FMRI studies investigating the acquisition of sequential motor skills in humans have revealed learning-related functional reorganizations of the cortico-striatal and cortico-cerebellar motor systems accompanied with an initial hippocampal contribution. Yet, the functional significance of these activity level changes remains ambiguous as they convey the evolution of both sequence-specific knowledge and unspecific task ability. Moreover, these changes do not specifically assess the occurrence of learning-related plasticity. To address these issues, we investigated local circuits tuning to sequence-specific information using multivariate distances between patterns evoked by consolidated or newly acquired motor sequences production. The results reveal that representations in dorsolateral striatum, prefrontal and secondary motor cortices are greater when executing consolidated sequences than untrained ones. By contrast, sequence representations in the hippocampus and dorsomedial striatum becomes less engaged. Our findings show, for the first time in humans, that complementary sequence-specific motor representations evolve distinctively during critical phases of skill acquisition and consolidation.
Behavioral data analyzed and presented in the article as well as statistical maps of brain representational measure have been deposited on the Open Science Framework with the DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/EPJ2V
Consolidation alters motor sequence-specific distributed representationsOpen Science Framework, DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/EPJ2V.
- Basile Pinsard
- Arnaud Boutin
- Ella Gabitov
- Julien Doyon
- Basile Pinsard
- Basile Pinsard
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: All participants provided written informed consent and received financial compensationfor their participation. This study protocol was approved by the Research Ethics Board of the ""Comité mixte d'éthique de la recherche - Regroupement en Neuroimagerie duQuébec"" (CMER-RNQ 13-14-011).
- Timothy Verstynen, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
© 2019, Pinsard et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Understanding neuronal representations of odor-evoked activities and their progressive transformation from the sensory level to higher brain centers features one of the major aims in olfactory neuroscience. Here, we investigated how odor information is transformed and represented in higher-order neurons of the lateral horn, one of the higher olfactory centers implicated in determining innate behavior, using Drosophila melanogaster. We focused on a subset of third-order glutamatergic lateral horn neurons (LHNs) and characterized their odor coding properties in relation to their presynaptic partner neurons, the projection neurons (PNs) by two-photon functional imaging. We show that odors evoke reproducible, stereotypic, and odor-specific response patterns in LHNs. Notably, odor-evoked responses in these neurons are valence-specific in a way that their response amplitude is positively correlated with innate odor preferences. We postulate that this valence-specific activity is the result of integrating inputs from multiple olfactory channels through second-order neurons. GRASP and micro-lesioning experiments provide evidence that glutamatergic LHNs obtain their major excitatory input from uniglomerular PNs, while they receive an odor-specific inhibition through inhibitory multiglomerular PNs. In summary, our study indicates that odor representations in glutamatergic LHNs encode hedonic valence and odor identity and primarily retain the odor coding properties of second-order neurons.
Learned movements can be skillfully performed at different paces. What neural strategies produce this flexibility? Can they be predicted and understood by network modeling? We trained monkeys to perform a cycling task at different speeds, and trained artificial recurrent networks to generate the empirical muscle-activity patterns. Network solutions reflected the principle that smooth well-behaved dynamics require low trajectory tangling. Network solutions had a consistent form, which yielded quantitative and qualitative predictions. To evaluate predictions, we analyzed motor cortex activity recorded during the same task. Responses supported the hypothesis that the dominant neural signals reflect not muscle activity, but network-level strategies for generating muscle activity. Single-neuron responses were better accounted for by network activity than by muscle activity. Similarly, neural population trajectories shared their organization not with muscle trajectories, but with network solutions. Thus, cortical activity could be understood based on the need to generate muscle activity via dynamics that allow smooth, robust control over movement speed.