Learning and Memory Formation of Arm Movements

  • Reza Shadmehr
  • Kurt Thoroughman


Learning a motor task is characterized by a gradual transition from a high demand on attention to the task becoming automatic and nonattentive. Studies that have recorded limb movements during learning of a motor task have shown that this increase in automaticity of movements is accompanied by key kinematic features:
  1. 1

    Stiffness of the limbs decreases (Milner and Cloutier 1993), as evidenced by a decreased coactivation of the muscles and an increased compliance in response to a perturbation.

  2. 2

    Movements become smoother (Hreljac 1993), as evidenced by a reduction in a cost function that scales with the jerkiness of the movement (second derivative of velocity).

  3. 3

    Motion of the joints become decoupled (Vereijken et al. 1992), as evidenced by a reduction in the cross-correlation between patterns of joint rotations.



Internal Model Motor Output Retrograde Amnesia Muscle Torque Hand Path 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reza Shadmehr
  • Kurt Thoroughman

There are no affiliations available

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