Visual error augmentation enhances learning in three dimensions

Ian Sharp*, Felix Huang, James Patton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Because recent preliminary evidence points to the use of Error augmentation (EA) for motor learning enhancements, we visually enhanced deviations from a straight line path while subjects practiced a sensorimotor reversal task, similar to laparoscopic surgery. Our study asked 10 healthy subjects in two groups to perform targeted reaching in a simulated virtual reality environment, where the transformation of the hand position matrix was a complete reversal - rotated 180 degrees about an arbitrary axis (hence 2 of the 3 coordinates are reversed). Our data showed that after 500 practice trials, error-augmented- trained subjects reached the desired targets more quickly and with lower error (differences of 0.4 seconds and 0.5 cm Maximum Perpendicular Trajectory deviation) when compared to the control group. Furthermore, the manner in which subjects practiced was influenced by the error augmentation, resulting in more continuous motions for this group and smaller errors. Even with the extreme sensory discordance of a reversal, these data further support that distorted reality can promote more complete adaptation/learning when compared to regular training. Lastly, upon removing the flip all subjects quickly returned to baseline rapidly within 6 trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
JournalJournal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Rehabilitation


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