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The memory representation of motor skills: a test of schema theory.

Authors
  • Chamberlin, C J
  • Magill, R A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of motor behavior
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1992
Volume
24
Issue
4
Pages
309–319
Identifiers
PMID: 14769560
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Currently, a popular model for the central representation of motor skills is embodied in Schmidt's schema theory of discrete motor skill learning (Schmidt, 1975). Two experiments are reported here that contrast predictions from a schema abstraction model that is the basis for schema theory with those from an exemplar-based model of motor skill memory representation. In both experiments, subjects performed 300 trials per day of three variations of a three-segment timing task over 4 days of acquisition. The subjects then either immediately transferred to four novel variations of the same task (Experiment 1) that varied in degree of similarity to the exemplars experienced during acquisition; or performed two novel and two previously produced exemplars, following 24-h and 1-week retention intervals (Experiment 2). The results indicated that novel task transfer was not affected by the degree of similarity between the acquisition and transfer exemplars, and that there was no advantage for a previously produced exemplar over a novel exemplar after either a 24-hr or 1 week retention interval. Also, in both experiments, a consistent pattern of bias in responding was noted for novel task transfer and retention. These results are indicative of a schema abstraction model of memory representation for motor skills.

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