Dual-process decomposition in human sensorimotor adaptation

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Aug:33:71-7. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2015.03.003. Epub 2015 Mar 28.


Multiple distinct learning processes are known to contribute to sensorimotor adaptation in humans. It is challenging to identify and characterize these multiple processes, however, because only their summed contribution can typically be observed. A general strategy for decomposing adaptation into its constituent components is to exploit their differential susceptibility to specific experimental manipulations. Several such approaches have recently emerged which, taken together, suggest that two fundamental systems operate together to achieve the adapted state: one system learns slowly, is implicit, is temporally stable over short breaks, is expressible at low reaction times, and its properties do not change based on experience. The second learns rapidly, is explicit, requires a long preparation time to be expressed, and exhibits long-term memory for prior learning.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Awareness
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Mental Recall
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*