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Motor learning
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Motor learning

Motor learning is the process of improving the smoothness and accuracy of movements. It is obviously necessary for complicated movements such as playing the piano and climbing trees, but it is also important for calibrating simple movements like reflexes, as parameters of the body and environment change over time. The cerebellum and basal ganglia are critical for motor learning.

As a result of the universal need for properly calibrated movement, it is not surprising that the cerebellum and basal ganglia are widely conserved across vertebrates from fish to humans.

Although motor learning is capable of achieving Olympic feats of skill, much has been learned from studies of simple behaviors. These behaviors include eyeblink conditioning, motor learning in the vestibulo-ocular reflex, and birdsong. Research on Aplysia californica, a sea slug, has yielded detailed knowledge of the cellular mechanisms of a simple form of learning.

See also Motor skill, Procedural memory.