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J Neurophysiol. 2014 Nov 1;112(9):2218-33. doi: 10.1152/jn.00377.2013. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

Fractionation of the visuomotor feedback response to directions of movement and perturbation.

Author information

1
Computational and Biological Learning Lab, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom dwf25@cam.ac.uk.
2
Computational and Biological Learning Lab, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Recent studies have highlighted the modulation and control of feedback gains as support for optimal feedback control. While many experiments contrast feedback gains across different environments, only a few have demonstrated the appropriate modulation of feedback gains from one movement to the next. Here we extend previous work by examining whether different visuomotor feedback gains can be learned for different directions of movement or perturbation directions in the same posture. To do this we measure visuomotor responses (involuntary motor responses to shifts in the visual feedback of the hand) during reaching movements. Previous work has demonstrated that these feedback responses can be modulated depending on the statistical distributions of the environment. Specifically, feedback gains were upregulated for task-relevant environments and downregulated for task-irrelevant environments. Using these two statistical distributions, the first experiment examined whether these feedback responses could be independently modulated for the same limb posture for two directions of movement (same limb posture but on either an inward or outward movement), while the second examined whether the feedback responses could modulate, within a single movement, to perturbations to the left or right of the reach. Both experiments demonstrated that visuomotor feedback responses could be learned independently such that the response was appropriate for the environment. This work demonstrates that feedback gains can be simultaneously tuned (upregulated and downregulated) depending on the state of the body and the environment. The results indicate the degree to which feedback responses can be fractionated in order to adapt to the world.

KEYWORDS:

adaptive control of reflex magnitude; motor control; online control; reflex modulation; visually guided reaching

PMID:
25098965
PMCID:
PMC4274920
DOI:
10.1152/jn.00377.2013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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