Learning of scaling factors and reference axes for reaching movements

Neuroreport. 1996 Oct 2;7(14):2357-61. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199610020-00016.


TO further understand visuomotor transformations in reaching, we compared adaptation to display rotation and altered gain in planar movements. Healthy subjects moved a cursor on a screen by moving an indicator on a horizontal digitizing tablet with their unseen hand. Adaptation to rotation was less complete and was accompanied by markedly increased directional variability. Adaptation training on a single target generalized broadly for gain change, but poorly for rotation. We propose that the difficulty in adapting to rotation arises from the substantial demands on short-term working memory imposed by the need to determine the new reference direction. Adaptation to gain change makes more modest demands on short-term memory to recalibrate the visuomotor scaling factor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Arm / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Rotation