The role of cerebellum in action acquisition and motor learning

Dagioglou, Maria (2014). The role of cerebellum in action acquisition and motor learning. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The aim of the present thesis was to investigate the role of cerebellum in motor learning and action acquisition. This question was pursued by means of behavioural studies on healthy population. In a first study, the role of cerebellum in motor skill learning was explored by perturbing cerebellar activation with transcranial direct current stimulation. The involvement of cerebellum in action acquisition was studied in a paradigm that combined a visuomotor tracking task and an exploration task. The results of this study lead to chapter 4, where we investigated the impact of the tracking task in proprioceptive uncertainty. In a final study, the role of cerebellum, motor cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in action acquisition were investi- gated by modulating these brain areas using transcranial direct current stimulation. The results suggested that the cerebellum could be contributing in motor learning, not just by providing a state estimation but also by providing the uncertainty related to the estimates. However, based on the results of the final experimental chapter, we can conclude that, at least in the framework of the exploration task, motor cortex is more heavily involved than the cerebellum, perhaps via the cortico–basal–ganglia pathway, in reinforcement learning.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry


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