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J Mot Behav. 1998 Sep;30(3):234-48. doi: 10.1080/00222899809601339.

Adaptation in visuomanual tracking depends on intact proprioception.

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Unité Mixte de Recherche Mouvement et Perception Faculté des Sciences du Sport, Université de la Méditerranée.


The role of arm proprioception in motor learning was investigated in experiments in which, by moving the arm, subjects followed the motion of a target displayed on a monitor screen. Adaptive capabilities were tested in visuomanual tracking tasks following alterations in the relationship between the observer's actual arm movement and visual feedback of the arm movement given by a cursor motion on the screen. Tracking performance and adaptive changes, measured in terms of spatiotemporal error, tracking trajectory curvature, and spatial gain, were compared in 7 control subjects (CSs) and in 1 deafferented subject (DS). CSs adapted appropriately to altered visuomanual relationships; those changes were present in trials immediately after restoration of normal scaling. In contrast, although the DS modified his tracking strategy from trial to trial according to the altered conditions, he did not show plastic changes in internal visuomanual scaling. Like the results of prismatic adaptation experiments, the present results suggest that arm proprioception contributes to the plastic changes that follow alterations in the scaling of visuomanual gain.

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