Possible mechanism for transfer of motor skill learning: implication of the cerebellum
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- Obayashi, S. Cerebellum (2004) 3: 204. doi:10.1080/14734220410018977
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Transfer of learning takes place whenever our previous knowledge and skills affect the way in which new knowledge and skills are learned. The magnitude of transfer may depend on how prior memory is retrieved so that it may be relevant and usable in the present in terms of internal representation. This review highlights the power of neuroimaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) to identify the underlying neuronal system of intermanual transfer by showing the asymmetry in the system for the same motor skill between hands. The review focuses on cerebellar cross-activation, cerebellar activation contralateral to the active hand, which would contribute to intermanual transfer of monkey tool-use learning, together with the fronto-parietal cortical circuit. Finally, this article proposes the relationship between the cerebellum and the possible mechanism underlying non-specific transfer that allows thinking in a flexible and productive manner.