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Durham University



Publication details for Dr Lore Thaler

Thaler, Lore & Todd, James (2010). Evidence from visuomotor adaptation for two partially independent visuomotor systems. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 36(4): 924-935.

Author(s) from Durham


Visual information can specify spatial layout with respect to the observer (egocentric) or with respect to an external frame of reference (allocentric). People can use both of these types of visual spatial information to guide their hands. The question arises if movements based on egocentric and movements based on allocentric visual information comprise 2 independent visuomotor systems. In the experiments reported here, we used visuomotor adaptation to address this question. In an adaptation phase, subjects received distorted-visual feedback about their hand movements (17° rotation and 110% amplitude stretch). In a testing phase (no-visual feedback), we measured how behavior changes in response to the distorted-visual feedback. During adaptation and testing, we used 2 tasks that required processing of either egocentric or allocentric visual information. The results show that behavioral changes are significantly larger when the same task is used during testing and adaptation, compared to when the task is switched. The findings suggest that the human brain employs 2 partially independent visuomotor systems that rely on different types of visual spatial information.

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