The Role of Variability in Practice Structure when Learning to Use an Upper-Extremity Prosthesis

  • Weeks D
  • Anderson D
  • Wallace S
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Subjects simulating the use of an upper limb prosthesis (n=48) were randomly assigned to 2 groups for training, One group practised 3 different prehension tasks with a prosthetic simulator in random practice order; the other group practised the 3 tasks in block order. After 2 days' practice, 2 different tests of learning were administered. Both groups showed significant improvements in initiation time and movement time to perform each task. Both practice schedules were equally effective for promoting skill retention. The random acquisition group showed significantly greater proficiency in performing new tasks than the blocked acquisition group.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Amputation
  • Contextual interference
  • Motor learning
  • Prosthetic training

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