Sensorimotor adaptation in virtual reality: Do instructions and body representation influence aftereffects?

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Perturbations in virtual reality (VR) lead to sensorimotor adaptation during exposure, but also to aftereffects once the perturbation is no longer present. An experiment was conducted to investigate the impact of different task instructions and body representation on the magnitude and the persistence of these aftereffects. Participants completed the paradigm of sensorimotor adaptation in VR. They were assigned to one of three groups: control group, misinformation group or arrow group. The misinformation group and the arrow group were each compared to the control group to examine the effects of instruction and body representation. The misinformation group was given the incorrect instruction that in addition to the perturbation, a random error component was also built into the movement. The arrow group was presented a virtual arrow instead of a virtual hand. It was hypothesised that both would lead to a lower magnitude and persistence of the aftereffect because the object identity between hand and virtual representation would be reduced, and errors would be more strongly attributed to external causes. Misinformation led to lower persistence, while the arrow group showed no significant differences compared to the control group. The results suggest that information about the accuracy of the VR system can influence the aftereffects, which should be considered when developing VR instructions. No effects of body representation were found. One possible explanation is that the manipulated difference between abstract and realistic body representation was too small in terms of object identity.


Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalVirtual Reality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

External IDs

Scopus 85185660240



  • (4–6) Error attribution, Aftereffects, Object identity, Sensorimotor adaptation