The "internal reference of correctness"
J.A. Adams (1971) used this term in his influential theory of motor learning. He proposed that several processes become increasingly congruent for motor learning to occur:
- A motor memory must initiate movement
- The movement thus initiated must produce internal feedback, which "lays down" in the central nervous system another memory, a "perceptual trace." The more accurate the movement, the more useful the perceptual trace that is collected and retained.
- The system must compare the feedback produced by a current movement against the accumulated perceptual trace.
- Finally, the system must detect any "error" or difference between the actual and the expected feedback, and correct the movement accordingly.
- Adams' theory implies a "closed-loop" type of learning in which accuracy and repetition are important for refinement of skill. Richard Schmidt developed a schema theory of motor learning to explain evidence that variety of practice and latitude for errors also produces motor learning.
Adams, J.A. (1971). A closed loop theory of motor learning. Journal of Motor Behavior, 3, 111-150.
Last updated 3-3-00 ©Dave Thompson PT
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