Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Gandhinagar, have discovered that underlying limb-independent motor memories can aid stroke rehabilitation. A team of researchers investigating how limb-independent memories are obtained, investigated both the algorithm used and the neural machine causally associated with this process.
A study conducted by Prateek Mutha, an associate professor at IIT-Gandhinagar, has also been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). “Skilled actions, from a ballerina’s pirouette to playing a ghamak on a sitar, are based on the ability to learn new movement patterns and adapt them to new environments. The ability to learn, hide, execute and continuously improve is generally defined as: Motor learning and driven by multiple neural mechanisms Just as learning the list of India’s prime ministers results in the formation of a memory that can be remembered later, motor learning results in the formation of a ‘motor memory’ that is then possible superior movement performance, ”Mutha told PTI.
“Interestingly, motor learning involves both limb-specific and limb-independent representations. Using a combination of behavioral experiments and computational modeling of healthy human participants learning arm movements in a new setting, we first found that effector-independent memories were false through implicit learning or how a skill was. through learning without conscious awareness that it is being learned. This mechanism contradicts learning using verbal or explicit processes, such as those used when learning a list of words, ”he added. The four-member team then delivered high-resolution cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation through an area of the brain called the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) to block the underlying neural activity.
“We found that mixing the right hemisphere PPC before learning interfered with the implicit process and prevented the acquisition of limb-independent memory. If the left PPC was impaired after learning was allowed to take place, the acquired memory was impaired and the learning could not generalize between effectors. established as an essential neural substrate for learning and storing independent memories, ”he said. According to Mutha, the study could help physical therapists to better strategize the training of an unaffected limb when the affected limb cannot be effectively engaged during the rehabilitation of stroke patients with significant weakness on one side of the body or patients with other unilateral brain injuries.
“First, the deficiencies in forming effector-independent memories following right hemisphere disruption show that rehabilitation following left and right hemisphere injury should be different. “Finally, the fact that learning can be generalized from one effector to another, ‘unaffected’ limb can be trained to achieve performance gains on the affected side during rehabilitation,” he said.
Other members of the team included research academics Adarsh Kumar, Gaurav Panthi and Rechu Divakar.