Impact of visual error augmentation methods on task performance and motor adaptation

TitleImpact of visual error augmentation methods on task performance and motor adaptation
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2009
AuthorsCelik, O, Powell, D, O'Malley, MK
Conference NameIEEE 11th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR 2009)

We hypothesized that augmenting the visual error feedback provided to subjects training in a point-to-point reaching task under visual distortion would improve the amount and speed of adaptation. Previous studies showing that human learning is error-driven and that visual error augmentation can improve the rate at which subjects decrease their trajectory error in such a task provided the motivation for our study. In a controlled experiment, subjects were required to perform point-to- point reaching movements in the presence of a rotational visual distortion. The amount and speed of their adaptation to this distortion were calculated based on two performance measures: trajectory error and hit time. We tested how three methods of error augmentation (error amplification, traditional error offsetting, and progressive error offsetting) affected the amount and speed of adaptation, and additionally propose definitions for “amount” and “speed” of adaptation in an absolute sense that are more practical than definitions used in previous studies. It is concluded that traditional error offsetting promotes the fastest learning, while error amplification promotes the most complete learning. Progressive error offsetting, a novel method, resulted in slower training than the control group, but we hypothesize that it could be improved with further tuning and indicate a need for further study of this method. These results have implications for improvement in motor skill learning across many fields, including rehabilitation after stroke, surgical training, and teleoperation.

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