The ability to acquire a countless number of action sequences and retrieve them from memory precisely in the right context is crucial in daily life, such as for speech, tool use, athletic and musical performance. In each of these domains the nervous system needs to form a robust, but flexible memory of the spatio-temporal sequence involved. Several conditions affecting the higher organization of movement such as dyspraxia, stuttering and task-dependent dystonia can affect the learning, retrieval and control of skilled action sequences - with profound consequences for the individual in daily life.
The goal of the “Skilled Action Memory” lab is threefold:
1. To identify the neural markers of successful skilled action performance;
2. To characterize the functional plasticity related to long-term training;
3. To develop entry-points for intervention for improving skilled action learning in patients and the healthy population.
To address these aims, we use spatio-temporal sequence learning paradigms in combination with representational neuroimaging analysis (fMRI and MEG/EEG patterns) and non-invasive neural stimulation techniques. This work is complemented with collaborations addressing the link between the cognitive/systems and the cellular levels using electrophysiology and mouse mutants.