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Timing of Tone Presentation Does Alter Training Performance but Not Retention Performance of a Point-To-Point Sequence Task

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DOI: 10.4236/ape.2012.23015    4,127 Downloads   6,155 Views  

ABSTRACT

Objective: To investigate whether the timing of presentation of tones while practicing a serial reaction time task affects retention. Design: Thirty-eight young adults practiced 4 different 12-sequence aiming tasks. There was one control condition without a tone and three experimental conditions in which a tone was presented; i.e., a tone could appear before the next target onset, at the next target onset, or after the next target onset. Sequence learning for each condition was assessed with a retention block in which no tones were presented. Performance changes as compared to the control condition were analyzed to assess if acquisition and/or learning was affected by the presentation of the tones. Results: Tone condition affected mainly reaction time. It was shown that if a tone was presented 150 ms before displaying the next target in the sequence the reaction time of the aiming movement decreased significantly. Furthermore, it was shown that tone onset 150 ms before target presentation and tone onset at target presentation resulted in a benefit during acquisition after block 5 and 6 respectively. However, the benefit disappeared during retention, because none of the tone conditions showed differential performance as compared to the control condition. Conclusions: Timing of tones affects the acquisition of serial reaction time tasks, but it does not alter learning. It is suggested that this pattern of findings supports the notion that tones result in a non-specific activation of the motor system, which affect immediate performance but not learning.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Van Gemmert, A. (2012). Timing of Tone Presentation Does Alter Training Performance but Not Retention Performance of a Point-To-Point Sequence Task. Advances in Physical Education, 2, 82-87. doi: 10.4236/ape.2012.23015.

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