The effect of rest breaks on human sensorimotor adaptation

Exp Brain Res. 2005 May;163(2):258-60. doi: 10.1007/s00221-005-2231-z. Epub 2005 Mar 8.


We have studied the effect of rest breaks on sensorimotor adaptation to rotated visual feedback in a pointing task. Adaptive improvement was significantly poorer after 1-s breaks than after 5-40-s breaks, with no significant difference among the latter break durations. The benefit of >1-s breaks emerged soon after the onset of adaptation, and then remained steady throughout the adaptation, retention (next day), and persistence (no feedback) phases. This pattern of findings indicates that break-induced facilitation is not a result of strategic adjustments, motivation, or recovery from fatigue, but rather to consolidation of previously acquired sensorimotor recalibration rules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Arm / physiology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Feedback / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Sensation / physiology
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Time Factors