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Phys Ther. 2000 Apr;80(4):373-85.

Effects of attentional focus, self-control, and dyad training on motor learning: implications for physical rehabilitation.

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  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Wayne State University, 1400 Chrysler Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


In this article, the authors review recent studies on 3 factors that have been shown to affect the learning of motor skills-the performer's attentional focus, self-control, and practice in dyads-and discuss their implications for rehabilitation. Research has shown that directing learners' attention to the effects of their movements can be more beneficial for learning than directing their attention to the details of their own actions. Furthermore, giving learners some control over the training regimen has been found to enhance learning, unlike prescriptive training protocols that dictate when feedback will be delivered, how often, and the order that tasks will be practiced. Finally, not only can practice in dyads (or larger groups) reduce the costs of training, but it can also result in more effective learning than individual practice sessions. The incorporation of these factors into rehabilitation practice can potentially enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of rehabilitation.

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