Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Phys Ther. 2008 Feb;88(2):251-60. Epub 2007 Nov 27.

Effect of focus of attention and age on motor acquisition, retention, and transfer: a randomized trial.

Author information

1
Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Health, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Adult participants benefit more from external focus than internal focus when learning a new motor skill. Because learners from different age groups use different learning strategies, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether the effect of attention focus varies among children and adults.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Thirty-four children and 32 adults were randomly assigned to internal or external focus-of-attention practice groups. Throwing darts toward a static target, participants performed 50 acquisition trials, 20 retention trials, and 20 transfer trials.

RESULTS:

The results indicate that focus of attention varies between children and adults in accuracy and variability in the acquisition phase and in accuracy in the transfer phase. No interactions were found in the retention phase.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

The findings suggest that external focus is more effective than internal focus in adults; therefore, physical therapists should instruct adult clients to focus their attention externally to facilitate motor learning. Physical therapists working with children should perhaps direct the client's attention internally; however, further study is needed.

PMID:
18042657
DOI:
10.2522/ptj.20060174
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center