Visuomotor rotations of varying size and direction compete for a single internal model in motor working memory

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2002 Apr;28(2):447-57. doi: 10.1037//0096-1523.28.2.447.


When participants adapt to equal and opposite visuomotor rotations in close temporal proximity, memory of the 1st is not consolidated. The authors investigated whether this retrograde interference depends on the use of equal and opposite rotations. On Day 1, different groups of participants adapted to a -30 degrees rotation followed 5 min later by rotations of +30 degrees, +60 degrees, or -60 degrees. On Day 2, all groups were retested on the -30 degrees rotation. Either retrograde interference (in groups who adapted to rotations of opposite sign on Day 1) or retrograde facilitation (in the remaining group) was observed. In all groups, learning of the 2nd rotation resulted in unlearning of the first, indicating that all visuomotor rotations compete for common working memory resources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arm / physiology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Movement / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology*