Learning "How to Learn": Super Declarative Motor Learning Is Impaired in Parkinson's Disease.
ABSTRACT: Learning new information is crucial in daily activities and occurs continuously during a subject's lifetime. Retention of learned material is required for later recall and reuse, although learning capacity is limited and interference between consecutively learned information may occur. Learning processes are impaired in Parkinson's disease (PD); however, little is known about the processes related to retention and interference. The aim of this study is to investigate the retention and anterograde interference using a declarative sequence learning task in drug-naive patients in the disease's early stages. Eleven patients with PD and eleven age-matched controls learned a visuomotor sequence, SEQ1, during Day1; the following day, retention of SEQ1 was assessed and, immediately after, a new sequence of comparable complexity, SEQ2, was learned. The comparison of the learning rates of SEQ1 on Day1 and SEQ2 on Day2 assessed the anterograde interference of SEQ1 on SEQ2. We found that SEQ1 performance improved in both patients and controls on Day2. Surprisingly, controls learned SEQ2 better than SEQ1, suggesting the absence of anterograde interference and the occurrence of learning optimization, a process that we defined as "learning how to learn." Patients with PD lacked such improvement, suggesting defective performance optimization processes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Honeybee development consists of four stages: embryo, larva, pupa and adult. Embryogenesis, a key process of cell division and differentiation, takes 3 days in honeybees. However, the embryonic transcriptome and the dynamic regulation of embryonic transcription are still largely uncharacterized in honeybees, especially in the Asian honeybee (Apis cerana). Here, we employed high-quality RNA-seq to explore the transcriptome of Asian honeybee embryos at three ages, approximately 24, 48 and 72 h (referred to as Day1, Day2 and Day3, respectively). RESULTS:Nine embryo samples, three from each age, were collected for RNA-seq. According to the staging scheme of honeybee embryos and the morphological features we observed, our Day1, Day2 and Day3 embryos likely corresponded to the late stage four, stage eight and stage ten development stages, respectively. Hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis showed that same-age samples were grouped together, and the Day2 samples had a closer relationship with the Day3 samples than the Day1 samples. Finally, a total of 18,284 genes harboring 55,646 transcripts were detected in the A. cerana embryos, of which 44.5% consisted of the core transcriptome shared by all three ages of embryos. A total of 4088 upregulated and 3046 downregulated genes were identified among the three embryo ages, of which 2010, 3177 and 1528 genes were upregulated and 2088, 2294 and 303 genes were downregulated from Day1 to Day2, from Day1 to Day3 and from Day2 to Day3, respectively. The downregulated genes were mostly involved in cellular, biosynthetic and metabolic processes, gene expression and protein localization, and macromolecule modification; the upregulated genes mainly participated in cell development and differentiation, tissue, organ and system development, and morphogenesis. Interestingly, several biological processes related to the response to and detection of light stimuli were enriched in the first-day A. cerana embryogenesis but not in the Apis mellifera embryogenesis, which was valuable for further investigations. CONCLUSIONS:Our transcriptomic data substantially expand the number of known transcribed elements in the A. cerana genome and provide a high-quality view of the transcriptome dynamics of A. cerana embryonic development.
Project description:Prior experiences can influence future actions. These experiences can not only drive adaptive changes in motor output, but they can also modulate the rate at which these adaptive changes occur. Here we studied anterograde interference in motor adaptation--the ability of a previously learned motor task (Task A) to reduce the rate of subsequently learning a different (and usually opposite) motor task (Task B). We examined the formation of the motor system's capacity for anterograde interference in the adaptive control of human reaching-arm movements by determining the amount of interference after varying durations of exposure to Task A (13, 41, 112, 230, and 369 trials). We found that the amount of anterograde interference observed in the learning of Task B increased with the duration of Task A. However, this increase did not continue indefinitely; instead, the interference reached asymptote after 15-40 trials of Task A. Interestingly, we found that a recently proposed multi-rate model of motor adaptation, composed of two distinct but interacting adaptive processes, predicts several key features of the interference patterns we observed. Specifically, this computational model (without any free parameters) predicts the initial growth and leveling off of anterograde interference that we describe, as well as the asymptotic amount of interference that we observe experimentally (R(2) = 0.91). Understanding the mechanisms underlying anterograde interference in motor adaptation may enable the development of improved training and rehabilitation paradigms that mitigate unwanted interference.
Project description:The final goal of motor learning, a complex process that includes both implicit and explicit (or declarative) components, is the optimization and automatization of motor skills. Motor learning involves different neural networks and neurotransmitters systems depending on the type of task and on the stage of learning. After the first phase of acquisition, a motor skill goes through consolidation (i.e., becoming resistant to interference) and retention, processes in which sleep and long-term potentiation seem to play important roles. The studies of motor learning in Parkinson's disease have yielded controversial results that likely stem from the use of different experimental paradigms. When a task's characteristics, instructions, context, learning phase and type of measures are taken into consideration, it is apparent that, in general, only learning that relies on attentional resources and cognitive strategies is affected by PD, in agreement with the finding of a fronto-striatal deficit in this disease. Levodopa administration does not seem to reverse the learning deficits in PD, while deep brain stimulation of either globus pallidus or subthalamic nucleus appears to be beneficial. Finally and most importantly, patients with PD often show a decrease in retention of newly learned skill, a problem that is present even in the early stages of the disease. A thorough dissection and understanding of the processes involved in motor learning is warranted to provide solid bases for effective medical, surgical and rehabilitative approaches in PD.
