Michelle M. Adams

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Performance of complex motor tasks, such as rapid sequences of finger movements, can be improved in terms of speed and accuracy over several weeks by daily practice sessions. This improvement does not generalize to a matched sequence of identical component movements, nor to the contralateral hand. Here we report a study of the neural changes underlying this(More)
Behavioral and neurophysiological studies suggest that skill learning can be mediated by discrete, experience-driven changes within specific neural representations subserving the performance of the trained task. We have shown that a few minutes of daily practice on a sequential finger opposition task induced large, incremental performance gains over a few(More)
The present study examined the long-standing concept that changes in hippocampal circuitry contribute to age-related learning impairment. Individual differences in spatial learning were documented in young and aged Long-Evans rats by using a hippocampal-dependent version of the Morris water maze. Postmortem analysis used a confocal laser-scanning microscopy(More)
Studies in experimental animals and humans have stressed the role of the cerebellum in motor skill learning. Yet, the relative importance of the cerebellar cortex and deep nuclei, as well as the nature of the dynamic functional changes occurring between these and other motor-related structures during learning, remains in dispute. Using functional magnetic(More)
We investigated the patterns of projections from the pulvinar to visual areas V1, V2, V4, and MT, and their relationships to pulvinar subdivisions based on patterns of calbindin (CB) immunostaining and estimates of visual field maps (P(1), P(2) and P(3)). Multiple retrograde tracers were placed into V1, V2, V4, and/or MT in 11 adult macaque monkeys. The(More)
Estrogen regulates hippocampal dendritic spine density and synapse number in an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent manner, and these effects may be of particular importance in the context of age-related changes in endocrine status. We investigated estrogen's effects on axospinous synapse density and the synaptic distribution of the NMDA receptor(More)
Caloric restriction (CR) is a daily reduction of total caloric intake without a decrease in micronutrients or disproportionate reduction of any one dietary component. CR can increase lifespan reliably in a wide range of species and appears to counteract some aspects of the aging process throughout the body. The effects on the brain are less clear, but(More)
Estrogen replacement increases both the number of dendritic spines and the density of axospinous synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in young rats, yet this is attenuated in aged rats. The estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-alpha) is localized within select spines of CA1 pyramidal cells in young animals and thus may be involved locally in this process. The(More)
Estrogens and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors regulate multiple aspects of morphological and functional plasticity in young animals. For example, estrogens increase spine density in the hippocampus, and NMDA antagonists block these effects. Few studies have examined the effects of age, postovariectomy interval, and duration of estrogen replacement in(More)
Estrogen interacts with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors to regulate multiple aspects of morphological and functional plasticity. In hippocampus, estrogen increases both dendritic spine density and synapse number, and NMDA antagonists block these effects. Thus, estrogen-mediated hippocampal plasticity may be of particular importance in the context of(More)