Differential transfer benefits of increased practice for constant, blocked, and serial practice schedules

J Mot Behav. 2002 Dec;34(4):353-65. doi: 10.1080/00222890209601953.


The effects of practice schedule and amount of practice on the development of the generalized motor program (GMP) and on parameter estimation were investigated. Participants (N = 108) practiced the same relative timing but different absolute durations of a multisegment timing task. Practice schedules (constant, blocked, or serial) were crossed with amounts of practice (low and high). Inclusion of a constant practice condition allowed the authors to investigate the variability of practice prediction. Participants practiced the same proportional durations in a serial or a blocked schedule, which enabled the authors to examine contextual interference. A constant practice schedule enhanced GMP performance when task parameters remained the same, but varied practice schedules were beneficial when task parameters changed. A serial as opposed to a blocked practice schedule was superior when the performance of a task governed by a different GMP was required. Increased practice led to a consolidated task representation that was unavailable for updating.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Time Factors