Dynamic reorganization of striatal circuits during the acquisition and consolidation of a skill.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The learning of new skills is characterized by an initial phase of rapid improvement in performance and a phase of more gradual improvements as skills are automatized and performance asymptotes. Using in vivo striatal recordings, we observed region-specific changes in neural activity during the different phases of skill learning, with the associative or dorsomedial striatum being preferentially engaged early in training and the sensorimotor or dorsolateral striatum being engaged later in training. Ex vivo recordings from medium spiny striatal neurons in brain slices of trained mice revealed that the changes observed in vivo corresponded to regional- and training-specific changes in excitatory synaptic transmission in the striatum. Furthermore, the potentiation of glutamatergic transmission observed in dorsolateral striatum after extensive training was preferentially expressed in striatopallidal neurons, rather than striatonigral neurons. These findings demonstrate that region- and pathway-specific plasticity sculpts the circuits involved in the performance of the skill as it becomes automatized.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yin, HH; Mulcare, SP; Hilário, MRF; Clouse, E; Holloway, T; Davis, MI; Hansson, AC; Lovinger, DM; Costa, RM

Published Date

  • March 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 333 - 341

PubMed ID

  • 19198605

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2774785

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1546-1726

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1097-6256

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nn.2261


  • eng