The Psychonomics Seminar Series 2009
"Zapping good fun in the laboratory"
This Friday we have the very great pleasure to announce that the one and only Dr. Tim Carroll will present a talk titled "Transfer of simple motor skill between limbs: cortical mechanisms revealed by transcranial magnetic stimulation studies."
Dr Carroll completed his doctorate in Neuroscience at the University of Queensland in 2001. He was awarded an Isaac Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship to pursue postdoctoral studies at the University of Alberta in 2002, before accepting a position as a Lecturer in Human Motor Control at the University of New South Wales in 2003. He joined the School of Human Movement Studies as a Senior Lecturer in July 2007.
An abstract follows...
Although it has been known for over a century that practicing a motor task with one limb can improve performance with the opposite (untrained) limb, the mechanisms remain unclear. In this seminar, I will discuss the results and implications of three of our recent studies that have identified mechanisms underlying- interlateral transfer of maximal-force and fastest-possible movements. In the first study, we showed that unilateral practice of a simple, "ballistic" motor task causes large performance gains in both limbs, and increases corticospinal excitability in both cerebral hemispheres. Secondly, we used repetitive brain stimulation (rTMS) to demonstrate that interlateral transfer of ballistic performance is reduced if processing in the "untrained" motor cortex is disrupted immediately after training. Finally, we used a novel, TMS-based, twitch interpolation method to show that, high-force unilateral training enhances the capacity of the motor cortex to drive the homologous muscles of the untrained limb. Collectively, the results suggest that cortical adaptations within the hemisphere ipsilateral to the limb engaged in training contribute to interlateral transfer of simple, high-force motor skills.