In motor learning, variable practice improves transfer, but only when the variations elicit synergies

Vivek Yadav, Robert L. Sainburg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

It has previously been suggested that providing variable experience during motor practice is crucial for learning, retention, and transfer of motor skills. However, it is not clear what should be varied to optimize learning. In this study, we investigate whether practicing to modulate or regulate performance parameters, during practice of a virtual shuffleboard task, leads to better transfer of learning between tasks. Our results indicate that during practice, the parameter that was held constant improved the most during initial learning, and transferred best to a task requiring modulation of that parameter. Translation of this improvement into task performance depended upon the sensitivity of each task to changes in each variable. We conclude that during variable practice, learning to regulate, not modulate task variables leads to optimal learning and transfer. Further, optimal transfer occurs when variable practice elicits synergistic covariation between performance parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2014 40th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479937288
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2014
Event2014 40th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC 2014 - Boston, United States
Duration: Apr 25 2014Apr 27 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC
Volume2014-December
ISSN (Print)1071-121X
ISSN (Electronic)2160-7001

Other

Other2014 40th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference, NEBEC 2014
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period4/25/144/27/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'In motor learning, variable practice improves transfer, but only when the variations elicit synergies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this