Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Cross-sensory transfer of sensory-motor information: visuomotor learning affects performance on an audiomotor task, using sensory-substitution
Visual-to-auditory sensory-substitution devices allow users to perceive a visual image using sound. Using a motor-learning task, researchers in Israel found that new sensory-motor information was generalized across sensory modalities. They imposed a rotation when participants reached to visual targets, and found that not only seeing, but also hearing the location of targets via a sensory-substitution device resulted in biased movements. When the rotation was removed, aftereffects occurred whether the location of targets was seen or heard. Their findings demonstrate that sensory-motor learning was not sensory-modality-specific. They conclude that novel sensory-motor information can be transferred between sensory modalities.