Project description:No standard chemotherapy is used as neoadjuvant therapy in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). This study has compared carboplatin plus paclitaxel with commonly used epirubicin plus paclitaxel as neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in TNBC.91 patients with a median age of 47 years (PC 47 patients, EP 44 patients) were enrolled. 65% of the patients were premenopausal. While the objective response rate was similar in the PC and EP arm (89.4% vs. 79.5%, P = 0.195), the pCR rate in the PC arm was significantly higher (38.6% vs. 14.0%, P = 0.014). The median follow-up time was 55.0 months. 5-year RFS were 77.6% and 56.2%, significantly higher in the PC arm, P = 0.043. No significant difference in OS was observed between the two arms (P = 0.350). Adverse events were similar, except for more thrombocytopenia in the PC arm (P = 0.001).Patients with stage II/III TNBC were randomized to receive either paclitaxel (175 mg/m2, day1) plus carboplatin (Area Under the Curve = 5, day2) (PC) or epirubicin (75mg/m2, day1) plus paclitaxel (175 mg/m2, day2) (EP) as NAC every three weeks for 4-6 cycles. The primary endpoint was rate of pathologic complete response (pCR).The secondary endpoints included relapse-free survival (RFS), overall survival (OS) and safety.This study suggested that the addition of carboplatin to paclitaxel was superior to the regimen of epirubicin plus paclitaxel as NAC for TNBC in terms of improving pCR rate and RFS. Further phase 3 study has already started.
Project description:The ability to perform accurate sequential movements is essential to normal motor function. Learning a sequential motor behavior is comprised of two basic components: explicit identification of the order in which the sequence elements should be performed and implicit acquisition of spatial accuracy for each element. Here we investigated the time course of learning of these components for a first sequence (SEQA) and their susceptibility to interference from learning a second sequence (SEQB). We assessed explicit learning with a discrete index, the number of correct anticipatory movements, and implicit learning with a continuous variable, spatial error, which decreased during learning without subject awareness. Spatial accuracy to individual sequence elements reached asymptotic levels only when the whole sequence order was known. Interference with recall of the order of SEQA persisted even when SEQB was learned 24 h after SEQA. However, there was resistance to interference by SEQB with increased initial training with SEQA. For implicit learning of spatial accuracy, SEQB interfered at 5 min but not 24 h after SEQA. As in the case of sequence order, prolonged initial training with SEQA induced resistance to interference by SEQB. We conclude that explicit sequence learning is more susceptible to anterograde interference and implicit sequence learning is more susceptible to retrograde interference. However, both become resistant to interference with saturation training. We propose that an essential feature of motor skill learning is the process by which discrete explicit task elements are combined with continuous implicit features of movement to form flawless sequential actions.
Project description:Although balance training is considered the most effective treatment for balance impairments in Parkinson's disease (PD), few studies have examined if learning for balance control remains intact with PD. This study aimed to determine if learning for automatic postural responses is preserved in people with PD.Eleven participants with moderate PD (68±6.4years; H&Y: 2-3) on their usual medication maintained balance on a platform that oscillated forward and backward with variable amplitude and constant frequency. Participants completed 42 trials during one training session, and retention and transfer tests following a 24-h delay. Performance was measured by comparing spatial and temporal measures of whole-body centre of mass (COM) with platform displacements. Learning was compared between participants with PD and previously reported, age-matched older adults (Van Ooteghem et al., 2010).Although postural responses in participants with PD were impaired compared to control participants, a majority of PD participants improved their postural responses with practice as revealed by reduced COM displacements and improved phase relationships between COM and platform motion. Rates of improvement were comparable between groups demonstrating preserved adaptive capacity for participants with PD. Similar to control participants, the PD group moved toward anticipatory COM control as a strategy for improving stability, exhibited short-term retention of performance improvements, and demonstrated generalizability of the learned responses. Rate of improvement with practice, but not retention, was related to severity of motor impairments.Patients with moderate PD on medication demonstrate retention of improvements in automatic postural responses with practice suggesting that intrinsic postural motor learning is preserved in this group.
