Learning of scaling factors and reference axes for reaching movements

Zachary M. Pine, John W. Krakauer, James Gordon, Claude Ghez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To further understand visuomotor transformations in reaching, we compared adaptation to display rotation and altered gain in planar movements. Healthy subjects moved a cursor on a screen by moving an indicator on a horizontal digitizing tablet with their unseen hand. Adaptation to rotation was less complete and was accompanied by markedly increased directional variability. Adaptation training on a single target generalized broadly for gain change, but poorly for rotation. We propose that the difficulty in adapting to rotation arises from the substantial demands on short-term working memory imposed by the need to determine the new reference direction. Adaptation to gain change makes more modest demands on short-term memory to recalibrate the visuomotor scaling factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2357-2361
Number of pages5
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Accuracy
  • Adaptation
  • Coordinate transformations
  • Human
  • Motor programs
  • Movement errors
  • Multi-joint arm movements
  • Reaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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