DOI: 10.1101/491415Dec 9, 2018Paper

Symmetric Intralimb Transfer of Skilled Isometric Force Production

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Vikram A RajanPablo A Celnik


Motor control theories propose that the same motor plans can be employed by different effectors. Skills learned with one effector can therefore 'transfer' to others, which has potential applications in clinical situations. However, evidence from visuomotor adaptation suggests this effect is asymmetric; learning can be generalized from proximal-to-distal effectors (e.g. arm to hand), but not from distal-to-proximal effectors (e.g. hand to arm). We propose that skill learning may not be subject to this asymmetry, as it relies on multiple learning processes beyond error detection and correction. Participants learned a skill task involving the production of isometric forces. We assessed their ability to perform the task with the hand and arm. One group trained to perform the task using only their hand, while a second trained using only their arm. In a final assessment, we found that participants who trained with either effector improved their skill in performing the task with both their hand and arm. There was no change in a control group that did not train between assessments, indicating that gains were related to the training, not the multiple assessments. These results indicate that in contrast to visuomotor adaptation, motor sk...Continue Reading

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