Document Detail

Skill learning induced plasticity of motor cortical representations is time and age-dependent.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23010138     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Movement representations in the motor cortex can reorganize to support motor skill learning during young adulthood. However, little is known about how motor representations change during aging or whether their change is influenced by continued practice of a skill after it is learned. We used intracortical microstimulation to characterize the organization of the forelimb motor cortex in young and aged C57/BL6 mice after short (2-4 weeks) or long (8 weeks) durations of training on a skilled reaching task or control procedures. In young mice, a short duration of reach training increased the area of proximal forelimb movement representations at the expense of distal representations. Following a longer training duration, ratios of proximal to distal movements returned to baseline, even with ongoing practice and skill maintenance. However, lingering changes were evident in thresholds for eliciting distal forelimb movements, which declined over the longer training period. In aged mice, movement representations and movement thresholds failed to change after either duration of training. Furthermore, there was an age-related loss of digit representations and performance decrements on other sensorimotor tests. Nevertheless, in quantitative measures of reaching success, aged mice learned and performed the skilled reaching task at least as well as younger mice. These results indicate that experience-driven topographical reorganization of motor cortex varies with age, as well as time, and is partially dissociable from behavioral performance. They also support an enduring capacity to learn new manual skills during aging, even as more youthful forms of cortical plasticity and sensorimotor function are lost.
Kelly A Tennant; DeAnna L Adkins; Matthew D Scalco; Nicole A Donlan; Aaron L Asay; Nagheme Thomas; Jeffrey A Kleim; Theresa A Jones
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2012-09-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neurobiology of learning and memory     Volume:  98     ISSN:  1095-9564     ISO Abbreviation:  Neurobiol Learn Mem     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-06     Completed Date:  2013-04-30     Revised Date:  2013-10-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9508166     Medline TA:  Neurobiol Learn Mem     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  291-302     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin, 78712, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Aging / physiology*
Behavior, Animal / physiology
Forelimb / physiology
Motor Cortex / physiology*
Motor Skills / physiology*
Movement / physiology
Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
Physical Stimulation
Time Factors
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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