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Towards a novel approach to applied research: The role of motor sequence learning in the process of mastering complex motor procedures

David, L.Z. (2018) Towards a novel approach to applied research: The role of motor sequence learning in the process of mastering complex motor procedures.

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Abstract:Research strives for the development of an optimised laparoscopic training process to help trainees acquire all skills necessary for surgery. Laparoscopic simulator tasks pose a promising alternative to training procedures. Yet the repetitive nature of practice using such tasks runs the risk of exercising only motor sequence learning (MSL); that is, the automation of a specific sequence of movements (Verwey, 1996). Sufficient task variability needs to be ensured, to allow acquisition of holistic, generalizable skills. Our research attempted to shed light into the role of MSL on performance, to better understand its implications to skill acquisition, if it were promoted in laparoscopic tasks. We thus introduced the varied-fixed learning (VFL) paradigm, consisting of dexterity tasks with a varied and a fixed part, the former allowing participants to practice holistic skill acquisition blocking the practice of MSL, while the latter allowing them to practice MSL. Both parts were modelled on a two-part exponential learning curve. Findings suggest that MSL has a small, but still detectable role in improving performance on complex motor procedures. Our research affirmed the feasibility of the VFL paradigm and learning curve model to investigate learning, which offers a promising alternative to research in applied settings.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/74876
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