Neural Substrates of Intermanual Transfer of a Newly Acquired Motor Skill

Monica Perez, S. Tanaka, S. P. Wise, N. Sadato, H. C. Tanabe, D. T. Willingham, L. G. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In healthy humans, the two cerebral hemispheres show functional specialization to a degree unmatched in other animals, and such strong hemispheric specialization contributes to unimanual skill acquisition [1, 2]. When most humans learn a new motor skill with one hand, this process results in performance improvements in the opposite hand as well [3-6]. Despite the obvious adaptive advantage of such intermanual transfer, there is no direct evidence identifying the neural substrates of this form of skill acquisition [7-9]. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study brain regions activated during intermanual transfer of a learned sequence of finger movements. First, we found that the supplementary motor area (SMA) has more activity when a skill has transferred well than when it has transferred poorly. Second, we found that fMRI activity in the ventrolateral posterior thalamic nucleus correlated with successful future intermanual transfer, whereas activity in the ventrolateral anterior thalamic nucleus correlated with past intermanual transfer. Third, we found that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation applied over the SMA blocked intermanual transfer without affecting skill acquisition. These findings provide direct evidence for an SMA-based mechanism that supports intermanual transfer of motor-skill learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1896-1902
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume17
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 6 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Motor Skills
Motor Cortex
Ventral Thalamic Nuclei
Substrates
Hand
Posterior Thalamic Nuclei
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Anterior Thalamic Nuclei
Cerebral Dominance
magnetic resonance imaging
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Cerebrum
hands
Fingers
Learning
Brain
Animals
learning
brain
animals

Keywords

  • SYSNEURO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Perez, M., Tanaka, S., Wise, S. P., Sadato, N., Tanabe, H. C., Willingham, D. T., & Cohen, L. G. (2007). Neural Substrates of Intermanual Transfer of a Newly Acquired Motor Skill. Current Biology, 17(21), 1896-1902. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2007.09.058

Neural Substrates of Intermanual Transfer of a Newly Acquired Motor Skill. / Perez, Monica; Tanaka, S.; Wise, S. P.; Sadato, N.; Tanabe, H. C.; Willingham, D. T.; Cohen, L. G.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 17, No. 21, 06.11.2007, p. 1896-1902.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Perez, M, Tanaka, S, Wise, SP, Sadato, N, Tanabe, HC, Willingham, DT & Cohen, LG 2007, 'Neural Substrates of Intermanual Transfer of a Newly Acquired Motor Skill', Current Biology, vol. 17, no. 21, pp. 1896-1902. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2007.09.058
Perez M, Tanaka S, Wise SP, Sadato N, Tanabe HC, Willingham DT et al. Neural Substrates of Intermanual Transfer of a Newly Acquired Motor Skill. Current Biology. 2007 Nov 6;17(21):1896-1902. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2007.09.058
Perez, Monica ; Tanaka, S. ; Wise, S. P. ; Sadato, N. ; Tanabe, H. C. ; Willingham, D. T. ; Cohen, L. G. / Neural Substrates of Intermanual Transfer of a Newly Acquired Motor Skill. In: Current Biology. 2007 ; Vol. 17, No. 21. pp. 1896-1902.
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