Implicit motor learning of a balancing task

Gait Posture. 2006 Jan;23(1):9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.11.010. Epub 2005 Jan 8.


This study examined the implicit learning of a balancing task. Three treatment conditions were constructed using different motor learning strategies. In two of the treatment conditions, explicit learning of the balancing task was impeded by using either an analogy or an errorless learning technique. In the third treatment condition, participants learnt the task by discovery learning, which typically results in explicit knowledge. It was hypothesised that in the analogy and errorless learning conditions, learning of the balancing task would be implicit in character. Three criteria of implicit learning were used to test this hypothesis; the accumulation of few explicit rules, robustness under secondary task loading and durability over time. Although the discovery learners acquired more explicit rules, all groups appear to have acquired the skill implicitly, in that all groups were robust to imposition of a concurrent task load and over time. Indeed, balance performance with a concurrent verbal task was better than balance performance alone. Discussion focuses on the contribution of verbal and non-verbal processes to balancing.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Postural Balance*
  • Proprioception*
  • Task Performance and Analysis