Implicit motor learning through observational training in adults and children

Mem Cognit. 2002 Mar;30(2):256-61. doi: 10.3758/bf03195286.


Although evidence of implicit motor learning on the basis of observation alone has been reported, there is some data to suggest that the phenomenon could be contaminated by the intentional exploitation of explicit knowledge. In the present experiment, a special procedure was adapted to study observational learning in a situation involving the acquisition of a new drawing behavior. The participants consisted of adults and children 6-10 years of age. The results provide support for the view that overt motor practice is not strictly necessary for implicit motor learning. They demonstrate that children display capacities similar to those of adults in this form of learning. Some suggestions are made to account for the contradictory results present in this area of research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Random Allocation
  • Teaching*