Noradrenergic Control of Skilled Motor Movements
The afternoon session began with a presentation by Dr. Julia Schiemann from the Centre for Integrative Physiology of the University of Edinburgh (UK), who talked on "Noradrenergic Control of Skilled Motor Movements". In previous work, she had already advanced noradrenaline as an important neuromodulator in the cortex for precise motor control. To study how noradrenaline improves motor coordination at the cellular level, she developed a refined motor task and employed optogenetic, imaging and electrophysiological techniques. This allowed her to record the activity of Pyramidal neurons in the primary motor cortex while the mouse performed a skilled movement. Moreover, she determined how silencing of noradrenergic projections to the motor cortex shaped the firing patterns of the cortical neurons and altered the performance of the mice in the concomitant motor task.