Enhancement of motor skill learning by a combination of ideal model-observation and self-observation

J Phys Ther Sci. 2017 Sep;29(9):1555-1560. doi: 10.1589/jpts.29.1555. Epub 2017 Sep 15.


[Purpose] In sports physical therapy, video of a patient's movement or of a skilled model's movement has been used as observational learning methods for injury prevention and movement modification. Positive effects of model video observation have been reported. This study aimed to clarify the effect on motor skill learning using a combination of model-observation and self-observation, which is thought to act as an enhanced method for active error detection by comparing model-observation and self-observation alone for acquisition of correct sports movement. [Subjects and Methods] Forty-five healthy females were randomly allocated into three groups comprising model- and self-observation, model-observation, and self-observation. The motor task performed was a half golf swing using an elastic club. Shoulder grip angle between both shoulder lines and the acromia grip strength were measured as an index of body rotation using a three-dimensional motion analyzer. Change in the shoulder grip angle in the three groups was analyzed at pre-, immediate delayed retention, and delayed retention tests. [Results] A significant difference in shoulder grip angle was observed among the three groups for the immediate delayed retention test. The combined model and self-observation group had a value closer to 90 degrees compared to the other two groups. [Conclusion] Observation combining model and self-observation exerted a positive effect on short-term motor skill learning.

Keywords: Action observation; Active error detection; Motor learning.