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Learning complex motor behaviors like riding a bicycle or swinging a golf club is based on acquiring neural representations of the mechanical requirements of movement (e.g., coordinating muscle forces to control the club). Here we provide evidence that mechanisms matching observation and action facilitate motor learning. Subjects who observed a video(More)
Cocontraction (the simultaneous activation of antagonist muscles around a joint) provides the nervous system with a way to adapt the mechanical properties of the limb to changing task requirements-both in statics and during movement. However, relatively little is known about the conditions under which the motor system modulates limb impedance through(More)
Motor learning is dependent upon plasticity in motor areas of the brain, but does it occur in isolation, or does it also result in changes to sensory systems? We examined changes to somatosensory function that occur in conjunction with motor learning. We found that even after periods of training as brief as 10 min, sensed limb position was altered and the(More)
Studies on plasticity in motor function have shown that motor learning generalizes, such that movements in novel situations are affected by previous training. It has been shown that the pattern of generalization for visuomotor rotation learning changes when training movements are made to a wide distribution of directions. Here we have found that for(More)
Visually guided arm movements such as reaching or pointing are accompanied by saccadic eye movements that typically begin prior to motion of the arm. In the past, some degree of coupling between the oculomotor and limb motor systems has been demonstrated by assessing the relative onset times of eye and arm movement, and by the demonstration of a gap effect(More)
A complex interplay has been demonstrated between motor and sensory systems. We showed recently that motor learning leads to changes in the sensed position of the limb (Ostry DJ, Darainy M, Mattar AA, Wong J, Gribble PL. J Neurosci 30: 5384-5393, 2010). Here, we document further the links between motor learning and changes in somatosensory perception. To(More)
Studies on generalization show the nature of how learning is encoded in the brain. Previous studies have shown rather limited generalization of dynamics learning across changes in movement direction, a finding that is consistent with the idea that learning is primarily local. In contrast, studies show a broader pattern of generalization across changes in(More)
Visually guided arm movements such as reaching or pointing are accompanied by saccadic eye movements that typically begin prior to motion of the arm. In the past, some degree of coupling between the oculomotor and limb motor systems has been demonstrated by assessing the relative onset times of eye and arm movement, and by the demonstration of a gap effect(More)
Cocontraction (the simultaneous activation of antagonist muscles around a joint) provides the nervous system with a way to adapt the mechanical properties of the limb to changing task requirements-both in statics and during movement. However relatively little is known about the conditions under which the motor system modulates limb impedance through(More)
The capacity for skill development over multiple training episodes is fundamental to human motor function. We have studied the process by which skills evolve with training by progressively modifying a series of motor learning tasks that subjects performed over a 1-mo period. In a series of empirical and modeling studies, we show that performance undergoes(More)