Interlimb generalization of learned bayesian visuomotor prior occurs in extrinsic coordinates

Christopher L. Hewitson, Paul F. Sowman, David M. Kaplan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Recent work suggests that the brain represents probability distributions and performs Bayesian integration during sensorimotor learning. However, our understanding of the neural representation of this learning remains limited. To begin to address this, we performed two experiments. In the first experiment, we replicated the key behavioral findings of Körding and Wolpert (2004), demonstrating that humans can perform in a Bayes-optimal manner by combining information about their own sensory uncertainty and a statistical distribution of lateral shifts encountered in a visuomotor adaptation task. In the second experiment, we extended these findings by testing whether visuomotor learning occurring during the same task generalizes from one limb to the other, and relatedly, whether this learning is represented in an extrinsic or intrinsic reference frame. We found that the learned mean of the distribution of visuomotor shifts generalizes to the opposite limb only when the perturbation is congruent in extrinsic coordinates, indicating that the underlying representation of learning acquired during training is available to the untrained limb and is coded in an extrinsic reference frame.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0183-18.2018
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Bayesian integration
  • interlimb generalization
  • motor learning
  • sensorimotor learning
  • transfer
  • visuomotor adaptation


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