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Brain Cogn. 2001 Mar;45(2):189-211.

Distinct contribution of the striatum and cerebellum to motor learning.

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  • 1University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.


The striatum and cerebellum have been shown to be key structures of a distributed system for the control of skilled movements. However, the mechanisms under which they operate remain unclear. This study compared the performance of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) or with cerebellar damage (CE) to that of age-matched controls. Each group performed two visuomotor paradigms: a random variant of the serial reaction time (SRT) task that tested the subject's ability to make efficient stimulus-response associations and an adapted version of the mirror-tracing task that measured their capacity to combine simple movements into complex ones. PD patients with bilateral striatal damage showed an impaired learning profile on the SRT task and a normal facilitation effect in the tracing task, while CE patients showed the reverse pattern. Although further research is needed, the present findings suggest that the striatum and cerebellum are involved in distinct learning mechanisms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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