Cognitive Processes Underlying the Learning Advantages of Self-Controlled Feedback Schedules

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Title: Cognitive Processes Underlying the Learning Advantages of Self-Controlled Feedback Schedules
Authors: Carter, Michael J.
Date: 2016
Abstract: It is well established that an effective way to schedule knowledge of results (KR) during practice to facilitate motor learning is to allow the learner to control their KR delivery, termed self-controlled KR, rather than imposing the same schedule on the learner without choice, termed yoked KR. The learning advantages of self-controlled KR schedules have been attributed to motivational influences and/or information-processing activities with numerous researchers favouring the motivational perspective in recent years. However, many findings currently exist that are difficult to reconcile using a (purely) motivational influences explanation. For this dissertation, three experiments were conducted that aimed to better understand the learning advantages of self-controlled KR schedules from an information-processing perspective. Chapter 2 of this dissertation provides further evidence that the learning benefits of self-controlled KR schedules depend on the option of completing the decision to receive KR after a motor response. The option of making the KR decision after a trial, rather than before a trial was suggested to allow the learner to request KR only when a comparison between estimated and actual error would maximize the informational value of the KR received. This in turn would be expected to strengthen one’s error detection capabilities. This was supported by retention and transfer data where a more accurate ability to estimate one’s performance in the absence of KR was found in the two self-controlled groups that were able to make a KR decision after a trial. In addition, open-ended questions regarding the strategies used for requesting KR during practice were administered at the midpoint and end of practice. An inductive thematic analysis (Chapter 3) of the self-reported KR strategies generated five themes and it was noted that strategy use changes as a function of practice. That is, the dominant strategy used during the first half of practice was different from that used during the second half of practice. Based on the results presented in Chapters 2 and 3, Chapter 4 provides evidence that the KR-delay interval is a critical time period for reaping the learning benefits of self-controlled KR schedules. Specifically, having participants engage in an interpolated activity during the KR-delay interval eliminated the effectiveness of self-controlled KR schedules for motor learning. It is argued that the interpolated activity interfered with the processing of response-produced feedback upon movement completion that are critical for determining whether receiving KR on a given trial would provide a meaningful learning experience. Lastly, Chapter 5 provides evidence that suggests the primary motor cortex (M1) may not have a significant role in the learning advantages of self-controlled KR schedules. However, a caveat of this conclusion is that the learning benefits of practicing with a self-controlled KR schedule were negligible. Taken together, the results presented in this dissertation suggest that informational factors associated with the processing of response-produced feedback and KR for the development of one’s error-detection capabilities, rather than motivational influences are more critical for the learning advantages of self-controlled KR schedules.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34488
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5619
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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