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Context dependence in sequential motor learning: the impact of context manipulation on motor chunks in a go/no-go DSP task

Espey, Marita (2012) Context dependence in sequential motor learning: the impact of context manipulation on motor chunks in a go/no-go DSP task.

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Abstract:Context dependency is known in the domain of verbal and motor learning, as it refers to the performance improvement in matching learning and testing contexts. Recent research has investigated the development of context dependency in sequential motor learning, focusing on the impact of context manipulation in the preparation phase of this process. Findings suggested that practice and task difficulty would additionally play a role during this process. The present study therefore aimed to further acknowledge the development of context-dependency in sequential motor learning in manipulated contexts, paying special attention to the role of practice and motor chunking, as it refers to task difficulty. Motor chunks describe units of information, which are loaded in cognitive processor and motor processor and allow a fast accomplishment of even complex motor actions. In this study, a go/no-go DSP task was conducted with two context manipulations (switched and novel), two practice conditions (extended practice vs. limited practice) and two sequences, one with an integrated chunk (1x6 vs. 2x3) to investigate effects of context, practice and motor chunks in sequences. Results of this study confirmed former expectations, verifying that (1) context manipulations (switched and novel context) weakened performance and that (2) context dependency increased with task difficulty, showing greater context effect for non chunked 1x6 sequence than for paired 3-chunk-combination sequence and that (3) practice mediated the development of context dependency. Motor chunking was therefore found to decreased context dependency, however, relation with practice still arise question for further study.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61600
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