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Motor skill learning and activity of the dorsal striatum

Nagham Badreddine

Cell reports


Motor skill learning is a process of acquiring motor skills movements which comes about through varying types of practice, experience, or other learning situations.

Motor skill learning requires the activity of the dorsal striatum, with a differential global implication of the dorsomedial and dorsolateral territories.

We investigate here whether and how specific striatal neurons encode the acquisition and consolidation of a motor skill.

Using ex vivo two-photon calcium , we report that highly active striatal populations arise from distinct spatiotemporal reorganization in the dorsomedial (DMS) and dorsolateral striatum (DLS) networks and are correlated with learning performance.

DMS is the locus of longer-term action-outcome encoding while DLS is a region involved in the execution of habitual behaviors in a familiar sensory context.

The DMS overall activity decreases in early training, with few and sparsely distributed highly activecells, while the DLS a long-lasting formation of highly active cell clusters.

These reorganizations result from reinforcement of synaptic connections to the DMS and anatomical rearrangements to the DLS.

Targeted silencing of dorsomedial striatum or dorsolateral striatum highly active cells with the cFos-TRAP strategy strongly impairs individual performance.

Our data reveal that discrete domains of striatal populations encode acquisition and long-lasting retention of a motor skill.


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