Real-time error detection but not error correction drives automatic visuomotor adaptation

Mark R. Hinder, Stephan Riek, James R. Tresilian, Aymar de Rugy, Richard G. Carson
Exp Brain Res. 2009-10-15; 201(2): 191-207
DOI: 10.1007/s00221-009-2025-9

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1. Exp Brain Res. 2010 Mar;201(2):191-207. doi: 10.1007/s00221-009-2025-9. Epub 2009
Oct 15.

Real-time error detection but not error correction drives automatic visuomotor

Hinder MR(1), Riek S, Tresilian JR, de Rugy A, Carson RG.

Author information:
(1)Perception and Motor Systems Laboratory, School of Human Movement Studies,
University of Queensland, Brisbane, 4072, Australia.

We investigated the role of visual feedback of task performance in visuomotor
adaptation. Participants produced novel two degrees of freedom movements (elbow
flexion-extension, forearm pronation-supination) to move a cursor towards visual
targets. Following trials with no rotation, participants were exposed to a 60
degrees visuomotor rotation, before returning to the non-rotated condition. A
colour cue on each trial permitted identification of the rotated/non-rotated
contexts. Participants could not see their arm but received continuous and
concurrent visual feedback (CF) of a cursor representing limb position or
post-trial visual feedback (PF) representing the movement trajectory. Separate
groups of participants who received CF were instructed that online modifications
of their movements either were, or were not, permissible as a means of improving
performance. Feedforward-mediated performance improvements occurred for both CF
and PF groups in the rotated environment. Furthermore, for CF participants this
adaptation occurred regardless of whether feedback modifications of motor
commands were permissible. Upon re-exposure to the non-rotated environment
participants in the CF, but not PF, groups exhibited post-training aftereffects,
manifested as greater angular deviations from a straight initial trajectory, with
respect to the pre-rotation trials. Accordingly, the nature of the performance
improvements that occurred was dependent upon the timing of the visual feedback
of task performance. Continuous visual feedback of task performance during task
execution appears critical in realising automatic visuomotor adaptation through a
recalibration of the visuomotor mapping that transforms visual inputs into
appropriate motor commands.

DOI: 10.1007/s00221-009-2025-9
PMID: 19830412 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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