Motor learning and consolidation: the case of visuomotor rotation

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009:629:405-21. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-77064-2_21.


Adaptation to visuomotor rotation is a particular form of motor learning distinct from force-field adaptation, sequence learning, and skill learning. Nevertheless, study of adaptation to visuomotor rotation has yielded a number of findings and principles that are likely of general importance to procedural learning and memory. First, rotation learning is implicit and appears to proceed through reduction in a visual prediction error generated by a forward model, such implicit adaptation occurs even when it is in conflict with an explicit task goal. Second, rotation learning is subject to different forms of interference: retrograde, anterograde through aftereffects, and contextual blocking of retrieval. Third, opposite rotations can be recalled within a short time interval without interference if implicit contextual cues (effector change) rather than explicit cues (color change) are used. Fourth, rotation learning consolidates both over time and with increased initial training (saturation learning).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Rotation
  • Visual Perception / physiology