cSCAN Rounds

tDCS and MVPA Investigations of Observational Learning

Learning by observation is a skill humans engage in throughout the lifespan. Previous research suggests that physical and observational learning share a similar cognitive and neural foundations. However, it remains poorly understood to what extent observational training affects neural representations of the acquired skill, and what factors influence training effects. Employing a keypress sequence learning paradigm and brain stimulation and brain imaging measures, we have investigated several questions to help to provide a more comprehensive and integrative perspective on motor skill learning through observation and how it compares to previous findings on learning by physical practice. In this talk, I will discuss recently published tDCS work (which demonstrates no improvements to observational learning with the paradigm we used in our participant sample), as well as a related fMRI study which my colleagues and I aim to publish soon (and thus welcome further ideas and feedback).