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Short-term effects of differential learning and contextual interference in a goalkeeper-like task

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:visuomotor response time and motor control
In this experiment, we compared changes in visuomotor performance and motor control after a single session of differential learning (DL) and contextual interference (CI) in a reaching task to mimic goalkeeping. Subjects (n(DL) = n(CI) = 16) stood in front of a wall with six LED-light targets that flashed on in a random order and subjects had to move their hand in front of it as fast as possible in order to extinguish the target. After the pre-test subjects followed a DL or CI training session, followed immediately by a post-test, followed by one hour of rest and a retention test. Performance and motor control were measured respectively by visuomotor response time (VMRT) and an Index of Motor Abundance (IMA; reflecting the strength of movement synergies) calculated with Uncontrolled Manifold analysis. A mixed-effects Bayesian ANOVA model was used to evaluate differences in changes in both parameters between both training groups. Averaged over the six targets, the decrease in VMRT was stronger for DL than CI at the post-test (interference effect) but not at retention. The IMA was on average increased at post- and retention test in both groups, indicating stronger synergies between the degrees-of-freedom. While the ANOVA for IMA was not conclusive, the changes were likely not different between both learning methods. Thus, while an interference effect was found for CI but not DL in terms of performance on the task, no such effect was observed on the behavioural level in terms of the strength of movement synergies.
Journal: European Journal of Sport Science
ISSN: 1746-1391
Volume: 99
Number of pages: 11
Publication year:2019
Authors from:Higher Education