Project description:Human context conditioning studies have focused on acquisition and extinction. Subsequent long-term changes in fear behaviors not only depend on associative learning processes during those phases but also on memory consolidation processes and the later ability to retrieve and express fear and extinction memories. Clinical theories explain relapse after successful exposure-based treatment with return of fear memories and remission with stable extinction memory expression. We probed contextual fear and extinction memories 1 week (Day8) after conditioning (Day1) and subsequent extinction (Day2) by presenting conditioned contexts before (Test1) and after (Test2) a reinstatement manipulation. We find consistent activation patterns in two independent samples: activation of a subgenual part of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex before reinstatement (Test1) and (albeit with different temporal profiles between samples) of the amygdala after reinstatement (Test2) as well as up-regulation of anterior hippocampus activity after reinstatement (Test2 > Test1). These areas have earlier been implicated in the expression of cued extinction and fear memories. The present results suggest a general role for these structures in defining the balance between fear and extinction memories, independent of the conditioning mode. The results are discussed in the light of hypotheses implicating the anterior hippocampus in the processing of situational ambiguity.
Project description:This study compares the shutter-speed (SS) and the Tofts models as used in assessing therapeutic response in a longitudinal DCE-MRI experiment. Sixteen nu/nu mice with implanted colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line (LS-174T) were randomly assigned into treatment/control groups (n??=??8/group) and received bevacizumab/saline twice weekly (Day1/Day4/Day8). All mice were scanned at one pre- (Day0) and two post-treatment (Day2/Day9) time points using a high spatiotemporal resolution DCE-MRI pulse sequence. The CA extravasation rate constant [Formula: see text] from the Tofts/SS model and the mean intracellular water residence time [Formula: see text] from the SS model were analyzed. A biological subvolume (BV) within the tumor was identified based on the [Formula: see text] intensity distribution, and the SS model parameters within the BV ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]) were analyzed. It is found that [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] have a similar spatial distribution in the tumor volume. The Bayesian information criterion results show that the SS model was a better fit for all scans. At Day9, the treatment group had significantly higher tumor mean [Formula: see text] (p??=??0.021), [Formula: see text] (p??=??0.021) and [Formula: see text] (p??= 0.045). When BV from transcytolemmal water exchange analysis was adopted, the treatment group had higher mean [Formula: see text] at both Day2 (p??=??0.038) and Day9 (p??=??0.007). Additionally, at Day9, the treatment group had higher mean [Formula: see text] (p??=??0.045) and higher [Formula: see text] spatial heterogeneity indices (Rényi dimensions) d 1 (p??= 0.010) and d 2 (p??= 0.021). When mean [Formula: see text] and its coefficient of variation (CV) were used to separate treatment/control group samples using supporting vector machine, the accuracy of treatment/control classification was 68.8% at Day2 and 87.5% at Day9; in contrast, the Day2/Day9 accuracy were 62.5%/87.5% using tumor mean [Formula: see text] and its CV and were 50.0%/87.5% using tumor mean [Formula: see text] and its CV, respectively. These results suggest that the SS model parameters outperformed the Tofts model parameters in terms of capturing bevacizumab therapeutic effect in this longitudinal experiment.
Project description:Studies in animals and in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) demonstrate complex effects of dopamine on learning motor tasks; its effect on retention of motor learning has received little attention. Recent animal studies demonstrate that practicing a task in the off state, when initially learned in the on state, leads to progressive deterioration in performance. We measured the acquisition and retention of 3 different motor tasks in the presence and absence of levodopa. Twenty individuals with Hoehn and Yahr Stage 1.5 to 3 PD practiced the tasks daily for two 4-day weeks, one half practicing on L-dopa the first week and off the second week. The other half practiced off l-dopa both weeks. The tasks were (1) alternate tapping of 2 keys, (2) moving the body toward 2 targets on a posturography device, and (3) mirror drawing of a star. For the tapping and body movement tests, those who practiced on the first week had a progressive decline in performance with practice during week 2, while subjects off during week 1 maintained or improved. In contrast, for the mirror task, subjects on L-dopa initially had much more difficulty completing the task compared to subjects who practiced off. Both groups improved with practice the first week and had flat performance the second week. These data suggest that performance of speed-accuracy tasks learned in the on state may progressively worsen if subsequently practiced in the off state. In addition, performance, but not learning, of some tasks may be impeded by L-dopa.
Project description:Multiple processes may contribute to motor skill acquisition, but it is thought that many of these processes require sleep or the passage of long periods of time ranging from several hours to many days or weeks. Here we demonstrate that within a timescale of minutes, two distinct fast-acting processes drive motor adaptation. One process responds weakly to error but retains information well, whereas the other responds strongly but has poor retention. This two-state learning system makes the surprising prediction of spontaneous recovery (or adaptation rebound) if error feedback is clamped at zero following an adaptation-extinction training episode. We used a novel paradigm to experimentally confirm this prediction in human motor learning of reaching, and we show that the interaction between the learning processes in this simple two-state system provides a unifying explanation for several different, apparently unrelated, phenomena in motor adaptation including savings, anterograde interference, spontaneous recovery, and rapid unlearning. Our results suggest that motor adaptation depends on at least two distinct neural systems that have different sensitivity to error and retain information at different rates.