Motor learning has been linked with increases in corticospinal excitability (CSE). However, the robustness of this link is unclear. In this study, changes in CSE associated with learning a visuomotor tracking task were mapped using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS maps were obtained before and after training with the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) of the dominant and nondominant hand, and for a distal (FDI) and proximal (biceps brachii) muscle. Tracking performance improved following 20 min of visuomotor training, while map area was unaffected. Large individual differences were observed with 18%–36% of the participants revealing an increase in TMS map area. This result highlights the complex relationship between motor learning and use-dependent plasticity of the motor cortex.
- motor learning
- motor mapping