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Visual error augmentation enhances learning in three dimensions

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Author(s): Sharp Ian | Huang Felix | Patton James

Journal: Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (JNER)
ISSN 1743-0003

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 52;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Because recent preliminary evidence points to the use of Error augmentation (EA) for motor learning enhancements, we visually enhanced deviations from a straight line path while subjects practiced a sensorimotor reversal task, similar to laparoscopic surgery. Our study asked 10 healthy subjects in two groups to perform targeted reaching in a simulated virtual reality environment, where the transformation of the hand position matrix was a complete reversal--rotated 180 degrees about an arbitrary axis (hence 2 of the 3 coordinates are reversed). Our data showed that after 500 practice trials, error-augmented-trained subjects reached the desired targets more quickly and with lower error (differences of 0.4 seconds and 0.5 cm Maximum Perpendicular Trajectory deviation) when compared to the control group. Furthermore, the manner in which subjects practiced was influenced by the error augmentation, resulting in more continuous motions for this group and smaller errors. Even with the extreme sensory discordance of a reversal, these data further support that distorted reality can promote more complete adaptation/learning when compared to regular training. Lastly, upon removing the flip all subjects quickly returned to baseline rapidly within 6 trials.

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