Improving precision force control with low-frequency error amplification feedback: Behavioral and neurophysiological mechanisms

Ing Shiou Hwang, Chia Ling Hu, Zong Ru Yang, Yen Ting Lin, Yi Ching Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Although error amplification (EA) feedback has been shown to improve performance on visuomotor tasks, the challenge of EA is that it concurrently magnifies task-irrelevant information that may impair visuomotor control. The purpose of this study was to improve the force control in a static task by preclusion of high-oscillatory components in EA feedback that cannot be timely used for error correction by the visuomotor system. Along with motor unit behaviors and corticomuscular coherence, force fluctuations (Fc) were modeled with non-linear SDA to contrast the reliance of the feedback process and underlying neurophysiological mechanisms by using real feedback, EA, and lowfrequency error amplification (LF-EA). During the static force task in the experiment, the EA feedback virtually potentiated the size of visual error, whereas the LF-EA did not channel high-frequency errors above 0.8 Hz into the amplification process. The results showed that task accuracy was greater with the LF-EA than with the real and EA feedback modes, and that LF-EA led to smaller and more complex Fc. LF-EA generally led to smaller SDA variables of Fc (critical time points, critical point of Fc, the short-term effective diffusion coefficient, and short-term exponent scaling) than did real feedback and EA. The use of LF-EA feedback increased the irregularity of the ISIs of MUs but decreased the RMS of the mean discharge rate, estimated with pooled MU spike trains. Beta-range EEG-EMG coherence spectra (13-35 Hz) in the LF-EA condition were the greatest among the three feedback conditions. In summary, amplification of low-frequency errors improves force control by shifting the relative significances of the feedforward and feedback processes. The functional benefit arises from the increase in the common descending drive to promote a stable state of MU discharges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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