Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 191, Issue 2, pp 143–155 | Cite as

The efficacy of colour cues in facilitating adaptation to opposing visuomotor rotations

  • Mark R. Hinder
  • Daniel G. Woolley
  • James R. Tresilian
  • Stephan Riek
  • Richard G. Carson
Research Article


We investigated visuomotor adaptation using an isometric, target-acquisition task. Following trials with no rotation, two participant groups were exposed to a random sequence of 30° clockwise (CW) and 60° counter-clockwise (CCW) rotations, with (DUAL-CUE), or without (DUAL-NO CUE), colour cues that enabled each environment (non-rotated, 30° CW and 60° CCW) to be identified. A further three groups experienced only 30° CW trials or only 60° CCW trials (SINGLE rotation groups) in which each visuomotor mapping was again associated with a colour cue. During training, all SINGLE groups reduced angular deviations of the cursor path during the initial portion of the movements, indicating feedforward adaptation. Consistent with the view that the adaptation occurred automatically via recalibration of the visuomotor mapping (Krakauer et al. 1999), post-training aftereffects were observed, despite colour cues that indicated that no rotation was present. For the DUAL-CUE group, angular deviations decreased with training in the 60° trials, but were unchanged in the 30° trials, while for the DUAL-NO CUE group angular deviations decreased for the 60° CW trials but increased for the 30° CW trials. These results suggest that in a dual adaptation paradigm a colour cue can permit delineation of the two environments, with a subsequent change in behaviour resulting in improved performance in at least one of these environments. Increased reaction times within the training block, together with the absence of aftereffects in the post-training period for the DUAL-CUE group suggest an explicit cue-dependent strategy was used in an attempt to compensate for the rotations.


Visuomotor rotation Adaptation Internal model Visuomotor mapping Interference Implicit and explicit learning Dual adaptation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark R. Hinder
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel G. Woolley
    • 1
    • 3
  • James R. Tresilian
    • 1
    • 4
  • Stephan Riek
    • 1
  • Richard G. Carson
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Perception and Motor Systems Laboratory, School of Human Movement StudiesUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  3. 3.Motor Control Laboratory, Research Centre for Movement Control and Neuroplasticity, Department of Biomedical KinesiologyKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  5. 5.School of PsychologyQueen’s University of BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland, UK

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