Knowledge of Results and Motor Learning—Implications for Physical Therapy

Carolee J Winstein


Relevant to this special series on movement science, a brief overview of research in the field of motor learning is provided. A distinction between learning and performance is emphasized with respect to experimental design and the evaluation of laboratory and clinical intervention techniques. Intrinsic and extrinsic feedback are defined. Basic principles of motor learning pertaining to the use of augmented feedback or knowledge of results (KR) are reviewed. Particular emphasis is placed on recent research regarding the effects of selected KR variations (KR relative frequency, bandwidth KR, and KR delay) on motor performance and learning in healthy young adults. Results are discussed in terms of short-lasting temporary performance effects and relatively long-lasting learning effects. Theoretical and practical implications from this research are discussed. It is suggested that it is appropriate to use the principles obtained through laboratory experimentation as guidelines rather than as exact recommendations when applying basic research findings to clinical practice.

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