The influence of attention on learning and performance: Pre-movement time and accuracy in an isometric force production task

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Abstract

Lohse, Sherwood, and Healy (2010) found that an external focus of attention (FOA) improved performance in a dart-throwing task and reduced the time taken between throws, but using the time between trials as a measure of preparation time is relatively crude. Thus, the current experiment analyzed how FOA affects accuracy and pre-movement time in an isometric force production task, to study how FOA affected motor planning. In the current experiment, training with an external focus improved the accuracy of the isometric force production task during training and during retention and transfer testing. During training, an external FOA also significantly reduced pre-movement time in early trials. These findings are interpreted as reduced explicit control of movement as a function of an external FOA, and help to integrate FOA research with other motor control phenomena and neuropsychological theories of motor control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-25
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Movement Science
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Focus of attention
  • Motor control
  • Motor learning

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