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Novel motor learning

Cristian Axenie, Christoph Richter, Jörg Conradt
Biological and technical systems operate in a rich multimodal environment. Due to the diversity of incoming sensory streams a system perceives and the variety of motor capabilities a system exhibits there is no single representation and no singular unambiguous interpretation of such a complex scene. In this work we propose a novel sensory processing architecture, inspired by the distributed macro-architecture of the mammalian cortex. The underlying computation is performed by a network of computational maps, each representing a different sensory quantity...
October 20, 2016: Sensors
Giovanna Lagravinese, Ambra Bisio, Piero Ruggeri, Marco Bove, Laura Avanzino
The present study was designed to explore the changes in motor performance and motor resonance after multiple sessions of action observation (AO) training. Subjects were exposed to the observation of a video showing finger tapping movements executed at 3Hz, a frequency higher than the spontaneous one (2Hz) for four consecutive days. Motor performance and motor resonance were tested before the AO training on the first day, and on the last day. Results showed that multiple sessions of AO training induced a shift of the speed of execution of finger tapping movements toward the observed one and a change in motor resonance...
October 18, 2016: Neuropsychologia
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
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
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
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
Jess E Reynolds, Sophie Kerrigan, Catherine Elliott, Brendan S Lay, Melissa K Licari
It has been hypothesized that deficits in imitation, linked to abnormal functioning of the mirror neuron system (MNS), may contribute to the motor impairments associated with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). The authors aimed to examine imitation of complex novel postures and sequences of gestures in children with and without probable DCD (pDCD), using the postural praxis and sequencing praxis subtests of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (Ayres, 1989 ). Participants were 29 boys with pDCD between 6...
October 11, 2016: Journal of Motor Behavior
Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel, Sébastien Hétu, Pierre-Emmanuel Michon, Etienne Vachon-Presseau, Elsa Massicotte, Louis De Beaumont, Shirley Fecteau, Judes Poirier, Catherine Mercier, Yvon C Chagnon, Philip L Jackson
Motor representations in the human mirror neuron system are tuned to respond to specific observed actions. This ability is widely believed to be influenced by genetic factors, but no study has reported a genetic variant affecting this system so far. One possibility is that genetic variants might interact with visuomotor associative learning to configure the system to respond to novel observed actions. In this perspective, we conducted a candidate gene study on the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism, a genetic variant linked to motor learning in regions of the mirror neuron system, and tested the effect of this polymorphism on motor facilitation and visuomotor associative learning...
October 5, 2016: Scientific Reports
Haemy Lee Masson, Christian Wallraven, Laurent Petit
Previous studies on visuo-haptic shape processing provide evidence that visually learned shape information can transfer to the haptic domain. In particular, recent neuroimaging studies have shown that visually learned novel objects that were haptically tested recruited parts of the ventral pathway from early visual cortex to the temporal lobe. Interestingly, in such tasks considerable individual variation in cross-modal transfer performance was observed. Here, we investigate whether this individual variation may be reflected in microstructural characteristics of white-matter (WM) pathways...
October 3, 2016: Human Brain Mapping
Jeremy Kawahara, Colin J Brown, Steven P Miller, Brian G Booth, Vann Chau, Ruth E Grunau, Jill G Zwicker, Ghassan Hamarneh
We propose BrainNetCNN, a convolutional neural network (CNN) framework to predict clinical neurodevelopmental outcomes from brain networks. In contrast to the spatially local convolutions done in traditional image-based CNNs, our BrainNetCNN is composed of novel edge-to-edge, edge-to-node and node-to-graph convolutional filters that leverage the topological locality of structural brain networks. We apply the BrainNetCNN framework to predict cognitive and motor developmental outcome scores from structural brain networks of infants born preterm...
September 28, 2016: NeuroImage
Carlotta Lega, Marianne A Stephan, Robert J Zatorre, Virginia Penhune
Interactions between the auditory and the motor systems are critical in music as well as in other domains, such as speech. The premotor cortex, specifically the dorsal premotor cortex (dPMC), seems to play a key role in auditory-motor integration, and in mapping the association between a sound and the movement used to produce it. In the present studies we tested the causal role of the dPMC in learning and applying auditory-motor associations using 1 Hz repetitive Transcranical Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). In this paradigm, non-musicians learn a set of auditory-motor associations through melody training in two contexts: first when the sound to key-press mapping was in a conventional sequential order (low to high tones mapped onto keys from left to right), and then when it was in a novel scrambled order...
2016: PloS One
Alison Pienciak-Siewert, Dylan P Horan, Alaa A Ahmed
Classical theories of motor learning hypothesize that adaptation is driven by sensorimotor error; this is supported by studies of arm and eye movements which have shown that trial-to-trial adaptation increases with error. Studies of postural control have shown that anticipatory postural adjustments increase with the magnitude of a perturbation. However, differences in adaptation have been observed between the two modalities, possibly due to either the inherent instability or sensory uncertainty in standing posture...
