Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 18, Iss. 1, January, 2014, pp. 47-65
@2014 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


An Adaptive Process Model of Motor Learning: Insights for the Teaching of Motor Skills

Go Tani, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil
Umberto Cesar Correa, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil
Luciano Basso, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil
Rodolfo Novellino Benda, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Herbert Ugrinowitsch, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Koji Choshi, University of Hiroshima, Japan

Abstract: This article presents an outline of a non-equilibrium model, in which motor learning is explained as a continuous process of stabilization and adapta-tion. The article also shows how propositions derived from this model have been tested, and discusses possible practical implications of some supporting evidence to the teaching of motor skills. The stabilization refers to a process of functional stabilization that is achieved through negative feedback mechanisms. Initially, inconsistent and incorrect responses are gradually reduced, leading to a spatial-temporal patterning of the action. The adaptation is one in which new skills are formed from the reorganization of those already acquired through the flexibility of the system, reorganization of the skill structure, or self-organization. In order to provide learners with competency for adaptation, teachers should (a) guide students to learn motor skills taking into account that the stabilization of performance is just a transitory state that must be dismantled to achieve higher levels of complexity; (b) be clear which parts (micro) compose the skills and how they interact in order to form the whole (macro); (c) manipulate the skills in terms of their temporal, spatial, and/or spatiotemporal dimensions; (d) organize practice initially in a constant way, and then in a varied regimen (random) when the motor skills involve requirements of time and force; and, inversely for motor skills with spatial demands; and (e), provide a moderate frequency of feedback.

Keywords: adaptation, complexity, non-equilibrium, teaching-learning, motor skill