We are psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists trying to understand how and why mechanisms of learning and brain plasticity change over the lifespan. Please browse this website for more information. If you are interested in our work, please send an email to the group leader (email@example.com).
08/2022: New publication in Journal of Neuroscience:
Frank SM, Otto A, Volberg G, Tse PU, Watanabe T, Greenlee MW (2022). Transfer of tactile learning from trained to untrained body parts supported by cortical coactivation in primary somatosensory cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 42:6131-6144.
In this study we investigated neuronal mechanisms involved in skill learning. Skill learning (for example, learning to ride a bicycle) facilitates our interactions with the environment. However, it is effortful to acquire a new skill, begging the question whether the brain has evolved mechanisms to support such learning. Here, we used a combination of behavioral training and functional MRI to examine tactile skill learning with different body parts (hand and foot). We found that this learning was strongly supported by coactivation of cortical territory in somatosensory cortex representing untrained body parts. Our results indicate that cortical coactivation could not only serve as a neuronal support mechanism for skill learning with the trained body part, but could also lead to the acquisition of the new skill with the untrained but coactivated body part.
See https://www.jneurosci.org/content/42/31/6131 for the original article.
06/2022: Official start of the Emmy Noether Group!