Learning occurs in our daily life, such as learning a new tool, new language or taking a new route when biking home. We collaborate with Professor Grafton’s Action Lab of the UCSB Psychology Department to better understand how the brain learns. Our current project involves path planning and steering of a virtual motorboat. Subjects can choose between two set of controllers to move the boat from the start to the target point. Spatial, temporal and optimal decision learning takes place in the course of this experiment as subjects gradually master this task. fMRI scans are taken during the experiment to provide data to locate which areas of the brain play important roles at different stages of learning, for both motor learning and path planning.
Part of figure came from Fermin, Alan SR, et al. "Model-based action planning involves cortico-cerebellar and basal ganglia networks." Scientific reports 6 (2016): 31378.