Natural error patterns enable transfer of motor learning to novel contexts

Gelsy Torres-Oviedo, Amy J Bastian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Successful behavior demands motor learning to be transferable in some cases (e.g., adjusting walking patterns as we develop and age) and context specific in others (e.g., learning to walk in high heels). Here we investigated differences in motor learning transfer in people learning a new walking pattern on a split-belt treadmill, where the legs move at different speeds. We hypothesized that transfer of the newly acquired walking pattern on the treadmill to natural over ground walking might depend on the pattern of errors experienced during learning. Error patterns within a person's natural range might be experienced as endogenous (i.e., produced by the body), encouraging general adjustments that transfer across contexts. On the other hand, larger errors might be experienced as exogenous (i.e., produced by the environment), indicating unusual conditions requiring context-specific learning. To test this, we manipulated the distribution of errors experienced during learning to lie either within or outside the normal distribution of walking errors. We found that restriction of errors to the natural range produced transfer of the new walking pattern from the treadmill to natural walking off the treadmill, while larger errors prevented transfer. This result helps explain how transfer of motor learning is controlled, and it offers an important strategy for clinical rehabilitation, where transfer of motor learning to other contexts is essential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-356
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume107
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Fingerprint

Walking
Learning
Social Adjustment
Heel
Normal Distribution
Transfer (Psychology)
Leg
Rehabilitation

Keywords

  • Generalization
  • Human
  • Kinematics
  • Locomotion
  • Motor control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Natural error patterns enable transfer of motor learning to novel contexts. / Torres-Oviedo, Gelsy; Bastian, Amy J.

In: Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 107, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 346-356.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a17142af865e4d35a36197312d6f7ab0,
title = "Natural error patterns enable transfer of motor learning to novel contexts",
abstract = "Successful behavior demands motor learning to be transferable in some cases (e.g., adjusting walking patterns as we develop and age) and context specific in others (e.g., learning to walk in high heels). Here we investigated differences in motor learning transfer in people learning a new walking pattern on a split-belt treadmill, where the legs move at different speeds. We hypothesized that transfer of the newly acquired walking pattern on the treadmill to natural over ground walking might depend on the pattern of errors experienced during learning. Error patterns within a person's natural range might be experienced as endogenous (i.e., produced by the body), encouraging general adjustments that transfer across contexts. On the other hand, larger errors might be experienced as exogenous (i.e., produced by the environment), indicating unusual conditions requiring context-specific learning. To test this, we manipulated the distribution of errors experienced during learning to lie either within or outside the normal distribution of walking errors. We found that restriction of errors to the natural range produced transfer of the new walking pattern from the treadmill to natural walking off the treadmill, while larger errors prevented transfer. This result helps explain how transfer of motor learning is controlled, and it offers an important strategy for clinical rehabilitation, where transfer of motor learning to other contexts is essential.",
keywords = "Generalization, Human, Kinematics, Locomotion, Motor control",
author = "Gelsy Torres-Oviedo and Bastian, {Amy J}",
year = "2012",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1152/jn.00570.2011",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "107",
pages = "346--356",
journal = "Journal of Neurophysiology",
issn = "0022-3077",
publisher = "American Physiological Society",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Natural error patterns enable transfer of motor learning to novel contexts

AU - Torres-Oviedo, Gelsy

AU - Bastian, Amy J

PY - 2012/1

Y1 - 2012/1

N2 - Successful behavior demands motor learning to be transferable in some cases (e.g., adjusting walking patterns as we develop and age) and context specific in others (e.g., learning to walk in high heels). Here we investigated differences in motor learning transfer in people learning a new walking pattern on a split-belt treadmill, where the legs move at different speeds. We hypothesized that transfer of the newly acquired walking pattern on the treadmill to natural over ground walking might depend on the pattern of errors experienced during learning. Error patterns within a person's natural range might be experienced as endogenous (i.e., produced by the body), encouraging general adjustments that transfer across contexts. On the other hand, larger errors might be experienced as exogenous (i.e., produced by the environment), indicating unusual conditions requiring context-specific learning. To test this, we manipulated the distribution of errors experienced during learning to lie either within or outside the normal distribution of walking errors. We found that restriction of errors to the natural range produced transfer of the new walking pattern from the treadmill to natural walking off the treadmill, while larger errors prevented transfer. This result helps explain how transfer of motor learning is controlled, and it offers an important strategy for clinical rehabilitation, where transfer of motor learning to other contexts is essential.

AB - Successful behavior demands motor learning to be transferable in some cases (e.g., adjusting walking patterns as we develop and age) and context specific in others (e.g., learning to walk in high heels). Here we investigated differences in motor learning transfer in people learning a new walking pattern on a split-belt treadmill, where the legs move at different speeds. We hypothesized that transfer of the newly acquired walking pattern on the treadmill to natural over ground walking might depend on the pattern of errors experienced during learning. Error patterns within a person's natural range might be experienced as endogenous (i.e., produced by the body), encouraging general adjustments that transfer across contexts. On the other hand, larger errors might be experienced as exogenous (i.e., produced by the environment), indicating unusual conditions requiring context-specific learning. To test this, we manipulated the distribution of errors experienced during learning to lie either within or outside the normal distribution of walking errors. We found that restriction of errors to the natural range produced transfer of the new walking pattern from the treadmill to natural walking off the treadmill, while larger errors prevented transfer. This result helps explain how transfer of motor learning is controlled, and it offers an important strategy for clinical rehabilitation, where transfer of motor learning to other contexts is essential.

KW - Generalization

KW - Human

KW - Kinematics

KW - Locomotion

KW - Motor control

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84255182513&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84255182513&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1152/jn.00570.2011

DO - 10.1152/jn.00570.2011

M3 - Article

C2 - 21957223

AN - SCOPUS:84255182513

VL - 107

SP - 346

EP - 356

JO - Journal of Neurophysiology

JF - Journal of Neurophysiology

SN - 0022-3077

IS - 1

ER -