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Investigating the Effects of Backward Chaining and Whole Task Practice on Motor Sequence Learning with the Discrete Sequence Production Task

Schneider, V. (2021) Investigating the Effects of Backward Chaining and Whole Task Practice on Motor Sequence Learning with the Discrete Sequence Production Task.

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Abstract:This study investigated the relative effect of backward chaining practice and whole task practice for motor sequence learning. Specifically, it was addressed if backward chaining practice represents a more efficient method for acquiring a complex motor sequence. Previous findings could not find a more beneficial effect of backward chaining practice over whole task practice for complex motor sequences. This paper argues that extensive practice regimes in previous studies overshadowed the beneficial effect of backward chaining practice. Based on the predictions based on the Cognitive framework of Sequential Motor Behavior (C- SMB), it was argued that backward chaining practice leads to more rapid sequence learning already with limited sequence practice by facilitating the motor representation development of the sequence. Thus, backward chaining practice was expected to result in a faster sequence execution rate than limited whole task practice and a similar sequence execution rate than extensive whole task practice. Three different experimental groups, receiving either limited backward chaining practice, limited whole task practice, and extensive whole task practice, practised a 9-keypress sequence with the Discrete Sequence Production task (DSP). Performance was assessed immediately after practice and one week later with a retention test. Study results did not show the expected learning outcomes and indicated that backward chaining practice did not lead to a faster sequence acquisition than the whole task practice method. The sequence length used in this study and an insufficient segmentation pattern were given as explanations for the study findings. However, both motor learning methods showed long-term skill retention. The study concluded that the 9-keypress sequence appeared to be better learned as a whole.
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/87806
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