Context Controls Learning

June 5, 2014

You’re better off practicing new skills when the coach is screaming at you in practice than when the crowd is heckling you during the game.

Department of Neurobiology chair and DIBS faculty Steve Lisberger and his team have uncovered how one’s local context controls learning in the brain and allows one to learn a motor skill. Dr. Lisberger’s team found that the precise timing of cellular responses in the cerebellum, a part of the brain important for mastering new skills, controls the strength of learning.

The published article appears in Nature.

Learn more about DIBS

The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences is a scientific institute with a collaborative spirit and a commitment to education, service and knowledge across disciplines. We encourage creativity, taking risks, sharing ideas and working together.


Sign up to receive email updates about DIBS news, events and more.