Motor Skill - Stages of Motor Learning

Stages of Motor Learning

The stages to motor learning is the cognitive phase, the associative phase, and the autonomous phase.

Cognitive Phase: When a learner is new to a specific task, the primary thought process starts with, “what needs to be done?” Considerable cognitive activity is required so that the learner can determine appropriate strategies to adequately reflect the desired goal. Good strategies are retained and inefficient strategies are discarded. The performance is greatly improved in a short amount of time.

Associative Phase: the learner has determined the most effective way to do the task and starts to make subtle adjustments in performance. Improvements are more gradual and movements become more consistent. This phase can last for a long time. The skills in this phase are fluent, efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

Autonomous Phase: this phase may take several months to years to reach. The phase is dubbed because the performer can now “automatically” complete the task without having to pay any attention to. Examples include walking and talking or sight reading while doing simple arithmetic.

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