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Title: The role of error processing in the contextual interference effect during the training of perceptual-cognitive skills
Authors: Broadbent, D
Causer, J
Williams, AM
Ford, PR
Keywords: Cognitive effort;Anticipatory judgement;Practice structure;Perceptual learning;Secondary task
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Citation: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, (2017)
Abstract: The contextual interference (CI) effect refers to the learning benefits that occur from a random compared to blocked practice order. In this paper, the cognitive effort explanation for the CI effect was examined by investigating the role of error processing. In two experiments, a perceptual-cognitive task was used in which participants anticipated three different tennis skills across a pre-test, three practice sessions, and retention test. During practice, the skills were presented in either a random or blocked practice order. In Experiment 1, cognitive effort was examined using a probe reaction time task. In Experiment 2, cognitive effort was manipulated for two groups by inserting a cognitively demanding secondary task into the inter-trial interval. The CI effect was found in both experiments as the random groups displayed superior learning in the retention test compared to the blocked groups. Cognitive effort during practice was greater in random compared to blocked practice groups in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, greater decrements in secondary task performance following an error were reported for the random group when compared to the blocked group. The suggestion is that not only the frequent switching of tasks in randomized orders causes increased cognitive effort and the CI effect, but it is also error processing in combination with task switching. Findings extend the cognitive effort explanation for the CI effect and propose an alternative hypothesis highlighting the role of error processing.
ISSN: 0096-1523
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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