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MotMotLearn SIGNED

Motivating Motor Learning: The Role of Reward, Punishment and Dopamine

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "MotMotLearn" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Edgbaston
postcode: B15 2TT

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙497˙885 €
 EC max contribution 1˙497˙885 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-10-01   to  2020-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM UK (BIRMINGHAM) coordinator 1˙497˙885.00


 Project objective

Motor learning (the ability of the brain to learn and update how an action is executed) is a fundamental process which influences many aspects of our lives such as learning to walk during childhood; the day-to-day behavioural adjustments required as an adult or in healthy ageing; and the rehabilitation process following an illness or injury. Despite the impact to society, it has proved extremely difficult to develop interventions that significantly enhance human motor learning. Therefore, devising protocols which optimise motor learning is a state-of-the-art research question that promises to deliver scientific, clinical and societal impact.Seeking reward and avoiding punishment are powerful factors in motivating humans to alter behaviour during cognition-based learning (selecting which action to perform), with sensitivity to reward and punishment being biased by the availability of dopamine in the brain. Intriguingly, reward and punishment are also known to affect generic motor learning (deciding how an action is executed) tasks which involve multiple underlying mechanisms. However to establish their potential for optimizing motor learning, we must understand how explicit reward- and punishment-based motivational feedback impact motor learning systems with unique computational and anatomical features (use-dependent/model-free/model-based). Using an unprecedented combination of behavioural analysis, computational modelling, genetics and pharmacology, MotMotLearn will provide the first systems-based account of how reward, punishment and dopamine influence motor learning. This novel approach will enable MotMotLearn to develop theoretically-grounded protocols that utilise reward/punishment in conjunction with dopaminergic medication to optimise motor learning in healthy individuals and stroke patients suffering motor impairments. MotMotLearn will have a profound scientific impact in motor learning with applications to development, ageing, rehabilitation and sports.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Olivier Codol, Peter J. Holland, Sanjay G. Manohar, Joseph M. Galea
Reward-based improvements in motor control are driven by multiple error-reducing mechanisms
published pages: JN-RM-2646-19, ISSN: 0270-6474, DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.2646-19.2020
The Journal of Neuroscience 2020-04-15
2020 Xiuli Chen, Sarah Voets, Ned Jenkinson, Joseph M. Galea
Dopamine-Dependent Loss Aversion during Effort-Based Decision-Making
published pages: 661-670, ISSN: 0270-6474, DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.1760-19.2019
The Journal of Neuroscience 40/3 2020-04-15
2018 Anna Sadnicka, Joseph M. Galea, Jui-Cheng Chen, Thomas T. Warner, Kailash P. Bhatia, John C. Rothwell, Mark J. Edwards
Delineating cerebellar mechanisms in DYT11 myoclonus-dystonia
published pages: 1956-1961, ISSN: 0885-3185, DOI: 10.1002/mds.27517
Movement Disorders 33/12 2020-04-15
2019 Peter Holland, Olivier Codol, Elizabeth Oxley, Madison Taylor, Elizabeth Hamshere, Shadiq Joseph, Laura Huffer, Joseph M. Galea
Domain-Specific Working Memory, But Not Dopamine-Related Genetic Variability, Shapes Reward-Based Motor Learning
published pages: 9383-9396, ISSN: 0270-6474, DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.0583-19.2019
The Journal of Neuroscience 39/47 2020-04-15
2017 Roya Jalali, R. Chris Miall, Joseph M. Galea
No consistent effect of cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation on visuomotor adaptation
