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The Cerebellum: From Development to Learning

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196197 Year: Pages: 110 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-619-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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In this book, laboratory leaders on cerebellar neuroscience have revised the present body of knowledge about cerebellum anatomy and function. The trip throughout the cerebellar vineyard organization starts from the causal study of morphogenesis (that is, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underplaying form generation) to the molecular mechanism regulation cellular differentiation: Basson, Dusart, Hawkes, Martinez and Rosi’s groups contributions. Then, neurodevelopmental anomalies associated with structural disorganization are revised in Jissendi and Batkovich’s group reviews, describing and discussing pathogenic processes. Finally, functional mechanisms of cerebellar circuits involved in motor learning are revised by Delgado-Garcia and Armengol’s group contribution.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Motor Learning and Sensorimotor Adaptation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193653 Year: Pages: 214 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-365-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-19 16:29:12
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The plasticity of the living matter of our nervous system, in short, is the reason why we do a thing with difficulty the first time, but soon do it more and more easily, and finally, with sufficient practice, do it semi-mechanically, or with hardly any consciousness at all. William James, 1899. It is over 100 years since James described the acquisition of skill. How much, or how little, have recent advances in science changed the way we think about skill learning? What theories and ideas do we still hold dear and which have we discarded? Advances in neuroimaging over the past 20 years have provided insight into the dynamic neural processes underlying human motor skill acquisition, focusing primarily on brain networks that are engaged during early versus late stages of learning. What has been challenging for the field is to tightly link these shifting neural processes with what is known about measureable behavioral changes and strategic processes that occur during learning. The complex nature of behavior and strategy in motor learning often result in a trade-off between experimental control and external validity. The articles assembled for this special issue cut across a number of related disciplines and investigate skill learning across multiple domains. The broad range of theoretical, analytical and methodological approaches offer complementary approaches that can be exploited to develop integrated models of skilled learning. It is our hope that this collection inspires innovation and collaboration amongst researchers, and thereby, accelerates development of societally relevant translational paradigms.

Online and Offline Modulators of Motor Learning

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451661 Year: Pages: 155 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-166-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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Both the acquisition of new and the modification of previously acquired motor skills are necessary to achieve optimal levels of motor performance in everyday functioning as well as to attain expert performance levels that are evident in sports and arts. A multitude of factors have been shown to influence the various stages of the learning process, from the acquisition (i.e., motor memory encoding) to the consolidation and subsequent retention of a skill. These factors, or modulators, can affect learning through online processes taking place during practice of a new motor skill or through offline processes occurring in the absence of task performance (i.e., after training sessions). Although much of the recent research from various disciplines has placed an increased emphasis on identifying factors that can influence the motor learning process, we lack an integrated understanding of online and offline determinants of motor skill behaviours. Potential motor learning modulators include, but are certainly not limited to, stress, anxiety, attention, executive functioning, social interaction, stimulus-response mapping, training schedule/regimen, learning environment, vigilance/consciousness states including sleep, wakefulness or meditation, brain stimulation, interference as well as resting state brain connectivity. Pathological and non-pathological (i.e., development or aging) changes in the brain can also be conceptualized as potential modulators. The aim of this Research Topic is to bridge research from the cognitive, sensory, motor and psychological domains using various behavioural paradigms and neuroimaging techniques in order to provide a comprehensive view of the online and offline modulators of motor learning, and how they interact to influence motor performance. Critically, the overarching goal is to gain a better understanding of how motor behaviour can be optimized. We believe that merging research from diverse neuroscientific communities would contribute to fulfilling this goal and potentially highlight possible shared neurophysiological mechanisms influencing motor learning.

Modularity in motor control: from muscle synergies to cognitive action representation

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198054 Year: Pages: 792 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-805-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-02-03 17:04:57
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Mastering a rich repertoire of motor behaviors, as humans and other animals do, is a surprising and still poorly understood outcome of evolution, development, and learning. Many degrees-of-freedom, non-linear dynamics, and sensory delays provide formidable challenges for controlling even simple actions. Modularity as a functional element, both structural and computational, of a control architecture might be the key organizational principle that the central nervous system employs for achieving versatility and adaptability in motor control. Recent investigations of muscle synergies, motor primitives, compositionality, basic action concepts, and related work in machine learning have contributed to advance, at different levels, our understanding of the modular architecture underlying rich motor behaviors. However, the existence and nature of the modules in the control architecture is far from settled. For instance, regularity and low-dimensionality in the motor output are often taken as an indication of modularity but could they simply be a byproduct of optimization and task constraints? Moreover, what are the relationships between modules at different levels, such as muscle synergies, kinematic invariants, and basic action concepts? One important reason for the new interest in understanding modularity in motor control from different viewpoints is the impressive development in cognitive robotics. In comparison to animals and humans, the motor skills of today’s best robots are limited and inflexible. However, robot technology is maturing to the point at which it can start approximating a reasonable spectrum of isolated perceptual, cognitive, and motor capabilities. These advances allow researchers to explore how these motor, sensory and cognitive functions might be integrated into meaningful architectures and to test their functional limits. Such systems provide a new test bed to explore different concepts of modularity and to address the interaction between motor and cognitive processes experimentally. Thus, the goal of this Research Topic is to review, compare, and debate theoretical and experimental investigations of the modular organization of the motor control system at different levels. By bringing together researchers seeking to understand the building blocks for coordinating many muscles, for planning endpoint and joint trajectories, and for representing motor and behavioral actions in memory we aim at promoting new interactions between often disconnected research areas and approaches and at providing a broad perspective on the idea of modularity in motor control. We welcome original research, methodological, theoretical, review, and perspective contributions from behavioral, system, and computational motor neuroscience research, cognitive psychology, and cognitive robotics.

Infants’ Understanding and Production of Goal-Directed Actions in the Context of Social and Object-Related Interactions

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889452552 Year: Pages: 121 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-255-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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Since the discovery of mirror neurons, the study of human infant goal-directed actions and object manipulation has burgeoned into new and exciting research directions. A number of infant studies have begun emphasizing the social context of action to understand what infants can infer when looking at others performing goal-directed actions or manipulating objects. Others have begun addressing how looking at actions in a social context, or even simply looking at objects in the immediate environment influence the way infants learn to direct their own actions on objects. Researchers have even begun investigating what aspects of goal-directed actions and object manipulation infants imitate when such actions are being modeled by a social partner, or they have been asking which cues infants use to predict others' actions. A growing understanding of how infants learn to reach, perceive information for reaching, and attend social cues for action has become central to many recent studies. These new lines of investigation and others have benefited from the use of a broad range of new investigative techniques. Eye-tracking, brains imaging techniques and new methodologies have been used to scrutinize how infants look, process, and use information to act themselves on objects and/or the social world, and to infer, predict, and recognize goal-directed actions outcomes from others. This Frontiers Research topic brings together empirical reports, literature reviews, and theory and hypothesis papers that tap into some of these exciting developmental questions about how infants perceive, understand, and perform goal-directed actions broadly defined. The papers included either stress the neural, motor, or perceptual aspects of infants’ behavior, or any combination of those dimensions as related to the development of early cognitive understanding and performance of goal-directed actions.

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