Cortical Synaptogenesis and Motor Map Reorganization Occur during Late, but Not Early, Phase of Motor Skill Learning

Jeffrey Kleim, Theresa M. Hogg, Penny M. VandenBerg, Natalie R. Cooper, Rochelle Bruneau, Michael Remple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

382 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Extensive motor skill training induces reorganization of movement representations and synaptogenesis within adult motor cortex. Motor skill does not, however, develop uniformly across training sessions. It is characterized by an initial fast phase, followed by a later slow phase of learning. How cortical plasticity emerges during these phases is unknown. Here, we examine motor map topography and synapse number within rat motor cortex during the early and late phases of motor learning. Adult rats were placed in either a skilled or unskilled reaching condition (SRC and URC, respectively) for 3, 7, or 10 d. Intracortical microstimulation of layer V was used to determine the topography of forelimb movement representations within caudal forelimb area of motor cortex contralateral to the trained paw. Quantitative electron microscopy was used to measure the number of synapses per neuron within layer V. SRC animals showed significant increases in reaching accuracy after 3, 7, and 10 d of training. In comparison with URC animals, SRC animals had significantly larger distal forelimb representations after 10 d of training only. Furthermore, SRC animals had significantly more synapses per neuron than URC animals after 7 and 10 d of training. These results show that both motor map reorganization and synapse formation occur during the late phase of skill learning. Furthermore, synaptogenesis precedes map reorganization. We propose that motor map reorganization and synapse formation do not contribute to the initial acquisition of motor skills but represent the consolidation of motor skin that occurs during late stages of training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-633
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 21 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Motor Skills
Synapses
Learning
Forelimb
Motor Cortex
Neurons
Electron Microscopy
Skin

Keywords

  • Intracortical microstimulation
  • Learning
  • Motor cortex
  • Motor map
  • Plasticity
  • Rat
  • Synaptogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Cortical Synaptogenesis and Motor Map Reorganization Occur during Late, but Not Early, Phase of Motor Skill Learning. / Kleim, Jeffrey; Hogg, Theresa M.; VandenBerg, Penny M.; Cooper, Natalie R.; Bruneau, Rochelle; Remple, Michael.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 24, No. 3, 21.01.2004, p. 628-633.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kleim, Jeffrey ; Hogg, Theresa M. ; VandenBerg, Penny M. ; Cooper, Natalie R. ; Bruneau, Rochelle ; Remple, Michael. / Cortical Synaptogenesis and Motor Map Reorganization Occur during Late, but Not Early, Phase of Motor Skill Learning. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2004 ; Vol. 24, No. 3. pp. 628-633.
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