Concurrent adaptation to two different visuomotor transformations has been shown to be possible as long as discriminative contextual cues are available. The authors examined explicit and implicit components of visually cued dual adaptation in younger and older adults. They found that only young adults, but not old adults, produced appropriate adaptive shifts of hand-movement direction to compensate for the visuomotor rotations. Aftereffects, conceived as a measure of implicit knowledge, were only poorly developed. Furthermore, only participants in the younger group exhibited systematic explicit knowledge of the visuomotor rotations. Subsequent analyses revealed strong correlations between the quality of explicit knowledge and the overall visuomotor adaptation. Thus, visually cued dual adaptation to two opposite visuomotor rotations is primarily mediated by conscious strategic corrections based on explicit knowledge of the transformations, a process, which is selectively impaired in older adults.
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