Corticospinal correlates of fast and slow adaptive processes in motor learning
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Neurophysiology, 120, 4, (2018), pp. 2011-1019
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC SMN
SW OZ DCC CO
Journal of Neurophysiology
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control
Recent computational theories and behavioral observations suggest that motor learning is supported by multiple adaptation processes, operating on different time scales, but direct neural evidence is lacking. We tested this hypothesis by applying transcranial magnetic stimulation over motor cortex in 16 human subjects during a validated reach adaptation task. Motor evoked potentials (MEP) and cortical silent periods (CSP) were recorded from the biceps brachii to assess modulations of corticospinal excitability as indices for corticospinal plasticity. Guided by a two-state adaptation model, we show that the MEP reflects an adaptive process that learns quickly but has poor retention, while the CSP correlates with a process that responds more slowly but retains information well. These results provide a physiological link between models of motor learning and distinct changes in corticospinal excitability. Our findings support the relationship between corticospinal gain modulations and the adaptive processes in motor learning.
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