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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jun 10. pii: 201820296. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1820296116. [Epub ahead of print]

New neural activity patterns emerge with long-term learning.

Oby ER1,2,3,4,5, Golub MD2,6,7,8, Hennig JA2,9,10, Degenhart AD1,2,3,4, Tyler-Kabara EC1,11,12,13, Yu BM2,6,9,14, Chase SM2,9,14, Batista AP15,2,3,4.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
2
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
3
University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
4
Systems Neuroscience Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
5
Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
6
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
7
Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.
8
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.
9
Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
10
Machine Learning Department, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
11
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
12
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
13
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
14
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
15
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; aaron.batista@pitt.edu.

Abstract

Learning has been associated with changes in the brain at every level of organization. However, it remains difficult to establish a causal link between specific changes in the brain and new behavioral abilities. We establish that new neural activity patterns emerge with learning. We demonstrate that these new neural activity patterns cause the new behavior. Thus, the formation of new patterns of neural population activity can underlie the learning of new skills.

KEYWORDS:

brain–computer interface; motor cortex; neural population; skill learning

PMID:
31182595
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1820296116
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Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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