Since the middle of the nineteenth century, movement scientists have been challenged to explain processes underlying the control, coordination, and acquisition of skill. Information processing and constraints-based approaches represent two distinct, often perceived as opposing, views of skill acquisition. The purpose of this article is to compare information processing and constraints-based approaches through the lens of Fitts’ three-stage model and Newell’s constraints-based model, respectively. In essence, both models can be identified, at least in spirit, with ideas about skill described by Bernstein (1967, 1996). Given that the product of “skill acquisition” is the same, although the explanation of the processes might differ, it is perhaps not surprising that similarities between the models appear greater than the differences. In continuing to meet the challenge to explain skill acquisition, neural-based models provide a glimpse of the cutting edge where behavior and biological mechanisms underpinning processes of control, coordination, and acquisition of skill might meet.
Greg Anson, Digby Elliott and Davids
James W. Roberts, James Lyons, Daniel B. L. Garcia, Raquel Burgess and Digby Elliott
The multiple process model contends that there are two forms of online control for manual aiming: impulse regulation and limb-target control. This study examined the impact of visual information processing for limb-target control. We amalgamated the Gunslinger protocol (i.e., faster movements following a reaction to an external trigger compared with the spontaneous initiation of movement) and Müller-Lyer target configurations into the same aiming protocol. The results showed the Gunslinger effect was isolated at the early portions of the movement (peak acceleration and peak velocity). Reacted aims reached a longer displacement at peak deceleration, but no differences for movement termination. The target configurations manifested terminal biases consistent with the illusion. We suggest the visual information processing demands imposed by reacted aims can be adapted by integrating early feedforward information for limb-target control.
Claude Goulet, Chantai Bard and Michelle Fleury
Two experiments were conducted to analyze the performance of expert and novice tennis players. For testing purposes, 16-mm films were used. Subjects in both studies had to identify the type of serve presented (flat, top-spin, sliced). In Experiment 1, visual search patterns were investigated. During the ritual phase, experts focus on the shoulder/trunk areas whereas novices concentrate their search around the head of the server. During the execution phase, experts concentrate on the racquet whereas novices use more cues. Using the technique of temporal visual occlusion, the speed and accuracy of decisional processes were investigated in a second study. Results showed that expert players select valuable information during the preparatory phase and during the first part of. the execution phase. Novices must see the ritual phase until ball/racquet impact to be as accurate. Results emphasize the importance of combining sampling of eye movement and behavior parameters to sharpen our understanding of the perceptual processes underlying motor sport performance.
In this study, experienced physical education teachers’ observation skills in teaching situations are compared to that of first- and last-year student teachers. The 56 participants were shown 12 slides from a gymnastics lesson, and after viewing it for 4 s, they were asked to report what they had seen. The number of items and critical events reported were analyzed. No significant differences were found between the three groups on the number of events reported or for the number and duration of the eye fixations. Significant differences were found for the number of critical events reported and fixated. Last-year students and experienced teachers correctly reported more critical events on the slide scenes than first year students, but there were no significant differences in observational capacities between last year students and experienced teachers. This study demonstrated the need for observational training, not only during preservice, but also for inservice teachers.
Robert W. Christina
By 1967, motor control and learning researchers had adopted an information processing (IP) approach. Central to that research was understanding how movement information was processed, coded, stored, and represented in memory. It also was centered on understanding motor control and learning in terms of Fitts’ law, closed-loop and schema theories, motor programs, contextual interference, modeling, mental practice, attentional focus, and how practice and augmented feedback could be organized to optimize learning. Our constraints-based research from the 1980s into the 2000s searched for principles of “self-organization”, and answers to the degrees-of-freedom problem, that is, how the human motor system with so many independent parts could be controlled without the need for an executive decision maker as proposed by the IP approach. By 2007 we were thinking about where the IP and constraints-based views were divergent and complementary, and whether neural-based models could bring together the behavior and biological mechanisms underlying the processes of motor control and learning.
Cheryl M. Glazebrook
new perspectives is seen in the contributions of two major theories in motor control and learning: schema theory and dynamical-systems theory. There is no question that dynamical-systems theory and information-processing theory (including schema theory) have had a tremendous impact and shaped much of
Lisa A. Barella, Jennifer L. Etnier and Yu-Kai Chang
Research on the acute effects of exercise on cognitive performance by older adults is limited by a focus on nonhealthy populations. Furthermore, the duration of cognitive improvements after exercise has not been examined. Thus, this study was designed to test the immediate and delayed effects of acute exercise on cognitive performance of healthy older adults. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Stroop task. Participants were randomly assigned to an exercise (20 min of walking) or control (sitting quietly) condition. The Stroop task was administered at baseline and at 12 time points after treatment. Acute exercise resulted in better Stroop test performance immediately postexercise; however, the effects were limited to the color test. No effects of exercise on performance were observed for the Stroop interference or inhibition tests. Findings suggest that acute exercise performed by healthy older adults has short-term benefits for speed of processing but does not affect other types of cognitive functioning.
Dae Hee Kwak, Yu Kyoum Kim and Matthew H. Zimmerman
Despite the growing interest in social media and user-generated content, both academics and practitioners are struggling to understand the value and consequences of social media (e.g., blogs). This study employed a 2 (media source: mainstream/ social media) × 2 (message valence: positive/negative) × 2 (team identification: high/low) between-subjects design on source credibility and attitude toward an article. Positive and negative messages about the university’s varsity men’s basketball team were presented in either the mainstream media (sport magazine) or a user-generated format (blog). The results revealed that message valence had a significant main impact on triggering biased source evaluation and attitude toward the message. In turn, media source had a significant main effect on source expertise, but no main effects were found for trustworthiness and attitude. Team identification moderated the effect of media source on cognitive processing, suggesting that highly identified fans evaluated mainstream content more favorably, whereas less identified fans preferred user-generated content.
Chris Barnhill and Mauro Palmero
Mary Graham is the athletic director at Western Arkansas University (WAU), a successful Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school that is about to receive an invitation to join a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference. WAU’s Board of Regents has put the decision to join in her hands, but WAU’s president is pushing her to recommend accepting the invitation. Using details from a recently completed feasibility study and information from a professor in the sport management program, Graham must decide the future of her athletic program and university.
Modeling, which enhances skill acquisition, is an often-used means of conveying information to learners. While models typically provide a demonstration of correct movements or successful performance, skill acquisition is also enhanced by observing a “learning model,” who practices, receives feedback, and improves. The effect is proposed to be due to the observer engaging in problem-solving, error detection, and strategy evaluation. The purpose of this experiment was to examine the effects of observing one or two learning models in combination with physical practice, and the temporal placement of model observation during physical practice, on the acquisition and retention of a motor skill. College students practiced a 3 × 6 × 3 cup stacking task in groups of three, and had opportunities to observe their peers’ physical practice. Treatment groups differed in the order of observation and physical practice; some participants engaged in physical practice prior to observation, while others observed one or two learning models before practice. Data indicated observation prior to engaging in physical practice enhanced learning. In addition, participants were able to identify strategies they observed that enhanced skill performance. These results support and add to existing research on modeling, and provide insight into the types of cognition that occur during observational learning.