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Multiple processes may contribute to motor skill acquisition, but it is thought that many of these processes require sleep or the passage of long periods of time ranging from several hours to many days or weeks. Here we demonstrate that within a timescale of minutes, two distinct fast-acting processes drive motor adaptation. One process responds weakly to(More)
Two different compensatory mechanisms are engaged when the nervous system senses errors during a reaching movement. First, on-line feedback control mechanisms produce in-flight corrections to reduce errors in the on-going movement. Second, these errors modify the internal model with which the motor plan is transformed into motor commands for the subsequent(More)
Chronic stress produces structural changes and neuronal damage especially in the hippocampus. Because neurotrophic factors affect neuron survival, we questioned whether they might be relevant to the heightened vulnerability of hippocampal neurons following stress. To begin investigating this possibility, we examined the effects of immobilization stress (2(More)
Motor control is the study of how organisms make accurate goal-directed movements. Here we consider two problems that the motor system must solve in order to achieve such control. The first problem is that sensory feedback is noisy and delayed, which can make movements inaccurate and unstable. The second problem is that the relationship between a motor(More)
Hypothalamic neuropeptides play a role in appetite and weight regulation. Food restriction for 2 weeks and food deprivation for 4 days were used as models to characterize the effects of weight loss on hypothalamic peptide gene expression in male and female rats. We used in situ hybridization to examine the mRNA levels of hypothalamic peptides which(More)
A steady progression of motor dysfunction takes place in Huntington's disease (HD). The origin of this disturbance with relation to the motor control process is not understood. Here we studied reaching movements in asymptomatic HD gene-carriers (AGCs) and subjects with manifest HD. We found that movement jerkiness, which characterizes the smoothness and(More)
Adaptability of reaching movements depends on a computation in the brain that transforms sensory cues, such as those that indicate the position and velocity of the arm, into motor commands. Theoretical consideration shows that the encoding properties of neural elements implementing this transformation dictate how errors should generalize from one limb(More)
Extensive theoretical, psychophysical, and neurobiological work has focused on the mechanisms by which short-term learning develops into long-term memory. Better understanding of these mechanisms may lead to the ability to improve the efficiency of training procedures. A key phenomenon in the formation of long-term memory is the effect of over learning on(More)
The motor commands required to control voluntary movements under various environmental conditions may be formed by adaptively combining a fixed set of motor primitives. Since this motor output must contend with state-dependent physical dynamics during movement, these primitives are thought to depend on the position and velocity of motion. Using a recently(More)
Changes in neurotrophic factor expression in the brain are part of the stress response. Decreased BDNF may contribute to hippocampal damage that occurs during chronic stress or aging. Stress-induced increases in NT-3 may be important for neural plasticity and adaptation or sensitization to repeated stress. Stress-induced changes in neurotrophic factors may(More)