Sensory Plasticity in Human Motor Learning

Trends Neurosci. 2016 Feb;39(2):114-123. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2015.12.006. Epub 2016 Jan 13.


There is accumulating evidence from behavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging studies that the acquisition of motor skills involves both perceptual and motor learning. Perceptual learning alters movements, motor learning, and motor networks of the brain. Motor learning changes perceptual function and the sensory circuits of the brain. Here, we review studies of both human limb movement and speech that indicate that plasticity in sensory and motor systems is reciprocally linked. Taken together, this points to an approach to motor learning in which perceptual learning and sensory plasticity have a fundamental role.

Keywords: human motor learning; perceptual learning; somatosensory plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*