Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Symposium 1

Memory transfer in cerebellar motor learning

Soichi Nagao

Laboratory for Motor Learning Control, RIKEN Brain Science Institute

Most of our motor skills are acquired through learning. Experiments of gain adaptation of ocular reflexes have consistently suggested that the memory of adaptation is initially formed in the cerebellar cortex, and is transferred to the cerebellar (vestibular) nuclei for consolidation to long-term memory after repetitions of training. We have recently developed a new system to evaluate the motor learning in human subjects using prism adaptation of hand reaching movement, by referring to the prism adaptation of dart throwing of Martin et al. (1996). In our system, the subject views the small target presented in the touch-panel screen, and touches it with his/her finger without direct visual feedback. After 15-30 trials of touching wearing prisms, an adaptation occurs in healthy subjects: they became able to touch the target correctly. Meanwhile, such an adaptation was impaired in patients of cerebellar disease. We have proposed a model of human prism adaptation that the memory of adaptation is initially encoded in the cerebellar cortex, and is later transferred to the cerebellar nuclei after repetitions of training. The memory in the cerebellar cortex may be formed and extinguished independently of the memory maintained in the cerebellar nuclei, and these two memories work cooperatively.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (252K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 52: 994|996, 2012)
key words: Cerebellum, Motor Learning, Transfer of Memory Trace, Voluntary Movement Control, Prism Adaptation

(Received: 23-May-12)