The Effect of Moderate Contextual Interference on Motor-Skill Learning
Biology and Medicine
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the systematic increase of contextual interference (CI) levels during practice is more beneficial for retention and transfer than practice schedules involving only low levels of CI. Thirty healthy male (n 5 15) and female (n 5 15) shooters participated voluntarily in this study. All were in the associative stage of learning and right-hemisphere. For counterbalancing among groups, participants were randomly assigned to two acquisition
... cquisition conditions-Serial (n 5 15) and Blocked (n 5 15). Two-way ANOVA (Blocked and Serial groups 3 9 blocks), with repeated measures on the second factor, was used to analyze the acquisition results. Independent two sample t-tests were conducted to determine the effect of practice condition on motor-skill learning. Interaction effect of CI and the session is significant (p 0.000). There was a significant difference in the average scores of nine sessions (p 0.000). Retention and transfer of Serial results were significantly better than that of Blocked results, (p 0.000) and (p 0.015), respectively. Results of this study suggested that participants who practiced with gradual increases in CI generally performed better on a retention and transfer test compared to participants who practiced with traditional Blocked scheduling. Serial practice, indeed, with several elements in a prescriptive order, may benefit from changing conditions from trial to trial. As a consequence, deeper elaboration and extra distinction between variations of the task can facilitate adaptation to transfer conditions.