Influence of practice schedules and attentional focus on skill development and retention

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jed Allen Diekfuss (Creator)
Christopher K. Rhea, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Focus of attention during dual-tasks and practice schedules are important components of motor skill performance and learning; often studied in isolation. The current study required participants to complete a simple key-pressing task under a blocked or random practice schedule. To manipulate attention, participants reported their finger position (i.e., skill-focused attention) or the pitch of an auditory tone (i.e., extraneous attention) while performing two variations of a dual-task key-pressing task. Analyses were conducted at baseline, 10 min and 24 h after acquisition. The results revealed that participants in a blocked schedule, extraneous focus condition had significantly faster movement times during retention compared to a blocked schedule, skill focus condition. Furthermore, greatest improvements from baseline to immediate and delayed retention were evident for an extraneous attention compared to the skill-focused attention, regardless of practice schedule. A discussion of the unique benefits an extraneous focus of attention may have on the learning process during dual-task conditions is presented.

Additional Information

Human Movement Science
Language: English
Date: 2015
Skill acquisition, Skill-focus, Extraneous focus, Practice scheduling, Contextual interference, Dual-tasks

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