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How to Learn a New Motor Sequence Movement Effectively: Using a Differing Practice Schedule

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How to Learn a New Motor Sequence Movement Effectively: Using a Differing Practice Schedule

Taewon Kim, MS

It is well recognized that sequential movement skills are a fundamental to our daily life. We may think of driving a vehicle, typing a computer keyboard, texting with smart phone, and playing many sports. These daily behaviors require some kind of sequence movement skills. Thus, learning these skills allows people to live more efficiently. For example, typing a keyboard, which requires sequential finger movements to press the keyboard with while typing words or something. A fast typing skill allows you to save time to complete your work. In a serving a tennis ball, which movements are performed by great subsequent movement patterns in order to control the right timing and swing a racket to contact with the ball. Driving a manual vehicle, which is sort of decision making with movements, it requires a complicated pattern of subsequent motor skill while change down a gear from third to second. While sequence movement skills are relatively acquired with an importance of extensive practice, even though consisted of difficult pattern of sequential movement.

It has been well known that the manner in which practice is organized influences sequence movement skill learning with different practice schedule. This is exemplified in work addressing a practice phenomenon, which focuses on best practice for improving the acquisition of multiple, related skills. Specifically, organized practice schedule randomly, it is assumed to create relatively high interference throughout training because of the changes in task demands that occur from trial to trial. Alternatively, blocked practice schedule, which entails executing the same task repeatedly until next set of task appear [1]. This finding, mixed schedule of the practice order, as a random practice condition has been reported to disrupt the initial performance, but supports superior delayed retention efforts. Many researchers have demonstrated that phenomenon is quite robust not only in the laboratory, but only clinical and sports area. For example, in batting practice in baseball, training with a random presentation of pitches (random practice schedule) led to better performance in the delayed retention test with three different types of pitches such as fastball, curve ball, and change up than the training with a constant order of pitches (blocked practice schedule).

The theoretical impetus for this effectiveness of randomized practice schedule is a general claim from the elaboration perspective. That is, high interference (random practice schedule) of training environment supports the development of a richer memory architecture [2]. This training environment is able to enhance for the establishment of inter-regional functional connectivity in the brain during motor sequence learning task following random practice schedule [3]. Currently, research is looking at factors that the presence of a rich memory network should provide a suitable foundation from which to incorporate new related task knowledge. Hopefully, we can contribute people to learn new motor skills quickly and effectively. Also, these efforts to learn new motor skills could aid in rehabilitative protocols for patients who have movement disorder.


1. Wright, D., Verwey, W., Buchanen, J., Chen, J., Rhee, J., & Immink, M. (2015). Consolidating behavioral and neurophysiologic findings to explain the influence of contextual interference during motor sequence learning.Psychonomic bulletin & review, 1-21.

2. Shea, J. B., & Zimny, S. T. (1988). Knowledge incorporation in motor representation. Advances in psychology, 50, 289-314.

3. Lin, C. H. J., Chiang, M. C., Knowlton, B. J., Iacoboni, M., Udompholkul, P., & Wu, A. D. (2013). Interleaved practice enhances skill learning and the functional connectivity of fronto-parietal networks. Human brain mapping, 34(7), 1542-1558



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