Online reach adjustments induced by real-time movement sonification

Human Movement Science 96:103250 (2024)
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Movement sonification can improve motor control in both healthy subjects (e.g., learning or refining a sport skill) and those with sensorimotor deficits (e.g., stroke patients and deafferented individuals). It is not known whether improved motor control and learning from movement sonification are driven by feedback-based real-time (“online”) trajectory adjustments, adjustments to internal models over multiple trials, or both. We searched for evidence of online trajectory adjustments (muscle twitches) in response to movement sonification feedback by comparing the kinematics and error of reaches made with online (i.e., real-time) and terminal sonification feedback. We found that reaches made with online feedback were significantly more jerky than reaches made with terminal feedback, indicating increased muscle twitching (i.e., online trajectory adjustment). Using a between-subject design, we found that online feedback was associated with improved motor learning of a reach path and target over terminal feedback; however, using a within-subjects design, we found that switching participants who had learned with online sonification feedback to terminal feedback was associated with a decrease in error. Thus, our results suggest that, with our task and sonification, movement sonification leads to online trajectory adjustments which improve internal models over multiple trials, but which themselves are not helpful online corrections.

Author's Profile

Michael Barkasi
Washington University in St. Louis


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