Computational models and motor learning paradigms: Could they provide insights for neuroplasticity after stroke? An overview.

Computational approaches for modelling the central nervous system (CNS) aim to develop theories on processes occurring in the brain that allow the transformation of all information needed for the execution of motor acts. Computational models have been proposed in several fields, to interpret not only the CNS functioning, but also its efferent behaviour. Computational model theories can provide insights into neuromuscular and brain function allowing us to reach a deeper understanding of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the process occurring in the CNS that is able to permanently change both structure and function due to interaction with the external environment. To understand such a complex process several paradigms related to motor learning and computational modeling have been put forward. These paradigms have been explained through several internal model concepts, and supported by neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies.

Therefore, it has been possible to make theories about the basis of different learning paradigms according to known computational models. Here we review the computational models and motor learning paradigms used to describe the CNS and neuromuscular functions, as well as their role in the recovery process. These theories have the potential to provide a way to rigorously explain all the potential of CNS learning, providing a basis for future clinical studies.