Parallel learning processes of a visuomotor adaptation task in a changing environment.


During the control of reaching movements, a key contribution of the visual system is the localization of relevant environmental targets. In motor adaptation processes, the visual evaluation of effector motor behavior enables learning from errors, which demands continuous visual attentional focus. However, most current adaptation paradigms include static targets; therefore, when a learning situation develops in a highly variable environment and there is a double demand for visual resources (environment and motor performance), the evolution of learning processes is unknown. In order to understand how learning processes evolve in a variable environment, a video game task was designed in which subjects were asked to manage a 60° counterclockwise-rotated cursor to capture descending targets with initially unpredictable trajectories. During the task, the cursor and eye movements were recorded to dissect visuomotor coordination. We observed that the pursuit of the targets conditioned a predominant and continuous visual inspection of the environment instead of the rotated cursor. As learning progressed, subjects exhibited a linear reduction in directional error and selected a motor strategy based on the degree of reward, which improved the performance. These results suggest that when the environment demands high visual attention, error-based and reinforced motor learning processes are implemented simultaneously, thus enabling efficient predictive behavior.

Mariman JJ, Burgos P, Maldonado PE.

European Journal Of Neuroscience (Eur J Neurosci.)

noviembre 07, 2018

DOI: 10.1111/ejn.14258

Investigador BNI: Pedro Maldonado