The effects of a two-step transfer on a visuomotor adaptation task

Exp Brain Res. 2017 Nov;235(11):3459-3467. doi: 10.1007/s00221-017-5071-8. Epub 2017 Aug 24.


The literature has shown robust effects of transfer-of-learning to the contralateral side and more recently transfer-of-learning effects to a new effector type on the ipsilateral side. Few studies have investigated the effects of transfer-of-learning when skills transfer to both a new effector type and the contralateral side (two-step transfer). The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of two-step transfer and to examine which aspects of the movement transfer and which aspects do not. Individuals practiced a 30° visual rotation task with either the dominant or non-dominant limb and with either the use of the fingers and wrist or elbow and shoulder. Following practice, participants performed the task with the untrained effector type on the contralateral side. Results showed that initial direction error and trajectory length transferred from the dominant to the non-dominant side and movement time transferred from the elbow and shoulder condition to the wrist and finger conditions irrespective of which limb was used during practice. The results offer a unique perspective on the current theoretical and practical implications for transfer-of-learning and are further discussed in this paper.

Keywords: Bimanual transfer; Dual-layer model; Dynamic dominance; Intralimb transfer; Motor learning.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Transfer, Psychology / physiology*
  • Upper Extremity / physiology*
  • Young Adult