Relationship between Motor Generalization and Motor Transfer

Document
Description

Adapting to one novel condition of a motor task has been shown to generalize to other naïve conditions (i.e., motor generalization). In contrast, learning one task affects the proficiency of another task that is altogether different (i.e. motor transfer). Much

Adapting to one novel condition of a motor task has been shown to generalize to other naïve conditions (i.e., motor generalization). In contrast, learning one task affects the proficiency of another task that is altogether different (i.e. motor transfer). Much more is known about motor generalization than about motor transfer, despite of decades of behavioral evidence. Moreover, motor generalization is studied as a probe to understanding how movements in any novel situations are affected by previous experiences. Thus, one could assume that mechanisms underlying transfer from trained to untrained tasks may be same as the ones known to be underlying motor generalization. However, the direct relationship between transfer and generalization has not yet been shown, thereby limiting the assumption that transfer and generalization rely on the same mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to test whether there is a relationship between motor generalization and motor transfer. To date, ten healthy young adult subjects were scored on their motor generalization ability and motor transfer ability on various upper extremity tasks. Although our current sample size is too small to clearly identify whether there is a relationship between generalization and transfer, Pearson product-moment correlation results and a priori power analysis suggest that a significant relationship will be observed with an increased sample size by 30%. If so, this would suggest that the mechanisms of transfer may be similar to those of motor generalization.