Identifying the Benefits of Observational Practice in the Acquisition of a Novel Coordination Skill
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The experiment undertaken was designed to reveal how split attention within an observational learning context influences perception and production processes. The task was producing a bimanual coordination pattern with a 90? relative phase lead of one hand over the other hand. Multi-resource observer group watched both of the model?s arms and training animation. Single-resource observer groups watched either model?s arm movements or a training animation. In the pre- and post-scanning trials, participants performed the task with pendula animation. After each trial, they performed a perceptual test. In the pre- and post-baseline trials, participants watched the pendula animation and then, re-produce the pattern. During the practice session, models tracked the training animation and their yoked observer saw this. The physical practice model improved at both physical performance and perceptual discrimination of the practiced task. The observer groups showed better performance in perceptual and physical performance test compared to the control group. This implies that observer?s ability of extracting the relative phase information indicates a link from perceiving the model?s movement to the coordination process required to producing the observed action. As a theory of observational learning, the visual perspective theory specifically accounts for the pick-up relative motion information (relative phase) through observation.