Error prediction specificity: influence on motor learning and performance
The present study examined whether increasing the specificity of error prediction would influence motor performance and learning. The study examined (n=24) participants divided into 3 three training conditions (n=8 per group), while performing a ball-tossing task. Each group differed on the extent to which they had to provide a prediction of tossing accuracy following each throw. A control group offered no prediction of toss performance, whereas a general prediction group provided a categorical prediction of performance outcome. Finally, a specific prediction group provided an exact location prediction following each toss. Results revealed no differences in overall tossing performance between the 3 groups, but did display an increased rate of learning and prediction accuracy for the specific training group. Interestingly, findings revealed that requiring participants to provide specific predictions of performance may negatively impact performance potentially due to pressure attributed to self-focused attention, ego-relevance, or self-awareness. These findings indicate that providing a specific prediction of performance error may be detrimental to performance during learning.