Motor learning

Motor learning in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: feedback effects on skill acquisition
PA Burtner, R Leinwand, KJ Sullivan, H-T Goh, SS Kantak

As occupational/physical therapists, we investigated how children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (CP) learn new motor skills.
  • Do they learn best with constant or occasional feedback?
  • Is learning similar to peers without CP?
Twenty children with CP and 19 children without CP practised a computer-based motor task using their preferred hand. Half of the children in each group received feedback on their accuracy after each trial (100%) and the other half received reduced feedback (62%). Learning was measured by their accuracy the next day (retention).
Children with CP used feedback similarly, but demonstrated less accuracy and consistency than children without CP. All children receiving 100% feedback demonstrated greater learning. When learning new motor skills with their less-involved hand, children with CP may benefit from 100% feedback and more practice trials.
We need more information about how different feedback levels affect learning in children with right versus left hemiplegia of varying ages.
Mac Keith Press publishes two series of books: the Clinics in Developmental Medicine and the International Reviews of Child Neurology Series for the International Child Neurology Association.