The striatum is associated with the learning and retention of motor skills. Several studies have shown that motor learning induces neuronal changes in the striatum. We investigated whether macroscopic change in striatum volume occurs in a segment of the human population who learned basketball-related motor skills and practiced them throughout their entire athletic life. Three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging volumetry was performed in basketball players and healthy controls, and striatum volumes were compared based on basketball proficiency, region and side. We identified morphological enlargement in the striatum of basketball players in comparison with controls. Our results suggest that continued practice and repetitive performance of basketball-related motor skills may induce plastic structural changes in the human striatum.
- Brain volumetry
- Motor learning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology