Repetition of a cognitive task promotes motor learning.

08:00 EDT 10th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Repetition of a cognitive task promotes motor learning."

Motor learning plays an important role in the acquisition of new motor skills. In this study, we investigated whether repetition of a cognitive task promoted motor learning. Fifty-one young adults were assigned to either the early, late, or control groups. All participants completed a mouse tracking task in which they manipulated a mouse to track a moving target on a screen. The cursor was rotated 165° in the counterclockwise direction from the actual mouse position, requiring participants to learn how to use a new tool. To determine the task performance, we calculated the distance between the cursor and target position. In addition, to assess the effects of a cognitive task on the progress of motor learning, curve fitting of the learning curves was performed for the total distance. Experiments were conducted as per the following schedule: learning day 1 (L1), learning day 2 (L2: the day after learning day 1), retention day 1 (R1: 2 weeks after learning day 1), and retention day 2 (R2: 4 weeks after learning day 1). Participants underwent mouse tracking for 20 min on L1 and L2 and for 3 min on R1 and R2. As a cognitive task, we adopted the N-back task. The early or late group performed the N-back task for 20 min before performing motor tracking task on L1 or L2, respectively. The control group did not perform the N-back task. Based on curve fitting analysis, it was observed that the rate of change for motor learning in the early group was higher than that in the control group. The retention of motor learning did not differ between all groups. Our results indicate that the repetition of a cognitive task enhanced in the early phase of motor learning of the mouse tracking task.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Human movement science
ISSN: 1872-7646
Pages: 109-116


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