It is reasonable to assume that when we grasp an object we carry out the movement based only on the currently available sensory information. Unfortunately, our senses are often prone to err. Here, we show that the visuomotor system exploits the mismatch between the predicted and sensory outcomes of the immediately preceding action (sensory prediction error) to attain a degree of robustness against the fallibility of our perceptual processes. Participants performed reach-to-grasp movements toward objects presented at eye level at various distances. Grip aperture was affected by the object distance, even though both visual feedback of the hand and haptic feedback were provided. Crucially, grip aperture as well as the trajectory of the hand were systematically influenced also by the immediately preceding action. These results are well predicted by a model that modifies an internal state of the visuomotor system by adjusting the visuomotor mapping based on the sensory prediction errors. In sum, the visuomotor system appears to be in a constant fine-tuning process which makes the generation and control of grasping movements more resistant to interferences caused by our perceptual errors.
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