Movement abilities affect a child’s physical, social and emotional well-being, as well as their educational
success—all of which can last a lifetime. Movement is fundamental to the development of abilities across
domains (motor, cognitive), because it underlies a child’s ability to explore and interact with the environment and
other people. How children learn movement is a complex process that changes with development, experience
and injury. It depends on a suite of interacting brain mechanisms that are driven by different signals (e.g. reward,
error), have different learning rates, retention capacities, contextual dependencies and vulnerabilities to
neurological damage. A key gap in human neuroscience is our limited understanding of this complex interplay.
We propose to leverage recently developed home-based experimental tasks and new laboratory methods to
generate high resolution time courses for different components of childhood motor learning, and then determine
how they are affected by neurological lesions. With these data we can create a detailed flowchart of movement
learning capacity and the effects of disease, as a function of age and developmental markers. This would provide
the comprehensive understanding required to generate tailored therapeutic training strategies targeted to age,
developmental maturity, gender, and disease state.