PhD defence T.J. (Thomas) Hulst
- Prof.dr. M.A. Frens
- Dr. N.J. van der Geest
On Wednesday 5 February 2020, T.J. Hulst will defend his PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Cerebellar Motor Learning Deficits. Structural mapping, neuromodulation and training-related interventions’.
Movement allows us to interact with our direct environment, manipulate objects and communicate with each other. Moreover, we can adjust our movements to fit a remarkable range of situations and circumstances. The ability to adjust movements in response to changes in the environment and task demands is referred to as motor learning. The cerebellum is a key neural structure for motor learning. As such, disease of the cerebellum, in addition to the clinical symptom of ataxia, results in various motor learning deficits. There is a consensus that supportive therapy (e.g. physiotherapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy) can reduce ataxia symptoms of cerebellar patients, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying the improvements, and how patients can benefit most. Additionally, motor learning deficits are associated with reduced efficacy of supportive therapy. With the work described in this thesis, we sought to unravel the structural components of cerebellar disease and the relationship between cerebellar integrity and motor learning. Furthermore, we investigated whether motor learning deficits in cerebellar patients could be ameliorated with neuromodulation or training-related interventions, under experimental conditions, hoping to support the development of interventions relevant for application in a clinical setting.
The public defence will take place at the Prof. Andries Queridoroom, 3rd floor Education Center, Erasmus MC. The ceremony will begin exactly at 15.30 hrs. In light of the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.