Children usually spill if trying to drink from a full cup, but adults rarely do. How we learn to almost automatically complete complex movements -- like how to lift a cup and tip it so the liquid is right at the edge when were ready to drink -- is one of our brains mysterious abilities.
Now, by conducting experiments with robots and humans, scientists at Johns Hopkins have solved part of this mystery and created a new computer model that accurately reflects how the brain uses experience to improve motor control.
"Now we have a much better idea of how the brain uses information from a variety of sources to create a model of the world around us, and how errors modify that model and change subsequent movements," says Reza Shadmehr, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We dont just know how to control objects around us, we have to learn how."
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