Practice does make perfect!

Washington D.C, Jan 30 (ANI): A new brain study has suggested that there is a degree of truth in the age old theory “practice makes perfect.”

In this study, Faculty of Health researchers were looking at fMRI brain scans of professional ballet dancers to measure the long-term effects of learning.

“We wanted to study how the brain gets activated with long-term rehearsal of complex dance motor sequences,” says Joseph DeSouza, who studies and supports people with Parkinson’s disease. “The study outcome will help with understanding motor learning and developing effective treatments to rehabilitate the damaged or diseased brain.”

For the study, 11 dancers (19-50 years of age) from the National Ballet of Canada were asked to visualize dance movements to music, while undergoing fMRI scanning. The scans measured Blood-Oxygen-Level-Dependent (BOLD) contrasts at four time points over 34 weeks, when they were learning a new dance.

Coauthor Rachel Bar said that the results also suggest that understanding the neural underpinnings of complex motor tasks such as learning a new dance can be an effective model to study motor learning in the real world.

The results showed that initial learning and performance at seven weeks led to increase in activation in cortical regions during visualization of the dance being learned when compared to the first week. However, at 34 weeks, it showed reduced activation in comparison to week seven.

The study appears in PLOS ONE. (ANI)

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