Task errors contribute to implicit remapping in sensorimotor adaptation
. 2018-02-26; :
Perturbations of sensory feedback evoke sensory prediction errors (discrepancies between predicted and actual sensory outcomes of movements), and reward prediction errors (discrepancies between predicted rewards and actual rewards). Sensory prediction errors result in obligatory remapping of the relationship between motor commands and predicted sensory outcomes. The role of reward prediction errors in sensorimotor adaptation is less clear. When moving towards a target, we expect to obtain the reward of hitting the target, and so we experience a reward prediction error if the perturbation causes us to miss it. These discrepancies between desired task outcomes and actual task outcomes, or “task errors”, are thought to drive the use of strategic processes to restore success, although their role is not fully understood. Here, we investigated the role of task errors in sensorimotor adaptation: during target-reaching, we either removed task errors by moving the target mid-movement to align with cursor feedback of hand position, or enforced task error by moving the target away from the cursor feedback of hand position. Removing task errors not only reduced the rate and extent of adaptation during exposure to the perturbation, but also reduced the amount of post-adaptation implicit remapping. Hence, task errors contribute to implicit remapping resulting from sensory prediction errors. This suggests that the system which implicitly acquires new sensorimotor maps via exposure to sensory prediction errors is also sensitive to reward prediction errors.