September 28, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
Meghan Elizabeth Huber, Nikita Kuznetsov, Dagmar Sternad
It is well documented that variability in motor performance decreases with practice. Yet, the neural and computational mechanisms that underlie this decline, particularly during long-term practice, are only little understood. Decreasing variability is frequently examined in terms of error corrections from one trial to the next. However, the ubiquitous noise from all levels of the sensorimotor system is also a significant contributor to overt variability. While neuromotor noise is typically assumed and modeled as immune to practice, the current study challenged this notion...
September 28, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
J T O'Brien, P Gallagher, D Stow, N Hammerla, T Ploetz, M Firbank, C Ladha, K Ladha, D Jackson, R McNaney, I N Ferrier, P Olivier
BACKGROUND: Late-life depression (LLD) is associated with a decline in physical activity. Typically this is assessed by self-report questionnaires and, more recently, with actigraphy. We sought to explore the utility of a bespoke activity monitor to characterize activity profiles in LLD more precisely. METHOD: The activity monitor was worn for 7 days by 29 adults with LLD and 30 healthy controls. Subjects underwent neuropsychological assessment and quality of life (QoL) (36-item Short-Form Health Survey) and activities of daily living (ADL) scales (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale) were administered...
September 26, 2016: Psychological Medicine
Yamila Rodríguez Cruz, Manon Strehaiano, Teresita Rodríguez Obaya, Julío César García Rodríguez, Tangui Maurice
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a cytokine known to have effective cytoprotective action in the brain, particularly in ischemic, traumatic, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative conditions. We previously reported the neuroprotective effect of a low sialic form of EPO, Neuro-EPO, applied intranasally in rodent models of stroke or cerebellar ataxia and in a non-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here we analyzed the protective effect of Neuro-EPO in APPSwe mice, a reference transgenic mouse model of AD...
September 20, 2016: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD
C S Batcho, M Gagné, L J Bouyer, J S Roy, C Mercier
When subjects learn a novel motor task, several sources of feedback (proprioceptive, visual or auditory) contribute to the performance. Over the past few years, several studies have investigated the role of visual feedback in motor learning, yet evidence remains conflicting. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the role of online visual feedback (VFb) on the acquisition and retention stages of motor learning associated with training in a reaching task. Thirty healthy subjects made ballistic reaching movements with their dominant arm toward two targets, on 2 consecutive days using a robotized exoskeleton (KINARM)...
September 17, 2016: Neuroscience
Janna Kaplan, Joel Ventura, Avijit Bakshi, Alberto Pieobon, James R Lackner, Paul DiZio
Our goal was to determine how sleep deprivation, nauseogenic motion, and a combination of motion and sleep deprivation affect cognitive vigilance, visual-spatial perception, motor learning and retention, and balance. We exposed four groups of subjects to different combinations of normal 8h sleep or 4h sleep for two nights combined with testing under stationary conditions or during 0.28Hz horizontal linear oscillation. On the two days following controlled sleep, all subjects underwent four test sessions per day that included evaluations of fatigue, motion sickness, vigilance, perceptual discrimination, perceptual learning, motor performance and learning, and balance...
August 31, 2016: Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical
Abigail Thompson, Declan Murphy, Flavio Dell'Acqua, Christine Ecker, Grainne McAlonan, Henrietta Howells, Simon Baron-Cohen, Meng-Chuan Lai, Michael V Lombardo
BACKGROUND: Fine motor skill impairments are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), significantly affecting quality of life. Sensory inputs reaching the primary motor cortex (M1) from the somatosensory cortex (S1) are likely involved in fine motor skill and specifically motor learning. However, the role of these connections has not been directly investigated in humans. This study aimed to investigate, for the first time, the role of the S1-M1 connections in healthy subjects in vivo and whether microstructural alterations are associated with motor impairment in ASD...
July 1, 2016: Biological Psychiatry
Peter J Fried, Lukas Schilberg, Anna-Katharine Brem, Sadhvi Saxena, Bonnie Wong, Aaron M Cypess, Edward S Horton, Alvaro Pascual-Leone
BACKGROUND: Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) accelerates cognitive aging and increases risk of Alzheimer's disease. Rodent models of T2DM show altered synaptic plasticity associated with reduced learning and memory. Humans with T2DM also show cognitive deficits, including reduced learning and memory, but the relationship of these impairments to the efficacy of neuroplastic mechanisms has never been assessed. OBJECTIVE: Our primary objective was to compare mechanisms of cortical plasticity in humans with and without T2DM...
September 13, 2016: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease: JAD
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