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Original Research ARTICLE

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Online adaptation and over-trial learning in macaque visuomotor control

Daniel A. Braun1,2*, Ad Aertsen1,2, Rony Paz3, Eilon Vaadia4,5,6, Stefan Rotter1,2 and Carsten Mehring1,2,7,8
  • 1 Bernstein Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • 2 Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • 3 Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
  • 4 Department of Medical Neurobiology, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 5 Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 6 Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 7 Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London, UK
  • 8 Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London, London, UK

When faced with unpredictable environments, the human motor system has been shown to develop optimized adaptation strategies that allow for online adaptation during the control process. Such online adaptation is to be contrasted to slower over-trial learning that corresponds to a trial-by-trial update of the movement plan. Here we investigate the interplay of both processes, i.e., online adaptation and over-trial learning, in a visuomotor experiment performed by macaques. We show that simple non-adaptive control schemes fail to perform in this task, but that a previously suggested adaptive optimal feedback control model can explain the observed behavior. We also show that over-trial learning as seen in learning and aftereffect curves can be explained by learning in a radial basis function network. Our results suggest that both the process of over-trial learning and the process of online adaptation are crucial to understand visuomotor learning.

Keywords: visuomotor learning, motor control, online adaptation, over-trial learning

Citation: Braun DA, Aertsen A, Paz R, Vaadia E, Rotter S and Mehring C (2011) Online adaptation and over-trial learning in macaque visuomotor control. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 5:27. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2011.00027

Received: 06 October 2010; Accepted: 22 May 2011;
Published online: 14 June 2011.

Edited by:

Xiao-Jing Wang, Yale University School of Medicine, USA

Reviewed by:

Emilio Salinas, Wake Forest University, USA
Thomas Trappenberg, Dalhousie University, Canada

Copyright: © 2011 Braun, Aertsen, Paz, Vaadia, Rotter and Mehring. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

*Correspondence: Daniel A. Braun, Computational and Biological Learning Lab, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK. e-mail: dab54@cam.ac.uk

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