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J Vis. 2001;1(2):88-98.

Driving in the future: temporal visuomotor adaptation and generalization.

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Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Rapid and accurate visuomotor coordination requires tight spatial and temporal sensorimotor synchronization. The introduction of a sensorimotor or intersensory misalignment (either spatial or temporal) impairs performance on most tasks. For more than a century, it has been known that a few minutes of exposure to a spatial misalignment can induce a recalibration of sensorimotor spatial relationships, a phenomenon that may be referred to as spatial visuomotor adaptation. Here, we use a high-fidelity driving simulator to demonstrate that the sensorimotor system can adapt to temporal misalignments on very complex tasks, a phenomenon that we refer to as temporal visuomotor adaptation. We demonstrate that adapting on a single street produces an adaptive state that generalizes to other streets. This shows that temporal visuomotor adaptation is not specific to a single visuomotor transformation, but generalizes across a class of transformations. Temporal visuomotor adaptation is strikingly parallel to spatial visuomotor adaptation, and has strong implications for the understanding of visuomotor coordination and intersensory integration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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