Reference : A pet study of human skill learning: Changes in brain activity related to learning an...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Theoretical & cognitive psychology
A pet study of human skill learning: Changes in brain activity related to learning an orientation discrimination task
Schiltz, Christine mailto [Université Catholique de Louvain - UCL > Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie]
Bodart, Jean-Michel [> >]
Michel, Christian [> >]
Crommelinck, Marc [> >]
Cortex: A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] training ; visual cortex ; cerebellum ; caudate nucleus
[en] Using 15O-water 3D positron emission tomography we investigated the effect of training in orientation discrimination upon cerebral activity in healthy human adults. When subjects are trained in this discrimination task, they learn the visuo-motor stimulus-response association required by the task and they increase their perceptual abilities in orientation discrimination. The present study was designed to investigate the rCBF modifications related to both these learning processes induced by training in orientation discrimination. PET data were acquired on two separate days (before and after training). Comparing the activation pattern related to orientation discrimination before and after the training period we observed activity decreases located in the left cerebellar cortex, in the right precentral gyrus and bilaterally in the fusiform gyri. The only region showing an activity increase was located in the body of the right caudate nucleus. These findings confirm the role of the neostriatum in skill learning and highlight the importance of mechanisms resulting in cortical and cerebellar neuronal activity decreases in this type of learning.

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