Perceptual-cognitive changes during motor learning: The influence of mental and physical practice on mental representation, gaze behavior, and performance of a complex action

Frank C, Land WM, Schack T (2016)
Frontiers in Psychology 6: 1981.

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Journal Article | Published | English
Abstract
Despite the wealth of research on differences between experts and novices with respect to their perceptual-cognitive background (e.g., mental representations, gaze behavior), little is known about the change of these perceptual-cognitive components over the course of motor learning. In the present study, changes in one’s mental representation, quiet eye behavior, and outcome performance were examined over the course of skill acquisition as it related to physical and mental practice. Novices (N = 45) were assigned to one of three conditions: physical practice, combined physical plus mental practice, and no practice. Participants in the practice groups trained on a golf putting task over the course of 3 days, either by repeatedly executing the putt, or by both executing and imaging the putt. Findings revealed improvements in putting performance across both practice conditions. Regarding the perceptual-cognitive changes, participants practicing mentally and physically revealed longer quiet eye durations as well as more elaborate representation structures in comparison to the control group, while this was not the case for participants who underwent physical practice only. Thus, in the present study, combined mental and physical practice led to both formation of mental representations in long-term memory and longer quiet eye durations. Interestingly, the length of the quiet eye directly related to the degree of elaborateness of the underlying mental representation, supporting the notion that the quiet eye reflects cognitive processing. This study is the first to show that the quiet eye becomes longer in novices practicing a motor action. Moreover, the findings of the present study suggest that perceptual and cognitive adaptations co-occur over the course of motor learning.
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Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Open Access Publication Fund of Bielefeld University.
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Frank C, Land WM, Schack T. Perceptual-cognitive changes during motor learning: The influence of mental and physical practice on mental representation, gaze behavior, and performance of a complex action. Frontiers in Psychology. 2016;6: 1981.
Frank, C., Land, W. M., & Schack, T. (2016). Perceptual-cognitive changes during motor learning: The influence of mental and physical practice on mental representation, gaze behavior, and performance of a complex action. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 1981.
Frank, C., Land, W. M., and Schack, T. (2016). Perceptual-cognitive changes during motor learning: The influence of mental and physical practice on mental representation, gaze behavior, and performance of a complex action. Frontiers in Psychology 6:1981.
Frank, C., Land, W.M., & Schack, T., 2016. Perceptual-cognitive changes during motor learning: The influence of mental and physical practice on mental representation, gaze behavior, and performance of a complex action. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 1981.
C. Frank, W.M. Land, and T. Schack, “Perceptual-cognitive changes during motor learning: The influence of mental and physical practice on mental representation, gaze behavior, and performance of a complex action”, Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 6, 2016, : 1981.
Frank, C., Land, W.M., Schack, T.: Perceptual-cognitive changes during motor learning: The influence of mental and physical practice on mental representation, gaze behavior, and performance of a complex action. Frontiers in Psychology. 6, : 1981 (2016).
Frank, Cornelia, Land, William Marshall, and Schack, Thomas. “Perceptual-cognitive changes during motor learning: The influence of mental and physical practice on mental representation, gaze behavior, and performance of a complex action”. Frontiers in Psychology 6 (2016): 1981.
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