The Statistical Determinants of the Speed of Motor Learning

Kang He, You Liang, Farnaz Abdollahi, Moria Fisher Bittmann, Konrad Kording, Kunlin Wei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


It has recently been suggested that movement variability directly increases the speed of motor learning. Here we use computational modeling of motor adaptation to show that variability can have a broad range of effects on learning, both negative and positive. Experimentally, we also find contributing and decelerating effects. Lastly, through a meta-analysis of published papers, we verify that across a wide range of experiments, movement variability has no statistical relation with learning rate. While motor learning is a complex process that can be modeled, further research is needed to understand the relative importance of the involved factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1005023
JournalPLoS computational biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Ecology
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Modeling and Simulation


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