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Title: Adaptation to visuo-motor rearrangement : a learning phenomenon?
Author: Flook, J. P.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1978
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This thesis proposes that adaptation to visuo-motor rearrangement is a form of learning. The experimental work reported here supports this view, showing that adaptation in both monkey and man has long-term influences. These take the form of (a) savings on re-adaptation to the same prism, (b) "learning to learn" effects following repeated adaptation to two different prisms presented serially, and (c) accurate prediction of the appropriate response when external cues correlated with the prisms are available. Such effects, analogous to those obtained in conventional learning studies, occur despite the intervention of periods of normal activity between the adaptation experiences. The conventional view that the effects of adaptation are transient, dissipating rapidly following removal of the prisms, is challenged by these findings. An alternative interpretation is proposed, suggesting that adaptation should be regarded as a form of motor-response learning. This specific proposal is supported by the results of a subsidiary study with squirrel monkeys, in which their ability to differentiate motor responses on the basis of reinforcement contingencies was investigated. It is concluded that the contingencies between self-produced movement and visual consequences, learnt on the basis of response-produced feedback, is the crucial factor in visuo-motor coordination.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available