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Emmanuel Jacobs, Ann Hallemans, Jan Gielen, Luc Van den Dries, Annouk Van Moorsel, Jonas Rutgeerts and Nathalie A. Roussel

, sports, and so on) can be influenced by training. However, in contrast to athletes or dancers, the training methods of theater performers usually do not take the principles of motor learning into account. Rather, they are trained by theater pedagogues or other performers who follow their own empirical

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Keith Lohse, Taylor Buchanan and Matthew Miller

Appropriate statistical analysis is essential for accurate and reliable research. Statistical practices have an immediate impact on the perceived results of a single study but also remote effects on the dissemination of information among scientists and the cumulative nature of research. To accurately quantify potential problems facing the field of motor learning, we systematically reviewed publications from seven journals over the past 2 years to find experiments that tested the effects of different training conditions on delayed retention and transfer tests (i.e., classic motor learning paradigms). Eighteen studies were included. These studies had small sample sizes (Mdn n/group = 11.00, interquartile range [IQR]= 9.6–15.5), multiple dependent variables (Mdn = 2, IQR = 2–4), and many statistical tests per article (Mdn = 83.5, IQR = 55.8–112.5). The observed effect sizes were large (d = 0.71, IQR = 0.49, 1.11). However, the distribution of effect sizes was biased, t(16) = 3.48, p < .01. These metadata indicate problems with the way motor learning research is conducted (or at least published). We recommend several potential solutions to address these issues: a priori power calculations, prespecified analyses, data sharing, and dissemination of null results. Furthermore, we hope these data will spark serious action from all stakeholders (researchers, editorial boards, and publishers) in the field.

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Ramesh Kaipa, Michael Robb and Richard Jones

In this experiment, we investigated the role of practice variability (constant versus variable practice) and practice schedule (random versus blocked practice) on spatial and temporal learning of a speech task as a function of aging. The participants were 80 healthy individuals (40–80 years) with no history of cognitive, sensory, or motor disorders. A median split was performed to divide the participants into older and younger groups. The median split was at 59 years of age, thus placing 40 participants in each age group. The participants were assigned to one of four practice groups and practiced a nonmeaningful phrase for two consecutive days. On the third day, the participants reproduced the speech phrase without practice. Data analysis revealed that older participants involved in constant practice demonstrated superior temporal learning of the speech task over participants on variable practice. Older participants on random practice demonstrated better spatial learning of the speech task than did participants on blocked practice. In contrast, there was no effect of practice conditions on spatial and temporal learning outcomes in the younger group. The findings indicate that practice variability and practice schedule influence different aspects of a complex speech-motor learning task among older adults but not among younger adults.

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Sachi Ikudome, Kou Kou, Kisho Ogasa, Shiro Mori and Hiroki Nakamoto

It is a common goal of all athletes to attain a higher level of performance. Therefore, it is important to understand whether a practice strategy that is known to have a positive effect on the acquisition of motor skills is equally effective for everyone. In the field of motor learning, several

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Jence A. Rhoads, Marcos Daou, Keith R. Lohse and Matthew W. Miller

is thought to occur explicitly, and is frequently indexed by determining how many facts can be recalled; in the case of motor learning, these facts are about the skill being learned. Interestingly, declarative knowledge may cause motor learning to occur in an inefficient manner, whereby the learned

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Femke van Abswoude, John van der Kamp and Bert Steenbergen

participation in sports, physical activity, and activities of daily living. In this respect, it is increasingly recognized that motor learning interventions should be tailored to the children’s individual motor and cognitive abilities and constraints ( Chow, Davids, Button, & Renshaw, 2015 ). At present

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Paul R. Surburg

Problems encountered by researchers conducting motor learning studies with special populations are the central focus of this paper. The sequence of topical coverage follows a progression that would be encountered by researchers as they develop and conduct research studies. For each problem or issue identified, a suggestion is provided to help researchers cope with these problems. The following topics are examined: development of an appropriate problem, selection of a handicapping condition, determination of dependent variables, utilization of correct experimental protocols, evaluation of project design, and assessment of data.

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Suzete Chiviacowsky and Ricardo Drews

In this experiment, we investigated the motivational effects of feedback on motor learning observing the impact of temporal-comparison feedback on the learning of a coincident timing task. Two groups of participants, a positive (PTC) and a negative temporal-comparison group (NTC), received veridical feedback about their accuracy scores after every other practice trial (50%). In addition, after each block of 10 trials, the PTC group was given bogus feedback suggesting that their average performance was better than it was in the previous block, while the NTC group received bogus feedback suggesting that their average performance was worse than it was in the previous block. A retention test was performed one day after the practice phase, without feedback, to observe learning effects. In addition, after the practice phase and before the retention test, all participants filled out questionnaires to report their self-efficacy levels. The results demonstrate that temporal-comparison feedback affects the learning of motor skills. Participants of the PTC group showed greater timing accuracy and reported higher self-efficacy levels than the NTC group on the retention test. The findings further support the important motivational role of feedback for motor learning.

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April Karlinsky and Nicola J. Hodges

actors and observers during practice of a novel motor skill. This scenario raises the question of how the observed actions of a partner immediately influence online action production and what this might mean for longer-term motor learning. Concurrent Observation and Execution of Action Motor Contagion

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John H. Hoover and Michael G. Wade

This paper traces the rare intertwining of motor learning theory and research undertaken with mentally retarded (MR) individuals. Some of the broad themes in the research are outlined from a historical context, and their impact on motor learning in MR persons is examined. If for no other reason than the sheer volume of the work, traditional information processing theory is emphasized within its historical context. The review treats as subject matter the main theoretical developments leading to the adoption of the information processing model. Rationale for the widespread use of the model to account for rather than describe the performance of MR persons is outlined, particularly as it relates to theoretical development. Further, some comment on the state of knowledge is added along with conjecture about the future of motor control research with MR individuals.