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Why white matter matters: a multimodal investigation towards a better understanding of its role and function in human motor behavior

In many daily life activities such as buttoning up a blouse, tying your shoelaces or washing your hair, excellent coordination between the hands is crucial. During such movements, good collaboration (i.e., communication) within and between both sides of the brain is of great importance. This neural communication is accomplished via WM pathways (structural connectivity) and functional interactions between relevant brain areas (functional connectivity). Largely due to technical limitations, a challenge remains to exactly identify which features of WM microstructure, constituting neural pathways, contribute to functional interactions and behavioral outcome. By means of cutting-edge quantitative WM and functional neuroimaging, as well as by applying a long-term bimanual skill learning intervention, I will investigate motor training-induced WM changes in great detail. Additionally, by means of brain stimulation (TMS) and imaging techniques (fMRI), I aim to determine the functional relevance of these training-induced WM changes, facilitating bimanual behavior. Furthermore, I aim to investigate the link between sleep and motor training-induced neuroplasticity.

Date:1 Oct 2021 →  Today
Disciplines:Behavioural neuroscience, Developmental neuroscience, Neurosciences not elsewhere classified, Biomedical image processing
Project type:PhD project