What Is the Level of Contextual Interference in Serial Practice? A Meta-Analytic Review

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
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For over 40 years, the contextual interference effect in motor learning has been investigated. While the difference between levels of contextual interference experienced under blocked and random practice are well established, the difference in the levels of contextual interference experienced under serial and random practice is still ambiguous. Therefore, a meta-analytic review was conducted to clarify this inconsistency. We focused on one question: Do random practice and serial practice have the same effect on motor learning? ISI Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus database were searched. Nine studies were included. The results of our meta-analyses show that serial and random practices present the same results in terms of performance in retention and transfer tests. This result is aligned to the original finding of the contextual interference effect, as well as its explanatory hypotheses. In addition, a complementary explanation in defense of the same mechanisms operating in serial and random practices is discussed. In conclusion, our results suggest that serial practice present high contextual interference.

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