Brain Plasticity Related to Psychomotor Skills in Catheter-based Interventions

Katja Paul, Fokeltje Cnossen, Niels Taatgen, Peter Lanzer, Arno Villringer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic

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A fascinating property of the brain is its ability to reorganise as a result of experience. Practice-related change has been shown in grey and white matter as a result of for example juggling training, but tasks that require many interrelated skills such as very fine motor skills, mental rotation and tactile perception have not been examined yet. For Catheter-based interventions (e.g., Dotter treatments), where catheters are used to treat blood vessel disease, these skills are crucial: using the catheter, neither direct view nor direct access is granted. The only means to visualize the catheter’s position in the blood vessel are x-ray images, which are imperfect and susceptible to geometric illusions. In this research project, we will use three MRI methods to examine whether the structure of white and grey matter and the intrinsic functional connectivity change as a result of developing the psycho-motor skills necessary for catheterisation. Participants will be 40 undergraduate medical students (of which 20 age and gender-matched controls). On day one, MRI pre scans (T1-weighted, diffusion-weighted and resting state fMRI) will be performed and a number of cognitive tests are taken. On day two, the experimental group will watch an instruction video and practice the psycho-motor skills of catheterisation for two hours on a high-fidelity catheter-lab simulator. On day three, the experimental group practices again for two hours on the simulator and takes a procedural test. Finally, structural and functional post MRI scans are performed and the cognitive test battery is administered again.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 25-Nov-2016
EventDonders Discussion: International, two-day Cognition and Neuroscience conference by and for PhD students - Honig Complex, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Duration: 24-Nov-201625-Nov-2016


ConferenceDonders Discussion
Abbreviated titleCognition and Neuroscience Conference
Internet address


  • Brain plasticity
  • Skill acquisition
  • Procedural skills

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