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Journal Article


Hegele M, Heuer H. PLoS One 2010; 5(8): e12071.


IfADo - Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, Dortmund, Germany.


(Copyright © 2010, Public Library of Science)








BACKGROUND: Adjustment to a visuo-motor rotation is known to be affected by ageing. According to previous studies, the age-related differences primarily pertain to the use of strategic corrections and the generation of explicit knowledge on which strategic corrections are based, whereas the acquisition of an (implicit) internal model of the novel visuo-motor transformation is unaffected. The present study aimed to assess the impact of augmented information on the age-related variation of visuo-motor adjustments. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants performed aiming movements controlling a cursor on a computer screen. Visual feedback of direction of cursor motion was rotated 75 degrees relative to the direction of hand motion. Participants had to adjust to this rotation in the presence and absence of an additional hand-movement target that explicitly depicted the input-output relations of the visuo-motor transformation. An extensive set of tests was employed in order to disentangle the contributions of different processes to visuo-motor adjustment. Results show that the augmented information failed to affect the age-related variations of explicit knowledge, adaptive shifts, and aftereffects in a substantial way, whereas it clearly affected initial direction errors during practice and proprioceptive realignment. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to expectations, older participants apparently made no use of the augmented information, whereas younger participants used the additional movement target to reduce initial direction errors early during practice. However, after a first block of trials errors increased, indicating a neglect of the augmented information, and only slowly declined thereafter. A hypothetical dual-task account of these findings is discussed. The use of the augmented information also led to a selective impairment of proprioceptive realignment in the younger group. The mere finding of proprioceptive realignment in adaptation to a visuo-motor rotation in a computer-controlled setup is noteworthy since visual and proprioceptive information pertain to different objects.

Language: en


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