Asymmetrical after-effects of prism adaptation during goal oriented locomotion
In healthy subjects, sensorimotor after-effects of prism adaptation are known to be symmetric (they appear after using leftward and rightward optical deviations), whereas cognitive after-effects are asymmetric (they appear after using a leftward optical deviation) and rightward oriented. Sensorimotor and cognitive after-effects have been classically studied using different specific tasks. The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether both after-effects may be involved in a same visuo-spatial task. Therefore we compared the amplitude of after-effects following adaptation to a rightward or leftward optical deviation. After-effects were assessed by manual pointing or goal oriented locomotor task. The main result showed a greater amplitude for rightward locomotor after-effects (after adaptation to a leftward deviation) than for leftward locomotor after-effects (after adaptation to a rightward deviation). This means that cognitive after-effects may add to sensorimotor after-effects following adaptation to a leftward optical deviation. This asymmetry challenges the classical distinction between sensorimotor and cognitive after-effects of prism adaptation. Implications for the functional mechanisms and the neuroanatomical substrate of prism adaptation are discussed.