Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology

Is There "Feedback" during Visual Imagery? Evidence from a Specificity of Practice Paradigm

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology

Is There "Feedback" during Visual Imagery? Evidence from a Specificity of Practice Paradigm

Article excerpt

Abstract

The specificity of practice hypothesis predicts the development of a sensorimotor representation specific to the afferent feedback available during skill acquisition (Proteau, 1992; Proteau, Marteniuk, Girouard, & Dugas, 1987). In the present investigation, we used the specificity of practice hypothesis to test whether skill acquisition through visual imagery would lead to the development of a sensory-specific movement representation similar to one resulting from actual practice. To accomplish this objective, participants practiced walking a 12-m linear path in one of three practice conditions, full-vision (FV), no-vision (NV), or visual imagery (VI), for either 10 or 100 trials. Knowledge of spatial and/or temporal results (KR) was provided to participants following each trial during this phase. Following acquisition, participants completed 10 NV trials without KR. An analysis of root-mean-squared-error (RMSE) indicated NV participants were more accurate than both FV and VI participants in the transfer condition. We believe the equivalence in transfer RMSE between FV and VI suggests that there are similarities between the movement representations attained by FV and VI practice.

(ProQuest Information and Learning: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Skilled motor performance is controlled by a combination of central planning and online control mechanisms (Abbs, Gracco, & Cole, 1984; Meyer, Abrams, Kornblum, Wright, & Smith, 1988; Schmidt, 1975; van der Meulen, Gooskens, Denier van der Gon, Gielen, & Wilhem, 1990; Woodworth, 1899). There is, however, continued debate as to the degree to which feedback is used by each of these mechanisms during skill acquisition. One view emphasizes the use of afferent feedback during the early stages of motor skill learning and proposes that with practice there is a gradual diminution of online, feedback-based control (Pew, 1966; Schmidt, 1975). In contrast to this view, Proteau and co-workers (e.g., Proteau, 1992; Proteau, Marteniuk, Girouard, & Dugas, 1987) proposed the specificity of practice hypothesis, which states that: 1) learning is specific to the sources of afferent information available during practice and 2) reliance on the afferent resources available during practice increases as a function of practice time. Although Proteau and colleagues acknowledge that central planning changes occur with practice, they argue that the majority of skill refinement reflects enhancement of feedback-based error detection and correction mechanisms.

The specificity of practice hypothesis was developed from Proteau et al.'s (1987) original work examining the accuracy of aiming movements performed for brief (200 trials) or extended (2,000 trials) practice in full-vision (FV) or target only (TO) visual conditions. Following acquisition, all four groups were transferred to the TO condition. The results of the study demonstrated that FV practice led to decreased target accuracy in the transfer condition relative to the group that practiced in the TO condition. Further, the performance decrement was found to be more profound for the prolonged FV as opposed to the brief FV practice group. These results reflected the development of a sensory-specific movement representation with practice in addition to demonstrating that the withdrawal of sensory information previously available during acquisition disrupted the performers' ability to accurately point to the target object. This finding is a typical prediction of the specificity hypothesis; due to the development of a sensory-specific movement representation during skill acquisition, a participant's skill in a transfer condition will be determined by the similarity of the feedback between the acquisition and transfer conditions. In other words, when sensory conditions available during practice do not match the sensory conditions available during a (similar) transfer task, there will be a significant reduction in performance. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.