Multiple representations and mechanisms for visuomotor adaptation in young children.

Abstract : In this study, we utilized transformed spatial mappings to perturb visuomotor integration in 5-yr-old children and adults. The participants were asked to perform pointing movements under five different conditions of visuomotor rotation (from 0° to 180°), which were designed to reveal explicit vs. implicit representations as well as the mechanisms underlying the visual-motor mapping. Several tests allowed us to separately evaluate sensorimotor (i.e., the dynamic dimension of movement) and cognitive (i.e., the explicit representations of target position and the strategies used by the participants) representations of visuo-proprioceptive distortion. Our results indicate that children do not establish representations in the same manner as adults and that children exhibit multiple visuomotor representations. Sensorimotor representations were relatively precise, presumably due to the recovery of proprioceptive information and efferent copy. Furthermore, a bidirectional mechanism was used to re-map visual and motor spaces. In contrast, cognitive representations were supplied with visual information and followed a unidirectional visual-motor mapping. Therefore, it appears that sensorimotor mechanisms develop before the use of explicit strategies during development, and young children showed impaired visuomotor adaptation when confronted with large distortions.
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Pierre-Karim Tahej, Carole Ferrel-Chapus, Isabelle Olivier, Dominique Ginhac, Jean-Pierre Rolland. Multiple representations and mechanisms for visuomotor adaptation in young children.. Human Movement Science, Elsevier, 2012, 31 (6), pp.1425-35. ⟨10.1016/j.humov.2012.02.016⟩. ⟨hal-00775931⟩



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