Context-dependent motor skill and the role of practice

M.F.L. Ruitenberg, Elian de Kleine, Robert Henricus Johannes van der Lubbe, Willem B. Verwey, E.L. Abrahamse

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)
    113 Downloads (Pure)


    Research has shown that retrieval of learned information is better when the original learning context is reinstated during testing than when this context is changed. Recently, such contextual dependencies have also been found for perceptual-motor behavior. The current study investigated the nature of context-dependent learning in the discrete sequence production task, and in addition examined whether the amount of practice affects the extent to which sequences are sensitive to contextual alterations. It was found that changing contextual cues—but not the removal of such cues—had a detrimental effect on performance. Moreover, this effect was observed only after limited practice, but not after extensive practice. Our findings support the notion of a novel type of context-dependent learning during initial motor skill acquisition and demonstrate that this context-dependence reduces with practice. It is proposed that a gradual development with practice from stimulus-driven to representation-driven sequence execution underlies this practice effect.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)812-820
    Number of pages9
    JournalPsychological research = Psychologische Forschung
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2012


    • METIS-288980
    • IR-83274


    Dive into the research topics of 'Context-dependent motor skill and the role of practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this