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  Interindividual differences in gray and white matter properties are associated with early complex motor skill acquisition

Lehmann, N., Tolentino-Castro, J. W., Kaminski, E., Ragert, P., Villringer, A., & Taubert, M. (2019). Interindividual differences in gray and white matter properties are associated with early complex motor skill acquisition. Human Brain Mapping, 40(15), 4316-4330. doi:10.1002/hbm.24704.

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Lehmann, Nico1, 2, 3, Author              
Tolentino-Castro, J. Walter4, 5, Author
Kaminski, Elisabeth1, 6, Author              
Ragert, Patrick1, 7, Author              
Villringer, Arno1, 8, Author              
Taubert, Marco1, 3, 9, Author              
1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
2Department of Sport Science, Faculty of Science and Medicine, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Sport Science, Faculty of Human Sciences, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Movement Science, Münster University, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Otto Creutzfeldt Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Münster, Germany, ou_persistent22              
6Applied Geropsychology and Cognition, TU Chemnitz, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7Institute of General Kinesiology and Athletics Training, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
8Division of Mind and Brain Research, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
9Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences, Magdeburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Balance; Learning; MRI; Predispositions; Skill acquisition
 Abstract: Brain circuits mediate but also constrain experience‐induced plasticity and corresponding behavioral changes. Here we tested whether interindividual behavioral differences in learning a challenging new motor skill correlate with variations in brain anatomy. Young, healthy participants were scanned using structural magnetic resonance imaging (T1‐weighted MPRAGE, n = 75 and/or diffusion‐weighted MRI, n = 59) and practiced a complex whole‐body balancing task on a seesaw‐like platform. Using conjunction tests based on the nonparametric combination (NPC) methodology, we found that gray matter volume (GMV) in the right orbitrofrontal cortex was positively related to the subjects' initial level of proficiency and their ability to improve performance during practice. Similarly, we obtained a strong trend toward a positive correlation between baseline fractional anisotropy (FA) in commissural prefrontal fiber pathways and later motor learning. FA results were influenced more strongly by radial than axial diffusivity. However, we did not find unique anatomical correlates of initial performance and learning to rate. Our findings reveal structural predispositions for successful motor skill performance and acquisition in frontal brain structures and underlying frontal white matter tracts. Together with previous results, these findings support the view that structural constraints imposed by the brain determine subsequent behavioral success and underline the importance of structural brain network constitution before learning starts.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-06-192018-10-302019-06-212019-07-012019-10-15
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1002/hbm.24704
Other: Epub ahead of print
PMID: 31264300
 Degree: -



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Project information

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Project name : -
Grant ID : IIA1‐070613/12‐13 ; ZMVI1‐070610/14‐16
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Federal Institute of Sport Science

Source 1

Title: Human Brain Mapping
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: New York : Wiley-Liss
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 40 (15) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 4316 - 4330 Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925601686