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Relevance of structural brain connectivity to learning and recovery from stroke.

Johansen-Berg H, Scholz J, Stagg CJ - Front Syst Neurosci (2010)

Bottom Line: The physical structure of white matter fiber bundles constrains their function.Any behavior that relies on transmission of signals along a particular pathway will therefore be influenced by the structural condition of that pathway.We provide examples of ways in which imaging measures of structural brain connectivity can inform our study of motor behavior and effects of motor training in three different domains: (1) to assess network degeneration or damage with healthy aging and following stroke, (2) to identify a structural basis for individual differences in behavioral responses, and (3) to test for dynamic changes in structural connectivity with learning or recovery.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford Oxford, UK.

ABSTRACT
The physical structure of white matter fiber bundles constrains their function. Any behavior that relies on transmission of signals along a particular pathway will therefore be influenced by the structural condition of that pathway. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging provides localized measures that are sensitive to white matter microstructure. In this review, we discuss imaging evidence on the relevance of white matter microstructure to behavior. We focus in particular on motor behavior and learning in healthy individuals and in individuals who have suffered a stroke. We provide examples of ways in which imaging measures of structural brain connectivity can inform our study of motor behavior and effects of motor training in three different domains: (1) to assess network degeneration or damage with healthy aging and following stroke, (2) to identify a structural basis for individual differences in behavioral responses, and (3) to test for dynamic changes in structural connectivity with learning or recovery.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Structural changes after juggling training. (A) Fractional anisotropy (blue) and gray mater density (red) increase in occipito-parietal areas following the training period. (B) Mean fractional anisotropy change from scan 1 in the cluster shown in (A). Adapted from Scholz et al. (2009a) with permission.
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Figure 5: Structural changes after juggling training. (A) Fractional anisotropy (blue) and gray mater density (red) increase in occipito-parietal areas following the training period. (B) Mean fractional anisotropy change from scan 1 in the cluster shown in (A). Adapted from Scholz et al. (2009a) with permission.

Mentions: It might be the case that white matter is only malleable during the first two decades of life, when ongoing maturation takes place (Casey et al., 2005). However, we recently found evidence that white matter continues to be susceptible to structural change even in adulthood (Scholz et al., 2009a). In response to 6 weeks of juggling training FA changed in white matter underlying the intraparietal sulcus of previously naïve adults (21–32 years) (Figure 5). These white matter changes were accompanied by structural changes in overlying gray matter regions. This suggests that brain matter continues to be malleable during adulthood and that learning might rely on reorganization of specific brain regions and their connections.


Relevance of structural brain connectivity to learning and recovery from stroke.

Johansen-Berg H, Scholz J, Stagg CJ - Front Syst Neurosci (2010)

Structural changes after juggling training. (A) Fractional anisotropy (blue) and gray mater density (red) increase in occipito-parietal areas following the training period. (B) Mean fractional anisotropy change from scan 1 in the cluster shown in (A). Adapted from Scholz et al. (2009a) with permission.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2990506&req=5

Figure 5: Structural changes after juggling training. (A) Fractional anisotropy (blue) and gray mater density (red) increase in occipito-parietal areas following the training period. (B) Mean fractional anisotropy change from scan 1 in the cluster shown in (A). Adapted from Scholz et al. (2009a) with permission.
Mentions: It might be the case that white matter is only malleable during the first two decades of life, when ongoing maturation takes place (Casey et al., 2005). However, we recently found evidence that white matter continues to be susceptible to structural change even in adulthood (Scholz et al., 2009a). In response to 6 weeks of juggling training FA changed in white matter underlying the intraparietal sulcus of previously naïve adults (21–32 years) (Figure 5). These white matter changes were accompanied by structural changes in overlying gray matter regions. This suggests that brain matter continues to be malleable during adulthood and that learning might rely on reorganization of specific brain regions and their connections.

Bottom Line: The physical structure of white matter fiber bundles constrains their function.Any behavior that relies on transmission of signals along a particular pathway will therefore be influenced by the structural condition of that pathway.We provide examples of ways in which imaging measures of structural brain connectivity can inform our study of motor behavior and effects of motor training in three different domains: (1) to assess network degeneration or damage with healthy aging and following stroke, (2) to identify a structural basis for individual differences in behavioral responses, and (3) to test for dynamic changes in structural connectivity with learning or recovery.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford Oxford, UK.

ABSTRACT
The physical structure of white matter fiber bundles constrains their function. Any behavior that relies on transmission of signals along a particular pathway will therefore be influenced by the structural condition of that pathway. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging provides localized measures that are sensitive to white matter microstructure. In this review, we discuss imaging evidence on the relevance of white matter microstructure to behavior. We focus in particular on motor behavior and learning in healthy individuals and in individuals who have suffered a stroke. We provide examples of ways in which imaging measures of structural brain connectivity can inform our study of motor behavior and effects of motor training in three different domains: (1) to assess network degeneration or damage with healthy aging and following stroke, (2) to identify a structural basis for individual differences in behavioral responses, and (3) to test for dynamic changes in structural connectivity with learning or recovery.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus