Shifting to automatic

  • Restivo L
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Comments on an article by Yin H. Henry et al. (see record 2009-02743-016). Yin et al. identify region specific changes in striatal neural activity that map onto different phases of skill learning. Yin and colleagues implanted mice with microelectrode arrays aimed at the dorsomedial region of the striatum (DMS) and the dorsolateral portion (DLS) and trained them in the accelerating rotarod task. In vivo recordings showed a functional dissociation between striatal regions: DMS neurons showed robust rate modulation during early training phase, while DLS showed increased rate modulation during the extended training period. These data might raise the question whether motor cortex rewiring precedes, co-occurs or is a consequence of synaptic strength changes taking place in the DLS. Automatization might be subsequently achieved through a strengthening of synapses onto DLS neurons projecting to basal ganglia and thalamic structures which eventually convey information to the motor cortex where the new skill memory is embedded in a more ample, cortical-based, motor repertoire. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)




Restivo, L. (2010). Shifting to automatic. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.

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