Constant-blocked practice: variation of parameters improves motor skill acquisition

Abstract AIMS The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the combination of constant and variable practice when both, motor program and parameters on absolute and relative dimensions of a task, are manipulated. METHOD Twenty undergraduate students, aged between 19 and 24 years, participated in this study. Two groups practiced the task of pressing four keys of a numeric keyboard with total and relative times specified under constant conditions in the first part of the acquisition phase and under block conditions in the second part when one group varied parameters and another varied motor programs. RESULTS Both groups improved parameters and motor program measures during the acquisition phase. In the retention test, the parameters variation resulted in higher accuracy on motor program measure that the variation of motor programs. CONCLUSION Both combinations improve parameters and motor program accuracy. Moreover, the maintenance of GMP during the variation phase contributes to strengthening it.