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Erschienen in: Brain Structure and Function 6/2021

22.04.2021 | Original Article

White matter microstructural changes in short-term learning of a continuous visuomotor sequence

verfasst von: Stéfanie A. Tremblay, Anna-Thekla Jäger, Julia Huck, Chiara Giacosa, Stephanie Beram, Uta Schneider, Sophia Grahl, Arno Villringer, Christine L. Tardif, Pierre-Louis Bazin, Christopher J. Steele, Claudine J. Gauthier

Erschienen in: Brain Structure and Function | Ausgabe 6/2021

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Abstract

Efficient neural transmission is crucial for optimal brain function, yet the plastic potential of white matter (WM) has long been overlooked. Growing evidence now shows that modifications to axons and myelin occur not only as a result of long-term learning, but also after short training periods. Motor sequence learning (MSL), a common paradigm used to study neuroplasticity, occurs in overlapping learning stages and different neural circuits are involved in each stage. However, most studies investigating short-term WM plasticity have used a pre-post design, in which the temporal dynamics of changes across learning stages cannot be assessed. In this study, we used multiple magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at 7 T to investigate changes in WM in a group learning a complex visuomotor sequence (LRN) and in a control group (SMP) performing a simple sequence, for five consecutive days. Consistent with behavioral results, where most improvements occurred between the two first days, structural changes in WM were observed only in the early phase of learning (d1–d2), and in overall learning (d1–d5). In LRNs, WM microstructure was altered in the tracts underlying the primary motor and sensorimotor cortices. Moreover, our structural findings in WM were related to changes in functional connectivity, assessed with resting-state functional MRI data in the same cohort, through analyses in regions of interest (ROIs). Significant changes in WM microstructure were found in a ROI underlying the right supplementary motor area. Together, our findings provide evidence for highly dynamic WM plasticity in the sensorimotor network during short-term MSL.
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Metadaten
Titel
White matter microstructural changes in short-term learning of a continuous visuomotor sequence
verfasst von
Stéfanie A. Tremblay
Anna-Thekla Jäger
Julia Huck
Chiara Giacosa
Stephanie Beram
Uta Schneider
Sophia Grahl
Arno Villringer
Christine L. Tardif
Pierre-Louis Bazin
Christopher J. Steele
Claudine J. Gauthier
Publikationsdatum
22.04.2021
Verlag
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Erschienen in
Brain Structure and Function / Ausgabe 6/2021
Print ISSN: 1863-2653
Elektronische ISSN: 1863-2661
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00429-021-02267-y