Refinement of learned skilled movement representation in motor cortex deep output layer

Li, Q., Ko, H., Qian, Z. M., Yan, L. Y. C., Chan, D. C. W., Arbuthnott, G., Ke, Y., Yung, W. H. (June 2017) Refinement of learned skilled movement representation in motor cortex deep output layer. Nat Commun, 8. p. 15834. ISSN 2041-1723

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DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15834


The mechanisms underlying the emergence of learned motor skill representation in primary motor cortex (M1) are not well understood. Specifically, how motor representation in the deep output layer 5b (L5b) is shaped by motor learning remains virtually unknown. In rats undergoing motor skill training, we detect a subpopulation of task-recruited L5b neurons that not only become more movement-encoding, but their activities are also more structured and temporally aligned to motor execution with a timescale of refinement in tens-of-milliseconds. Field potentials evoked at L5b in vivo exhibit persistent long-term potentiation (LTP) that parallels motor performance. Intracortical dopamine denervation impairs motor learning, and disrupts the LTP profile as well as the emergent neurodynamical properties of task-recruited L5b neurons. Thus, dopamine-dependent recruitment of L5b neuronal ensembles via synaptic reorganization may allow the motor cortex to generate more temporally structured, movement-encoding output signal from M1 to downstream circuitry that drives increased uniformity and precision of movement during motor learning.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior > learning
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > motor cortex
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Kepecs lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 9 June 2017
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2017 15:29
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2021 13:32
PMCID: PMC5472789
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