Martial arts training is related to implicit intermanual transfer of visuomotor adaptation

Susen Werner, Koki Hasegawa, Kazuyuki Kanosue, Heiko Klaus Strüder, Tobias Göb, Tobias Vogt

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Recent work identified an explicit and implicit transfer of sensorimotor adaptation with one limb to the other, untrained limb. Here, we pursue the idea that different individual factors contribute differently to the amount of explicit and implicit intermanual transfer. In particular, we tested a group of judo athletes who show enhanced right-hemispheric involvement in motor control and a group of equally trained athletes. After adaptation to a 60° visual rotation, we estimated awareness of the perturbation and transfer to the untrained, non-dominant left hand in two experiments. We measured the total amount of intermanual transfer (explicit plus implicit) by telling the participants to repeat what was learned during adaptation, and the amount of implicit transfer by instructing the participants to refrain from using what was learned and to perform movements as during baseline instead. We found no difference between the total intermanual transfer of judokas and running experts, with mean absolute transfer values of 42.4° and 47.0°. Implicit intermanual transfer was very limited, but larger in judokas than in general sports athletes, with mean values of 5.2° and 1.6°. A multiple linear regression analysis further revealed that total intermanual transfer, which mainly represents the explicit transfer, is related to awareness of the perturbation, while implicit intermanual transfer can be predicted by judo training, amount of total training, speed of adaptation, and handedness scores. The findings suggest that neuronal mechanisms such as hemispheric interactions and functional specialization underlying intermanual transfer of motor learning may be applied according to individual predisposition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe European journal of neuroscience
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1107-1123
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 02.2021

Research areas and keywords

  • awareness
  • explicit
  • judo
  • motor learning
  • sensorimotor adaptation


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