Random presentation enables subjects to adapt to two opposing forces on the hand

Nat Neurosci. 2004 Feb;7(2):111-2. doi: 10.1038/nn1184. Epub 2004 Jan 25.


Studies have shown that humans cannot simultaneously learn opposing force fields or opposing visuomotor rotations, even when provided with arbitrary contextual information, probably because of interference in their working memory. In contrast, we found that subjects can adapt to two opposing force fields when provided with contextual cues and can consolidate motor memories if random and frequent switching occurs. Because significant aftereffects were seen, this study suggests that multiple internal models can be acquired simultaneously during learning and predictively switched, depending only on contextual information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cues
  • Hand
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Rotation