Motor skill training without online visual feedback enhances feedforward control

Adi Raichin, Anat Shkedy Rabani, Lior Shmuelof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Motor skill learning involves improvement in feedforward control, the ability to execute a motor plan more reliably, and feedback control, the ability to adjust the motor plan on the fly. The dependence between these control components and the association between training conditions and their improvement have not been directly examined. This study characterizes the contribution of feedforward and feedback control components to motor skill learning using the arc-pointing task (APT), a drawing task that requires high motor acuity. In experiment 1, the performance of three groups of subjects was tested before and after training with online visual feedback (OF group), with knowledge of performance feedback that was presented after movement completion (KP group), and with both online and KP feedback (KP + OF group). Although the improvement of the OF group was not different from the improvement of the KP + OF group, comparison of the KP and KP + OF groups revealed an advantage to the KP group in the fast test speed, suggesting that training without online feedback leads to a greater improvement in feedforward control. In experiment 2, subject’s improvement was examined using test probes for estimating feedback and feedforward control. Both KP + OF and KP groups showed improvement in feedforward and feedback conditions with a trend toward a greater improvement of the KP group. Our results suggest that online visual feedback suppresses improvement in feedforward control during motor skill learning.NEW NOTEWORTHY Becoming a skillful player requires both executing reliable movements and being able to efficiently control them online. We study here how training with and without online visual feedback affects feedforward and feedback control improvement in a drawing task that requires high precision. We show that training with online feedback suppresses improvement in feedforward control and leads to inferior performance in fast movements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1604-1613
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2021


  • Drawing
  • Feedback control
  • Motor learning
  • Pointing
  • Reaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • General Neuroscience


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