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Repeated Structural Imaging Reveals Nonlinear Progression of Experience-Dependent Volume Changes in Human Motor Cortex

Wenger, Elisabeth; Kühn, Simone; Verrel, Julius; Mårtensson, Johan LU ; Bodammer, Nils Christian; Lindenberger, Ulman and Lövdén, Martin LU (2017) In Cerebral Cortex 27(5). p.2911-2925
Abstract

Evidence for experience-dependent structural brain change in adult humans is accumulating. However, its time course is not well understood, as intervention studies typically consist of only 2 imaging sessions (before vs. after training).We acquired up to 18 structural magnetic resonance images over a 7-week period while 15 right-handed participants practiced left-hand writing and drawing. After 4 weeks, we observed increases in gray matter of both left and right primary motor cortices relative to a control group; 3 weeks later, these differences were no longer reliable. Time-series analyses revealed that gray matter in the primary motor cortices expanded during the first 4weeks and then partially renormalized, in particular in the right... (More)

Evidence for experience-dependent structural brain change in adult humans is accumulating. However, its time course is not well understood, as intervention studies typically consist of only 2 imaging sessions (before vs. after training).We acquired up to 18 structural magnetic resonance images over a 7-week period while 15 right-handed participants practiced left-hand writing and drawing. After 4 weeks, we observed increases in gray matter of both left and right primary motor cortices relative to a control group; 3 weeks later, these differences were no longer reliable. Time-series analyses revealed that gray matter in the primary motor cortices expanded during the first 4weeks and then partially renormalized, in particular in the right hemisphere, despite continued practice and increasing task proficiency. Similar patterns of expansion followed by partial renormalization are also found in synaptogenesis, cortical map plasticity, and maturation, and may qualify as a general principle of structural plasticity. Research on human brain plasticity needs to encompass more than 2 measurement occasions to capture expansion and potential renormalization processes over time.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Gray matter changes, Motor learning, Structural brain plasticity, Time course, Voxel-based morphometry
in
Cerebral Cortex
volume
27
issue
5
pages
15 pages
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85019133244
  • wos:000400461700014
ISSN
1047-3211
DOI
10.1093/cercor/bhw141
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e2cbad86-6bda-4ec2-8a69-1ef840be27b9
date added to LUP
2017-05-31 11:41:26
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:38:22
@article{e2cbad86-6bda-4ec2-8a69-1ef840be27b9,
  abstract     = {<p>Evidence for experience-dependent structural brain change in adult humans is accumulating. However, its time course is not well understood, as intervention studies typically consist of only 2 imaging sessions (before vs. after training).We acquired up to 18 structural magnetic resonance images over a 7-week period while 15 right-handed participants practiced left-hand writing and drawing. After 4 weeks, we observed increases in gray matter of both left and right primary motor cortices relative to a control group; 3 weeks later, these differences were no longer reliable. Time-series analyses revealed that gray matter in the primary motor cortices expanded during the first 4weeks and then partially renormalized, in particular in the right hemisphere, despite continued practice and increasing task proficiency. Similar patterns of expansion followed by partial renormalization are also found in synaptogenesis, cortical map plasticity, and maturation, and may qualify as a general principle of structural plasticity. Research on human brain plasticity needs to encompass more than 2 measurement occasions to capture expansion and potential renormalization processes over time.</p>},
  author       = {Wenger, Elisabeth and Kühn, Simone and Verrel, Julius and Mårtensson, Johan and Bodammer, Nils Christian and Lindenberger, Ulman and Lövdén, Martin},
  issn         = {1047-3211},
  keyword      = {Gray matter changes,Motor learning,Structural brain plasticity,Time course,Voxel-based morphometry},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {2911--2925},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Cerebral Cortex},
  title        = {Repeated Structural Imaging Reveals Nonlinear Progression of Experience-Dependent Volume Changes in Human Motor Cortex},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhw141},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2017},
}