Online corrective responses following target jump in altered gravitoinertial force field point to nested feedforward and feedback control

  • Chomienne Loïc
  • Blouin Jean
  • Bringoux Lionel

  • Motor control
  • Reaching movement
  • Force field adaptation
  • Double-step paradigm
  • Internal model


Studies on goal-directed arm movements have shown a close link between feedforward and feedback control in protocols where both planning and online control processes faced a similar type of perturbation, either mechanical or visual. This particular context might have facilitated the use of an adapted internal model by feedforward and feedback control. Here we considered this link in a context where after feedforward control was adapted through proprioception-based processes, feedback control was tested under visual perturbation. We analyzed the response of the reaching hand to target displacements following adaptation to an altered force field induced by rotating participants at constant velocity. Reaching corrections were assessed through variables related to the accuracy (lateral and longitudinal endpoint errors) and kinematics (movement time, peak velocity) of the corrective movements. The electromyographic activity of different arm muscles (pectoralis, deltoid, biceps and triceps brachii) was analyzed. Statistical analyses revealed that accuracy and kinematics of corrective movements were strikingly alike between normal and altered gravitoinertial force fields. However, pectoralis and biceps muscle activities recorded during corrective movements were significantly modified to counteract the effect of rotation-induced Coriolis and centrifugal forces on the arm. Remarkably, feedback control was functional from the very first time participants encountered a target jump in the altered force field. Overall, the present results demonstrate that feedforward control enables immediate functional feedback control even when applied to distinct sensorimotor processes.