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Alterations in the Thickness of Motor Cortical Subregions After Motor-Skill Learning
 

Summary: Research
Alterations in the Thickness of Motor Cortical
Subregions After Motor-Skill Learning
and Exercise
Brenda J. Anderson,1,2,4
Paul B. Eckburg,3
and Karen I. Relucio3
1
Department of Psychology, 2
Program in Neurobiology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11794-2500, USA;
3
Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, California 94305, USA
Behavioral manipulations such as housing in an enriched environment have been shown to increase brain
weight and visual cortical thickness. The present study was designed to test whether skill learning or
repetitive movements can alter the thickness of the motor cortex. One group of 6-mo-old Long-Evans female
rats learned motor skills on an obstacle course that increased in difficulty over training and required balance
and coordination. A second group ran voluntarily in exercise wheels attached to their home cage but had
little opportunity for skill learning. The third group was handled daily but received no opportunity for
learning or exercise. Each condition lasted 2629 d. The skill-learning and exercise conditions had greater
heart weight, and the exercise condition had greater adrenal gland weights than controls. The thickness of

  

Source: Anderson, Brenda - Department of Psychology, SUNY at Stony Brook

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine