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ref: Brown-2007.09 tags: motor force field learning vision date: 02-20-2009 00:28 gmt revision:1 [0] [head]

PMID-17855611 Motor Force Field Learning Influences Visual Processing of Target Motion

  • as you can see from the title - this is an interesting result.
  • learning to compensate for forces applied to the hand influenced how participants predicted target motion for interception.
  • subjects were trained on a robotic manipulandum that applied different force fields; they had to use the manipulandum to hit a accelerating target.
  • There were 3 force feilds: rightward, leftward, and null. Target accelerated left to right. Subjects with the rightward force field hit more targets than the null, and these more targets than the leftward force field. Hence motor knowledge of the environment (associated accelerations, as if there were wind or water current...) influenced how motion was perceived and acted upon.
    • perhaps there is a simple explanation for this (rather than their evolutionary information-sharing hypothesis): there exists a network that serves to convert visual-spatial coordinates into motor plans, and later muscle activations. The presence of a force field initially only affects the motor/muscle control parts of the ctx, but as training continues, the changes are propagated earlier into the system - to the visual system (or at least the visual-planning system). But this is a complicated system, and it's hard to predict how and where adaptation occurs.