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Different phases of motor skill learning appear to involve different physiological processes, with long-term potentiation (LTP) occurring at existing synapses in early and cortical reorganization involving synaptogenesis in later phases. Here, we test the evolution of skill learning-dependent changes in motor plasticity and excitability in six subjects(More)
Musicians not only have extraordinary motor and sensory skills, but they also have an increased ability to learn new tasks compared with non-musicians. We examined how these features are expressed in neurophysiological parameters of excitability and plasticity in the motor system by comparing the results of 11 professional musicians and 8 age-matched(More)
Low amplitude muscle vibration (0.5 ms; 80 Hz; duration 1.5 s) was applied in turn to each of three different intrinsic hand muscles (first dorsal interosseus, FDI; abductor pollicis brevis, APB; and abductor digiti minimi, ADM) in order to test its effect on the EMG responses evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Recordings were also taken(More)
The integration of brain monitoring based on electroencephalography (EEG) into everyday life has been hindered by the limited portability and long setup time of current wearable systems as well as by the invasiveness of implanted systems (e.g. intracranial EEG). We explore the potential to record EEG in the ear canal, leading to a discreet, unobtrusive, and(More)
Focal hand dystonia (FHD) has been suggested to be a maladaptive response of the brain to repetitive performance of stereotyped and attentionally demanding hand movements. However, not all patients with FHD have a strict history of excessive hand use; for example, patients with musician's dystonia (MD) spend many hours per day with their attention focused(More)
The influence of proprioception on motorcortical excitability was assessed by muscle vibration (MV; 80 Hz, 0.5 mm amplitude) of the flexor carpi radialis muscle (FCR) and compared to voluntary contraction and relaxation conditions. Motor thresholds, motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) in response to single pulses of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and(More)
Professional musicians are an excellent model of long-term motor learning effects on structure and function of the sensorimotor system. However, intensive motor skill training has been associated with task-specific deficiency in hand motor control, which has a higher prevalence among musicians (musician's dystonia) than in the general population. Using a(More)
OBJECTIVE The sensorimotor organization (SMO) of the motor hand area is abnormal in focal hand dystonia and likely contributes to symptom manifestation. In healthy subjects SMO is changed by training with proprioceptive stimulation. Here we test whether similar interventions reverse the abnormal SMO in musician's dystonia and writer's cramp. If so, they(More)
Several experimental protocols induce lasting changes in the excitability of motor cortex. Some involve direct cortical stimulation, others activate the somatosensory system and some combine motor and sensory stimulation. The effects usually are measured as changes in amplitude of the motor-evoked-potential (MEP) or short-interval intracortical inhibition(More)