SURF

Kristy Dang

The Effects of Practice Schedule on Motor Learning

Practice is an important process for anyone attempting to learn a new skill. Repeatedly performing the skill has been proven to lead to better learning . However, how should people organize their practice schedule if they want to learn multiple skills simultaneously? Is it more optimal to master each skill separately or all at once in a random order? There are multiple former experiments that show a random-ordered practice schedule actually leads to better retention than a blocked one. However, these studies typically use explicit motor tasks that require working memory and fails to measure implicit learning – the unconscious update of body movements.
My project aims to understand the effect of different practice schedules on implicit learning by using a visuomotor reaching task. I am interested in determining if and how the bodys explicit and implicit systems differ in response to random- or blocked-ordered practice. My findings will hopefully shed light on what is the most efficient way the motor system learns, which can improve rehabilitation methods for patients with movement disorders.

Message to Sponsor

I want to express a huge gratitude to the Banatao Fund for providing me this amazing opportunity over the summer. I was able to really grow as a researcher and obtain a lot of encouraging data that I am looking to explore further. My mentors and I are hoping the this work will soon be published. I have definitely come out of this experience more confident not only as a researcher but as a person as well. This program has allowed me to dive into something I am very passionate about, which has empowered me in many ways. So, thank you again for your generosity and believing that students like me can do meaningful research.
  • Major: Integrative Biology & Sociology
  • Sponsor: Banatao Fund
  • Mentor: Richard Ivry