Stephanie A McHughen

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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is important to brain functions such as plasticity and repair. A single nucleotide polymorphism for this growth factor, val(66)met, is common and associated with decreased activity-dependent BDNF release. The current study evaluated the effects of this polymorphism in relation to human brain motor system function,(More)
In a previous study, we found that haptic guidance from a robotic steering wheel can improve short-term learning of steering of a simulated vehicle, in contrast to several studies of other tasks that had found that the guidance either impairs or does not aid motor learning. In this study, we examined whether haptic guidance-as-needed can improve long-term(More)
The brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) val(66)met polymorphism affects function of the motor system in young subjects, but little is known about motor system effects in the elderly. The current study assessed motor system physiology and behavior, plus a measure of short-term motor cortex plasticity using transcranial magnetic stimulation, in 38(More)
The val(66)met polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene impacts activity-dependent secretion of BDNF and modifies short-term cortical plasticity. The current study examined whether sustained training overcomes polymorphism effects on short-term plasticity and also examined polymorphism effects on long-term plasticity. Twenty-four(More)
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