UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Now you see me, now you don’t : Adapting practice through target exclusion negatively impacts motor learning Hodges, Nicola J., 1970-; Coppola, Thomas M.; Peters, Carrie; Larssen, Beverley

Abstract

How to optimize practice through scheduling of different task components or skills is a question that has received a lot of attention in motor learning research. Consistently, schedules with high variability in the order that skills are practiced elicit better learning outcomes than schedules with low variability. Another idea is that learners should seek to reduce the uncertainty of a practice outcome, by avoiding well-learned, low error components in acquisition. To test this idea, we used a target exclusion method to prevent learners from returning to task components with low error and studied how individuals given choice over practice choose to allocate time to components of varying difficulty. We compared exclusion methods in a random-schedule group, a self-control group and in a yoked, matched-schedule control (6 groups total) in a multi-target adaptation paradigm. To manipulate uncertainty, we excluded targets from practice once participants attained a criterion error score (mean

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