Learning and Switching of Internal Models for Dexterous Tool Use

Hiroshi Imamizu

in Motor Control

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395273
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863518 | DOI:
Learning and Switching of Internal Models for Dexterous Tool Use

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Internal models are neural mechanisms that mimic the input-output properties of controlled objects, possibly enabling skillful control of our bodies and external tools. This chapter reviews a series of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies investigating the acquisition of an internal model for a novel tool in the human cerebellum, modular organization of internal models for tools with different input-output properties, and switching mechanisms of internal models in the parietal-cerebellar network. Although these studies investigated skills for novel tools, they show intuitive instances of neural mechanisms supporting the acquisition and flexible selection of appropriate skills. A recent study on brain activity related to the imaginary use of common tools (e.g., scissors and a hammer) suggested that the neural mechanisms found in previous work (on uncommon objects and tools) are partly shared by skills for common tools. The chapter discusses how skills acquired in the cerebellum differ from those acquired in the frontal-parietal network, which have long been investigated in neuropsychological studies.

Keywords: internal models; input-output properties; fMRI; switching mechanisms; tools; skills

Chapter.  7770 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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