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Target Size Manipulations Affect Error-Processing Duration and Success Perceptions but not Behavioural Indices of Learning

School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada
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Brain Sci. 2019, 9(5), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9050119
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 18 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract

We evaluated if and how success perceptions, through target size manipulations, impact processes related to motor learning. This work was based on recent literature suggesting that expectations and self-efficacy exert a direct impact on learning. We measured arousal, kinematics, learner expectancies, motivation, and outcomes in a dart-throwing task. Novices (n = 29) were assigned to either a “Large-target” (horizontal target, 10-cm high) or “Small-target” (2-cm high) group for practice (t = 90), and both groups completed 24-h retention tests. The Small-target group took longer to plan and process feedback in the pre-throw and post-throw periods, respectively, and showed larger joint amplitudes early in practice compared to the Large-target group. As predicted, the Large-target group made more hits and had heightened outcome expectancies compared to the Small-target group. Surprisingly, only the Large-target group performed better than they expected. Despite the Large-target group having more target hits, enhanced expectancies, and more unexpected success, this group did not outperform the Small-target group on behavioural indices of performance and learning. This research questions assumptions and results related to success-related manipulations for task performance and mechanisms related to target size manipulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: motor learning; motor control; throwing; motivation; EMG motor learning; motor control; throwing; motivation; EMG
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Ong, N.T.; Hawke, J.; Hodges, N.J. Target Size Manipulations Affect Error-Processing Duration and Success Perceptions but not Behavioural Indices of Learning. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 119.

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