Practice and perfect: length of training and structural brain changes in experienced typists

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Abstract

Motor training results in performance improvement. It is not yet fully understood the extent to which functional improvement is reflected in changes in brain structure. To investigate the presence and degree of structural brain plasticity induced by long-term bimanual motor activity, we studied 17 right-handed professional typists with average duration of typing practice of 11 years. Using optimized voxel-based morphometry, we correlated the duration of practice and grey matter volume. Regions of interest were applied using 116 previously segmented predefined brain sites. We found a significant positive regression between grey matter volume and duration of practice in brain regions related to the programming of motor tasks. Long-term bimanual training may increase grey matter volume in the brains of professional typists.

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