Trial document




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  DRKS00005943

Trial Description

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Title

The role of different brain regions in motor learning.

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Trial Acronym

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URL of the Trial

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Brief Summary in Lay Language

Motor learning consists of multiple processes that are likely rooted in different brain regions. The present study attempts to test the contribution of different brain regions to motor learning in a specific type of experiment called "visuomotor rotation".
The experiment consists of a training flanked by a pre and a post measurement. Learning of two kinds - implicit and explicit learning - is assessed via the change from pre to post measurement.
Subjects are assigned to one of four groups that receive different types of brain stimulation. Thus, some subjects receive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the cerebellum, while others receive it over a part of the prefrontal cortex. An additional two groups receive placebo stimulation over the respective area.
It is known that anodal tDCS of the type used for stimulation can increase the target region's ability to learn.
Therefore, increased explicit or implicit learning in a stimulation group compared to its respective placebo group would indicate a close linkage between the target brain region and the type of learning.

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Brief Summary in Scientific Language

Motor learning consists of multiple processes (Haith & Krakauer 2013, Taylor & Ivry 2012, Wolpert, diedrichsen & Flanagan 2011). Importantly, knowledge acquired via different processes can be associated with different characteristics of the learned behavior (e.g. retention, stability against external distortion) (Zhu, Poolton & Masters 2012). Furthermore, some processes may be impaired in specific (medical) conditions (Abbruzzese, Trompetto & Marinelli, 2009; Hegele & Heuer 2013). For these reasons, an understanding of these processes and of their neuroanatomic correlates is of interest.
Visuomotor rotation experiments are well-established as a paradigm for differentiating between explicit and implicit processes of motor learning (Hegele & Heuer 2010a, 2013; Heuer & Hegele 2011; Taylor & Ivry 2012). Imaging studies have indicated relevant regions for learning visuomotor rotations. According to these studies, one region that is frequently associated wiht implicit learning is the cerebellum (Diedrichsen, Hashambhoy, Rane & Shadmehr, 2005; Seidler & Noll 2008). The right lateral prefrontal cortex is often linked to explicit learning (Anguera, Reuter-Lorenz, Willingham & Seidler, 2011; Seidler, Noll & Chintalapati, 2006; Seidler & Noll 2008). Correspondingly, studies with patients with lesions in these regions show specific impairments of the respective learning types (Slachevsky, Pillon, Fourneret, Pradat-Diehl, Jeannerod & Dubois, 2001; Taylor, Klemfuss & Ivry 2010). Together, these studies indicate that the cerebellum is involved in implicit motor learning, the prefrontal cortex in explicit motor learning. However, the precise role of this involvemend still needs to be investigated.
Interventions in healthy subjects, e.g. by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Provide a means investigate the functional role of target brain regions in learning. While these methods have already been applied in visuomotor rotation studies (Hadipour-Niktarash, Lee, Desmond & Shadmehr 2007; Pascual-Leone, Wasserman, Grafman & Hallet 1996 for TMS, Galea, Vazquez, Pasricha, de Xivry & Celnik 2009 for tDCS), studies to date have not applied them to the cerebellum or prefrontal cortex and simultaneously differentiated explicit and implicit types of learning.
Therefore, the present study investigates the influence of anodal tDCS over the right lateral prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum on explicit and implicit learning of a visuomotor rotation. Explicit and implicit learning are assessed sepearately via an estaplished paradigm (Hegele & Heuer 2010b, 2013; Heuer & Hegele 2011). Anodal tDCS is applied to modulate plasticity of the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex during learning, resprectively (Reis & Fritsch 2011, Reis, Schambra, Cohen, Buch, Fritsch, Zarahn, Celnik & Krakauer 2009). Based on the imaging and patient studies descriped, we expect an improvement in implicit learning compared to placebo when the cerebellum is stimulated and an improvement in explicit learning when the prefrontal cortex is stimulated.

References:
Abbruzzese, G. et al. (2009). European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 45(2), 209–214.
Anguera, J. et al. (2011). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(1), 11–25.
Diedrichsen, J. et al. (2005). Journal of Neuroscience, 25(43), 9919–31.
Galea, J. M. et al. (2011). Cerebral Cortex, 21(8), 1761–1770.
Hadipour-Niktarash, A., et al. (2007). Journal of Neuroscience, 27(49), 13413–13419.
Haith, A. M., & Krakauer, J. W. (2013). Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 782, 1–21.
Hegele, M., & Heuer, H. (2010a). Consciousness and Cognition, 19(4), 906–917.
Hegele, M., & Heuer, H. (2010b). PLoS One, 5(8), e12071. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012071
Hegele, M., & Heuer, H. (2013). Psychology and Aging, 28(2), 333–9.
Heuer, H., & Hegele, M. (2011). Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(4), 2078–85.
Pascual-Leone, A et al. (1996). Experimental Brain Research. 107(3), 479–85.
Reis, J., & Fritsch, B. (2011). Current Opinion in Neurology, 24(6), 590–6.
Reis, J. et al. (2009). Proc Nat Acad Sci, 106(5), 1590–1595.
Seidler, R. D., & Noll, D. C. (2008). Journal of Neurophysiology, 99(4), 1836–45.
Seidler, R. D., Noll, D. C., & Chintalapati, P. (2006). Experimental Brain Research, 175(3), 544–55.
Slachevsky, A. et al. (2001). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 13(3), 332–40.
Taylor, J. A., & Ivry, R. B. (2012). Ann NY Acad Sci, 1251, 1-12.
Taylor, J. A., & Ivry, R. B. (2011). PLoS Computational Biology, 7(3), e1001096.
Taylor, J. A. et al. (2010). Cerebellum, 9(4), 580–586.
Wolpert, D. M. et al. (2011). Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Adv.(12), 739–51.
Zhu, F. et al. (2012). In A. Gollhofer, W. Taube, & J. B. Nielsen (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Motor Control and Motor Learning (pp. 155–174). London and New York: Routledge.

