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

Tremblay, S. A., Jäger, A.-T., Huck, J., Giacosa, C., Beram, S., Schneider, U., et al. (2021). White matter microstructural changes in short-term learning of a continuous visuomotor sequence. Brain Structure & Function, 226(6), 1677-1698. doi:10.1007/s00429-021-02267-y.

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Tremblay, Stéfanie A.1, 2, Author
Jäger, Anna-Thekla3, 4, Author
Huck, Julia1, Author
Giacosa, Chiara1, Author
Beram, Stephanie1, Author
Schneider, Uta3, Author
Grahl, Sophia3, Author
Villringer, Arno3, 5, 6, 7, Author              
Tardif, Christine8, 9, Author              
Bazin, Pierre-Louis3, 10, Author              
Steele, Christopher3, 11, Author              
Gauthier, Claudine1, 2, Author              
1PERFORM Center, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
2Montreal Heart Institute, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
3Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
4Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
5Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
6Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
7Collaborative Research Center Obesity Mechanisms, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
8Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Montréal, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
9Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              
10Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
11Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: DTI; DWI; Fractional anisotropy (FA); Motor sequence learning; Plasticity; White matter
 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.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-10-042021-03-262021-04-222021-07
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1007/s00429-021-02267-y
Other: epub 2021
PMID: 33885965
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : RGPIN 2015-04665, CJS: RGPIN-2020-06812, DGECR-2020-00146
Funding program : -
Funding organization : National Science and Engineering Research Council
Project name : -
Grant ID : HNC 170723
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Source 1

Title: Brain Structure & Function
  Abbreviation : Brain Struct Funct
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Berlin : Springer
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 226 (6) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1677 - 1698 Identifier: ISSN: 1863-2653
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1863-2653