Learning through intensive practice has been largely observed in motor, sensory and higher-order cognitive processing. Neuroimaging studies have shown that learning phases are associated with different patterns of functional and structural neural plasticity in spatially distributed brain systems. Yet, it is unknown whether distinct neural signatures before practice can foster different subsequent learning stages over time. Here, we employed a bimanual implicit sequence reaction time task (SRTT) to investigate whether the rates of early (one day after practice) and late (one month after practice) post-training motor skill learning were predicted by distinct patterns of pre-training resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC), recorded with functional MRI. We observed that both motor learning descriptors were positively correlated with the strength of rs-FC among pairs of regions within a SRTT-relevant network comprising cerebellar as well as cortical and subcortical motor areas. Crucially, we detected a double dissociation such that early post-training learning was significantly associated with the functional connections within cerebellar regions, whereas late post-training learning was significantly related to the functional connections between cortical and subcortical motor areas. These findings indicate that spontaneous brain activity prospectively carries out behaviorally relevant information to perform experience-dependent cognitive operations far distant in time.

Distinct connectivity profiles predict different in-time processes of motor skill learning

Baldassarre A.
Primo
;
Spadone S.;Penna S. D.
Penultimo
;
Committeri G.
Ultimo
2021-01-01

Abstract

Learning through intensive practice has been largely observed in motor, sensory and higher-order cognitive processing. Neuroimaging studies have shown that learning phases are associated with different patterns of functional and structural neural plasticity in spatially distributed brain systems. Yet, it is unknown whether distinct neural signatures before practice can foster different subsequent learning stages over time. Here, we employed a bimanual implicit sequence reaction time task (SRTT) to investigate whether the rates of early (one day after practice) and late (one month after practice) post-training motor skill learning were predicted by distinct patterns of pre-training resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC), recorded with functional MRI. We observed that both motor learning descriptors were positively correlated with the strength of rs-FC among pairs of regions within a SRTT-relevant network comprising cerebellar as well as cortical and subcortical motor areas. Crucially, we detected a double dissociation such that early post-training learning was significantly associated with the functional connections within cerebellar regions, whereas late post-training learning was significantly related to the functional connections between cortical and subcortical motor areas. These findings indicate that spontaneous brain activity prospectively carries out behaviorally relevant information to perform experience-dependent cognitive operations far distant in time.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/755551
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