Congruent visual cues speed dynamic motor adaptation

Sae Franklin, Raz Leib, Michael Dimitriou, David W. Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Motor adaptation to novel dynamics occurs rapidly using sensed errors to update the current motor memory. This adaption is strongly driven by proprioceptive and visual signals that indicate errors in the motor memory. Here, we extend this previous work by investigating whether the presence of additional visual cues could increase the rate of motor adaptation, specifically when the visual motion cue is congruent with the dynamics. Six groups of participants performed reaching movements while grasping the handle of a robotic manipulandum. A visual cue (small red circle) was connected to the cursor (representing the hand position) via a thin red bar. After a baseline, a unidirectional (3 groups) or bidirectional (3 groups) velocity-dependent force field was applied during the reach. For each group, the movement of the red object relative to the cursor was either congruent with the force field dynamics, incongruent with the force field dynamics, or constant (fixed distance from the cursor). Participants adapted more to the unidirectional force fields than to the bidirectional force field groups. However, across both force fields, groups in which the visual cues matched the type of force field (congruent visual cue) exhibited higher final adaptation level at the end of learning than the control or incongruent conditions. In all groups, we observed that an additional congruent cue assisted the formation of the motor memory of the external dynamics. We then demonstrate that a state estimation-based model that integrates proprioceptive and visual information can successfully replicate the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • additional visual cues
  • force field adaptation
  • motor control
  • motor memory
  • state estimation


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