Gray matter volume is associated with rate of subsequent skill learning after a long term training intervention

Sampaio-Baptista, C. , Scholz, J., Jenkinson, M., Thomas, A. G., Filippini, N., Smit, G., Douaud, G. and Johansen-Berg, H. (2014) Gray matter volume is associated with rate of subsequent skill learning after a long term training intervention. NeuroImage, 96, pp. 158-166. (doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.03.056) (PMID:24680712) (PMCID:PMC4075341)

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Abstract

The ability to predict learning performance from brain imaging data has implications for selecting individuals for training or rehabilitation interventions. Here, we used structural MRI to test whether baseline variations in gray matter (GM) volume correlated with subsequent performance after a long-term training of a complex whole-body task. 44 naïve participants were scanned before undertaking daily juggling practice for 6 weeks, following either a high intensity or a low intensity training regime. To assess performance across the training period participants' practice sessions were filmed. Greater GM volume in medial occipito-parietal areas at baseline correlated with steeper learning slopes. We also tested whether practice time or performance outcomes modulated the degree of structural brain change detected between the baseline scan and additional scans performed immediately after training and following a further 4 weeks without training. Participants with better performance had higher increases in GM volume during the period following training (i.e., between scans 2 and 3) in dorsal parietal cortex and M1. When contrasting brain changes between the practice intensity groups, we did not find any straightforward effects of practice time though practice modulated the relationship between performance and GM volume change in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These results suggest that practice time and performance modulate the degree of structural brain change evoked by long-term training regimes.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (WT090955AIA to H J-B) and FCT (SFRH/BD/43862/2008 to C S-B). GD is supported by an MRC Career Development Fellowship (MR/K006673/1). The research was further supported by Marie Curie Actions (Adaptive Brain Computations networkPITN-GA-2008-290011) and by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre based at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and University of Oxford.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sampaio Baptista, Dr Cassandra
Authors: Sampaio-Baptista, C., Scholz, J., Jenkinson, M., Thomas, A. G., Filippini, N., Smit, G., Douaud, G., and Johansen-Berg, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:NeuroImage
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
ISSN (Online):1095-9572
Published Online:26 March 2014
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in NeuroImage 96: 158-166
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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