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Neural changes in the primate brain correlated with the evolution of complex motor skills

Yamazaki, Y; Hikishima, K; Saiki, M; Inada, M; Sasaki, E; Lemon, RN; Price, CJ; ... Iriki, A; + view all (2016) Neural changes in the primate brain correlated with the evolution of complex motor skills. Scientific Reports , 6 , Article 31084. 10.1038/srep31084. Green open access

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Abstract

Complex motor skills of eventual benefit can be learned after considerable trial and error. What do structural brain changes that accompany such effortful long-term learning tell us about the mechanisms for developing innovative behavior? Using MRI, we monitored brain structure before, during and after four marmosets learnt to use a rake, over a long period of 10–13 months. Throughout learning, improvements in dexterity and visuo-motor co-ordination correlated with increased volume in the lateral extrastriate cortex. During late learning, when the most complex behavior was maintained by sustained motivation to acquire the skill, the volume of the nucleus accumbens increased. These findings reflect the motivational state required to learn, and show accelerated function in higher visual cortex that is consistent with neurocognitive divergence across a spectrum of primate species.

Type: Article
Title: Neural changes in the primate brain correlated with the evolution of complex motor skills
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep31084
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep31084
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1511757
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