Several faculty and KIP students attended the 2015 Society for Neuroscience conference in Chicago last week.
Dr. Tejin Yoon and graduate student Andrea Lee were among the group that attended. Andrea presented on “Muscle Fatigability from Repeated Lengthening Contractions in Young Men and Women”.
Dr. Kevin Trewartha presented a research project aimed at elucidating the role of working memory resources, supported by dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), in motor learning. This research used a sensorimotor adaptation task in which participants learned to adapt to mechanical perturbations imposed by a robotic device. To test whether dlPFC contributes to our ability to learn this novel skill I used a “virtual lesion” method called continuous theta-burst stimulation which temporarily disrupts targeted brain areas prior to performance of the task. The results demonstrated that learning was impaired following dlPFC stimulation, indicating that working memory resources are important during the acquisition of novel motor skills.
The conference brings together scientists and clinicians from all over the world, and from a broad range of disciplines, who are generally interested in the function of the nervous system. As such, the conference was an excellent opportunity to present these findings to the neuroscience community and receive feedback from other experts in the field.