The acquisition of complex movement patterns requires the DLS but not the DMS — DISCUSSION Our study was designed to elucidate how the interplay between striatum, motor cortex, and thalamus contributes to the acquisition and execution of complex task-specific movement patterns with a learned kinematic structure (Fig. 1 and fig. S7). We found that the DLS, but not the DMS, is essential for learning these skills and that this function is contingent on DLS-projecting motor cortex neurons, but not on somatosensory cortex (Fig. 2 and fig. S4). However, the very same DLS-projecting motor cortex neurons are dispensable for generating the learned movement patterns (Fig. 4), consistent with the previously published effects of less-selective motor cortex lesions (17). We identified plasticity at excitatory synapses in DLS as a likely substrate for the underlying motor memory (Fig. 3) and further showed that DLS-projecting thalamic neurons (in the rILN and Pf) are essential for executing the consolidated behaviors (Figs. 4 and 5) and that their loss prevents relearning of the task (fig. S5, E to I). While further mechanistic studies at the synapse level will be necessary, the results presented here are consistent with motor cortical inputs to DLS guiding plasticity at thalamostriatal synapses, thus allowing subcortical motor circuits to learn and execute stereotyped task-specific movement patterns (fig. S7). Together, these findings shed new light on the neural circuit-level logic by which motor skills with learned task-specific kinematic movement patterns are acquired, specifically the roles of two of DLS’s major inputs, from motor cortex and thalamus (fig. S7). — . Its sensorimotor arm [dorsolateral striatum (DLS) in rodents] receives most of its excitatory input from sensorimotor cortex and thalamus. —- Thalamus, dopamine, dancing rats https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abk0231

The acquisition of complex movement patterns requires the DLS but not the DMS

DISCUSSION

Our study was designed to elucidate how the interplay between striatum, motor cortex, and thalamus contributes to the acquisition and execution of complex task-specific movement patterns with a learned kinematic structure (Fig. 1 and fig. S7). We found that the DLS, but not the DMS, is essential for learning these skills and that this function is contingent on DLS-projecting motor cortex neurons, but not on somatosensory cortex (Fig. 2 and fig. S4). However, the very same DLS-projecting motor cortex neurons are dispensable for generating the learned movement patterns (Fig. 4), consistent with the previously published effects of less-selective motor cortex lesions (17). We identified plasticity at excitatory synapses in DLS as a likely substrate for the underlying motor memory (Fig. 3) and further showed that DLS-projecting thalamic neurons (in the rILN and Pf) are essential for executing the consolidated behaviors (Figs. 4 and 5) and that their loss prevents relearning of the task (fig. S5, E to I). While further mechanistic studies at the synapse level will be necessary, the results presented here are consistent with motor cortical inputs to DLS guiding plasticity at thalamostriatal synapses, thus allowing subcortical motor circuits to learn and execute stereotyped task-specific movement patterns (fig. S7). Together, these findings shed new light on the neural circuit-level logic by which motor skills with learned task-specific kinematic movement patterns are acquired, specifically the roles of two of DLS’s major inputs, from motor cortex and thalamus (fig. S7).

. Its sensorimotor arm [dorsolateral striatum (DLS) in rodents] receives most of its excitatory input from sensorimotor cortex and thalamus.
—-
Thalamus, dopamine, dancing rats

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abk0231

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