Acquiring bimanual skills: Contrasting forms of information feedback for interlimb decoupling.
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The present experiments addressed the learner's capability to perform different upper-limb actions simultaneously with the help of various sources of information feedback. An elbow flexion movement was made in the left limb together with a flexion-extension-flexion movement in the right limb. Interlimb interactions were assessed at the structural as well as the metrical level of movement specification during acquisition and retention. Despite a strong initial tendency for the limbs to be synchronized, findings revealed that Ss became gradually more successful in interlimb decoupling as a result of practice with augmented feedback. However, detailed knowledge of movement kinematics was no more effective than global outcome information for interlimb decoupling, indicating that knowledge of results may have more potential for acquiring multiple degree-of-freedom tasks than previously believed. Finally, the data support the general notion that learning new coordination tasks involves the suppression of preexisting preferred coordination tendencies, which is often a prerequisite for building new coordination modes.
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