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Behav Brain Res. 1994 Mar 31;61(1):65-77.

Making two movements at once: impairments of movement, posture, and their integration underlie the adult skilled reaching deficit of neonatally dopamine-depleted rats.

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Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, Alta., Canada.


Adult rats depleted bilaterally of dopamine in infancy display a profound impairment in skilled forelimb use in reaching for food. This impairment was investigated using end-point measures of reaching success, movement analysis, and kinematic measures. The rats made few successful reaches in either an easy or a difficult reaching test. Their reaches were characterized by many attempts in which trajectories of the limb were irregular and the movements were slow. Their lack of success was related in part to an impairment in making component movements of the reach, including aiming, pronating, grasping, and supinating the paw and in releasing the food pellet. It was also related to an inability to adjust posture as the limb was voluntarily moved toward the food. The results are consistent with the hypotheses that the basal ganglia, including its dopamine innervation, is important for enabling voluntary movements and postural adjustments and perhaps also the simultaneous performance of two movements at the same time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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