The proper association between planned and executed movements is crucial for motor learning because the discrepancies between them drive such learning. Our study explored how this association was determined when a single action caused the movements of multiple visual objects. Participants reached toward a target by moving a cursor, which represented the right hand's position. Once every five to six normal trials, we interleaved either of two kinds of visual perturbation trials: rotation of the cursor by a certain amount (±15°, ±30°, and ±45°) around the starting position (single-cursor condition) or rotation of two cursors by different angles (+15° and -45°, 0° and 30°, etc.) that were presented simultaneously (double-cursor condition). We evaluated the aftereffects of each condition in the subsequent trial. The error sensitivity (ratio of the aftereffect to the imposed visual rotation) in the single-cursor trials decayed with the amount of rotation, indicating that the motor learning system relied to a greater extent on smaller errors. In the double-cursor trials, we obtained a coefficient that represented the degree to which each of the visual rotations contributed to the aftereffects based on the assumption that the observed aftereffects were a result of the weighted summation of the influences of the imposed visual rotations. The decaying pattern according to the amount of rotation was maintained in the coefficient of each imposed visual rotation in the double-cursor trials, but the value was reduced to approximately 40% of the corresponding error sensitivity in the single-cursor trials. We also found a further reduction of the coefficients when three distinct cursors were presented (e.g., -15°, 15°, and 30°). These results indicated that the motor learning system utilized multiple sources of visual error information simultaneously to correct subsequent movement and that a certain averaging mechanism might be at work in the utilization process. © 2013 Kasuga et al.
Kasuga, S., Hirashima, M., & Nozaki, D. (2013). Simultaneous Processing of Information on Multiple Errors in Visuomotor Learning. PLoS ONE, 8(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0072741