Effects of Pointing Rate and Availability of Visual Feedback on Visual and Proprioceptive Components of Prism Adaptation

J Mot Behav. 1992 Sep;24(3):226-237. doi: 10.1080/00222895.1992.9941618.


While looking through laterally displacing prisms, subjects pointed 60 times straight ahead of their nose at a rate of one complete movement every 2 or 3 s, with visual feedback available early in the pointing movement or delayed until the end of the movement. Sagittal pointing was paced such that movement speed covaried with pointing rate. Aftereffect measures (obtained after every 10 pointing trials) showed that when the limb became visible early in a pointing movement, proprioceptive adaptation was greater than visual, but when visual feedback was delayed until the end of the movement, the reverse was true. This effect occurred only with the 3-s pointing rate, however. With the 2-s pointing rate, adaptation was predominately proprioceptive in nature, regardless of feedback availability. Independent of the availability of visual feedback, visual adaptation developed more quickly with 3-s pointing, whereas proprioceptive adaptation developed more rapidly with 2-s pointing. These results are discussed in terms of a model of perceptual-motor organization in which the direction of coordinative (guidance) linkage between eye-head (visual) and hand-head (proprioceptive) systems (and consequently the locus of discordance registration and adaptive recalibration) is determined jointly by pointing rate and feedback availability. An additional effect of pointing rate is to determine the rate of discordant inputs. Maximal adaptive recalibration occurs when the input (pointing) rate matches the time constant of the adaptive encoder in the guided system.