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  • Author: Umberto C. Corrêa x
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Thiago A.C. Oliveira, Renata A. Denardi, Go Tani and Umberto C. Corrêa

Abstract

Purpose. This study investigated if (1) the beneficial effects of an external focus of attention on learning a motor skill were influenced by an internal focus of attention provided at initial instruction (2) or by an internal focus of attention at the early stage of the acquisition phase and (3) their relation to the automation hypothesis. Methods. Three separate experiments were performed with 168 college students on the acquisition, transfer, and retention of a golf-putting task. Results. In conjunction, the results of the three experiments pointed to the positive effects of an internal attention of focus instructions followed by an external attentional focus on motor learning. Conclusions. These results support the development of an alternative hypothesis on the effects of attentional focus on motor skill acquisition.

Open access

Marina G.T.X. de Souza, Marcelo E.S. Nunes, Umberto C. Corrêa and Suely dos Santos

Abstract

Purpose. The aim of this study was to investigate the contextual interference effect on learning a sport-related task in older adults. Methods. We selected 40 physically active individuals aged 65-80 years that were randomly divided into random and blocked practice groups. The task comprised throwing a bocce ball to three targets at distances of 2, 4 and 6 m. Practice consisted of 120 trials divided into two sessions. Two retention tests at a distance of 4 m were conducted (post-10 min and 24 h) and then two transfer tests with a target at 5 m (post-24 h) were performed with the preferred and non-preferred hand. Task performance and movement patterns were measured. Results. Comparisons between the practice groups revealed no contextual interference effect (p > 0.05); the random group showed improved performance during practice (p < 0.05) but the blocked group did not. Overall, the results showed similar performance between the groups in the retention and transfer tests, although it was inferred that the blocked group made insufficient corrective adjustments. Conclusions. It was concluded that contextual interference did not affect the learning of a sport-based skill in older adults. Nonetheless, it can be argued that the parameter modifications may have negatively influenced learning this task by the practice groups and/or they may have required more practice time.