Human Motor Behavior: An Introduction

By J. A. Scott Kelso | Go to book overview

II
INFORMATION PROCESSING, MOTOR LEARNING AND MEMORY

Editor's Remarks (Chapters 3, 4, and 5)

In the next three chapters, George Stelmach builds upon many of the ideas introduced in Chapters 1 and 2 and develops them into a broader theoretical framework that incorporates both information processing and cybernetical notions. In contrast to earlier views in which the individual was viewed as a passive receiver of information (the stimulus-response model), Stelmach emphasizes the learner as an active explorer of his/her environment. Via the latter "information-processing" approach, the teacher and the student of movement can potentially analyze the capacities and limitations of the learner in terms of the tasks that are performed. "Information" (one of the favorite buzz words of the area) is thought to proceed through a set of identifiable states (e.g., detection, recognition, response selection, and so on), before any overt action occurs. The main thrust of the information processing (IP) approach is to analyze the various mental operations--not directly observable--that precede action, rather than the real-time action itself. Stelmach treats us to a detailed account of the dominant methodology used to evaluate mental operations--reaction time. He presents a selected body of data showing how various experimental manipulations appear to selectively influence the activation of stages and provides possible applications of the approach to sports skills. Whether the IP

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