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Coherent, time-shifted patterns of microstructural plasticity during motor-skill learning


Azzarito, Michela; Emmenegger, Tim M; Ziegler, Gabriel; Huber, Eveline; Grabher, Patrick; Callaghan, Martina F; Thompson, Alan; Friston, Karl; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Killeen, Tim; Freund, Patrick (2023). Coherent, time-shifted patterns of microstructural plasticity during motor-skill learning. NeuroImage, 274:120128.

Abstract

Motor skill learning relies on neural plasticity in the motor and limbic systems. However, the spatial and temporal characteristics of these changes-and their microstructural underpinnings-remain unclear. Eighteen healthy males received 1 h of training in a computer-based motion game, 4 times a week, for 4 consecutive weeks, while 14 untrained participants underwent scanning only. Performance improvements were observed in all trained participants. Serial myelin- and iron-sensitive multiparametric mapping at 3T during this period of intensive motor skill acquisition revealed temporally and spatially distributed, performance-related microstructural changes in the grey and white matter across a corticospinal-cerebellar-hippocampal circuit. Analysis of the trajectory of these transient changes suggested time-shifted cascades of plasticity from the dominant sensorimotor system to the contralateral hippocampus. In the cranial corticospinal tracts, changes in myelin-sensitive metrics during training in the posterior limb of the internal capsule were of greater magnitude in those who trained their upper limbs vs. lower limb trainees. Motor skill learning is associated with waves of grey and white matter plasticity, across a broad sensorimotor network.

Abstract

Motor skill learning relies on neural plasticity in the motor and limbic systems. However, the spatial and temporal characteristics of these changes-and their microstructural underpinnings-remain unclear. Eighteen healthy males received 1 h of training in a computer-based motion game, 4 times a week, for 4 consecutive weeks, while 14 untrained participants underwent scanning only. Performance improvements were observed in all trained participants. Serial myelin- and iron-sensitive multiparametric mapping at 3T during this period of intensive motor skill acquisition revealed temporally and spatially distributed, performance-related microstructural changes in the grey and white matter across a corticospinal-cerebellar-hippocampal circuit. Analysis of the trajectory of these transient changes suggested time-shifted cascades of plasticity from the dominant sensorimotor system to the contralateral hippocampus. In the cranial corticospinal tracts, changes in myelin-sensitive metrics during training in the posterior limb of the internal capsule were of greater magnitude in those who trained their upper limbs vs. lower limb trainees. Motor skill learning is associated with waves of grey and white matter plasticity, across a broad sensorimotor network.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Neurology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 July 2023
Deposited On:20 Jun 2023 08:25
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:38
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2023.120128
PubMed ID:37116765
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)