Navigation Links
Motor excitability predicts working memory
Date:12/23/2013

Humans with a high motor excitability have a better working memory than humans with a low excitability. This was shown in a study conducted by scientists from the Transfacultary Research Platform at the University of Basel. By measuring the motor excitability, conclusions can be drawn as to the general cortical excitability as well as to cognitive performance.

Working memory allows the temporary storage of information such as memorizing a phone number for a short period of time. Studies in animals have shown that working memory processes among others depend on the excitability of neurons in the prefrontal cortex. Moreover, there is evidence that motor neuronal excitability might be related to the neuronal excitability of other cortical regions. Researchers from the Psychiatric University Clinics (UPK Basel) and the Faculty of Psychology in Basel have now studied if the excitability of the motor cortex correlates with working memory performance results were positive.

The motor cortical excitability can be easily studied with transcranial magnetic stimulation, says Nathalie Schicktanz, doctoral student and first author of the study. During this procedure, electromagnetic impulses with increasing intensity are applied over the motor cortex. For subjects with high motor excitability already weak impulses are sufficient to trigger certain muscles such as those of the hand to show a visible twitch.

Conclusions for other cortical regions

In the present study, that included 188 healthy young subjects, the scientists were able to show that subjects with a high motor excitability had increased working memory performance as compared to subjects with a low excitability. By measuring the excitability of the motor cortex, conclusions can be drawn as to the excitability of other cortical areas, says Schicktanz.

The findings help us to understand the importance of neuronal excitability for cognitive processes in humans, adds Dr. Kyrill Schwegler, co-author of the study. The results might also have important clinical implications, as working memory deficits are a component of many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In a next step, the scientists plan to study the relation between neuronal excitability and memory on a molecular level.

The study is part of a project lead by Prof. Dominique de Quervain and Prof. Andreas Papassotiropoulos. The project uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to study the cognitive functions in humans. The goal is to identify the neurobiological and molecular mechanisms of human memory.


'/>"/>

Contact: Olivia Poisson
olivia.poisson@unibas.ch
University of Basel
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Why do stroke patients show poor limb motor function recovery?
2. Treadmill step training promotes motor function after incomplete spinal cord injury
3. Practice makes the brains motor cortex more efficient, Pitt researchers say
4. Vitamin P as a potential approach for the treatment of damaged motor neurons
5. Dysfunction in cerebellar Calcium channel causes motor disorders and epilepsy
6. Discovery of first motor with revolution motion in a virus-killing bacteria advances nanotechnology
7. Study by UC Santa Barbara psychologists reveals how brain performs motor chunking tasks
8. Songbirds learning hub in brain offers insight into motor control
9. Manatee hearing good enough to sense approaching motorboats
10. Gut hormone test predicts individual efficacy of gastric bypass
11. VC predicts the motion of the ocean
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud ... work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... NEW YORK , June 2, 2016   The ... (Weather), is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which ... advertising, by being able to ask questions via voice or ... Marketers have long ... with the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... NEW YORK , May 16, 2016   ... authentication solutions, today announced the opening of an IoT ... to strengthen and expand the development of embedded ... provides an unprecedented level of convenience and security with ... to authenticate one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. ... multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess the ... subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... as a single dose (ranging from 45 to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, ... Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 ... presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: