Eye movements during visuomotor adaptation represent only part of the explicit learning

Zohar Bromberg, Opher Donchin, Shlomi Haar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Visuomotor rotations are learned through a combination of explicit strategy and implicit recalibration. However, measuring the relative contribution of each remains a challenge and the possibility of multiple explicit and implicit components complicates the issue. Recent interest has focused on the possibility that eye movements reflects explicit strategy. Here we compared eye movements during adaptation to two accepted measures of explicit learning: Verbal report and the exclusion test. We found that while reporting, all subjects showed a match among all three measures. However, when subjects did not report their intention, the eye movements of some subjects suggested less explicit adaptation than what was measured in an exclusion test. Interestingly, subjects whose eye movements did match their exclusion could be clustered into the following two subgroups: Fully implicit learners showing no evidence of explicit adaptation and explicit learners with little implicit adaptation. Subjects showing a mix of both explicit and implicit adaptation were also those where eye movements showed less explicit adaptation than did exclusion. Thus, our results support the idea of multiple components of explicit learning as only part of the explicit learning is reflected in the eye movements. Individual subjects may use explicit components that are reflected in the eyes or those that are not or some mixture of the two. Analysis of reaction times suggests that the explicit components reflected in the eye movements involve longer reaction times. This component, according to recent literature, may be related to mental rotation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberENEURO.0308-19.2019
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Explicit learning
  • Eye movement
  • Motor adaptation
  • Motor control
  • Motor learning
  • Visuomotor rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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