Opendata, web and dolomites


Locating Muscle Memory of Vocal Motor Skills

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SavINGS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: CAMPUSVEJ 55
city: ODENSE M
postcode: 5230

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 Denmark [DK]
 Project website
 Total cost 212˙194 €
 EC max contribution 212˙194 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2018-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    SYDDANSK UNIVERSITET DK (ODENSE M) coordinator 212˙194.00


 Project objective

Fine motor skills, such as singing or playing an instrument, require precise neural control of the musculature that executes the task. This high level of precision can only be acquired through extensive practice, while both the brain and the peripheral musculature adapt to the task. Although the level of motor performance decreases when a skill is not used, once acquired, previous levels of performance can be regained quickly with only little practice, a phenomenon called ‘savings’. It is unclear, however, what mechanisms underlie savings, and where the information is stored that enables the quick retrieval of previously learned skills.

To investigate these questions we propose to use our recently developed model system that allows us to experimentally control the acquisition, discontinuation, and re-acquisition of vocal motor performance in songbirds. This novel model system provides us with an excellent opportunity to untangle the contributions of the central nervous system and the peripheral musculature involved in song production to the savings of vocal motor skills.

Using in vivo two-photon microscopy, we will study dynamic changes in the dendritic arborization of motor neurons in the songbird brain during the development, discontinuation, and rapid retrieval of vocal motor performance. At these different stages of skill utilization we will also investigate structural changes to the vocal organ with in vivo x-ray microtomography (µCT) and quantify the mechanical performance of isolated muscle bundles in vitro afterwards. Together these approaches will demonstrate whether modifications to the brain, the vocal musculature, or both, contribute to the savings of vocal motor skills, and enhance our understanding of the neural and peripheral mechanisms that are responsible for memorization and recall of motor skills.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Michiel Vellema, Mariana Diales Rocha, Sabrina Bascones, Sandor Zsebok, Jes Dreier, Stefan Leitner, Annemie Van der Linden, Jonathan Brewer, Manfred Gahr
Vocal motor experiences consolidate the vocal motor circuitry and accelerate future vocal skill development
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.1101/440388

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