Prism Adaptation: Control of Intermanual Transfer by Distribution of Practice

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Science  18 May 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4087, pp. 755-757
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4087.755


Correction of errors in localizing movements produced by laterally displacing vision by means of wedge prisms has been termed "prism adaptation." Intermanual transfer of prism adaptation from an exposed to an unexposed hand, with subject's head immobilized, has been reported not to occur. However, it was found that a standard learning variable, distribution of practice, controls the occurrence or nonoccurrence of transfer. When practice is massed, there is no transfer of adaptation; when it is spaced, the transfer is extensive. Spacing of practice also influences the amount of aftereffect displayed by the exposed hand.