Primates with larger brains can solve much more complex tasks using their hands than smaller-brained primates. However, improved dexterity comes at a cost. In humans and other large-brained primates, it takes longer for infants to learn the simplest hand and finger movements than our smaller-brained counterparts.
Neurons in the caudal pedunculopontine nucleus, an area of the brain that regulates motor coordination, switch neurotransmitters from acetylcholine to GABA as a result of exercise. The switch appears to provide feedback control that regulates motor coordination and skill learning.
Researchers have trained rats to drive "rodent operated vehicles." The rats were able to navigate the vehicle in unique ways and utilized novel steering patterns to find rewards. The findings reveal rats' brains are more flexible than previously thought. Exploring how rats perform complex tasks may shed light on a range of mental health conditions and cognitive impairments.
A new study links exposure to phthalates during pregnancy and an increased risk of motor skill deficits in 11 year old children.
According to researchers, physical coordination is more beneficial in larger groups. The findings could help improve current physical rehabilitation techniques by training patients in groups to improve movement skills.
Researchers have developed a neurofeedback system which allows Parkinson's patients to voluntarily control beta wave activity in the subthalamic nucleus.
Researchers report NBA players who are more skilled than their peers early in their careers remain more skilled as they age. Additionally, they have a slower decline in their performance after the peak of their careers.
Researchers report boys with better motor skills tend to have higher cognitive scores over a two year follow up period than those with poorer motor skills. Additionally, boys with higher aerobic fitness had poorer cognition during the two year follow up than those with lower fitness levels.