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J Mot Behav. 2012;44(5):313-27. doi: 10.1080/00222895.2012.708367. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

Using dual tasks to test immediate transfer of training between naturalistic movements: a proof-of-principle study.

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Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA.


Theories of motor learning predict that training a movement reduces the amount of attention needed for its performance (i.e., more automatic). If training one movement transfers, then the amount of attention needed for performing a second movement should also be reduced, as measured under dual task conditions. The authors' purpose was to test whether dual task paradigms are feasible for detecting transfer of training between two naturalistic movements. Immediately following motor training, subjects improved performance of a second untrained movement under single and dual task conditions. Subjects with no training did not. Improved performance in the untrained movement was likely due to transfer, and suggests that dual tasks may be feasible for detecting transfer between naturalistic actions.

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