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Mental training for cognitive enhancement in motor learning

Bertalis, N. (2022) Mental training for cognitive enhancement in motor learning.

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Abstract:The ability to learn and remember what was learned is fundamental for people to live well. Motor sequence learning (MSL) is a phenomenon in which actions become optimised to support the daily living processes involving motor sequences. Previous work suggested that cognitive control functions play a crucial role in the ability to successfully engage and excel in MSL. The cognitive control functions may be enhanced through a cognitive task, such as Open Monitoring Meditation (OMM), which is executed prior to MSL. It is anticipated that the OMM induces creative problem solving which may be beneficial during the MSL process. The Discrete sequence production (DSP) paradigm, which uses high amounts of key-presses sequence practice, is often used to investigate the MSL. Most motor sequences people engage in involve the whole body, thus, a more pragmatic approach to investigate the MSL could be to modify the key-press version of DSP to involve full body movements. The present study aimed to investigate whether the OMM condition enhances MSL performance in participants during the dance-step DSP task. A total of 24 participants took part which were split into two equal groups of control and OMM conditions. Participants executed 8 sessions of 2 different sequences over 48 trials each. The parameters of interest were Response Time (RT) and Accuracy. The results showed that the OMM group performs faster than the control group during MSL. Furthermore, it was found that the OMM condition was engaging in the chunking mode in the last sessions. Chunking behaviour in the control group was not observed.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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