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Organizational Data

  •   DRKS00005943
  •   2014/04/02
  •   [---]*
  •   yes
  •   Approved
  •   94/14, Ethik-Kommission der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
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Secondary IDs

  •   U1111-1155-1504 
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Health Condition or Problem studied

  •   healthy subjects, no health problem
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Interventions/Observational Groups

  •   Group PFC: transcranial direct current stimulation of prefrontal cortex (PFC). Duration: 20 min, Instensity: 80 µA/cm^2
  •   Group cerebellum: transcranial direct current stimulation of crebellum. Duration: 20 min, Instensity: 80 µA/cm^2
  •   Group Sham PFC: Placebo stimulation of prefrontal cortex. Stimulation only in the initial and final part of the 20 minutes. Intensity: 80 µA/cm^2
  •   Group Sham cerbellum: Placebo stimulation of cerebellum. Stimulation only in the initial and final part of the 20 minutes. Intensity: 80 µA/cm^2
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Characteristics

  •   Interventional
  •   [---]*
  •   Randomized controlled trial
  •   Blinded
  •   patient/subject, investigator/therapist
  •   Placebo
  •   Basic research/physiological study
  •   Parallel
  •   N/A
  •   N/A
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Primary Outcome

Amount of explicit Learning as indicated by the result of the explicit test when comparing pre and post training phase (cf. Hegele, M., & Heuer, H. (2010a). Consciousness and Cognition, 19(4), 906–917.;
Hegele, M., & Heuer, H. (2010b). PLoS One, 5(8), e12071. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012071;
Hegele, M., & Heuer, H. (2013). Psychology and Aging, 28(2), 333–9.;
Heuer, H., & Hegele, M. (2011). Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(4), 2078–85.)

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Secondary Outcome

Amount of implicit Learning as indicated by the result of the implicit test when comparing pre and post training phase (cf. Hegele, M., & Heuer, H. (2010a). Consciousness and Cognition, 19(4), 906–917.;
Hegele, M., & Heuer, H. (2010b). PLoS One, 5(8), e12071. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012071;
Hegele, M., & Heuer, H. (2013). Psychology and Aging, 28(2), 333–9.;
Heuer, H., & Hegele, M. (2011). Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(4), 2078–85.)

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Countries of Recruitment

  •   Germany
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Locations of Recruitment

  • [---]*
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Recruitment

  •   Actual
  •   2014/05/12
  •   60
  •   Monocenter trial
  •   National
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Inclusion Criteria

  •   Both, male and female
  •   18   Years
  •   35   Years
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Additional Inclusion Criteria

Right handed people aged 18 to 35 years without neurological disorders.

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Exclusion Criteria

Known neurological disorders, metal or electronic implants in head, eyes or upper body. Tattoos at the head. Physical disability that impairs test execution (e.g. amputation of right arm). Involvement in other studies potentially interacting with the tDCS within 48 hours prior to testing.

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Addresses

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    • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft
    • Mr.  Prof. Dr.  Albert  Gollhofer 
    • Schwarzwaldstr. 175
    • 79117  Freiburg
    • Germany
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    • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft
    • Mr.  Prof. Dr.  Albert  Gollhofer 
    • Schwarzwaldstr. 175
    • 79117  Freiburg
    • Germany
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    • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft
    • Mr.  Raphael  Schween 
    • Schwarzwaldstr. 175
    • 79117  Freiburg
    • Germany
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Sources of Monetary or Material Support

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    • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft
    • Mr.  Prof. Dr.  Albert  Gollhofer 
    • Schwarzwaldstr. 175
    • 79117  Freiburg
    • Germany
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    • Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Freiburg
    • Ms.  M.A.  Franziska Johanna  Foellmer 
    • Löwenstr. 16
    • 79098  Freiburg
    • Germany
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Status

  •   Recruiting complete, follow-up complete
  •   2014/07/21
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* This entry means the parameter is not applicable or has not been set.