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Visuomotor Learning Enhanced by Augmenting Instantaneous Trajectory Error Feedback during Reaching

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posted on 13.12.2013, 00:00 by James L. Patton, Yejun John Wei, Preeti Bajaj, Robert A. Scheidt
We studied reach adaptation to a 30 degrees visuomotor rotation to determine whether augmented error feedback can promote faster and more complete motor learning. Four groups of healthy adults reached with their unseen arm to visual targets surrounding a central starting point. A manipulandum tracked hand motion and projected a cursor onto a display immediately above the horizontal plane of movement. For one group, deviations from the ideal movement were amplified with a gain of 2 whereas another group experienced a gain of 3.1. The third group experienced an offset equal to the average error seen in the initial perturbations, while a fourth group served as controls. Learning in the gain 2 and offset groups was nearly twice as fast as controls. Moreover, the offset group averaged more reduction in error. Such error augmentation techniques may be useful for training novel visuomotor transformations as required of robotic teleoperators or in movement rehabilitation of the neurologically impaired.


This work was supported by American Heart Association 0330411Z, National Institutes of Health (NIH) R24 HD39627, NIH 5 RO1 NS 35673, NIH F32HD08658, Whitaker RG010157, NSF BES0238442, NIH R01HD053727, the summer internship in neural engineering (SINE) program at the Sensory Motor Performance Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and the Falk Trust.


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© 2013 Patton et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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