Learning to Combine High Variability With High Precision: Lack of Transfer to a Different Task

Yen Hsun Wu, Thomas S. Truglio, Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The authors studied effects of practicing a 4-finger accurate force production task on multifinger coordination quantified within the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis. During practice, task instability was modified by changing visual feedback gain based on accuracy of performance. The authors also explored the retention of these effects, and their transfer to a prehensile task. Subjects practiced the force production task for 2 days. After the practice, total force variability decreased and performance became more accurate. In contrast, variance of finger forces showed a tendency to increase during the first practice session while in the space of finger modes (hypothetical commands to fingers) the increase was under the significance level. These effects were retained for 2 weeks. No transfer of these effects to the prehensile task was seen, suggesting high specificity of coordination changes. The retention of practice effects without transfer to a different task suggests that further studies on a more practical method of improving coordination are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-165
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of motor behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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