What brain resources come together and how these are utilized during musical improvisation is not well understood...
October 18, 2016: Brain Connectivity
Julie Case, Maria I Grigos
Purpose: Articulatory control and speech production accuracy were examined in children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and typically developing (TD) controls within a novel word-learning task to better understand the influence of planning and programming deficits in the production of unfamiliar words. Method: Participants included 16 children between the ages of 5 and 6 years (8 CAS, 8 TD). Short- and long-term changes in lip and jaw movement, consonant and vowel accuracy, and token-to-token consistency were measured for 2 novel words that differed in articulatory complexity...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR
T George Hornby, Jennifer L Moore, Linda Lovell, Elliot J Roth
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Research findings from the fields of motor learning and exercise physiology suggest specific training parameters that can be manipulated during physical rehabilitation profoundly influence skilled task performance. This review details the rationale for some of these training variables and their application in selected intervention studies focused on improving walking function in patients poststroke. RECENT FINDINGS: Basic and applied studies have shown that the amount, intensity, and variability of specific task practice applied during rehabilitation interventions can affect recovery of walking poststroke...
September 28, 2016: Current Opinion in Neurology
Renee E Shimizu, Allan D Wu, Barbara J Knowlton
Effective learning results not only in improved performance on a practiced task, but also in the ability to transfer the acquired knowledge to novel, similar tasks. Using a modified serial reaction time (RT) task, the authors examined the ability to transfer to novel sequences after practicing sequences in a repetitive order versus a nonrepeating interleaved order. Interleaved practice resulted in better performance on new sequences than repetitive practice. In a second study, participants practiced interleaved sequences in a functional MRI (fMRI) scanner and received a transfer test of novel sequences...
October 17, 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Gordon D Logan, Jana E Ulrich, Dakota R B Lindsey
Fine motor skills like typing involve a mapping problem that trades Fitts' law against Hick's law. Eight fingers have to be mapped onto 26 keys. Movement time increases with distance, so Fitts' law is optimized by recruiting more fingers. Choice difficulty increases with the number of alternatives, so Hick's law is optimized by recruiting fewer fingers. The effect of the number of alternatives decreases with consistent practice, so skilled typists achieve a balance between Fitts' law and Hick's law through learning...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance
Katharina Zinke, Ines Wilhelm, Müge Bayramoglu, Susanne Klein, Jan Born
Sleep is considered to support the formation of skill memory. In juvenile but not adult song birds learning a tutor's song, a stronger initial deterioration of song performance over night-sleep predicts better song performance in the long run. This and similar observations have stimulated the view of sleep supporting skill formation during development in an unsupervised off-line learning process that, in the absence of external feedback, can initially also enhance inaccuracies in skill performance. Here we explored whether in children learning a motor sequence task, as in song-learning juvenile birds, changes across sleep after initial practice predict performance levels achieved in the long run...
October 16, 2016: Developmental Science
Jeff Walker, Jason MacLean, Nicholas G Hatsopoulos
The common marmoset has recently gained interest as an animal model for systems and behavioral neuroscience. This is due in part to the advent of transgenic marmosets, which affords the possibility of combining genetic manipulations with physiological recording and behavioral monitoring to study neural systems. In this review, we will argue that the marmoset provides a unique opportunity to study the neural basis of voluntary motor control from an integrative perspective. First, as an intermediate animal model, the marmoset represents an important bridge in motor system function between other primates, including humans, and rodents...
October 14, 2016: Developmental Neurobiology
K E Williams, D Berthelsen, M Viviani, J M Nicholson
BACKGROUND: Playgroups are a relatively unique form of family support programme that is common in Australia which has high community acceptance and significant government investment. However, limited evidence exists regarding the effectiveness of playgroups to achieve better outcomes for children and their parents. This study describes patterns of playgroup participation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families with young children and examines the extent to which participation from birth to three years is associated with subsequent child, parent and community outcomes...
October 13, 2016: Child: Care, Health and Development
Fan Wang, Fei Liu, Haifang Liu
Neurotoxicity in Kunming mice caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Particulate matter (PM) as individual matter and mixtures was studied in this paper. Male Kunming mice were instilled intratracheally with PM at doses of 0.2mg/mouse and S. aureus at doses of 5.08×10(6) CFU/mouse as individual matter and mixtures two times at 5-day intervals. Morris water maze (MWM) test was performed during the exposure experiment. One day following the exposure experiment, the expression of neurotrophins, neurotransmitters, cholinergic system enzymes, oxidative damage levels, and pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β) in the brain of mice were determined...
August 30, 2016: Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Paul Strecker, Susann Ludewig, Marco Rust, Tabea A Mundinger, Andreas Görlich, Elisa G Krächan, Christina Mehrfeld, Joachim Herz, Martin Korte, Suzanne Y Guénette, Stefan Kins
The FE65 adaptor proteins (FE65, FE65L1 and FE65L2) bind proteins that function in diverse cellular pathways and are essential for specific biological processes. Mice lacking both FE65 and FE65L1 exhibit ectopic neuronal positioning in the cortex and muscle weakness. p97FE65-KO mice, expressing a shorter FE65 isoform able to bind amyloid precursor protein family members (APP, APLP1, APLP2), develop defective long-term potentiation (LTP) and aged mice display spatial learning and memory deficits that are absent from young mice...
May 11, 2016: Scientific Reports
Fernanda F Peres, Raquel Levin, Mayra A Suiama, Mariana C Diana, Douglas A Gouvêa, Valéria Almeida, Camila M Santos, Lisandro Lungato, Antônio W Zuardi, Jaime E C Hallak, José A Crippa, D'Almeida Vânia, Regina H Silva, Vanessa C Abílio
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotomimetic compound from Cannabis sativa that presents antipsychotic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. In Parkinson's disease patients, CBD is able to attenuate the psychotic symptoms induced by L-DOPA and to improve quality of life. Repeated administration of reserpine in rodents induces motor impairments that are accompanied by cognitive deficits, and has been applied to model both tardive dyskinesia and Parkinson's disease. The present study investigated whether CBD administration would attenuate reserpine-induced motor and cognitive impairments in rats...
2016: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Mads Jochumsen, Imran K Niazi, Nada Signal, Rasmus W Nedergaard, Kelly Holt, Heidi Haavik, Denise Taylor
Learning new motor skills has been correlated with increased cortical excitability. In this study, different location of electrical stimulation (ES), nerve, or muscle, was paired with voluntary movement to investigate if ES paired with voluntary movement (a) would increase the excitability of cortical projections to tibialis anterior and (b) if stimulation location mattered. Cortical excitability changes were quantified using motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) at varying intensities during four conditions...
2016: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
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