Motor learning enhances use-dependent plasticity

Abstract Motor behaviors are shaped not only by current sensory signals but also by the history of recent experiences. For instance, repeated movements toward a particular target bias the subsequent movements toward that target direction. This process, called use-dependent plasticity (UDP), is considered a basic and goal-independent way of forming motor memories. Most studies consider movement history as the critical component that leads to UDP (Classen et al., 1998, Verstynen and Sabes, 2011). However, the effects of learning (i.e. improved performance) on UDP during movement repetition have not been investigated. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in two experiments to assess plasticity changes occurring in the primary motor cortex (M1) after individuals repeated reinforced and non-reinforced actions. The first experiment assessed whether learning a skill task modulates UDP. We…

Link to Full Article: Motor learning enhances use-dependent plasticity

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