Date of Award

5-1-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Schlesinger, Matthew

Second Advisor

Habib, Reza

Abstract

Augmented feedback is typically defined as performance- or outcome-related information presented to a motor skill learner in a practice environment (Schmidt & Lee, 2001). This information, which supplements naturally-occurring, task-intrinsic information, has been found to facilitate motor skill learning (Salmoni, et al., 1984). These benefits to motor learning, however, are mediated by several factors including the sensory channel (modality) in which feedback is presented. While augmented feedback presented visually does not typically produce lasting benefits to skilled performance (Sigrist et al, 2013), research in related areas suggests that augmented feedback presented in an audiovisual fashion may benefit motor learning in ways that overcome the limitations of unimodal visual research. Building off this research, the current series of experiments examined how augmented feedback presented audiovisually influenced motor learning of a simple motor task relative to augmented feedback presented either visually or aurally. The first experiment, subjects performed a novel steering task with their non-dominant hand and were tasked with staying within a pre-established boundary. During the practice phase, participants received concurrent feedback regarding their performance. Participants were then tested 24-hours post-practice to examine how feedback presented during practice would affect performance on no-feedback retention and transfer tests. Results from this study indicated that both audiovisual and aural feedback presented during practice facilitate motor learning, whereas feedback presented visually does not. In the second experiment, participants completed the steering task used in experiment one but with an additional timing component added. During practice participants were given two simultaneous streams of concurrent feedback presented either multimodally (e.g. timing information presented aurally, spatial information presented visually) or unimodally (e.g. both timing and spatial information presented aurally). Results from the second study indicated that modally-appropriate multimodal feedback facilitated motor learning to a greater degree than unimodal feedback even when multiple streams of information are presented within the augmented feedback. Theoretical and practical implications are further discussed.

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