University of Twente Student Theses


Dancing with your Hands and Feet : Differences in Sequence Representations Between Effectors

Karelse, E.M.A.J. (2023) Dancing with your Hands and Feet : Differences in Sequence Representations Between Effectors.

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Abstract:Motor sequence learning (MSL) has a substantial impact on our day-to-day lives, as this type of learning is at the basis of many skills. A well-established experimental paradigm to research MSL is the Discrete Sequence Production (DSP) task, which investigates explicit MSL with key-press finger movements. From results of the DSP task, the Cognitive framework for Sequential Motor Behaviour (C-SMB) aims to outline the execution and learning of motor skills. An important real-life application of motor skills is the ability to apply learned skills in novel contexts, i.e. with novel effectors. However, in their classic forms, the DSP and C-SMB mostly describe isolated key-press movements, which do not account for the entire spectrum of movements that underlie many motor skills. Larger, whole-body movements are more complex, focus more on motor execution and are another important part of the spectrum of real-life movements. We conducted a Go/No-Go Dance Step Discrete Sequence Production (DS-DSP) task with 6-element sequences using the hands or feet. A total of 40 participants took part in the experiment, of which half learned two sequences with their hands and the other half with their feet, by 144 repetitions per sequence divided over six practice blocks. To investigate transfer, in the testing phase, participants executed the sequences they learned in the practice phase with the novel effector. Participants who learned with their hands learned faster, showed no concatenation, and had more difficulty integrating new sequences with their learning effector. On the contrary, participants who learned with their feet were slower and showed concatenation. Additionally, participants in the hands group did not transfer motor sequence knowledge to the feet, indicating an effector-dependent sequence representation, which is known to be used at a later learning stage. Simultaneously, participants in the feet group succeeded at transferring motor sequence knowledge to the hands, indicating a visuo-spatial sequence representation, which is known to be used at an earlier learning stage. Finally, participants who practiced with the hands effector had more difficulty integrating two new sequences after learning compared to participants who used the foot effector.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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