published pages: 655-665, ISSN: 0022-3077, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00896.2016
Journal of Neurophysiology 118/2 2019-06-05
2017 Daniele Caligiore, Giovanni Pezzulo, Gianluca Baldassarre, Andreea C. Bostan, Peter L. Strick, Kenji Doya, Rick C. Helmich, Michiel Dirkx, James Houk, Henrik Jörntell, Angel Lago-Rodriguez, Joseph M. Galea, R. Chris Miall, Traian Popa, Asha Kishore, Paul F. M. J. Verschure, Riccardo Zucca, Ivan Herreros
Consensus Paper: Towards a Systems-Level View of Cerebellar Function: the Interplay Between Cerebellum, Basal Ganglia, and Cortex
published pages: 203-229, ISSN: 1473-4222, DOI: 10.1007/s12311-016-0763-3
The Cerebellum 16/1 2019-06-05
2018 Anna Sadnicka, Anna Stevenson, Kailash P. Bhatia, John C. Rothwell, Mark J. Edwards, Joseph M. Galea
High motor variability in DYT1 dystonia is associated with impaired visuomotor adaptation
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-21545-0
Scientific Reports 8/1 2019-06-05
2017 Xiuli Chen, Kieran Mohr, Joseph M. Galea
Predicting explorative motor learning using decision-making and motor noise
published pages: e1005503, ISSN: 1553-7358, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005503
PLOS Computational Biology 13/4 2019-06-05
2016 Antonios I. Christou, R. Chris Miall, Fiona McNab, Joseph M. Galea
Individual differences in explicit and implicit visuomotor learning and working memory capacity
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/srep36633
Scientific Reports 6/1 2019-06-05
2017 Graziella Quattrocchi, Richard Greenwood, John C Rothwell, Joseph M Galea, Sven Bestmann
Reward and punishment enhance motor adaptation in stroke
published pages: 730-736, ISSN: 0022-3050, DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2016-314728
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 88/9 2019-06-05
2018 Roya Jalali, Alimul Chowdhury, Martin Wilson, R. Chris Miall, Joseph M. Galea
Neural changes associated with cerebellar tDCS studied using MR spectroscopy
published pages: 997-1006, ISSN: 0014-4819, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-018-5170-1
Experimental Brain Research 236/4 2019-06-05
2018 Peter James Holland, Olivier Codol, Joseph M. Galea
The contribution of explicit processes to reinforcement-based motor learning
published pages: , ISSN: 0022-3077, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00901.2017
Journal of Neurophysiology 2019-06-05
2016 Carmel Mevorach, Mayra Muller Spaniol, Matthew Soden, Joseph M. Galea
Age-dependent distractor suppression across the vision and motor domain
published pages: 27, ISSN: 1534-7362, DOI: 10.1167/16.11.27
Journal of Vision 16/11 2019-06-05
2016 R. Chris Miall, Joseph Galea
Cerebellar damage limits reinforcement learning
published pages: 4-7, ISSN: 0006-8950, DOI: 10.1093/brain/awv343
Brain 139/1 2019-06-05
2018 Xiuli Chen, Peter Holland, Joseph M Galea
The effects of reward and punishment on motor skill learning
published pages: 83-88, ISSN: 2352-1546, DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2017.11.011
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 20 2019-06-05
2018 Xiuli Chen, Robb B. Rutledge, Harriet R. Brown, Raymond J. Dolan, Sven Bestmann, Joseph M. Galea
Age-dependent Pavlovian biases influence motor decision-making
published pages: e1006304, ISSN: 1553-7358, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006304
PLOS Computational Biology 14/7 2019-05-07
2018 Olivier Codol, Peter J. Holland, Joseph M. Galea
The relationship between reinforcement and explicit control during visuomotor adaptation
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-27378-1
Scientific Reports 8/1 2019-05-07
2018 Graziella Quattrocchi, Jessica Monaco, Andy Ho, Friederike Irmen, Wolfgang Strube, Diane Ruge, Sven Bestmann, Joseph M. Galea
Pharmacological Dopamine Manipulation Does Not Alter Reward-Based Improvements in Memory Retention during a Visuomotor Adaptation Task
published pages: ENEURO.0453-17.2, ISSN: 2373-2822, DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0453-17.2018
eneuro 5/3 2019-05-07

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