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 resonance imaging and a motor sequence learning paradigm in humans, we found evidence of an experience-dependent shift of activation from the cerebellar cortex to the dentate nucleus during early learning, and from a cerebellar-cortical to a striatal-cortical network with extended practice. The results indicate that intrinsic modulation within the cerebellum, in concert with activation of motor-related cortical regions, serves to set up a procedurally acquired sequence of movements that is then maintained elsewhere in the brain.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 22 Jan 2002|
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