History of Illicit Stimulant Use Is Not Associated with Long-Lasting Changes in Learning of Fine Motor Skills in HumansReport as inadecuate




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Neural Plasticity - Volume 2016 2016, Article ID 9485079, 11 pages -

Research Article

School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia

Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia

Received 11 March 2015; Revised 3 July 2015; Accepted 16 August 2015

Academic Editor: Maria T. Acosta

Copyright © 2016 Gabrielle Todd et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Little is known about the long-lasting effect of use of illicit stimulant drugs on learning of new motor skills. We hypothesised that abstinent individuals with a history of primarily methamphetamine and ecstasy use would exhibit normal learning of a visuomotor tracking task compared to controls. The study involved three groups: abstinent stimulant users ; 27 ± 6 yrs and two gender-matched control groups comprising nondrug users ; 22 ± 4 yrs and cannabis users ; 23 ± 5 yrs. Motor learning was assessed with a three-minute visuomotor tracking task. Subjects were instructed to follow a moving target on a computer screen with movement of the index finger. Metacarpophalangeal joint angle and first dorsal interosseous electromyographic activity were recorded. Pattern matching was assessed by cross-correlation of the joint angle and target traces. Distance from the target tracking error was also calculated. Motor learning was evident in the visuomotor task. Pattern matching improved over time cross-correlation coefficient and tracking error decreased. However, task performance did not differ between the groups. The results suggest that learning of a new fine visuomotor skill is unchanged in individuals with a history of illicit stimulant use.





Author: Gabrielle Todd, Verity Pearson-Dennett, Stanley C. Flavel, Miranda Haberfield, Hannah Edwards, and Jason M. White

Source: https://www.hindawi.com/



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