Over the past few decades, one of the most salient lifestyle changes for us has been the use of computers. For many of us, manual interaction with a computer occupies a large portion of our working time. Through neural plasticity, this extensive movement training should change our representation of movements (e.g., [1-3]), just like search engines affect memory . However, how computer use affects motor learning is largely understudied. Additionally, as virtually all participants in studies of perception and actions are computer users, a legitimate question is whether insights from these studies bear the signature of computer-use experience. We compared non-computer users with age- and education-matched computer users in standard motor learning experiments. We found that people learned equally fast but that non-computer users generalized significantly less across space, a difference negated by two weeks of intensive computer training. Our findings suggest that computer-use experience shaped our basic sensorimotor behaviors, and this influence should be considered whenever computer users are recruited as study participants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)