Optimizing Motor Learning: Difficulty Manipulation Combined with Feedback- Frequency Enhance Under-Time-Pressure Fine-Motor-Coordination Skill Acquisition and Retention

Yousri Elghoul, Fatma Bahri, Khaled Trabelsi, Hamdi Chtourou, Mohamed Frikha, Cain C.T. Clark, Jordan M. Glenn, Nicola Bragazzi, Nizar Souissi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Improving acquisition and retention of new motor skills is of great importance. This study investigated the effects of progressive task difficulty manipulation (TD), combined with varying knowledge of results frequencies (KR) on performance accuracy and consistency when learning novel fine motor coordination tasks, and examined relationships between novel fine motor task performance and executive function (EF), working memory (WM), and perceived difficulty (PD). Thirty-six, right-handed, novice physical-education students (age = 10.72 ± 0.89 years) participated; participants were separated into three groups, receiving varying KR frequency (100%KR, 50%KR, and 33%KR). For each group, distance to the target was increased progressively (2 m, 2.37 m, and 3.56 m) to obtain three difficulty levels. We assessed performance during test sessions (pretest, post-test, Retention1 and Retention2) under free (FC) and time pressure (TPC) conditions. Results revealed that under FC, 100%KR improved significantly. Results revealed significant linear improvements in accuracy for 50%KR and 33%KR under TPC. New findings indicate that the association between TD and KR (50%KR) may provide more appropriate cognitive loads compared to 33%KR and 100%KR groups. These have implications for practitioners because, while strategies are clearly necessary for improving learning, the efficacy of the process appears to be based on the characteristics of the learners.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)490-502
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
    Volume54
    Issue number4
    Early online date16 Dec 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

    Keywords

    • difficulty level
    • fine motor coordination task
    • motor learning
    • reduced feedback frequency

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biophysics
    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Cognitive Neuroscience

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