When a neural movement controller, called an "internal model," is adapted to a novel environment, the movement error needs to be appropriately associated with the controller. However, their association is not necessarily guaranteed for bimanual movements in which two controllers-one for each hand-result in two movement errors. Considering the implicit nature of the adaptation process, the movement error of one hand can be erroneously associated with the controller of the other hand. Here, we investigated this credit-assignment problem in bimanual movement by having participants perform bimanual, symmetric back-and-forth movements while displaying the position of the right hand only with a cursor. In the training session, the cursor position was gradually rotated clockwise, such that the participants were unaware of the rotation. The movement of the right hand gradually rotated counterclockwise as a consequence of adaptation. Although the participants knew that the cursor reflected the movement of the right hand, such gradual adaptation was also observed for the invisible left hand, especially when the cursor was presented on the left side of the display. Thus the movement error of the right hand was implicitly assigned to the left-hand controller. Such cross talk in credit assignment might influence motor adaptation performance, even when two cursors are presented; the adaptation was impaired when the rotations imposed on the cursors were opposite compared with when they were in the same direction. These results indicate the inherent presence of cross talk in the process of associating action with consequence in bimanual movement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas