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Title: Investigations of learning induced changes in corticospinal excitability in healthy human
Author: Mathias, Jonathan P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 8092
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2014
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In the healthy human the primary driver for neuroplastic change is experience, in the form of learning and memory. Visuomotor learning has been shown as an effective experimental paradigm for inducing neuroplasticity, which is expressed as changes in corticospinal excitability (CSE). The present thesis uses the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) stimulus response (SR) curve to assess learning induced changes in CSE. The first study presents a means of rapidly acquiring the TMS SR curve. Study two compares learning induced modulation of CSE between proximal and distal muscles. Study three assesses the influence of hand preference on learning induced changes in CSE. The results of study one indicate that it is possible to acquire the TMS SR curve in under two minutes. Studies two and three suggest distal muscles have a greater capacity for CSE modulation and this modulation of CSE is invariant to hand preference. Importantly, there is considerable variability in learning induced modulation of CSE. This thesis presents a novel paradigm for rapidly acquiring the TMS SR curve. It also highlights an important point for future studies of learning induced neuroplasticity – there is considerable variability in the neuroplastic response to a single session of visuomotor learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QP Physiology ; RC1200 Sports Medicine