Long lasting attentional-context dependent visuomotor memory.


Using a dual-task paradigm, we recently reported that visuomotor adaptation acquired under distraction of a secondary attention-demanding discrimination task could be remembered only when a similar distraction was present. In contrast, when tested without the distracting task, performance reverted to untrained levels (Song & Bédard, 2015). Here, we demonstrated that this newfound paradoxical benefit of consistent dual-task context lasts over 1 day, such that visuomotor memory retrieval is enhanced under conditions where it is more difficult to engage in attentional selection of the motor task. Furthermore, this long-term effect was evident even when the task type or sensory modality of the secondary task differed between initial adaptation and the delayed recall on the next day. We conclude that attentional diversion by performing a dual-task forms a long-term vital context for visuomotor memory independent of external contexts without taxing capacity limited attention.

Im, H.Y., Bédard, P., & Song, J-H. (2016). Long lasting attentional-context dependent visuomotor memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 42, 1269-1274. [PDF]