What are the cellular underpinnings of how this motor learning process works? In a study published this week in, a research team led by offers new and valuable insights into this enduring mystery of neuroscience.
is focused on unraveling how memories are encoded and stored in the brain, particularly with motor learning, the complex process of how we move and coordinate the muscles of our bodies. With , Dr. Chen’s research team explored the mechanisms involved in regulating the process of motor memory acquisition and consolidation during repetitive practice.
Dr. Chen, says the study’s findings could prove useful for developing therapeutic targets that can help recover motor functions in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, a stroke or a brain injury. This is significant because restoring gross motor coordination and regaining lost movements is a very difficult battle for these individuals.
“If we understand how the acquisition of motor skills is regulated in the brain then perhaps one day we can help patients with stroke or Parkinson’s disease regain those skills during the rehabilitation process,” he says.
The study focused on mice, not people. But since scientists believe that the mechanisms of memory formation are very similar in mice and human beings, the findings likely have deep relevance for people.
So how did the experiments work? Read more on the .
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